In the past few weeks, I have been asked by several people about how bloggers make money. One person was completely shocked to find out that influencers can make a living from blogging! I think it’s important to be aware of the business side of blogging, especially since it has become a part-time or full-time gig for many, so I thought it would be helpful to put together a post informing bloggers and non-bloggers alike on how blogging can be a source of income.
Most bloggers didn’t start blogging with the idea of turning it into a business. A lot of bloggers started when no one was watching and never imagined that the industry would become what it is today. Marketers now look to bloggers as one of the best forms of advertising. Bloggers spend years building trust with their audience, and in return, this can benefit brands when trying to get more eyes on their products.
There are a lot of ways that bloggers make money, but I’m only going to focus on the ones I’ve tried. Keep in mind that bloggers can also gain income in the following ways: ads on their site through advertising networks like Google AdSense, private ads, selling memberships to exclusive parts of your site, hosting/co-hosting events, speaking engagements, etc.
Affiliate Links. There are two types of affiliate links: pay-per-click or commission. When these links are embedded into a blog post or shared via social media, the blogger has the opportunity to earn a little cash. The biggest affiliate platforms are Reward Style’s Like To Know It and Shop Style Collective.
In my experience, this is not a great source of income. I started using affiliate links about three years ago and just received my first payout earlier this year. Most affiliate programs only pay out at $100 or more. For bloggers who have a huge following or those whose audience is constantly asking about where they got something, this way of monetizing might work better, but I definitely would look for other options when it comes to monetizing your blog.
Sponsored Posts. This is when a brand reaches out directly to a blogger or that blogger pitches to a brand for a collaboration. Let’s say a beauty brand reaches out about a new product launch for X brand. They will usually gift you the product and give you their rate for the collaboration or ask for yours, then you can negotiate or pass on the opportunity. This form of marketing has been so popular that a lot of companies now have influencer budgets just for this purpose.
Sponsored posts are where I bring in the majority of my income outside of my jewelry business. Keep in mind that I am very selective of the brands I work with and only work with those who align with my values and audience.
Selling your own product or services. This one is huge and is the best way to go if you want to stay in the business for the long haul. A lot of bloggers will come up with e-courses, digital products, clothing or beauty lines, or even consulting services. Once you’ve established trust with your following, this is the ideal vertical climb to monetization.
Before I started my jewelry line, I thought about launching an e-course for new bloggers, but there were already so many good resources out there that I decided not to. I’m really glad I went in the jewelry direction since accessories are my favorite thing to wear and a great compliment to my blog.
Whatever you decide, make sure it’s a good fit for your blog and makes sense to your audience. You want to develop something that will resonate with them and hopefully something they will want to buy.
I hope this post has helped provide some context of how bloggers make money. If you’re new to blogging and want some more tips, check out the posts below.
Shop the post:
Blouse: J. Jill (on sale) c/o | Pant: Peach Ponte Crop Pant c/o | Necklace: Lace & Pearls Jewelry | Bracelet: Lace & Pearls Jewelry | Shoes: J.Jill c/o | Purse: Marc by Marc Jacobs (similar) | Lipstick: Tom Ford c/o (color Scarlet Rouge)
*c/o: courtesy of or gifted
Photography: Nicholas Mercado