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I ummmed and ahhhed about writing this post because firstly I didn’t want anyone to think I was bragging and I guess ‘money-talk’ is private, BUT when I sat and thought about WHY I should share this post I think you’ll see that it is aimed at HELPING bloggers out there who have a dream (like I did!) to make a full-time living out of blogging.
You see, in Australia I think we all struggle to share our blogging dollar figures. We don’t often share our rates or how much we earn. I have been blogging since 2006 and I have seen many many American bloggers lead the way and they did this by sharing and building a community by helping others.
I also want new bloggers to know that being a full-time blogger doesn’t mean all income comes straight from the blog. Most bloggers don’t put all of their eggs in one basket but they learn how to use their blog as a vehicle to making passive income. More on that later…
If you are trying to build an income via your blog I just want to assure you that it is possible. If you already make money online then I hope you can send some more knowledge my way too! I am far from the goals I want to achieve, but at least I am on the road. I know bloggers who make double and triple what I can make in a month and they are the ones I am stalking and hoping to learn from.
It’s also not easy not make money being a blogger. There is a lot of competition out there and a lot of creative and fabulous blog-preneurs.
I have read a few “Blog Income Reports” around the web and thought that if I share mine it might give some bloggers a little helping hand in finding direction and setting goals for themselves. Google “Blog Income Report” and lots will pop up for you to look over.
Blog income is so unpredictable though. Some months it’s flowing nicely and other months you can feel stranded and left with little or no money. It’s a risk all freelancers take. I can get so down in the dumps about it and the tears will flow! If you want to be a full-time blogger you have to be able to handle the months where money isn’t coming to you!
Here’s a chart I devised to help you get a better picture…
My blog income is generally split in to 4 categories:
1. The Media Maid – this is my blog design business. I started this business in 2010 and it relies on word-of-mouth (via my own blog and previous clients), google searches and my partnership with company Pulse PR. Between those 3 places I always have a steady amount of income. This is what I call “passive income”. It’s what supplements me and allows me to keep blogging full-time.
2. The Blog – this directly relates to sponsored posts. Let me list some of the PR companies and where I might get them from:
- Mango PR
- Pulse Communications
- Get Glossy
- 360 Immerse Agency
- Agents of Influence
- Then the rest may come from direct emails from companies.
* If you are looking for sponsored post opportunities I’d recommend you drop a line to any of these PR companies above and they’ll file you away for any future campaigns.
3. Sidebar ads – I don’t sell a huge amount of these myself, I let HS3 Media take care of this for me.
4. Consultancy/Other – this might be small interior design jobs and speaking at events.
Ok, so now you can see where I get income from but…
What are my tips on growing your blog?
1. Market yourself like you would any business – create a media kit and send it out to PR companies. Make sure you have a ‘work with me’ button on your blog so businesses can see you’re open to opportunities.
2. Make sure you write with SEO in mind – just a little bit. You don’t need to write just for SEO but you certainly need to be aware of it and how to make it work for you.
3. Fake it until you make it. Even if you only have 100 readers per month, you still need to act like you have thousands. If I believe your blog is GOOD and kicking goals then I will keep coming back.
4. Content is important. Words matter. Create posts which people might find useful and like to share.
5. Understand your audience. Who are you writing for. If you have that in mind each time you write a post you’ll find your groove and niche before you know it.
I use blogging as a vehicle to make money. Blogging every day allows me to draw on income from other sources. This is what I think bloggers should have in mind before they believe you can make money from blogging. You can’t start a blog with the intention of making money straight from it. For example, bloggers can be interior designers, stylists, book writers, journalists, publicists, teachers, crafters, speakers, entrepreneurs… they blog to supplement their skills (and in turn their income). I invest a lot of time into building my blog as a business because it’s not only something I am passionate about but because it allows me to live a lifestyle that isn’t confined to 9am-5pm working hours plus I am doing what I LOVE!
What tools can you use to manage and combine this lifestyle?
- I use Office 365 tools such as Outlook and Skype to better manage my time. Outlook has multiple accounts in it, one for each business (this blog and The Media Maid) plus a personal account. In all of this I can structure my day with meetings, kids activities and travel schedules… Skype can keep me in contact with my family and I can have meetings on the go, whether it be from the carpark whilst I wait to pick the kids up, which I can do on your Surface Pro 3. This nifty little fella below…
- The Surface Pro 3 allows me to blog anytime and anywhere! I can be at a Saturday game of footy with my kids or even in the car waiting to pick them up from training and this way I can make sure I am not missing any opportunities to help build my blog. With a removable keyboard and great processing capabilities, it’s the tablet that has replaced my laptop!
- A blog is a business and thus, when it starts to generate income, all bloggers need to be sure they are managing their finances efficiently. Excel is a great tool to enable bloggers to make sure they continue to keep the digits in check. Excel has so many great templates for budget tracking, project planning and invoicing templates that simplify the financial side of running a business.
I hope some of these ideas have helped/motivated you. It’s such a fun world to live in – the blogging world!
If you want to start your own blog then I have a quick and easy tutorial here.
Do you have any tips for me?