How we boost our income

How we boost our income | H is for Home

Our web shop and spaces in local antique centres are perhaps the most obvious sources of revenue for our vintage business. However, we also earn part of our livelihood from other online sources. Some methods run into the thousands of pounds per year and others are simply a bit of ‘pin money’. Here’s a run down of the ways in which we boost our income.

Sponsored posts

Sponsored posts on the H is for Home Harbinger blog

Sponsored posts are where we make most of our income outside of our vintage shop sales. It’s something that has taken us many years to build up into a viable stand-alone income. We’ve been blogging for a decade, we’ve built up traffic, a following and a reputation in our field and are now able to monetise in certain ways.

Most of the sponsored blog posts we do these days are repeat transactions via long-term relationships with freelance writers and SEO companies. Sometimes though, we seek out opportunities on the ever-increasing number of sites that link up advertisers with bloggers.

Places from which we’ve received sponsored post opportunities include:

Sponsored posts usually take the form of blog posts but they can also be posts via social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. If you’re less of a blogger but post frequently on Instagram, Twitter and/or YouTube and have a large following, these are a few of the places where you can sign up for sponsored social media campaigns:

Affiliate schemes

Affiliate marketing infographic

There are lots and lots of these schemes available out there. Some that we’re signed up to have been more successful than others. The user dashboard interface on some are much quicker and easier to navigate than others. This can make a lot of difference to the amount of time it take you to register, build links, input and run performance reports.

We have most success with Skimlinks as they have perhaps the largest range of merchants in the categories about which we write e.g. interiors and food. They also cover many of the merchants found on some of the other schemes.

Bear in mind, payment thresholds vary widely from scheme to scheme. Currently, Skimlinks pays out once your earnings reach £7 / $10 / €8. Whereas with the eBay Partner Network the figure is $25, Affiliate Window is £20 and Rakuten Linkshare £50.

You just need to try them all out to see which one works best for you.


Blog advertising illustration

We get quite a few visitors to our blog who are into décor, gardens, food etc so sometimes we get asked by companies within those niches to host banner ads on our home page in the sidebar.

We also host ads placed via third parties either in our sidebar, within or at the bottom of blog posts or in our comments section. Usually what you do is register via their website, specify the type of content and the size of ads you’re willing to carry, insert some code into your blog template and presto – ads appear! The more traffic your blog receives – and the more people click on the ads – the more revenue you make. Here are the ones with whom we’re signed up.


Online survey illustration

Surveys are just a bit of fun in the evenings when I have one eye on the television. I tend to prefer lots of short surveys or single questions over ones that take 20-30 minutes – but that’s just my personal choice. Again, payment thresholds vary; Opinion Outpost is £2.50, Prolific is £5, Viewsbank is £12.

Smartphone/tablet apps

Apps on a smartphone

I’ve downloaded a few to my iPhone which allow you to scan receipts from select high street shops and supermarkets. Depending on the app, you’re given money off, free (usually food or drink) items or entries to win cash prizes. We don’t ever buy anything that we wouldn’t have bought anyway. At the end of the year, we cash-in and treat ourselves to Amazon vouchers, PayPal payments or a few Christmas-y treats with the money earned.

We hope that you find the information and tips useful. A bit of extra income can be useful – and sometimes invaluable to the small business or the self-employed. Do you have any ways in which to earn money online that you’d like to share with us and our readers?


Vintage hosiery ads

Three vintage hosiery ads | H is for Home

Boxes and drawers full of old paper ephemera come into the antiques centre quite often. It’s well worth spending 10 minutes to have a sift and sort through. Amongst the old newspapers, shopping lists and receipts lie some little hidden gems.

Vintage Sponsor Hosiery ad | H is for Home

We keep an eye out for vintage advertisements, menus, recipe booklets and so on. In particular, those originating from the mid twentieth century which have eye-catching designs or artwork.

Vintage Hudson hosiery ad | H is for Home

This week, we found three lovely vintage hosiery ads in a pile.

Vintage Burlington Support Stockings ad | H is for Home

They date from the 1950s and promote Hudson, Sponsor and Burlington brands.

Detail from a vintage Hudson hosiery ad | H is for Home

The lady’s legs forming the letter ‘H’ of Hudson is a particular favourite for graphic design – and we also love the sky blue colour and era-defining ‘New Look’ fashion of the Sponsor advertisement. They’ll look lovely framed and displayed near a wardrobe or in a dressing room.

Valentine enamel sign

'Valentine enamel sign' blog post banner

Vintage enamel sign, 'Valentine la belle peinture'

This is our favourite item of the week.

Vintage Valentine enamel sign

We don’t think we’ve nominated an enamel sign previously.

Detail of vintage Valentine enamel sign

It’s a vintage French sign advertising Valentine paints. We like the colours and absolutely love the graphic design.

Vintage Valentine enamel sign in our sitting room with other vintage industrial homewares

We put it in a vintage industrial corner of the lounge to photograph it – oh no, it looks quite good!

Schweppes Christmas

"Schweppes Christmas" blog post banner

vintage Schweppes Christmas advertising board

We’ve been digging out our vintage Christmas decorations this week – items that we’ve collected over the past few months & years. They add a vintage touch to the shop-bought baubles, home-made crafty bits and holly we’ve picked on recent walks.

vintage Schweppes Christmas advertising board

This one is a Schweppes advertising sign. You’d never guess – it’s only mentioned a hundred times!

vintage Schweppes Christmas advertising board

It was designed by Herbert Leupin in the 1950s/60s – and takes the form of a Christmas tree incorporating all the various Schweppes labels from the period. We’ll really enjoy having it on display for a couple of weeks.

Bookmarks: Advertising from the Mad Men Era

"Bookmarks" bog post banner

"Advertising from the Mad Man Era" with martini and cigarette in a mid-century modern glass ashtray

In this week’s Bookmarks post we’ve been taking a look at  Mid-century Ads: Advertising from the Mad Men Era by Steven Heller & Jim Heimann … and it certainly has been a long look – this book’s a leviathan!

the two volumes of "Advertising from the Mad Man Era"

It’s a twin volume, magnum opus of mid 20th century American ads covering many of the well known, not so well known, long extinct and still going strong corporations and brands. It takes us on a journey from quite literal ads heavy on copy & pictorialism to the modernist approaches incorporating abstraction, satire and visual simplicity.

book spines of "Advertising from the Mad Man Era"

The volumes are divided into decades – the 1950s and the 1960s.

inside front cover of "Advertising from the Mad Man Era"

The inside covers have an illustrated time line of advertising landmarks, followed by an introductory overview of the decade – then page after page after page of fabulous examples of advertising from the era.

contents page of "Advertising from the Mad Man Era"

Advertising in the mid-century modern era was all about feeding the populace ideas of success and affluence…

vintage advert with a poem entitled "Crossing"

 …how to achieve it, how to achieve the outward appearance of having it and, most of all, how to go about spending the fruits of it!

1950s airline advert for 880

The United States’ national GDP rose from £100 billion in 1940 to a staggering £500 billion in 1960.

1950s advert for Braniff Airways to Rio

The advertising industry grew rapidly in direct correlation to this ever-increasing disposable income.

1950s airline advert for TWA

As well as mass expansion in air travel, the 1950s were also a period of big, fast cars – affordable to more people than ever before.

1950s advert for Chevrolet

Cinema was at its height, new electrical goods were being invented or improved, convenience food products being developed and new fashions appearing.

1950s advert for Olivetti Lettera typewriters

With the ongoing prosperity and conspicuous consumption, interior decoration was a popular pastime and useful way of expressing one’s taste, showing off and “keeping up with the Jones'”. Weren’t we all transfixed by the interior design of the sets of the Stirling Cooper office, Don & Megan’s Manhattan love nest?

1950s advert for Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola was a staple of the US troops and its popularity soared post-war. Lots more women were going out to work – and every secretary needed her Olivetti typewriter! The development & growth of such products into huge brands led to the possibility of a distinct form of promotion – the snappy picture & tag-line creations often referred to “Big Idea” advertising – the “Marlboro Man” series being a classic example.

1950s advert for the film Barbarella

The Mad Men era was an innocent, in some ways more uncomplicated time – pre-Post-Feminism and political correctness.

1950s advert for Marlboro cigarettes

Most 21st century Americans would wince at using babies to flog cigarettes!

1950s advert for Gulf Oil

And no oil company today would have the nerve to use a whale to advertise oil!

1950s advert for Budweiser beer

The industry inevitably absorbed the social changes of the wider world – it began to recognise the strength of the “Black dollar”…

1950s advert for Cameo Stockings

…and with the expanding female workforce, the female dollar too.

1950s advert for Catalina Swimsuits

Other outside influences seemed to pass the advertising world by – there’s not much sign civil rights movement, student protests or the Vietnam War!

1960/70s advert with Twiggy modelling a maxi dress

The advertising hotbeds of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles &  San Francisco held onto a more idealistic view of the world, but their output still reflects many aspects of mid 20th century society.

1950s advert for fashion fabrics

There’s a really interesting 3-minute slideshow on the BBC website where Tashen America‘s executive editor, Jim Heimann describes the images and the role they played in shaping modern culture.

1950s advert for Colombia hi fi

There’s lots of great artwork, graphics, typography & photography to feast your eyes upon in the two volumes – over 600 pages in total!

1950s advert for blood

So treat yourself to a copy – or even better, put it on your birthday or Christmas pressie list. Then settle yourself into a comfy chair and wallow in all the mid century wonderfulness!!!

Mid-century Ads: Advertising from the Mad Men Era is available from Amazon and Hive

[Many thanks to Taschen for this review copy]