This post is going to be a little bit different. I’m going to focus on the blog just for today. I’m going to talk to you about monetizing your blog — Yes, there are TONS of articles online most of which are full of important, helpful and amazing information to help monetize your blog. However, not all of that information is helpful to everyone, ie: Canadian Bloggers.
In Canada I find SO many companies, or PR agencies won’t ship to Canada. Thus making it a little bit difficult for your average blogger to successfully make an income on a blog. But – and this is a BIG but, there are MANY ways you can do this and I am living proof. I’d also like to note how I get mail to Canada is a bit expensive, but it’s so worth it for the exposure and advertising but it is what it is.
I have been asked by quite a few fellow Canadian bloggers how to get going with blogging and/or how I am doing what I’m doing. Now, I am not a huge blogger by any means but over the last year my blog has grown in to something that I dreamed of, but never imagined actually happening.
Six Time Mommy began in November 2013. I started out blogging about my boring everyday life. The same type of blog I used to run on and off for the last 18 years. But it just wasn’t what anyone wanted to read, and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how others did it. Most of the bigger bloggers are in the USA so trying to even remotely live up to them wouldn’t be possible but there has to be a way in Canada, right? Right.
How to start bringing more followers, readers and brands:
Like I said it can be hard in Canada, but it is doable. You have to know where to look, what to do and the most important — “Stay true to you”. I will come back to that saying later but for now let’s focus on the others.
How to start bringing followers: Comment on other blogs, join blogging tribes and facebook groups! There are SO many other bloggers out there looking to grow their own blog, so they are looking to help as well as have that reciprocated!
Gain more readers: While commenting on other blogs, and having them come return the favor is great you also want to reach as many people as you can. Share on twitter, instagram, and pinterest as much as you can! Retweet others tweets, and repin others pins to hopefully see the same happening to your socials. If not, you could consider trying to, or use some techniques like follow for follow, like for like, and other methods to help reach out. You could even try making a monthly small blogs shoutout post on social media for other blogs to promote themselves on, which will set you in a really positive light in the community.
Brands: I started out contacting a few brands about 2 years ago. When my blog was still very small, and pretty quiet I got a few companies to let me review their items. Since then I would say once or twice I’ve contacted a company about partnering the rest? Have all come to me. How? Simple – Put out content YOU are proud of. Be honest, be kind and always be transparent with your brands. Some PR companies have different divisions, and different PR reps working with various companies it’s great to keep these relationships healthy, honest and kind because if you do – they share your info among each other which will be so good for you.
What happens if you have issues with brands/products or PR Company?
Don’t blog about it. I try to keep negative off my blog as much as possible. Of course, if there is an issue with a product I’ve already raved about in a review I will post an update, or add a note to the post to notify my readers of what happened. Don’t ever post the behind the scenes on your blog. Keeping your blog professional is a must. Even if you’ve had the most horrible experiences which I can say I have a few times.
How to make money with all those paid campaign websites when NONE of them offer to Canada?
They do. At least some of them. Here is a list of those websites that although not every campaign is open to us – they do offer campaigns and opps to Canada:
- BrandBacker: This one you have to really pay attention to each campaign. Sometimes they offer free samples to Canada (which is the full size product) plus payment, or sometimes just payment.
- Social Fabric: I didn’t know until recently (within the last 5 months) that they offered shops in Canada, but they do! Very rarely, but they are there so keep your eyes peeled.
- Business2Blogger: B2B has a job board which opps are posted to frequently. Worldwide, USA Only and sometimes Canada. You can apply to the worldwide so check often.
- IZEA: While most of these are USA only I have gotten a few social campaigns that are open to Canada. Each time however they’ve come to me, and I didn’t apply. So make your profile honest, and great!
- Moms Affiliate now known as Socialite: I’ve gotten to work some great campaigns through them. What I do like about them is as soon as the company approves your post you get paid. It generally takes a few hours for it to hit your paypal but it comes quick. The only thing I don’t like is that they take the fees out of your payments. Although it’s not a lot, you don’t see this often. Usually we don’t get dinged the fees.
- Tap Influence: This is a really great site to have companies, brands and PR reps for brands come to you. I’ve had a few opps with them. This is another one you have to make your profile as detailed, honest and good as possible!
- Adproval: I’m not exactly sure how this site works exactly. I’ve applied for a few opps and the companies e-mail me out of the portal, and we do everything out of the portal. So, just apply for what you’d like to review/do and hopefully they come to you.
- Tomoson: Now, this one is a tricky one. I signed up for this early on in my journey with STM and got some items. Most of them are USA only and via Amazon. Things offered to Canada most of the time won’t fit my niche, or I just don’t want them on my blog. So I’ve been staying away from this one as much as possible, however you can apply for some things as fillers for those busy weeks and you aren’t sure what to post. You will have deadline, and sometimes tricky, and sketchy amazon sellers contacting you constantly to review their items at a discount – I only take ones that are free or I get paid to review.
What about those big campaign sites, what gives with them?
I’m a part of a few different campaign sites that are bigger than the ones mentioned above. There are a few others that you can do in Canada, but some require you being able to cross the border to shop for some items and I just can’t do that so I went with the company that didn’t require that and I am *SO* thankful I did.
- Mode Media: The BEST. Hands down. Not only are the project managers, and the whole team amazing but the campaigns are top notch too. The payments are also pretty amazing for each campaign. The only down side to mode is the 120-day payment period (via paypal), but it’s SO worth it. I would highly recommend ANYONE who is in Canada and want’s to earn some extra money, try out amazing brands and be included in some really great social campaigns to check out mode. You do have to sign an exclusive contract (for ad spaces) with mode, but I do highly recommend.
- Influence Central Canada: Previously known as Mom Central Canada this is another really amazing company and have really great payments. Usually as soon as the campaign deadline has reached and the campaign has closed your payment is mailed. Which is mailed in the form of visa gift cards. They also have really great campaigns and an amazing team.
- Shes Influential: I just started working with them. I had one campaign that went to my spam folder which I missed and am still SO bummed about, but the other I got and really enjoyed doing it. Their payment is when the company/brand pay them and is usually 60+ days.
- Mr and Mrs Jones CA: Not really sure about this one, I was contacted and got sent some info. I am waiting to see if any campaigns come up and can update this when they do. The people I’ve spoken to are super friendly, and helpful so I’m hoping this is another great one for STM.
I do know there are more, but these are the ones I’ve successfully used or just signed up with. Like I mentioned before, if you live somewhere you can get over the border to shop or are up for driving there are a few others you can find. I’m not naming them as I have ZERO experience with any of them so I feel like it’s not right to put them up, does that make sense?
My main sources of income on Six Time Mommy are Mode, influence central and brands coming to me. I am so thankful and when I start talking about how amazing Six Time Mommy is doing, and the wonderful people and companies I’ve had the pleasure to work with so far I tend to get a little wee bit emotional.
Now if you check over my blog you can see I don’t just post sponsored posts, reviews or campaigns. I mentioned earlier staying true to you. Now this is where I’ll explain. I’ve always disliked websites where all the posts are reviews, or sponsored posts. I can’t stand to read them because there usually isn’t much I can relate to on there so I vowed when I started working with brands to make sure two things.
- Blog at least 5 days a week if not more
- Make sure to add other posts (advice, how to, recipes, diy) and not just sponsored or reviews.
I think I’ve lived up to that and kept the blog exactly how I wanted it to be from the moment I started. Now, I didn’t really think I would monetize or be able to (probably a better way to put it) because everything I would see says USA Only. But, don’t let that stop you. Don’t let that scare you off. I promise there is SO much available out there to us Canadians.
Monetization isn’t the most important thing when running a blog. For me, it’s the relationships I’ve formed with other bloggers, and brands but also the e-mails and comments I get when someone who needs help finds my blog, or is looking for something specific finds my blog. That to me is more than any money could do. I won’t lie — Our family of 8 is extremely happy and grateful for the monetization and I wouldn’t change it for the world but be true to you. Don’t sell yourself out for money, make sure you love what you do and what you put out there. Your passion and love of blogging will shine through and more people will want to work with you, want to read your blog and will want to see what you have coming next! Don’t give up!