I was at a party this weekend and was talking to a friend I don’t see often. She asked about my blog and how things were going with my Etsy shop. I told her that I wasn’t selling as much on Etsy and concentrating more on my blog. She was so surprised to learn that I was making money from my blog! So, today I thought I’d just share the basics of – how do bloggers make money?
I’ll begin by saying that if you are thinking about starting a blog, there are some great resources online to get you started. I would highly recommend Just a Girl and her Blog. Abby has great information for anyone looking to start a blog. What I’m sharing here is more for those who are merely curious about how I, and other bloggers, make money doing what we do!
And, you might also be wondering, why do you need income? Well, there are a LOT of behind the scenes expenses involved with blogging. Here are a few of the expenses involved with having a blog: website design, online hosting services, email distribution services, monthly fees for subscriptions to online tools, courses and conferences to stay up-to-date with the latest blogging technology, photography expenses, and more.
There are several ways bloggers make money. The phrase “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” applies to a blogger’s income. It’s best to have a diversified approach to income. So, below I’m going to share the most common ways bloggers make money.
How do Bloggers Make Money?
I’m sure you’ve noticed the ads I have here on my blog and on other blogs too. For me, it’s my main source of income. In the most basic terms, this income is generated by how much traffic comes to a blog. Some ads pay per click, while others are paid by visit to the blog itself. So generally, the more people who come to my blog daily the more money I make with ads.
Affiliate marketing is when you see me highlight a product on the blog that I have. When you click on the product you are taken to the source to purchase it. If you end up purchasing that item, I will get a small percentage of that sale. The most common affiliate network is Amazon. But, most retail stores have an affiliate marketing program. Most of these affiliate networks require an application to join. And, there are many affiliate networks. So, Target may be on one network, while Pottery Barn is on another, and Hobby Lobby another. . . It can be a bit confusing! I don’t make much money through affiliate marketing, but I know some bloggers who do! It’s another egg in the basket!
I don’t do very many sponsored posts. But, many bloggers do. Basically, bloggers are paid by a brand for a review of a product or a blog post using a product in their home. Blogs with a higher readership and a large social media following generally will command a higher price than a newer blog starting out. There can be a lot of behind-the-scenes things that bloggers have to do for the brand that makes a sponsored post more involved than the reader will ever see or know about. Also, if a blogger receives free product from a brand in exchange for a blog post, that product’s value must be claimed as income on their taxes. So, if a product’s value is $200, you have to claim that as $200 in income.
Having a product to sell is another egg in the basket. When I began, it was common to have an Etsy shop, but that’s become less so as the years have gone by. I began my blog as a way to promote my Etsy shop. But, I found that I loved blogging! Over the years, however, blogging has become a LOT more involved and requires a lot more time. So, it’s hard to create product for an online shop and blog regularly. This is why I’ve stopped making wooden signs and pillow covers. While I do still sell some items in my shop, I am trying to make things that are easier to ship and don’t involve as much time to make. Other products that a blogger could offer: an online course, a book, selling printable art, offering a subscription service.
Another way a blogger can make money is by offering their expertise to others with a coaching or consulting service. There are many bloggers who have opened up consulting and coaching services for other bloggers who want to learn from their experience. While other bloggers may offer technical services to other bloggers who don’t want to do some of their own technical behind-the-scenes work.
So, How do bloggers make money? Every blogger will have a different combination of all of the above! Again, this is just very basic information. If you are thinking about starting a blog, do a LOT of research! Blogging is NOT a get rich quick scheme. Most who make a good living from a blog are putting in the work! And, it’s a lot of work to have a blog. Most bloggers put in way more hours than if they had a “regular” job. But, we are doing something that we love and sharing what we love to do and that makes it totally worth it!
If you have any specific blogging questions, feel free to contact me!