How to Make Money from Blogging & Social Media: Health, Fitness & Food Blogs

Do you have a blog and want to make money from it?

Or maybe you have started to monetise your blog but it’s still not enough to cover the costs.

Then this is the ideal blog post for you to read.

how to make money from blogging

Why am I giving tips about to how make money from blogging?

Well, I got to speak on a panel last weekend at Balance Festival on ‘how to monetise your blog’ and I want to share what we talked about for those of you who were unable to attend. The information is going to be split into two blog posts, with the second one about ‘working with brands’ to follow next week.

The panel was hosted by Fab Giovanetti, founder of the Health Bloggers Community and joining me on the sofa were Niki Webster and Tara Gadre.

Niki is a full time blogger who works as a freelance food consultant, recipe creator, food stylist and photographer and IIN health coach. Having had a successful career in digital & brand marketing within the food industry, she has now gone freelance to follow her foodie passion. Her award winning food blog Rebel Recipes is where she shares her delicious but easy plant based recipes.

Tara is a PT and fitness blogger living in London. She is a strength and conditioning coach, as well as Precision Nutrition trained and has been blogging at By Tara London for over 5 years. By day she trains clients, and also by day she can be found blogging around London, creating content for brands and working on fitness start ups.

I set up my blog around 18 months ago and won the Heath Bloggers Community ‘Blogger of the Year Award’ in my first 6 months. This really increased my confidence and opened doors for me to work with brands such as Aldi, NutriNinja and Pic’s Peanut butter! I am studying a full time PhD, so blogging is taking a bit of a back seat at the moment, but I want to earn enough money to cover my costs and to allow me to travel to London each month for events.

tips to monetise your blog

Things to think about when monetising your blog and social media accounts

1. Content creation for brands

Niki, Tara and myself all agreed that content creation is our favourite way to work with brands and to make money from our blog. Content creation for us usually takes the form of recipes, food styling, photography, reviews and blog posts sharing our experience or expertise in a particular areas (e.g. fitness for Tara). The content you create can be shared on your blog and/or the brands website and social media accounts.

Brands are always looking for new content to keep their customers and readers interested. As a blogger you have a unique audience and skill set that will be valuable to brands. Some brands may just want to further their reach by connecting with your audience, but a lot of them will really benefit from your creativity and skills.

To do: Make a list of the things that you enjoy doing for your blog/ social media account and how it could help a brand.

2. Ambassador programs

As an ambassador you would be responsible for promoting the brand you’re working with. Brands often have other conditions, such as you share a certain number of blog/social media posts using their product per month and you might not be allowed to show that you use a similar product from their competitors.

Being an ambassador is generally a long-term arrangement, which is great because you know you have a guaranteed income and free products for a certain period of time. It’s also nice to be able to share your love of a certain brand.

However, I think that there are a few things to be cautious of before agreeing to be an ambassador. In my experience ambassador programs can be quite demanding in terms of the number of posts that you are expected to produce using the brands products and the specific things that you need to do for each post. Since at present I only post on my blog once per week, it wouldn’t be feasible for me to post for a brand twice per month, since then it would take up half of my posts for that month! Obviously, if you do post more frequently this might not be a problem for you.

Also, remember that you’re going to be endorsing the product. So make sure to collaborate with a company that you do genuinely love and fit’s with the ethos of your personal brand.

To do: Check the website of 5 of your favourite companies to see if they run an ambassador program.

3. Ads

We didn’t really discuss this too much on the panel, but paid advertising is a more traditional way to make money from your blog. This system is based on the number of page views you have and clicks on the adverts. If you are getting a lot of traffic to your blog (i.e. 30,000+ views per month) then this would be a really easy passive income stream.

Which advertisement provider should you chose? I have Gourmet Ads on my blog and AdSense is another one.

I would also mention though that you don’t have a lot of control over which ads are shown. For example, I requested that no ads were shown for unhealthy products but I have still seen ads for McDonalds and Cadburys Easter Eggs appearing!! It has crossed my mind a few times to stop using an ad provider because of this!

To do: Check your page views and see if you think that including ads would be a good way for you to make money from your blog. If it is then you should check the requirements of different ad providers and apply! Also, check out this article outlining common reasons you might not be accepted by advertising companies.

4. E-Books or e-courses

E-books or courses are a brilliant way to make money from your blog. Your readers find your blog and keep coming back because they think that the content you share is interesting and helpful. By creating an e-book or course you can help them even further and make a profit for yourself. Plus, because it is an online book or course it can be purchased by anyone anywhere in the world and you don’t have the same costs associated with printing a real book or running a course in the real world.

I would also recommend that you google search for ‘tips on how to create an e-book or e-course’. I was planning to write an e-book of sugar free recipes in February and I spent ages trialling the recipes and a whole weekend creating them again and photographing them. But I hadn’t decided in advance on the layout of my book, so all of the photos were different shapes and didn’t fit in a consistent layout. I got so stressed out about it that I just gave up!!

To do: Think about the most popular posts on your blog, what you get asked the most often and/or your area of expertise. How could you turn that into a e-book or course?

5. Believe you can do it!

I have spoken to so many people with amazing blogs who create content for free and don’t know how to go about monetising their blog. We all agreed that it can be scary to ask for payment when you contact brands and ad agencies or when people contact you. But you are offering a service and your time and skills are valuable not to mention the other associated costs that might be coming out of your own pocket at present (e.g. ingredients for recipes, props, travel).

My biggest advice would be to believe you can do it.

Feel the fear and do it anyway!

What’s the worst that could happen?

The worst is that they say no and you end up doing it for free like you would have done if you never asked!

To do: Next time a brand contacts you just go for it and tell them your rates or ask if they would like to negotiate a price for the project. 

Don’t know what to charge? I will be discussing this more in the ‘blogging tips’ post next week!

feel the fear and do it anyway

And possibly the most important thing that we discussed at length

6. Keep your integrity!

I have already mentioned it when I talked about ambassador programs, but it is so important that the ways you work with brands and monetise your blog are consistent with your ethos. Niki advises to ‘go with your gut’ when deciding to accept a job or offer. You can jeopardise your authenticity and the trust your readers have in you if you are seen to be promoting a whole range of products that don’t fit with the message of your blog. It might be tempting to try and make a quick buck but is it really worth it in the long run?

 

Want more blogging tips?

Advice for new and aspiring bloggers

How to: create an insta-worthy breakfast bowl

Expert tips: How to create an insta-worthy breakfast bowl

And follow my ‘Blogging Tips’ Pinterest board with over 75 pins!

 

Let me know how it’s going if you have started to monetise your blog and what strategies you have used.

Or if you haven’t started yet- what is stopping you and what do you need to know to make it clearer and easier?

 

 

48 Comments

  1. May 21, 2017 / 4:01 pm

    Thanks so much for this post, was looking foward to it after you mentioned it on your Insta Stories. I think no.5 is really important, especially as a very new and small blog. I still don’t really believe brands would want to have me promote their products given my tiny following, I guess I just keep plugging away doing my thing. If a brand DOESNT have an Ambassador scheme would you recommend approaching them?

    • Heathy & Psyched
      May 21, 2017 / 4:49 pm

      Hi Vicky,
      I still have to psych myself up before I press send on a message asking if a brand have a budget or telling them my rates! But if you don’t ask you don’t get; you only have something to gain!
      I absolutely love your blog- the layout looks very professional and your photos are amazing 🙂 I think lots of brands would be keen to work with you.
      If a brand doesn’t have an ambassador scheme you could just suggest it to them. Or maybe arrange a collaboration on a series of recipes- I know Fab is always suggesting this. Also I think it’s always nice to have met someone from the brand face-to-face first, or have been talking to them on social media. Just so they know that you do genuinely love their products and are a good fit for them.
      Hope that answer was helpful – I am going to do a post next week about collaborating with brands which will also include some things we talked about on the panel about how to get in contact with brands 🙂 Let me know if you have any other questions you’d like me to try and answer in it.
      p.s. thankyou for signing up to my mailing list.

      • May 23, 2017 / 10:20 am

        Thanks so much lovely, I really appreciate your kind comments! Your point about meeting in person is such a good one. There are a couple of brands I think I could do good things with and maybe help, I’ll perhaps seek out opportunities to meet them at events etc. Look forward to the follow up!

  2. May 21, 2017 / 6:00 pm

    Some great advice – I’ve been making money from my blog for 6 months now and it’s opened up a whole new world x

    • Heathy & Psyched
      May 21, 2017 / 6:23 pm

      Hi Jo, congratulations on monetising your blog 🙂

  3. May 21, 2017 / 6:08 pm

    YES point 6! I get that bills have to be payed but I’ve seen so many of my fav blogs posting random sponsored content for gambling sites that is totally off-brand for them and their blog.

    • Heathy & Psyched
      May 21, 2017 / 6:25 pm

      That’s such a shame. I think sometimes it can be hard to say no to people when they are offering you money! Also, sometimes people are pretty persistent- but luckily I know what I want for my blog and I’m not in the position that I won’t eat if my blog doesn’t make a certain amount of money.

  4. erinalice
    May 21, 2017 / 7:59 pm

    These are all great tips! I agree that number 6 is important, especially when you start out. Even without experience I think you usually have a good gut feeling but then it’s easy to put pressure on yourself to ‘not miss an opportunity’

    • Heathy & Psyched
      May 21, 2017 / 8:27 pm

      Thanks Erin. I know what you mean – I think there is advice out there along the lines of ‘say yes to everything’, but I feel that being more selective can be a good thing. And you never know, a new opportunity may come up that you wouldn’t have been able to take if you had already committed to something else!

  5. May 21, 2017 / 10:14 pm

    This is such a great post thank you! This is definitely my intention to get my blog to a space where I can make a small income from it. I work full time but would love to have something small on the side so these are great tips! Reading things like this always give me renewed motivation. Looking forward to your next one!!

    • May 22, 2017 / 10:53 pm

      Hey 🙂 I’m so happy you found this post motivating. What’s your blog? I would love to take a look- the link on your name doesn’t seem to be working.

        • May 23, 2017 / 9:05 am

          I think I may have fixed it.. let me know if you can now click on the link to get to my site.

          • May 27, 2017 / 9:50 pm

            Works now 🙂
            Great blog. I love how it tells your personal story.

  6. May 22, 2017 / 2:38 am

    Thank you for a great and informative post Rachel. I am really struggling with all these aspects. Have been getting frustrated that I am spending too much time and effort on my blog without getting much in return. Your suggestions are very helpful. In your next post, will you be covering how to shortlist which brands to approach? Many thanks! -Indu

    • May 22, 2017 / 10:56 pm

      Hi. Thanks for your comment. I can definitely cover which brands to approach or how I decide who I am going to email 🙂 I totally sympathise with feeling like you spend too much time and effort on your blog! It’s so disappointing when I write what I think is a great recipe or post then it isn’t popular immediately. But sometimes they get more traffic after a few weeks or if you post in the right facebook group.

      • May 23, 2017 / 2:01 am

        thank you! I don’t find FB very useful for my blog at all since I feel they don’t push my feed to all my followers even. They keep asking me if I would like to promote my page using their ad 🙁 And I feel like I don’t want to spend more money when I am not even sure of the return. I will look forward to your next post.

  7. rhianwestbury
    May 22, 2017 / 9:09 am

    I don’t run ads or have affiliate links but I work with brands on sponsored ads and find this makes me a bit of money x

    • May 22, 2017 / 10:57 pm

      Sounds like a great approach. I keep thinking of taking my ads off since I’m not 100% happy with them and they aren’t really generating me a whole lot of income!

  8. May 22, 2017 / 9:21 am

    Such a great post! I’ve been blogging for years but never really thought of it as a money-making machine. I do still run the occasional ads and use affiliate links, but I definitely need to give the other options here a go! Thank you!

    • May 22, 2017 / 10:59 pm

      Hey Elodie, I love your blog and blog name 🙂 I think if your blog is a fun hobby and isn’t costing you too much then it’s not too important to be making an income from it. But if you are spending your time working with companies you should definitely be reimbursed for it 🙂

  9. May 22, 2017 / 10:10 am

    Thanks for sharing such great tips.I’m happy to read monetised sites as long as it’s clearly labelled as such, it really annoys me when people don’t declare paid for posts!

    • May 22, 2017 / 11:01 pm

      Hi Jenny, Yeah I think that is super important. When I first started receiving products for free or doing sponsored posts I wrote a little note at the bottom because I was worried what people reading my blog would think. Now I try to make it clearer from the beginning.

  10. This is a great post. As a food blogger I like the challenge of using a particular product in a post and always fully disclose that it’s paid. It’s all still my ideas, pictures and words and I don’t think my readers mind as they realise that I need to pay the mortgage. I’m so pleased to make a living as a full-time blogger and your tips are all spot on.

    • May 22, 2017 / 11:03 pm

      Hey Kate. I am a follower on twitter and I don’t think I’ve ever said that I love the concept of your blog!! I love to sneak veggies (or fruit) into everything (or almost everything I make). I’m so pleased that you agree with these tips given that you blog full time. If you have any other advice I would love to hear it 🙂

  11. May 22, 2017 / 1:03 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing your insight on this! I attended Balance Festival and this was one of the talks I really wanted to go to but I live a bit too far from London to have got there in time, so I’m really happy to see you share some of the things you spoke about 🙂 Looking forward to the next post.

    • May 22, 2017 / 11:05 pm

      Hey. Did you have fun at balance festival. I had to get a super early train from Derby to make it on time! Hopefully the next post (on Sunday) is going to be super helpful .

  12. May 22, 2017 / 3:20 pm

    These are some really great tips, I have been blogging for 4 years and earning for 3 years but always love learning of new ways to make money whilst still trying to maintain my integrity as a blogger and being true to myself

  13. May 22, 2017 / 3:24 pm

    Some great ideas here. I make a full time income from my blog. I feel it is important to be pro-active and pitch for work as not all the opportunities will come to you, you have to seek them out as well

    • May 22, 2017 / 11:07 pm

      Oh amazing. Great tip – I think it can be scary to create opportunities at first, but it’s so rewarding.

  14. May 22, 2017 / 4:27 pm

    Most of the income that I make from my blog is from sponsored posts, but I am hoping that I can start using ads to create a passive income stream x

    • May 22, 2017 / 11:08 pm

      Hi Ana. I’m not really sure of any ad providers that would be a good fit with your niche but it would certainly be a good thing to try out.

  15. May 23, 2017 / 10:49 am

    I’ve never really thought about making money from my blog. It isn’t something I would want to do if I’m honest. I prefer to keep it as a hobby. But these are some helpful tips for those who want to branch out more x

    • May 27, 2017 / 9:52 pm

      Hey Kirsty, Good decision to keep it as a hobby. I just decided to monetise my blog because it was starting to cost me quite a bit in ingredients for recipes and travel to events. It does create an added pressure though.

  16. May 23, 2017 / 11:53 am

    These are some really fantastic tips – I love the idea of an ebook when I get time to do one who knows. Really inspiring post

    Laura x

    • May 27, 2017 / 9:56 pm

      Thanks Kaz. I think advertising is worth it if you have a lot of page views and it is easy money because you don’t need to do anything extra to do it, but I do the pressure to get more page views than when I didn’t have ads!!

  17. May 23, 2017 / 8:04 pm

    Great tips. I completely agree with only accepting opportunities that are relevent to your blog! So important!

    • May 29, 2017 / 4:05 pm

      Thanks. It can be so tempting to do other things, especially if it is good money or you really want to try a product. But I think I would always not feel quite comfortable doing it.

  18. Lynne Harper
    May 24, 2017 / 7:03 pm

    Such a fabulous post, very helpful for us newbies who may find the next step a tad scary x

    • May 29, 2017 / 4:07 pm

      Thanks Lynne. I know it took me quite a while to decide to monetise my blog. At first I was just happy to get freebies from companies, but then I realised how long I was spending on making content I knew I had to start charging and looking into other ways to make money.

  19. May 25, 2017 / 10:29 pm

    Great post with lots of helpful tips! I’m a full-time blogger so monetising my blog is something I spent a lot of time concentrating on xo

    • May 29, 2017 / 4:10 pm

      Oh my gosh, yes – I can imagine. Amazing you have made a career of blogging 🙂

  20. May 28, 2017 / 5:33 pm

    Loved the read Rachel! We love it when our fellow bloggers are open and generous about their experience 🙂 Keep slaying girl!

  21. May 29, 2017 / 3:39 pm

    This is really insightful. Thank you Rachel. I’ve only just started blogging and am definitely nowhere near being able to monetise my blog, but great to read how to go about it if I do decide to go down that route!

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