What is Blogging and How Do You Make Money Doing It?

What is Blogging and How Do You Make Money Doing It?

Photography by Brooke Confer

Photography by Brooke Confer

If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me (or thought) this when I talk about my blog, boy would I be a rich lady. To many, especially this day in age, blogging is just another career, but where I’m from a lot of people do not understand how it’s a job, or even what someone who says they’re a blogger spends their days doing.

I want my friends and family to understand what I spend so much of my time doing, so I’m going to try and answer some of the questions that I get most frequently.

What is blogging?
There are probably several ways to define blogging, but to me, the simplest way to describe it is choosing topics you’re passionate about or have a lot of knowledge of and sharing that information with the intention of helping people. So that can mean sharing recipes, life lessons, career advice, or the latest fashion and beauty trends.

Why is blogging so time consuming?
Bloggers want to make sure to produce content that their readers will love and take something away from. So, doing research on what people have spent the most time reading and engaging in is important. Once you have the ideas on what you want to write and/or make videos about, you have to gather everything you might need — home décor, make up, food, a professional photographer — everything is much more organized and curated than what it might seem.

Speaking of photography — that is completely a beast of its own and is probably what most bloggers spend the majority of their time thinking about. If your blog is about food, you can do a lot of the photography yourself, but only if you’ve spent time learning how to use a camera, what lighting works best and how to edit properly. If your focus is home décor and styling, fashion or beauty, you’re more than likely going to have to work with a professional photographer, which will take even more time and probably some money.

Having beautiful photography is crucial for any blog, so although it can be very time-consuming and even expensive, it’s worth it to give readers the best content possible.

On top of everything I just listed, you also have social media to think about. It takes time to manage, post and analyze what your followers like and what isn’t really working.

Last, a blogger has to think about how to grow their following. How do they grow their following? I’ve found the best way is to be really active on social media and find other bloggers and people/businesses to collaborate with. For example, if you’re blog is about home décor, you can partner with a local business to feature their products in a blog post. That way when your post goes live that business will share your content with its followers and customers, which will hopefully in turn help to grow your following.

How do bloggers make money?
This is the question many of my friends and family ask because they just don’t understand where the money comes from. There are actually several ways bloggers can make money, but I’m still pretty new to this game, so I’m sure I don’t know everything. Based off of what I do know though, here are some ways a person can make money being a blogger:

1. Brand Collaborations: Bloggers can make money by partnering with brands that authentically fit into what they talk about and would be a product or service they would use whether they’re being paid to promote it or not. For example, if a vegan food blogger is approached by a tofu company that they already love and use, that would be a perfect opportunity for the blogger to make money partnering with a brand that genuinely fits their lifestyle.

2. Affiliate Links: When a blogger recommends products, primarily clothes or home goods, the blogger can include an affiliate link in the link they provide to their readers/followers to find that particular product or something similar. If someone ends up making a purchase through the affiliate link the blogger provided, the blogger is provided a commission from the brand. This does not increase the price the reader/follower pays for a product, but is more like a thank you from the brand for promoting their products.

3. Website Ads: Bloggers can place ads on their website just like any other site on the web. If a reader clicks on that ad, the blogger is paid a very small commission.

4. Brand Partnerships: These are a little different than collaborations because they might be more long-term. An example here would be becoming a brand ambassador or associating your name or your blog’s name with a particular brand/product/service. Some brands love a bloggers style so much they’ll partner with them to develop a line of products to be sold in their stores and online.

5. Speaking Events: Bloggers are asked all the time to host certain events for brands, take over a brand’s Instagram for a special event or even to be a speaker. Bloggers can make money doing all of these things and can also be compensated for time and travel.

It’s important to remember you can’t just wake up one day and say, “I’m going to be a blogger”, quit your day job and boom all the sudden you’re making six figures. It takes a lot of time and effort to gain a following and attract brands that want to work with you. This is why so many blogs start out as side hustles and then eventually grow into full time work. 

Why are brands willing to pay these bloggers to produce content?
Brands are willing to pay bloggers because they’ve amassed a large, highly engaged audience and are considered subject matter experts. Readers and followers also come to trust the bloggers they’re loyal to, which means they’re willing to purchase the products and services recommended by them. That being said, the most successful bloggers stay true to who they are and their style and will only partner with brands they truly believe in and would use themselves.

Ok, friends, I hope this helps you understand all the time and energy it takes to manage a blog and how some people turn it into a career. It truly does take a lot of time and effort for me because I want to make sure I’m providing beautiful and thoughtful content for you all! To me, it’s not worth doing unless I’m going to do it right and to the best of my ability!

At the end of the day, support bloggers because we’re normal people chasing dreams just like you!

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