As a blogger, you want to make money from your website, right?
Sure, blogging is fun and you may do it as a way to let some thoughts out of your head. But, it’s also a source of income that can help you save for important things in life.
In fact, many of you have chosen blogging as your primary income source – you do it for a living.
Consequently, you need to explore different ways of making money.
Ad revenue via your blog will only go so far, meaning other avenues should be explored. Regularly, the next logical idea is to write promotional blog content. Now, for the purpose of this article, we’re referring to ‘promotional’ blog content as either of the following:
- • Posts you have been paid to write
- • Posts with affiliate links in them
Naturally, these posts will differ from the organic content you create. Why? Because they are usually formed around the goal of promoting a business, product, or service.
As a result, you may run into a few pros and cons when writing. Some bloggers actually dislike these posts because they feel it disrupts the way they write, but we’ll go into that when looking at the cons.
Below, we have looked at the advantages and disadvantages of promotional blog content.
Hopefully, it serves as a good resource to help you figure out if this is a good way to make money from your blog.
Pro #1 - Lots Of Extra Money Can Be Earned
The obvious benefit of promotional posts is that you can earn extra money.
You see, adverts will still appear on your blog, so you still get revenue from them. At the same time, you generate extra cash through promotional posts.
Sponsored posts are particularly effective.
Here, you are literally paid by a company to create content revolving around a product/service. The whole aim is to shine a light on the company, making sure all of your readers know how great they are. If you have a big audience, you can earn big bucks through one sponsored post alone.
The interesting thing is that the businesses are going to benefit from you more than you benefit from them. So, the ball is firmly in your court.
You can charge hundreds of dollars for a single post, netting a nice bit of extra cash!
Pro #2 - A Source Of Passive Income
Ad revenue can be a source of passive income as people may visit your site and generate revenue without you doing anything.
But, through affiliate marketing, you can open another revenue stream. Here, you create posts that contain affiliate links, directing traffic to other sites. The aim is to get your audience to click the link and buy what you’re advertising – or sign up for something, whatever the affiliate link’s purpose is.
You will make money based on how many people click your link and complete the desired action.
Therefore, you can earn loads of extra cash without really doing anything at all. The only thing you’ve done is create posts that include this link.
Sure, you have to make the posts somewhat promotional, convincing readers they need to click that link.
Then, you can sit back and enjoy the extra money being made. The bigger the audience, the more money you can make through affiliate links and promotional content.
Pro #3 - More Views
A rather underrated benefit of promotional blog posts is that they can help you get more viewers.
This is possible in a couple of ways. Firstly, if you are writing a sponsored post, the company sponsoring you will be keen to get as many eyes on the post as possible. So, they may promote it across their social channels, or they might even pay to have it advertised on different websites.
As a result, you can enjoy more traffic to your site, getting more viewers, which might mean your general ad revenue increases. It could also lead to more people subscribing to your blog, joining your mailing list, and so on.
The second way to get more viewers is because of the format of the posts. Promotional posts are usually based on a topic that people are interested in.
If you are promoting a business or product, you may rank higher in search engines relating to these two things. Thus, more traffic comes from searches that wouldn’t normally result in web traffic.
Con #1 - Less Creative Freedom
I would say the biggest complaint bloggers have about promotional content is that it limits their creative freedom. It’s awesome getting paid to write something, but the shine goes away when the sponsor has certain demands. They don’t like what you initially wrote in the edit, suggesting multiple changes. You’re not a fan of their edits, so there can be a back and forth before the sponsor gives you the ultimatum of writing what they want or not getting money.
A similar thing can happen with affiliate content. While nobody can force you to write about specific things, you often feel as though you have to change your content to fit the affiliate link. It can sometimes feel like you’re being too promotional and not staying true to yourself.
Bloggers with integrity can find it challenging to come to terms with this. However, you need to weigh it up with the pros. Okay, you might lose some creative freedom, but at least you make money and can draw in new readers. Also, you can still post your organic content as much as you like – you’re not forced to only write promotional content from now until the end of time!
Con #2 - There Are Legal Obligations To Fulfill
In the past, anyone could post a promotional blog post without doing anything. Readers will flood to a site, read the content, and have no idea that it was paid for. They could also click on links to be taken to websites, not knowing that it’s an affiliate link.
Nowadays, things are very different. Certain regulations have been brought in to ensure that you notify your audience of specific content. For example, if you include affiliate links in a post, you need to have an affiliate link disclosure at the top of the page. This is a simple line of text that tells the reader there are affiliate links in the content that you will earn revenue from if clicked.
The same goes for sponsored posts; you have to notify your audience that the post has been paid for by a company. It’s all in place to ensure that readers are not taken advantage of. Bloggers have loyal audiences who hang on to their every word. They trust you and your opinions, so they are likely to see a post about a company and give that company a try. There’s nothing wrong with this if your promotion was organic. But, if it’s paid for, the reader deserves to know that you have been paid to basically advertise this business. So, they can take what you say with a pinch of salt, rather than being tricked into thinking this is an organic recommendation.
Con #3 - Might Drive Away Loyal Audience Members
We mentioned that promo content can help you drive new people to your blog. Well, the flip side of this is that it can deter some of your regular visitors. Some people will see posts that are labeled as ‘sponsored’ and choose to avoid them. After all, why would they waste time reading what’s effectively an advert? The same goes for posts with affiliate links – people don’t like the idea of being sold something, particularly from someone they have grown to like and trust.
There is a section of your audience that might think you’re selling out, discouraging them from reading your content anymore. But, this should only be the case if you only post promotional content and completely change the way your content is structured.
Summary - Promo content is good when done correctly
I think the best way to summarize promotional content is that it is largely beneficial. The cons are only relevant if you aren’t creating your promo content correctly. That’s when people start getting annoyed and you no longer make creative blog posts.
The secret is to partner with businesses that align with your brand. Choose companies you actually trust and have used before. Think about companies that you’d already promote without sponsors or affiliate links. This lets you create more organic content when promoting different things because you actually believe in what you’re saying. You can be more creative with affiliate posts, and your audience won’t feel like you’re selling out.
Furthermore, when choosing sponsors, choose companies that allow you a sense of creative freedom. Don’t pick someone who wants full control over what you write – it is going to make the content awful to read.
When you learn how to write promotional content, that’s when you start getting the most out of it. You’ll enjoy the benefits, but you won’t have to deal with any of the downsides.