How Women Make Money Online: Work With Brands

make money onlineGood morning Blonde & Balanced readers. Please welcome Carrie Smith to the blog today. Carrie is creator of Careful Cents, a blog about helping people achieve their personal, career and financial goals. Carrie quit her full time accounting job to live the life of her dreams and build a business on her own terms. Now she helps others live happy too – her motto is “Work less, live more.” Please ask Carrie any questions in the comments section below.

If you’re wondering how to make money online, without going the traditional route, then this post is for you. I’m going to dive into the different ways that I earn a living as the breadwinner for my small family.

And the majority of my income comes from working directly with brands and start-ups. Each income stream makes up a different percentage of my overall income. Here’s how it breaks down.

How can you make money with brands as a freelancer?

The main portion of my online income comes from working with start-ups and brands as a freelance writer. I create content for blogs to help promote their products and services in the financial industry.

In the past, I’ve worked with brand start-ups like ReadyForZero, ImpluseSave and SpringCoin (most of which have been bought out by other companies). In these cases, I write about debt or budgeting topics as it relates to good spending habits and smart money management. I have a background as a small business accountant so I’m able to leverage my past knowledge to share valuable, and sometimes unconventional tips.

Currently, I’m working with Intuit QuickBooks and H&R Block to create blog posts for their sites, to help customers and readers alike, use their products more efficiently. Start-ups usually have a smaller budget dedicated to content marketing while bigger brands have larger budgets. Each have their pros and cons but generally I get paid anywhere from $275 – $450 per blog post I write.

Working with brands as a freelancer makes up about 55% of my total income, or $232,000 in 2016.

What are brand sponsorships?

Another way I earn money online by working with brands is with brand sponsorships, through my blog, Careful Cents. I spend a good amount of time reaching out to specific start-ups to create on-going relationships with them — also known as a brand ambassador. This has resulted in sponsorships with financial brands like MileIQ and Digit.

Basically, all brands have some sort of product or service they need help promoting and a lot of them will reach out to bloggers to work on a mutually beneficial deal. In the past I’ve been paid anywhere from $1,000-1,500 for packages that include a thorough review of their app on my blog, a mention in that week’s email newsletter, and any social media mentions. As a perk for my readers, I also try to work out a special deal for discount or code, so they can try the app themselves at a lower cost.

Working with brands on sponsorship campaigns makes up about 15% of my total income, or $9,000 in 2016.

Tell us about your podcast

My final avenue for how I make money by working with brands, is by being a podcaster. My business partner, Cait and I co-host a weekly podcast called Budgets and Cents. We launched the first season in early January 2016 and it was such a hit that we came back for season two during the summer.

Because of this, we were able to secure a sponsorship for all twelve episodes of season two with FreshBooks, a U.S. and Canada start-up that offers accounting and invoicing software for small businesses.

Since I’m in a partnership together with the podcast I can’t reveal exactly how much the sponsorship was for. But I was able to use my half of the money to reach my goal of getting Lasik eye surgery later this year. Working with brands as a podcaster is a great way to get paid to talk, and help our listeners find out about new products. It’s a win-win!

Working with brands as a podcast co-host makes up about 9% of my total income, $4,900 in 2016.

Are you thinking about working directly with brands as a brand ambassador or podcaster? What questions or comments do you have? Share your thoughts in the comments!


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