5 Ways Bloggers Make Money

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As a blogger, you spend a lot of time putting content together, scheduling, networking, and building up your social media channels. Your blog is your passion – it is a reflection of yourself. And with all the blood, sweat, and tears that you put into it, you may be wanting to turn your blog into a way to bring in income. I can’t count on two hands how many times I have been asked how I make money from my blog. Even though I am not a full-time blogger, I do still bring in extra income. And with so many people interested in turning their blog into something profitable, I am sharing the top 5 ways that bring in income along with a few tips, resources, and strategies that I use that have increased my success.

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1. Sponsored Posts

One of the biggest ways that bloggers make money is through sponsored posts. A sponsored post is a post that is created for the blog or social media that is paid for directly by the brand to promote their brand or product. You can identify sponsored content on blogs and social media by the disclosure statement within the blog post [This post is sponsored by… ] or with social media through the sponsored hashtags [ #ad or #sp ]. These types of posts can be secured through various ways. Either the brand or public relations agency will reach out to you directly through discovery {so make sure that you have a contact or “work with me” page} or you can secure them through influencer networks such as Activate, Fohr, TapInfluence, etc. Here’s a post that lists out a number of different networks specific to your niche.

2. Affiliate Links

When you see a blogger with a link at the end of their Instagram post or a shop the post widget that shows the pictures of the products within their post, they are using affiliate links to earn commission from the sales or clicks from their platforms. Many bloggers use affiliate links as a primary way of making money from their blog. My suggestion, if you are just starting out, is build this up very early. It is hard to secure sponsored posts at the beginning, but affiliate links can allow you to hit the ground running. Affiliate linking is probably one of the least stressful ways of earning an income because it doesn’t take much work other than promoting (which you are already doing) and including a link.

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Brand Ambassador

A brand ambassador is someone outside of the company that is working to promote the brand and products on a long-term basis. Those terms can vary from as little as 3 months to as along as a few years. It all depends on your relationship with the brand and what you are willing to establish in the contract.

Many brand ambassador partnerships are given to influencers with a very large reach and have worked with the brand on multiple campaigns prior.

Typically, with brand ambassadorships, you do end up cutting yourself off from other brand collaborations due to exclusivity requirements set by that brand. It’ll usually balance out in the long-run when it comes to compensation and the fact that since you have been seen doing brand ambassadorships, other brands may reach out after your contract with that one is over.

Banner Ads

Banner ads are another common type of revenue that many bloggers in their early stage use. It is similar to having affiliate links in your blog or social media posts, but banner ads are more visual and are seen in various places when clicking through your blog depending on where you place the banner.

Many bloggers but their banners in their sidebar, and you can find these options for banners on affiliate sites such as Rakuten and Impact Media. I have been dabling in some in my sidebar, which is only shown on my main page, but it is touch and go for me. I used to use the automatic ad placement from Google Ads, but it became too cluttery for me and the ads would pop up in random places such as the middle of my blog posts, and I didn’t like that.

Services

If you are a blogger that doesn’t have a niche that involves product placement – such as maybe you started your blog for used on photography, art, tips on staying organized, interior design, etc – then maybe selling your services may be a little more of a benefit.

If you have delved into photography or videography, create a page that lists your rates for your services. If the page exists, Google will then have it included in it’s search engine, and people will eventually come. Obviously, you should still be promoting your page and services on your own, but make it known that you are offering your special services.

Even bloggers who have found success in pitching or helping other bloggers have started making money off of their mentoring or advisement services.

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Extra, Extra – Gifting

Now, I’m not going to say that gifting is a way to pay your bills. Believe me, I’ve asked my cable guy when he came to fix our set-up if he would be willing to take some gifted products for compensation. I already knew the answer would be no, but I wanted to make it a point to brands that gifting us products in exchange for advertisement is not a form of compensation. I can’t keep my lights on for gifted product!

But gifted products is a source of income when it comes to bloggers having to balance their accounts. Gifted product without compensation can be hurtful to you in the long-run, especially during tax time. When gifted product is received, you have to note that as a form of income – especially if they are gifting you the products for your services. They are essentially paying you in the form of product. So, if you take a $400 pair of jeans as compensation for an Instagram post, you need to log that as you received $400 in income. With this, you’ll eventually see that you have tons of money coming in, but it isn’t in your bank account.

So the lesson here is, yes, gifted product is great, but know you’re worth. You are meant to be paid for your services. Don’t be afraid to ask as about payment, and it’s okay to say no. I have found that being forthright with brands is more beneficial for both sides.

And also keep in mind, the more you say ‘yes’ to gifted compensation, the more the brands/companies will keep asking you because you’ve already done it before. Then when you finally say ‘no’, they may just walk away.

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