How to Make Money Blogging
Inside the Blogging World
I honestly cannot tell you how many people have asked me what the hell it is I do when it comes to blogging. Aren't you just posting photos on Instagram? How do you make money? Why are you always on your laptop? Why do you write about clothes? What's an affiliate link? How come you can work from home? Don't you just travel and get free stuff? How do I get free stuff?
While this is a new and evolving industry, there is a lot of elements of it that we do know. I thought I would dive into some of the main ways I know bloggers make beaucoup money. Some of these may surprise you so let's jump in!
I recently found out some interesting information regarding affiliate sales. Of course you know that if you click a link and complete a purchase from a blogger's site, the blogger will make a small commission from the sale. I had no idea that some bloggers make 75-100k a YEAR just from affiliate sales alone. There's one blogger (I personally don't know who it is, just that RewardStyle announced this at their conference) that is on track to make 5 million in affiliate sales this year. That is insane!
Not to mention all the other opportunities, but to make that amount just from others shopping your links is incredible. In most of my posts where I have an outfit, I include a section that reads "shop my post" and I include links to the products, but those links are affiliate links which are connected to the blogger.
In this post, I am wearing this gorgeous Everlane dress, a fun summer hat, my favorite sunglasses and these gorgeous sandal heels. I'd like to think this look is perfect for summer time as well as the early fall days. This red striped dress is super versatile and will look great on so many people. I used a Lucky belt (no longer sold) to give the dress a bit more of a fitted look.
Shop the post
Own product line
Many influencers, celebrities, and people from the blogging and digital space, have decided to do an offshoot of their brand. This has involved starting their own makeup lines (Simply Sona created Persona Cosmetics, Kylie Jenner made Kylie Cosmetics, etc.) This means that you create your own business where all the money comes directly to you. When you're passionate about a particular industry and you want to be an entrepreneur, you can always start things up for yourself. Just hire 1-2 people to help initially.
If you're not feeling quite like starting your own line, you can always collaborate with a brand to create your dream product. Jaclyn Hill, one of the biggest (if not the biggest) beauty gurus on YouTube, just collaborated with Morphe Brushes on an eyeshadow palette. This is a true collaboration (Jaclyn Hill x Morphe Brushes) where a brand and an influencer created a product together. Nowadays this is becoming more commonplace because brands want to work with the freshest and newest celebrities to incorporate them into the marketing and capture the influencer's audience. These deals can be anywhere from smaller amounts like $5,000 all the way into the millions. Anyone collaborating with Jaclyn knows they will be paying beaucoup money.
One of my favorite bloggers is not only a blogger and social media influencer, but she is a teacher teaching others in the blogging space how to blog. She does free webinars from time to time, but she started her own business within the blogging to teach others some of the things she's learned over the past few years. She created a blogging platform which houses many valuable resources for new and pro bloggers alike. There's handouts in there, quizzes, and a lot of activities and knowledge to help take your blog to the next level. She charges everyone a monthly fee so this subscription service adds up quickly when a few hundred people decide to sign up and maintain the membership over a long term period.
Influencers have a lot of value when it comes to their audience. They tend to be asked to attend really cool events ranging anywhere from a brand's product launch, brand trip, Oscars, etc. All the events can vary but larger influencers get paid for their time as well as to post a photo of themselves attending the event. This can include speaking engagement, meet-ups, and truly anything requiring the influencer being in person.
Book deals, podcasts, etc.
Some influencers have the opportunity to do a lot of unique things, like writing a book. Or they do other projects like creating podcasts. These are again, additional project and more streams of revenue for the influencer.
Instagram loop giveaways
These are such a controversial topic in the blogging space. I would love to go into the details of how I was completely ostracized because I did loops, but I won't. We would be here all day. However, I will say I love doing loops because they're fun, we give back to our audience, meet other incredible bloggers and YouTubers AND you gain a larger audience depending on the type of loop it is. Some loops gain 3,000 new followers, while others can gain up to 75,000 followers.
Let's rewind to make sure we're on the same page here. An Instagram loop giveaway is like any other giveaway except the prizes have gotten amazing. 2 iPhones, Macbook, lots of makeup, etc and there's one winner. In order to be entered to win, you have to follow a group of bloggers ranging anywhere from 20-50+ in any particular loop. You go from each blogger's giveaway photo, like the picture, follow them and then their photo tags the next girl. You keep moving through it until you've followed and liked all the photos of the influencers in the loop. This is a blogger expense for those who decide to partake, but the larger influencers with 1 million followers and up are making some serious money to participate. I mean if one influencer can buy a car after posting one of those, then that is definitely a whole new revenue stream.
The best way (in my opinion) to make your blogging money is to collaborate with brands directly. This means emailing back and forth with the brand's PR department and coming to an agreement OR going through an influencer network, which there are many. Most larger brands have agencies that handle influencer marketing for them because they just don't have the bandwidth to handle all their PR & marketing in-house. This is why bloggers need to be signed up for various platforms like Brandbacker, Revfluence, Activate, etc. Making a profile on each of the various networks is going to be key in order to find and apply for more opportunities.
Lately I've been seeing more hashtags with the word ambassador or partner. For example #LancomePartner #LorealLeaguePartner and so on. In some of these instances, I know that the influencer has announced a year long partnership with the brand, which could mean a whole slew of things. Perhaps they are going to be on the exclusive invite list from that brand, but in most cases this means a long-term agreement. For some influencers this could mean a million dollar contract, but there is typically a contract involved with becoming an ambassador or partner with some of those larger brands. This is a very small niche, and is not widespread throughout the industry. Only a select few are selected by such prestigious brands, and I am still trying to work my way to become a partner or ambassador for one of my favorite beauty brands.
Many influencers have so much knowledge of the social media space, what it takes to be a blogger and all the intricacies of making blogging more than just a hobby. All of this insight and knowledge can be used to help other brands grow their own audiences, so bloggers can also offer consultation. This would be another revenue opportunity.
While these may be some of the main ways bloggers make money, it is certainly not the end of the road. There are other ways to make money (I'm sure) so if you have others, definitely let us know in the comments down below. It's an exciting new avenue and career opportunity for those who want to create content.
At the end of the day, influencers and blogging are just another form of marketing. Rather than the old school method of spending money on billboards, brands can now spend on more fruitful opportunities like utilizing influencers to get their new product out to consumers. It has been more effective, and there is a better ROI grasp on influencer marketing than there is on a billboard.
Are you a blogger?
I'd love to check out your blog so leave your links in the comments below!