Saturday, 14 March 2020

5 Tips For Starting To Earn Money As A Blogger



7 years ago, at the start of 2013 - I decided to start a blog.

My intention was for it to be nothing more than something to keep occupied during the final few months of my first pregnancy - a space for me to keep in practise with writing while I was on maternity leave, a way for me to make connections with other expectant first time mums online, and just a bit of a creative outlet.

It was only ever supposed to be a bit of fun. I had no idea what went in to running a blog, and I absolutely had no idea that blogging was something that could earn me money!

But as time went on and I fell more and more in love with the outlet that blogging gave to me and the connections and friendships it brought me, I discovered that actually - blogging could very much be a business. And one that can bring in a pretty nice living, too! Certainly a living far beyond anything I had ever experienced in my previous £12-£15k per year office assistant and childcare focused jobs.

I've been earning money from my blog for 6 and a half years now (Yes that's right, I got my first paid job when my blog was 6 months old so don't let the age of your blog deter you from trying!), and it's brought me a full-time income for the last 5 years.

If that's something you fancy trying to achieve too, then believe me - it is absolutely possible. But you will need to be prepared to put a lot of effort in. So how can you achieve it? Let me share with you the 5 basics of earning a living as a blogger.

1) Understand The Different Ways To Earn Money

Your sources of income as a blogger will be varied, as there is truly no one "right way" to monetise your blog or online presence.

The most common ways that people earn money are:

*Through sponsored posts - these are posts that a company either pays you to either write yourself, or they will provide pre-written content for you and pay you to publish it. These posts will either be advertorial in style (advertising a product or service to your readers), or they will contain a backlink to a client's website - this means that the client can benefit from your partnership by getting higher in the Google search results.

*Through product placement or reviews - Brands will often ask bloggers to promote a product or service to their readers by way of a written blog review, or a recommendation on social media (usually by way of an Instagram post, Instagram story, Facebook post or Tweet). They will usually gift you the product and pay you a fee for your time in creating the content and for exposure to your audience.

*Affiliate Links - These are provided to bloggers by companies, and either placed within blog posts or shared via social media posts to encourage followers to make a purchase. The blogger then receives a percentage of the sale.

*Sidebar or banner advertisements - These are ads that are placed either along the top of a website or at the side, and they link to a company who pay the blogger for that advertising space.

There are some other ways that bloggers can earn money, but these are most common ones that I'm aware of. I personally use only the first two.

2) Build An Organic, Engaged Following

If you want to earn money through your blog, then you'll need to be able to demonstrate that people are reading it. You don't need to get too hung up on the numbers, it's not always the most important factor - it matters more that you have a genuine and engaged audience.

People who are A) real (So no buying fake followers!) and B) interested in what you have to say - and demonstrate this by commenting on your content. (This isn't such an issue with comments on blog posts as brands are generally aware that few people engage in this way anymore, most people engage via social media platforms instead).

As for how you build a following? I think the most important rule to remember is to be pro-active.

Share your content at every opportunity and in as many places as you can, ASK for engagement - people sometimes need to be reminded as so many people mindlessly scroll on social media, and be sure that you're building a rapport with your followers by talking to them and getting to know them as people too.

3) Work On Improving Your DA

A lot of new bloggers are often confused by what DA is and how it can be improved.

DA stands for Domain Authority and it's basically a sort of way that Moz ranks websites in order of how much oomph they have online (not the most technical way of explaining it and there are dedicated SEO companies who can explain this far better than I can, learn more today.)

The higher your DA score, the more companies will want to work with you and the higher they will pay you for that work.

As a general rule of thumb, you should be looking at a DA of around 18 to start earning money from your blog (Although it's possible below this). Anything over 30 is considered a good DA.

You can check your DA score by entering the URL of your blog on any free online DA checker (as long as your blog is self-hosted!).

When it comes to increasing your DA score, the best thing you can do is get as many high-quality back links pointing to your site as possible. A high quality link is any link that comes from another website with a decent DA score.
So offer guest posts to blogs with decent DA scores in return for a link back, or try to get your blog featured in places that will give you a link back.

4) Create A Media Kit

A media kit is a page that highlights all of the great things about you and your blog, and tells a brand exactly why they should pick YOU to work with.

You need to use it not only to display your blog stats, but also to show what your USP is and why you're the best pick of the bunch - so be prepared to talk yourself up! Not something that comes naturally to most of us, I know.

I've previously written a whole post on the subject of creating your own media pack, which you can find HERE


5) Learn How To Reach Out To Brands Successfully

My final tip is don't just sit and wait for brands to come to you. Be prepared to take the bull by the horns and pitch for work yourself.

Sit down and brain storm some brands that you think would be a good fit for your blog, then send them an email introducing yourself and explaining why you'd like to work with them and exactly what you can offer them in terms of exposure and content.

You can find the PR contact details for most brands by simply googling "Company Name Press Contact" or you can use a Journalist Enquiry Service online to source the correct contact information.

I hope these tips have been helpful to you if you're considering starting up your own business as a blogger. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions, I'm always happy to help where I can.

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