I’m totally committed to keeping Ciao Veggie transparent when it comes to how I make money and work with brands.
Not much is happening yet because we’re still very small. But as the blog gains more traffic, I’d love for it to bring in a side income to help us pay our bills, utilizing the experience I have from a career in digital media and advertising.
In pursuing this, there are many balances to strike. I am very aware of the pitfalls that blogs (and indeed mainstream media!) can fall into when they try to make money from their content. So you, the reader, and I, the blogger, need to build up some kind of understanding. Here I will be open and honest about what I am doing and why, and please tell me if any aspect of my revenue generation bothers you, ever.
I allow display advertising to run on the site. You probably noticed 🙂 I am with Mode Media and Gourmet Ads. I place codes on my website and they do the rest, so I don’t know who is going to be advertising on a given day.
I use affiliate links on this blog. This means that if I share links to products or services, and you decide to purchase or sign up, if that company has an affiliate program I will get a commission. It will never cost you any extra as a result, the commission money comes from the company’s marketing budget, it’s essentially a “finder’s fee”.
To do this, I use SkimLinks. They have technology that scans my website and identifies links to companies and services with affiliate schemes. They automatically turn those links into affiliate links for me. I don’t even know which links are affiliates or not. Some affiliate schemes I have joined deliberately, for example I’m an affiliate for Pretty Darn Cute Designs who created my blog’s theme and Tailwind who I manage my Pinterest account through, because my usage of these products is clear to anyone who looks.
I hope this reassures you that when I decide what to recommend and where to link to, it has nothing to do with revenue potential. But if there’s money to be made introducing customers to companies I really do recommend, I’m not going to leave it on the table.
Being a food geek, I like to talk about food products and brands which I use and love. My affinities for certain products and stores will naturally be reflected in my blog, where I often link to and recommend them. The vast majority of these are brands I discovered naturally and products I have paid for myself, and there is nothing more to it than that.
If I received a free sample of a product, I will mention that in the post. But no one has ever paid me to post anything on Ciao Veggie. I accept the samples because they help me discover new things, just like magazines and newspapers rely on free samples from PR reps to discover the best new products.
I have never written a sponsored post on Ciao Veggie. If I ever enter this realm, I will think long and hard about how it will work and how we’ll keep things honest in the process.
I would looooove for Ciao Veggie to open doors to doing more freelance work. I have in the past created recipes for V8 UK’s website and I’ve got another project in the pipeline which I’ll tell you about soon.
You are very welcome to comment on this page and tell me how you feel about any or all of this. Every blog and every website is different and needs to find it’s own way of sustaining itself. Your opinions will help me to achieve that!