CailiBirdsallCaili Birdsall is a recent graduate from Temple University and a travel, social media and research guru. She is the founder of American Hotel and Lodging Association Student Chapter at Temple University and just finished an internship with as their Community Manager. Follow her @cailibirdsall or hire her at



If you have ever given thought to what it is exactly that makes your blog or any blog so successful or unsuccessful, you have rummaged through the blogging toolkit. Living in this digital age, it is difficult to go through the day without someone telling you about a great website or blog they found.


As bloggers we already know the difference between unique users, visitors and loyal members or return visitors. We also know who we are and how we want to be perceived by the rest of the Internet. Boom, without knowing it you already are familiar with the toolkit factor branding. For those bloggers who might not be as familiar with branding, it is simply your vision for your blog. It is your purpose and needs to correlate with your title and the rest of your blog’s theme.


Driving Traffic

Once a blogger has a strong and stable brand that is easily recognizable and relatable, they have to be able to drive traffic to their blog. Driving traffic can be correlated to the way a company obtains their loyal customers and maintains partnerships. It is also the infrastructure that will create opportunity for more links to your site. The amount of times a reader comes to the blog and clicks on the pages and links throughout the blog counts as impressions. As a blogger you want to obtain as many impressions as possible. You can achieve this goal through partnerships, collaborations and promotional swaps.

The difference between collaborations and partnerships is the length of time the two parties work together. When a blogger collaborates with a company or another blogger they generally are working on only one big project together to help drive traffic to their sites. A partnership is when both parties work together long term and support one another in events, sponsorships, giveaways, etc. Promotional swaps can be done through either partnerships or collaborations. A promotional swap is simply when a blogger will promote a company and a company will promote a blogger; therefore, driving traffic to both parties involved. The length of time a promotional swap will be carried for varies and the best part about a promotional swap is that it’s free!


Now that a blog is successful with its branding and traffic driving, there are many choices on how to generate revenue.  With the right strategy, a blogger can potentially generate revenue in a matter of minutes. The original strategy was traditional banner advertisements. Bloggers would embed an advertisement banner for a product and the company of the product would keep track of the traffic the blogger generated for their product. The company would then send small amounts of money to the blogger for the traffic they helped drive. Facebook is a company that still utilizes these traditional banners.

Another method and one to be found most popular with bloggers who have large audiences is called affiliate marketing, or affiliate programs. In simplest terms an affiliate program is a contract with a blogger and a company to once again promote products. Bloggers feature a promotional post about the product with the link to the company’s website and where to purchase the product. Within the contract of the affiliate program is an agreed percentage of how much the blogger will be paid based on the amount of traffic they produce for the company. However, the most straightforward way to monetize a blog is with direct sponsorship swaps. What this entails is both parties contributing; the blogger features a post promoting a company or product with specific guidelines and the company pays the blogger a set amount of money. The paycheck depends on the category of the sponsorship for the company.  But remember, monetization is not mandatory for a blogger but rather a luxury.

We’d love to hear about what you deem to be the best practices for bloggers! What other branding, traffic and revenue tips do you have for your fellow bloggers?