Are you just starting your blog and feel like your readership is too small to make blog monetization worth the time? I disagree. I started monetizing my blog from the first day I hit publish which allowed me to see financial benefits almost right way-here is how I did it.
Before you all think I hit six figures during my first year blogging, I will be 100% honest: I did not make enough profit to break even my first year blogging. But I did earn some money to help pay my blogging expenses and so can you.
Perhaps this isn’t your first year blogging, perhaps you are several years in and your blog is still too small to meet the minimum requirements of some large affiliate networks or ad networks. These blog monetization tips I am about to share with you will help you too.
How To Make Money Blogging When You Only Have A Small Handful Of Readers
(Links in this post are affiliate links. I will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking those links. See my disclosure page for more information)
Use Referral Links For Companies You Love
Referral links and affiliate links are similar but not the same.
In order to get into many affiliate programs you have to have to hit a certain amount of pageviews per month, but that isn’t the case with referral links. In most cases, all you have to do to get a referral link you can share with your readers is to be a user of the program, a member of the service, or a regular customer of the company. In fact, you don’t even have to have a blog to use referral links to earn money but it sure does help.
Referral income is usually not cash — but it can be
Although some referral programs offer a Paypal payout option most offer either gift cards or store credit. I don’t mind this though as I shop at these places anyways so store credit is just as helpful as cash, and if they pay in gift cards I have always been able to be paid with a gift card for a service we use or for a store we shop at.
The golden rule applies to referral links just as it does with affiliate links
The key to sharing referral links is to share them for companies that either your family has personally used and loved or at the very least those that come highly recommended by people you know, love, and trust.
If I share a referral link for a company I have not used personally yet, I disclose that I have researched it (because I do spend time reading reviews before I share) but haven’t personally used it yet.
Which brings me to a confession: I have not tried every company on the list of referral programs below. I want to show beginner bloggers or bloggers with an audience too small for larger affiliate programs just how many different referral programs there are out there, in hopes that they can find the best ones to fit their blogging niche and the readers it attracts just as I have done for my blog and its readers.
Referral income is a small stream of income but when combined it can become a river
The amount you earn per referral might not seem like much but over time as you gain readership it can really add up –currently, these programs account for 15% of my income.
Sometimes you are given a referral code to share instead of a link
Not all referral links can be shared on blogs
List Of Referral Programs That Bloggers Can Use To Grow Their Income
Point Programs That Offer Referral Links
These four point programs are ones I recommend to my readers over and over because I have personally used them, some for over ten years, and therefore know they really do work! I know my readers can earn gift cards quickly with these programs since they have low cashout options and have more than one way to earn points.
There are more point reward programs out there that offer referral programs here are a few more I know of
Survey Companies That Offer Referral Links
Daily Deal Sites That Offer Referral Links
- Living Social ( sometimes they offer a referral incentive and sometimes not)
- Rue La La
Online Clothing Consignment Style Stores That Offer Referral Links
Apps With Referral Links
- Receipt Hog (enter YECT1667 when you sign up for a $10 bonus after you submit your first receipt )
- Fetch Rewards (enter the code RE9FU at sign up for a $1.50 bonus after you submit your first receipt)
Online Cash Back Companies With Referral Programs
Discounted Gift Card Companies
- You can also refer people to MyGiftCardsPlus.com which is only available for members of Swagbucks and Mypoints. Since both those programs have referral programs you will earn points you can trade for gift cards that way.
Cellphone Service Providers With Referral Programs
Delivery Apps With A Referral Program
Various Other Companies With Referral Program
Clothing Subscription Companies
Shaving Subscription Companies
Pet Subscription Companies
Various Other Subscription Services
Environmental, Natural & Organic Companies With Referral Programs
Book Programs And Companies With Referral Programs
I am continually on the lookout for other companies that offer referral programs with referral links I can share on my blog. I love trying out new companies and seeing if they might be a good fit for my audience. Sharing great deals with others is one reason I started my blog.
(psst…as I find more companies with sharable referral links I like I update the list above so make sure to pin this article and check back in later for updates)
Check out your favorite point programs, daily deal sites, and more and see if they perhaps offer a sharable referral link.
Sign Up For These Two Programs As Soon As You Have Done This
I highly recommend all new bloggers sign up for the Amazon affiliate program as well as Google Adsense the moment your blog reaches 30 to 40 quality blog posts. Read the current rules for both programs to find out what the current qualifications are but back when I started blogging the qualifications were minimal and not dependant on pageviews.
You probably won’t earn much the first year with either program, but it will help you get you used to placing advertising in your sidebars and placing affiliate links in your posts.
It will also get your readers used to them. I have heard from other bloggers who waited to add advertising that their readers complained when they did, yet without them, bloggers in many niches (including the thrifty-living niche that I am in) have a harder time getting paid for the time they spend blogging–and believe me, a lot of time goes into producing a blog.
Work On Growing Your Blog In Readership And Income
1. Utilize Free Information For Growing Your Blog
I am a thrifty blogger so I am not going to recommend buying expensive “how to blog” courses when you haven’t yet earned a dime instead, I recommend using free sources of blogging education until you make enough to pay for some key courses that will help you boost your blog to the next level.
Free Blogging Help Blogs
- Your Blogging Mentor – written by Crystal Paine who runs the HUGE hit of a blog Money Saving Mom
- Amy Lynn Andrews – I read Amy’s entire site contents before starting my blog
- Elite Blog Academy – Ruth’s course by the same name I hear is excellent but it is pricey her blogging website is free to read.
I have a section of my blog devoted to blogging help articles I have written over the years and I also recently started a Facebook group just for moms with blogs who want to grow their blogs at a rate that won’t take over their lives
Free Blogging Podcasts
- The Smart Passive Income Podcast- covers more than just blogging but most applies.
- Simple Pin- Pinterest is vital for traffic this podcast will help you figure it out.
- Become A Blogger – wise advice and oh how I love the sound of his voice.
Free Courses & Ebooks All The Cost Is Your Email Address
Heads-up! Many free-course and webinars that you enter your email for will end in a sales pitch for a paid course. Use caution signing up for them if you have problems avoiding tempting sales pitches and you are on a tight budget.
Although most free-courses are lead
2. When You Have Earned A Bit Of Money Start Paying And Reading A Few Good Books
Eventually, you are going to take your blog as far as you can with free materials at that time you should be earning enough to invest back into your blog. The first “type” of blog education I spent money on was a few eBooks which are generally cheaper than courses but go into greater depth than free materials.
Here are 3 Books On Blogging That Can Help You Gain Traffic Traction
- How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul -after applying what I learned in this book I doubled both my readership and my income in less than 30 days.
Delicious Blogging: The Ingredients You Need To Create A Better Blog – this book is great for beginners I wish I had read it during my first few months of blogging it would have saved me hours and hours of work that were unfruitful.
iBloom in Business: Equipping You to Build a Successful Business while Living a Life You Love! – takes you through an important series of questions that will help you create a clear focus for your blog as well as a clear direction for its future.
3. When You Start Earning More Money Start Investing In Courses But Do It The Thrifty Way
Once I started earning over $1000 a month I felt okay about investing in some more expensive blogging courses but I still did it the thrifty way as part of blogging course bundles. My favorite blogging eBook and eCourse bundle is the Genius Bloggers Ultimate Bundle which is available at an amazing price for just a few days every year — if you are a mom who blogs join my blogging facebook group and I will make sure to notify you the next Genius Bloggers Ultimate Bundle sale.
I hope these tips help you turn your new blog into a profitable one!
Haven’t Yet Started A Blog?
The course 5 Days to a Successful Blog Launch was created by Crystal Paine of the successful blog Money Saving Mom. This course is an inexpensive way of getting the help you need to get a blog up and running. You can find out all about the course over at this homepage.
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