Today I wanted to talk about whether or not to join BlogHer for monetizing your blog.
Is BlogHer really worth it?”
Myth:BlogHer likes to be exclusive, so you miss out on other opportunities, and they have too much control. Try Adsense or other advertising ventures.
I respectfully disagree.
BlogHer is one of many ways to monetize your blog. The BlogHer Publishing Ad Network offers CPM ads (they pay a set price per one-thousand impressions) and sponsored content that can add up after a few months. BlogHer is unique in that they give preference to women bloggers (yes, there are male bloggers too!), although men are often accepted under certain situations.
Here are some common misconceptions about BlogHer:
1. BlogHer takes prime blogging real estate
Yes, this one is true. BlogHer does take up prime real estate on your blog. They want their ads placed “above the fold” and no other ad network–not even Adsense–is allowed above the fold. (Above the fold simply means that the ad must be visible without the blog reader scrolling down). So, yes, I can see how some people might shy away from BlogHer for this reason. But I think the pros far outweigh the cons.
2. You can’t run other ads on your blog if you have a contract with BlogHer
No way, José.
Right now I run sponsor ads on my sidebar using PassionFruit ads. I also use Lijit in my sidebar and at the bottom of my most popular posts. Like BlogHer, Lijit runs CPM (cost per mille) ads. That means that those ads make me money for every 1,000 pageviews on my blog.
I use Google Adsense as a backup (“passback” tag) in Lijit’s place when they have no paying ads to display. Google Adsense pays you per ad clicked. You are the best judge of which is better for your blog. Do you have click-happy readers? Use Google Adsense. Have many pageviews? Check out Lijit. It is…well…for lack of a better word, legit.
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3. BlogHer is exclusive and you miss out on other opportunities
This one is where there are shades of grey. BlogHer is a business, plain and simple. Advertisers pay BlogHer to feature their ads on thousands of blogs. BlogHer takes care in crafting sponsored campaigns for their bloggers. They also make sure that these BlogHer-sponsored posts complement the network ads for that month.
There will be times when a blogger accepts a sponsored post from a third-party network (such as Social SparkSocialFabric, Pollinate Media or CleverGirls Collective just to name a few). That sponsored post could potentially conflict with the BlogHer ads for that month. For that reason, BlogHer members cannot have sponsored posts next to BlogHer ads. Read their official rules on reviews in the BlogHer Member Guide.
If you are on the Blogger platform, that means you would need to have a separate review site, defeating the purpose of the third-party network’s selection process. They approved your blog for sponsored content based on pageviews, and when you host those reviews on a separate site, you will not be accepted for other campaigns. Then you’re stuck choosing between making money with BlogHer or these campaigns.
4. You have to choose between BlogHer and other networks
I’ve totally been there. BlogHer never made me choose–the other network did. There is, however, a way around this. When you self-host your blog using the WordPress.org software you can “hide” BlogHer ads from appearing next to third-party sponsored content.
Take a look at my sponsored post from yesterday, The Best Electronics for Your Home Theater. Do you see any BlogHer ads? Nope. That’s the beauty of WordPress. You own your content and you’re not limited to what Blogger can do for you. Talk about having your cake and eating it too!
Have you thought about moving to WordPress? This reason alone is one of the biggest reasons I switched. That and the fact that Blogger flagged my design site as spam and deleted it! I offer Blogger to WordPress migrations as one of my many services. Read what my happy clients have to say.
5. But BlogHer is only for BIG BLOGGERS!
Nope. Wrong again. But I can see how some people think that.
When I first applied to the BlogHer Publishing Network, I was turned down. I applied a second time. I was turned down again. This time I had many more followers, but my blog just didn’t have the pageviews. I applied for the Social Influencers program, where you can earn money for promoting products via Twitter or Facebook or Pinterest.
On my third try, I was finally accepted. Oh Happy Day! I will say, though, a lot of my blogging friends are frustrated right now because they are wait-listed. This is not a reflection on the blogger’s content or accomplishments. Since I signed a one-year contract, my assumption is that BlogHer can only extend an X amount of contracts for any given year. If you’re one of those who have been wait-listed, don’t fret. A spot will open up for you sooner than later.
Those are the only misconceptions I could think of regarding BlogHer. If we’re being honest, I’ve been really happy with BlogHer. My blog makes money just for breathing. Well, you know what I mean. It varies month to month because my earnings depend on both my pageviews AND how many companies are investing their money on advertising. The first fiscal quarter (Q1) is typically the lowest month of each year for advertising budgets.
So, what do you think?