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Ways You Can Get Paid As A Blogger


So when I wrote What to Expect When You're a Blogger, I wasn't trying to be sarcastic, I was just keeping it real. I like to call it the New Yorker in me, I keep it 100! While Madison's post are all fairytales and unicorns, mine are a lot more raw and straight to the point. No if, ands or buts about it. So now you know what to expect when you're a blogger and you're still adamant that you want to become a blogger. Nothing I say is going to change your mind and trust me, I don't want to change your mind, but you do need to come into the world of blogging looking at it realistically. The blogging game is big enough for everyone. Like my mom would say, the ocean is big enough for me, you and the millions of fishes that are in it. That's really how big the blogging world is. You can totally do this! You want to make a living blogging and you think that you can, well let me share with you some of the ways that you can get paid as a blogger. Trust me there are a few ways but I'm going to share with you the ones that I have been offered.


Money AKA Dough, Cheddar, Hard Cold Cash

It's all about the Benjamins baby! Yes this is the way that most bloggers, and I would probably not be lying when I say ALL bloggers, love getting paid. While the money may not always be great, it's the way that I also personally prefer getting paid. As I mentioned in What to Expect, payment however can take anywhere from a 1 day to 90 days or more before you actually receive that cash. You can get paid via Paypal, Direct Deposit or even via check. Don't call me crazy but I have totally turned down cash because it truly wasn't worth my time. Remember your work doesn't end once you hit that publish button.

Review Item (aka to the non blogger as Free Stuff)

I've also explained that there is no such thing as FREE STUFF. That free item that you receive you most definitely have to work for. You have to write a blog post, take and edit photos, do social media work and promote, whether it's online or via word of mouth. Review items can range from a 99 cent ebook to a product worth hundreds or thousands of dollars, and yes you read it correctly when I said 99 cent. I have been approached to review even free ebooks and that would have been my payment. While I have a minimum for product reviews on my blog there are times when I would take a lower price item, but only if I truly love the product. However I don't do that too often, and it's going to be even rarer this year.


Affiliate Marketing or Ad Networks

So you see those ads in my sidebar on the right? If you click on one of them I get a few pennies, yes nothing big enough to even buy a meal at McDonalds (and I hate McDonalds by the way, once again I'm keeping it real, so you will never see a post on Growing Up Madison recommending that you eat at McD). The affiliate ads may pay a little bit more but guess what, it all depends on how much money you spend when you shop after clicking on one of those affiliate ads. While it doesn't pay the bills I guess every little penny counts and sometimes it takes months before you're even able to collect on those pennies. So if you have a bill that Sprint/TMobile/AT&T or Verizon keep calling you about, don't depend on those ads to help pay that bill anytime soon.

Hi-Res Images

Yes you read that correctly. Instead of hard cold cash or even the product, you can instead expect to receive from some companies something called "hi-resolution images". It's actually considered the next best thing. So if you thought that new food processor that you saw at Sears looked great in the store, just imagine how much better it will look in hi-resolution images. I've been tempted to tell those PR companies where they can stick their hi-res images, but I have to be professional but you can totally do so for me.


Exposure!!!! (My favorite!)

Nothing shows that a company love you more than them offering to pay you in exposure. You know the pitch that comes to you via email that says "hey how about you write us up a post about our product, you promote it and we'll in turn share it with our readers giving you MAXIMUM EXPOSURE". Guess what? While that may sound like a great way to get your blog seen, unfortunately my mortgage and utility company doesn't accept exposure as payment. However, maybe I might be tempted one day to shoot my mortgage company a letter stating, "How about I write about your mortgage company giving you maximum exposure, and in return you can forget about this month's mortgage" and maybe they'll accept it. And maybe I'll find a magical unicorn that farts rainbows that smells like cotton candy.

So those are just a few ways that I've been offered payment. Blogging is not a get rich quick game, so if you're coming into blogging thinking that you'll be making tons of money and you'll be able to quit your day job in a month or two, I'm going to tell you that unless Lady Luck is your mother, it's not going to happen. So don't quit your day job but by all means become that blogger that you want to be.

Annmarie John
52 Comments
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52 comments:

  1. hahahaha I'm laughing up a storm here. Do they really offer images as payment and do people even take it? Even in the real world that wouldn't fly. I don't think I can do the work that you do and I have another friend who is a blogger and she's always on the computer and always complaining about how many hours she has to do. I really don't think that you get the respect that you all deserve, tell them to take that hi-res image to a magazine and ask for print space. It's sure a heck lot more than what you ask for.

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    1. I'm glad that someone else from outside the blogging world can see it, but unfortunately there are bloggers who do it for free so as long as other bloggers accept it, it will continue. I do know that magazine print space is way more than what I ask and I like to call my post permanent advertising. Years after I do a post there are still people coming back to check it out. In a magazine that would be thrown in the trash.

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  2. I ignore all requests from PR companies who send high res images and even sample products. The amount of work that goes into a single post -- writing, photography, promotion -- isn't worth the time and effort for a free product, unless the product is valued in the hundreds of dollars!

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    1. I totally agree. I usually just hit delete on those as well.

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  3. Great great great very real post, thank you, I'll be referring some folks your way

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    1. Thank you Rose. I tried to keep it real. A lot of people think that we rake in the big bucks and there are lots of bloggers who do, but I had to be realistic. When you first start out you won't be. You see all these income reports and they make people think that everyone can make it but it's so not true. It's not as easy as it looks.

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  4. It's unbelievable how many companies will think that the product itself is enough compensation for a dedicated blog post. There's so much time that goes into each post. There has only been a handful of times I've accepted free product in exchange for a post, and those were very high-value products. I've never heard of images as compensation- that is just wild lol!

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    1. That is so true Jennifer but quite a lot of bloggers do take that product. I have even done it myself which is why I have a product limit. This year though I don't intend to. It's just a little too much time for too little money.

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  5. When I first started blogging a few years ago I would jump at the chance for a free product. Not these days. And I'm still surprised at the emails I get asking me to post about their product for free. Excuse me! I don't think so. Delete. Show me the money or high-end product. :)

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    1. Oh that's how I was too until I realized just how much work it is to do a product review. Unless you're copying and pasting which I've seen a lot of bloggers do, it's a LOT of work. This year it's about the money and me taking back my time.

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  6. I am totally rethinking my blogging strategy this year. Long gone are the days of doing a blog post for product. I sometimes want to ask them "do you like working for peanuts?

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    1. Oh yes those days are gone now for me too. I require product and payment if it's not a high ticket item. After all my time is valuable.

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  7. I have been blogging for 5 years. Although I enjoyed the free stuff in the beginning I have been realizing sometimes free isn't really free. It has been enlightening to be more selective!

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    1. Free is never ever free. I learned that a long time ago. I've become very selective and the only product reviews I do now are sponsored or ambassador posts.

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  8. Sometimes its hard to explain to people who aren't blogging all the WORK that goes into a single post. Something thinks getting a 'free item' is totally worth it until you break it down to them all the work and time does into posts <3

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    1. It's why I don't take small stuff, well unless it's Christmas then companies get a little break. Not only do I not do little stuff but remember every thing that you take you have claim on your taxes so sometimes it's so not worth it.

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    2. gah, I just paid my taxes today and you ain't a kiddin'. I had to pay taxes on every single thing I blogged about, and I took in a lot of reviews last year. Ay yai yai! Money right out of my pocket, phft gone. It wasn't a paltry amount to pay either.

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  9. Very well said! I'm with Carol and agree that I am be much more picky with what products come in and I'm leaning more towards paid opps this year. I am surprised at how much I made in just a few weeks from doing paid opportunities. Ad sales help tremendously too! I totally hear you on the expose part, and when they give you grief for not wanting to review their product for free even though they're giving you a very minimum in value product... It's like it takes a lot of time and effort to do this, something I think they don't always realize.

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    1. You can make some really good money with paid opps and that's how I love making my money. They are usually pretty easy to do as well. I don't really do the ads much and thinking of actually getting rid of them off my site completely soon.

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  10. I certainly have noticed more bloggers that were once review/giveaway bloggers becoming food bloggers. So many have rebranded to make more money. I see nothing wrong with it but some need a class on photography. The recipe is great but the picture itself needs help.

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    1. Well I don't judge because I'm sure that was most of us when we first started out. If you go back to my very first few posts, my pictures were horrible. :)

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  11. I recently saw a brand looking for bloggers to promote their company. They are asking for a 400 words blog post with backlinks and shares on all social medias. The payment? A chance to win a cash giveaway. A CHANCE! Since when can we pay rent with a "chance"? That's just insulting!

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    1. hahahaha Marielle. A chance to win cash? I wonder if anyone took them up on their offer. They are just getting more and more ridiculous with their pitches.

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  12. Those Hi-Res pitches suck especially when bloggers take them. It makes the rest of us look like we can't take photos. I also agree that exposure line is a bunch of Bs. Thanks for this post is totally rocked.

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    1. I know! I wish that we could all stand together and say no more, but as long as there are bloggers out there who are willing to do reviews/sponsored posts for free or hi-res images or even exposure, then we will continue getting these pitches.

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  13. I have to tell you that a company reached out to me for a 'sponsored' post in exchange for exposure and images, I said no and I am now kicking myself in the butt because their PR campaign has been off the chain! Next time I'll have to get off my high horse I suppose

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    1. You can do whatever you want to do Nicole but personally I don't do sponsored posts in exchange for exposure and images. While that company is making money off your post, how much are you getting in exchange. Unfortunately for me, I need cash to pay my bills, not exposure.

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    2. You should NEVER take a post for just exposure. If you think 'exposure' will bring you traffic, you are dead wrong. Yes, it make bring you a tiny bit of traffic, but nothing to write home about, if at all. At the end of the day, anytime we mention a company and they ask us to do so, it is advertising. If you don't respect your own blog, who else will?

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    3. I couldn't have said it any better Susan and I hope she takes note. Time is valuable and you have to recognize your worth and if you think you're worth a cheap $20 product or hi-res images, stock photos or exposure, then you'll always be offered those things.

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  14. I wish I could make money. Some free products that are high value so it's ok.

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    1. You can totally make money Rosemary. You need to sign up for a few of the blog networks, they almost always send out opportunities for sponsored posts. That way you can make some cash and also receive products.

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  15. I absolutely love when sponsors offer to share my work on their own social media. It makes me feel as though they truly like and appreciate my work.

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    1. Hahaha I hope you're getting paid for that work though. If I got paid for it and they share it, that's all fine and dandy but just having me write it without payment is a no-no!

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  16. Yep, this post rocks. Some of the things we get offered to advertise are pretty funny. I would love to blog full-time and for pay but it's just not consistent enough for me to pay bills. Pity.

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    1. It is ridiculously funny and there are bloggers who have been able to quit their day job and blog without having to worry about money. I'm not one of them and this post is for those who think they can just get in the blogging game and do so. Maybe we can be one of those bloggers who have done so one day Rosey :)

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  17. Oh my gosh I loved this!! It has been one of the most funny (and, as a blogger a bit sad) that I have read in the whole day. Exposure seriously why they think that's a good idea?

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    1. That's just the way it goes Ana. It's unbelievable the things they ask of us and expect us to do for little or nothing. My time is valuable and as the Joker said "If you're good at something, never do it for free". That's been my motto. Free doesn't pay the bills.

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  18. Yepppp. I've been in these scenarios many times. I love it when people think they can get work from me for free lol

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    1. Don't you just love that? There is no such thing as free, if "free" paid bills then I'd totally do it. :)

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  19. LOL funny post but true. Im not a fan of ads on blogs just because it looks so cluttered. But i didnt know how small it pays. Geez

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    1. Oh yes there are however ad networks that pays pretty well. I am not a huge fan of ads either myself and I'm thinking of taking them off altogether. :)

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  20. OK I just read a comment about a campaign being off the chain and they regret not doing it. I'm not a blogger and will never be, but why would you do something for free that would benefit a company already making tons of money? So in essence they're making money off your work and you get nothing, they reap all the benefits. That to me is just DUMB! Even me as a non blogger know that money makes the world run and would never do anything if I'm not getting paid or something in return.

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    1. Thank you Zara. Yes I would never do pro-bono work unless it was for charity, and sometimes even charity pays.

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  21. Me, well... I still can't figure that part out of blogging. Some girls say they get paid so much for doing a Post and I've never been offered money with regards to that... now I have made money for adding their let's say logo to my sidebar, but .... well, I guess I just don't understand how to go about it.

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    1. It's really how you market yourself Marie. Do you have a media kit with your rates? When a company approaches you with an offer, how about counteracting that offer asking for payment for your work. What's the worse that can happen? They'll either say yes or say "we're sorry but it's not in our budget".

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  22. This post is great! We all know that we are in it for the exposure ;) But really it is a lot of hard work and finding companies that take you seriously for your worth can be hard!

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    1. We post for the exposure but we should never work and receive exposure as your payment.

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  23. This post hits the nail on the head! In many ways. I've been blogging for fun for 2 years and started monetizing the last 2 years. Not every campaign I've accepted as been a paid one, but it definitely has to be something of a substantial value monetarily for me to write about it. Blogging is way more than just writing a post, the editing photos and promoting on social and all the back end issues makes it a dang near full time job. Living in NY i'm thankful for the opportunities and experiences we've received, so even those on occasion can trump a check for me.

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    1. It truly is and blogging for fun is one thing but when you start blogging for companies, you should be compensated for your work. I like to call my posts, permanent advertising. This is work that will be seen by many for years to come. That doesn't happen in the print or TV world unless they pay well. Why work for peanuts when there's a budget for this kind of stuff?

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  24. I love this post! It's all SO true too! It drives me crazy when companies contact me and I reply that I'm interested and attach my rates just to receive a reply of, "oh this isn't a paid opp". Sorry, WHAT?! Blows my mind every time! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Oh Adriana, you and me both. It's like everyone wants things done for free or maybe they're just trying to see how far they can go and if we'll say yes. I don't!

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  25. This is awesome!! I can't tell you how many offers for "hi-Res images" images I have gotten lately. And I really don't get why companies seem so offended when we don't take their crappy offers?!

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[name=AnnMarie John] [img=https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X9gUeVik-ZY/WJjwNTOobII/AAAAAAABTJ4/qEhU0n62_AIo-j6-6LA2OFOr44lKCHASwCLcB/s100/AnnMarie%2BJohn%2BHeadshot.JPG] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook=http://www.facebook.com/theannmariejohn) (instagram=http://www.instagram.com/theannmariejohn) (twitter=http://www.twitter.com/theannmariejohn) (pinterest=http://www.pinterest.com/theannmariejohn) (email=mailto:annmarie@annmariejohn.com)

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