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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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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?