A No-BS Guide To Making Money As A Blogger

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Guide-to-making-money-as-a-beauty-blogger

This post has been in the pipeline for some time, I've had it part wrote for weeks now. But in light of Mode Media declaring bankruptcy and knowing thousands of bloggers will ultimately go unpaid (including myself!) along with losing an income stream, I was motivated to get this post wrote!


Side note - I'm presuming you're a blogger if you are reading and know about the news surrounding Mode Media (Hayley at London Beauty Queen has an in-depth post all about it). This post really is aimed at bloggers already seeking ways of making money from blogging which means there is some more in-depth info here and I won't be explaining the basics such as how affiliate marketing works etc.

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Recently I've been trying to up my game as a blogger. This has meant endless scouring of Pinterest for informative blog posts and motivation stuffs if you will. But the thing is... I kinda feel "How I make $50,000 per month as a blogger" and "How to Become a Six-Figure Blogger within a Year" type blog posts just aren't that helpful. Motivational? yes, Actual info to help to get there? no. You see unless you want to be an all singing all dancing blogger that branches out into coaching, e-book writing or event talking or you're one of the lucky select few that started back in the day and are now part of the main talent agency in the UK (you know the one!). Then it's actually pretty damn hard to make a full-time wage from blogging, though it is doable!

So I decided to do the opposite of all the blog posts I've been reading recently and give you a no BS, no-nonsense yet fairly simple guide on how to make money as blogger. Whether you're only just starting out or you're looking to increase your income, especially if you've been let down my Mode Media, I hope this post can help.  

Sponsored Content 

Sponsored posts are a great way to boost your yearly income as a blogger. Yes, you need to be careful not to annoy your readers by over doing them or blogging about cheese when you're a beauty blogger (just an example, I hope no one has!) but done correctly you can produce interesting content whilst making a good amount of money. If you are lucky enough to contacted by a company and then work with them on sponsored content make sure to keep that relationship going - offer your stats on that post, let them know if it goes a bit viral 6 months on etc. It's just a good way to say - I'm still here! 

As for how much you can earn from sponsored content it really is based on your reach/page views and the amount of work you will be doing for them. Even if you class yourself as a small time blogger and don't do it full time, never accept anything less than £100 - ever! For the average blogger £200-500 is the norm, however if you can build up your monthly pageviews then you really can earn quite a bit more. 

I've personally found since the change in Google's rules in which paid for content cannot contains follow links (they most be no-follow) there has been a drop is sponsored content and it's not something I can rely on as a monthly income. It's still an income stream for me but it now makes up 25% of my income compared to 50-60% in 2014/15.

Key tips to take away
  • Know your worth
  • Keep your integrity
  • Always request a purchase order (PO) number to secure and track payments more easily. In the rare case of non-payment the purchase order can be used as a legal document.

Affiliate Marketing 

I often think affiliate marketing is over looked especially by beauty bloggers, which is a shame because it's something that can become a good passive income and not require too much work other than blogging consistantly and recommending products you love! 

My main tip here to maximise monthly income is to join as many related affiliate programs as you can so that all the products you talk about and love, earn you at least something, be it a few pence sometimes! The main affiliate programs that work for me are - Skimlinks, Affiliate Window, Rakuten and Amazon,  but there are so many more and to find them I often visit the product website on the products I want to mention and find the affiliate details/link in the footer. 

Wish list and round-up product posts always do well. However honest in-depth reviews shouldn't be overlooked! Also if you do well with a certain brands you can sometimes negotiate a higher commission rate with the affiliate program or you could consider including a display ad of your highest earning brand in the sidebar of your blog which will bring you extra affiliate revenue.

Key tips to take away
  • Be consistent
  • Join multiple affiliate programs (it all adds up!)
  • Only features products you love/believe in!
  •  Update out of date links and naturally place links in posts that receive the most traffic 

Ad Agencies 

Ahhh, now onto the sticky topic of ad agencies that take a cut of what you earn but take the the effort and negotiation out of the equation. But who can we really trust?! Often ad agencies come with rules (example - no other outside ads above the fold) and make themselves more appealing than they actually are, in terms of how often ads will be served on your page (it's never 100% of the time but more like 30-40%) and how much they pay per CPM. I currently don't feel I can recommend any ad agencies as I haven't trialled any other the Mode Media. However I would suggest to proceed with caution, always opt to trial ads out for a month first and never solely rely on it as your main source of income.

Key tips to take away   
  • Make sure the ads aren't intrusive and Google-friendly (no-mobile pop-ups!)
  •  Don't solely rely on one income, have other revenue streams
  • Backfill ads with another ad agency or Adsense to aim to have ads showing 100% of the time, making the most you can for each ad space.

Goodle Adsense 

If you are looking for a totally reliable way of making money through ads then look no further than Google Adsense. Adsense is often the first thing bloggers put on their page and then with a small amount of pageviews feel it's not for them due to their low revenue. However building on pageviews definitely increases ad revenue and with the correct placement and ad sizes you can really maximise earnings. It always a good idea to place your largest ads above the fold and include individual ads into the html of your most popular posts/posts. I personally know a few people that earn a full time wage just through Adsense ads alone. Get placement right and aim to increase your pageviews and this could become a good portion of your income!

Key tips to take away

  • Include ads above the fold
  • Try different ad sizes monthly to find your most clicked ad size
  • Be aware of the guidelines/rules, Google do ban people! 

These are the 4 key areas in which you can earn money through blogging, however social media sponsorship is becoming much more popular so this may be another area you want consider. There's also the option to seek out private ads with smaller businesses.


I'm definitely no expert in this field and my pretty limited knowledge comes from blogging for over 5 years now. 

If you do have any questions however feel free to ask them in the comments below and I'll try my best to answer them! 


Fee xo.


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