Make Blogging Your Business

Make Blogging Your Business

Your little corner of the internet is ticking along nicely, but if you’ve been blogging for twelve months or more it’s time to take it up a notch – what about earning a few pounds for your efforts, or actually, how about turning your blog into a business?

I started my blog in November 2016 with the vision of one day turning what started as a hobby into a little business. After all, blogging opens up so many doors and opportunities for us, why not take advantage? How ever much I Iove blogging, it’s time-consuming and can be frustrating, just getting a post ready for publishing involves researching, taking, choosing and then editing photos. Then there’s the written copy, I tend to write in stages – I currently have seventy drafts partially written, yes, seventy! Mainly because I’m not someone who can sit there, bash out a post and publish it the same day. I’ll think of a title, (which I’ll change several times), write a few paragraphs then leave it a while before returning to it another day.

My writing style changes with my mood which isn’t always a good thing as I like consistency to my copy. The images I use have to be just as I want them and often I take hundreds before settling on a few to edit and use. With all this in mind, if I can get some kind of reward for my efforts, then why not? As always, this approach may be frowned upon by some but I see my blog as a second job, and I’m not in the market of working for free. Who would, given the choice?

“Monetising Is a slow process, but you’ll get there”

Whilst I’m always happy to accept a fitting product in lieu of a review, it’s quite refreshing when a brand or PR contacts you and offers up their budget without being asked. If the budget doesn’t fit (even if the product does) then I won’t accept. Simple as that. Opportunities to try new products drop into my inbox most days so I’m in the fortunate position to be able to cherry-pick  if you like, who I work with and I won’t allow others to use my blog for free or cheap advertising. Saying that, I’m not entirely against ads’ and may well use them if the right fit comes along but, generally, I’m not overly keen. I’ve visited the occasional blog where advertising dominates and just distracts so much, (especially when it’s not relevant) hitting multiple crosshairs to reveal the text is not appealing to me at all. I’ll leave, and I won’t return. However, if your page views are high enough then ads’ can be a great way to earn a steady trickle of money into your pot. Just don’t go overboard!

 

Samantha's purse

Join An Affiliate Programme

I’m sure you know all about affiliate links but in case you’re not sure, you can earn a small commission per click (or sale) from either links in your copy or “Shop The Post” style widgets. Sign up to an affiliate program such as Shopstyle Collective, they then allow you to use their links and/or widgets which have a specific ID or username enabling them to track and monitor clicks and orders. Recently, it’s become more popular to use “Shop The Post” widgets and literally everyone is doing it now  – (self-hosted blogs only) This is a no-brainer, use affiliate links in the right way and you can have yourself a steady little income, (assuming you are getting enough traffic to generate clicks and orders). Your earnings will need to be £100 before you can withdraw but this is pretty standard. I use ShopStyle Collective but Reward Style are out there too. Reward Style can be a little more particular about page view numbers before allowing you to the use their widgets. If your theme has been developed by       Pipdig they’ve recently launched their own Shop The Post widget Shopr for a one-off payment I believe. (Currently on offer at £15)

 Sponsored Brand Partnerships –  “If you don’t ask you don’t get”

Partnering with brands for sponsored content is the most lucrative I find but varies hugely. When a brand pays you to write about and feature their product, the review should always be your own honest opinion and you shouldn’t be swayed in any way. Outbound hyperlinks, affiliate or otherwise should be no-follow. I’m asked occasionally to use a do-follow link in a sponsored or gifted post but again, I’ll say no. Using do-follow links inappropriately violates Google best practises and could lead to you being penalised. (Shop Style widgets are no-follow – I checked)! If you’re adding your own hyperlinks you can install a WordPress plugin which allows a tick box to set any outbound link as no-follow. I use this method and it’s just so quick and simple. Here’s the plugin I use.

On a side note, if you purchased the item you’re featuring yourself, or you’re deep linking (linking to your own relevant post) then It’s fine to use a do-follow link. You don’t want every single link to be no-follow.

I’ve found my sponsored collaborations have started to come since The Beauty Spyglass passed the twelve-month mark and although most are great opportunities, you will always get those companies which are only in it for their own gain. For example, was recently contacted and asked if I would publish pre-written copy and run an advertising banner permanently on my sidebar for their paltry offering of $16 which equates to around £10. Firstly, I would never publish pre-written copy as that goes against the grain totally, and secondly, my blog is all about MY opinion – so that was a definite no. I realise every little helps but if something doesn’t feel right then it’s not going to work for you. Remember to stay true to yourself and in keeping with your blog. Be realistic though, you may only earn enough to give you some extra spending money each month!

How Much Should I Charge?

Many have questions regarding rates and what you should be charging for sponsored content. I always refer to the table below as a guide. I tend to go somewhere between the lowest and highest price for my numbers. Remember, the table is just a guide, feel free to charge whatever suits you!

Sponsored blog post table of suggested rates

Image credit.

If a brand or PR contacts you, always ask politely if there’s a budget available for your review and social sharing. Occasionally, they will ask you for your rates but if not, offer up your charges and see what they come back with. If all else fails, they may still wan’t you to try their product in lieu of your review. It’s your call and remember – you’re worth it.

One Last Thing…

Once you start accepting monetary reward for your content you must register with HMRC as self-employed. Failing to do so means you could be liable for a rather large fine. Once you’ve registered, you’ll need to fill out your tax return once a year. if you’re unsure, or have more questions regarding bloggers and tax, here’s a really useful article written by Bloglancer.

Also, make sure you fully disclose that the post was a sponsored partnership (I always declare it at the beginning of the post)

How do you monetise your blog? are there any other methods you use? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

There’s more here – Read about my blogging goals are for this year and how I plan to find more opportunities

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22 Comments

  1. March 2, 2018 / 3:59 pm

    Love this, thanks for sharing. I’d love to land a sponsored post! The rate card is really useful!

    • Samantha
      Author
      March 2, 2018 / 4:17 pm

      Ah you will! Keep doing what you’re doing! Glad you found it useful x

  2. March 2, 2018 / 8:20 pm

    Hi Samantha thank you for sharing this I found it a very interesting read. I’ve only recently started blogging so it’s great to hear about your experience. X

    • Samantha
      Author
      March 2, 2018 / 8:56 pm

      Thank you. Good luck with your blog! x

  3. March 2, 2018 / 8:21 pm

    This post is so useful, I am currently at the stage of buying my own domain name so i can start making a bit of money from my blog. x

    Steph Hannam
    stephhannam.wordpress.com

    • Samantha
      Author
      March 2, 2018 / 8:55 pm

      That’s great news! Glad you found it helpful. Good luck with your blog! x

  4. Lottie
    March 3, 2018 / 9:56 am

    Brillaint post , just adding dont forget to register as self employed / tell the tax man it’s prob the most important thing xx

    • Samantha
      Author
      March 3, 2018 / 11:30 am

      Oh yes, I meant to say about that! Thanks lovely x

  5. March 3, 2018 / 1:26 pm

    Great post! I found it very insightful and detailed, the table is so useful for bloggers and coincidentally I charge a similar amount mentioned in the table so I’m glad haha! x

    • Samantha
      Author
      March 3, 2018 / 1:36 pm

      That’s good! Yes it’s useful to have the table to refer to. Otherwise it’s a bit of a mine-field. Thanks for reading! x

  6. March 3, 2018 / 1:42 pm

    Some good tips here lovely! I do some bits to monetise my blog but hoping to put more effort into it once my wedding is over and I can concentrate! Will bookmark this for future x

    • Samantha
      Author
      March 3, 2018 / 10:07 pm

      Yes you need to concentrate on your wedding first. I know how much work that takes! x

  7. March 4, 2018 / 1:18 pm

    I’ve never been brave enough to reply with asking about a budget! I’d love to monetise mine but have been happy with just receiving the products! Maybe I should start being a bit braver! Your chart is definitely a handy guide as I’d have no idea where to start with charging!! xx

    • Samantha
      Author
      March 4, 2018 / 2:09 pm

      You should! You’ve got a great following! Be brave, If I can, you can. Xx

    • Samantha
      Author
      March 5, 2018 / 11:52 am

      I think that’s what we’re all aiming for! Thanks for reading x

  8. March 9, 2018 / 12:14 pm

    I don’t charge for any of my work a thing the moment as I’ve only been blogging since last July so wanted to enjoy it before it got complicated with money and tax forms. It confuses me.

    • Samantha
      Author
      March 9, 2018 / 5:07 pm

      Just as well! Not all brands want to pay, but when they offer up it’s lovely.

  9. roxannestarmore
    March 11, 2018 / 12:11 am

    This is such an interesting post hun! I agree with you on so many things you mentioned. I hope you are well!

    Roxanne x

    • Samantha
      Author
      March 11, 2018 / 7:39 am

      Thanks lovely. Oh, and thanks for reading! x

    • Samantha
      Author
      April 8, 2018 / 8:54 am

      Thank you! Glad you found it useful x

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