I love a bit of transparency when it comes to earning, no matter if it’s in regards to our salaries or businesses. My reason for this curiosity is simple: transparency creates equality.
I have one example for this because nothing else is needed; as long as salary information is kept secret, men and women will never be able to earn the same for the same job. I rest my case.
Especially in regards to blogging I’m very curious about how people monetize their blogs and how much they earn. Not because I want to compare myself to them, but instead to get ideas and examples, like “Oh, you can do this like that as well!”
When we learn to compare each other in a positive way, so that we search for the ideas and inspiration in someone else’s success that could work for us as well, that’s when we can all be successful!
This post was completely inspired by Michelle of Daisybutter and her post on how she monetizes her blog. It made me really think about my blog’s journey from writing for fun to writing for profit. In just couple of months I’ve taken on multiple projects with different brands that benefit me in different ways.
Here’s How I Monetize My Blog
I have to take my hat off for my ex for getting me on board with all the monetizing options there were available when I started off self-hosted, and with the intention to make money with this happiness-project.
Of course, I had seen affiliate links and such in multiple blog posts before but I had no idea that one could just sign up to a platform and get affiliate links for multiple brands at once.
So, I started hording brands and links. There was just one little problem; in order to earn from those affiliate links you need a lot, I mean a lot of traffic to your site. Traffic which I didn’t have.
Quite quickly I became aware of the weak return rate that affiliate links have: Even with a decent monthly traffic (as in 10 000 to 50 000 monthly views) most bloggers earn just a couple hundred euros a month.
For me, being the one who sets her goals extra high, this didn’t seem like a viable option. So, I ended up leaving all those platforms, which promise you an 8% return for a 5€ purchase.
For clarity that means 0,40€ to you. Except there’s another twist; most platforms don’t pay out affiliate earnings unless those earnings exceed 50€. That’s a lot of 40 cent sales.
I do still use affiliate links but I’m extremely particular with the type of links. And of course, for the brands. No more fast fashion links or excessive look books full of clothes that most of you have in your closets already anyway.
The links that I include on Outlandish Blog are either about sustainable fashion and lifestyle, or services that I have found useful/helpful, and think you could benefit from as well.
Okay, not just takeover ads, also sidebar ads, footer ads, all sorts of ads spread all over a blog post.
Personally, I have found these ads extremely inconvenient. Particularly when it comes to user experience. They are distracting, on top of often being completely unrelated to the post they’re in. Nothing breaks the reading experience like an unrelated, flashy advert cutting the text in the middle.
This is a very popular strategy for many bloggers, and I completely understand why; the profit from them can be substantial, because even accidentally clicking one of those ads creates income.
The easiest way to add these adverts onto one’s website is by doing it through Google Ads. But then you might not have as much control on what is being advertised on your site, as you might want to.
Google determines the ads that each user sees each according to their recorded behaviour online. So, your post on how fast fashion is killing the planet might be teeming with ads on H&M and Primark. Mixed messages much?
I don’t use Google Ads at all, despite knowing how much revenue they might create. I want to keep things tidy and on point, but with Google Ads I have no control over what will be displayed on my site.
The only ads I have on my site can be found on the sidebar and at the end of each post. I personally requested the brand to create the banners from scratch for me, and the links on them are put there by me, not by Google or even the brand.
For me, the best income source is definitely sponsored posts. This can mean multiple things:
- a company sends me an article, which I then re-write and add my own pictures to. These posts usually include links and depending on your blog’s traffic amounts, you can earn between 50€-500€ per post
- a brand pays me for writing about their product(s), either a review or an introductory post, which also includes links to the brand’s website
- a brand sends me products for free to test out, and hope for an article with link references to their website or social media.
If you have a good relationship with a company that can send you articles to publish, you have a constant revenue stream in your hands. Some months there might be less articles than the previous month, but you can be pretty sure that you will have something to publish each month.
For branded posts there might be an amount of control that the brand wants to have on what and how you write; they may give you specific product information that you need to include into the post, or they might want you to write the post from a specific angle.
This can sometimes be a sloppy slope, in regards to juggling between your own credibility and the brand’s wishes, but in most cases there is a lot of space for negotiating the tone of your post.
There’s just one thing we should all keep in mind; not all articles, that you get sent, suit your blog. For example, if you publish an article about engagement rings just when you’ve announced that you broke up, it looks a bit dodgy.
Being authentic and staying reliable in terms of providing insight and recommendations, is one of bloggers’ biggest assets. If you lose the trust of your followers, you’re not going to sell any products or help any brand out. Nobody believes in your honesty anymore if they see how you’ve “sold yourself out”.
In addition to advertisement-sort of monetizing, there are dozens of other ways to make money with a blog. One of the most profitable ways is to provide people with online courses and material or resources to help them out in some way.
Online courses on blogging, self care and mindfulness are really popular and people are willing to pay for them. But first you need to grow your audience and especially your credibility as a course provider.
Since I haven’t tried them out yet, I can’t give you any insight, but hopefully in near future I will expand my repertoire. My ultimate goal is to give speeches and lectures about self confidence and empowerment especially to women, hopefully all over the world.
Whether on a video platform or on-stage, I don’t mind, but that’s something I will be working towards.
What’s your long-term blogging goal? Are you looking to be able to live on your blog or is it enough as an extra income source on top your 9-5 job? ♥
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