10 Ways to Tell your Favorite Blogger “Happy Birthday!”

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KS button 1 When I tell people what I do for a living, sometimes I say, “I’m mostly a mom…”, sometimes “I’m a writer,” and sometimes, “I publish a website” or “I’m a blogger.” Invariably I receive one of three questions:

  1. What is a blog, anyway?
  2. What exactly do you do?
  3. How do you make money from that?

In the interest of transparency and fun,  I’m going to invite you to look over my shoulder the next few days as I share answers to all three questions.

If you’re not interested in a behind the scenes look at the art of blogging, I’ll see you again on Friday for birthday cakes! In the meantime, you might enjoy these very popular posts (based on reader interaction and clicks, not just my opinion) from earlier this summer:

Today’s list will help you tell your favorite blogger “Happy Birthday” (ahem) but also can be utilized any day to brighten the smile of those who sit at their computer screens tapping out blog posts. Disclaimer: I am not in any way claiming to be your favorite blogger, nor am I assuming that I would be. I will, however, throw my name in the hat. Transparency: the FDA (or is it the FCC or some other “F” letters? Probably FCC!) requires that anytime a blogger’s post includes a product or giveaway, that we disclose our relationship with the company in question.

Many of these ideas really answer the question “How do you make money blogging?” and help you understand how you as a reader fit into the system.

10 Ways to Make a Blogger’s Day

  1. Tell a friend about their site or forward your email to folks who would appreciate it when you love a post. As much as an income is fun, it’s people appreciating my work enough to share it that truly makes me smile. You know, like a gold star from the teacher.
  2. Retweet a great post or share on Facebook. Did you know that if you want someone to see something you post on Facebook, you can type the “@” symbol and their name? This works for both personal and business pages. If you’re telling someone about KS, for example, you could type “My new favorite recipe is from @Kitchen Stewardship,” and then your friends will be able to find my Facebook Fan Page AND I’ll know why my ears are ringing. It’s like a gold star that gets put on the bulletin board for everyone to see! :)
  3. If you shop at Amazon.com anyway, use one of their links – for any product – to start your shopping. They’ll get a small percentage of everything you buy within 24 hours. You can find links to Amazon from KS under “What to Buy” at the top and “KS Recommends.” (Or click here if you happen to be shopping today.)
  4. Buy their products. My eBooks, for example, are on sale 30% off through tonight at midnight. Making a little purchase is a simple way to say “thanks for all that free content” to a blogger you read regularly.
  5. Both subscribe and visit the site. When a blogger presents their stats to an advertiser, it’s lovely to show how many regular subscribers the site has accumulated, but it’s also important to show pageviews on the site. Also, some ads pay simply by the number of people who visit the site, so just by reading a few posts you help your favorite blogger generate income. Have you seen 7 Reasons to Subscribe to Kitchen Stewardship?The ads are called “CPM” or “cost per mille (1000)” and networks like Foodbuzz, Lifetime, and BlogHer work that way, paying X amount per 1000 visits to the site. They’re my favorite stream of income because neither of us has to DO anything or spend any money; I just write the best content I can and you enjoy it. Perfect!I think it’s an important gift from me to you that I make a “full feed” in both the email and the RSS reader, which means that you get to read everything I write without clicking to site if you want to. In return, it helps me if you click to the site every so often. If you’re an email subscriber, you can do that by clicking on the title of the post in your email.
  6. Click on ads every so often. If you see an interesting ad, it may help the blogger if you click on it. Some ads are called “CPC” or “cost per click” and pay a small fee (usually under a dollar) for every person who clicks on the ad, even if they don’t buy anything on the other end. Google ads (which I don’t have on the site) and Real Food Media ads (of which I’m not a part) work this way.Some ads, by the way, are simply paid for by the month. The little boxes on my site are largely that way, although I fill open spaces with affiliate images. Private advertising is also very nice, because the readers don’t have to do anything to help the blogger other than read and enjoy, regularly, but they do take more work on the part of the blogger (more on that tomorrow).
  7. Read the blog in Google reader and share a post – getting on Google Reader’s “What’s Hot” is awesome! I think it happened to me once, and I felt like a big stud. :)
  8. Buy a product they recommend, especially if it’s an affiliate link. I can’t say I love that you have to spend money for me to make money, but we all are going to spend money on certain things anyway. If you see that your favorite blogger is advertising something you think you’d like, if you click on their link to get to the product’s or business’s website, you may help them earn a commission. Many bloggers help each other sell eBooks and eCourses with affiliate programs, and many online businesses also do the same. You can see all the good folks I’m working with HERE.Some insight/secrets from the blog world: Many affiliate programs are set up to give the commission to whomever gets the “first click,” so if you see an eCourse advertised at many blogs at the same time, for example, and you want to purchase it, the blogger from whose site you FIRST clicked to read about the course will probably get the commission, even if you click from another site right before buying (although some programs are “last click” which would let you choose which blogger gets the commission). Some affiliate programs give commissions for a certain number of months after your click. For example, if you clicked over to KS to buy “Healthy Snacks to Go” from Keeper of the Home’s giveaway, and then you purchased the Camping Handbook a few months later, Stephanie happily earned a commission on the second purchase (and I was happy to pay it out, because it’s actually kind of fun to share income with others who are all working hard to reach the same goal).
  9. Use the Tip Jar or Donate button. After a reader said in my survey (still open for a few more days – you can take it HERE) that they’d rather just give a little money than see all those images in the sidebar, I stuck a “Donate” button there as a test. (It’s under the search bar.) I don’t really like them, because again, I’d rather make my income without bothering you too much. If that’s the way you’d like to go, though, go for it! I’ll leave it up for a while to see what happens. I also have an idea about the sidebar images that I’m hoping my husband can program for me, a rotating spot that would only show one ad at a time but flip through a different one each day. There’s always more to do when you’re blogging!
  10. Leave a meaningful comment, especially if you made and love a recipe or something like that. Questions and discussions (and around here, even challenging new facts) are always really fun, too! If you don’t know how to comment, sometimes a quick email is sweet too. A comment on an old post particularly brings a smile to my face, because I know someone’s been browsing the archives.How to Browse the Archives at Kitchen Stewardship

    See that menu bar at the top that has categories like “Start Here” “The Lists” and “Series/Carnivals”? You can find pretty much every old post that’s worth its salt by clicking around up there. The very best stuff is under “The Lists” (especially the Monday Missions) and “Features – KS Series” and of course, “Recipes”. You can find just about anything there. If you have a certain old post in mind that you can’t quite remember, you might also find it by using the search function along the righthand side of the page under the Foodbuzz ads. I do manually update the lists and recipes, so sometimes they’re a month or two behind, which is another great reason to use the search bar.

The short answer? Yes, you can make money blogging.

The long answer? It takes many streams of income to make a river, and a lot of work (see above)! Tomorrow I’ll let you look over my shoulder at the computer and share all the many varied job positions I hold as a blogger.

See my full disclosure statement here.

This post is entered in Top 10 Tuesday at Oh! Amanda.

Click here for my disclaimer and advertising disclosure - affiliate links in this post will earn commission based on sales, but it doesn't change your price.

23 Bites of Conversation So Far

    • gojigirl says

      I’ve been wondering about this too :) I keep hearing that silicone is inert & perfectly safe – but I still wonder, especially since there are so many forms of silicone bakeware (and countries of origin too).

    • Katie says

      I do use some silicone stuff – cookie sheet liners, spoonula/spatula, and I tested out a roasting pan (see the review here). At that review post, there are some interesting comments on silicone bakeware safety that give me pause…but I’m not sure! I love the silicone liners myself.
      :) Katie

  1. says

    Thank goodness you like comments on old posts… sometimes I feel like that is the only place you hear from me! :>)

    With my most recent tortilla question, I was hesitant to leave it on the tortilla post because of all the giveaway entries in the comments. I guess it really doesn’t make any difference – you get the e-mail either way, but for some silly reason I didn’t want to bury it there. The new survey method of entering giveaways is slick as a whistle, but in case it doesn’t work out for some reason, I would highly recommend that giveaways be in a separate post.

    And I hope this comes across in the charitable spirit in which I mean it! I’ve been thinking about it a while and wasn’t sure how to put it.

    (PS – soaked oats are in the dehydrator right now…yum!)
    .-= Lenetta @ Nettacow´s last blog ..Link Roundup – Pandoras Box Edition =-.

  2. Mary says

    Thank you, Katie, for the informative post. I am interested in more of the “looking over your shoulder” info.
    Happy Birthday!

  3. Sarah W says

    I really enjoyed this post too! I didn’t know that it was a “gift” of sorts to include your complete post in email as yours was the first and only blog I subscribed to for many months. Then I subscribed to another that only puts the first few lines in the email and I don’t like that as much, but now I understand why. So thank you for that!

    Even though I get your posts in email, I do end up clicking over probably more than half the time since I am such a prolific commenter 😉 and sometimes I just like to read in a webpage for some reason!

    I also like the facebook tip. I will try it out in the future! I do try to recommend your blog as often as I can on BB forums and things like that. And I recommended your Healthy Snacks to go to a friend on FB who subsequently posted it on her FB page (Heal Thyself) so I was happy you got some extra advertising!

    I am interested to know if you are going to tell us how many hours per week you spend working on your blog (including research) and when you find time in your day to do it all! I know I just spend so much time at the computer, but it is not well budgeted and it gets me side tracked a lot when I should be attending to children and chores!

  4. Erin says

    I just tried to buy your healthy snacks ebook and the 30% code says that it is expired. It is still August 11th so there must be a glitch. Thought you would want to know.

    • Katie says

      Yikes! That’s a bad glitch. I extended the code and it works right now at 11:27 p.m. EST. If you missed out, just email me (kitchenstew at gmail.com) and I’ll get you the 30% off! Thanks!! :) Katie

  5. Johanna says

    From now on, I will comment on old posts [only if I have anything to say]. I used to feel like a stalker [well, maybe not as nefarious] when I’d post a relevant comment, only to see the last post was from 2008! *blush* I’m guilty of that all the time on the CookingTF forum!
    Last week I was reading some of your original posts about food choices… I specifically remember your comment about staring at milk in the grocer’s debating oxidized cholesterol and rbst… and I wanted to share that’s the way I’m feeling these days: like no matter what I do, it’s still not enough. But it’s getting easier! Thanks to blogs like yours.
    So now you know, even the “oldies” are still inspirational!

  6. Michelle says

    I don’t mind the ads at all. (Not that I mind the donate button either…) I think your ads are usually relevant to topics that are near and dear to the heart of people who read your blog, and it’s useful to have a link to companies who provide the types of products we might be interested in. I used one of your links to buy sunscreen last week, and I like that it’s a win-win. So even if the donate button works out, I’d say keep the ads too :)

    Also, just want to make sure I’m reading it right: if I click through one of your Amazon links, then anything I buy at Amazon for the next 24 hours you’ll be credited for? I always thought it had to be the exact item you were recommending, so if it can be anything then that’s excellent!

    • Katie says

      You are reading that right! Cool, eh? One month recently I got credit for a pullup bar to put in a doorway…that cracked me up! :) Katie

  7. Tara says

    I couldn’t get the “HAPPYBIRTHDAY” discount code to work, either. I ordered anyway, though. It’s 11pm Indiana time.

    • Katie says

      If you’d like the discount, I’d be happy to share it with you. Dash me an email at kitchenstew at gmail.com
      :) Katie

  8. Ann says

    Good info. I’ll keep in mind commenting on old posts. I often don’t comment just because its a couple of days old!

  9. Shannon says

    Happy Belated birthday! I clicked on one of your affiliate links and would love to buy soapnuts some day… Even the name is cool!

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