A little while ago I gave a presentation at the Annual Bloggers Bash in London with the focus being on monetising a blog and using a blog to make money in other creative and writing fields. Since then, I’ve received numerous requests to post the content of my presentation for those who were unable to attend, so here it is (hopefully with a little less waffle)…
Having a blog has been a life-changing experience. It has allowed me a lifestyle that I could have only previously dreamed of and enabled me to take more control of when and where I work and who I work for. Four-and-a-half years ago I was working as a teacher, I had an outstanding reputation and good results and was in a financially stable and secure role… And I was miserable – stressed, tired, depressed and had started to develop panic attacks. Writing has always been therapeutic and the house was beginning to become overrun by beautiful notebooks containing my scribbles, so The Bloke (who is an IT Technician) suggested that I start a blog. After a particularly bad day I signed up to WordPress, hastily gave myself a name, wrote a post and pressed the publish button. That was it – there were no expectations or technical knowledge behind what I was doing (I don’t think I even used tags for the first few weeks) – but it became a hobby that I quickly found satisfying. That was in April 2013 and by March 2015 I handed in my resignation and left the teaching profession at the end of the academic year.
Over time I had started to see different ways in which other bloggers were making money and the most prominent and seemingly easy way to do so were through sponsored posts. The premise of a sponsored post is simple – a company pays a blogger to review a product or service either with monetary compensation, free products or both and the blogger then does a review on their blog. However, the majority of my audience at the time were bloggers, so I decided to open up the idea of a sponsored post to the blogging community in the form of a ‘Blog of the Day.’ I would write a review about someone else’s blog and charge a certain amount for it and then if they were a WordPress .com blog and wanted further promotion I would reblog one of their posts and charge a little more. It turned out to be an instant success and within the first month I made enough to cover some of my bills.
Want to be featured as a ‘Blog of the Day’ to over 19,000 collective monthly readers? Check out my ‘Sponsorship and PR’ page for prices.
This then lead to the idea of affiliate links and I found that being an affiliate for other blogger’s courses was another way of making money. I would be given a code and then would received a certain percentage of the sale from anyone who purchased a course via my blog.
After seeing the range of courses available from other bloggers I then decided to create my own via the Teachable platform. My strength at the time lay in the utilisation of Twitter to market my blog and by that point my weekly hashtag – #SundayBlogShare – was (and still is) the biggest blogging hashtag of the weekend. So, I wrote a Five Day Mini Starter Kit course for anyone who was struggling with different aspects of setting up their Twitter account including the tools available and how to use chats, retweet accounts and link-ups to promote their blog. I decided to charge an introductory rate of $30 to gain some interest – I then promoted it on my blog and across large Facebook groups and was pleasantly surprised by the number that I sold.
I then teamed up with another blogger – Elena Peters – who had created several Pinterest and BoardBooster courses and we offered a package deal in which my course would essentially be a free bonus item with the purchase of hers, and we split the money made.
Networking and Workshops
I started to network across Twitter and formed links with a few networking companies. This lead to me running paid social media and blog workshops with various groups in my local area on how to increase your blog traffic and utilise social media, and then I decided to team up with a local blog friend to launch our own workshop. From this, I gained one-to-one clients to set up their blogs and social media accounts.
Social Media Management
After the development of my own social media accounts I found that not only was I getting tens of thousands of views from there, I was also getting daily emails requesting advice on different aspects of Twitter and Pinterest in particular, so I decided that I would start charging for my time. This is one of the biggest issues that I have found with bloggers – they are superb at boosting the confidence of others but aren’t as effective when doing the same thing for themselves, and like many others it took me a long time to realise that my knowledge and skills deserved compensation. I started to take on the roles of Pinterest and Twitter social media management, building up accounts for other bloggers, with great success. My client list grew and what I discovered was that clients who were pleased with the outcome would renew for a second and third month. One client in particular I have had for five months, and her monthly views have gone from just over a hundred to ten times that amount on Pinterest alone. I also started to help bloggers who had self published their own novels – helping them on their launch day, advertising and promoting blog parties for them etc. I have a page dedicated to my social media management and I promote my services regularly using my blog as a platform for essentially what is free advertising for myself.
Interested in hiring me as a social media manager? Check out my Social Media management page in my menu for more details.
Flat Lay Photography
And my next project? I have spent some time taking lots of flat lay images which bloggers are looking for when creating images for their blog. They will be available over the summer – stay tuned!
Other Money Making Ideas
There’s lots of other ways in which I have seen bloggers make an income, but haven’t done myself.
Further affiliate places: Some use WordAds, some use Amazon affiliates. Some make money advertising hosts such a Bluehost. They don’t bring in massive amounts of money unless you have an enormous following, but any money made is money that wasn’t there before, right?
Some have made money by taking part in paid surveys. Here is a comprehensive list of places you can make money in this way.
Advertising – in the same way bloggers can make money from individual posts, they can also have monthly advertising slots in their sidebar for different companies.
Freelance writing and guests posts. Some bloggers are paid for individual articles on other sites.
Some make money through consultations – Elena offers a consultation service for Pinterest at a ridiculously reasonable rate.
Tips for Making Money with Your Blog
- Don’t be afraid of approaching people and companies. They can only say no.
- Build your resources! Create an informative and effective media kit to send out to companies. Ensure that you get testimonials from anyone that you have worked with.
- Don’t spam and be eloquent and succinct in your interactions.
- Avoid comparisons and competition with anyone else – do what you know and avoid being put off by the success of others.
And, above all, if you have something to offer, then tell people on your blog. Create individual posts and put something in your menu and sidebar system, talk about your services across your social media accounts and in Facebook threads that allow it.
Want to contact me further? You can email me firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to follow my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks