Wednesday, 1 February 2017

How I Earned Over £18k From Blogging In A Year, & How You Can Too!




Last year I did a few posts around the subject of working with brands and earning an income from blogging which proved to be very popular posts indeed  (To read those, please see the links at the end of the post).

To this day I still receive questions about those posts on an almost daily basis...and so I thought I would address the subject again.

Again I want to point out that these posts are not written as an attempt to brag about my earnings - I am far from one of the highest earning bloggers out there, I know people earning 3 times what I do from blogging and I also know that many people who have been blogging for a lot longer than me haven't yet found ways to monetize their blogs to their liking...like anything in life these things are half chance and therefore nothing to brag about - the purpose of these posts is simply to let other bloggers know what is possible, and what kind of earnings can be within your reach.

I write these posts because I am passionate about my belief that we should all be helping each other, and I do not believe that secrecy or keeping schtum about fees and how money is made as a blogger are the ways to do that - when I was new to blogging, a few very kind people gave me pointers that got me started and I want to ensure that I do the same for other people as often as possible.



A Little Back Story...

As you may know if you have read my blog previously, I started blogging in early 2013 while pregnant with my first child and I honestly never expected it to be anything more than a hobby...an online diary of my pregnancy...I had never read a single blog post at the time and so I genuinely had no idea that making money from blogging was even a thing.

I was completely and utterly clueless about it all.

And although I had always had a love of writing as a hobby, it had never been a career for me in any way. I was never paid to write, I never wrote professionally...in fact my jobs before hand had all been childcare or retail related.

Fast forward almost 4 years, and my blog is now my sole source of  income...I started to make money from it in the same year that I launched it, and from there on in my income from blogging has increased by around 50% every year.

Today I am going to be sharing with you a little breakdown on my blog earnings over the year as well as telling you all about the workshops I'll be launching to help you get your own blogs ready for brand collabs and make them start earning money for you....

So What Did I Earn Last Year And How?

As I said previously, my blog earnings have risen at a rate of around 50% each year and this year I was delighted to have earned a total of just over £18,000 in 2016 (Calendar year) purely from brand collaborations on my blog and social media accounts.

This figure does not include any earnings from affiliate links which I don't really do much of...it also doesn't include any payments in voucher form, of which I did receive quite a few particularly through companies such as Buzzoole who offer payment in credits which are then converted to Amazon vouchers...I pretty much paid for Christmas using the vouchers from Buzzoole this year!

It also does not include the cost of any gifted products for review or holiday/travel experiences....it is purely from sponsored brand collaborations and sponsored social media activity.

Considering the fact that I have yet to try to earn any income from other avenues such as my YouTube channel or from affiliate links, I am really happy with my earnings last year and how much they increased from the previous year.

At the end of 2015 I felt that, although my earnings were good, I had perhaps spent a bit too much time working on my blog and I decided that in 2016 I wanted to somehow manage to work less but earn more....surely that's the dream right?!

So...I changed my approach to blog work and started to charge more to place sponsored content on my blog.

I also started to charge for review posts - something I had never previously done before, I had always accepted the product as payment but on the advice of some blogging pals I started to charge the same sort of fee for reviews that I charge for a sponsored post.

 I was nervous at first, worried that everyone would turn me down and think that my prices were too high...sometimes I still worry about it when I send over my rate card and don't get me wrong, if I'm really feeling the pinch one week and someone offers me less than my usual fee for a quick turnaround on a post...I will occasionally take it. I'm not going to preach to you about lowering your value because let's face it...sometimes, you NEED that money and that's all there is to it!

 But on the whole I tried to stick to increasing my minimum fee this year and it worked very well...I was able to do less sponsored work whilst still breaking even in payments or even exceeding what I was previously earning.

For example, in January  I accepted a total of 24 work commissions - the lowest fee per post I received was £40 (Which I will now no longer accept) and the highest was £100 (which is now the minimum fee I will accept) - My total earnings for the month came in at £1200.

Whereas in May after my prices had increased, I accepted only 17 commissions for the month- my lowest fee per post was £100 and my highest was £500 - this meant that during the month of May I earned double what I had earned in January despite doing substantially less work.

For those of you interested in exactly how I made my money this year, here is a little breakdown:

*Brand Collaborations - I worked on collaborative posts with a number of high profile brands to produce posts which advertised their products - these included the likes of Cadbury, Nestle cereals & Holiday Villa companies.

*Sponsored social media content - including sponsored tweets and sponsored Instagram posts, around 60% of these jobs were sourced through online agencies and the rest were from existing PR contacts.

*Sponsored Event Attendance - this was something completely new to me this year, but I finally realised that many bloggers ask a fee to attend certain promotional events for brands and I started to respond to the emails I regularly receive inviting me to attend product launches and tours with my fee to attend. This resulted in a couple of well paid opportunities, and was well worth doing - something I genuinely didn't even realise was a "thing" until this year!

I will also mention that instead of all my earnings coming from sponsored posts this year - more than half of it came from paid product reviews and competition hosting, so again I will point out that it is worth considering charging a fee to review a product or host a competition on your blog.

Goals Going Forward

At the start of 2016 I set myself a goal to earn over £1,000 from my blog every month and I am pleased to say that goal was achieved every month, and even greatly exceeded for most of them. 

My goal for 2017 is to try to spread my wings a little more and start to try to make my income from other channels rather than only from my blog - I did make a bit of money from my Instagram account and Facebook page last  year and I would like to continue to grow the earnings from those throughout 2017, as well as hopefully start to earn money from YouTube to allow me to post less sponsored content on my blog moving forward.

 I am keen not to allow too much sponsored content on to my blog this year  for fear of drowning out the organic articles I write that are important to me and which I work very hard on.

How Can YOU Start Making This Sort Of Money From Your Own Blog?

If you are a new blogger hoping to start making money from your blog or an existing blogger hoping to take your first steps into earning, then let me assure you...it CAN be done.

Here are my Top 3 Tips for new & existing bloggers on increasing your earnings:

1) DO NOT GIVE YOUR TIME AWAY FOR FREE!!

I know it's tempting to take a lesser payment than usual sometimes when times are hard and you need the money. I get it...this is real life and sometimes we genuinely DO need that extra £30.

But you should NEVER be giving your time or audience exposure away for free.

Do NOT let a company persuade you that exposure to their audience is going to be useful to you, do NOT let them convince you that their link back is enough payment because of how much it will help to increase your DA...at least check first if their DA is even high enough to matter because half the time when these promises are made, their link will be next to useless!

And you should also know that not just "sponsored posts" are chargeable...anything that requires your time, effort, a link or exposure to your audience is chargeable.

Whether its on your blog or social media accounts, whether its a competition or a product review....have a fee.

By all means, if you are being appropriately compensated in product for yourself and you feel it worthwhile, waive that fee on occasion if you really to but don't do it just for the sake of a few followers from a competition.

You are not only short changing yourself by not charging for these things, but other bloggers too...

This week alone I have been in talks with two companies about being paid to host a competition - only for them to go quiet on me and to then see other bloggers hosting the competitions without having been paid to do so...Why would those companies bother to pay anyone when they can get the exposure for free somewhere else?

Yes it might be tempting to host a competition because it may bring you a few new followers, but if that company were willing to pay Blogger A to host it...chances are they would have paid you too, if only you'd asked....so don't sell yourself short.

I used to do a lot of things for free....now I believe that everything should have its price.

This is my business, after all....You don't go into a store and pay for some items whilst walking out with armfuls of another for free do you? So why would a blog be any different in what it offers?

2) Learn How To Talk Yourself Up!

The parent blogger world is becoming a saturated market, there are thousands upon thousands of us in the UK so you need to understand what makes you stand out.

What can you offer to a brand that other bloggers may not be able to?

Are you a talented photographer? Will you include cross promotion to your buzzing super-active social media channels? Are your follower figures small but very engaged with your content?

Whatever it is that you think makes your blog a worthwhile option for a brand to work with, sell it to them.

Talk about it in your pitch email, include it on your media pack, link to examples of it...shout about yourself, make them know why they NEED to work with YOU.

Self promotion doesn't come easily to most people, but if you don't promote yourself...nobody else is going to do it for you and a brand will choose to work with the blogger who sounded like the best option...modesty is not going to help you!

3) Respond to EVERY email

Every single one that you get.

Reply to it, and...even if you think there is no chance in hell that they will say yes...ask the Budget question.

On at least 3 occasions last year, I did this and quickly received a "Yes we have a budget to pay you!" response even though I had been confident that the email I was responding was just a mass-circulated press release which would be a definite no.

You really never know and it is always worth asking the question.

Even if they respond with a no, reply anyway and thank them for their time explaining why you're unable to offer your time for free....you never know, maybe next time they have budget they'll remember you and come back to you.

It's always worth taking the time to be polite and respond.

So What Are The Secrets To Earning Money As A Blogger? 

When I was a new starter looking to more experienced bloggers for advice, I found that I often received the same responses of "Just keep going"..."The work will come to you eventually"...and "There are no secrets, it just takes time..."

Of course all of the usual advice that you receive IS true....Have faith in yourself, produce good content, and keep going etc...

But actually, there ARE certain "secrets" that people don't like to share...and there ARE ways to help yourself along a little....

They're nothing you can't find out about yourself with a little Google leg work of course, there's hardly a Dark Circle of Bloggers somewhere in hooded cloaks quietly ruling the world and deliberately keeping you out of the loop....But when you are new and you don't really know where to start, it can be difficult to know where to look for certain pieces of information and difficult to think of ways to help yourself succeed....I spent months and months wondering why PR companies weren't noticing me, until one day a friend mentioned a handy little tool that I had never heard of before which changed the game for me...and it's inside knowledge like that which, although not hidden deliberately, can be hard to come across and is a real game changer.

But don't worry... I am going to be spilling all of my most effective tips and tricks in my new series of Blogging Workshops.

I have 3 workshops planned over the course of the year, and I am kicking off with the first one on May 15th...a FREE mini work shop aimed at newer bloggers focused on getting yourself and your blog ready for collaborations and teaching you the basics of how bloggers earn money from their blogs, what you need to know to get started, and my top tips for upping your earning potential.

The course will run over the course of 2 weeks to give you enough time to think over the lessons and put changes into practise, with 5 lessons sent out in total - to sign up just enter your details here.



Previous Brand Work/Blogging Posts:

How I Earn Over £1,000 Per Month From Blogging


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20 comments

  1. I love your blogging income posts and tips to earn from your blog. I've happily signed up to your course. Looking forward to what else I can learn. I'm now learning for myself to not to work for free, especially as I'm back to work now in my day job so time is short. It's hard to say no, but I'm getting there! xx

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  2. Oh yes please, subscribed! I have always been a big fan of your blog and love the fact you want to help others. 😘

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  3. This is brilliant and so useful, so many bloggers are secretive about how to climb the ladder but I love your honesty and passion for blogging. signed up for your course, thank you xx

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  4. So helpful. Thank you so much for sharing, I've signed up and can't wait x

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  5. Brilliant post and great tips, thanks for sharing!How much do you charge to attend events? Do you charge additional fee for blogging about it?

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  6. This is such a useful post. I love your blogs/vlogs so I have signed up, can't wait to start, thank you x

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  7. This was really useful. I wondered how much do people charge for attending events please? I've never heard of that and often thought they weren't really worth my time for free

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  8. This is so useful to read as a new blogger and helps me to create realistic expectations. Thank you for being so candid and sharing!

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  9. Fab post lovely, I did about the same! x

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  10. Brilliant post and so open. As always thank you for sharing #sundaybest

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  11. Thank you for this so useful #sundaybest

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  12. Great read. I moved away from reviews after picking up steady freelance work but lately have been wondering if I should go back to a few reviews a month to supplement.
    #sparklesandstretchmarks

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  13. Wow that's an incredible amount to earn through your blog - all your hard work certainly pays off :) I am looking to start earning money through my blog in the next year or so, but don't know of all these 'other' ways you can earn money, i.e. not through sponsored posts. Your posts are so informative, thank you! #SundayBest

    Helen x

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  14. Great post. I signed up and so looking forward to it! And I agree about replying to all emails. Some times, I was not sure and it happened to be great opportunities!
    #SundayBest

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  15. Ive signed up! I want to monetise my blog but thinking to get my name out there and after my first year push with the paid work. Right now I'm not grabbing every opportunity that comes my way like i did at the start, I'm only doing it if i think the product is good or if its something thats suitable for me or Ben. #sundaybest

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  17. I think it is wonderful that you share this and support others! This is a great post and I am all singed up #sundaybest

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  18. It's great that you share this information with fellow bloggers. I'm sure many of us are wondering what we can do to become more successful bloggers. Can't wait to learn more. #SundayBest

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  19. Great tips but I'm quite shy and self critical so I'm not sure I'm brave enough to take the bull by the horns :( #Sunday Best

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  20. I think I need to sign up to your course!x

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