I often get asked how I make an income from my blog, and there is no one answer. I generally explain that “my fingers are in a lot of pies” which is a vaguely funny pun that ties in nicely with my love of dessert. There are many different revenue streams available to bloggers these days, and some work better for your niche than others.
In the early days of Love Swah I started with a few Google Adsense adverts in my sidebar. Whilst I didn’t make the big bucks from them, it was a simple way to earn a few extra bucks to cover hosting fees whilst my blog got off the ground.
As my blog grew I upgraded to Gourmet Ads, and saw my revenue increase. I am now with The Blogger Network who made things SUPER easy for me. They installed the adverts and we are regularly touching base to tweak things and suggest improvements.
Some advertising agencies only take blogs of a certain calibre (ie some will only accept you if you have minimum 100,00k page views/month). Start small, and as your blog grows, look at experimenting with other networks.
I started doing a few sponsored posts with Nuffnang for brands like Ocean Spray and Jarrah where I would take a product and feature it in a recipe. I kept both Nuffnang and the clients I worked with happy, and I was soon approach to join their Bloggerati, and agency for Australia’s Top Digital Influencers. They now help negotiate my fees and pitch me for projects, but I still have a say over who I work with and what I do. Integrity is vital in blogging and your readers need to know and trust you firmly believe in what you’re selling.
I am an affiliate for a few brands and products that I have personally used myself – I only endorse products I 100% believe in. Some products I promote include Secret Bloggers Business, a great course I did when I was new to blogging. I also endorse The Food Photography Book by Recipe Tin Eats, an ebook I regularly reference. As a web designer, I also recommend hosting from Bluehost and WordPress themes from Studiopress.
A lot of bloggers make good money from selling ebooks and courses specific to their niche. As a food blogger, they are a simple way to share and promote your recipes. You can either sell your ebooks through an online store or you can offer them as a free giveaway to your readers, which is a great way to build your email list.
Through my blog I have obtained a lot of freelance graphic design work for logo design, website/blog design and ebook creation. My design studio is currently in the process of being rebranded, but if you are after any design services, drop me an email. I’ve also secured some freelance recipe development work for food brands and have started writing regularly for the Skyscanner travel blog.
To be honest, it’s quite hard these days to make a full-time income solely from your blog, and if you can bring another skill to the table, such as design services, copywriting or consultancy skills, it’s the perfect way to supplement your income.
I hope this has given you an insight into how bloggers make money, and helps you start generating revenue from your hobby or new business as well! And don’t forget, if you’re starting out I’ve written a guide to How to Start a Self-Hosted Blog on WordPress.