People actually pay you to write about your vagina?

by Meredith on November 4, 2011

Yes.  Yes, they do.

As I opened Pay Pal today, I squealed in delight at the $240 glaring at me.  I know $240 won’t keep the roof over our heads here, but it will get me closer to buying one of these:

Not the girl.  Her jacket.  And her stomach.  I have been pining over it for a month.  The jacket and her stomach.

But here’s the thing, when you have a fixed salary, a nanny, new cars, three kids, and mortgage – you have to find ways to bring in more money if you want to be a clothes horse.  I’m a clothes horse.

I am asked a lot how you make money blogging.  It’s simple and hard all at the same time.

I didn’t make a dime for a year.

I really thought I would write something and make a fortune in 90 days.  HA!  The average blog lasts less than a year.  Advertisers know this.  They want to make sure you’ll stick it out.

Start applying to media companies.  

Do you see the ads up top and to the right?   I didn’t go out and find these companies.  As a matter of fact, I am not even sure what is running on my site right now.  I am paid by a media company who sets all of that up for me.  I was turned down many times by a firm that supposedly takes people with way less traffic than I have.  But I kept applying to places and was eventually picked up by someone that pays much better rates.  It all worked out.

Traffic matters.  

I love it when bloggers say they don’t check traffic or care if anyone is paying them.  They freaking care.  They are just saying this because their traffic probably blows.  I would bet anything they would take money if someone gave it to them.  To get money, you need traffic.

If you want better traffic, you have to post great content on a regular basis and whore yourself out.  Go make some business cards and pass them out to everyone you meet.  Shoot, I give them to the grocery store clerk.  You also need to tweet, Facebook, and Google+ whatever you write to drive traffic.

This is a full time job if you do it correctly.  

I work on social media at least 30 hours per week.  I am awake every night until about 1:00am.  I get up in the morning and I re-read what I had written the night before and schedule it to go out on various social media sites.  I then go to work at my “real” job.  At lunch, I re-tweet things.  I have to constantly interact with readers, other bloggers, friends, and Google+’ers.  If you’re not ready to put time into it – you’re not ready to start a blog that will make money.

Submit posts to online magazines and group sites that have advertisers.

I also write for Fistful of Talent and Curvy Girl Guide.  They pay me to write about whatever I want to write about.

Sponsored posts – they are okay, but never for free unless it’s a really great product that you just want anyway.  

I am not big on product reviews.  When I talk about products  - I am probably doing it for free because I truly love the product and I just want to tell you about it (Victoria’s Secret did not pay me to show you that jacket).

Now, I know a lot of bloggers that get paid to review products.  I get offers all the time to review products for money, but very few of them are things I would ever actually try or even like.  And if I did start talking about some them, I would lose some of you because you wouldn’t give a shit either.  I turn down most of these offers for the sake of honesty to my readers.

When I do find one I like – it most likely came from Clever Girls. Go apply to be a Clever Girl if you already have a blog and you haven’t signed up yet.  They pay you quickly, and they have a lot of offers almost every day.

PR companies are always looking for bloggers.

Go to an event and write about it.  It’s fun.  You get to travel.  And you get paid.

***

That’s all the ways I have been paid for using the word “vagina”.  If you’re thinking of starting a blog to make money, I wish you luck.  It’s a lot of work, but super rewarding.

Oh, and to all of you big time bloggers – I know I’m blacklisted for telling your “secrets”.  I don’t even care. You need to help people that want to get started and stop being so stuck on yourselves.  I was lucky enough to have a great mentor helping me, and I’m sure you had one, too.

Are you a blogger?  Do you have any tips for someone starting out?

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie

I started my blog in August. It’s going pretty well. I try to post twice or three times a week. I know I need to improve my content but practice makes perfect. At the moment most of my hits are coming from my real-life friends from facebook and emails out.

I get really excited when someone who has randomly found my blog likes it and posts a comment, and it’s happening more frequently lately.

I would love to monetize eventually, but it’s like you said, you have to give it a year, so I’m just going to spend that time working on content and trying to build a following!

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Meredith

You’re on the right track!

I remember the feeling of getting hits from other parts of the country. Or even internationally. It feels really, really good to know someone (besides your mom) cares about what you have to say.

Keep it up! And go sign up fo Clever Girls now. I think you only have to be active for 90 days or something.

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Maggie

You are ALWAYS giving great information!!!!! I have many times tossed around the idea of starting my own blog, always unsure of all the “ifs’ and “hows” (NOBODY wants to share that info for some reason…Pfffffffffft). I really need to focus my crazy train brain and take the jump. Thanks again for the insight!!

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Robbie

how did you know this is EXACTLY what I need to know? This was incredibly helpful. I just started blogging and I LOVE it but I wouldn’t mind bringing in a few extra $$ as well. I would love to read more like this about how to get people to comment, etc.

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Meredith

Should we make it a series?

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Katie

Great idea!

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Robbie

I would love a series of these kinds of informational posts!

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Kristen

That’s why I like reading your blog – you tell people/bloggers stuff like “get over yourself”! Makes me giggle because some of them really do need to get over themselves.
p.s. I love that jacket..and the fringe purse!

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Meredith

Dude. I just ran into this chick at BlogWorld who NEVER talked to me until now. Now? She is up my ass because I have traffic. This is bullshit. I want to punch her in the throat.

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Kristen

maybe punch her in the vagina instead? LOL!

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Robbie

lol yeah that!

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Lacey

I’ve been blogging since July & I think it’s great that you are sharing this information. I already knew some of the things you wrote about, but not because anyone told me – I had to figure it out on my own, which kinda sucked! lol
I haven’t made much money yet at all, but I’m still pushing forward. Blogging is fun and that is the main reason I do it.
Thanks for the tips & the great blog!

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Meredith

Figuring it out on your own DOES SUCK! Thankfully I knew some bloggers already. I am happy to help if you ever need a friend.

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Lacey

Thanks Meredith, I really appreciate that!!
P.S. A series would be awesome!

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Miss Yvonne

I want to give you a sensual boob honk for this post…that’s how grateful I am.

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Meredith

That makes me happy.

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Jennifer

You are the bestest advice giver. I do a lot of these, but I have so much trouble with self promotion. It makes me feel so skeevy. I know I need to get over it.

I will second Clever Girls! They totally rock and most of my opportunities have come from them.

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Meredith

WHORE YOURSELF OUT! If you don’t… no one else will. Sell yourself.

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Brittany

Well blush.

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mamaschinsky

Dude. You totally gave me so much help in the beginning for my blog, too. You are the greatest. I bow at your feet.

…wine now?

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Untypically Jia

You’re totally my mentor. You just don’t know it yet. That would make me your Mentee . . . or stalker.

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mamaschinsky

You. Are. The. Best. EVER.

I thought the same thing…that I’d make a bunch of money in a couple months. And then I found out that there are, like, a bazillion other bloggers out there…and most of them are better than me.

My cousin actually suggested I check Brittany out. I started reading and got TOTALLY addicted. I went out on a limb, risking being “that annoying reader” sent her an e-mail asking a bunch of questions about starting up. And then I realized OH MY GOSH she’s the coolest ever. And then I started reading your blog and listening to your guys’ show and OH MY GOSH you’re the coolest ever, too!

Even without getting paid, I LOVE blogging. I’d seriously do it for the rest of my life even if I never got paid. Of course, I’d RATHER get paid, but I just freakin’ love writing.

Soooo basically let me take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to both you and Brittany, for absolutely all your help and comments, etc, and we WILL get belligerently drunk off copious amounts of wine (or margaritas, I’m easy) as SOON as I can raise the money to get my ass to Ohio.

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Amanda @ Tales of an Amateur Mommy

Love this post! I’ve been blogging since June with the same dream of being an overnight millionaire since I’m witty and oh, I lost my job. Now I have a new job that I love, but can’t stop blogging. No reason not to make money at it! Thanks for the hints and tips :)

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Jayme (The Random Blogette)

Clever Girls is great! While I haven’t had a paying gig yet, I do get some free stuff like video games for my kids so I don’t have to shell out my money for them. They have such great opportunities for all bloggers.

So how much do I have to pay you to be my blogging mentor? I give great hugs! Sometimes the occasional ass grab too.

And yes, you should totally make this a series!

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dictator

With havin so much content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright violation? My blog has a lot of unique content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my permission. Do you know any ways to help protect against content from being ripped off? I’d really appreciate it.

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Beth

You are the bees knees! And, you are the reason why I started getting into blogging. All from you being famous and being on 20/20! I think the hardest thing for me is definitely the traffic and whoring myself out. Since I am a licensed teacher and trying to find a job I can’t let the world really know who I am and such. Therefore, I don’t post it on facebook and few real life people actually know I have a blog. Thank goodness for my online friends who read it. Please do make a series, all advice you give is always stellar and appreciated by everyone.

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Katie

When I was writing my old blog, I was like that. It was about being a woman living in the Middle East and quite political; I have so many Muslim friends on facebook from here that I didn’t want to link to my posts for fear of offending them.

This time around, I’m writing about lighter stuff, but I also came to a realisation [sorry Americanos, I spell British style] that if I don’t want people to read my stuff there is no point whatsoever in writing it.

So now I whore myself out on facebook, twitter and various fora [forums? who knows?] and so should you!

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Tarah

Meredith,

I love your blog and read it religiously. I work at the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, a nonprofit trade organization that works with practitioners and brand marketers to be honest about their relationship, identify and opinion of the brands they are working with when engaging the public. I just want to remind all the blogging ladies and gents reading this article that if you are paid to review an item or reimbursed with travel to see the new “insert car company name here newest minivan” and then you blog about it, or get gift cards or any other monetary valued reimbursement or thank you gift for your work, you have to disclose it – openly for all of your audience to understand quickly. This is required by the Federal Trade Commission and more and more bloggers are being held liable for nondisclosure. Learn more about the rules at http://womma.org/ethics/disclosure/ and http://womma.org/ftc/. Hope this helps!

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bellawriter (Nuala Reilly)

Hey Mere,
This was a great post. I’ve been blogging for just over two years, but only just under two at my current site. I get decent traffic, though the best traffic day I ever had was on the day I talked to you and Brittany on your live show (wow, that was so much fun!). I haven’t even tried yet looking for sponsorship or ad money or anything, but, seeing as the books are selling verrrry slowly, maybe this is something I need to check out. Thx!!

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Luna

Hey, do you remember how long it takes to hear back from CleverGirl Collective? Is it a bad sign if it’s been a week but you were sure they’d want you??

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Kristy @ Clever Girls

Hi All,

First of all, it’s really just because Meredith has such a special way of writing about her vagina that we pay her. You know.

But seriously, thanks for the shout-out. You rock.

Luna, no worrying yet.

And FWIW, we adhere to all FTC standards. Authenticity RULES.

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