If you’d have told me three years ago when I was thinking of starting a blog, or even two years ago when I considered myself ‘a proper blogger’ (I won an award and everything!) that blogging would become my job and that I would make money blogging, I wouldn’t have believed you.
I didn’t realise it was possible and I certainly didn’t start out blogging with money in mind.
Although quite early on in my ‘blogging career’ I’d been asked to review a few bits and bobs, and I’d been lucky enough to get sponsorship for conferences and have my expenses paid by brands, I had absolutely no idea that there was real money to be made doing it.
Here are ten ways I make money from this blog.
When I first started out, I was getting nowhere near the amount of traffic needed to make any kind of income on adverts. To start with I didn’t have any, and then a few months in I added Google Adsense which was the only ad option available to me at the time. During good months when I had a post which took off, I would make about £3 in ad revenue. I’m not sniffing at it; money is money after all, but it didn’t really seem worth making my site ‘ugly’ for.
However, slowly my traffic started to build and then early this year, when I hit 25,000 sessions a month, I applied to be a Mediavine partner. The adverts you can now see on this site are supplied and wholly managed by Mediavine.
Yes, there are more adverts than I had previously and I know it’s not perfect but the fact is that this site needs to pay for itself and, until someone comes knocking with that million pound book deal, the ads are staying. Although you do come up against negativity when you have ads on your site, I don’t much care what others think about it. I’m at peace with the idea of actually being paid for my work now!
2. Sponsored posts
‘Sponsored posts’ covers all manner of things; from companies who just want links back to their site and don’t care what the topic is, to those that want you to write specifically about their site or their product but aren’t after the full campaign package. The higher your Domain Authority, the more that you can charge for this. Building up your DA takes time and it will usually be a while before your website DA is high enough to charge for sponsored posts.
It also covers paid posts/adverts on social media such as Twitter. The higher your follower number, the more you can charge.
Charging for guest posts is another way that bloggers make money; essentially the client is paying for a link which they will work into a post that they send to you, and you publish on your own blog for a fee. Before you think ‘Ooooh, easy money!’ be aware that selling links is against Google guidelines though, and you could find your page de-listed from search engines should you decide to do it.
Campaigns tend to be from bigger brands and will involve a whole high-profile social campaign over a set period of time too. What they look for in a blogger could be anything; page views, social following, domain authority, niche, engagement.
Campaigns can be hard work; there is a real expectation that you’ll go out of your way to score engagement and to be honest, begging my family and friends to leave fake comments or joining in comment pods isn’t really my thing. However I love doing them when it is a product that I love, or when it’s really relevant to my audience.
You can see some of the campaigns I’ve been involved in here.
I have only taken on one paid ambassadorship on this blog, but it would be silly to miss it out. This is where a brand pay you for a long-term association with you and your blog.
I was absolutely thrilled to be asked to be an Axkid ambassador for three months as it is a brand I was and still am passionate about. This involved sharing a number of blog and social media posts over that time period. It was great!
5. Twitter parties
Because I have built up a good solid following on Twitter, I occasionally get paid to host Twitter parties. This usually involves an hour tweeting about a product to a script. It’s full on but fun, and they are usually paid.
6. Competition hosting
I am usually happy to run a competition for free when reviewing something as it helps that review to be seen. However to host a competition on its own I will charge a fee for my time. You can read this post to see why I won’t do this for free!
7. Freelance writing
I have used this blog as a springboard to write for BabyCentre, Families Online, parent.com, and The Guardian. I also ghostwrite non-parenting related content eg for business related blogs through my freelancing business.
8. Paid reviews
If a product is of low value or not of use to me then I charge for reviews; after all they can be hard work and take hours and that’s just not worth it for a sample of washing powder.
9. Selling things
I admit that I don’t do this often at all. Selling online is a pain in the bum so most of the time I only take on reviews if I want the item and I’m way too soft to sell toys I know my kids would like. However on occasion if I get a duplicate item or something that just doesn’t work for us and I don’t have a friend or relative that might want it, and it’s high enough value to be worth it, I might sell it on after reviewing it.
10. Affiliate links
I’ve put this one last as I don’t make a huge amount of money from it, but some bloggers do, particularly fashion and beauty bloggers who make money by recommending products to their followers.
I’m a member of Amazon affiliates and I use affiliate links (like THIS ONE here) in my review posts. If someone clicks the link and buys the product, then I make a small percentage of that sale. It isn’t huge amounts but every now and then I get an Amazon voucher.
…So there you have it.
Remember: If you make an income from blogging you must be registered to pay tax.
That is how I earn my crust here on my blog; if you have any questions then please do ask in the comment section.