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14. Eleven ways that you can make money blogging

Guest Post – Fran from Whinge Whinge Wine

If you’d have told me almost seven years ago (when I was heavily pregnant with my second child and considering starting a blog to talk about how rubbish it was) that blogging would become my job, and that eventually, I would make enough money blogging to support myself and my family, I wouldn’t have believed you. 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.

But here I am, years later, doing OK at it.

Here are eleven ways I make money from this blog.

1. Adverts

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 a whopping £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 (which has since gone up to 50,000) I applied to be a Mediavine partner. The adverts you can now see on my website 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 a website 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 and I point them in the direction of my Complaints Department. I’m at peace with the idea of actually being paid for my work now!

2. Campaigns

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 you can feel awful if it just doesn’t take off as expected, through no fault of your own.

However, I love doing them when it is a product that I love, or when it’s really relevant to my audience.

3. Merch

This is something that I haven’t done myself through the blog, but I have dabbled with in my Facebook group. These days it’s simple enough to get anything printed with your own design and you don’t even need to gamble on a large print run. Anyone can sell greetings cards through Thortful. You simply upload your designs and then they can be ordered, printed and shipped out without any more work from you, the only gamble you take is your time designing the cards.

You only make around 30p per card sold but popular cards may be bumped to the main site or even promoted across social media by the company. If you have followers who like your pithy memes then it could be a great way to promote your collection.

If you have followers and fans who might be receptive, there are sites like Printful, where you can design your own products labelled with your brand. These can be printed/embroidered and drop shipped as orders come in, allowing you to set your own price and take a small percentage without holding any stock at all so it’s risk free.

4. Ambassadorships

I have only taken on one paid ambassadorship on my blog, but it would be silly to miss it out. This is where a brand pays you for a long-term association with you and your blog. I was absolutely thrilled to be asked to be an ambassador for a car seat company for three months, as it is a brand and a topic I was very passionate about. It involved sharing a number of blog and social media posts over that time period.

5. Twitter parties

If you have a good solid Twitter following, you can 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.

7. 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 – although it isn’t illegal.

8. Freelance writing

I have used my blog as a springboard to write paid content for other sites including BabyCentre, Families Online, parent.com, and The Guardian. I also ghostwrite non-parenting related content eg for business related blogs as a freelance writer and have in the past used sites such as People Per Hour and Upwork to pitch for work.

Although these sites tend to be saturated with a lot of cheap content writers, if you can sell yourself there are people out there who want native, fluent English writers based in the UK who have a proven track record of creating engaging content.

9. Paid reviews

If a product is of low value, consumable or not of use to me then I will either offer social coverage such as Instagram stories and charge for anything further including blog reviews; after all they can be hard work and take hours and that’s just not worth it for a sample of washing powder.

10. 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.

11. Affiliate links

I’m a member of Amazon affiliates, AWIN, Refersion, Partnerize and other affiliate sites and I use affiliate links in all my review posts where possible. If someone clicks the link and buys the product, then I make a small percentage of that sale.

So there you have it – 11 real ways I make money from blogging.

If you have any questions then please do ask in the forum!

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