In today’s digital age, bloggers have become the unsung heroes of the online world. With their informative and engaging content, they have the power to captivate audiences, build communities, and influence trends. But what is a blogger? How much can they make and how do you become one?
I remember sitting in my senior college design class and our big assignment was to create a blog on the now defunct Blogspot platform and post on it once a week. Never in that moment did I imagine in that I would fall in love with sharing online and eventually turn it into my full-time job for many years.
But, here I’m typing this blog post and it’s been over a decade since I wrote that first post and it’s still a major part of my career today. Probably one of the most fun parts too! I’m excited to share more with you about what a blogger is and does, how you can earn money as a blogger and how to finally start a blog!
What is a Blogger?
So, what is a blogger—at its core, a blogger is an online content creator who uses their platform to share their thoughts, experiences, and expertise on a specific topic or niche. They craft articles, videos, podcasts, and social media posts that resonate with their audience. You don’t have to do all of those, but some people do! Bloggers have the ability to establish themselves as credible sources of information, providing valuable insights and advice to their followers.
But what sets bloggers apart from other forms of media like large publications or journalists?
The key lies in their authenticity and relatability. Because they’re not reporting to a larger company, bloggers are able to offer unique perspectives that you won’t see everywhere. They’re often everyday people who have a genuine passion for their chosen subject. It’s their personal experiences and stories that make their content more authentic and trustworthy.
This is why bloggers also play a crucial role in connecting brands with their target audience. Through collaborations and sponsored content, they can effectively promote products or services in a way that feels organic and genuine. Just think about it, if you’re following someone who’s sharing honest opinions and amazing helpful content, you’re more likely to listen to them when they recommend a product too. It’s like having a good friend say, “hey, you’ve got to try this product, it’s amazing!”
Their recommendations hold weight, and their loyal followers trust their opinions.
So, next time you find yourself reading a blog, take a moment to appreciate the role and importance of bloggers in today’s digital landscape and the amount of work that goes into creating each and every post–there’s research, writing, linking, photography, styling and more! It’s a really fun and creative job, but not as easy as it sometimes looks.
The Role & Influence of Bloggers
Bloggers play a crucial role in shaping opinions, influencing trends, and driving conversations. Through their creative and engaging content, they have the power to captivate and inspire their audience. Whether it’s through thought-provoking articles, entertaining videos, or insightful podcasts, bloggers have the ability to connect with their readers or viewers on a personal level.
Often, their influence extends beyond just creating content. Bloggers often have an active presence on social media platforms, where they can engage with their audience and build a community. They foster discussions, answer questions, and provide additional value to their followers. This level of interaction creates a sense of trust and loyalty between bloggers and their audience.
That being said, many bloggers with large online readership don’t actively use social media platforms like TikTok or Instagram. If you’re thinking about being a blogger, just know that it’s not a requirement to also be an influencer on IG. Plenty of bloggers prefer to be more behind the scenes and write helpful content from their laptops, and with each passing year, I’m leaning more and more that way too.
Is Blogging Dead?
A few years ago, I kept hearing people say blogging is dead, or wondering, is the blog a thing of the past? And at the time, it was a legitimate conversation.
It was amidst the rise of the Instagram and TikTok influencer who only had a social media presence and no website. Some of these people were making a ton of money and didn’t even have a website, so it made people wonder—is a website really necessary?
While that works for some, I don’t believe it’s a good long-term strategy. What happens when these platforms change and you have no way to connect with the audience you worked so hard to build?
Having a blog gives you a home base that you OWN and have complete control over. All of your content can live there for as long as you want and you can build an email list that you also own. Plus, if you build up traffic with SEO, you can be earning money even when you’re not actively posting.
I stopped blogging for about 2 years and still earned $400-1500/month from ads alone!
So, in my humble opinion, OWNERSHIP (blog & email) > RENTED SPACE (social media).
And here’s the real truth—as long as people are using the internet to search for things they need, blogging is very much alive. Bloggers provide amazing, in-depth and helpful articles and answers that people are searching for, so as long as we keep using the internet, blogging will be just fine!
How Bloggers Earn Money
There are so many different ways to earn money as a blogger, but often people get stuck on the most common ways that bloggers earn money—affiliates, brand partnerships and ads. While those are great, it can often take a larger readership or following to earn high-paying partnerships or get enough clicks and buys to make a full-time living.
Thankfully there are so many more creative ways to earn money as a blogger.
How Bloggers Collaborate with Brands & Businesses
Bloggers collaborate with brands and businesses through sponsored content, brand partnerships, and affiliate marketing. These collaborations can take various forms, such as sponsored blog posts, product reviews, giveaways, or social media campaigns. The key to effective collaboration is finding the right fit between the blogger’s niche and the brand’s target audience.
When working with bloggers, brands focus on building mutually beneficial relationships. It’s important to provide bloggers with the creative freedom to craft content that aligns with their unique voice and style. This ensures that the content feels authentic and resonates with the blogger’s audience. Thankfully most brands have realized how important this is and have given bloggers far more creative control over their content so that it has the biggest impact with their audience.
Other Ways to Earn Money as a Blogger
Affiliate marketing or affiliate links are one of the most popular ways to earn money as a blogger. When you use an affiliate link and someone buys from your link, you earn a small commission of the purchase. You can expect to earn anywhere from 5-15% commission on average. These are usually small commissions, but if you have a large, loyal readership, these can add up quickly.
To earn more as an affiliate marketer, look for high-ticket affiliate programs that have large payouts ($100 or more per sale) and are within your niche.
A few networks to look at joining are:
- LikeToKnow.It: has links to lots of brands, but a focus on fashion and home decor)
- Collective Voice: similar to LTK
- Amazon Affiliates: a great program if your content features a lot of products from Amazon
In my opinion, ad revenue is true passive income! You set this up once and get paid for your content for years to come. There are many ad networks out there, but two I want to highlight are She Media & Mediavine. They both require a certain number of page sessions (similar to pageviews but the terminology has changed) to join, but the upside is that you make far more from these than something like Google Adsense.
She Media: Requires 20K monthly sessions to join, site must be active for at least 90 days and publishes high-quality, brand-safe content. This is a great option to earn money while you build up your traffic to join a higher-paying ad network.
Mediavine: Requires 50K monthly sessions to join, good long-form content and be a lifestyle publisher in any niche. You can expect higher RPMs from Mediavine than She Media
You can also offer your professional services on your blog. If you blog on a specific niche and your services tie into that, a blog is a great way to bring in new clients to that part of your business. This can truly be anything, so get creative! For example, as a blogger, I also offered web design services (and still do today!)
Digital or Physical Products
Digital products like templates and downloads are a great way to earn extra money. These are easy to create and simple to sell because there’s no actual shipping. Some ideas are digital templates, guides, cards and more.
Physical products can also be an extension of your brand. I’m actually seeing more and more people build out product lines and I think this is such a great idea! You can sell on your own platform, Etsy or even build an Amazon shop with your own custom products.
Courses & Digital Guides
If you’re like me and love to teach people what you’ve learned, you can share your knowledge through courses or digital guides. What’s great about these is that you create them once and can sell them over and over again.
They can be low ticket items, or full on mega courses that cost several thousand dollars. It’s a matter of figuring out what’s best for your audience and what they’re willing to pay for that information. Personally, I love creating mini courses and guides that give my audience a quick win with actionable lessons.
UGC Content Creation
This is a bit newer, but I’ve seen it on the rise. UGC or user-generated content is content that you create for brands, but don’t have to post on your own account. It’s a great way to earn extra income from brands and not be required to post it on your own account.
If you want to get started with this, check out Billo.
Benefits of Being a Blogger
- Work from anywhere with a wifi connection
- Have a job you’re passionate about
- Connect and help people looking for the answers you have
- No cap on your income
- Set your own hours
Of course, it’s not a sure thing and there are definitely a few downsides:
- No employee benefits
- No guaranteed income
- No set hours, so you need to be able to structure your days to be productive
How to Become a Blogger
Okay, if you’re reading this the chances are high that you might also be considering starting a blog and hoping to earn money from it or even take it full-time. So, where do you begin?
I actually created this free Blog Launch Guide that walks you through every step you need to take to get your blog up and running, so make sure to grab that before you get started. A few things to majorly consider before you run out and buy a domain are below:
Decide on a Niche
Yes, people still have lifestyle blogs, but if you want to grow fast and have higher chances of monetizing your blog quickly, focusing on a niche is essential. Don’t be afraid to go really niche too—sites that have focused niches can quickly grow because they have great reputations for being a go-to source for their topic. Here’s a few examples of a niche and then going more niche:
Food Blog –> budget-friendly dinners, dinners with 8 ingredients or less, gluten free baking, etc.
Style Blog –> High-end street style, casual mom style, workwear fashion, outfits on a budget, etc.
Commit to Posting Regularly
Blogging is so much fun, but it’s also a fair amount of work. Before you start, commit to posting on your blog every week for at least 6 months. If you want to post more often, even better—your traffic will grow faster. Holding yourself accountable will allow you to see what’s working and what’s not.
Focus on Helping People
Google’s most recent core update has a major focus on promoting content that’s helpful. How can you provide content to help your audience. Often this is as simple as changing the way you look at a post idea.
Let’s say you’re a mom blogger and you want to write a post about your kids Halloween costumes and a post about what you’re wearing for family photos.
My Kids Halloween Costumes This Year –> The 12 Best Places to Buy Budget-Friendly Halloween Costumes or How to Make a Costume from What You Have at Home
Our Family Photo Outfits –> How to Pick Coordinating Outfits for your Next Family Photos or What to Wear for Family Photos this Fall—10 Outfit Ideas
In both of these post ideas you can include your original idea, but also provide helpful tips and tricks for your audience. Just that simple change can make your post live so much longer and become a helpful resource for your audience.
Don’t Wait for Things to Be Perfect
Here’s the thing, your website design can be updated, your first post won’t be perfect—but don’t wait. Start publishing! The more often you do it, the easier it becomes and the better you get at it. My last suggestion in case you don’t grab the free Blog Launch guide—start on self-hosted WordPress as your blogging platform.
I personally use WordPress with Showit hosting because I love the design flexibility far more than WordPress on it’s own. WordPress is the industry standard for blogging and the best blogging and SEO platform out there!
Now that you know what a blogger is, how they can earn money and how to get started, I hope you’re feeling inspired and empowered to finally start your own blog. Grab my free Blog Launch guide for extra help and to make sure you don’t miss any crucial steps along the way!