Can you make a living as a blogger anymore? Oh man, I’ve gotten this question so many times since creating my blog in 2013. When I started The Nectar Collective, everyone was busy selling sidebar ads, and sponsored posts were a hot commodity. As such, many people came to believe that this was how you turned blogging into a career. It was like our collective mantra was, “with a healthy dose of affiliate links and sponsorships, I could be rich!” Well, that didn’t turn out to be the case at all. #bummer
Instead, this has led many bloggers to feel unsuccessful for not earning huge amounts of cash from these “traditional” forms of revenue. It also means that bloggers try for years before they ever earn a cent. Guess what, blogger babe? It doesn’t have to be that way! You can still earn a whole lot of money as a blogger, just not in the way you’re thinking.
First of all, ads + sponsorships are not the answer.
This is actually how I started earning income on my blog. When TNC was still a baby, I began selling sidebar ads for $10 a pop, eventually working my way up to $150 ads as my traffic and following increased. At its peak, I had 30 ads on my sidebar, which were earning me about $700-800 per month in total. At the time, it felt great, since I was still in my first year of blogging and never expected to earn anything at all.
But let me tell you, running sponsorships is a LOT of work and I eventually realized that the income I was making just wasn’t worth it for how much time I needed to invest. I also began to realize that having 30 ads for other blogs on my sidebar was diluting my brand. I put so much time into MY blog, and here I was, escorting people away. I started to cut back on sponsorships, until eventually I did away with them all together.
Similarly, ad networks (like Google Adsense and BlogHer) have done little for my wallet. Here are some stats to make my case. At the time of writing this, I have three ads on this blog. Each month, TNC receives about 170,000 pageviews and 75,000 unique visitors. How much do I make from those three ads? About $300. $300! That’s barely enough for my car payment, let alone a full-time income. Imagine how much traffic or how many ads you’d need in order to make a full-time income from having ads on your site. It’s just not feasible unless your site is enormous.
So, blogger buddy, I urge you to think bigger (and differently).
A lot of bloggers think that to be a full-time blogger, you need to earn money from ads and sponsorships. Pull that mindset out of your brain, friend! It ain’t doing you any favors.
Instead, think of your blog as a hub for your brand, a marketing tool, and the perfect platform to launch a product or service that WILL make you a whole lot of moolah.
My main money-makers are my web design studio and blog coaching program. They may be more loosely connected to my blog than say, a sidebar ad, but without my blog, they would not be as profitable as they are. I also launched them both through my blog, simply offering up my services to blog readers.
So, if you want to earn money as a blogger, it’s a-ok to abandon “traditional” forms of making an online income and replace them with other things, like digital products and services. Not only will they make you more money, but they’re also things you can start selling now, even if your audience is fairly small.
Interested in launching a service or selling products through your blog? Good, because I created a free worksheet to help you hammer out the details. You can sign up here to gain access to my free resource library for bloggers, where the worksheet is available for download (fo’ free!).
Psst if you’re already signed up, you can access the resource library by clicking here. The password is included in all of our weekly newsletters. BOOM!