Professional blogger? How I make a living
A persons income and how they make a living is quite a personal thing for most people, but when you have a bit of an odd job like I do, then people often just can’t help themselves and I have lost track of how many times that I have had to explain exactly what it is that I do for a living.
After I am done explaining, then I often get the followup question “can you really make a living off that?!” – which I honestly find to be a bit rude, I would never ask someone about their finances, but I also understand that it is very rarely meant as anything other than innocent curiosity and wonder as people are still struggling to understand the world of influencers and freelancers.
It is sometimes a bit hard for me to explain exactly what it is that I do for a living as it is not one, but many things. I am a blogger, but I am not able to make a living through blogging alone – some months I make quite large sums on blogging and social media, while other months I make next to nothing. However, the blog and my Instagram account is the foundation of my business and it is what have helped me gain many of the amazing opportunities that have helped grow my business along the way – my freelance jobs, my cookbook deal etc. is all a result of my blog and Instagram account.
I am not able to make a living through any of my sources of income on their own (I explain exactly what it is I do below), but when you combine them, then things are starting to look somewhat decent. I am not a big blogger or influencer, so there is still a lot of insecurity when it comes to my income and I am going to be very honest and say that sometimes I worry about being able to pay my bills, but I take it day by day and so far I have managed to make ends meet. It is not a very secure business to be in, but I absolutely LOVE being my own boss and being able to make a living doing something that I love, so it makes up for the insecurity and if everything else fails, them I still have my law degree to fall back on.
As I have already written above, the blog is often not my main source of income, but I am fortunate enough to sometimes make rather decent amounts of money through sponsored content here on the blog + through my social media accounts. Sponsored content is made in collaboration with brands and companies and can take many different forms – sometimes it is a bigger collaboration that is spread out over a long period of time and on several platforms and other times it is simply a single blogpost or Instagram post.
Sponsored content is my main source of income through the blog and I would say that it is probably the main source of income for most influencers. Sponsorships can be done on all platforms – blogs, Facebook pages, Instagram + Instastories, Snapchat, Tumblr etc.
Ads and banners
The most well know way to make money on your blog are by adding banners and ads. There are many ways to do this, but you can for example use Google AdSense, make deals directly with the individual companies or brands or you can join a blog network like I have, where they handle the adds and banners for you.
Since I am not a blogger with a very large following and huge amounts of traffic, then I only make a very small amount on ads and personally I would actually prefer to be able to not have any adds and banners on my blog. I feel like the ads ruin the aesthetics of my blog a bit and since I do not have that much traffic, then the money I make on them are simply not worth it.
The way ads work is that whenever an ad shows up on a blog you are visiting or a youtube video that you are watching, then the person behind the blog or youtube video gets a tiny (and I really mean tiny) amount of money for that view. You need to have very a large following and crazy amounts of traffic to actually be able to make a decent income off ads – it is usually through sponsored content and affiliate links that influencers are able to make a living.
Affiliate links are another way that I am able to make money on the blog, but again, it is very limited how much I make on these kind of links and the amount is honestly pretty much completely insignificant to me. However, it is possible to make a lot of money through affiliate links if you have a large following and especially if you are a fashion or beauty blogger, where affiliate links are easy to use in your content and there is often quite a high percentage of sales.
With affiliate links you earn a small percentage of each purchase made through your link – it will not affect the buyer in any way and their price is exactly the same, it is simply an easy way to support your favorite bloggers, you tubers etc. while buying your favorite items.
There are many different affiliate networks that you can join and many of them are specialized in certain things like food, fashion, children’s items for mommy bloggers etc. – I am with Bloggers Delight and they have their own affiliate system, but I also use Amazon’s and Iherb’s affiliate network + my sister have recommended me to check out Magic Links as well. If you want to start using affiliate links, then I would simply recommend you to look up different affiliate networks and find the ones that suits your particular niche (fashion, home, beauty etc.).
Freelance jobs are usually what provides my main source of income. I often get these kinds of jobs through my blog or Instagram, so this income is somewhat related to the blog as well as it works as a kind of portfolio that shows my work + helps me connect with magazines and companies that are interested in hiring me.
What I am usually hired to do is to create recipes for a magazine, sometimes I photograph them myself while other times I make the recipes in a studio where a photographer is ready to shoot my little creations. Once in a while I also write food related articles (in Danish), but I still feel quite insecure about my writing, so I prefer to stick to the recipes.
For example I create a lot of recipes for the magazine Iform and you can actually find my recipes in almost all their issues in 2018 – pretty cool huh?! :D
Another source of income for me is my cookbook Regnbuemad that was published in august last year. It has sold quite well, but as a cookbook author you only get a small cut from each book that is sold (it varies a lot, but usually between 7-15%), so unless you sell a lot of books, then you sadly won’t get rich from creating cookbooks ;)
I also make money selling my photos through pages like Shutterstock. I only get a very very small amount per photo sold, but it is a nice supplement to my other sources of income and the more photos I upload the more I make.