After sharing What I Have Learned About Blog Growth last weekend, I wanted to talk today about monetising your blog in a way that works for you and your blog. For me, my blog is not my full time job; I'm a writer, a consultant, and an editor, and my blog is part of my brand and just one of my income streams. When I first started this space back in 2013 I never dreamed it would become something more than just an online journal, and even though being a full time blogger and making a living from monetising my blog alone has never been a desire for me, I do earn a part of my income from this blog and I wanted to share today some of the biggest lessons I've learned so far.
Of course, you don't have to monetise your blog, it's a personal choice everyone makes along the way as their blog develops and I know and read (and love) so many awesome blogs who don't build income streams into their space. It's up to you, and what's best for your online space, and hopefully this post can encourage anyone who does want to explore monetisation to do it on their own terms and in a way that stays authentic and true to their voice and their blog.
It can take the joy out of blogging One of the most obvious (and lucrative) ways of making money from your online space is by partnering up with brands to market their products to your readers. Personally this isn't something I do - I don't accept sponsored posts, I don't feature product reviews or in-post marketing, and on the whole (apart from sidebar advertising) this blog is a brand free space. If you're a beauty, lifestyle, or style blogger, you probably have many emails pop up in your inbox on a weekly basis from brands asking to work together and it's totally up to you to decide whether this is something that suits you and your space. What I have learned is that the more you work alongside brands the more your space can feel like it's benefiting them way more than it is your readers, and once you feel like you're marketing something or having to answer to various agencies and brands, you can start to lose your way a little bit. My best advice? Do things on your own terms, know your worth, and stay true to your blog (and yourself) along the way.
There are many routes to take The options for monetising your blog are endless - starting from the most passive ways such as joining an advertising network, affiliate links, and selling your own advertising through a platform like Passionfruit through to the option of sponsored content and brand work. Then of course there is the option of expanding your brand to offer services and products - if you look at business models like A Beautiful Mess you will see they incorporate various income streams to make up their brand. The most important thing I've learned so far is that it's important that, if monetising your blog is something you want to do, you take the time to really decide what business and revenue models you want to build around your blog. Jumping in at every opportunity when offered isn't always the best option, as taking a step back, deciding what you really want your space to be, and letting that guide you means you can monetise your blog in a way that works for you.
Don’t start a blog to make money Everyone says this, and in principle I really agree. When you start a blog for the sole reason of making it a money maker not only will it be obvious to your readers, but it's also a sure fire way to be disappointed as it takes hard work and dedication to build your online space. If your blog is part of a wider brand - if you're a creative, or are starting an online business where your blog works alongside it, then of course monetisation is going to be a big part of your blog, and there is no shame in that at all. Blogging as an industry is a very powerful place; it's no longer just a homegrown way to share our lives as online content can define a brand, reach your target audience and clients, and build careers from scratch - and that's awesome. On the most part though, focusing on creating a blog that creates relevant, useful, and interesting content that connects with it's readers is the most important thing, and if the option for monetisation comes along it'll be because you've built a blog that has impact and reach.
Monetise your skills, not your space There are so many awesome creatives out there who, through their blog, monetise their skills, not their space. Look at Kory Woodard, Melyssa from The Nectar Collective, and Regina from ByRegina. If you're a creative - maybe you're a designer, a maker, a writer, a thinker - your blog can be a place to connect with an audience, reach your dream clients, and share who you are and your work. Blogs are powerful tools for creatives when it comes to building a business that works for them - exploring various ways to package, service, and sell your work through your online space is both exciting and scary at the same time but if you have something valuable to offer, I think it's an awesome route to take.
Making money from blogging is an amazing thing - so many women and men making a career from their online space is awesome and exciting to see. Of course there is way more to blogging than making money - at it's heart it's a way to share who we are, connect with others, and build community and that will always be the most important part of it for me. If you're curious about monetising your blog though, some awesome posts to read are Melyssa's How To Earn Money Blogging and Regina's 10 Non-Icky Ways To Make Money Blogging and How I Started Making a Full-Time Blogging Income.
I'd love to know your thoughts?
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