Need ideas on how to monetise daughter's blog - Come on, you're good at this stuff!

24 replies
We've got a very talented 11 yr old daughter and at her request we've built her a blog.

It's based around her love of books and contains some reviews and such.

I've stuck up some Amazon links and she wants to also review some DS Games which, whilst I don't want to confuse the main theme of the blog, I think is a good idea.

But how else shall we monetise this?

She's keen to make money (what 11 yr old wouldn't be?) but we have certain safety restrictions to think of and it is vital that she remains motivated to produce the content of whatever is suggested. (Technical issues aside - which is dad's job!)

You suggestions will be most appreciated.

Peter

P.S. A link would help: Zoe's Book Blog
#blog #daughter #ideas #monetise
  • Profile picture of the author ragnartm
    I would keep it simple, stick with amazon for now and see if it works out, if not then change to another affiliate program, however with this kind of blog I wouldn't do more than 1 at a time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Drinkwater
    Hi..... What about a short story competion? £1 Entrance fee or something and £25 book token prize ... not much worry about covering costs and the upside is huge... How many young people would love to win a competion like that? You could get a local luminary to judge it... I'm getting quite keen on this as I write!

    Chris
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
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      • Profile picture of the author Chris Drinkwater
        Do you think so? Just found this SHORT STORY COMPETITION
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
          Banned
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          • Profile picture of the author Susanrh
            Hi
            Your daughter's blog looks lovely, well done to her!
            The writing competition idea is a great one as long
            as you are prepared for a lot of work reading the
            entries!
            I'm sure you don't need a licence to run one in the UK
            at least. Just google 'writing competition' and get some
            ideas from the other blogs out there.
            Pay attention to the rules and set your own accordingly,
            especially on the length of
            entries, 500 words would probably be good for children,
            otherwise you might get whole novels to plough through!

            A page on Nintendo DS games could be a good addition,
            especially if she could tie some of the games to books in
            some way.

            Wish her good luck with it, she's made a good start.
            Susan
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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
    Thanks for your replies so far

    Re the competition angle, I like it but as Alexa mentioned there may be legal implications. I don't believe it would require a licence as the competition relies on skill rather than luck, thereby falling outside of 'Lotteries' legislation, but it may just be too complicated to warrant proceeding with. I'd have to take legal advice to be sure, although I did visit Running a competition: FAQ | OUT-LAW.COM which was helpful.

    Peter
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  • Profile picture of the author mlongley
    You might try experimenting with your amazon ads in different locations on your page. Also, if your main objective is to just make something, you might try to strategically place some google ads on the site. At least she would start making a little here and there. Looks like a great site and hope it does well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jagged
    Hi Pete,

    Pepperjamnetwork offers a storefront feature that you can add to blogs...as does shareasale. Select your vendors or products, customize your colors / fonts....it gives you a code that you copy & paste to websites or blogs. Both are great ways to monetize blogs easily.
    Also make sure you add amazon, clickbank and/or paydotcom widgets....
    There is a plug-in out there that adds an advertising pack to the sidebars...125x125 so you can add some affilaite banners. I believe this is the link:
    UBD Block Ad Plugin Is Here! | Unique Blog Designs

    Theres always the estore plug-in feature:
    WordPress eStore Plugin - Complete solution to sell digital products from your wordpress blog securely | Tips and Tricks

    All easy, free ways to monetize blogs or websites

    Good luck to the young entrepreneur,

    Ken
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    • Profile picture of the author Jillian Slack
      How fabulous is this!!!???

      She's 11 and doing such a great job with this blog.

      I love, love, love the background. Very cute!

      I see that she's got some interviews posted. That's cool. What if she did short interviews with the authors she meets?

      Take a Flip video camera when you go to booksignings and record while she talks to the authors.

      She could really build a name for herself as a junior Perez Hilton. OK maybe that's a bad example. Of course, you don't want her to be known for pissing people off or being obnoxious. But at least he's got it going on as far as lots of traffic and some celebrites are starting to embrace him, invite him to events, etc.

      But she could become well-known in the world of children's authors. If she's getting enough traffic to her blog, the authors would be more likely to want to appear on the blog because they'll realize other kids (and their parents) will see it, which would result in more fans and more sales for the authors.

      Even if Zoe doesn't see an author in person, you could do some digging behind the scenes to track that author down (usually pretty easy to contact them through their web sites), send them an email introducing Zoe and her blog, and see about doing a short telephone interview with the author. Record it using Audio Acrobat (or whatever) and post it on the blog.

      Might seem a little much for some 11-year-old girls to handle an interview, but I'm thinking she's got what it takes.

      Just prepare a few simple questions based on what kids her age would like to know about that author and their stories. Nothing earth-shattering.

      Good luck to Zoe and keep encouraging her, Dad!

      Jill
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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
    Thanks for all of your tips and words of encouragement to Zoe, I'll pass them on to her.

    Jill,

    We've thought about the interviews, hence the separate page tab for them. I think you're describing the ideal that we're aiming for, being seen as THE children's reviewer of children's books. She's not afraid of hard work and she isn't shy in front of the camera so it has the strong possibility of working.

    We've also got good links with a local book festival. Actually, we live in Scotland's National Book town and Zoe has recently been approached to have input into their Children's Festival arrangements. We want to keep this fun for her so we are assessing every new aspect in terms of workload and enjoyment.

    If there are any more ideas, please, keep them coming.

    Peter
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    • Profile picture of the author Jillian Slack
      Another thought --

      Get the word out that Zoe will be interviewing a specific author.

      Kids can ask their parents for permission to send their questions in. This way, you can make sure parents know what's going on, plus it will help establish credibility. Parents will think it's cool that this is a kid-to-kid thing.

      Zoe would choose a question or two, and while she's with that author, she could say, "McKenzie from Blah Blah Town sent in her question. 'Dear Author, When you are writing your characters, do your own kids' personalities become the characters' personalities?'"

      The kids would be excited to send their questions in, and it would help her blog readers be more involved.

      Might be cool to see if authors would donate a signed book or two for giveaways, too.

      Jill
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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
    Here's a thought...

    Should we be building a list? (OMG, I really asked that question!!)

    And if we do, what shall we offer as incentive to join and what kind of ongoing info?

    Peter
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  • Profile picture of the author JRG
    You can also find some magazine affiliate offers. See what her favorite magazines are or what would work well with her blog. cj.com should have some magazines
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  • Profile picture of the author jeremiasmunn
    Well the first thing to do is understand the target market? Do you have analytics? Understand that and then think about a product to promote to that market, it can be books, or it can be something different. You need to understand the demographics of your market to know what to give to them, and after that you market that product to them as an affiliate or create your own products.
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    • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
      Peter,

      Do you want to monetise the blog right now or do you want to make Zoe the "go-to girl" in her niche and leverage her position to make a lot more money later on?

      If you can get her to focus on building content and her reputation and not worrying so much about monetisation at the present it might work out better.

      To keep her sweet you could act as her "publisher" and pay her a couple of quid per article/interview against future "royalties".

      As Jill said, interviews would be good to help her become the kid's book maven. If you want to build up a list, there are so many great children's books in the public domain you can digitalise and give away (with Zoe's review attached, of course).

      Her first ebook could be "How To Write A Killer Review That Gobsmacks Your Teacher".

      She can give example reviews of famous books (cue Amazon links!) and a few templates that kids can follow. Should be able to sell a few of those at a fiver a pop (less dad's 25%).

      Talking of Amazon, she could try and sweet talk them out of a few Kindles - the next generation book for the next generation of readers.

      Martin
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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
    Excellent stuff.

    Like the idea of the magazine affiliate stuff JR and your expansion of the interviewing involving the site visitors Jill. These points have been logged.


    Martin,

    Thanks very much for your post. Allowing Zoe to gradually build her credibility was the initial intention, the monetisation was largely there to act as incentive. You've re-focused us with that brilliantly simple idea of paying her direct for her content. This feels so much better.

    I love your ideas for the review templates and the public domain books too. The Kindle idea is great, we'll approach Amazon for a couple and offer one for a competition. j/k

    Cheers


    Peter
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    • Profile picture of the author kf
      Peter -

      What comes to mind is some community-building. What about a forum with a virtual book club? Could go viral. Community. Authority. Along the lines of Martin's comments - value first, then monetize.

      The writing competition is a great idea. If Zoe has met (even briefly) some of these authors, could they be charmed into being a final judge? Huge draw there.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jillian Slack
        [quote=kf;802138]What comes to mind is some community-building. What about a forum with a virtual book club? Could go viral. Community. Authority. Along the lines of Martin's comments - value first, then monetize.[quote]


        I like the idea of a forum for the book club to involve the kids and keep them active and excited about reading and sharing.

        Zoe could even do teleseminars to discuss the book or tell a little more about it.

        Stick the audio on her site for kids to go back and listen to if they missed the live event.

        Most kids spend a lot of time on the phone anyway. Might as well let them do something fun and educational while they're talking!

        How would parents feel about letting their kids in this forum?

        My kid is older, so I don't know how parents of younger children would feel.

        Are there concerns with security or pervs hanging out in the forum?

        That's another reason to keep her site not only kid-friendly, but parent-friendly, too. Give the parents every reason to feel comfortable with their kids being on that site and participating. As Zoe's credibility grows, parents will feel good about letting their kids be involved.

        Jill
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  • Profile picture of the author Amy Bass
    A bit of Adsense would help bring in a bit of extra cash. Amazon really is king when it comes to books though.
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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
    I like the forum idea - but not just now, I think that might be just too much in terms of workload/management.

    Yes Jill, security is a major factor, for Zoe, her visitors and their parents. We are aware that we'll have to consider this whatever strategy we employ.

    Thanks so much everyone for taking the time to think about this.

    Peter
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  • Hello Peter,

    I think the main point here is to figure out who the blog's main audience actually is, or in other words: who is the blog targeted to? I mean, I doubt many 11 year old kids will be reading blogs regularly, so chances are that your daughter's audience is made up by the mums of those kids. Therefore, how about targeting those mums instead of the kids?

    Following this train of thought, maybe reviewing some educational toys might be in line with the blog theme.
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  • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
    Peter,

    Probably the three most common options are Amazon, AdSense, and selling ad space. To sell ad space, you need to have some sort of tracking so that you can verify your traffic to potential advertisers (the more traffic you have, the more expensive your ad space should be). So set up your tracking and -- after you build up your traffic -- place an ad or link on the blog offering space by the week or month.

    Good luck,

    Johnny
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  • Profile picture of the author Treece
    Great looking blog and congrats to you for helping her set it up! My daughters were 12 and 10 when they started their online business, and I assure you the journey is worth it.

    It's easy to come up with products to put on a blog, but traffic is the key as with any business. What visitors are coming to the site, how will you attract more of them...and will those visitors be able to buy what she has offered for sale? Many of our customers are teens and tweens and have to go to mom or dad to make a purchase.

    At Christmas, I have my daughters make up a suggested gift ideas for girls and built an Amazon estore based on these ideas. We included a link on our thank-you page (Need gift ideas for the teen girl in your life) and also sent it out to friends and family. We also explained to family members that if they shopped at Amazon anyway, that they should go through their link. This brought in a couple hundred dollars in sales.

    You can also consider being an eBay affiliate. It's that time of year where lots of books are being sold for summer reading.

    Best of luck! And have fun.
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