If you aren’t interested in how to make money from blogging then this one’s not for you but never fear, normal ramblings will commence soon. If you are interested in how to make money from blogging then you are in the right place – good start!
In this post, I’m going to share with you everything I know about how to some extra dosh from the power of your creativity. I get asked all the time if I make money from my blog (yes, I do) and how that’s possible so it makes sense to just get it all out here for you. First though, a bit of background…
I started creating A Mum Track Mind in February 2016 so at the time of writing this post, that’s just about 10 months ago. Like most people who start a blog, I used a free WordPress theme and typed away at my laptop hoping that someone other than my Mum would want to read my ramblings. I had no idea that you could make money from blogging or any of the opportunities that could come from it. I had 22 followers on Instagram, a private Facebook account and absolutely no clue what on earth the point or power of Twitter could be. I’d never heard of a Linky, I’d no idea that something called PicMonkey could transform your images into something Pinterest worthy and if you’d said DA to me I’d have thought you were talking about a District Attorney because I watch far too many American sitcoms.
Fast forward ten months and here we are. I’m running a self-hosted blog, have a social following of nearly 12,000 and have even dipped my toe into the murky waters of YouTube. Thousands of people read my ramblings each month (thank you!), I’ve made some brilliant friends and had some unforgettable experiences. That’s the power of blogging.
Now I am by no means making a fortune and I am not the world’s biggest blogging success. I am actually a relative newbie so all I can do is share with you how I make money from blogging. I would have found a post like this useful when I was starting out so hopefully some of you will do too.
How Can You Make Money From Blogging?
Essentially advertising within your posts. Most bloggers will do them and they may or may not contain follow links depending on your stance. After much thought on the subject, I decided not to provide follow links on my blog because I get a significant proportion of my traffic from Google and can’t risk being penalised.
It’s worth noting that whatever you accept on your blog will set the benchmark. If you only accept high quality content then you will attract high quality content and offers. If you accept rubbish content with follow links then the same goes.
Despite not accepting follow links, I still get asked to write sponsored content without them, which I will do if the subject matter is a natural fit on my blog.
When writing a sponsored post, I have a few rules: full disclosure is mandatory and I won’t post anything to do with gambling or alcohol as it’s wildly inappropriate and damaging to future work on a parenting blog.
In terms of how I find these opportunities, usually the brand or the SEO company approach me direct via email. Make sure your email is visible everywhere that you are. Don’t make it hard work for them because if they have to search for your email then they probably won’t bother. You can also sign up with agencies such as IZEA and Nuffnang.
Working out what to charge is in my opinion completely subjective. I took into account my hourly rate, my DA, my influence and the amount of traffic that I get on my site and then I made up a figure. After six months blogging I wouldn’t put fingers to keyboard for less than £75. Now, I charge a minimum of £125 for a sponsored post. I’ve had lots of people say no, that their budget is only £30 or £50 (or £10!!!) but that doesn’t mean I lower my fee. Often I will go in a bit higher and let them haggle me down a bit to the original fee I had in my head but setting a minimum charge of £125 has not stopped me getting any work that I want. Big bloggers with huge audiences probably command more like £500 per post. Value yourself and the right people will value you too.
I charge brands for my time if the value of the product is less than £50 unless I really want whatever it is. Many bloggers simply accept the product as payment. It’s up to you how you work on your own blog and time. Receiving payment in no way obliges me to write a positive review. I am charging for my time only and if I do not like the product then I will say as much. What I charge will vary depending on what the product is and what sort of promotion it requires. If it’s a simple write up with pictures then I might charge £75. If it’s a full post, pictures and social media promotion across all channels then it’s likely to be more like £200.
Similar to sponsored posts but somebody else is writing the content. Lets be real here, people only want to post on your site because they want a link in the text. I do accept these from time to time if they are well written but as there is minimal work for me, I will accept them for around £50-70. I don’t accept many of them because the quality tends to be a bit rubbish.
Many bloggers use Google AdSense or similar to post adverts on their blog. If you have a lot of traffic then this is easy money for nothing. However, I have chosen not to use these type of adverts because I hate the way they look. Vanity I know. I will however sell advertising space on my side bar to brands and websites that are a good fit. I charge £75 per month at the moment. In all honesty, I made that figure up. Nobody has questioned it yet and as my domain authority and influence increases I will adjust it accordingly.
You can earn decent money from using affiliate links in your posts. It’s quite a complicated subject and probably one for another time but if you are thinking about monetising your blog then getting signed up to some of the bigger agencies such as Affilinet is a good start. They have dedicated account managers to help walk you through what you need to do and how to do it. You can also work with smaller businesses privately and agree between yourselves that you will take a percentage of any sales made on their websites that come through your blog. So for example, I am working with a brand at the moment and each time a sale is made, we have agreed that I will receive 7.5% if the customer comes from my blog.
Sponsored Social Media
The higher my social reach is the more offers of sponsored tweets or Instagram images I get. Instagram in particular is massive and still growing. Don’t underestimate the power and influence it has as a blogger.
Again, it’s difficult to know what to charge but as a trusted blogger you are holding the cards on this one. Be sure to only accept offers from brands who you like and would use yourself otherwise you are conning your readers and I hate that and your readers will hate it too. So, if it’s a brand I love then I will tweet for around £55 per tweet. If the brand wants a bundle then I will offer them a deal of 5 tweets for £200.
Instagram is my pride and joy and I am VERY selective about how I use my images on there. If I do accept sponsored posts then I’m charging £65 per image here with 5.5k followers.
Instagram take-overs are becoming really popular with brands too. I imagine for a day of this I’d charge around £150-200.
This is becoming an increasingly popular request from brands and fortunately it’s something I love to do. I only have a modest following on YouTube currently but as it’s fairly labour intensive (preparation, lighting, filming, editing, re-editing etc) I charge a minimum of £250 for sponsored video content. Many bloggers are easily charging double this amount and I will be doing that too once I become more confident.
Freelance Writing / Social Media Management
Ok, so this isn’t strictly on my blog obviously but once you get yourself out there and people become familiar with your writing, then you can approach or be approached by other sites who want your creativity. I charge an hourly rate of £30 for any freelance writing. The same goes for any brands who ask me to help them with their social media management. If you can show that you have successfully grown your own following and engagement then you have shown that you know how it is done. You can use these skills to help brands achieve their social media objectives.
There are many more ways you can monetise a blog but I just wanted to write about the ways I use at the moment.
A few tips if you do want to monetise your blog:
- Be visible as I mentioned earlier. Do not make people search for your details. You need a clickable email link in a highly visible place on the landing page of your blog. Same for all social media profiles – email address should be in your biography.
- Read and comment on other people’s reviews. Often PR’s will look and see who has commented and expressed interest and then get in touch with you that way.
- Get signed up to all of the blogger programmes – there are lots out there who will put you in touch with PR’s and offer you review opportunities. Leave me a comment if you want to know the ones I use and I’ll get back to you.
- Don’t be afraid to pitch to brands you love. A quick Google will usually put you in touch with the relevant PR person. Be polite, professional and show them exactly what you can offer their brand and why they should work with you.
- Network – ugh I hate that word but some of my best experiences and work have come from introducing myself to PR account mangers at blogging events and taking them for a coffee. They remember you as a person and not just as yet another blogger. Be friendly, talk to them on a human level and without pound signs in your eyes. Be enthusiastic about your blog and never ever under sell yourself.
- Create good, regular content in your own voice and the brands and PR’s will come to you in time. I heard that a lot when I started out and I used to wail to myself and think “but when?! It’s never going to happen to me!” It did though. Be patient – blogging is not a get rich quick scheme, it’s a lot of work but making money is possible if you are willing to put the work in.
I think I have waffled on for long enough now so I will leave it there but if you do have any questions just get in touch either on here or social media. I have had an awful lot of help and advice from bloggers whilst starting up and I still do to some extent so I will always take the time to help anyone else out if I can.
Until next time