Photograph shot by Sukaina Rajabali
If you read my last post on How Blogging Became my Career, you’ll know I promised to share with you all the steps you need to take to actually start bringing in money from doing what you love … and in this case that’s blogging.
I’m now earning more money than I did in any office/corporate job I’ve had (and I’ve had a fair few believe me!) and the best part is I’m absolutely loving what I’m doing. I woke up this morning excited to write this blog in the hope that I can help inspire others to take the same leap of faith and show you that it can actually be done and you can get there quicker than you might think.
If you have a passion … if you’ve decided the office 9-5 desk job is no longer what you want from life … if you want to travel, see the world, wake up each morning excited to do what you do and have the ability to make money from that … then you’ve come to the right place.
Maybe the goal is the same salary as you were on in your job you’ve now left, maybe it’s hundreds of thousands, hey, maybe you’re reaching for the stars and millions is in your mind. It can be done, it’s happening every single day. Look at The Body Coach … he started maybe 2 years ago now with a very basic video on home-cooking and is now earning millions and flying all over the world doing exactly what he loves. Why can’t that be you, too?
Step 1 : Start the Blog!
Actually starting is the thing that puts 99% of us off doing something. All possible reasons come into play, “I don’t have enough time”…. “It will never go anywhere” … “I’m not as good as other people” … I’ve said these same excuses but it got to a point that I just thought no, I’m going to do this.
The thing is if you start now, then imagine where you’ll be in a year? Even if you’re not earning money yet, you’ve had a year of building up content, learning from mistakes, improving your writing, finding out who you want to be as a blogger and where your niche lies. That doesn’t always come straight away, I changed my blog name after 3 months of writing because I realised it pushed me in a direction I didn’t want to be in. If you start now, then you’re already a step ahead of the game and you’ll be amazed how things start growing organically.
Step 2: Content, Content, Content
A blog without content is not a blog that brands will take notice of. If you’re focusing on food, aim to have at least 8 recipes in each section of your menus. If you’re focusing on fashion, post every other day with a new outfit or styling thoughts for 6 months solid. If you’re focusing on travel – travel! Think about where you’ve been before in life, do you have pictures from there? If so, great – post them! Write about weekend stays … beach days …. interesting streets and restaurants – all the things people want to know about when travelling to a new place. And if you can’t get away that much this year, get your friends to guest blog for you and buy them dinner when they get back.
Use outbound links to relevant content and don’t be scared of supporting other bloggers, showing your readers who inspired you! Bloggers have to work together to be successful, we show brands the impact we can have and that’s not done by being ‘all me’. Also, post regularly … readers like consistency and this is one of the most important rules of writing a successful blog.
Step 3: Create a Media Pack
So you now have a blog with amazingly captivating content and you’re ready to really push it out to the world. How do you do that? Not via an email with a link!
You need to create a document, or media pack, that you can send out to introduce yourself to all media agencies that are ultimately going to be the people you work very closely with. First impressions count – there are new bloggers every day and you need to make sure that from the very beginning you are one that people take notice of.
You’re very first media pack which comes with the “Hello I’m Sally and I would love to share my blog with you” won’t include rates. You first need to build up traffic (which typically comes after your start pushing the blog) and also your relationships.
Here is the Media Pack template I used and still use. It’s really easy to follow and a lovely clean, crisp design. The idea of it is to let people know what the blog is about, why it’s different, and what you can offer as a blogger.
Step 4: Make the Relationships
Where do you start? By saying hello … as with most things in life.
You send out your personalised ‘welcome’ media pack to relevant PR agencies and then ask to meet them for a coffee. Get to know them and more importantly, let them get to know you. PR agencies aim is to connect their brands to it’s ideal customers and you are often a big part of that as a blogger (or influencer as it’s now called!). You will be invited to events, asked to post and be a supporter of their brands – do that. Before you can start to charge, you need to have two things, a platform which is good enough to do so and relationships cemented so that you are the blogger they think of when a potential collaboration with budget comes around.
Step 5: Create your Rate Card Media Pack
There will come a point when you have done all the above and you feel your blog now has real value and something brands can truly benefit from. That’s the point when you decide how much you want to charge for sponsored blog posts and social media posts, and from that, you create your new Media pack which includes your collaboration rates. These can change as your following increases so don’t be worried that your first fee is the maximum you can ever charge.
It’s so important that when offers start coming in, you only accept those that are true to your brand and what you believe in. If your thing is healthy living like me, don’t go and accept a collaboration with Burger King just because it’s paid. I only ever work with the brands I genuinely love and would use. That way your readers trust you and know that if you’re advocating a product, it’s going to be something good!
So there’s my 5 steps on how to make money from blogging! I hope it gives some the confidence to start and knowledge on how to do so. Did you find this blog useful? Would you like more posts on blogging itself? If you have any questions please comment below and I’d be happy to help!
I’ve just stumbled upon your blog and I am loving your content – really inspiring!
I’m in the process of *trying* to set up a blog although I am having a few problems with themes etc – could you recommend anywhere to get these for WordPress? I’m seeing a lot about there being a difference between .com and .org and it is really throwing me!
Aww thank you so much, glad you like it!
So if you google ‘best food blog themes’ or fashion, or whichever topic you’re doing there will be a whole host of themes that come up, a lot of which you need to buy. WordPress offers free themes but I never found them as good quality and as helpful as the paid ones. Mine is called Foodie Pro theme and think I paid around £80 for the full package. If your blog isn’t about food I would suggest not using it as it is very tailored for recipes etc.
I would personally go for a .com – I bought mine through Go Daddy so that it was an actual web address as opposed to a wordpress address. I’m really glad I did that so would suggest the same and to be honest the domain names aren’t expensive at all at the start.
Hope that helps a little and feel free to ask any more questions if you have them!
I started my blog based on this amazing post !
Any advice on how to build the audience? That’s where my knowledge gap is ! :)
That’s such wonderful feedback thank you! I’ll be sure to write more of them!
I think they key to building audience is consistency and really trying to understand what your readers would find useful. I tried to search for your blog but couldn’t find it so not sure what the topic is? If it’s food for example, start posting consistenly every Monday with a new recipe, make Wednesday a “How-to” post and Friday a “weekend treat recipe”. Even I’m still trying to make sure I stick to these types of things as it’s not easy but if readers know that you consistently post 3-4 times each week, you’ll get the traffic come back again.
Decide on who you think your audience are, who you want them to be, and make sure what you’re writing matches that. There’s not point writing a 2 hour stew pot recipe for example if your target audience is teenagers making quick meals. Your blog may be nothing to do with food but do you get the idea?
Hope that helps and thanks again for the comment :)
Thanks so much for your help! That’s amazing, I definitely get the idea.
My blog can be found here – http://bigalsblogs.wordpress.com
One of the issues may be that it doesn’t have a specific focus and the posts so far have been pretty generic. Clearly still trying to find my niche !
Strange story, we used to live next to eachother in Brecon Court ! Its great to see someone from uni become so successful !
Wow small world, so funny!
It takes some time to find your natural niche, or better yet what area you want to write in. The blog looks great but it’s new so don’t be hard on yourself. Think about content content and more content and you’ll be amazed how quickly it fine-tunes. Also the pictures you have are wonderful so try and add more, people are very visual!
Keep me updated with the progress and wish you the best of luck with it, I’m sure it will be a big success :)
This was so helpful! Thankyou Carly
xlaurenmarie.blogspot.com (new to this whole blog thing, come and say hello!)
Great post – very helpful!
Just discovered your blog via Lucy Watson’s Instagram and I’m loving the sound advice you’re giving! Definitely going to check out some of your recipes as I’m looking to begin living a healthier lifestyle. Glad I found your blog!
Aww how sweet! Glad you’re liking it, thank you! xx
Wow thank you it’s a really helpful post and great for beginners like me who are thinking about starting. The excuses you listed at the start made me laugh as that’s exactly what I say to myself. Here’s to more determination, self belief and making the leap.
Thank you X
So glad to hear you’re thinking about starting now! We all go through the excuses … and there’s plenty more where they came from! We just have to keep reminding ourselves why we’re starting, why we want to and they soon disappear! Good luck and keep me updated :) xx
Hello and welcome! I'm Carly, originally from London but currently enjoying a little adventure in Dubai. A travel and wellness blogger exploring the world one step at a time. Think fabulous food at undiscovered gems, unique destinations, skin care obsessions and so much more. This is my life, I hope you enjoy the ride!