Referral links are included in this post. I will earn a small commission for any blogger who is accepted to Linqia that goes towards funding this blog. So, thank you!
As a relatively new blogger, I’ve only been at it for almost three years in October, I am always looking for new ways to take my blog farther. I know it all starts with authenticity and an inspiration to bring quality content to my readers. With that said, it’s sometimes more daunting to think about all that goes in to running a successful blog and eventually reaching a point where I can begin to make a few dollars in the process.
In the beginning…
When I first began blogging, much like everyone, it blossomed from loneliness and a need to connect. I had just moved with my newly minted husband to a far away land called California from Virginia and I knew absolutely no one. As a teacher, and moving in September, there were no teaching positions open considering the school year had just begun. (Not to mention the whole process of switching my VA teaching license to a CA credential, but that’s a story for another day). So there I was jobless, too.
A lifestyle blog is born…
After a month or so going by and being a stay-at-home-wife, I began reading various blogs (and running my teacher blog) and made the decision to branch out and start a lifestyle blog. I had the inspiration almost instantly and began writing various posts that I found fun to share. I was all over the place! From sharing DIYs to my mere attempts at style posts and keeping up with those weekly What I Wore linkups (OMG, dressing and documenting your outfits takes a lot more effort than it seems). I didn’t have a clear vision for my new blog, but I can say that over the course of the last few years I’ve been able to learn from those early missteps and really make Primarily Inspired my own and more successful.
Disclaimer: I am no Linqia expert – I’m a newbie myself. However, I love sharing my own experiences in hopes that it reaches a fellow newbie and reassures them to never give up on attaining sponsored posts and making their blog successful.
Becoming an influencer with Linqia…
I am still in my early journey of lifestyle blogging, as there’s always something new to learn, and the moment I was accepted into Linqia’s network of influencers it was a major milestone for me. Linqia is an influencer platform in which to gain membership your blog must reach a certain amount of readers per day, followers on social media, as well as quality photos and content on a weekly basis. However, finally being accepted took time and rejection.
I had applied once before and received one of those dreaded, “we’ll keep your blog on file, but we cannot accept you at this time” emails and my heart sank. However, I didn’t let that get me down. I really focused on taking quality photos, upped my engagement, and became more of a presence on social media and on a whim I found that old email and contacted them again; crossing my fingers that I had enough followers to be accepted. It was about a day or two later that I received a welcome email. Yes! I did it!
But this is when the real work began for me as a blogger. I was on the cusp of monetizing my blog, pocket change really, but it’s meaningful nonetheless. I knew that one day I would be contacted to join a campaign and I would have my first experience with sponsored posts. After having now completed three campaigns with Linqia, here are a few tips on how you can find success even as a Linqia newbie.
Fortunately for you, this is a time where you get to sit and wait for a campaign to come your way which can be an upwards of 30 days, but use this precious time wisely. This is a time for you to spruce up your blog, get it cohesive with your social media, update your cover photos, and continue working on your brand and original content. Eventually you’ll receive an email for a campaign that you might want to be a part of. This is the exciting part!
Like with anything, before you hit the accept button there are a few things you should consider first…
“This is a time for you to spruce up your blog, get it cohesive with your social media, update your cover photos, and continue working on your brand and original content.”
Accepting a campaign…or not
Not all Linqia campaigns may resonate with you or your readers, so it’s important to understand that declining a campaign is just as important as accepting one. Keep your published content authentic to your life, which includes these sponsored posts. People aren’t dumb and can spot an inauthentic sponsored post a mile away and may actually drive followers and readers away. I know I’ve stopped following blogs because of that same reason. I personally joined the campaign for Gerber twice because it’s a product I already use and my motherhood posts are amongst the most popular on my blog. Working with Libman on this most recent campaign was an easy choice for me because I’m all about keeping a clean and organized home so I was happy to share with my readers the benefits of the Wonder Mop.
On the flip side, I was just contacted by Linqia last week to offer a campaign with a paint company. Unfortunately I had to decline because the timing of the post conflicted with when I could authentically use the product. With moving in a few months I know I’ll be doing a lot of painting in our new home, but I also knew that I couldn’t complete the post within the time frame they needed. So, it’s okay to decline a campaign and share with them the reason why you couldn’t accept.
Another tip is to read through the entire email that details what the campaign expects of you. There’s a lot of helpful information included so it’s important to become knowledgable about the timing, sharing, and work required of the post. You’ll even be partnered with a Brand Success Manager to whom you can contact about any questions you may have! Most often you have to purchase the product yourself, then as a part of your payout you’ll be reimbursed. It’s vital to evaluate if you’ll be able to give 100% for the campaign before accepting; otherwise it could really hurt your standing with Linqia to cancel a campaign after you’ve already accepted it.
“[…] it’s important to understand that declining a campaign is just as important as accepting one.”
Creating and sharing your post…
Luckily Linqia does an amazing job at giving you all the information, and some inspiration, for your post. They outline what exactly it is they are looking for in your post (i.e. high quality personal photos using the product, not to show or mention competitors, etc.) and the social hashtags and handles for the company to use when promoting it. This makes drafting and publishing your post a breeze.
But like any blog post, it will take time and effort to pull it all together. It was working on my first sponsored post that I realized that those who blog for a profession truly work hard at it just like any other job. I personally like to break up my writing and polishing across a few days, spending a few hours a day on it. That way I don’t feel overwhelmed and I can edit and re-edit my post before publishing it. Then, scheduling out the marketing piece frees up my non-blogging time and ensures my post continues to be shared without me needing to be on my phone all day.
“But like any blog post, it will take time and effort to pull it all together.”
Seeing and learning with a goal…
With each campaign I’ve managed to increase my clicks by using the estimate as a guide and goal. Having a goal throughout the active dates of any one campaign helps me see where I am gaining the most reach and by which medium: my blog? Instagram? Facebook? Using video or photos? Getting familiar with my dashboard and reporting pages is crucial for my success with that brand. As you complete campaigns your estimated clicks will grow.
I really enjoyed working on the Libman Company campaign this last time and kept a goal in mind. Although I was slightly short of making that goal, the takeaways were that I spread out my marketing, I incorporated the Boomerang feature on Instagram vs simple photos, and I sent out tweets periodically to keep my post fresh on people’s feeds. Using the proper hashtags also help out a lot. In the end, I’ve learned to do the very things I should be doing as a blogger on everyday content.
So, how are the numbers looking?
In reflection, I can see on my dashboard that on my very first campaign with Gerber Lil’ Beanies I made more of an effort to promote that post. This also considers how new I was to sponsored posts and the effort that went into it. Then, I take a peek and notice that my Gerber Cereals campaign didn’t perform as well. What caused me to only make a few bucks? Well, I had accepted the campaign during the active dates of my first campaign with the Lil’ Beanies. Although I am very happy for the experience, I have learned that I wasn’t prepared to take on two live campaigns at the same time (even though they were the same brand)! I’ve taken this with me and use it to guide me in my next sponsored posts!
“I’ve managed to increase my clicks by using the estimate as a guide and goal.”
Making those dolla-dolla bills…
As a newbie, Linqia limits your total potential earnings based on your blog’s reach and viewership…at first. Once you participate in a few different campaigns and perform higher, they’ll increase how much you can make for each campaign. Some have reported being able to make a few hundred dollars! The one downside people have mentioned about working with Linqia is this very platform. What if I earned more than my potential earnings dollar amount? Sorry, you’re cut off despite the number of clicks you’ve earned for that campaign.
But, as a newbie this won’t be an issue for you just yet.
Breathe and just have fun…
At the end of the day blogging and promoting the brands and products you use and love should be fun for both you as the storyteller and for your readers. Yes, blogging can become a business, but don’t lose sight of what inspired you to blog in the first place. Enjoy sharing your life, don’t take it too seriously, pray on it, and connect with your audience in meaningful ways. Start small, create ideal goals, accomplish them, then repeat.
If you can make a few bucks per sponsored post – awesome! I personally felt pretty great making only a few bucks of a commission because it meant I learned something that in turn helped me earn more on the next campaign. My hope is that I can turn these beginning goals into meeting my estimate and beyond! Your blog will grow regardless because you will have learned a few new things in the process! Enjoy those wins!
“[…] blogging and promoting the brands and products you use and love should be fun for both you as the storyteller and for your readers.”
Are you an influencer with Linqia? Is there another influencer network you love? What advice would you give me and other newbie influencers out there?