How I Make Money Blogging (and What I Do With It)

Aug 23, 2015 | 7 comments

Lately I’ve talked quite a bit about my career, my freelance work, and blogging; it’s resulted in a lot of e-mails about how I balance it all and whether or not I make money blogging. I responded to everyone individually then I decided to share a bit more detail for all of you to just put it out there and address it once and for all. Do I make money blogging? Indeed, I do.  First I’ll tell you how I do it, then I’ll tell you what I do with those extra dollars.

How I make money blogging and what I do with it.

Affiliate Links

This is my favorite way of earning a bit of extra cash through my blog. I share a lot of affiliate links. In fact, it’s entirely possible that every single post on my blog has at least one affiliate link embedded in it. I can’t swear to that but I believe it’s possible. I link to favorite books, Bible devotionals, or other resources. I link to clothes I’m wearing, services I’m using, or products I’m loving. I link to my blog theme designer and my web host. Go ahead, read the very bottom of my footer. See that mention of A Small Orange? It’s an affiliate link. My resources page? Chock full o’ affiliate links.

Why does it work?

It works because my readers trust me and I’m honest with them. I disclose my affiliate links. I’m honest with them and I affiliate link to genuine stuff I use and love. I’ve shared affiliate links to furniture on Wayfair but guess what? A lot of my furniture is from Wayfair so it’s genuine. The same applies to my dishes from One Kings Lane, my office prints from Minted, or my comforter set from Lush Decor. It’s real. I’m not just spamming readers with senseless links to stuff I don’t use.

How much do you make?

It depends on how much your readers purchase. I don’t mean to be snarky but it’s the truth. It’s all based on commission percentages. Some affiliates pay out 4-7% of the purchase price as a commission whereas others pay out 20% of the purchase price. It depends on what you’re sharing, how much it costs, what your readers will spend, and what the commission percentage totals. I average between $200 – $350 per month from affiliate links. Want to check out a list of affiliate link resources? I have them for you here.

Sponsored Posts

Sponsored posts are tricky! If you do them right they are fantastic, organic, and popular. If you do them wrong you come across like a spammy used car salesman that no one wants to be around. I’ve had some clunkers. I won’t lie. That was also during a time when I did them just because it was offered and not because it was something I genuinely liked. Ugh. #BloggerMistakes The ones I do now are usually through either Clever Girls Collective, Linqia, or TapInfluence. Admittedly, my favorites have come from Clever Girls Collective (like this one) and TapInfluence (like this one).

Why does it work?

It doesn’t always work. Like I said, sometimes you come across like a poor product spokesman that’s pushing a crappy product on someone just because you’re getting paid for it. Don’t be like that sleazy Sham-WOW guy! It works when you’re a faith blogger (like myself) who shares a post about seeking God’s comfort when you’re struggling to conceive and how there’s a product on the market that might help. It works when you’re a food blogger sharing a new small appliance or when you’re a fashion blogger sharing styling tips for leggings or a leather bomber jacket. If you can find a way to weave them into your regular content they are a great opportunity to offer your audience something new and make a little cash while you’re at it. If it doesn’t feel organic it just hurts your reputation.

How much do you make?

Again, there are a lot of factors at play. It is going to depend on the company, the size of the campaign, and whether or not you are working directly with the company or through an agency. On average I’m paid between $200 – $300 per sponsored post. There isn’t any consistency to it though. Sometimes I write 3 or 4 in a month and other months I won’t write any at all. Your niche plays into it a lot. Some niches (food or fashion) are better suited to sponsored content. Want to check out a list of sponsored content resources? I have them for you here.

Freelance Work

My freelance work is the bulk of my blogging income and I think it’s a fairly safe bet that it’s the bulk of the income for most bloggers. Whether they write and sell eBooks, host webinars, provide workbooks and consultations, offer graphic design services, sell homemade crafts, most money-making bloggers make an income by selling their work as an offshoot of their blog. I’m a technical writer and a copywriter. I write resumes, online portfolios, and web copy so the bulk of my blogging income is from those services. I also do a lot of coaching sessions (which I love because honestly, my clients are awesome!)

Why does it work?

It works because your blog helps you build your reputation and showcase your work. Your readers are able to see your work and, depending on what you offer, you can showcase a portfolio for potential clients to review. You can interact with potential customers, answer questions, and address concerns all through your blog. You’re not just promoting a business; you’re building a community.

How much do you make?

That all depends on YOU. It depends on how much you sell or do and what you charge. I know bloggers that bring in over $8,000 per month from selling their services. I average about $1,200 – $2,000 per month through my copywriting and business strategy. I have a full-time career that I love and which is my top priority when it comes to my income. I work my side hustle to pad our savings, work on retirement investments, travel for vacations, save for a home, etc. I work on my freelance work about 10 – 15 hours per week.

What I do with my blogging income

I already told you I work my side hustle to pad our savings, work on retirement investments, travel for vacations, save for a home, etc. but it goes beyond that. My husband and I are very into humanitarian and charity work so it’s important to us to use our success to help others. I make money blogging and, as a result, 20% of my blogging income is donated to charity. There are three primary charities that we support:

It’s important to  give back and help make the world a better place. I encourage you to check out the charities I listed above. They are truly remarkable.

Let’s Talk…

  • Do you use your blog for a side income? How do you make money blogging?
  • What have you found to be the best source of blogging income? Share your own tips in the comments below.
  • Do you have any favorite charities? I’d love to hear about them!
Betsey Johnson