*This is a paid collaborative post in partnership with Get Blogged*
Every time someone asks me what I do for a living I get a bit awkward and struggle to formulate an answer. People are often baffled when I try to explain that I make money from my blog and social media. They look at me like “how on earth is that possible?!” But me and thousands of people are out there doing it – and you could be too! There are lots of different ways to monetise a good quality website, and I’m going to run through a few of the ways you can make money from your blog below.
The amount of money you can make obviously depends on a lot of factors; the age and size of your website, the size of your readership (monthly users and views), your Domain Authority (largely affected by your sites age and the amount of quality links you have pointing to your site from others), and several other factors which can help others measure the value of your blog. These things take time and a lot of hard work, but even if your blog is relatively new and small there are lots of ways to start making a bit of cash online.
To make money online you will need to be self hosted which means you own your own domain and can begin building your Domain Authority (DA). Once you’ve got that in place you can start making an income from your blog. Don’t forget to disclose any paid content correctly (following ASA and CMA guidelines), and register as self employed with HMRC as soon as you start making cash.
A really easy way to make a start towards earning money from your website is by using affiliate links. If you get into the habit of using them where ever you can from the very beginning it will pay off in the long run. Affiliate links are basically personalised trackable links which you use when linking out to products that you are mentioning or recommending. The links show the retailers that those buyers came from your website, and you will receive a pre-agreed percentage of their spend as commission.
So for example – if you were to write a post for your blog which listed some of your favourite dresses in the ASOS sale, you could use affiliate links. If a reader then clicks that link and makes a purchase, you’ll receive a small fee from ASOS. If you’re writing a recipe post you can link to ingredients or cooking equipment using affiliate links. As your blog grows these posts will continue to reach new audiences, meaning you could be benefiting from the affiliate income for years to come. Most affiliate schemes offer very low percentages, but they can very quickly add up if you’ve got lots of people clicking your links.
To use affiliate links you’ll have to register and be approved by the retailer – some manage their affiliate schemes in house (like Amazon) and some use a third party network like AWIN, Skimlinks or Webgains who manage affiliate schemes for lots of retailers and websites. To find out how to register with your favourite retailer you can usually google ‘*shop name* affiliate’ and some info should pop up!
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash
Another common way to make money from your blog is by posting sponsored content for other brands and websites. Commonly sponsored content will be split into two categories – brands looking to work with bloggers and influencers to create engaging content (usually organised by PRs and called brand campaigns) and SEO agencies looking to place links within your blog to help increase their brands online visibility and domain authority. Brand campaigns do usually look for an established blog with a healthy audience, but you can start putting yourself forward for work whenever you feel ready. Register with networks like Buzzoole, The Blogger Programme and Influencer to see what’s out there.
Lots of agencies and networks advertise paid blogging jobs for new websites, and once you get started in the blogging world you should find your DA increases and the fee you’re able to charge goes up. In the early days if you do need a cash boost sites like Get Blogged have opportunities for sites was a DA of 5+, and although the pay is low it’s a great way to add some extra cash to your income if you need it. Most of these types of jobs will be based around linking to a specific site, so you will be given a topic or theme and asked to write a post around it. Other agencies will provide pre written content (also known as guest posts) which already includes their links, and will ask you to post it to your website.
As you continue to blog you will find a lot of these SEO type opportunities hitting your email inbox, find great info on knowing what to charge over at You Baby Me Mummy.
A word on dofollow links: Google absolutely frowns upon ‘selling links’ in this way. It is a risk, so do a little of your own research before going ahead. Lots of bloggers do it, and lots prefer not to, so it’s best to do a bit of reading and make an informed decision.
Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash
Professional bloggers tend to have quite polarising opinions on placing display ads on their websites. Some think it looks messy and ruins their blog aesthetic, and prefer to make money by writing sponsored content instead. Some (especially those with high page views) make big money by hosting pay per click or pay per view ads on their site and recommend other bloggers try it out.
To get started with ads you can either join a network like Google Adsense or Mediavine, or you can negotiate directly with the brand and place the ads yourself in your header/footer/sidebar/within specific blog posts. Networks like Adsense can provide targeted ads based on your readers browsing history, which should give you a greater chance of getting them to click through, and obviously the more you are able to grow your page views the higher your ad revenue should become.
Setting up these things from the very beginning, and getting to grips with these ways of bringing in a basic income, should help you to monetise your blog successfully. Remember, blogging takes an incredible amount of work behind the scenes – it’s not all #presstrip and #gifted. There will be a lot of new skills you’ll have to adapt, new terminology to use and new things to learn. But it’s also brilliant fun, a great way to express yourself creatively, and if you follow the steps above, a great way to bring in a bit of extra cash too.