Interested in blogging for money? Some things might surprise you. Whether you're a stay-at-home mom, have a 9-5, or just looking to bring in some extra cash, it helps to get a sense as to what making money online really entails.
For you experienced bloggers… So many of you guys have been blogging a while… 3, 5, even 10 years! You know those little and big truths about making money from your blog. Keep on reading because you'll nod your head the whole time.
The truth is that making money online isn't as beautifully easy as all those Instagram selfies would lead you to believe.
It's a lot more work than just “getting free stuff” or “posting lots of content.” In this post, I explain some truths that bloggers who make money online can certainly relate to.
They're hustling when you're sleeping
The most successful influencers, bloggers, biz owners, whatever you want to call them get up early before the sun rises. Or work past the start of the evening news. Or both! Like a night owl/early bird hybrid creature.
Many of us have kids or other jobs that keep us from working a lot during the day. Other people hustle morning, noon, AND night because they're just so passionate about their blog that it doesn't even feel like work.
Whatever the scenario, bloggers who make money carve out work time throughout the week. No blogging on a whim and hoping the moola rolls in.
They pay more expenses than you think
Running a blog that makes money is essentially running a business. And when you run a business, you have to pay for things to help your business run.
Some bloggers spend hundreds of dollars a month on online tools to make blogging more productive (my faves are right here).
Some bloggers might earn $15,000 on a product launch, but spend $6,000 in Facebook ads.
Some bloggers go to conferences to increase their knowledge and network with like-minded smarties.
And all bloggers who make money online are paying a hefty amount in taxes.
When it boils down to it, you either have to spend money or spend time to make money blogging. Simple as that.
They have multiple income streams
Most bloggers will tell you they don't make money just from ads or only from sponsored posts. They earn an online income from a variety of ways, including:
- Affiliate income
- Ad income
- Sponsored blog content
- Sponsored social content
- E-book sales
- Consulting or providing other type of service
In addition to income made ON or FROM the blog, many bloggers don't rely 100% on income just from their site.
They are freelance writers. They have clients who come from word-of-mouth referrals. They work part-time or full-time jobs (I work part-time as Social Media Strategist for Burt's Bees myself).
Hands in lots of pots, I always say. Many pots.
Their success took time… sometimes years
Spend a few minutes looking at pins about blogging on Pinterest and you'll see things like “How I earned $5,000 a month in six months of blogging” or “How I made so much money blogging the first year that I quit my job, moved to Tahiti, and now take selfies at the beach.” Okay maybe those aren't EXACT titles, but you hear what I'm saying!
You might have gotten into blogging thinking you could make money just by slapping some ads up and writing blog content. But there's so much more to it than that. And it's rarely an overnight success.
They have an inconsistent income
Most online influencers of biz owners don't make the exact same amount each and every month.
A blogger might make $20,000 one month on a launch or product push, but $1,000 the next. Or maybe they technically make a steady $3,000 a month… but that new brand partner is paying NET90 so they have to wait for the money.
A really good month can mean squirreling away that extra income for months when things are a little slower. But it's rarely the same each month.
You ever wonder why online business owners do income reports sporadically? Sure, it's partly because they take forever to do. But I'm guessing it's something because that $50,000 product launch looked great in March, but the $4,500 in income the next month isn't nearly as impressive.
They often have help
You visit a website of your fave blogger and see their headshot smiling back at you from the sidebar. Immediately, you might assume she's a one-pony show.
She might be! However, she might also have a graphic designer, virtual assistant (VA), contributors, or other sorts of awesome peeps working with her.
At some point, most bigger bloggers need help… and there's nothing wrong with it. How many companies do you know that are run by one person? If you're a growing blogger, but struggling to get it all done, seriously consider hiring some to help… even if it's for a few hours a month.
Finally, I'm going to end with one final tidbit you might find pleasantly surprising…
They might not get a ton of pageviews
Sure, more traffic increases the LIKELIHOOD of making more money, but the truth is more pageviews do not equal more income.
I ended last year with HALF the traffic as the year before, yet Blog Clarity generated over 70% more income! My traffic decreased because I spent most of my time updating my courses instead of blogging, but it didn't matter.
And in one of the most popular posts on my site, I share a tidbit about one blogger who earned $20,000 one year in affiliate commission with just 2,500 unique visitors/month.
Pageviews can be an important metric in showing brands how much traffic you get, but they aren't the end all be all.
“Blogging for money” isn't as easy as people might make it seem. But you CAN be successful!
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Hey- I'm Melissa! I'm a mom, side hustler, online course instructor, and brand marketer. I run a 6-figure blog helping online biz owners find their a-ha moments with can-do tips, tutorials, and online courses. I also work at Burt's Bees as the Social Media Strategist (yep, it's as cool as it sounds). Jump start your biz productivity with my free worksheet!