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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of TapInfluence, the leader in connecting influencers with opportunties to collaborate with brands.
I started blogging in 2008.
I got started because I just graduated from college and it was hard to find a job. I was online all day searching and I started coming across all these cool giveaways, so I started entering them. I guess you could say I started as a sweeper. I hated it when I lost though, especially the ones that I really wanted and finally I just got fed up and decided it would be easier to start a blog and start reviewing products instead, that way I knew I would get whatever it was and I didn’t have to rely on chance.
At the same time I started my blog I joined Twitter and I was already on Facebook because everyone in college had an account back in the day. I started by reviewing simple things I loved around my house and slowly brands started reaching out to me. It was at this time that I realized I needed to make some sort of income so I realized there had to be others out there who were just starting too and I came up with one of the very first blogging networks called The Product Review Place. It was a place where brands and bloggers could meet and get to know each other and develop mutually beneficial relationships. I started selling advertising on the site and this was my very first source of income and it didn’t come from my blog.
All the while I was still growing my Facebook page and Twitter account. It wasn’t long before other communities like the one I owned started popping up and I started signing up for all of networks I could find. Through the years whenever I saw a network, I joined it. Whenever I saw a new social media network, I joined that too. I realized in order to be considered an influencer I had to have people following my blog and social media accounts to influence.
It was probably about six months before I had my first paid campaign offer and it was about a year before the idea of paid panelist for Twitter parties started. Once I hit about 14,000 Twitter followers I started getting offers to be a panelist and added Twitter Parties as another source of income.
In 2010 I was making enough money through paid campaigns, Twitter Parties, my own network, advertising, and sponsored posts to make blogging my full-time job. It was at this time that I closed The Product Review Place and started In Charge Social Media, because I was doing less reviews and really finding success with social media.
So how do you monetize your influence?
- You have to always be thinking – how can I make money from this? “This” might be the newest social media platform, a brand who sends you a press release, or a new follower on Instagram. For instance, have you ever been to a brands Facebook page that is “dead”? If Facebook is your forte instead of clicking to the next thing find a way to reach out to them and pitch yourself! Tell them why they should hire you to manage their page and show them the success you have had with your own page.
- Build it and they will come. Although I probably have a profile on every social media platform out there, I generally pick 2 accounts to grow at a time. For me that’s Instagram and Twitter. I work hard to get these numbers up so that brands notice. Not only does it get me more campaigns with the networks I work with, but I often get pitched directly from brands for paid campaigns because they want to reach my audience.
- Join, join, join. Find the awesome networks like TapInfluence and join them! Although social media is a huge source of income for me, networks are my meat and potatoes. I know if I keep doing a great job for them they will keep giving me work and I can count on that income each month.
These are the 3 things I do to monetize my influence. I don’t use any ad networks right now or sell e-b00ks of my content, but these are some of the things I plan on implementing by the end of the year for even more money. Last year was a great year and I brought in well over 6-figures. Here’s hoping for another successful year in 2015!
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