Back in April of last year I shared a post on 4 ways I make money blogging. Fast forward to 18 months later and things continue to evolve; social media moves on more, my experience and work changes, as does my family and the circumstances around working from home.
Blogging can be a hobby, a personal side project, creative outlet or just “your thing”, but to make money from it and potentially “go pro”, for many, is a dream.
The prospect of being your own boss, flexibly working from home and self publishing is very tempting. Many online content writers and bloggers are looking for the ultimate “how to make money blogging” scenario, and I am happy to share here how my income streams around working from home with a family and running a blog work, with an updated version of my post from last year.
I am not a big blogger by any stretch of the imagination – the super pro’s are making a lot of money doing their thing, which is amazing. I think it can be really helpful to hear how others are doing, and especially useful to remember the quote “don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle” – everyone starts from somewhere with just one blog post and one reader!
So, here is my addition to the knowledge pot of making money from blogging:
1. Sponsored posts and links.
Blog and they WILL find you – this remains to be true, although the number of SEO spammy links requests has increased immensely for me recently.
Once your blog hits a certain stage of readership and reach, marketers will find you and make contact. Using tools like Alexa ranking and Kred, digital marketers and PR’s search out who has a reach that is relevant to their audience.
This blog is now three years old, and I began to get enquiries from brands 2 years ago. As with anything, common sense and discretion; I have turned down lots of offers that I think would compromise my blog and authenticity. But, if I love the company or product then I do occasionally accept sponsored links but I will always be clear about it. You should be aware, as a blogger, of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) which prohibits the use of “editorial content in the media to promote a product, where the trader has paid for the promotion, without making that clear in the content.”. So, be cautious, link but be clear. Check out disclosurepolicy.org to get your own disclosure policy text.
Sponsored link form a very small part of my blogging revenue, and I know some blogs use them a lot more, and each to their own. My advice? You can make money from sponsored posts, but the long game is better – compromise readers now and regret it later. Read this great post on Pro Blogger about how to make money without selling out ( if you don’t already have Pro Blogger earmarked as a guru blogging site do – I love it and guest for them occasionally).
2. DIY ads
Blog collectives work for many people, but bear in mind they take a size-able chunk of any ad revenue secured. Ouch. To be honest, if you are savvy, friendly and entrepreneurial person there is no reason why you shouldn’t organise your own ads once your readership has something to offer the sponsors. I reached a stage when my blog audience had a viable reach to be attractive to sponsors, and began to offer some space to lovely people I wanted to work with. I emailed friends and businesses I love and who know me, and offered space on my growing blog. I used to use WordPress 125 ads plugin, and am now experimenting with Passion Fruit ads, which will be up and running on the site soon.
Being a designer I can also offer to design the ad for clients o make it nice and easy (for a little extra cost).
3. Spin-off products – e courses and online coaching
Since writing the original post this is the area which has developed the most for me in the last year.
❤ I offer my Idea Generation for Bloggers e course for free now, and it remains popular with those working through it.
❤ I also now offer a VIP group for bloggers to come and benefit from premium content and weekly live coaching sessions with me.
❤ I have also written an online course called Bedbound to Badass in Business, which coaches those with chronic illness to re-hone their skills and create a working life that suits them.
❤ I also wrote a Freelance Mum Survival E course which is selling well and is in the process of being turned into a book.
I still use Aweber to automate the e-courses so once clients have paid it is a passive income stream, allowing me to continue writing other posts and developing more products. I use Mighty Bell for my online VIP coaching and Bedbound course, which is a brilliant (and FREE!) resource designed for communities.
4. Small Business and individuals consultancy
This area of work has really taken off for me too – I now offer consultations via Skype or G+ hangouts to help bloggers and small businesses work with their blog and brand to build up an online presence. I coach people to make their own spin off products, to optimise a blog for business, and to make more from their online efforts, with a free taster chat first.
5. Blogging for other people is still a very strong revenue stream for me, and one I really enjoy doing. I have written for various on and offline publications for a decade, and I also copy write and design professionally. However, on the blogging side of things (to keep it separate for the purposes of this post), I blog for clients. These include small businesses and individuals who need me to craft their posts for them and help with SEO and visibility across social media platforms.
Blogging for other clients keeps me involved and informed in the sectors I work within, namely design, social media, tech and lifestyle. I also “hand hold” people who just need my support (including a lovely celebrity!), which makes for variety, the chance to work with great people and a lot of fun. Blogging for others also helps drive traffic back to this site where I use my bio and links, and it helps to raises my profile. Of course, rather importantly, it helps to pay the bills.
6. Designing blog headers
As a designing in the blogging world, this is a fun part of my income stream – I have worked with some really lovely bloggers to get their headers re-vamped, something I really enjoy doing.
Affiliate links are another way to make money from your blog, but it’s not a model I use very much – unless your traffic is enormous this won’t pay very well at first, if at all. Rather, JV’s (joint ventures) have really helped me to sell my e courses by partnering with other people; I use the WP affiliate plugin on the blog and invite people I know and love to help promote my e courses for a cut of the profits. I provide the graphics, links and text within the affiliate area, and we both benefit from the promotion. This is a great way to expand your mailing list and clients in a win/win situation for you and your JV affiliate partner.
While I don’t think that anyone will get rich blogging overnight, it is certainly a way to make a viable income working from home which suits me as a Mum of minis. My aim is to build up the coaching and spin off products side of the business, as I love teaching so much (and Skype and G+ make it easy!).
How do you make money blogging? Have you tried any of the methods here? I would love to hear from you in the comments. I will leave you with some wisdom from Pro Blogger, this great mindmap of blog monetising ideas may get your brain ticking.