Blogging started out as an acting portfolio and a passion project for me. I loved writing and creating content and connecting with you guys online. Plus, I also wanted a space of my own on the internet. Making money with my blog wasn’t something I thought about at the start. If I’m being honest, I was hoping for event invites and clothes, but when my blog started bringing in income, it became a whole different world.
Eventually, I realized I could monetize the hours I was putting in. I actually blogged full time for 1 full year, and had to come up with a plan to make money with my side hustle turned full-time job. When I look back now, it is my 7th year blogging and I’m still loving it as much as I did, if not, even more! Now that I’m back to a full-time day job and blogging, I’ve been doing my best to balance my time as I continue down my blogging journey.
One of the biggest questions I get asked about my blog by fellow creators or new bloggers, OR even those who are curious about this world is how to make money via blogging and Instagram!
It’s one of my most asked topics and here are my tips on how to be making money with your blog:
Create sponsored content with companies and brands
This is the main way I use my blog and social platforms to make money!
As bloggers, we have a special platform that reaches a very specific target audience that many brands and companies want to leverage. Companies may reach out to you for paid content that would be either shared on your social or blog. This is when a media kit is extremely important so you can share more about your brand, experience with working with other brands, tiers of content creation, payment levels and expectations.
There are 2 ways to get partnerships with some of your favourite brands:
You send content pitches to Brands
I keep an ongoing list of brands and companies that I have and want to work with. I keep this in a big excel spreadsheet and I do my research on who their main PR contact is. If you’re looking, I suggest to browse their website, press releases, and LinkedIn to find the right contact. It can be time consuming at times, especially since many companies work with outsourced PR agencies, hence I suggest using social media or their general email as an option too.
Once I find the right contact I work on a content pitch!
I don’t send idea pitches as much as I used to, but when I think a brand would match with content I’m already working on, I’ll reach out through email and share my idea.
Writing the perfect pitch is hard but the most important thing to include is the big WHY, what makes you unique, and how you will create the idea that you’re sharing. I’ll be sharing more on this in my next post so keep an eye out!
A golden rule of thumb is to make sure you do your research.
Look at their website, blog content and even social media to see if they have worked with influencers and bloggers before. This will give you a good idea of their influencer marketing campaigns and their brand voice to see if you’ll be a fit. Here’s an example of a collaboration I did with a brand I love!
Brands reach out to you
From my experience, this happens after A LOT of work of reaching out to companies on your own. If you’re starting out, you’d need to build a brand for yourself and create content that makes YOU happy!
With perseverance and hard work, you’ll come to a point where brands reach out to you!
Company representatives or PR companies may offer to send you products and money in exchange for a specialized review or special blog post. This is when you work directly with the company PR contact to create content both your readers and their marketing team would enjoy.
It’s important to keep clear communication lines throughout the process as no work should be done for free (in my opinion). Every good partnership needs to have an exchange, whether monetary or not in order to function optimally. This is something that needs to be discussed with the brand transparently, and contracts should always be written, agreed on and signed.
What to include in the email pitch
Now that you have all the information, it’s time to write the email. The first step is to write your subject line. Companies and PR representatives get hundreds of emails a day so you can to keep it short, sweet but eye-catching. Make sure it’s clear in the subject line what your pitch is about. Get straight to the point!
In the body of your email, I like to keep it simple. Most people won’t have time to read through a lengthy email so here is my usual template:
Quick greeting with 2-3 sentences about myself and my work,
The next paragraph should include 3-5 sentences about the actual ask/pitch itself. Explain your idea and include why it would be beneficial for that organization, and then end it with a 1-2 sentences thanking them for their time.
I also like to get specific when I explain my pitch. I give them specific numbers on what I will be doing like 2 blog posts and 5 Instagram posts etc. It gives their team a better idea for budgeting.
If you have a media kit, stats or link to relevant work, include that too!
Companies like to see that you have experience working with sponsored content.
In the world of social media and blogging things can get pretty casual. Keep it fun and match their brand voice but remember to keep it professional. Save the jokes for you posts once you nail the pitch.
Use affiliate links throughout your blog
Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money with your blog and there are so many options for affiliate links. Many companies that you might already use or are interested in might offer you special links or codes to share with your readers and followers.
You can place these affiliate links in your blog content or social media. If readers are interested, they can purchase the items through your link or using your code and you’ll get a percentage of the sale. I do so in my style articles such as ‘How to Transition Your Wardrobe into Spring’
I always make it a point to only promote products I believe in or have tried myself. If you don’t actually like a product, you won’t be able to create genuine content for it. Another option I use is the Amazon Associates or Influencers Program. This is the perfect option for those obsessed with Amazon (I know I am); I created a page and special links to a custom Amazon store where I save my favourite products. When I write posts, I’ll link directly to my favourite Amazon items and I’ll make a percentage of the sale if readers decide to buy. These are the products I use daily so I love sharing them with my followers.
Make money through PPC and CPM display ads:
Yes, there’s a lot of abbreviations here but I promise it’s not too confusing.
Think about the blogs or websites you frequent when surfing the web; have you ever noticed the ads that you might see on the side or in the middle of the page?
Those are Google display ads that can help you monetize your content. There are two main types that people put on their websites: Pay Per Click Ads (PPC) and Cost Per Impressions Ads (CPM).
Pay Per Click Ads are those ads I just talked about that will end up on your sidebar or in the middle of your content. Every time your reader clicks on the ad, you get paid for the click.
Cost per Impressions Ads are ads that pay you based on how many people see your ad. They usually measure with cost per 1,000 impressions.
The most popular network for getting these types of ads is Google AdSense.
Google AdSense is great for beginners because it is relatively easy to use. You do not need to contact advertisers directly and it’s as simple as placing the banner on your site. Google chooses ads relevant to your content so that your readers get content they are already interested in.
I currently don’t use PPC or CPM ads because I find that they look messy but I do know quite a few bloggers who do! If I do choose to run ads, I usually put them within the articles themselves.
Those are currently the ways I make money using my blog. It’s been a big learning curve and I’m still trying out new ideas all the time. If you haven’t started blogging yet but want to take the leap, check out my first blogger 101 post on how to start your blog!
I hope this gives you a good start on how to make money with your blog!. If you have any other ideas let me know over on my Instagram!
Till next time,