Blogging is a popular hobby for many creatives, but turning your high quality content into a career can be tricky. From collaborating with brands to using affiliate links, here’s our guide to earning steady income from your blogging hobby.
So, you want to start making money from your blog
Whether you’ve been blogging for a few months or many years, turning your blogging hobby into a career is an achievable goal. On the surface paid collaborations with brands might seem like the only way to make money, but there are multiple options available to you. Here’s five ways you can start to earn an income from your blog (without selling out)!
Collaborate with brands
Probably the most obvious option to a lot of bloggers. Once you’ve built an engaged audience that buy into your recommendations, being paid to share products and services from brands is a feasible way to earn some income. Whether they reach out to you, or you pitch your influence to them, it’s important that you only accept collaborations with brands you are truly a fan of.
When negotiating fees with brands, think about the value of what you are providing to them (in terms of content they can use in marketing campaigns, predicted sales etc.) when deciding on a fee. If you’re worried you are undercharging, then up your rates a bit and see if brands are still willing to work with you. When you start to see a drop off in confirmed projects, you’ll know you’ve reached the limit of what you can charge per post.
Want to keep the brands you’re working with booking in for long-term partnerships? Make sure you provide an in-depth report after each collaboration, sharing all of the stats you have access to. You could even share DMs and comments from your audience that show their positive reaction to the brand or evidence of them buying from them off of your recommendation.
The more you can prove your ROI (return on Investment) to brands, the more likely they will be to work with you again. Creating reports for each collaboration will also provide you with a portfolio of work that you can use to prove your worth when pitching to other brands.
Use affiliate links
If you’re pitching to brands, and struggling to confirm collaborations for the fee you think you’re worth why not bypass the negotiations and use affiliate links to earn commission on the sales you influence? There’s a variety of affiliate programmes out there – RewardStyle, Skimlinks, 21 Buttons to name a few – so sign up to the most relevant ones for you.
Using affiliate links across your blog and social media is really simple. For your blog all you will need to do is use the affiliate link, instead of a regular one, where you reference the product or service. Just make sure you declare each link to your audience, or include a declaration at the top of the post so they know you use affiliate links and earn money from any purchases they make via the links.
For social media, some platforms allow you to make your images ‘shoppable’. This just means that when people screenshot the image (or click it on the affiliate platform) they can shop the items you’ve included directly. You could also include links in your Instagram captions, Pinterest descriptions, YouTube descriptions and Tweets. Again, just make sure you’re being transparent with your audience about earning money from these links.
Promote your own products or services
Do you have a product or service your audience might be interested in buying? Creating an audience around something you’re passionate about, and then selling them something that perfectly fits that niche can be a great way to start earning money from your blogging hobby.
Your audience will know you’re already passionate about whatever it is you create content around, so when you’re ready to launch a product or service (or if you already have one available) they will be far more likely to buy into it.
If you’re at the start of your blogging journey, keeping in mind the product or service you want to create can also be a great way to shape your content around your ideal customer. That way you’re more likely to draw them in with your high quality content, and when you’re ready to sell to them they will be far more receptive to the message.
If you’re in the process of creating a product or service you can also use your audience as a sounding board to make sure it’s perfect before launch. They can help you decide on a price point, colour schemes etc. and they will then feel more invested in your business when you do launch.
The important thing is to keep delivering high quality content for your audience. This will maintain your trust with them, and if they are your perfect customer it’s likely they will buy if they want to.
Start a membership
If you’re an expert within your field, or have skills you could share with your audience, why not set up a membership club? As well as your usual content, you could give your members access to more in-depth tutorials or 1-to-1 sessions.
Your blog can be a great way to market your membership options as your content can give people a taste of what they would be getting as a member. It can also be a great way for you to earn some income by providing your audience with more of what they love from you, and the opportunity to speak to you directly.
Once you’ve gained a few members, ask them for some testimonials and use these to also market your membership club via your blog and social media. Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool, and once your audience starts raving about what you offer within your membership club you’ll see an increase in signups.
5 key takeaways for turning your blog into a career
If you remember anything from this blog post, make it these five key points:
Diversify your income
Don’t rely on just one of these methods to start earning income from your blog. When the brand collaborations are flooding in, or you’re making a good income from affiliate links, it can be tempting to out your feet up. But then what do you do if the income dries up? Working on a few of these strategies, and nurturing them, will help you to avoid a vulnerable situation.
Focus on your relationship with your audience
You audience is the most valuable thing. They are who will help you to earn an income, but they’ll only spend money if they trust you and your recommendations. Focus on nurturing them and giving them the content they expect from you. Reply to your comments and messages to let them know they’re valuable to you. And if they do buy through your affiliate links or pay you a membership fee, thank them for this!
Get familiar with your stats
Knowing your stats is key when it comes to making money from your blog. Whether it’s the amount of engaged followers you have, how many items you sell per affiliate link or the amount of saves your Instagram posts get – these stats are what will help you to earn money. They demonstrate your worth to any brands you want to work with and will help you to predict how much income you could make from membership fees or affiliate links.
Be selective with your brand collaborations
The right brand collaboration can be a game changer for your account. The wrong one can do some extensive damage. As tempting as it can be to say yes when people offer to pay you to post, it’s important you take time to consider each partnership. Working with the wrong brands can undermine the trust your audience has in you, and when you actually have something worthwhile to promote they may be less likely to listen to you.
Lean into your natural skills
Do you love teaching? Are you a photoshop wizard? Do people frequently buy what you wear? The key to earning a good income from your blog is identifying where your skills are. There’s no point pushing affiliate links on an audience that will never buy, or promoting a photo editing course when people just follow you for easy meal recipes. Figure out what you’re good at (and what you audience need most from you) and build your income streams into this. It’s the best way to ensure you enjoy what you do, and your audience gets what they want.
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