I get asked this question a lot, so I am just going to lay it out there for ya.
The convo goes something like this:
“Oh, hey Lindsey! How are you?”
“Great! You know….busy, busy!”
“I love your blog by the way!”
“Oh thanks! Appreciate that. Thanks for reading!”
“So like, do you just do it for fun or do you make money blogging?”
I get asked this question at least once per week and as my readers, I thought you should know the answer to this question.
The short answer: YES!
Can my husband quit his job and rely on me to support our family with my random ramblings about parenting, food, fashion etc?: Hell no!
I started this blog with no intention of making money whatsoever. As a stay-at-home mom, I need a creative outlet and one day started writing. And then one day my technologically-illiterate self accidentally published a post to Facebook. And people “liked” it and asked if it was really me who wrote it? And that gave me a warm-fuzzy feeling inside and that is how this blog was birthed. Wanna see that first post? Here you go. Yeah. Excuse me while I go fan my red cheeks. But I must say, I’ve learned some things on the way – like the importance of pretty pictures, the fact that my readers like real, relatable content above any other type of post, and the fact that, yes, I can make money blogging.
So let me break it down for you. There are three main ways that I’ve monetized my blog.
1. Google Adsense: The long horizontal ad at the top, and the long vertical ad on my side bar, those are powered by Adsense. I’m not really sure how this works, but computers are smart (I mean, the people who make them) and based on what you are googling at home, (for me it’s usually J.Crew, Anthropologie, best slip on sneakers for fall (more on this obsession later) and best laundry stain removers….. have you met my kids?) so those sites and/or related content will pop up in those two ad stations. How do I make money from this? These ads pay out on a pay-per-click basis…. I like to think of it as a tip jar from the company for thanking me for bringing customers to their site. We are talking pennies here, people! But pennies can add up. The amount I make from Adsense typically convers my hosting fees for the month (if I’m lucky!).
Now that I’ve broken even (well, not counting the costs for state licensing fees, a PO box, and site design/maintenance fees etc.), let’s move on…..
2. Affiliate Marketing: I am a part of several affiliate networking sites. Basically I apply to be an affiliate for the various merchants the network has teamed up with. ShareAsale and LINKSHARE are two of the big affiliate networks that I work with. Each network has different merchants that I apply to individually. When I use their links or ads in my posts or on my sidebar, I get a small commission if something is purchased – again, its like a “thank you” for bringing one of my readers to their site and creating new business for them. Another affiliate network I am a part of is RewardStyle. This is what I use for all of my fashion-y posts. RewardStyle has teamed up with most of the top brands and when I write about certain clothes, shoes etc… that I love, I get a small commission if a reader purchases something I have recommended. Of course, to keep the integrity of my blog in tact, I only include links to items that I either a) already have and love or b) don’t have, but want to have! And if another reader has the same taste as me and buys it, then it’s a win-win! The reader (you) pays the same amount you would regardless of how you found the item and I get a little monetary “thank you” from the brand for recommending their product.
3. Sponsored Posts: Occasionally brands will reach out to me and actually pay me to write about their product. How cool is that? Pretty awesome, right? But because I love my readers and don’t want to appear spammy, I have to be choosy about these opportunities. I would never write about something that I haven’t tried out myself and loved. If I didn’t like the product or don’t think its a good fit for my “mom/lifestyle blog”, I won’t write about it. There have also been situations where I reach out to brands that I love. Sometimes they will have me write a sponsored post or some offer to do a giveaway which is my way of thanking YOU for reading!
So the long and short of it is, YES, my blog does generate some income. Now I know you are all thinking well, HOW MUCH?? And to that I’d say, you’d have to ask my
husband accountant. I don’t have a business related bone in my body and keeping track of income is not one of my strengths. All I know is that I make enough to justify buying myself this new fall jacket with my own earned money without trying to camouflage the purchase as “a lot of diapers” (you do that too, right?)…. soon my husband might catch on that Nordstrom doesn’t really sell them (shhhh!). Or maybe I’ll skip the jacket and use my blogging money to have someone clean my house every once in a while which is what I should be doing instead of writing this blog. But writing this blog is so much more fun than cleaning. Don’t you think?
In all honesty, making some cash here and there is great and all, but having the platform to connect with people who are going through or have gone through or are about to go through this whirlwind of parenting…… priceless.
So that’s how I make money blogging. Any questions?