Way back in April 2007, I wrote about earning my first dollars from travel blogging through Text Link Ads. It was an exciting time, as I was gearing up for my trip around the world, and learning how to build a WordPress blog at the same time.
Year over year, I've managed to double my online income through blogging, and I would like to see this trend continue in 2010. In order for that to happen, I'm going to experiment with methods beyond traditional banners, text links, and sponsored posts.
In 2009, Twitter and Facebook Fan Pages were accepted as mainstream media platforms, and a case could even be made for (travel) blogging on the whole. This is new media in action – an incredibly dynamic and ever-shifting landscape of online platforms. As a result, I feel it's time to test the waters with regard to sponsored tweets.
Earlier today, I signed up for Ad.ly, a service which connects advertisers with Twitter users. The sign-up process was incredibly easy, taking less than 5 minutes. I currently have about 2,500 followers on Twitter, which translates into a suggested rate of $7 per sponsored tweet.
I was able to select up to 4 categories which relate to the topics I tweet about, however I was surprised to find that “travel” was not an option. As a result, I chose the next best categories, which I believe are a reflection of my tweeting habits: food, entertainment, and lifestyle.
Payment is issued via PayPal or check, and is issued the month after you reach the minimum threshold of $50. By joining Ad.ly, I am also automatically set up with their affiliate program, which offers a 12% commission on anything made by people who sign up via my referral links.
I've spent the last 5 months painstakingly building my Twitter following so that it is filled with the best travel tweeters out there. I've also tweeted close to 5,000 times. It's practically a full time job to tweet that often, at least in an engaging, useful, and humorous manner. Based on the volume of tweets I send out, I'd like to think that the occasional sponsored tweet won't disrupt my followers' experience.
I will have complete control over which sponsored tweets go out in conjunction with my name, @rtwdave, and they will all be fully disclosed with a reference to Ad.ly.