This post may contain affiliate links to awesome products that I love. I won't promote items that I don't use or think you'll find useful. The full disclosure policy can be found here.
When it comes to earning money blogging, there are a lot of different paths to take. This post was inspired by some YouTube comments talking about how bloggers and vloggers earn money. I’m sure that most people don’t get their information from comments on YouTube, but either way, there’s a lot of misinformation out there! There are many misconceptions about how bloggers and vloggers make money. In the comments that I just mentioned, one user stated that the YouTuber in question got paid “loads of money” from YouTube. In actuality, YouTube doesn’t directly pay anyone! So, how do bloggers make money? There are four common ways for bloggers to earn an income.
How do bloggers make money?
Just how do bloggers make money? It’s almost always one of four ways, and most likely a combination of two, three or all four. Let’s start with the simplest ways for bloggers to earn money on the side, or a full time income.
Bloggers and vloggers alike make can earn money with ad income. As mentioned earlier, YouTube doesn’t pay anyone to make videos. Those who make money through YouTube do it through advertisements with Google Adsense. As YouTube is a google company, and it’s easy to monetize with Adsense. YouTube has implemented a policy where monetization (making money) doesn’t happen until a certain number of views. You know those sometimes annoying videos that you see at the beginning of, or in the middle of YouTube videos? That is how YouTuber’s make money. There are other ways to make money with videos, but generally when someone refers to making money “from YouTube” what they really mean is from ads.
Bloggers can also make money using Adsense immediately after starting a blog. Many bloggers move on to bigger companies, like AdThrive, once they reach a certain number of page views per month. These other companies tend to pay better than Adsense, but a few bloggers continue to use Adsense. Making money from ads can be simple, because it’s mostly passive. However, for most bloggers, ads aren’t where the majority of income comes from.
Let’s say that you love reading my blog, and want to start your own. You could use my link for my awesome host, Siteground, and start your own blog. I would then get a small percentage of the price that you pay for hosting, at no additional cost to you. That is one example of affiliate marketing, but there are plenty more! Bloggers can also promote products on Amazon, or products like the Ultimate Bundles. If something is sold online, there’s more than likely an affiliate program for it.
Many new bloggers start promoting random products, just because the commission is high. This is a bad idea, and your readers will know that it isn’t genuine. I personally only promote products that I have used, could use, or feel add value to my readers lives.
If you want to learn more on affiliate marketing, check out the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course. It’s one course that I would recommend for anyone trying to make money. My affiliate income increased right after I started this course. There was so much information that I hadn’t thought of, and it’s all very easy to understand.
Affiliate income is another way that vloggers/YouTuber’s make money. Most videos have links to favorite products, products used in the video, etc, in the description box. Most likely, these links are affiliate links.
Many bloggers make money through sponsorship with various companies. A company may send a blogger a product for free, hoping that they will mention it in a blog post. Many established bloggers don’t accept free items in return for blog posts, unless it’s an item that they really want. It’s up to you to decide your own rates, and what works or does not work for your own business.
Many bloggers sign up for influencer networks like Izea or Influence Central. These networks can make it easier for sponsors and bloggers to connect. Many companies reach out directly to bloggers, and bloggers can also reach out directly to companies they’d like to work with. There are many levels of sponsorship, from a free item, to $100, to a fully paid vacation. The level of sponsorship depends on the sponsoring company, the bloggers own rates along with blog traffic and many other factors.
Selling Their Own Products
Most established bloggers create their own products at some point. They sell these products themselves and through affiliates. Products range from printables to ecourses to ebooks and even physical items like t-shirts or coffee mugs. Selling products isn’t usually the first thing that bloggers do starting out, but most long-term bloggers end up selling some type of product.
Now that I’ve answered the question, how do bloggers make money, you might wonder what’s the best way to make money blogging. The truth is, there isn’t one best way! Lindsay, over at Pinch of Yum doesn’t publish income reports anymore. However, if you look at her last income report, you’ll see that over $50,000 was from ads alone. In one month. Some bloggers absolutely rock affiliate marketing. Michelle of Making Sense of Cents is a great example of this. She created her own product around her success as an affiliate marketer. See how it all works together? Other bloggers are great at working with brands via sponsorship. Jenny Melrose has one of my favorite business podcasts. Working with brands is her specialty!
All three of the bloggers that I mentioned utilize all four of the methods listed here, in some capacity. They all have their own products, whether that be a course or an ebook. All three bloggers are in different niches, and all have had great success.
Building a social media following is great for a blog. Not only can social media bring in new traffic, but it’s “social proof” to brands that people really do care about your opinion. Money can be made with social media, but again it goes back to things like sponsorship and affiliate marketing.
One more way that bloggers can make money
One final way that bloggers make money is virtual assisting. Many bloggers do VA work for other bloggers as a way to earn extra income. I didn’t include this in the list, since I consider it more of a side hustle, rather than actual blog income.
As a shameless plug for myself, I offer VA work to other bloggers and photographers. With a background in photography, I specialize in photo editing, creating images for all aspects of your blog (Facebook, Pinterest, etc.) I also offer social media management (including Pinterest,) writing blog posts and any other “behind the scenes” work. If you need help with your blog, just email me!
I hope this post answered all of your questions about how bloggers make money. It can vary, but all four ways that I listed can be very successful if you work hard and stay consistent. If you’re currently blogging, I’d love to know if, and how you’re earning an income. If you’re not yet earning an income, it’s okay! I blogged for over three years before I even knew you could make money other than a few pennies from Google Adsense. If you haven’t started a blog yet, why wait? Head over and check out my two things to pay for when you start a blog post, and get started on your own blogging journey.
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