Welcome to my week-long women's series. It's no secret that one issue that I'm passionate about is female empowerment. I used to answer a domestic violence hotline, coach cheerleading, lead a girls technology club in my local middle school, and met with a monthly girls book club. I'm currently on the board of our county's domestic violence program and doing some writing for the Maine Women's Fund. My point is it's certainly been a common thread in my life no matter where I am or what I'm doing.

So this week, it's about the ladies, and of course money (as usual). Enjoy!

You often hear people talking about making money while blogging. It's interesting because when I tell people that I make money off my blog, they are confused as to how I do it. When I say that one way to make money off of a blog is advertising, they half expect to go home, set up a blog, and begin making money immediately. Like many professions, blogging doesn't start to pay off until after you do it awhile.

Logo-blogher I have found a way to jump start the money making process a little: affiliate advertising.

Blogher is a community of female bloggers (or bloggers who write for a female audience). They not only offer a forum for female bloggers to interact but also have found a way to have their members generate advertising revenue on their websites without any work on their part (well, besides writing a blog anyway).

Your blog must meet certain criteria to be considered: blog content, posting frequency, potential audience, age of the blog, and other factors determine your acceptance. After your blog meets the criteria, there is a contract agreement to be signed. (The reason I'm saying this is that you're entering into a contract with the company when you set up something like this, so it's important to know what you're signing.)

How does Blogher work? What happens is your blog is packaged with other blogs and sold to potential advertisers. In Blogher's case, they have a lot of big name advertisers, many national brands you would recognize. Point is, these companies are not interested in the relatively small amount of traffic I generate on my blog but are interested in the amount of traffic thousands of bloggers collectively generate. Power in numbers.

Blogher does the legwork out of finding the advertisers and keeping them current and Blogher members provide a sort of bulletin board space for them to use on their blogs. They take a large cut for this work but my reasoning is that the space wasn't making any money for me anyway so I have nothing to lose. Plus it makes me look a little bit legitimate to have advertising on my site.

To be honest I haven't talked about this before because I wasn't sure how legitimate this was. Then last month came a check in the mail for $35. $35 in four months is not a lot of money but it does pay for my hosting and then some. As my blog gets more traffic, I have the potential to earn more money.

The important thing to mention about Blogher is you can say what kind of advertisements you do not want on your site. I find Google Adwords and programs like it can generate some pretty random advertising that you may not necessarily agree with on your blog. But with Blogher, you can rule out types of companies or specific companies that you don't want to be associated with and to me that's pretty cool. And the other bloggers I have connected with thorough BlogHer have been a great resource to me.

Networking and making money? Now that's what I call a win-win.

While Blogher is not accepting new affiliates right now, they say on their site to stay tuned.

www.blogher.com