Sex Blogging 101: Making Money with your Blog
So you set up your blog. You have regular readers, you have a good layout, a good domain, and you write posts on a regular basis to attract visitors. Now you want to make money off your blog. Of course, making money requires delving into that scary place that deals with all of those weird statistics that companies judge you on. Plus, where is that fine line between earning money on a hobby and selling out?
One of the biggest things to know about receiving money for your blogging is that it always works best to be forthcoming about if you’ve received money for something. If this happens to be an ad on your sidebar or a company-sponsored post, it always works best to let your visitors know. This can be with a small written disclaimer saying “This is an advertisement paid for by ____, a small word that says “Advertisement, or even something like “___ paid me to tell you about this…. The new FTC guidelines do require bloggers to let readers know when something is company-sponsored.
Keeping the line between your content and your advertisements can be hard. After all, who doesn’t want to be paid for something they love doing? However, do remember that if all of your posts are sponsored, you’re going to lose your readers which then makes you lose advertisers because you don’t have as many readers. So, of course, keep it in moderation.
When it comes to sex blogging, almost all of the advertisement that goes on is through sidebar advertisements. It can be a bit difficult to find a lot of advertisers because you can only stick with the adult ones. While other blogs can take advantage of a vast amount of different advertisers, most adult sites will have to stick with porn sites or sex toy stores. However, those sites still do choose to advertise through bloggers, so you still have opportunities for advertisement. As I said, most sites do choose to go with a link or small image in the blogger’s sidebar. This assures that their link or image banner will be noticed by all of your visitors.
Why would an advertiser pay money just for a text link on your sidebar? It has a lot to do with Google’s PageRank (sometimes abbreviated as “PR). The rank you receive through Google is dependent upon how many websites link into your website “ and how many websites you link to. The advertiser receives a better “ranking if you link to his site “ but he doesn’t link back. Why does Page Rank matter? Because it is the difference between showing up on page 5 of Google’s search results or on page 1 as the first result. Just to make this a bit more confusing, the benefit the advertiser will receive from your link is dependent upon what your blog’s Page Rank is as well. If you have a higher Page Rank, the more the advertiser will want to advertise on your site because it gives him a better boost too.
PageRank is determined on a scale from 0 to 10. 10 means you are super-awesome (and this is virtually impossible for bloggers. Really.) while 0 means you’re probably a new blogger or Google hasn’t crawled your website yet for PageRank. Most sex bloggers usually fall within the 2-4 line. Google determines your PageRank about three or four times a year, so don’t be discouraged if your PageRank hasn’t changed for a long time. The best way to raise your Page Rank is to by getting links on other websites “ usually by paying for ad space, finding blogger friends who add you to their blogroll, or writing articles on other websites.
The other reason that an advertiser would pay to be on your sidebar is just for views “ plain and simple. They want to get their name out there and having an ad on your blog helps with that. I’m sure that they also are hoping that your readers will enjoy the look of their ad and will end up shopping on their website as well.
So what determines if companies will advertise with you? Well, I already mentioned PageRank which is one of the aspects. Another aspect is your reader count. If you have lots of comments and can provide statistics (Many people use Google Analytics) that your blog is receiving lots of hits and visitors, a company will be more likely to want to advertise with you. After all, why would they want to advertise with an unpopular blog? That wouldn’t be beneficial for them. Along with PageRank and site statistics, an Alexa ranking can also be used to determine website popularity.
Your Alexa ranking is just a ranking that ranks your website up against the rest of the websites on the internet. This one doesn’t care about how many links you have “ the Alexa ranking (while a complex formula, this is the jist) is based upon how many people view your website who have the Alexa Toolbar downloaded. It gives you a ranking that basically means “I am the ____ most popular website on the internet. Following this logic, a better ranking is actually a smaller number. For example, Google is number 1. Twitter is number 6 I think. So the smaller the number, the better your Alexa ranking. Most adult bloggers usually vary from 190,000 to 900,000. The best way to get a better Alexa ranking is just to make sure you continue to bring in more visitors to your website.
So now you know how to make the companies want to advertise with you “ have a good PageRank, Alexa Rank, and visitor count. Attracting them is easy “ be visible in the adult blogging community with your social networks, submitting to blog collaboratives, writing guest posts, and commenting on other blogs. The final step is to make sure you have a visible e-mail address on your homepage somewhere “ this makes it so they can easily contact you. Make a blogging e-mail if you are concern about privacy. Some bloggers (like myself) also choose to make an entire “Advertising page which shows your statistics, reasons to advertise with you, and what you offer along with the prices. Do what works best for you.
So now you know how to attract companies who want to advertise with you. What about signing up as an affiliate? Affiliation is when you choose to advertise a company’s product (or website) on your own website, free of charge. In exchange, for all of the purchases that are made through your link, the company will pay you a percentage of their purchase “ usually 10% to 20%. Signing up for affiliate programs is extremely easy “ there’s usually a link on the bottom of the company’s website. You then use the special-made affiliate link (it will give it to you) to advertise the company. Sex toy companies and adult porn sites both use this to get their name out there. If you can’t find a company’s link to the affiliate sign-up, feel free to e-mail the company and ask about it. (As a note, while non-sex companies do offer affiliate programs as well, most are prohibited from being advertised on adult blogs which could lose you your earnings, so I recommend against adding something non-sex related unless you fully read their Terms of Service.)
The final thing I feel I should cover is not cash-related like the previous two. Instead, this is “payment through sex toys. Many companies will provide free adult products (from their website) in exchange for an honest review post written on your blog. This is something that is usually an ongoing relationship with the company sending you something once a month or so. Sometimes, you get to pick what toy you want to review “ other times, they’ll give you a list of specific products and ask you to pick. There’s usually a price limit on what you may request although the price limit usually goes up as you both build a working relationship.
To find a company that will provide the adult products in exchange for a review, I recommend e-mailing adult companies asking if they have a program. Unlike the previous two where companies contact you, for the most part, you contact the company with sex toy reviewing. I would hold off on contacting them until your statistics look good. Some reviewing programs are ingrained within the company’s affiliation program. For example, Good Vibes allows you to apply for their review program after you’ve signed up for the GoodVibes affiliate program. Affiliate programs and reviewing programs work well together since the toy reviews give you the chance to insert your affiliate links and point your guests towards purchases in a non-spamming way.
When it comes to sex toy reviewing and advertising, make sure you are prompt in your service. With advertising, make sure you get back to people promptly, put up the advertising right after payment, and contact the company about two weeks in advance when their advertising is due to expire to ask for a renewal. With sex toy reviewing, I’d recommend not taking over two months to finish a review “ but anything faster is definitely appreciated. Most companies require at least two or three links in the review post linking back to their website, but if you don’t know, feel free to ask. From my experience, review program coordinators are always extremely nice “ especially if you make their jobs easier by returning reviews on time. Most coordinators will expect an e-mail with a link to the finished post when the post is posted, so make sure to keep their e-mail address handy.
As a sidenote, with both affiliation and advertising, the payment is usually made through Paypal. Some companies do choose to send out checks, but for the most part, most places will pay through Paypal. Advertising payments are usually sent out when they want to start the advertising (never accept the “I’ll pay after the advertising is done excuse unless it’s a trusted company). Most affiliate payments require a certain payout before they’ll send out the payment “ usually at least $50.
So there you have it “ sex blogging 101. Most of the concepts are the same as non-sex blogging, but there are slight differences. Maybe I’ll do a Sex Blogging 202 series sometime, but I do think that a good chunk of the basics were covered in these articles. You should be able to start up your own sex blog without worry with the series that is posted here. Of course, if you have questions, feel free to e-mail me at the.mistress.kay (at) gmail.com, and I’ll be extremely happy to help you out. I was there once “ it’s confusing, and you feel like you make stupid mistakes, but don’t worry, it all gets tons better. I now consider sex blogging to be my favorite hobby. I hope you will too.