"I know you have a blog and you write stuff, but how does that make money??"
Its a bit mind blowing to learn just how much money can be made blogging. There are countless examples of mommy-types starting a blog, and making a full salary from it within a few years. I appreciated reading specific numbers when I was getting started, so I could figure out what to expect and what kind of goals to set. Its slightly awkward to talk about how much money I'm making, but oh well. (See my last post about how I'm an open book, haha.)
So I have been blogging for about 8 months, and currently make money on my blog in a few ways:
See the ads up top and to the right? Those are ads from Google. They handle all of the logistics, you just sign up, add the widget, and you're good to go. Within a few hours, ads start showing up in the boxes. Each time my page gets viewed, I get like a fraction of a penny. Each time one of those babies gets clicked, I get like a quarter. Well, the actual math is a bit more complicated, but that's a rough idea. For the first few months, I was making a few dollars a month. But as my traffic increased, so did my income. Now I'm averaging about $100-$300 per month.
Amazon has an AWESOME program for bloggers, where you can place links with tracking codes built in on your blog, and then when someone clicks on them, it places a cookie on their computer. If they buy what you linked, or buy anything else within a certain time frame, you get a percentage of what they spend. Everyone shops on Amazon, so this definitely adds up. Especially if you can think of creative ways to write about products you love and buy on Amazon. There are lots of other companies that have affiliate programs as well. This brings in between $80 and $1k per month for me.
There are multiple companies out there specifically set up to organize and manage campaigns for big companies (like Walgreens, Hersheys, Rubbermaid, Kraft, etc) with bloggers. You have to apply and be pretty established before they accept you. Many of them require you to have at least 3-6 months of steady blogging before you are eligible. Once you're accepted to the group, you apply for individual campaigns. If you're chosen, you receive specific instructions (go buy this item, and then create a recipe using it, and take this many pictures and promote it in this many places, etc). These can pay very well. I typically get paid between $75 and $300 per campaign. Plus they reimburse you for the products you have to buy.
All of these either get direct deposited or deposited into my PayPal account and then I transfer them to my checking account. Its real money! :)
There are other ways to earn money from blogging, and other companies that do affiliate links and ads, but those three are my main revenue streams. I do intend on tweaking a few things (stacking my ads, creating a YouTube channel, more affiliate programs) and expanding my revenue streams in the near future. Perhaps one of the best ways to earn money from blogging is to promote your own products like ebooks, services or Etsy shops. My friend Bonnie at Hobby to Hot is a huge fan of creating an informational product (like an ebook), and she has tons of great resources about how to get started on it.
I'll be honest, this all takes time. And there is a lot to learn! A LOT. Can I say it again? A LOT. You can't expect to start a blog and be making hundreds within the month. It just doesn't happen. You have to publish good content consistently, promote it on social media, and be willing to do it over and over for awhile before seeing profits. I fully intended on plugging away on my blog for like a year, before I expected to make money. Everything I read said that it takes about that long. Hard work and time. I really lucked out and started seeing some profits after about 4 months. At 6 months, I had made enough to quit my part-time job. But I am probably the exception to the rule. Plan on more like a year. But its totally do-able!
Any questions? Comment below and ask!
Other posts in the series:
Are you right for the job?
How do I get started? (coming soon)