When I started blogging, I had no idea that you could make money from sitting in your bed, tapping away on your laptop, and to be perfectly honestly, I’m kind of glad I didn’t know. Making money shouldn’t be the reason you start a blog, but it definitely is a great incentive to keep going and a really nice supplementary income.
Not many bloggers can give up their jobs to blog full time, I know I certainly couldn’t, but the extra income blogging brings in, along with being a really lovely hobby that I enjoy, is an added bonus. You probably are not going to make millions off your blog, but if you are looking to make a few extra hundred a month, blogging is a great way to do it.
Before you start…
It won’t happen overnight!
It took me eight months to start making income from my blog, and even then it was a slow starter. I started my blog in September 2016 and went self hosted at the end of October. My first opportunity came in May when I was asked by a well known brand to write a post about camping tips for babies and toddlers. From that point onwards, the opportunities started coming in, although some months there would be nothing, and other months my inbox would be jam packed full of people wanting to pay me. Eight months is a long time to work on something without any return, which comes back to my point about not starting a blog just to earn money: you need to love it blogging for all the other stuff it brings you that does’t involve monetary compensation.
It takes a lot of hard work
Blogging isn’t just writing a post and then pressing publish, there is so much extra work that goes into it, and like everything else in this life, what you put in, you get back out.
Each post needs to have:
- beautiful photos (preferably captured by you, edited, resized, uploaded, ALT text added);
- an SEO audit (keyword research, meta description, SEO page title, relevant inbound and outbound links added);
- Pinterest image added and then pinned to all relevant boards and scheduled for pinning in the future;
- tweets scheduled to promote the post;
- a Facebook post scheduled to promote;
- finally you may want to promote it in relevant linkies, blog threads and Facebook groups.
It is a long process and most bloggers have several posts ongoing at one time. The difficulty can be trying to find the time to capture the photos (the kids are at school or the light is bad because it’s winter) and also keeping on top of being social across your networks while getting all of the other stuff done.
You also need to remember to update old posts:
- adding in links of posts you have written since;
- updating the Pinterest image if the first one you did wasn’t successful (or maybe even adding another one to capture a different audience);
- adding new relevant information;
- updating the photos and resharing across social media.
Again, it’s hours and hours of work.
Once the legwork is done…
The best way to make money from blogging to have many different income streams and not to simply rely on one method of making money; if that one stream dries up, you’re stuck, especially if this is going to be your sole method of making money.
This is how I make money from my blog:
There are lots of different networks you can sign up to which provide affiliate links. What is an affiliate link I hear you cry? Well, if you are promoting a specific product, you can link to it and each time someone clicks your link and makes a purchase, you get a cut of the commission. Take this post for example: Baby Led Weaning Must Haves. It is stuffed with affiliate links for Amazon for both the U.K. and the US and every time someone clicks through and makes a purchase (and guess what, it doesn’t HAVE to be the product you’re promoting; as soon as they click on your affiliate link and make ANY purchase, you get some credit) I get a few pence into my account.
Has it been the biggest money earner for me? No. But, it has a lot of potential and is something I could push by publishing more gift guides, product recommendations and reviews. I shared quite a few affiliate links on my social media channels over Black Friday and the amount I earned shot up considerably. A lot of bloggers who have over 10,000 followers on Instagram are able to promote products on their Instastories and add a ‘swipe up’ link. That’s the dream for me one of these days. (Next stop 5,000 instagram followers!)
Average Income Earned over 12 Months: £30
Placing adverts on your website is a great way to make some extra cash and Google Adsense is the easiest way of all. You simply select what sort of advert you want (the easiest is the one that Google chooses for you and usually shows the reader a site they’ve already been looking at), copy and paste the HTML code for the ad into the body of your post and press publish. Again, I don’t make an awful lot of money this way, but it’s all extra income into the pot. It is imperative that as a blogger that you get onto Google Analytics to see which are your best performing posts so you can place Google Ads on them. Activities for Five Month Olds is currently performing really well from Pinterest so I made sure I placed the maximum number of ads allowed and since then have been earning three times more than the average earned over the past 12 months.
Average Income Earned over 12 Months: £60
Other Ad Placements
Sometimes, a company or brand will reach out to you and ask you to host an advert on your blog for one, three, six or twelve months. It’s absolutely at your discretion what you charge for this and naturally, the higher your DA and the greater your page views, the more you can potentially charge. I’ve only ever had one brand who agreed to my fees (because let’s be honest, I don’t really want to be advertising any old content on my blog- it must be relevant) so like the two income streams before it, it hasn’t been particularly lucrative, but the potential is definitely there.
Average Income Earned over 12 Months: £50
Occasionally, a company, or more likely an SEO type with a gmail address will reach out and ask you to write a post to put on your website which includes a link back to their website or their client’s website. This SEO person will usually try to disguise themselves as a blogger who “wants to get their name out there.” This is where DA becomes important as the higher your DA, the more authority Google deems you have and therefore you linking back to another website shows Google that that particular website can also be trusted. It’s a risky business and Google does not like paid for follow links, however paid for sponsored posts can make you a lot of money.
Some people are chancers and only want to pay you $10 for a post; others are willing to pay a lot more for an authentic post which naturally links to their website. I’ve accepted fees as low as £30 in the past, but have also earned more than £300 from one single post. It’s all about knowing and understanding your worth, whilst also being aware that for some bloggers, £30 will put food on the table for a week. I now have a set fee that I don’t go below and in the majority of cases it is accepted without question. It’s often a good idea to chat as much as you can to other bloggers to see what they were paid for certain posts as there’s nothing worse than knowing you got paid £300 when another blogger with similar or even better stats got paid less than half of that.
Average Income Earned Over 12 Months: £2,050
Guest Posts and Link Insertions
Sometimes the SEO types don’t want you to write the post as it’s cheaper for them to provide you the content so you can just copy and paste itfrom their email. You don’t get paid as much, but it’s normally a minimum of £50 per post for a few minutes work.
Another option is they ask you to simply insert a link into a post you’ve already written. Again, good money for even less work than a guest post.
Related Post: Free Income and Expenses Spreadsheet
Again, is it worth being penalised by Google if they find out? I think each blogger has their own views on this.
The important thing is that posts like this are disclosed so the blog readers know and understand that they’re reading a paid for post.
Average Income Earned Over 12 Months: £2,100
My favourite type of posts to create are ones commissioned by brands who love your blog and understand the influence you have over your readers. They pay you to write about their products or services and let you have as much creative input as possible while sticking to their guidelines. They like to have a link back, but this link can be a “nofollow” link which follows Google guidelines on paid for links. These posts are also very well paid; so although I haven’t done very many of them, as I am quite a new blogger, the ones I have done have been my highest paid posts.
Average Income Earned Over 12 Months: £2,055
Social Media Posts
Once you’ve built up a decent social media following who are engaged, brands are keen for you to post across your platforms. Some like tweets, some like Facebook, but the majority prefer Instagram. There are also apps you can sign up to to find campaigns such as Tribe and Takumi. I’ve only recently started to earn from my social media accounts, but it’s one the fastest growing methods of me earning income from my blog. Brands also like to send gifts and samples for you to showcase on social media, but of course these things don’t put food on the table.
View this post on Instagram
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Average Income Earned Over 12 Months: £750
So, that’s pretty much all of the ways I earn money from my blog. It’s by no means an easy way to earn money, and it isn’t all about the ‘freebies’ that bloggers seem to get. Blogging is a lot of hard work and takes up most of my spare time. I’m lucky I have a few weeks at the moment before baby number two gets here to get lots of blog admin (blogmin) done and work hard on creating some beautiful posts for my clients meaning I can earn some extra pennies before SMP kicks in.
Methods I have not yet explored
- Writing and selling an e-book
- Setting up an online store
- Blogging courses
- Virtual assistant work
- Freelance writing
If you have any questions I am happy for you to leave them in the comments below or to email me.
If you are thinking about starting blogging, read how to set up your own blog here.
If you already have a blog and are looking for ways to get more traffic from Pinterest, make sure you read this post.