Fashion and lifestyle blogger, Lorna Burford, is the editor and owner of Raindrops of Sapphire and The Jeans Blog which delves into all things denim. Her content covers everything from beauty to fashion to top trends to what celebrities are wearing. She took the time out to speak to Skimlinks about her approach to content monetization and how we’ve helped:
What’s your recipe for content monetization success?
I first think about what my readers would like to see or read, so my content for Raindrops of Sapphire is usually planned around outfits that I am wearing and things that I’m up to. It’s important to give the readers what they want so that they enjoy their experience on your blog. I also have repetitive posts like monthly wish lists and roundups, so the readers know those will be coming and those are all affiliated. I think the key for a good strategy is incorporating natural affiliate links into your normal content that readers expect on your blog. Don’t start doing something extremely promotional that’s off topic because the chances are your readers aren’t interested in it and will look straight past. I think the winning remedy is balance.
What would you say is your best performing kind of content?
I would say that reviews of items and informational posts which include links to items on topic are the best performing articles. If you have an answer to a specific question that isn’t easy for readers to figure out on their own, it can be a gold mine if it sits well in Google. Link up products to your suggestions clearly and it’s extremely helpful. But reviews work just as good as people are often looking to purchase that product if they have searched it and found your post.
How do you approach creating seasonal content, like St Patrick’s Day and Easter?
Usually for big holidays like Christmas, Mother’s Day etc I might do things like a gift guide round up, but it’s best to get those in early as everyone tends to be sick of gift guides after a while. I don’t do anything affiliate based for smaller holidays like St. Patrick’s Day or Easter, I actually do fun content instead so people have a laugh. I wear a costume usually on Raindrops of Sapphire, so that’s always good. People enjoy it and it makes it more personal and not always about buying products.
How much of your content do you monetise?
I use affiliate links in about 95% of my posts actually, but they vary between proper buying posts where I round up my favourite items and just a couple of links within a different type of post. Wherever I see natural fit is what I do.
Do you monetize your social media channels?
Sometimes I do, but not often. I like to keep my social media outlets personal and friendly, but I will add in some monetised links now and again if I have found a product I know people will like. Instagram is my biggest platform, but you can’t use links on your posts, so it’s not helpful. Twitter is where I tweet products sometimes, but I do prefer the personal approach as you can lose followers if it’s just all about inundating them with things to buy. It loses its meaning.
Does your engagement change depending on what products you feature / if content is monetised?
Yes, it does. I would say that would be likely with most websites. It really depends on the content you are putting out in terms of what commission you can make. General blog engagement doesn’t change though, I find my outfit posts on Raindrops of Sapphire are the most viewed, but actually the least likely to generate a lot of commission, but on The Jeans Blog, the most viewed content is celebs in denim and denim reviews, both are at either ends of the scale in terms of sales.
How has Skimlinks helped in your monetization journey?
It’s helped hugely actually. Sometimes I don’t even know that a retailer I am linking to is a part of the Skimlinks network, so I end up having affiliate links when I didn’t even realise. You don’t have to change your links or login to a website to get specific affiliate links either. Skimlinks is easy and it just alters your normal links for you, so it’s win win for everyone. You can add multiple websites to your account, you can work with brands specifically in the message centre, and you receive payments monthly without any Paypal fees either or a ridiculous minimum withdrawal fee. It’s ideal. I’ve recommended it to so many people already, I can’t fault it.