This is a question I see asked a lot online, and I’ve even been asked it myself by people in the real world. “How do you make money from blogging? That’s not a real job.”
Real job or not, many bloggers are making a lot of money from their blogs. And why shouldn’t they? Bloggers work as hard as anybody in any normal job. Researching, writing, planning, pitching, engaging and travelling are just some of the endless tasks bloggers do.
Want to start a blog? Read: How to Start a Blog
Anyway, so here are the main ways that blogs make money:
Sponsored posts, also referred to as collaborations or sponsored content, is probably one of the main ways the majority of bloggers make money. Especially the newer bloggers.
Basically, brands and businesses who you shop with will sometimes reach out to bloggers like me and ask us to write about them. This could be in the form of a review, announcing a new product line, attending an event. Anything, really. They will pay us, give us free products, or both.
Bloggers find sponsored posts through services like Fat Joe and also brands directly.
Struggling to make money blogging? Read: How to Make Money Blogging
Affiliate links are another primary way in which bloggers make money from their blogs.
An affiliate link is basically a tracked link that rewards bloggers with commission when one of their readers clicks through their links and makes a purchase on another website.
For example, my Aquadoodle post contains links to Amazon. If you were to purchase an Aquadoodle after clicking on my links in that post, I would receive a small commission from Amazon for referring you. It costs you as a consumer absolutely nothing.
Bloggers will usually use affiliate networks like Awin, Skimlinks, Monetise and ShareASale to find advertisers to promote, although some brands do have their own internal affiliate systems.
Never be afraid of affiliate links. It’s just another way of supporting us bloggers.
Bloggers will usually use display advertising just to supplement their income from blogging rather than it being one of the leading avenues for making money from their blogging venture.
I know you’ve heard of Google, but you may not have heard of Google’s AdSense programme which is one of the most popular ad networks for publishers (bloggers). Google AdSense primarily pay on a PPC (pay per click) basis, which won’t make much money for most bloggers.
Some of the bigger bloggers out there will be running ads from the Mediavine network. They pay on a CPM (£ per thousand impressions) basis which will be making them a lot more money than AdSense ever would. Again, though, for most bloggers this is just supplemental income.
At the time of writing I don’t currently run display ads on my blog.
Surveys & Other Things
If you’ve ever read a bloggers income report (yes, some bloggers actually publish those) then you’ll know that a lot of bloggers like to diversify their income streams and avoid having all of their eggs in one basket. Most are doing other tasks on the side to bump up their income.
Here are some of the main money making tasks bloggers use:
- Paid Surveys
Yes, there are actually real survey sites out there that will pay you good money for your time. I made £20 in my first day just using Prolific. Not bad at all, right?
Another great way of earning more money on the side is simply using cashback websites alongside your normal shopping habits. Basically, free money. Try TopCashback.
- Matched Betting
This is a way to make gauranteed profit from bookmakers by using their free bet offers to back both outcomes of an event. For example, if Everton were playing Liverpool you’d bet on both teams to win. Profit Accumulator is the best site for matched betting.
- Mystery Shopping
This is where you’re given tasks to perform, like visiting shops to check their stock levels, and reporting on customer service when enquiring about products. Sometimes you’ll even find tasks where you’ll be paid to eat at restaurants and shop. It’s pretty cool.
So there you have it, some of the ways bloggers make money.