The intention of this post is to equip the reader with a better understanding of what ads and sponsored content are all about, and how they compare with affiliate links in terms of making money from your blog.

This post is written with disability in mind: it’s by a deaf blogger and for other bloggers with disabilities.

Types of Direct Ads

You would think that ads are simple, right? And maybe they are – money in exchange for indirectly promoting something on your site. What I suspect that a lot of bloggers don’t quite know though, is how many types of ads there are, exactly:

Pay Per Click: this is where the company will give you a fraction of money for each click on their link from your site.

Pay Per-Action: where the company will pay you (the blogger) each time a reader clicks on the ad and then makes a purchase.

Pay Per-Impression: where the blogger is paid by how many readers saw the ad.

Set Rate: this is when a company pays you a set amount of money each month to host their ads on your blog, regardless of number of impressions or conversions.

Text Link and Contextual Ads: These are ads that are placed in the context of your post. Google ads work like this, when placed in text-form within a blog post.

Direct Ads: When you (the blogger) enter into a private relationship to place ads on your blog.

Pros and Cons of Direct Ads

There are two pros to direct ads as I see it:
  1. When they work, they WORK and you make consistent money. Yay!
  2. Well placed and with the right brands, they can lend credibility.
The cons of direct ads are many:
  1. You can end up plastering your blog for less than a pittance.
  2. Because, really: a pittance: most often you make next to no money off of them.
  3. They can look skanky and make you look skanky, too.
  4. They are distracting, which is a big deal when you want your readers to be focused on your content.
  5. It takes a lot of work to set them up.

When a blogger is hired to produce content that is similar to what they usually produce (“native advertising”), it’s called a sponsored post.

I’ve written many sponsored posts, the most recent being the post that I wrote on ABLEnow – which is actually a perfect example of how a sponsored post works.

I normally write about disability and everything that I write about is within the framework of disability. So, ABLEnow was looking for bloggers who write about disability – boom! It’s a match!

In making money through sponsored content, companies looks at traffic, social media, and overall reach. .

Sponsored posts are a two-way street. Bloggers can be approached by companies, can approach companies directly, and can also join networks that promote sponsored post opportunities.

Pros and Cons to Sponsored Posts:

Pros: 
  1. They are called “native advertising” for a reason: the sponsored content fits in easily with your niche.
  2. It’s usually really easy to integrate.
Cons:
  1. There can be a lot of competition for sponsored posts.
  2. Many companies shortchange bloggers, so be wary.
  3. If the content isn’t a real fit with your niche, you can feel like you are selling out. Don’t do it if it feels that way; it’s not worth it.

Reviews

Blog reviews are for compensation and/or product.

This is where the company gives the blogger either the product itself in exchange for the review, or the product AND money in exchange for the review (and they can also offer more, like a discount code or a giveaway for the blog  readers).  If you ar paid to write the review, then it’s an indirect form of advertising.

Pros and Cons of Reviews

Pros

  1. Reviews are a great way to get paid through product, especially when you are just starting out as a blogger.
  2. Reviews only get better: product plus money plus something for your readers, so it’s often a great thing to participate in.

Cons

  1. You have to be careful to only review things you care about and keep your integrity as a blogger.

In Summary:

Ads, reviews and sponsored posts, along with affiliate links, are how you make money from a blog. I mean, that’s it.  You don’t start a blog and then suddenly get cash dumped in your lap – you have to reach out for it, and the way you reach out for it is always through affiliate links, ads, reviews and sponsored posts.

(note: I’m saying “reaching out” because I see making money through external sources as reaching out, and making money from course development as reaching in; as it’s an internal source of revenue).

Our subject next week will be about making money on your blog through developing courses, so make sure you sign up below so you don’t miss it!

See the Rewards I Offer on Patreon, But Most of All, Be a Part of Supporting Innovative Disability Work
Meriah
Meriah Nichols is a career counselor, teacher and blogger. Single mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one gifted 2E), she is also a Trekkie who likes her coffee hot and black.
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