Ever wondered how bloggers make an income? Or perhaps you have a blog and want to know how to monetize it? Or maybe you want to increase your blogging income, but you are not quite sure how to go about it? Then this post is for you! Read on to find out the answer to that all-important question: How do blogs make money?
If I could have a pound every time someone asks me the question ‘How do blogs make money?’ I would be a rich woman! The conversation goes something like this…
New Acquaintance: So, what do you do?
Me: I am a professional blogger.
New Acquaintance (looking slightly bewildered): but how do you make money?
I used to find this mildly irritating (let’s face it – it’s an odd question to ask someone you’ve only just met – usually we Brits are known for our reluctance to talk about money and income, but not when it comes to blogging it would seem…), but I’ve been asked the question so many times over the years, I just find it amusing these days.
One thing I find rather sad though, is the number of bloggers who DON’T make money from their blogs…I mean obviously if you DON’T WANT to make money from your blog, that’s fine – there are lots of people who just want blogging to be a hobby and have no desire to make any money at all and that’s obviously OK.
But what makes me sad are all the bloggers who really do want to make money with their blogs, who really want to leave their jobs so they can blog full time, who really do want to turn their blogs into a full-time business, but are still not making (much) money.
The thing that I am convinced makes all the difference is having a business mindset. It’s hard to make money with a blog if you don’t treat it as a business: set yourself goals and work hard to reach those goals. And one of the key goals that those of us who want our blogs to be our jobs have is the desire (need!) to make money. You shouldn’t feel ashamed of that goal – it doesn’t mean you are greedy, it means you mean business (literally!) and let’s face it, we’ve all got to eat!
But how exactly do you go about it? How do blogs make money?
There are many ways of making money, but essentially they divide into 5 main categories:
This is probably the most well know way that bloggers make money. Let’s face it, if you have advertising it’s pretty obvious right? (See my other blog Easy Peasy Foodie for an example.) It’s the display ads you see in the side bar, as a popup at the bottom of the post and within the actual content. You get paid a certain rate according to how many people see your ads (and depending on the ad network, you get more if people click on those ads and/or go on to buy the product).
2. Affiliate Links
Affiliate links are a form of advertising. You join an affiliate scheme and put a special link in your blog post. If someone clicks on that link and goes on to buy the product, you get a small commission. One of the most well-known affiliate schemes is Amazon’s Affiliate Programme. If you are writing a post about a particular Amazon product, you can put your special Amazon affiliate link in the post, this link will link to the product page on Amazon’s website. If your reader clicks the link and goes on to buy the product you will get a percentage of the sale price. In Amazon’s case it’s usually between 3% and 10%.
But there are lots and lots of affiliate schemes out there – before you recommend a product or service, it’s well worth researching if the company in question has an affiliate scheme.
3. Sponsored Posts
Sometimes called collaborative posts or brand collaborations, these are another subtle form of advertising where a brand contacts you (or you can pitch to the brand) and asks you to feature their brand in a blog post in return for money. So, for example, a food brand might contact me and ask me to feature their food product in a new recipe on my food blog, Easy Peasy Foodie, and they will agree to pay me a set fee for that recipe post.
The brand will usually expect their product to be named, reviewed and featured in the photographs, and they will normally expect a link to their website as well. (Please note, in order to comply with Google rules these links should always be set to ‘no follow’. If you fail to do this, you risk being downgraded in Google searches, as Google does not like people buying links.)
A brand will often also want you to share your post on social media and may also require other services, such as video creation. So, make sure you factor this into the fee you charge.
Another way of making money which is potentially very lucrative, is to create products which you can sell to your readers via your website. This could be an actual physical product (be warned, this is not generally the easiest route). But bloggers usually opt to sell digital products from their websites, such as printables, ebooks, courses and trainings.
The final way that bloggers can make money is through services. This could be anything from offering virtual assistant services or social media management, to writing freelance articles for other sites and magazines, through to coaching and consulting services or more niche specific services, such as offering personal training, legal services or tax advice (obviously only if you have the appropriate qualifications for these things!)
How you choose to make money with your blog depends on your personality, your goals, your niche and your abilities. There are blogs out there which are making good money via all of these different ways, but my top tip to you would be to try and diversify your revenue stream by aiming to make money in at least 2 or 3 of these ways. That way if one revenue stream dries up or has a bad patch, you have other revenue streams to fall back on – or in other words: all your eggs aren’t in one basket!
How to make money on your blog with advertising
How to make money on your blog with affiliate links
How to make money on your blog with sponsored posts
How to make money on your blog with products and services
Don’t miss a thing!