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Make Money Blogging: The 4 Best Influencer Networks

By: Donna Chaffins | Date: October 4, 2019 | Categories: Working at Home

I am so fortunate to have the best job. Not only do I love what I do, but I also get to do it at home. As a blogger working from home, my schedule is somewhat flexible, which has afforded me the opportunity to be with my husband and son more, as well as to volunteer a lot more. Blogging is my dream job. And finding the best influencer networks is, too.

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Best Influencer Networks

If you told me back on April 1st, 2008 that I could make money blogging, I would have thought you were pulling an April Fools joke on me. I never thought about making money from a blog. Writing has always been a passion of mine, and I thought blogging would be a great creative outlet for me.

Yet, here it is 11 years later and I am doing exactly that… making money. Not just making money, but earning a living, one that more than surpasses what I made as a teacher.

Plus, I get to work in my pajamas if I want. I save money on gas, lunches, childcare, makeup, and clothes. And as I mentioned earlier, my schedule is more flexible than a typical work out of the home job would be.

Donna Chaffins professional blogger headshot

How did I start making money blogging, you ask?

More than half of my income comes from influencer (blogger) networks. When I first started blogging, they were referred to as “blogger” networks, but more and more brands have realized that we are more than just bloggers… that we have real influence.

Influencer networks match the right bloggers with the right brands.

But not all influencer networks are equal. I have worked with many, many networks over the past 11 years and with the exception of two networks, I have had generally good experiences with them all.  Some really excel above all others, though. For me personally, these are the four networks I would highly recommend…

The best Influencer Networks for bloggers

My Favorite 4 Influencer Networks

Savings.com

I truly cannot say enough good things about this influencer network. Savings.com not only offers sponsored income for bloggers but affiliate income, as well. So, you have the opportunity to make even more money than you do with other influencer networks.

The things that make Savings.com stand out among other networks are…

  • On-Time Payments (and quick) – Getting paid and on time is a huge thing for us bloggers. There are many networks that pay 60-90 days net (in fact, most of them pay this way) but Savings.com pays 30 days net. I would say that you get paid before 30 days net, even. But most importantly you never have to chase your payments down. And sadly, there are networks that do not pay on time and you have to chase your payments down.
  • Open Communication – They have a private Facebook group and use it often to communicate with bloggers. You can always email them with any questions and you will get a prompt response, but it is nice that they keep communication open at all times with their Facebook group. In fact, it’s like a community.
  • Easy Work – What I mean about this is, no applying for sponsored posts. NEVER. If they have sponsored work they will contact you asking if you are interested. If you are, you accept it and you’re in.
  • Inclusion – Savings.com doesn’t exclude bloggers based on numbers. So many networks have requirements like, must have over 10,000 Instagram followers (some networks even request 50K followers or more), as well as larger followers on your other social channels. They also may require a certain UMV via Google Analytics. Savings.com gives all bloggers, regardless of followers, a chance.
  • No Applying for Ops – What I mean by this is when you register for an account as a blogger with Savings.com they get the information from you they need. So when they have a sponsored post opportunity, they will email you with the offer. You either accept or decline. That’s it! THIS is the way it should be. However, most networks have you apply with all your information/stats each and every time they have a sponsored post opportunity. Even worse, they want you to give them your idea for the sponsored post – yes, tell them exactly what you will be writing about. Sigh. I’ve never felt comfortable giving my ideas away like this. For 1), they get my idea but don’t select me, and 2), it’s not always easy to come up with an idea on the fly… sometimes the idea comes after I’ve purchased the item(s) or received the item(s) the post is about, for example.
  • No Drafts – If you’ve been blogging for a while like me, you know that drafts are a giant pain. I do understand that certain topics, mainly health/medical, do need drafts… but the vast majority of the topics bloggers do sponsored posts for do not need drafts. It’s time-consuming, adding more work for the blogger and usually do not pay enough for the editing that is sometimes asked for.
  • Bonus Affiliate Pay – As I mentioned above, Savings.com not only offers sponsored work but affiliate opportunities, as well. So you have two ways of earning money.

All the sponsored posts are fairly quick and easy to do and instructions are very clear. It is my favorite blogger network to work with right now.

Acorn the Influence Company

I’ve been working with Acorn for a few years now. I get fairly steady work with them, hence one of the reasons they are in my top four.

What I like about Acorn…

  • High Pay Rates – They do pay well. This, of course, is a good thing. Okay, a great thing. Bloggers tend to get underpaid or even asked to do things for free all the time. So, when a network recognizes our worth, I like working with them.
  • Sponsored Posts or Sponsored Social Only – Acorn not only offers sponsored posts but social only campaigns. And they pay top dollar for social only, too. You will have to post 4-8 times on at least three of your social channels but seriously, the pay is good.
  • Good Communication – They have always been prompt, professional, and polite in correspondence.

You do have to apply for campaigns (which is more common than not), but they generally only ask 3 – 4 questions to make sure you are a good fit for the brand. They also pay 60 days net. I’d much prefer a 30-day net and think most if not all bloggers prefer quicker pay as well. This is one of those situations where the high pay makes the wait a bit more worth it.

Influence Central

Of the four, I’ve worked with Influence Central the longest… since back when they were called Mom Central. What I like about Influence Central…

  • On-Time Payments (and quick) – They pay net-30 and often times even a little earlier than that. This is a huge plus.
  • Good Pay – They also pay bloggers decently. Most of the time the pay rate is acceptable to the amount of work involved.
  • Social Only Campaigns – They also offer social posts only. This is nice because you don’t have to write a blog post, just post to usually 3-4 of your social channels. The pay rate is decent for these campaigns.
  • Good Communication – I’ve always found them to be easy to communicate with and they respond to emails in a prompt manner.

Blog Meets Brand

Okay, I haven’t worked with Blog Meets Brand a whole lot (at least not in the last year). But, I’m beginning to work with them more. And this is one of those occasions where the Account Manager (or Account Coordinator) or the person who reaches out to you if you’ve been selected for an opportunity, makes a world of difference.

The Account Manager I’ve worked with at Blog Meets Brand is amazing. She is not only professional but personable. She replies quickly to questions. She makes you (the blogger/influencer) feel like you are important. If your point of contact is great to work with, it can make a world of difference.

Other reasons I like working with Blog Meets Brand…

  • On-Time Payments – They pay 60-day net but sometimes a little earlier. They have never been late on payments.
  • Great Communication – Wonderful communication. As I mentioned above the Account Manager (at least in my experience) goes above and beyond.
  • Good Pay – The pay is decent for the ask in most cases. Pay rate is based on your numbers (UMV on your blog) and engagement (social media channels), though. So, the better these are the higher your pay rate will be.

Honorable Mentions

  • Best Buy Blogger Network – The Best Buy Blogger Network was one of my all-time favorite networks to work with until this year. Things changed a bit in 2019 and communication is lacking and, well, they don’t work with me as often. As for pay, you get paid in Best Buy gift cards — and there are pros and cons to this. But those gift cards really come in handy during the holidays or if you are in the need for a computer or a major appliance.
  • Soapbox – I love Soapbox or Megaphone Community (formerly The Women Bloggers – and really loved it then). The reason they’re not in my top four is that they are primarily social only campaigns now. The pay is decent for social only campaigns, but with little to know sponsored blog campaigns, the potential for higher-paying opportunities is gone. They do pay on time at net 30-days and I personally have always been paid on time, in fact, usually earlier than that. Like Savings.com they also have a Facebook group and with every campaign you get selected for, there is a Facebook group dedicated just to that campaign. So communication is great.
  • Clever – I’ve worked with Clever for many years now. They offer both sponsored posts and social only campaigns. For reasons I’m not sure about, they only choose me for social only campaigns. The pay is relatively low for these types of campaigns, but they are generally quick and easy to do. And they pay net-60 (usually a little sooner).
  • She Speaks https://shespeaks.com/secure/join_nowShe Speaks pays net-60 and offer both sponsored post and social only, but generally more social only campaigns. The pay is decent for social campaigns, though.
  • Mom It Forward – Okay, I included Mom It Forward because I’ve done a lot of Twitter parties through them but cannot get my foot in the door for sponsored blog work. They pay net-60 and are great with communication.
  • Find Your Influence – I’m including FYI because I have done a lot of work with them. But, they pay net-75 days after the close of a campaign and the pay rate could be better. However, they do give you the opportunity to negotiate higher pay. I personally do not have trouble with communication. In fact, the Director of Influence Manager is always prompt with communication with me.

As you may have noticed by now, Savings.com is by far and above the better influencer network to work with, in my honest opinion. Of course, this is just my own personal opinion based on my personal experiences working with these influencer or Blogger Networks.

There are many other influencer networks I’ve worked with over the years that for one reason or another I either don’t work with at all anymore or I rarely apply for opportunities to or they rarely select me for jobs anymore.

For example, there are a couple of networks I work with once or twice a year. They may be wonderful to work with but I’ve worked with them too few times to make a really good informed judgment.

The 4 best influencer networks to work with if you're a blogger

The two things these four networks have in common are, 1). They generally pay bloggers on time (and most of them pay what a blogger is worth) and 2). Good (open) communication.

Whether you are new to blogging or a veteran and you want to get paid for blogging, I cannot recommend the above networks more.  But if you sign up for just one, definitely join Savings.com.

Note: This post was originally written two years ago but I noticed it really needed to be updated. Of the four influencer networks above only one of them is still in the top four, so obviously, this list needs regular updating. I hope these four remain on this list next year.

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