Thoughts // Making Money as a Blogger (Part I)


Welcome back from the long weekend! I hope that yours was as refreshing and relaxing as mine!

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about all of the many facets of blogging and being a blogger. Topics that run the gamut from authenticity, goals, content, and of course –the thought that led me to today’s post, making money as a blogger. Earning an income from your blog is definitely something that most bloggers tend to put out there when required, but not outwardly mention without request. In part, I believe this is because responses and feedback to bloggers who do make money through blogging can either be incredibly kind and encouraging or pretty negative and disapproving.

Personally, I am all for it. If you can turn a passion into a profit, I vote go for it –make your money in a way that benefits yourself and others. Make yourself financially and spiritually well off.

How do we picture bloggers who earn a profit from their sites? I think the view can be pretty standardly described: put together women with Pinterest perfect lives who spend their days assembling DIYs, sipping exotic brewed coffee and styling the perfect Instagram photo. For many bloggers who earn money from their sites, this may very well be aspects of their daily lives. But what about all of the added work that they do –the parts of their day that (I believe) more than warrant them worthy of earning a return on their investment.

What about the hours spent taking and editing photos and post graphics, scheduling social media posts, developing post ideas and creating editorial calendars. As a PR student, almost 100% of the skills I use as a part-time blogger are transferrable to the field. In almost every internship interview I’ve had (and I’ve had quite a few) I discuss blogging, and how those skills set me apart from other candidates.

We would never say that a marketing manager, community relations expert, PR professional or communications director does not deserve to earn income from their work. So why would we expect a blogger, who works just as hard, and may even share many similar responsibilities, to work for free?

Over the past few months, And Yes To Joy has seen a lot of really awesome growth, which made me so incredibly proud. I started thinking about opportunities which could grow and enhance this space even more. I already offer sponsorship options, and even designed one package with small businesses and brands in mind. But I haven’t had the chance to work with larger brands yet, and if you haven’t guessed from your time around these parts, I totally believe in the power of a genuine, authentic and practical brand.

I want to extend the blog as a platform to other brands that I believe in. Brands that I think all of you would be interested in learning about and gaining access too.

After doing some research, I decide to explore joining affiliate programs, and after exploring all of my options, I applied for and was accepted into two awesome affiliate programs.

I won’t lie, I was nervous as to what the response to readers would be upon seeing that certain links and advertisements could lead my my earning profit. I wondered if it would deter people from stopping by the blog, or if I’d had to explain or justify myself to be seen as the same credible, trustworthy blogger. I truly hope this isn’t the case.

In part two of this post, I’ll be discussing a few myths about making money through blogging, ways to earn money, and disclosing properly.

In the meantime, I’m interested –what is your perception of bloggers who earn money (via sponsored posts, affiliate links, Google Ads, ect) from their blogs? Do advertisements and affiliate links deter you from reading a blog?

Reader Interactions

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  1. As a blogger and marketing professional, this is something I struggle with all the time! However, I think because I AM a monetizing blogger, I don’t think any less of bloggers who are using affiliate links, ads, what have you. But we do know that some readers feel cheated if they feel like they’re being lied to, or if they feel like they’re just being sold to. I dealt with that a lot back in the day when I did beauty videos.

    The most important part is authenticity and transparency, both from the monetization part of it as well as blogging voice and content. I mean, look at Pat Flynn. He posts monthly income reports that account for income down to the penny, and while he has his haters, he still is a very well respected blogger and authority figure in the realm of passive income.

    Long comment, whew. Looking forward to your future parts of this series!

    • Haha I love long comments!

      I 100% agree with you, make your sponsored content the same quality as your un-sponsored content and you should never run into any problems.

      I also feel like beauty bloggers (and vloggers, oh those poor vloggers) face this a lot more than lifestyle or design bloggers. That’s just my own personal observation.

  2. As someone who has turned their passion into a business..im all for bloggers making money from their blogs! Blogging takes a ton of time and its not cheap to do either..doctors & teachers get paid to do something that they love so why cant bloggers? Great post!! This is something not too many people are open to speak about.

    • I think it’s time to break the silence! I put WORK into this blog. And I love it, every bit of it, but I’m out here doing WORK!

      I love the work that you’ve done turning your true passion into a business. You’re content and online voice is 100% authentic and so genuine all the time 🙂

      • Thank you so much Amber!!!

  3. As I am in the current rebranding process of my blog and the direction of where I want it to go, I have been battling with this as to if I just wanna blog just for the fun of it or do I want to turn it into a possible extra income earner not to say that won’t be fun either but it does require a lot of time and I am already dedicated to my photography business. Great post and also helps weigh out somethings on my end.

    • It’s definitely something that you should consider carefully. Think about the end you hope to reach and start planning from there. Definitely consider the fact that you’re already running one business (which I’m sure requires a lot of your time and dedication).

      And it’s totally normal for your goals and objectives to change over time!

  4. Mind if I ask which affiliate programs you got into? I’m looking to join some but choosing which is hard!

    • I’ve been accepted to work with a few brands through Share A Sale, which is a great affiliate network! The first brand I’ll be providing links/ads to with them is Minted! Also, an individual brand, Design Aglow, accepted me as an affiliate as well!

  5. I don’t have a problem with bloggers making money through their blogs as long as it doesn’t dilute or make their content feel forced or not genuine. I also appreciate when bloggers are upfront about their affiliate links instead of being all covert. If anything that will turn me off to a blog.

    Rowena @ rolala loves

  6. The ads or links don’t deter me from reading a blog.. But I usually skip over “ad posts”. Just because everyone usually puts out one in the same week, and we get it!! Buy Yoplait greek yogurt over Chobani! I still love my Chobani Flips 🙂 Maybe if Yoplait made a competitor for that I’d to a taste test myself!

    • I think that says a lot about how sponsored posts are structured. No one wants to feel like they’re reading a commercial, right?!

  7. You know, I don’t have any issues with people making money from their blogs. I was in a Twitter Chat the other day with the B Bar + one of the things I said was that you have to think about the end game. If you’re blogging for fun, that’s great. But as you stated the amount of time + effort that goes into managing a blog, especially if you’re treating it like a business is tremendous. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be compensated for that! As far as seeing advertisements + affiliate links on blogs that I read goes, it doesn’t bother me if it’s weaved seamlessly into the blog. For example, we’ve all seen those blog posts where the disclaimer is given up front: “This is a sponsored post…blah blah.” BUT, once you get past that, it seems like a regular post if executed well. I think that’s the key – remaining authentic and true to your brand once you do decide to take it to the next level, whatever that is for you.

    • YES! I always say “picture the end from the beginning and plan from there.” If your goals change over time, that’s fine. But build your foundation on the aims you hope to reach.

      I think that no matter what kind of sponsored content and blog has, authenticity is the most important factor. As long as you remain genuine and honest about what you’re promoting, readers won’t have a reason to feel like they have to be suspicious of you.

  8. I would hope that bloggers are being compensated for their time. As you mention, a lot of work goes on behind the screen and those efforts should be duly noted. If there is a balance of great content, advertisements, and affiliate links, that’s not a problem for me. If a blog is littered with them, yes that’s a turn off.

    • I agree, there definitely has to be a balance between what is sponsored and what is organic content. Too much is a deterrent for me, too. I also think how ads/paid links are placed plays a huge role in how they are accepted by readers.