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 for over 8 years, 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.
How Do Lifestyle Bloggers Make Money?
When trying to earn money blogging, there has to be various forms of income coming in all at once 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 8 years ago. 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. 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.
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. I would hold off on reaching out to big brands directly until you have a couple of sponsored post campaigns under your belt and working with a media company is by far the easiest way to get them.
Media companies that you should sign up to include:
- CleverGirls Network
- Collective Bias
- Pollinate Media Group
- POPSUGAR Select
- Bloglovin Activate
4. Sell Your Own Products
Finally, the easiest part about making money by blogging. There are websites set up online that you can customize just about anything on, from shirts, to mouse pads, to marble coasters. This is extremely convenient for any kind of blogger.
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.
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 using back-links 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 products on include:
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 and following SEO guidelines, allows a blogger to rise up through the ranks and build a reputation for themselves in the blogging community.
Want to Set up a Blog and Start Making Money?
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!