Mark your calendar. Next Monday, my post ‘Full-Proof Way to Make Money Blogging’ is going viral. I’ve spent a lot of time crafting and editing it, to ensure you have all the information you need to prosper in the world of blogging. You don’t want to miss it. But before next week, I thought it would be good background to share with you how I personally make money.
Keep in mind, I have been blogging for over 9 years, which makes me an online dinosaur. Please no whining about why I’m able to monetize my blog and maybe you’re not. Try blogging consistently for 9 years then get back to me.
What I earn is not a lot, but it’s not chump change either. In total, I average a couple hundred dollars a month (revenue). I have expenses that need to be factored in, but the point is I actually get companies and brands to SHOW ME THE MONEY! I never thought it was possible.
My expenses include web hosting, graphic design, and virtual assistance, which reduce my profit, but I also have a full-time job outside of blogging, working for a Fortune 25 company. That means, I’m essentially making money from a hobby and also writing off my business expenses for tax purposes.
Key point: Bloggers make money in direct correlation to the business work that they put into it.
If I didn’t have a full-time job and if I had more time to devote to the marketing and sales of my brand, I would earn more. I’d have to work my ass off, but absolutely, I’d make substantially more than I already do.
I make money 4 ways, in descending order:
- Sponsored Posts
- Sponsored Tweets
- Free Product
For me, monetization started when brands asked if I would consider sponsored posts. They set the rate and I just went with it, especially since I had never made money before. Then bigger brands contacted me, giving me the confidence to negotiate and command more.
Side Story: I attended a blogging webinar sponsored by a design brand. The Head of PR said she was looking for blogs that were well-designed with page ranks 3 and above. That’s not me. I shrugged and figured I’m not a design blog so I wouldn’t have been the right fit anyway. Hours later, the company contacted me about advertising on my blog. The takeaway? Don’t reject yourself before companies have the chance to consider you. Have confidence!
As a member of the BlogHer network, brands are interested in my Twitter following, of which I have 7,000+ followers. These are followers that I have cultivated over time which is considered massive influence. I’m paid $50 for my ad tweets.
Quick plug that my Tweets are really informative, stemming from the fact that I have an academic and entrepreneurial background, and I’m pretty knowledgeable when it comes to new technology, venture capital, etc. If you don’t follow me already, check out my Twitter feed and see for yourself.
With a 60+ Klout score, I get a lot of free products because of my influence (Flip headphones, Braun thermometer, leather laptop case, etc.) in exchange for an honest review.
Lastly, I make money through advertising (those ads in my sidebar and at the bottom of my site). I’m with Federated Media, one of the top ad networks.
Here’s the deal, what works for me won’t necessarily work for you. It drives me nuts when I read posts on blog monetization and they say, you gotta get on Pinterest, or you have to know SEO. It’s total bullshit. It’s all about marketing and selling yourself and cogently explaining what your strengths are.
Here are my selling points:
- Blogging for over 9 years
- MBA University of Chicago Booth School of Business; BA University of California at Berkeley
- Highly-educated, large income-generating followers
- Followers concentrated in metropolitan areas: San Francisco Bay Area, New York, and Chicago
- 7,000+ Twitter followers
- 60+ Klout score
When I say business work you put into it, I don’t mean that you’ll make more money by posting every day. For anyone who does this, PLEASE STOP! In fact, success must be inversely correlated to volume of posts because I personally am turned off by bloggers who post every day. It’s way too much and very overwhelming. STOP!!!
Things to consider:
- You get what you put into it, but you have to think like an entrepreneur. Your blog is a business. How are you going to make money?
- What are your selling points?
- How can you better market yourself?
- Does your blog look like a kid designed it? Or does it look professional?
- Don’t be afraid to ask or pay for help. You have to spend money to make money.
- Analyze the top blogs. How do they look aesthetically? What posts are getting the most comments?
If you were a business with a blog advertising budget, which blogs would you advertise on and why? The answer to this question is how you should be positioning your blog! Why would businesses want to advertise on your blog? You tell me!
Anyone can make money blogging. Come visit next week for my insight on monetization.