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Blog and Retire Case Study Week 44

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What is the Blog and Retire case study?

What’s in It and What Did I Do?

In Week 44, (among the regularly scheduled tasks) I give a crazy tip that most people don’t talk about (and there’s a reason I’m not going to talk about it here). But it has to do with getting even more proactive about getting companies to sponsor your blog.

There are multiple ways to make money with a blog, and multiple ways to be sponsored. You can sell ad space in your sidebar (or header, or footer), you can sell text links on your blog, you can write sponsored posts for companies, or you can even accept guest posts from companies and charge them for you to publish it on your blog.

Yep, that’s right. On my house blog, I get so many offers from companies wanting to submit a guest post, I have to weed them out somehow. Personally, I don’t want my house blog to be filled with guest posts from companies because it makes it very impersonal for my readers. Some blogs can handle lots of informational guest posts. Blog and Retire is a good blog for that. But my house blog is mainly supposed to be about me sharing my stuff. And that’s what most of my readers are interested in. I get more comments on posts that I write that are about my own stuff, than on posts that are contributed by companies.

So I charge a fee to publish a guest post that has a link to a company’s website. I charge a larger fee for me to write a post with their link (on a topic of my choice, but related to their company, product, or website). And I charge an even larger fee for me to write an actual review of the company (so the post is all about the company, product, or website). Reviews are 100% honest, but positive. If the company is crap, I obviously don’t want anything to do with it, but if the company has something to offer, I will write a review for them.

I do not charge a fee for bloggers to submit a guest post because guest posts from bloggers in the home and garden niche are more personal, and they talk about their experience with something, or a project they completed. This is something my readers at the house blog are more interested in. So I’m not going to charge for something my readers actually want to read.

But with companies trying to get more exposure and get their links up around the web, I am doing them a favor by publishing it on my site. I have done the work to gain the traffic and get pagerank on my blog, so they pay to have their link on my site. What they don’t realize is that’s it’s worth a lot more than advertising in the sidebar on a monthly basis, because once an article is published on my site, it will be on the blog forever, so it is a permalink. And if you’ve read a lot of Blog and Retire posts, you know how important backlinks are. And quality backlinks are even better. The best kind of backlinks are ones that are inside posts on a high ranking site. My house blog is currently only PR2, which isn’t high, but it’s not a zero either. And it’s almost impossible to get a pagerank higher than 6, so I’m basically almost half way to the top. So a PR2 ranked site is a valuable place to have your link.

On the house blog, I spend a lot of my time writing blog posts, commenting on other blogs, scheduling guest posts, writing sponsored posts, and communicating with people who wish to guest post or get a sponsored post.

To make this easier, I created a “Media Kit” that tells people what I offer as far as accepting guest posts, doing sponsored posts, and advertising options.

If you have a blog and you don’t already have a Media Kit, it is a good idea to make one. You can create one in a simple word document. Explain why people would want to advertise on your site (unique visits, pageviews, pagerank, twitter followers, blog followers, pinterest followers, facebook likes, etc.). Then explain what you offer and how much you charge. Also explain the process – how you will be communicating and transferring information (or ad codes or links), email is the best and most people feel comfortable with email, but if you’re open to it, give them other options. Some people only like to do business over the phone when making a deal. If you are comfortable doing business over the phone, let them know that option is available for them. Also explain in your Media Kit how payment can be made to you (i.e. PayPal).

This past week, I also contributed to a giveaway that another blogger was having to celebrate her blogiversary (one year anniversary of her blog). I made a scarf out of fabric that I had lying around. She made a post about me and my scarf giveaway (with a link back to my blog) and I look cool for giving something away.

Case Study Blog Stats

Here are the house blog stats for September so far.

  • Unique Visitors: 5,458
  • Number of Visits: 13,287
  • Number of Pageviews: 36,640
  • Number of Hits: 149,049
  • Links around the web: 785
  • Search Keyphrases: 810
  • Twitter Tweets: 4,879, Following: 2,481, Followers: 2,315
  • Fans on 1house1couple’s Facebook page: 213

It’s looking pretty good as far as pageviews. I would like to get over 40,000 pageviews by the end of the month, but I’m not sure if I have time to work on that. September is a big birthday month for me with lots of celebrations in my family and friends circle. July is another month with lots of birthdays. Do you feel like there are certain months where tons of people have birthdays, and then other months where you don’t know anyone with a birthday. February is a pretty blank month for me as far as that goes… Anyway, I only have about 2 months before the first blogiversary at the house blog, so I think I should probably start dedicating more time to it…

Click here to see what’s up in the Week 43 update.

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