By Holly Reisem Hanna
My first experience with a blog was back in 2005. A friend of mine told me that I needed to check out this celebrity gossip blog called, Pink is the New Blog. After reading a few posts, I was hooked. Not only did I enjoy the daily gossip, but I loved the casual and personal nature of his writing. Reading this blog became my morning ritual and it soon got me thinking:
- Is this his full-time job?
- How is he making money from his blog?
- How did land big time TV interviews?
Fast forward to 2007.
After the birth of my daughter, I quit my full-time job as an RN Clinical Research Coordinator and became a full-time stay at home mom. But after nine months of play dates, mommy and me classes, and a dwindling bank account, I felt the urge to make some money and exercise my brain. I looked online for different work at home jobs, but the majority of my time was spent weeding through scams and sifting through websites to find all of the information that I was looking for. It was at this time that I decided to create my own a monetized blog.
Fast forward to 2009.
After 15 months of doing research, creating content, and having a designer create a custom theme for me — I was finally able to launch in March of 2009. It took me almost three months to get my first advertiser, and from there it has continued to grow and is now my full-time career. While I’m unable to disclose how much I earn, I can tell you how I’m making money blogging and that yes indeed, you can make REAL money blogging!
Here’s how I’m personally making money with my blog, as well as some other blogger's stories and earnings.
A lot of people will tell you that traditional advertising is dead, but I’m living proof that you can make good money from direct ad sales. In fact, this is one of my biggest sources of income. You can look at my advertising page for rates and offerings. I’ve also written extensively on the subject, so make sure to check out How to Get Advertisers to Purchase Ad Space on Your Blog.
Affiliate marketing is another income stream that I used right from the start. In fact, when I didn’t have any direct advertisers in the first few months, I filled my ad slots with affiliate marketing ads. This way, I could potentially make money while looking like other companies were purchasing ad space on the site. Make sure to check out my favorite affiliate networks and read this article for information on making money with affiliate marketing.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve worked with a few brands which I really love. For these companies, I do more intense sponsorship packages that can include anything from written reviews, live social media correspondence at events, Twitter parties, and social media campaigns. If this is something you’re interested in pursuing, check out this article on working with brands.
When I first started blogging, I worked with a couple of ad networks only to make pennies each month. Later, I signed up with Google Adsense, and I started to make a little money, about $100 each month. But then, poof, Google decided I had invalid ad clicks and banned me from the program. After that had happened, I decided to join Media.net (Yahoo and Bings ad network). I made decent money with them, but once I got accepted into AdThrive‘s program, I stopped using them. Working with an ad network can be a great way to generate money, but you need to have a decent number of page views each month since these networks pay on a CPM basis. For a list of ad networks you can work with — check out this post.
Social Media Services and Freelance Writing:
Besides the revenue sources mentioned above, I've also done some social media contract work, and occasionally, I'll receive a paid request to write an article for another publication. Depending on the pay, brand, and my schedule I'll sprinkle these in from time to time.
Other Money Making Ideas:
Some other ways I've made money in the past are … Small business and blog consulting, e-book sales, sold advertising through a holiday gift guide, as well as ran a lead generation service for direct sales consultants. While these did bring in some cash flow, they didn't work well with my overall goals or vision for the site, so I closed them down.
Want to Know How Much Other Bloggers Make and How Do They Do It?
- Olena – iFoodReal – $1,300 month
- Miranda Grimm – WAH Adventures – $2,000 month
- Mandy Rose – House of Rose Blog – $3,200 month
- Meagan Paullin – Sunshine and Sippy Cups – $8,000+ month
- Miranda Marquit – Planting Money Seeds – $10,000 month
- Sarah Titus – SarahTitus.com – $10,000 month
- Lisa Weber – Celebrity Baby Scoop – $25,000 month
- Lindsay – Pinch of Yum – $26,000+ month
- Michelle Schroeder – Making Sense of Cents – $40,000+ month
- Dale Partridge – The Daily Positive – $44,000+ month
- Heather Armstrong – Dooce – $50,000 month
- Pat Flynn – Smart Passive Income – $83,000+ month
- Arianna Huffington – The Huffington Post – $2,330,000 month
It Takes Time:
Impressive numbers, right? But let me tell you, blogging is not for the faint of heart, it takes time, as well as patience, persistence, hard work, and perseverance. I tell you this not to discourage you from becoming a monetized blogger, but to give you a realistic point of view point of what you can expect. For myself, I fell into a career that I absolutely love, and because of my blog, it has laid the groundwork for other opportunities that I otherwise would not have been privileged to.
Are you ready to start a blog? Here's a step-by-step tutorial that's easy and affordable (just $3.95 a month). And if you're interested in how I took my blog to the next level — be sure to read this post!
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