I have a ton of information to share. I love writing and I’m a known expert on this one topic. So, I can start a blog and make lots of cash–right? Well, not quite. Blogging for a living is more than just leisure writing until money falls from the sky. In order to be successful you need to know the reality of blogging and how to actually earn income.
The Reality of Blogging (for income)
So, like most people, I thought blogging for a living was just—people writing for a living. I never did understand how bloggers actually made money. I guess I’d imagined that companies would find bloggers with content relevant to their brand and rent space on the bloggers site to run ads to their audience. Well, while that’s not completely wrong it is an ideal scenario. Most bloggers don’t rely on their content alone to make a living.
Your content is only about half of the work you need to put in. Actually, think of your content as a vehicle to get you to earning. But know that your content alone will not make you money. Don’t get me wrong, you need solid content to be able to earn but there are instances where the chicken (income) does come before the egg (content). I’ll discuss this more later.
How to actually earn income from blogging
1. Most Bloggers rely on MULTIPLE streams of income
Lot’s of bloggers do other gigs pertaining to blogging. Some work as Virtual assistants for bigger bloggers. Others create blog posts for companies or get paid to write posts for other blogs (which I’ll talk about more in number 2.)
So, if you’re planning on blogging for a living you need to be prepared to multi-task. You also must be flexible and prepare for a bit of trial and error. Meaning some things you try will work and others won’t. Similarly, to how you can’t rely on your wonderful posts to magically make you money you also need to know that you have to put forth the effort to achieve certain outcomes (passive income doesn’t just happen…it is created.)
Additionally, you need to be comfortable with pay coming from a variety of sources in varied amounts (if you decide to diversify your streams of income). You also need to become comfortable with the idea of delayed pay or more accurately sporadic pay. Because you don’t work for any one company your pay doesn’t neatly come on the first and the fifteenth of each month or even every two weeks. In most cases you have to wait until you hit a certain amount of earnings before you can cash out. But I’ll save this for another post. Let’s get into what exactly bloggers do!
2. Content can be built through sponsored posts
So, earlier I talked about how the chicken (income) can come before the egg (content). Well, this happens through sponsored posts. Either a company or another blogger pays for post on a given topic or product. This often requires the blogger to have a certain following, number of sessions, page views, or pay per reach stipulation (ex. A blogger could be hired to write a post. The blogger would have potential to earn .50 for every view of the post on their site to cap at x dollar amount if the blogger has an average of x reported page views per month.)
Some great companies for beginner bloggers to find sponsored blog post opportunities are cooperatize, activate, IZEA, or Tomoson. To read more about my experience with each of these companies check out my post here. Each are networks that host a site for companies to look for bloggers and influencers to promote their products for a fee.
3. Free product suggestions pay
Another way bloggers make money is through affiliate marketing and programs. Some great affiliate marketing companies for beginners are:
Yes; I know that there’s only two here. Feel like you need more? Well, yuh don’t! Many new bloggers have the misconception that having a bunch of affiliates or a bunch of ads will increase your odds of a sale but honestly it does the exact opposite. No one wants to be sold. Visiting a page full of unhelpful ads, unnecessary/irrelevant links, and pesky pop ups can turn people away.
Honestly, this pertains to both 3 and 4 on this list. You should view your blog as a way to help your friends. If you are telling your friend about a cool resource you found, you would tell them all there is to know (good bad and in-between.) Rather than trying to sale, be honest. Explain how you’ve benefited from the recommendation, how it’s impacted the problem it’s intended to solve for you and how it could help your readers.
4. Ads and affiliate link usage is an art
Seriously, running ads eloquently and incorporating links optimally while not being salesy is TRUELY an art. Often times, new bloggers will run ads in the headers and sidebars of their content and all throughout the post with ad pop ups and all. Advanced bloggers will add ads inline of their content where it adds ease for the reader to access it and strengthens the effectiveness of the piece. To read more about the art of ads and affiliate link usage check out my previous post here. But ads should be a value add to your posts not a pesky sale soliciting your readers.
So, we’ve covered the basic ways bloggers make money. Now that you know the reality of blogging and how to actually earn income from blogging are you ready to get in on the action? Check out my post on how to master the art of ads and affiliate links.
Here’s some other related posts:
If you know of any other ways to make money as a blogger let me know in the comments. I’ll be sure to try it out and add it to the list. Also, don’t forget to subscribe for more tips and freebies from my How to blog series.