Jan 22, 2017

How to make money from your blog

When people ask me what I do now, I tell them; I'm an artist and I have a blog... I actually hate this question because I do so many different things. From Photography, graphic design, selling my artwork, making youtube videos, writing and photographing for my blog, as well as the T-shirt company....I find it hard to encompass all those things under one title. This used to make me feel 'messy' and like what I was doing wasn't really a proper job.

But I've long since moved past that mindset. As far as I'm concerned if you spend your time doing these things and you're earning money from them, then it's a job and over the years I have made a progressing income from my blog.

The reason you've probably clicked on this was because you're wondering how to make money from your own blog. Whether you've had one for a while and aren't making money from it or you're looking to increase traffic/make more money than you are at the moment. Or you're just a little bit curious as to how someone can make money from a blog then please read on for some tips I picked up along the way.

A little bit about me and my blog

I have been blogging for around 5 years now. When I first started, my children were babies, I was living in Western Australia with no family around me. I had written my first novel and I was honestly just looking for somewhere to write down all my thoughts. I was also doing a heap of DIY projects because I had a big house and no money to fill it up with expensive furniture. There was a lot of upcycling going on in those days!! I had a basic and pretty bad template and probably a rubbish blog name too. But I've always loved recording stuff and I've always had amazing cameras and amazing photos (if I do say so myself) and my blog was just a place to put all that stuff.

It didn't actually occur to me I could be making money from my blog for a few years.

But when I discovered there were people out there making massive amounts of money from their blog I knew I wanted to be a part of it and since then I started putting a lot more time and effort into my posts as well as building loyal readers, I began to implement a few things to generate income.

These are the main things that have worked for me

1. Google Adsense

Google adsense is not the way to make the most amount of money but it is a really EASY way to make money every day in the background. I run my blog through blogger which is run by google and so it was incredible simple to set up Google adsense and integrate it onto my blog. The way it works is google displays ads on your blog site (you can choose the size and the position on your blog) and then you make a small percentage from the ad that is displayed. The higher traffic you have and the more the ad is clicked on, the more money you make basically.
I find that there does need to be a balance between your posts and the amount of ads you have on it, for example I personally hate blogs that are covered with ads. I am really happy with the position of the ads I have on my site, they are either on the side of the post and only about 3 or 4 max, or at the bottom of a post if you read it on a mobile or device. So you don't have to scroll past heaps of ads to get the content.

2. Affiliate programs

Affiliate programs are a great way to make extra money from your blog. Meaning, if you write a review or do a post for a product, with a direct link to that product and then someone clicks through or buys that product, you make a percentage from that sale. This is something I don't really do anymore because it can be quite time consuming. I only do this if I'm really passionate about the product and would be writing about it anyway or if I go somewhere on holiday, I usually write about the holiday and then do an affiliate link with booking.com

Amazon Affiliates is one of the most popular ways to do affiliate posts.

3. Paid posts / collaborations

There have been times where I have been paid to do a post by a company. These are usually someone who has contacted me to endorse a particular product. For example if you have a fashion blog, clothing companies may get into contact with you and ask you to endorse a particular item or new collection, sometimes they send you the item or you agree on a price to write about the item. I recommend having a PR/Contact tab at the top or side column of your blog to make it easy for companies to contact you.

4. Having a product to sell

I really hate the term 'using your blog as a funnel for marketing a product' because my blog is so much important to me than that, and I really don't see it as a funnel or a marketing platform, it's more like my diary BUT generating large amounts of traffic to the place where you are also selling your product is a great way to make money.

For example; on my blog I have my two fiction novels available as e-books for sale Wallflower and Sunflower on the side of my blog. So sometimes people reading my blog have the option to click on my books and download a sample and buy the book. There is also the option to buy my artwork as there are links that take you directly through to my paintings.

Sometimes I write a post on how I drew something or how I painted something and at the end of the post it will display how you can purchase that item if you want.

It can be any product, there are some amazing bloggers out there who are graphic designers and sell their own blog templates and digital downloads, there's bloggers who are life/business coaches and sell their courses through their blog.

5. Youtube

I have a youtube channel where I make lots of art tutorials or time lapse videos when I'm doing a painting on a canvas. Sometimes I will write up the blog post and then embed the youtube video into the post as well. That way the reader can watch the video version of the painting. My videos are monetised as well so that drives up the number of views on the video and increases the amount of money earnt on a video too. The reader may then subscribe to your youtube channel which of course is a bonus too.

6. Job offers

I actually scored my last job (a journalist and Editor of a magazine) as a direct result of my blog. I had no journalism qualifications but my blog showcased my books and my writing in every post, as well as my photography and I was offered the position because of my blog which I think is quite a big achievement!

If you are showcasing your passions and your skills on your blog you are creating endless opportunity for yourself.

7. Sell ad space

This is basically an alternative to google adsense, where you can have control over the ads on your blog and have a set amount of income each month from selling adspace on your blog to companies or other bloggers.
There's a few simple ways to work out what to charge, one that I quite like is charging $1 for every thousand views your blog has. It's easy to explain and and simple to invoice. If you're getting 25,000 views per month on your blog, you'd be making $25 per ad on your blog....You can work out prices based on the size or position of the ad too. Google other formulas to find something that works well for you and your blog.

These are the only ways I have generated income from my blog and I think these are the best ones to implement straight away. I have only ever done affiliates or paid for posts about products I really do genuinely love and I do them few and far between just because my blog is much more 'lifey' and journal style as oppose to a review and advice type of blog and I don't want my blog to ever feel that way. BUT there are blogs that do just that and for that reason only, people love those kind of blogs, especially in the fashion and make-up/beauty product world.

I hope this was post was helpful to some of you who are wondering about making a bit of extra income from your blog or taking the plunge and starting a blog.
I am sure there are hundreds more things you can do and of course, the more traffic/bigger audience you have, the more opportunities that appear.

My only other blogger advice would be to write what you know, write what you're passionate about and be genuine and authentic, if you are, people will keep coming back.

And that it's much better to have less loyal followers, who come back and read every post than hundreds of clicks on one post but never return.

Have a great week

Love Hayley xo

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