One of the questions friends or family ask me most about this crazy ol’ career of mine is, ‘so how do you make money blogging?’
Sometimes I have fun with it and tell them that it’s supplemented with cam girl work but only when my Dumbo costume is back from the dry cleaners. At other times I fill them in, a bit like I’m going to fill you in right now!
So if you’re a blogger who wants to start earning money for your passion or you’re just a bit of a nosey bugger who doesn’t quite get how all this works – let me remove the smoke and mirrors for ya.
Now as you’ll look around the blog here, you’ll spot precisely 0 ads. I have no sidebar ads, no pop ups and none lurking at the bottom of each page like a teenage me outside Kian from Westlife’s house.
Why is that? If I want to make money blogging, why don’t I use ads?
For me, on page ads detract from the user experience – but it’s totally my personal preference and I’m not massively offended when I see them on other blogs. It’s just me! And it might change as my traffic grows.
Because, you see, on page ads can earn you money the higher your traffic is.
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Some programmes are pay-per-visit so every person who logs onto your post earns you an amount (it starts at pennies).
Others are pay-per-click or pay-per-referral where you earn depending on whether your audience click the link through or go on to complete an action on the advertisers page.
A good place to start with this, if you’re interested, is Google AdSense. It’s one of the most simple platforms to use and almost everyone will be accepted.
As your traffic grows, it may be worth applying for some of the other programmes too!
Another way bloggers can earn money through their blog posts and social platforms is through affiliate links.
Affiliate links are ones that have a tracking code applied and show the advertiser how many sales a blogger has driven to their products via their links placements.
This can be a great way to earn money IF you are influential.
By that I mean that people trust your recommendations for products and services.
Super trendy peeps can earn £££ a month by linking their latest outfits or shopping hauls. Likewise, those well travelled influencers can earn money through holiday and flight referrals. And those of you who are trusted with your opinion on just about everything can do really well with affiliate sales.
There is a balance to be had though! An influencer who floods their platforms with mounds of affiliate links looks desperate for that commission and can appear less trustworthy than those who save it for products they can recommend genuinely.
To make the most out of affiliate marketing, you need a strategy.
You’ll need to decide where, when, how often and on which platform your links work best.
You’ll also have to apply and be accepted onto affiliate marketing platforms. Some are harder to get in than the Oscars whereas others tend to accept most bloggers – regardless of the size of their traffic or following.
I personally use AWIN – as you can apply to each retailer separately – and Amazon, because you can get EVERYTHING on Amazon!
From time to time, bloggers can approach (or be approached by) brands that they love to collaborate on content with.
That could be a blog post, Instagram post, a Story or a tweet and will depend on where the blogger has the most engaged audience or the highest skill level.
Sponsored posts are usually ones that the blogger has creative control over but that the brand sets the objectives and key messages.
They are done well when the blogger truly loves the brand and is knowledgable about its key messages.
It’s done less well when it’s written disingenuously or like a press release.
Similarly with affiliate links, bloggers who only post sponsored content are often less trusted, therefore less influential than those who reserve this type of work for brands and messages they truly believe in.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with bloggers who just seek the pound signs, but as the industry evolves and readers are becoming more savvy, it is something to bare in mind.
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Often bloggers are approached by companies who are looking to build their link authority with an offer of placing prewritten content on their blogs in exchange for payment.
If done well, the content can look, feel and sound exactly like the blogger themselves have written it. Although, to be honest, I’ve yet to see that be the case.
Often pre written content feels very mechanical and doesn’t foster the relationship between the blogger and their most prized readers.
Again, no tea, no shade, bloggers need to pay rent too – it’s just something to be aware of if building an engaged audience is AS important as building your bank balance.
When a blogger has established themselves in a niche, a logical step is to create a digital product within that niche that can better serve their readers.
Sometimes it’s an e-book, resource or course.
*cough* I HAS A WHOLE SHOP LOOOOOK *cough*
Digital products work because the blogger understands what their reader needs, is interested in or would like more information on – because they’ve built a close relationship.
The blogger can use the knowledge they’ve developed through their blogs in the creation of these resources and the reader gets something that bit *more* than a blog post.
Making money as a blogger takes creativity, perseverance, a loyal audience and just access to a blogging platform – that’s a bit exciting isn’t it?
If you want to become a blogger who makes money, I have a ton of things that will help.
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