Thank you so much to everyone who shared their thoughts and opinions on yesterday’s post. Before you jump into this post, be sure to read part one!
Blogging has changed tremendously over the years, and as a result many bloggers have managed to turn what used to be a hobby into a lucrative and fulfilling business. In part one , I shared some of my thoughts on earning income as a blogger. Today, I want to talk about some of the ways bloggers earn money and disclosing to your readers if you do decide to earn money blogging.
When I first started blogging, making money was never my primary goal (it was definitely something I knew could potentially happen in the future). Honestly, it kind of just happened. And I think many bloggers can relate or share a similar story. It happened over time, after a lot of foundation work was done, time was spent and true authentic progress was made. Not many bloggers go from $0 to thousand dollar monthly incomes in short time spans. It can take months, even years (more often, it’s years) to start to generate revenue as a blogger. Especially the kind of revenue that would allow you to quit your day job and blog full time.
By the time most bloggers even feel ready to reach out and explore money making ventures through blogging, they have already invested time, hard work and , yes —money into their blog. It’s a labor of love, but labor nonetheless.
Speaking from personal experience, I first began earning money as a blogger by offering paid sponsorships in the form of sidebar ads, features and social media promotion. Nothing too major, and definitely not bringing in the same profits as some larger bloggers. I didn’t decide to take the plunge into sponsorships because I was dying to earn money blogging, but rather because I realized that there was true value to my content that could potentially benefit myself and others. I’ve politely declined to work with certain bloggers and brands, and delightedly welcomed others and made awesome relationships because of it.
Paid sponsorships are just one way to make money blogging. Honestly, there are almost limitless ways to make money as a blogger. Affiliate programs such as Share a Sale (which I use) provide bloggers with links or advertisements to use that lead to them receiving a percentage of the proceeds when sales are made. There are also programs like Google Adsense or the BlogHer network. Other bloggers have begun earning income by offering various creative services, such as consultations or blog coaching.
When deciding to monetize your blog, the most important thing to consider is how paid content will flow with the content that you already produce. Be genuine and authentic, don’t follow the dollar signs and risk your reputation. You will never see ads or affiliate links here promoting things that I don’t genuinely believe in and think my readers would enjoy.
Though some people may genuinely be against bloggers who promote sponsored content or use affiliate links, don’t be ashamed to fully disclose the extent to which you do so. It’s incredibly important to be honest and forthcoming about what your readers are clicking and previewing. Not because earning money from content makes it shady or suspect, but rather to continue to give yourself credibility. Opting not to disclose makes it look like you have something to hide, and will cause readers to wonder why you’re really promoting that content.
Have you considered monetizing your blogs? What methods do you think work best for promoting sponsored content?