I get this question a lot- “Can you really make money blogging?” and it’s not just from readers, it’s from aunts, neighbors, colleagues and high school friends… people ask me about my “full time blog” (as opposed to full time job, though I do have one of those too!) and if it’s actually profitable. They’ve heard of bloggers who make bank, but assume that it’s the big bloggers with a million readers who get invites to New York Fashion Week or are at the level of like, Perez Hilton.
Truth is, most of the bloggers I know make money with their blog. Some make $100 a month, others make, no joke, $5,000 upwards of $8,000 a month on a really good month…and that’s just the bloggers I know personally- I know there are huge ranges out there and some bloggers have built empires of products, book deals, merchandise, coaching and get featured in magazines regularly who make more.
1. Sponsored posts
2. Sidebar Ads (network banner ads like Google Adsense or direct ads from brands)
3. Free Products (which isn’t going to pay your bills but you still pay taxes on it!)
4.Freelancing (Writing, Coaching, Website Management)
5. Affiliate Sales
I also get a lot of questions about how long it takes to start making money with your blog. Honestly, it ranges from blog to blog. On average though, most network opportunities won’t even come your way until you’ve been blogging consistently for 3-6 months.
Finally, the question I get after those two is about “what’s your biggest piece of advice to make money blogging sooner?” and I’d have to say you have to be really intentional about your content. Blogging is really crowded and chances are, if you’d started 5 years ago (honest opinion here) you could easily just talk about what you ate for dinner or post selfies on your blog of your latest workout or shopping haul. Bloggers that started 4-5 years ago have loyal fanbases that have been reading them for years. Just because it works on their blog, doesn’t mean it will work on yours.
If you’re a new blogger, my biggest advice to start making money with your blog even sooner is that your content needs to be discoverable and sharable.
“Discoverable” really boils down to, how are people going to find your content? Are they searching for what you have to say? Here’s an example… you can totally post that picture of the awesome kale salad you had last night. Sadly though, nobody is searching for that. Nobody goes to Google and types in “Healthy living blogger’s dinner last night.” But, what they will look for is “Easily kale salad recipe with tofu and feta.” Your subject line, and your content should be rich with keywords.
“Discoverable” leads to “shareable.” They go hand in hand. Did your content solve a problem for a reader, or did it trigger an emotional reaction? Emotional reactions don’t have to be drama- you don’t have to say how this kale salad recipe saved your life or that you bought your kale from a little old lady farmer who saves kittens by selling said kale, but be mindful of if your content would be compelling enough to share.
“Shareable” content can sometimes be humorous, it can be insightful or thoughtful, or, even basically so, it can just be good writing that presents a kale salad recipe in your unique voice that resonates with people. But again, when you using your unique voice, it cannot just be pictures of your latest nosh with a couple of words like “it was sooo good,” but it needs to have a selling point. Why would someone take the time to hit that tweet button or share it on Facebook?
Don’t overthink this- you’ll get better as time goes on, but I do caution new bloggers to be inspired by bloggers they love, but don’t think what worked for them will work for you, especially if they have years of experience under their belt, or they got in the game before blogging was a such a booming business that it is today.
We newbies, (and I consider myself a newbie having only been around for 3 years) have to constantly think about our next move and try to stay relevant and competitive.