How to make money with a blog
Starting a blog can be great fun, an impressive addition to your CV and it can even make you money.
We should start off by saying you shouldn’t only set up a blog to make money, you should always have a passion for the subject you’re writing about, otherwise nobody will read it! People write blogs on all sorts of things, from fashion and beauty to sport, pop music, films and this website even started off as a blog about saving money!
How to get started
Two of the easiest and most popular sites people use for creating a blog are Blogger and WordPress - they’re both free to get started on, but have paid options available to you. The fundamental difference between them is that on Blogger it’s free to apply a custom favicon (little image that shows up on a tab for you) and URL (i.e www.bronni.co.uk, instead of bronni.blogspot.com) but you will have to pay for that URL initially on another site, but WordPress offers a wider selection of features and modern designs for you to use, and is a lot more customisable.
If you think blogging might not be for you, we've got loads more ways to make money from your creativity.
There are a few ways bloggers make money from writing about the things they love, and you don’t always need a massive audience to do them.
If you’ve ever seen banner adverts on someone’s blog, it’s usually AdSense. It’s an ad network run by Google that chooses the ads being displayed on your site for you, and it’ll either theme the adverts in line with the subject of your blog, or it’ll rely on your visitor’s cookies to show them something they’d be interested in.
There’s no work required to maintain AdSense ads, they’ll automatically update for you, just place the code you’re given onto your site and make sure people visit your blog to start making money.
Anyone can sign up to AdSense, it doesn’t matter how much traffic your blog gets, and it’s up to Google if they’ll accept or reject you.
It’s quite easy to set up:
- Go to AdSense and click 'Sign up now'.
- All you need to have is a Google account, blog, and a postal address.
- Follow the setup process and await a confirmation from Google of your acceptance or rejection. This can take a few days.
- If you are on Blogger, setting up Google AdSense can be done directly through your blogger dashboard.
Sounds easy enough right? You get paid based on the number of clicks on your ads, so what money you make is entirely based on how popular your blog is. We asked someone using AdSense, and they told us on a day they got 7,000 clicks onto their blog they made £4, so it’s not massive, but we wouldn’t say no to that!
When you click a link on a blog to try and buy something, chances are that the blogger will make a small percentage commission on whatever you buy. What this is called is affiliate marketing. It’s a side to blogging that nobody talks about much, but the links are pretty much everywhere!
You use affiliate networks to create a unique link to, for example, Amazon, then post it to your site, then whoever clicks that link will pick up a cookie that says that you sent them, then everything they buy on Amazon until they click another affiliate link or clear their cookies will earn you a percentage commission, usually between 2-5%.
Different shops use different affiliate networks, but here are some of the biggest ones.
You’ll need to apply to each one and they’ll accept or reject you, so it’s best to have built up your blog a bit before you apply.
Most bloggers use advertising and affiliate links, but the really successful ones make most of their money from sponsored blog posts. These are blog posts where a brand has paid to be mentioned, or paid you to write a whole post about them. The amount people get paid for these posts can range from £50 to thousands of pounds, it all depends on the brand and how influential your blog is.
There’s no way to ensure you get offered lots of sponsored posts, except getting yourself noticed for having a quality blog. Being active on social media is great too, and you could even reach out to the brands you really love to ask if they’d want to work with you. It’s important that you have a Contact Me page on your blog just in case someone does want to offer you an opportunity.