How Do You Make Money Blogging?

September 15, 2014

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!”

(awkward pause)

“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.

how to make money blogging

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?

  • Tanya M @ Mom's Small Victories
    September 15, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    I haven’t signed up for adsense yet but am an affiliate. I have yet to make a dime from blogging. But as I see it, since I have a book hoarding addiction, blogging about books feeds my addiction when authors and publishers want me to review their books. So for the price of hosting, I get a ton of books I might not have read otherwise. And I get to support authors

    • Sisters to Sons
      September 16, 2014 at 8:49 am

      Tanya! Yes! I totally should have added a paragraph about all the free stuff we get as bloggers… totally counts for something!! Thanks for your comment!

  • Andrea B (@goodgirlgonered)
    September 16, 2014 at 7:41 am

    I love this post. I love it because you’re open and honest and not high and mighty in any way. 🙂 And that’s cool. Let’s be friends. 😉

    • Sisters to Sons
      September 16, 2014 at 8:49 am

      lol! yes, lets be friends 🙂

  • Heather @
    September 16, 2014 at 10:53 am

    LOL! I have this conversation often.

  • Jo-Lynne Shane {Musings of a Housewife}
    September 16, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    You are hilarious. This is about one of the most succinct and well written posts I’ve read on the topic, and it’s entertaining to boot. Nicely done. Keep up the good work, and your blog might pay the mortgage one day after all! 🙂

    • Sisters to Sons
      September 16, 2014 at 8:28 pm

      AHH! Thank you! Coming from you this means SO much!

  • PS
    September 16, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Nordstrom’s is the one with the Bulls eye logo, Right? I swear I’ve seen diapers there before.

  • alison shaffer
    September 16, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    I need to work on share a sale and linkshare more, blogging is really fun, but it is work. people often think we get stuff for free, well, we don’t or they would get the same free stuff for nothing in return.
    great post, and ideas for making money. which is always good.

  • Jennifer A
    September 16, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Loved this so much I had to share it with friends.

  • reesa lewandowski
    September 16, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    I don’t really make a lot on affiliate links. I think you really need to take time and focus on them and honestly??? I forget about them all the darn time!!!!!

    Great post though laying it out there for those who might not understand! I just signed up for Adsense, so I am interested in how that works out.

  • Lauryn
    September 16, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    Love it! Great post, great thoughts, great answers! A question I never know how to answer. Thanks for doing it for me! 😉

  • claudia krusch
    September 17, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    Love your post! It will help bloggers who want to earn more income to figure things out!

  • Amy @Planning Playtime
    June 19, 2015 at 12:45 am

    Love it. The people really getting rich on blogging are the housekeepers we have to hire while we write. 😉

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