Oooh that’s a good title, right? It’s what everyone wants to know and it’s a subject that evokes two reactions in people. The first is the brazen stance and the second is the awkward shuffle. When the subject of what I do is broached I firstly start with “I’m a journalist”. Good, fine, we all know where we stand on that one. But if I say blogger, their body language changes and they’re full of questions. Great, that’s Ok, it’s a new industry, I get it. But there’s one question they’re dying to ask. It’s on the tip of their tongue. Some come right out with it “how do you make money from blogging then?” and others are more discreet, if not cynical and go in with “and you can earn from that?”
The subject of money is always a mindfield, no matter what industry you’re in. It’s widely deemed as rude to ask and I’m inclined to agree unless I’m with family or my girlfriends in which case it’s a topic we talk about at length, especially as it’s a hot subject in the press with the pay gap and women’s rights. I find these types of discussions, often over a bottle of wine, some of my favourites as they have often led to promotion applications, a change of jobs and even resignations. As a subject we’re often told not to talk about, these are the conversations that can be the most empowering.
One of the most interesting (and helpful) podcasts I listened to lately is Keeping Candid by Millie Cotton and Sophie Milner where they discussed how much they each made from Instagram posts with Chloe Plumstead. It was so refreshingly honest and it made me realist that we CAN talk about these “delicate” subjects in the right manner. Granted, I’ve only been blogging properly for justover a year so we’re not talking millions of pounds here – just wanted to manage expectations! So, while I won’t share the in’s and out’s of my bank account, I will explain how I make money blogging.
Ah, the subject of so much controversy. Some people get really quite angry about the use of affiliate links and I don’t quite understand why. Girl’s gotta eat after all! For those who don’t know, affiliate links are provided by individual brands or, more commonly, by websites such as Reward Style, Like To Know It, ShopStyle Collective, Affiliate Window etc etc. Whenever you include a product either visually or via text within the blog post you can insert a special link which, when people click on it or buy that product they receive a percentage of that products RRP.
So, when you see those product widgets at the end of my blog posts, if you like that product or want to know more so you click on it, I receive a small percentage of what it’s priced at. And I mean small, we’re talking pence here. They all vary, some are higher percentages than others but every little counts so click away!
You may have seen some sponsored content on the blog like this and this and I’m very proud of it. I know some people don’t like it, they feel like bloggers aren’t being unbiased which is why people fell in love with blogs in the first place but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Personally, I love working with brands, I’m incredibly proud and feel very honoured when I get approached by a brand that feels that my blog is a good fit with their customer and vice versa.
I will never work with a brand that I don’t like, wear/use or think you guys will enjoy. I turn down 80% of the offers that I receive purely for this reason. Could I do with the money? Er yeah, but I wouldn’t be staying true to what I’ve created by effectively selling out. On the flip side, when a blogger gets a bit carried away and fills their space with ads it can become a bit too much and you can see that the blog has lost its tone of voice a little.
I personally feel that sponsored content should be natural – when done well, which is usually is, you read the post without really realising it’s sponsored until you read the disclaimer (a MUST legally and ethically!). I know some bloggers who either don’t disclaim properly or go to lengths to hide it and I just don’t understand why. You should be proud of it and want to shout it from the rooftops that a brand WANTS to work with you! I know I do!
Similarly to sponsored content, I also make money from blogging through social media. I tend to quote a brand a package when they ask which includes a blog post and a certain amount of social media posts for a set price or sometimes a brand just wants an Instagram post only. I tend to be a bit more relaxed about social media posts and will often include food and drink products as well as fashion and beauty but they still won’t be anything that I don’t already use or would want to use myself.
There is no point posing up a storm in a McDonalds when I make it pretty clear that I don’t eat fast food and am passionate about a healthy (ish) lifestyle. I will, however, rock a G&T for Gordon’s because I enjoy a cheeky gin on a Friday night (balance, right!) and it’s more of a natural fit for me. I’ll still shoot the product according to the brief with the highest quality because I want to give the brand a great piece of advertising and, more importantly I don’t want it to stick out like a sore thumb and ruin my grid!
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