Welcome back to Blog to Business! Today is all about how to make money blogging. In case you missed the first two posts, which are essential, please check them out here first:
You might have noticed in my September Income Report (October coming soon!) that yes, I make money blogging. And the reason I’m sharing my income reports is because I’ve been super inspired by others’ income reports and I want to stay accountable to myself as I take measured steps to increase my blog revenue. It might take some time to really start seeing progress, but I have a plan and I’m hopeful.
Notice those two things: 1) Have a plan, and 2) Be hopeful!
You can’t just throw some ads up on your blog and expect to start rolling in the cash. You HAVE to have a plan to be effective. I didn’t have a plan when I started working and it took FOREVER to start seeing the profits. And now when I see other bloggers who have been working at it for a lot less time surpass me in income, I realize it’s because they had a plan. And they worked their tail off to make it succeed. Blogging is NOT easy money, people. But it actually can be if you put in the effort first.
And of course you HAVE to be hopeful! Don’t give up on yourself, always have hope that one day your hard work will pay off. You have to WANT it and you have to know you can, in fact, get it. There are many bloggers who make six figures+ from blogging, believe it or not. There is plenty to go around and YOU can do it too!
There are a lot of different ways to make money with blogging. In fact, you have to have more than one way to make money with blogging because branching out is the best way to make money. There are four main ‘legs’ of blogging income: Ads, sponsored posts, affiliate sales, and product sales.
(And yes, this post contains affiliate links, read my disclosure here!)
This is the most obvious and passive way to earn money. You place a few ads on your site and then with every page view you earn a very small amount of money. The RPM is the rate per thousand views on your site. So an average RPM is about $2-$5 per thousand page views and once you get higher than that, you’ll start making more and more. You can start putting ads on your site right away through Google Adsense. If you intend to make money with blogging, start out with ads so that your readers know what to expect.
Once you have around 100k page views I highly, highly recommend trying to join AdThrive. They are expert managers for ads and will make you so much more money on your ads without charging you anything. My income increased a ton after I joined AdThrive. And they are so super helpful with everything.
You can earn money from companies by writing about their products. My favorite types of sponsored posts are where the company lets me have creative freedom with their product and I don’t have to force-feed the product down my reader’s throats. I wrote several sponsored posts when I first started blogging for very little, like $20 or less, but as I gained more popularity, I was able to charge more and more.
So how do you land sponsored posts? When I first started, they just seemed to find me. But now with so many other bloggers out there, you should definitely go seek them out. There are lots of different companies you can join that will present you with chances to apply for sponsored posts and sometimes you are approved.
I am associated with many different PR companies that work with brands and bloggers. IZEA, TapInfluence, Hunter PR, Pollinate, PopSugar, Mom It Forward, and many more. You can reach out to them for opportunities or sometimes they find you. Include a Contact page on your site to make it easy for them.
When you fulfill a sponsored post, make sure you do everything they ask (no follow links, listing their links, listing their social media links, showcasing their product, including the right number of words and images, and promoting your post via social media and reporting back) because that will make them want to work with you again. Plus they will sometimes promote your post through their own social media which will help get you more pageviews!
This is one thing grossly underused by bloggers, which is super sad because it is one of the best ways to make money passively (which means you do the work once and reap the benefits forever.) I personally know I missed out on tons of income from not using affiliate links and I’m trying to rectify that now. Most people can be an Amazon affiliate, which is easy, and Skimlinks is another good one I use. I know CJ Affiliate is also popular but I haven’t delved into that one as much.
Tasha Agruso of Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body is an expert at affiliate links. Once I read her book, Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers, I learned just how much money was possible to earn by using affiliate links! After only two years of blogging, she was making $4,000-$5,000 a month just from affiliate sales. So it’s possible to make a decent amount of money from affiliate links without having a lot of page views.
Another great course for learning about how to use affiliate links to make money is a course by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. She makes over $50k a month(!!!) from affiliate sales. Now she and her husband just travel full time. That’s the life, right? This course teaches you everything you need to get started on her path.
eBooks and Online Courses
Writing eBooks is another way to make money. Tons of bloggers have an eBook they’ve written on a topic they are familiar with. You don’t have to be the world’s foremost expert on a topic to write a book, you just have to know more than most people. And if you do it right, you have make a ton of money off your eBooks. If this is something you’re interested in, Abby Lawson has an awesome course called Book Boss that will help you write and launch a successful eBook. I have written several ‘eBooks’ which are pattern tutorials on making puff quilts and I have sold over 1,000 copies!
And of course you can sell products. I made a lot of money from my easy shop when I first started, selling baby bedding and other items. This is definitely more work and can be a little too much for someone who is focused purely on blogging. But a lot of bloggers have set up shops where they create beautiful artwork that can be sold and printed on home decor items like pillows, blankets, bags, and more which decreases the amount of work it takes.
One thing I haven’t done a lot of is paid social media promotions. Once you’ve built up your social media venues, you can start offering to promote companies and products through them. You can get paid per posting or sometimes work through affiliate links within the social media. You can also make affiliate sales directly through Pinterest as well.
There are some other unique ways to make money blogging, but those are the main ways. Just be aware that you will have to work for low rates at first until you can grow your following. After awhile, write up a media kit page which lists out your statistics (pageviews, social media following, press, etc) and then you can send that directly to sponsors when approaching them for a partnership.