Making money whilst sitting in your PJs, isn't that the dream? Okay, so it might not be as simple (or as glamourous) as that, but thankfully these days it's not exactly impossible either. I've been a 'full-time blogger' for over a year now, and if there's one thing I'm always asked it's how to make money from your blog or website. I don't have the biggest blog following in the world, I'm not the most modelesque looking human in the world, and I'm definitely not any sort of blogging genius, but somehow I've managed to make a living out of what I do. This may not work for everyone, and of course a lot of paid opportunities go hand in hand with the amount of followers someone has, but like I said, I'm no super blogger, yet here I am, sitting in my PJs, making paper (I've always wanted to say that). How? Brace yourselves..
Unless you're bringing in hundreds of thousands of Unique Views each month, chances are you probably won't make your fortune using affiliate links (and if you are, what's your secret?). But, with that being said I'm still absolutely obsessed with using affiliate sites. Right now my number one love is Shopstyle, purely because they work on both a commission basis (ie. when/if you sell something) as well as pay per click. So either way, whether you sell something or not, if someone clicks on your little link you're going to make a bit of money. This could literally be like five pence a click (or even less, sometimes!) but hey, 5p is 5p, and if I wasn't using an affiliate website of any kind I'd be getting nothing from that little link. It seems kinda pointless at first, but once you get your first payout you'll be addicted. And rich. Kind of.
This is something that I used back in the day before I was blogging full time - in fact I only just remembered Ad Beans existed when I started writing this post! Basically, Ad Beans give you a selection of words and links that they want you to use in a blog post, and you can go ahead and write about whatever you want in that post, just so long as it's relevant and it links to the pages mentioned. I wouldn't recommend over-using it, or relying on it too much, because it can seem a little spammy unless you're super careful with the words you choose, but it's pretty good if you use it sparingly.
This style of advertising is probably one of my favourites, because it means I can create content for the blog and make a bit of money from doing it as well. Don't get me wrong, I love blogging regardless, but who doesn't want to get paid for what they love? And that's just it - if I'm going to get paid to advertise something then I have to make sure I love it before. There are generally two different types of sponsored posts - one written by the blogger and one written by the PR company/advertiser. Different people prefer different things, but I always insist on writing my own blog posts, just to make sure it remains natural and seamless. I mean, would you really believe me if I posted a 1500 word blog post advertising penis enlargements, and how great they are? Probably not. In fact, it would probably make a few of you lot steer clear from my blog for a while. I find that the best way to earn from sponsored posts is to wait for the write topic. Would you rather do 10 irrelevant articles that earn you £30 each, or one blog post (that you actually like writing about) for the same amount of money? Case. Closed.
Traditional ads are pretty much exactly how they sound - AKA they're just pictures (or videos) that feature on a website that advertise some sort of product or service. How boring does that sound? I've featured a few different ads on my blog in the past, but if I'm honest, not enough people click on them for me to warrant actually having then on my site. Let's face it, most ads are ugly and/or irrelevant. And let's be real here, how many times have you intentionally clicked on an ad in a sidebar? They're so 2014.
What's the most typical way to make moolah? By selling something! People love to buy things - trust me, I'm one of them - so it's only natural for bloggers to monetise themselves by actually selling some sort of product. Whether it's merch, clothes, music or books. I've actually been kind of toying with the idea of making some sort of downloadable e-book including loads of blog tips and information. But maybe that's an entirely different blog post in itself..
So...sponsored links. They're pretty much everything I spoke about in the 'sponsored posts' section, but with, you know, links, not masses of text. Usually sponsored links are a few SEO-friendly words plonked within a blog post. The aim of the game is one of two things: to either advertise a company (again, like the sponsored post section) or to up another website's domain authority. Domain whut? It's all good, I've made an A-Z guide to blogging terminology just for you. Thank me later.
Who wouldn't want someone else doing their work for them? Guests posts are essentially a win-win for both parties involved, as it provides the blogger with more content for their site and gives the guest post-er a chance to advertise themselves on someone else's turf. A lot of people simply do guest posts swaps for free, whilst others charge guests to advertise themselves on a blog post. It's basically a more personal type of sponsored post, as opposed to something that can seem a little corporate. I'm very protective over good ol' Cocochic, so guests posts are something I've never really gotten into. But hey, never say never.
This kind of connects to the traditional ads section of this post, only - thankfully - Google Adsense pretty much does all the hard work for you. I used to love using this when I was on Tumblr because - like Shopstyle - it works on a pay per click basis, meaning every time someone clicks on the ad you get a little bit of monies in your account. It's definitely not a get rich quick scheme, but it's a really easy way to make a bit of money on the side.
When I first found out people were making money on social media, I was pretty stunned. Um, hello? I use Facebook to play Candy Crush and Instagram to stalk all of my girl crushes on the daily. Buuuut then it quickly dawned on me exactly how useful social media is for advertisers, since most people tend to find different blog posts or updates through sites like Twitter and Facebook. It's also potentially a lot easier to get a following on social media than a blog, because content is (usually) a lot more regular. Obviously, the more followers you have on a certain network the more money you can potentially earn, but it also comes down to how engaged an audience is. No fake followers over here my friends!
Youtube is probably the fastest growing marketing tool of our time (did that sound as intelligent as I hope it did?) so it's no wonder that so many people are hopping on the vlog bandwagon. After only a year of being on Youtube I've - very luckily - been approached by a few companies asking me to make video content for them for real life money. I've been creating content for Fragrance Direct for a little while now (shameless plug) and - without divulging too much - making videos brings me in more money than most of my 'bloggy jobs' combined. Of course I'll never ever leave this little blog of mine, but i think it's so important to be able to market yourself in moving image as well as in words. Side note: it's also bloody awkward talking to a camera by yourself.
Do you know of any other ways to monetise a blog?