A lot of the time when people ask what I do, I hesitate to say, “I’m a blogger.” Because mostly that causes confusion. Also, because there are so many other things that I do and so many small facets of being a “blogger.” But inevitably, when people find out that blogging is a big part of my job, the conversation turns to money and how exactly I make it. And I totally don’t blame them! It’s a new-ish industry and it’s still somewhat veiled in secrecy about how bloggers can make a living. And on top of that, I know very few blog owners who only run their blog. Most of us have quite a few hustles going on. So if you’re a blogger looking to learn about how you can up your income, or if you’re just curious about how we make a living, here ya go.
Sponsored Content This is probably the most noticeable money maker that we all see in the blog world. A brand approaches a blogger (or vice versa) to team up on some content that both features their product and would benefit you, our readers. It’s a win-win, because we as bloggers get to work with brands that we love and share what we love about them. And our hope is that our readers benefit in some way. As an example, I love sharing baby brands these days, in the hopes that it’ll make things easier or create solutions for families. So bloggers create beautiful, meaningful content for the brand, the brand gets to use it for their own promotion, and then the blogger gets a paycheck.
Affiliate Links You like to shop, I like to shop, we all like to shop! Affiliate links are a way for bloggers to make a small percentage of money on a purchase that a reader makes online when using a link that the blogger shares. For example, if I use a certain tool that I bought on Amazon to create a DIY project, then share a specific link to that tool and you go buy it, I can make a few cents on that purchase. All of those pennies add up to a little chunk of change each month. For a mid-size blogger like me, affiliate links won’t pay your rent, but they might buy your groceries.
Selling a Product Lots of bloggers are diversifying and starting to sell their own products! This can look like lots of different things — creating a physical product from the ground up, or selling e-books or e-courses, or using talents like illustrating or calligraphy to create items to sell. Some of our income comes from our print shop, where I sell prints of my favorite photos. Selling a product can be a ton of work to get started, but the hope is that once you’re set up it becomes a nice source of semi-passive income.
Events Events take a huge amount of work and organization, but there are definitely some folks out there who have spun events into a nice source of income! Whether it’s workshops, classes, parties, or anything in between, if you spend some time structuring your event you can turn a profit. You’ve just gotta figure out what it is that people want to do, and who would attend.
Contributor Positions I was lucky enough early on in my blogging experience to snag a few really great contributor positions, and they really helped not only build my online presence but were a reliable stream of income. If you’re a blogger starting out and are looking for a way to make some guaranteed income, searching for a contributor position might be a great idea. This means that you create content for another blogger or media outlet and they essentially purchase your content and the right to share it. If the end goal is to be creating content for only yourself, this might be a stepping stone to that goal.
So! I could probably go on, but that’s just a quick breakdown of some of the ways that we “bloggers” make a living. It’s a crazy, wild, creative world, and it’s constantly changing. But I do feel lucky every single day (no exaggeration) to be doing what I’m doing. And now when my family asks how I make money doing it, I can just send them a link to this post. 😉 xoxo