Blogger Tools | Monetisation.
If you take blogging to a level a little beyond just the digital diary and, like me, enjoy working a little closer with brands who might support you with your venture by means of content in exchange of trade (for example a brand gives you a banana for you to eat, and review it), direct payment (a post for a fee), or an affiliate percentage (a percentage of any sales you make off the back of a post containing their products), or you just want to, then you’ll perhaps be familiar with schemes set up for bloggers in order for them to do such things, and manage their payments and interactions accordingly.
Now, I don’t use many payment schemes to help me create content for my readers, and my main zone at present is “content for trade”, so if a company approaches me and they want to send me a can of pears, I’ll gladly accept them, and make them a phenomenal pear pudding out of them or something. I’m always happy to disclose any posts that I do with anything in this way.
There are a sector of bloggers out there who frown upon other bloggers who like to make a little living out of their content, but please don’t let that stop you if it’s something that you want to do. You manage your blogging habit how you want to Miss/Mrs/Mr!! It’s your jam, just make sure you love it and whatever you do it with makes sense to your “branding”.
On a recent trip to #BloggersFestival, I bumped into one of my favourite friendly faces at events right now, TDM, who just so happened to be representing an affiliate based website for bloggers called “Social Superstore”. This wasn’t just your average hub of affiliate links for brands where you have to pick out URLs to pop in your blog posts to get any interaction tracked, this is a whole interactive store page which you, as a blogger, can personalise yourself and fill with a huge selection of your favourite products, visually representing them in a super attractive space! Your “Store” can then just be an additional page to your blog or website for your audience to access and browse at their leisure. There’s even an app on the go where you can snap your recommendations on the go now too.
“Social Superstore is a place to create and share stores to earn money online. It can empower anyone in the world to be an entrepreneur without the traditional risks of starting a business such as buying and holding stock. Anyone can setup a store, add their favourite products from retailers, customise the layout and upload relevant content such as captions, reviews and photos to the products in their store. Stores and products can be shared across social networks and every time a product is purchased through a store, the store owner receives a commission.
As users have the ability to earn money on Social Superstore, we are focused on encouraging them to develop their entrepreneurial side. Users can create stores with products they love and share them with their friends and the wider Social Superstore community who possess similar interests and tastes. Users have the power to turn their stores into a real money making business. Social Superstore is working with international brands such as Apple, Samsung, Nike, Sony, Adidas, Ralph Lauren, Marks & Spencer, Microsoft, John Lewis and ASOS” – Social Superstore Facebook.
The best way to showcase this whole setup is to share mine with you here, for the moment, and I can talk us through what you can expect to get stuck in with.
So when you’ve set up your free account, you’ll have a full view of your dashboard which houses a number of views. The one immediately below is an overview of all of the latest posts as they’re uploaded. A “Featured” view for you to check out people’s latest favourite things, generating the most interest. As you can hopefully see, you can also sort by Fashion only, Beauty, Home, and so on too, to split everything out with what you’re ideally looking for.
Each item in store is represented by either a ready updated store image which is basically image of a product as it is representing in the actual store you can buy it from, OR it’s an image uploaded by the blogger of the item actually in their possession, so as you would if you were showing off an item in your own blog post. It’s a pretty neat feature that you can add your own thumbnail to the item you want to promote to people really. It just provides that next level of showcasing your favourite goodies to your audience from a personal perspective, rather than just a general “HERE YOU GO, THIS IS PRETTY” kind of way. If people actually see how much you love something, then they’re all the more going to take your word for it that they should buy it, right?
Not only can you customise which thumbnail you use for the products you’re promoting, but you can also include your own mini review for each one too! Here’s an example from my store on the left here. I’ve waffled on a bit about each, but it’s BECAUSE I CAN! You can also use hashtags to bump their visibility to other store users and browsers too.
I’m yet to get truly stuck in yet and pop my own pictures of my favourite products in, but the beauty is that I can just go in there and edit them at any time.
You can also share individual products over your social networks too.
So! Nitty-gritty bit. How do Bloggers and/or Vloggers make their affiliated money out of using Social Superstore then? So as part of the primary store dashboard you have a sub-dashboard which houses your “wallet” setup. It’s a really simple and clean looking menu, as below:
Ok, Ok, I’m yet to earn a penny, but I’ve only just been having a go at this for a couple of days now, bear with me 😛
Making money breakdown:
- When you have products showcased in your store, if anyone browses through them and clicks to buy one, they are taken to the store in which they originally come from, and are naturally on the way to securing a purchase of said product.
- Once the buyer pays for the product, you earn “commission” because that product was bought from your promotion of that item via your Social Superstore profile.
- The amount of commission you get is clearly displayed to you on each item in your store, like so:
4. Your earned commission then pops into your Social Superstore wallet, and you can then have it sent across to you via Paypal.
That’s about it really, it’s really simple whilst being really very fun and beneficial to passionate bloggers at the same time. It’s really nice to be able to have a platform like this which is accessible to everyone (not on a selective “Your blog has to be 6000000000k strong with followers” to use it), and visually pleasing in conjunction with your blog. Some affiliate networks require you to be vetted and approved by brands first before you can earn commission from sales, so having the ability to bypass that bit and host products from brands who are already on board with Social Superstore is an easy start for beginners too who are new to this kind of branch.
The little details such as being able to customise pretty much everything is a nice touch, and the fact you can follow others easily to help them out too is also neat. Good luck with your promotions! It’s a fun way to do it for sure! Don’t forget to use it wisely though so it all ties in nicely to your own views and niche of your website. Honestly, the benefits are much better that way.
If you have a Social Superstore profile, then leave the link to it in the comments and I’ll follow along!