Can You Really Make A Living As A Blogger Or Influencer?

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When I started blogging, back in 2018, it was a fun way for me to share the ups and downs of being a new mum, and the financial impacts for us as a family. I’d always thought that blogging was basically just keeping an online journal. 

When I started reading stories of bloggers and influencers able to quit their jobs and work from home, I was amazed. How was it possible for people to actually earn money sharing photos of themselves or writing about their lives online?

Over the last few years, it seems that becoming a blogger or micro-influencer – that is, someone with significant engagement and social media following – is a more and more legitimate and profitable way to earn money. It’s become a growing trend for brands and companies to use this method of marketing to build awareness. 

When you think of ‘influencers’ the first platform that probably comes to mind is Instagram. People can build up a following of people who are interested in the lifestyle they share, and build a relationship with them through sharing their stories and photos. 

This means brands can access an already established audience who fit their target demographic by working with the influencer to reach them.

Because they are personally invested in their crafts, micro influencers are trusted sources of recommendations for followers. ‘The Game’ isn’t just getting eyeballs; but getting eyeballs that care!

Sidney Pierucci

When I think of Instagram I automatically think of fashion, beauty, interiors, food and so on. In reality though, there are so many different niches out there with people building up followings for all kinds of things.

It’s not just social media either. Blogging is another way to build an engaged audience and work with brands on sponsored content. For example, successful influencer Jessica Strange was able to leave her job and build a totally different career after starting a blog about mountain biking!

After reading some of these success stories online I decided to try and turn my blog from a hobby into a business.

I am a terrible photographer so trying to become a social media influencer through Instagram was not the way forward for me, but I do love to write and share content on my blog and over time I’ve been able to grow a part time income.

Here are some of the ways I’ve been able to make money as a blogger so far.

Sponsored posts

One of the first ways I earn money blogging was writing sponsored posts – this is where brands will pay you to write articles either reviewing their product or services or advertorial type posts. 

Something they often ask for is your domain authority (DA). This is a measure of how authoritative your site is thought to be. The higher, the better. When you first start blogging this is zero, so it does take time to build it up!

Some of the ways I have grown my DA include guest posting for other sites, submitting quotes to collaborative articles and by others sites naturally linking to my content.

How to find sponsored posts

Sometimes you get lucky and brands will contact you directly asking to collaborate, which is great. If there’s a specific brand you’d love to work with you can contact them and pitch a collaboration yourself, outlining why it’s a great fit and what you can offer them. 

Joining blogger and influencer opportunity groups on Facebook has been a great way to find work too.

For sponsored work as an influencer, you will need to have a good number of followers and a high engagement rate.

Ads

Another way to make money from a blog is with display advertising. The more traffic you have, the more money you can make from ads, though they do affect your user experience so it’s worth considering the implications of that. When I first started using ads I earned pennies, but as my traffic has grown I’ve been able to join a new ad agency and my income from ads has increased significantly. 

Affiliate marketing

The last way I’ve made money is through using affiliate links in my articles. This is where you earn a small commission when people shop/sign up to something through your link. You can also use affiliate marketing on social media platforms if you don’t have a website.

Growing traffic

Obviously, to be able to make money with these things you need to be getting traffic so people are actually seeing your content.

Pinterest, has been a game changer for me. As a visual search engine, it’s a it’s a great way to share content and build traffic to your site.

It takes a little while to grow your account, but I’m now getting a few thousand pageviews a month from Pinterest. I’ve even been able to bring in some extra income designing Pinterest images for others!

SEO

Pinterest is great, but getting traffic from Google is better! Unfortunately it’s not as easy as simply writing what you like and then showing up in the search results.

There are some great free resources out there to help with understanding how to apply SEO to blog articles and after applying some of the tips and ideas I’ve found online my organic traffic has increased. I love seeing this grow, so I’ve recently invested in an SEO course (stupid simple SEO) to learn more, which I was able to pay for with earnings from my blog.

Final thoughts

Whilst it’s definitely possibly to make a great income as an influencer or blogger, let’s face it, we can’t all be Kim Kardashian. Building up your content and engagement takes time and work, but it can be done!

For me, blogging is a great way to earn income as it’s flexible and allows me to make money from home as a mum doing something I enjoy. For others, influencing is a brilliant way to earn money whilst sharing their passions and interests with others.

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