Does anyone really make money blogging? Is it an impossible dream to make a living from your blog or can it really be done (and we’re talking a decent income comparable to a salary rather than the odd £100 here or there).
Now, for arguments sake, let’s say you’re trying to earn £1000 a month from your blog. Is it actually possible? We asked some of our favourite and most successful bloggers to tell us how easy they think it is to earn that kind of money, and what advice they’d offer people trying to do so….
“Keep income streams diverse and flexible”
Honestly, I’d say making £1k a month blogging is probably as easy or difficult as it is to make £1k in any self employed profession. It looks effortless, and often pretty jammy (freebies, press events, staying in pyjamas and tweeting all day), but the reality includes all the late nights, disappointments, hard graft and boring bits of any creative business.
I like to keep my income streams diverse and flexible, but the biggest earners for me are usually sponsored content and my Instagram mentoring courses. Sponsored post rates depend a lot on experience, readership, stats and quality of content, but once you’re ticking those boxes your earning potential increases rapidly.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – find lots of smaller income streams instead of one big one. Maximise anything you can do for passive income – sidebar ads, e-courses, selling your photos for stock, affiliate schemes. It won’t ever make you a millionaire, but it frees you up to work on more creative projects and in a quiet or slow month can be a total life saver!
“Don’t start a blog to make money, start one because you love it”
It’s possible, but not easy. Blogging takes up a huge amount of time, there is time spent in creating content, building networks, presence and authority and getting your blog to a position where people will pay you to work with them. For me it would be ambassadorships, then sponsored posts. However, I am just beginning to launch my first courses and also my blog coaching which I hope will become major income streams.
I would say it’s important to realise that it doesn’t usually happen quickly. It takes time and so much hard work, to get to the position where you have a regular reliable (ish) income each month. Don’t start a blog to make money, start one because you love it and if you can monetise it great. Also think of having multiple income streams, never rely on just one. Oh and work REALLY hard!
“Build your audience, aesthetic and social media presence”
I don’t think it’s easy for all bloggers but it’s certainly more than doable once you’re established. Bloggers that have been around for the last few years and have built their blogs, audience, following and reputation have worked really hard to get there. PRs are also looking for highly influential sites for a lot of campaigns so in some ways it doesn’t matter how ‘good’ a blogger you are if you haven’t worked your way up to the top you won’t get the opportunities…yet.
I make the bulk of my income from big brand campaigns and long-term ambassadorships. Everyone always asks me where I find sponsored post work and my answer is: I don’t go looking, the PR finds me. I turn away a great deal of offers because they just don’t fit with my blog. Also writing what is essentially an advertorial isn’t where the money is.
Brands are commissioning bloggers for creative collaborations so the bulk of my income is made from things like video campaigns or presenting on camera. A lot of my work includes photography as a criteria, so a brand will be looking at me as a package: someone that can produce and edit video, write well and take high-quality photographs to support the campaign on social media. I also find brands are looking at fitting in with your story, so often they won’t want an obvious sponsored piece and prefer to be featured on the blog creatively.
To anyone trying to monetise their blog I would say – firstly keep working away at it, it is certainly achievable. The number of people I see asking in Facebook groups how they get reviews after only five days blogging is become a regular thing now. I would say primarily start blogging because you love it and not to make money, build your audience, aesthetic and social media presence. Create a portfolio of work that shows your creativity and individuality. The work will come but it does take time to get established.
“Affiliate marketing is our number one source of passive income”
It took us around three months of blogging to finally reach this initial income target of £1K per month. Affiliate marketing is our number one source of passive income – we’re travel bloggers so we mostly earn money through hotel recommendations and social media promotion advertising.
Hopefully in the next few months, we could start selling our own products. We’ve written a number of articles about how we’ve managed to make money from our blog which will be interesting to anyone wanting to set up a travel blog.
“I’ve been blogging for five years now and started earning money during my third year”
It varies every month for me. I don’t earn the same amount of money each month because of different things like how busy my schedule is, and how much budget there is in campaigns. However, once you are established and have fantastic relationships with PRs earning £1K a month can be easily achievable.
Most of my income comes from sponsored posts. I don’t receive money to review products as I like to stay loyal to my readers. The majority of my money is earned by writing posts for companies. To those just starting out I would say don’t expect to earn £1,000 or more straight away. It takes time to even earn £10 let alone more! I have been blogging for five years now and started earning money during my third year of blogging. It takes hard work and determination.
“Figure out something different you can offer and capitalise on it”
It’s difficult to make money unless you’ve got something different to offer. It’s all about diversification as some months you’ll be turning down work while other months they’ll be a dry spell. For me I do freelance blog, have my own book coming out and am starting a second blog – all ways of diversifying your income. I make my money through a mix of sponsored posts and writing articles for others.
My advice is to figure out something different you can offer and capitalise on it. Whether it’s a qualification, experience of working in an industry or your talents. Never believe working for free will magically lead to great paid opportunities… it won’t!
It’s harder than some people make out. I think it’s totally dependent on your niche – if you’re running a blog about how to make money there are a lot more opportunities to put in, say, affiliate links than there is for, say, a parenting blogger. It takes a lot of work to build up a reputable blog with good readership, followers, traffic and engagement. In turn this will eventually generate opportunities, though these may not always be paid!
Most of my income is from sponsored posts. I’ve not yet dabbled in affiliate links, but really should as I’ve heard that getting them right can generate a fair amount of money. I also offer advertising space on my blog and provide social media management to local companies. There’s always something you can be doing.
There are lots of little snippets of advice. Don’t be disheartened if your income isn’t regular. Some weeks you can have five opportunities, yet other weeks you won’t hear anything! I hate to say this phrase but “know your worth”! Always ask for budget too.
Let me know what you think – do you make any money blogging or is it more of a hobby? If you want to make money, which route do you think you’re likely to take. Add your comments below and give the rest of us some inspiration! You might also be interested in this post – how to find a niche for your blog.
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