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If you think that every woman and her Chug is now a blogger, you’d be right. Alongside ‘Social Media Consultant’ and ‘Freelance Writer’, ‘Blogger’ has become the new IT job for the twenty-something and you only have to do a quick Twitter Search to see how much competition there is out there. For good reason too – who wouldn’t love to write about what they enjoy wearing/doing/reading while earning money, from within the comfort of their own home?

As the market becomes increasingly saturated, there’s a new question on the lips of every up-and-coming blogger: is it really possible to start now, in 2014 and still make a successful career out of blogging? Well the answer is yes, but it comes at a price.

Anyone can start their own blog. Nearly anyone can persuade people to start reading it. With little experience or effort you could even hoodwink some unsuspecting brands or PRs to indulge you with their latest products. But to actually make a full-blown career out of it, one that pays the bills and leaves a little over for cocktails each month, that can be a whole other matter.

To build a successful blog now, in an already crowded marketplace, you have to be a writer, a networker, a marketer, a web design expert and an SEO specialist, all in one. You have to be the type of person who’s great at collaborating with partners, can spot a new trend a mile off and preferably needs just two or three hours of sleep per night. Skills that you usually need to learn alongside your regular day job for at least 6-12 months.

And once you’ve done that and built up a stellar amount of traffic against all the odds, how do you then make money from it?

To save you from falling at the last hurdle, we decided to round up 10 of the ways you can earn hard cash from blogging and the different routes you can take to get to it. Like all businesses, a professional blog needs a proper business plan and working out how you’ll generate revenue from your efforts, is a great way to start.

In order of easiest to most difficult, here is the first part of the 10 different routes you can take to make money from your blog.

 

1. Google Adsense

Google Adsense is an easy-to-use ad network which matches adverts to your blog, based on the content you write. By placing a piece of code within your site, Google decides which ads will be most relevant to your readers and shows these within the ad space you have allocated. Advertisers bid against each other to place the ads on your site and when someone visiting your site clicks through on the ad, you receive a percentage of the amount the advertiser paid (Google keeps the rest as a commission fee). You can also earn from the cost per thousand impressions (CPM) or CPE (cost-per-engagement), depending on which bid model is being used.

Best for: content specific blogs. The more specific your content is, the easier it is for Google to match up advertisers to your site and the higher the chance of a click through, due to the relevance of the content.

How much can I earn? This is largely dependant on the amount of web traffic to your site and the amount of engaged users. It’s difficult to give a definitve amount but Moms-make-money.com claimed to have made $272.82 in October 2013 (with 158,710 page views) so this should give you a ballpark figure to go on.

 

2. Affiliate revenue stream

An affiliate advertising scheme allows you to earn commission from referring a reader to a product that results in a sale. For example, if you mentioned a particular pair of shoes in a blogpost and a reader clicked through and bought those shoes, you would earn a percentage of the sale from the affiliate. There are many individual affiliate schemes, with large retailers such as Amazon and Topshop, but if you’re just starting out it can often be easier to join an Affiliate network which deals with a variety of brands. One example of a good affiliate network within the UK is Skimlinks, who work with something like 17,000 affiliates.

Best for: Fashion bloggers – chances are you’ll be talking about lots of items that readers just won’t be able to resist, so they’re more likely to click through and buy!

How much can I earn: Again, this is dependant on how many readers click through and buy the product, so the more readers you have the higher the chance you have of making a sale. You can usually expect to earn around 8-10% of the price of the sale, so the total revenue will also depend on the cost of the items you’re promoting and how many times they’re purchased.

 

3. Advertising

As well as automated ad networks such as Adsense, you can also work directly with a brand to place ads within your site. The easiest way to do this is through an advertising agency, such as Handpicked Media or Mode Media (formerly Glam Media), however bear in mind that an agency is effectively a ‘middle man’ between you and the advertiser, so will often keep around 50% of the ad revenue as commission.

If you have more time it may be worth working directly with advertisers, so that you can keep all of the money that the ads on your site are making but this can be a more difficult process.

Best for: Blogs that have a more targeted focus, such as Fashion, Parenting, Beauty, Gardening, Cookery etc. This makes it easier to select advertisers and convince them that they can reach their target audience through your readers.

How much can I earn? Again, this widely depends on site reach and click through rate and can vary between advertisers, but you can generally earn anything from £25 per month up to £250 from a single ad.

 

4. Sponsored posts

A sponsored post or advertorial is when an advertiser asks you to write about their brand or product in a post and recommend it to your readers. Some bloggers claim it is unethical to recommend something that they are being paid to write about, but this should be a personal choice. If you honestly believe in the product or brand you are writing about and would happily write about it anyway, then you’re not really sacrificing your integrity by being paid to write about it.

Best for: Those with high page traffic. With sponsored posts, advertisers pay you to publish the post, rather than for the results (click throughs, impressions etc.), therefore they will need to ensure that the post is going to be seen.

How much can I earn? Sponsored posts can bring in anything from £50 to £200, maybe even more depending on how popular your blog is, so it can be a really nice way to up your revenue.

 

5. Job boards

If your blog is related to a professional subject, you may be able to host a simple jobs board for those within your industry. Some bloggers decide to do this for free, to help match up jobseekers and employers, but you can also charge a small amount to employers or recruitment agencies who want to post their job to your board.

Best for: Business based blogs such as those targeted at Marketers, Startups, PRs or Journalists.

How much can I earn? This depends on the amount of traffic your blog receives and how many potential jobseekers read the content on your site, but usually a job ad can go from anything between £10 and £100.

 

Do you make money from your blog? Have you found any of the above revenue streams useful? Comment below to let us know and look out for 6 more great examples coming soon in Part 2.

Beth Gladstone

Beth is a Writer and Digital Marketer who founded The Full Agenda as a place to talk about the things that kept her and her friends up at night. Currently working as a Marketing consultant to various SMEs she is a big fan of the startup market and loves technology, apps and anything social media related. When not obsessively checking Google Analytics, she can be found reading, writing or relaxing with a glass of Prosecco.

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One Comment

  1. Deby at Moms Make Money / August 25, 2014 at 5:36 pm /Reply

    Thanks for linking out to my site. For the most recent month, July 2014 here – http://moms-make-money.com/july-blog-earnings/ the rate from Adsense was about $2 CPM, so every 1000 page views earned me just over $2. But looking back at my history, in the last year it has varied from anywhere between $1.50 to $3.50. Your keywords matter, so some sites will earn more than others, sometimes a lot more.

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