Tips for bloggers

This is the last post in a short series about marketing and mommy bloggers. In today’s finale, we veer off on a bit of a tangent with some tips to consider about monetizing your mommy blog.


There are a lot of ways to get your blog working for you, most of which will not pay enough to put your kids through college (or pay for bail). There is no longer the same sort of stigma attached to profiting from your blog that there was a few years ago, though. And, with a bit of diligence and a regular audience, it’s not too hard to make a few bucks each month.

You can set up advertising in several ways, including using programs like Google’s AdSense, advertising networks like BlogHer or Glam, or affiliate advertising programs like Commission Junction, ShareASale or Linkshare. You can sell ad space in your sidebar for text-based link ads or small ad boxes. You can write sponsored reviews or join a review network like MomCentral or Parent Bloggers.

You can, in fact, do all of the above at the same time. But there are a few caveats to keep in mind.

First, if you want people to visit your blog and keep coming back, the monetizing tools have to be the icing on the cake and the substance of your blog ought to be quality entertainment — pictures, stories, advice, whatever you do best. You might use search engine optimization to bring readers in but you need to have great writing or some other attractive hook to keep them coming back.

Second, read contracts and regulations very carefully. Some advertising networks have restrictions about what kinds of other monetizing activities you can use on your blog and many want to control where and how you display their ad. Others want exclusivity — which very rarely favours the blogger. Make sure you understand whether you are getting paid per clickthrough (readers must click on the ad), per impression (number of times the ad is displayed) or — ideally, IMHO — simply on a per-month or per-week basis. For example, I understand that $50 per month for a 125×125 pixel sidebar ad is reasonable ad rate for a blog that gets about 500 visitors per day.

Third, know your own value and don’t sell yourself short. Keep track of simple metrics so you know how many visitors you get per day or per week and know your Google Page Rank (PR). I know, for example, that I have a high enough PR on my mommy blog that I’m on the first page of Google search returns for the keywords ‘best toys’. An online toy store contacted me and first asked if I’d accept a guest post with links to their store which I promptly declined. (“Hmmm… You want my Google juice but not my mad writing skillz?” was how I perceived that offer.) They came back with an offer of $25 for a year of text-based advertising in my sidebar that I could in no way indicate was advertising. The text was something like, “Consider active toys and educational toys to properly stimulate your child’s development,” with links to their site on active toys and educational toys. I promptly declined that offer, too.

That brings me to my fourth point: Be transparent and have a disclosure policy. It’s very important to me that my readers can distinguish between a paid review and a random product recommendation simply because something tickled my fancy. Any time I post a review, I am careful to spell out any compensation or freebies related to the post. Be aware, too, that Google frowns on “PayPerPost” blogs and last year busted page rank down to zero for many pay-per-post bloggers.

If you have any other tips or ideas to share, please feel free to leave a comment!


Danielle Donders shares her digital parenting experiences with us on Thursdays. She is a proud Mommy Blogger at Postcards from the Mothership, and vaguely remembers a day job studying the tools of social media in the context of government communications.

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