I get asked almost on a daily basis how exactly I am able to make money blogging and playing on social media. The answer isn’t necessarily all that simple as it really took a lot of time and effort to build up to where I am today. I’m not making as much as I would like to, but I have been slowly increasing my income year after year. If you are active in social media, have a good following and have a blog (or are ready to start one), I can definitely help point you in the right direction so you can start to make money blogging.
I do sometimes approach companies directly via e-mail when I want to review one of their products, but it doesn’t always work out. Where I find the greatest success by far is by working with third-party sites who specialize in partnering brands with bloggers and social media superstars. There are a gazillion of them out there, trust me. I find that I get the majority of my paid work, both for blogging and for social media, through a handful of sites that I’ll share with you below.
I want to preface this list by saying that a lot of the companies listed want to see you being active, whether it’s on social media or by blogging, or both. Constantly work on increasing your following on any of the networks you hope to find sponsored work on. If and when you do get an opportunity, follow through, promote it like crazy and always beat deadlines. Otherwise, that first opportunity may be your last.
Network with other bloggers, join blogging groups, Facebook groups, whatever you can do to get your name and your blog out there. Some of the sites I’ve listed have a networking component, so use it! Engage with people as much as possible online, comment on other blog posts you read, just stay active and things will come to fruition eventually like they have for me. You might get a bunch of sponsored work one month and nothing the next, don’t worry, more will come!
I started by doing free reviews in exchange for products and slowly started charging fees, starting low and increasing it as I built my following. Paid blogging (aka sponsored blogging) can be a great source of income and you still have a ton of creative freedom! Keep in mind that some of the sites I’ve listed are selective, so if you don’t get in the first time, keep working on your following and try again in a few months. Also, I’ll be adding new sites often, so bookmark this page and check back periodically for updates!
**Please note that a few of the links below are affiliate links where I get credit for referring you, so please do click the links instead of opening a new window and searching for the site. Thanks!
Sites to Join to Make Money Blogging
Izea – This is one of a handful of sites that has sent me a 1099 the last couple of years, meaning I made over $600 from them each year. I’ve gotten paid up to $20 for a single tweet and $50 for a single Instagram post. I have also done several sponsored blog posts through Izea for brands like LivingSocial, DairyPure Milk, and Canada Dry. The best part about Izea is, you don’t need a blog to make money, you can just do social media posts if you’d like!
Influence Central – If you’re a mom blogger (or even a dad blogger), this is the place for you! Go back and look at my recent posts, see how many are on behalf of Influence Central? The opportunities have been rolling in from them lately, from the JCK Jewelry Show and Aixallia Skincare to SwimWays and ALDI, Influence Central has been keeping me busy! I’ve earned just under $3300 from them in the first half of 2016 alone.
Linqia – I just finished my first campaign with Linqia for the San Diego Zoo and I’m so excited! They pay a little differently than many other sites with a pay per click formula versus a flat fee, but it definitely motivates you to promote your post more than you otherwise might! Linqia also has a referral program too where you can earn a percentage from someone’s first campaign if you referred them.
Massive Sway/The SITS Girls – I’ve only done a couple of sponsored posts through Massive Sway as they are highly selective, but they definitely pay well! One of my faves has been the Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry campaign I did with them where I got to go to a fab mommy party and sample awesome food, then got paid (very generously) to write about it! I also had a blast working on the Prismacolor Premier campaign and attending a mommy coloring party complete with mimosas!
Brandbacker – Although most opportunities on Brandbacker seem to be in exchange for product, there are occasionally paid opportunities as well. I did a few sponsored posts for derma e and in the past have done many reviews in exchange for valuable skincare products from Exuviance, NeoStrata and Solvaderm among other fabulous skincare brands!
BlogHer/SheKnows – I don’t blog for BlogHer but have been accepted into their social media influencer program for Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. For Twitter as an example, they typically pay around $50 for a series of about 8 tweets over the course of a month or so. I’m often working on 2-3 campaigns for them at once.
Social Fabric – I was just accepted into Social Fabric earlier this year and was amazed at how many opportunities they offer! I’ve only applied to a handful that were relevant to my blog but just completed my very first one for Jergens! They have tons of helpful online courses on their site and message boards for questions, so there are a ton of benefits here beyond the paid opportunities.
iConnect – I just recently did my first sponsored Instagram campaign with iConnect for Luvs Diapers and it was pretty simple for what it paid! I’ve been really trying to build my Instagram following, mostly so I can focus more on doing sponsored posts there since they are a lot less work than drafting entire blog posts! iConnect also has sponsored blog opportunities too, though I do find that many of them seem to be geared towards moms with babies.
Find Your Influence – I haven’t done a ton of work with them, but did have a couple of great sponsored post opportunities and an ad placement through them with LifeLock. I’ve been getting a lot of campaign surveys lately after a long hiatus, so perhaps things will pick back up soon.
TapInfluence – I have done a few sponsored posts through TapInfluence including one for AmLactin, another for AstroGlide and also one for Viviscal. They are great to work with and have a nice user interface. The work hasn’t been steady, yet it tends to pay pretty well.
Sites to Join for Freebies
Influenster – This is a great site for scoring free products in exchange for talking about them in social media. Influenster sometimes sends entire boxes full of different things too!
SheSpeaks – This is a fabulous community based site where you have opportunities to voice your opinion, test or review products and occasionally receive payment for reviews or blog posts. This is one of the first sites I joined as a blogger.
BzzAgent – I’ve gotten some great items from BzzAgent in return for promising to share about them in social media (no blog required). Items have ranged from health & beauty items to toys & games to food & beverages. I’ve probably done 100 campaigns for them over the past few years.
Smiley360 – Similar to BzzAgent, you can receive free products ranging from household goods to beauty products and my personal favorite, Sleep Number pillows! All you have to do is share, share, share online!
L’Oreal Consumer Testing – If you’re a beauty product junkie like me, and are open to testing beauty products, this is a must do! I’ve tested L’Oreal and Lancome products ranging from mascara to face cream and although they don’t pay you in money, they pay you in free products from L’Oreal, Lancome and their other beauty brands!
Crowdtap – This site allows you to interact with brands by answering poll questions, participating in moderated discussions, and sometimes by trying samples or hosting parties for a brand.
Do you have any favorite sites that I didn’t list where you earn freebies or money through blogging and social media? If so, please feel free to share them in the comments!