How Do You Make Money as a Blogger?

Is it actually possible to make money as a blogger?

First of all, let me warn you: if you are not a blogger, you will probably find this post tedious. Unless you are wondering whether it is quick and easy to earn thousands through blogging… Go on, keep reading, you know you want to know how bloggers make money!

When I started blogging, I had no idea you could make money as a blogger. Of course, I had heard of famous bloggers getting book deals, but until I met a few ‘real life’ pro bloggers a couple of years ago, I did not even know you could make a decent income though blogging.

I have been blogging over two years now and I do make money out of my blog. I could make more, but I have four young children, two of whom are not at school yet, and they are my number one priority. I am the one taking them to school, playgroups and I can even attend plays, assemblies and fun events at school. What a privilege! I work from home when they are asleep and I love it.

This morning, I led a session about ‘monetising your blog’ at Manchester conference Blog On MSI. If you are reading this, you might be thinking of making money from blogging. Maybe you are earning money through your blog already but are hoping to take it further.

Most bloggers, should they wish to do so, can make some form of income, no matter how little, through their blog.

Let me get a couple of burning questions out of the way first…

Can you make money out of your blog? Yes

Is it quick and easy? No

BUT brands want to work with bloggers.

It is a flexible, remote way of working around our families and that is worth so much.

 

How do you earn money as a blogger?

There can be various sources of income, some of which can even be passive once they have been set up.

– Sponsored posts – getting paid to blog (woop, woop!)

– Affiliate links – by being an affiliate, you pick brands you want to work with and  promote a company’s product in exchange for a commission. To make this very simplistic, if you make a sale, you get a commission.

– Ad placement on your blog – selling ad space on your website directly to brands

– Ad networks – potentially lucrative if you get a large number of page views

– Presenting for brands (talking at conferences, cooking demos, etc.)

– Blog ambassadorships – long-term working relationship with a brand. Just make sure you read the contract carefully and agree on everything it involves. If the brand is asking for exclusivity, you can charge more as you could potentially lose work with other companies.

– Writing and selling an ebook like Ciara who blogs at ‘My Fussy Eater’

– Writing an e-course like photographer Emily Quinton

– Creating and selling your own products like Vicki and her ‘free from’ flour

– Social media management

– Photography commissions

– Writing articles as a freelancer

 

How do I get chosen for a campaign? 

Here are 20 ways that will help you stand out from the crowd:

– Innovate, over-deliver, make sure you get remembered

– Keep a list of posts you are proud of so you can link to them in a pitch

–  Be professional at all times. PRs talks to each other and they tend to move jobs a lot.

– If possible, go self-hosted – owning your domain will give you more flexibility

– Engaged audience

– confidence: pretend you are the person you want to become until you are that person

– Network and learn from others but do not compare your beginning to someone’s middle! That would be disheartening.

– Think of yourself as a brand, have a logo

– Your site is your portfolio

–  Credibility – If you want to monetise your blog, you have to look at the way in which other people look at your blog. Be wary of what you write and how you write it, how you engage in social media, and remember that PRs talk to each other.

– Niche audience – targeting a specific audience

– Tell your story, be a real person, a friend to your readers

– Quality – content is King

– Promotion is Queen

– Useful content will arouse your readers’ interest. What are your skills? What can you teach others?

– Make your content shareable

– Don’t be afraid to pitch to brands

– Work with the brands that are right for you

– Look into SEO and build your traffic

– Gather testimonials (after working with brands, saving complimentary Tweets from fellow bloggers,  etc.)

 

How much should I charge?

Always have a figure in mind when talking to a client or PR company, and ask for their budget rather than giving them your fees, then you can negotiate up with them. Here is a post by Aby, who blogs at ‘You Baby Me Mummy’ and gives a formula you could use to decide what your minimum fees are: Domain Authority (find yours here) x 4.5, so if you use this formula and your DA is 23, you should charge upwards of £100 per sponsored post. This is only a guide and you can use it maybe as the minimum you will accept. My average fees are 10 times my DA.

Whatever you do, make sure you register with HMRC and complete your tax return.

 

10 golden rules

–  Believe in yourself – start by pretending and after a while, you will believe it! Vicki at ‘Honest Mum’ could help you find that ‘more confident me’

– Publish useful content – unless you are a celebrity or you have an edge, readers will not stick around if you can’t help them – Grace, who blogs at ‘Eats Amazing,’ helps her reader make food fun for their children

– Images are worth a thousand words – your blog is your portfolio – if you can’t take a decent photo, learn by practising or take an online course or attend a photography workshop

– Build your ‘brand’ – consistency across social media, blog, etc. makes you unique and recognisable. Check ‘Croque Maman’ for example

– Be professional at all times & honest – your readers trust you. Lose their trust and you’ll lose them – integrity is key

– Find your tribe & help other bloggers – surround yourself with like-minded people

– Be a good role model – avoid getting your blog associated with gambling sites or loan companies

– Network, network, network

– Disclose – When receiving payment or gifts, always disclose on your blog post as well as social media

– Always remember that whatever you post online is there forever. Ask yourself that: “in 10 years’ time, will I be proud of what I am about to publish today?”

Just one more: Follow or no follow

 

Fancy a little bit of homework to get you started?

Here are 3 tasks for you.

  1. Know your worth and never work for nothing. How is thin air ever going to pay for your food bills? Repeat after me, “I will not work for free. I will not work for free. I will not…” (there you go!)
  2. Be picky! Say “no” more often so you have more time for the right opportunities.
  3. Pitch to the brands you love. Think of 3 now and pitch to them by the end of next week. Tip: on Google, just type the brand name and PR to find who looks after them, or ask for details of their PR company on Twitter. You might only get a review opportunity or a dead end now, but make sure they do remember you.

I thought I would just finish by directing you to this blog post by Hayley, who blogs at ‘Sparkles and Stretchmarks’ and earns over £1,000 a month through blogging.

Save me on Pinterest for later:

How Do You Make Money as a Blogger? Is it actually possible to make money as a blogger? 12 ways to make money through blogging, over 20 tips to be chosen by brands and tips to get the fees you deserve

Linking this post to #BlogSchool.

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Comments

  1. Each Peach Pear Plum says:

    Brilliant post!! Lovely to see you yesterday!

  2. Louise Fairweather says:

    Oh I like this post – food for though! I have been seriously underselling myself and only pitched a handful of times to brands. I need to sort myself out as I would really like to make a part time income now the boys are at school x

    • Go on lady, you can do this! How about you do the little task at the end? It shouldn’t take too long and it will give you a starting point.

  3. Anna International says:

    It was such an inspiring session and exactly the kick up the bum I needed! Really appreciated it. x

  4. Kirsty - Motherhoodery says:

    As a newbie blogger I found your session really useful. Thanks for the notes! x

  5. A super useful blog post whether you’re an old hand at blogging or a newbie. Great tips for everyone. 🙂

  6. I was at Blog On yesterday but missed your talk so thank you. As a newish blogger this is really helpful to demystify the terms and ways of making money

  7. Quand je lis ton blog, tu pareil très simple mais il s’agit de se vendre soit même et j’ai trouve ça très difficile. J’aimerais bien gagner un peu d’argent avec mon blog mais je ne sais pas comme me prendre et ici en France je sens que c’est plus compliqué. Parfois il y a des marques qui m’offrent des petits cadeaux mais jamais de l’argent. Je crois qu’ici c’est réservé à l’élite des blogs ! En tout cas, merci pour tes conseils, tu as fait un bon travail ! xx

    • Tu es vraiment adorable Eva, comme toujours. Je n’ai aucune idée comment ça marche en France. Bien que je sois française, je ne pense pas que je pourrais m’y vendre car je ne sais pas du tout ce qui marche. Est-ce qu’il y a des conférences pour blogueurs comme ici? C’est comme ça que j’ai su que certaines personnes gagnaient de l’argent. Ca serait étonnant que tu ne puisses pas gagner ton pain en ayant un blog comme le tien qui attire pas mal de lecteurs. Est-ce que tu connais des bloggers qui ont percé en France? Si j’étais toi, je leur enverrais un petit email pour avoir des conseils. x

  8. You Baby Me Mummy (@YouBabyMeMummy) says:

    Thanks for the mention 🙂 x

  9. Vicki Montague says:

    This is super fab! A brilliant blog – really helpful. Luckily I think I have included most of it in my plan for my talk tonight in Exeter for bloggers!! Thanks for including a mention of my flour x

  10. Fantastic post darling. I’ve just shared it in a private fb group with my writer friends, who asked just the other week ‘how on earth do you make money as a blogger?’ 🙂

  11. Just Jo says:

    I just stumbled upon this via twitter and I’m so grateful I did. I am working myself into the ground trying to grow my blog so that I can earn more than a few pounds here and there. I’m convinced the UK market is different to the US where most of the literature about monetising comes from. I’m glad to see I’m doing a lot of your suggestions but there’s a few to improve upon. And thanks for the tip about finding PRs for brands I like – that’s one of my frustrations, not being able to find them! Would you r commend sending your media kit with a pitch or wait until they return your email? Thank you!

    • I know, I thought exactly the same thing. Most of the information on Pinterest about monetising your blog is US-based and doesn’t necessarily apply to the UK, which is why I made sure all the examples quoted in the post were in the UK.

      I would say (but that’s my personal preference) to contact the PR companies to introduce yourself first and ask them whether you could be added to their mailing list for press releases and whether they have worked with bloggers in the past. Once you’ve got to know them a bit, you could mention working with them (or they might ask!).

  12. Thanks for the mention and link to my confidence post, blogging is incredibly empowering and can be highly lucrative too, I love how democratic it is too x

  13. Rachel Bustin says:

    I wasn’t able to get to Blogon so reading this post makes me feel that I haven’t missed out. Thanks very much for all the tips. Very very helpful xx

  14. Two Tiny Hands (@IsntitprettyKTB) says:

    Thank you ever so much for your talk on Sunday I really enjoyed it. Thank you ever so much for putting it online as it’s really useful. I’ve just pitched to 4 people to see if they’d like to work with me! fingers crossed!

    • Oh that’s brilliant! You’ve been quick pitching to four companies since Sunday! I still have to do my 3, he he! Please let me know how it all goes with your pitches.

  15. A great read, Mel – thank you for all the tips! I wasn’t able to make it to Blog on but I cannot wait for Blogfest!! Everyone seems to come away so inspired. After almost 4 years of blogging I’m finally feeling like I know what I’m doing and want to immerse myself fully and learn so much more. Xx

    • Thanks Lara. Definitely coming away from Blog On inspired, buzzing and with lots of things to do. I loved it!

  16. ljdove23 says:

    Thank you for sharing this, I was in the session and thought it was fab!! xx

  17. ClearlyBex says:

    Thanks for the post Mel, I’m beginning to put together all I learnt at Blog On and your session was just what I needed.

  18. Really useful tips and resources here for Bloggers looking to monetise. I’ve been working on saying no the last couple of months, particularly with review items, or I quote a fee for it, unless it’s something I really want or need. I just don’t have the time and I want to prioritise paid work and my own content. Thanks for linking up to #blogschool

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  1. 10 Things I Learnt at BlogOn MSI 2016 - two tiny hands says:

    […] UP!  It’s bloody hard work for little return so you have to persevere.  The session from  @LeCoinDeMel was really easy to listen too and learn […]

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