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Our new column, Ask A Blogger, with Marianna Hewitt of LifeWithMe.com, will explore the fascinating world of fashion bloggers—from behind-the-scenes of picture-perfect Instagrams to how to successfully grow your social media following. This week, Marianna shares the most common ways that bloggers make money.
We’ve officially entered the age where bloggers have really crossed over from simply running their own personal sites to starring in campaigns, commercials and even on magazine covers. Now all forms of social and digital media are allowing bloggers to really succeed in running their own business.
Earlier this year the New York Times ran an article revealing bloggers success at getting brands more sales, “When it comes to the sales, the digital girls are making those…We see higher conversions”—marketing jargon for converting web visits into sales— “off those girls than we do with celebrity placement that we might have paid money for,” Tracey Manner, a PR spokesperson for Botkier revealed.
Now that companies see digital influencers and bloggers starting to drive more sales than celebrities, brands are building more campaigns for influencers into their marketing budget. Ultimately, this means that bloggers have much more room to earn a profit through various different mediums. Here are some of the typical ways that a blogger can make money:
1) Affiliate links: Sites like RewardStyle and ShopStyle use affiliate links on blogs to link directly to products that the blogger is wearing or buying in photos and posts. In turn, bloggers will then get paid based on either clicks or a percentage of total sales made from their posts.
2) Sponsored content: This is paid for by the brand through blog posts, Instagram, Youtube videos, Pinterest collaborations—whatever medium they choose and usually is a combination of all these outlets together. Lately it has become more transparent in blog posts by using the hashtags #ad #sponsored or “in collaboration with” to indicate that the content is sponsored by a brand.
3) Collaborations: Bloggers often do collaborations with brands that have similar style aesthetic or audiences. This year I collaborated with House of CB for a collection that was seen on Jennifer Lopez, Gigi Hadid and Kate Hudson. Because of the success of the first collection, the company and I are working on another collection for Spring/Summer 2016.
4) Marketing campaigns: These are different than sponsored content, instead of giving a blogger something to create on their personal site, it’s done by a company’s marketing team and lives on the company’s site, is promoted by them but also shared on a blogger’s platform. A good example of this is Clinique’s current Face Forward campaign with Tavi Gevinson, Margaret Zhang and Hannah Bronfman.
5) Classes: If an influencer or blogger has a niche, they can teach it to others through seminars, paid online classes or one-on-one sessions. The Fashion & Beauty Blogger Conference Simply Stylists hosts both small panels and large conferences around the country allowing bloggers to partake in speaking opportunities. Individual bloggers host these panels and classes to teach Instagram skills, DIY projects or photography.
6) Photography & other creative services: Because so many of us take photos of ourselves, some get really good at taking and editing pictures which leads to the point where other companies and fashion brands now hire bloggers for their photo skills.