Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.
This post is part of the #BetterBlogging series.
If you’ve been following my #BetterBlogging series for the past few months, then you’ve probably seen me rave about blogging and how it’s a great way to work from home. Sure, it’s not the quickest way to make money, but once you’ve established a good following, the potential to earn an income from blogging is limitless.
I’ve been doing this since 2008, and one of the most common questions I get asked is, “How does a lifestyle blogger make money?”. Most people I know fail to see that profitable blogs do exist. Before I dive in, let me first share with you how I got started turning my blogging business into a six-figure income.
How I Made $8,000 5 Months After Blogging Full-Time
I started this blog in 2008 as a hobby. I had just graduated from college at the time and started working at an advertising company. Blogging was something I did part-time and I didn’t treat it as a business. I was more focus on my career and moving up the corporate ladder. In 2013, I started working at another advertising company. The pay was higher but the hours were long. While working, I started thinking about turning my blog into a side-hustle with hopes of one day making a full-time income from it. I mean I already had some monetization in place (primarily Google Adsense) but I didn’t put much strategy and effort into it. Overtime, my desire to grow my blog and make it profitable became stronger.
The Key To My Success
I heard about people starting a blog as a side hustle and making 4, 5 and even 6 figures a month. It was around this time I came across income reports from top bloggers. I read them and I was inspired. Then one day, I got an email from a newsletter I was subscribed to offering ways to make a full-time income from blogging and introduced me to a course created by Ruth Soukup called Elite Blog Academy.
I read the email and knew that I needed to try it or I would regret it later. I took money in my already tight budget and enrolled in the course. Working at an advertising company left me exhausted emotionally and physically. I wanted a change and I thought that if I can get this blogging thing going and gain real income, the initial investment would be worth it.
The Elite Blog Academy course literally changed my life. It’s packed with so much information on how to get started. It took me two weeks to watch all the videos from the class and implemented every action step. I also invested in other products as a supplement to EBA. Within the first five months, my blog traffic exploded (over 80,000 page views) and I made close to $8,000! A year later, I was making more than my advertising job.
Note: The only downside to Elite Blog Academy is that it opens only once a year for five days; however, enrollment will begin on March 2nd, 2020. You can still sign up on the waitlist and receive free valuable blogging information through email by clicking here.
Today, I make anywhere between $8,000 to $10,000+ a month blogging. I do this full-time now (yay, no more corporate job!) and I’m loving life. I can work from anywhere which allows me to travel, spend more time with my family, and just enjoy life. It is possible to make this kind of money with ZERO EXPERIENCE and you don’t need a COLLEGE DEGREE either.
Now that I’ve shared with you my path to success, let’s get on to why you really came here: To learn all the different ways lifestyle bloggers, like myself, make money.
Let’s get started!
How Do Lifestyle Bloggers Make Money?
When trying to earn money blogging, there has to be various sources of income in order to make a profit. This includes using various programs, platforms, and apps that all provide some sort of income or passive income. Utilizing SEO techniques, taking advantage of the price and ease of digital marketing, and using multiple avenues of income is the easiest way to become successful as a blogger over time. While it’s not a fast process, gaining a fan-base on your website and making money isn’t as hard as you might think.
1. Banner Advertising
This is the very first monetization method I used when I started my blog back in 2008. Like most newbies, I started out with Google Adsense and later added other ad networks once I was comfortable with them and my traffic grew. It’s still one of the main earners for my blog and for many other bloggers as well.
It’s also very easy to set up and maintain. As you can see, I’ve have several different banner ads in different sizes and locations. These ad networks usually pay bloggers on a CPM (cost per impressions) or CPC (cost per click) model. Google Adsense uses both CPM and CPC but most popular ad networks use strictly CPM.
Here’s a list of ad networks to help you get started:
- Martha’s Circle
- Google Adsense (Great for beginners)
- Media.net (Also great for beginners)
- Style Coalition
- Monumetric (formerly The Blogger Network)
- Mediavine (Must have at least 30, 000 monthly pageviews and in good standing with Google Adsense)
- AdThrive (My current ad network. Must have at least 100, 000 monthly unique visitors)
2. Affiliate Programs
The performance-based marketing known as affiliate marketing is used as a way to gather a passive income from your website. With affiliate marketing, the affiliate in question receives rewards or monetary compensation for every customer and unique visitor brought to the business’ website by the affiliate’s marketing efforts.
It’s important to note that both affiliate marketing and sponsored posts require disclosure within the post to let the reader(s) know that the content is sponsored or has affiliate links in it. For more info, see this report from the FTC.
Some affiliate marketing businesses include but are not limited to:
- Amazon Affiliate
- Commission Junction
- ShopStyle Collective
- Rakuten Marketing (formerly Linkshare)
I have my core group of affiliates related to my niche that I focus on. When I started affiliate marketing, I struggled a bit. I got sales like $50 or $75 a month which was a great start; however, if I wanted to grow my blog to a six-figure business, I knew I needed to earn more. A couple months ago, I started taking Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing from top blogger Michelle of Making Sense of Cents and my income results have been stellar (I’m now making between $1500-$3000/month). Michelle is currently making over $50,000 in affiliate marketing a month and her course shows you how to successfully promote products to your audience and earn an income while still being honest and genuine. Honestly, if you’re a blogger, you NEED this course!
3. Sponsored Posts
When trying to make money blogging, it’s important to keep in mind that brand’s you mention or review on your blog may very well sponsor you one day. With sponsored posts, it usually involves a company that pays a blogger a flat free to write about a brand’s product or service.
Apply to Media Companies
A great way to get started in a sponsored post campaign is through a media company that acts like a “middleman” between the brand and blogger. The media companies match advertisers with bloggers who are a good fit. For example, if a beauty brand is looking for bloggers to write about their newest product, the media company is going to reach out to beauty and style bloggers. You can make as little as $100 to as much as $1000+ depending on your blog and social networks reach.
Media companies that you should sign up to include:
- CleverGirls Network
- Collective Bias
- Pollinate Media Group
- POPSUGAR Select
- Bloglovin Activate
Pitch Directly to Brands
You can also try and work with a brand directly by sending them a pitch email stating why you want to work with the them, details on the project, how you would promote it, etc. If you need help on how to pitch to brands, I highly recommend you sign up to this FREE Pitch It Perfect Masterclass hosted by Julie Solomon.
After taking her class, I was no longer nervous pitching brands because I learned the tools to pitch the right way from negotiation skills to actual rate tips that you can start charging for blogs, social media posts, YouTube videos, or however you want to best give content to your hard-earned audience.
4. Sell Your Own Products
Finally, the easiest part about making money by blogging. A blog is the perfect platform to sell your own stuff. I know many bloggers who are creating digital products like ebooks, courses, and printables to sell to others.
There are also websites set up online like Zazzle where you can customize just about anything on, from shirts and body scrubs to mouse pads and marble coasters. They handle all the orders, customer service, and shipping. This is extremely convenient for any blogger who wants to dive into physical products but not deal with the backend.
Rather than having to spend a good chunk of change or take out a small business loan, bloggers nowadays find it easier to simply sell their products online using the platforms provided to them.
I started creating printables to sell to others in 2019 and it has grown my blogging income tremendously! I’m earning between $800-$1200 a month on top of my other blog earnings. You can check out my printables at The HBH Shop!
There are also some websites, like eBay and Amazon, that you can just sell your products through as a vendor. While this isn’t as convenient as taking care of everything virtually, it is still recommended to use websites like Amazon and eBay for a portion of the products sold. This is only because there are millions and millions of users already on Amazon and eBay. By linking back to your website, you can simultaneously sell products on big-name websites as a vendor, and get traffic to your website at the same time.
Some websites that are excellent platforms that you can sell your physical and/or digital products on include:
- Sendowl (platform I use to sell my printables)
- Teachable (for courses)
- Thinkific (for courses)
It’s another great way to make an income. Maybe you’re a fashion blogger but also have the expertise to offer styling services. Or… you’re a great web designer and you might offer web design services. People are looking for help in all kinds of things and you can be the person to provide them while making money at the same time.
Being successful as a blogger isn’t going to be easy, and it’s not going to be a quick process. A blogger needs to incorporate all avenues that income is possible with. That means that a blogger needs to take advantage of banner advertising, affiliate programs, sponsored posts, selling their own products and services. That, along with updating content regularly, growing their social media platforms and following SEO guidelines, allows a blogger to rise up through the ranks and build a reputation for themselves in the blogging community.
Set up Your Own a Blog
It’s very easy to get started with blogging and requires very little overhead. Get your blog up and running in under 20 minutes with my step-by-step instructions here. I have a free 5-day blogging course you can join too that will help you start and launch a successful blog!
Are You Ready To Make a Full-Time Income?
This newest FREE training outlines the 3 essential keys to grow a successful online business and join the millions of other bloggers making a full-time income! It’s only for a limited-time and starts February 25th, 2020. Sign up today here or click image below!