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Friday, 11 November 2016

How-To | Make Money From Your Blog

blogmoney Blogging is big news and more and more bloggers are turning their passion into a career. So author of The Million Dollar Blog, Natasha Courtenay-Smith gave us the lowdown at the recent Stylist live on all the steps to take to be able to make money from your dream.

In the UK every month there's 100,000 searches on how to start a blog. There's 50,000 blogs launched per day globally on Wordpress. A quarter of people under the age of 25 see blogging as their number one career choice.

The three business models

Natasha talked about three blog business models. "Most bloggers come into the industry as very artistic and creative but creating a business plan for the bank would make their heart sink."

The first model she spoke about was the 'Big Business Model' where you have millions and millions of views, readers and your blog will be a million dollar empire in its right, you'll be selling space and doing sponsored content. The key to this is that your blog is not about you and can exist without you. Anybody can run it, it can be replicated around the world and it's effectively a media source just like Sky News or CNN.

The second, the 'Personal and Rewarding Model' which is most bloggers are attracted to do - big bloggers like Lily Pebbles have taken this model on board. It's similar in that it involves selling advertising but the success of the blog is driven by a personal brand. The blog cannot survive without its owner - if the owner leaves the blog, it loses its attraction and ceases to exist. You've got a much more intimate audience.

But at what point can it be monetized? "10,000 visitors a month is a point at which your blog probably can be monetized."

The final is the 'Authority Based Model' - if you're blogging as a professional - whether that's a hairdresser, an MUA, a dog walker and you're doing and you're doing any type of blog to help with your expertise and make you a leader in your field then all that matters to you is getting enough reach and eyeballs on your blog to scale your business to the level you want to scale it to. If you only want one client, you may only need ten visitors to your blog and you're still making money. If you're trying to grow your company off the back off it, you'll need a lot more.

It's really important to understand your business model and where your blog sits in it. So ask yourself what blog model you want to build your site around?

Personal branding

Why does one person stand out and become memorable whilst another doesn't? How are you going to compete for attention and how are you going to make yourself memorable? How will you make people care?

Personal branding is when you make people feel trust in you, part of it is what you wear, how you talk, your site design, the content you write - it all gives your readers an impression of you.

A brilliant shortcut to creating a personal brand is to create a mission that's bigger than you. It might be to make every mother over the age of 35 feel good in what they wear so if that's it, you bring that mission to the front, on your social media and everywhere. You might not achieve it, but it doesn't matter, it's about your positioning and your personal brand.

Do you have a mission? What's your mission? How does it tie into your blog and the content you produce?

Income Streams

Take 'A Beautiful Mess', their annual income is over $1.5 million. When they launched in 2010 they were in debt and now they have 1.5 million visitors per month. They work with some great brands and sell ads and sponsored posts and collaborations, but that wouldn't get them to the revenue stream they're at today. They have a range of online courses, a whole load of merchandise (stationery, books, IPhone covers) and they sell out of them. They also have apps - they're on their third app and it's been downloaded more than a million times. They have their own book too. They try to add a new part to their business every year - some work out, some don't. A Beautiful Mess hasn't happened by accident so it's really important to think of multiple streams of income.


Where you compare yourself and your blog to others and think to yourself: "look how brilliantly they're doing and look how terribly I'm doing." And there's another 'condition' that crops up in blogging: statisticitus - comparing your likes and RTs to other bloggers and sitting at home crying into your tea. When you're looking at established bloggers, remember this: there is no shortcut to making this work. Other people are ahead of you because they started before you but the good news is because they're making money from it shows it can be done.

The timeline for the six figure bloggers I've spoke to is three years. And that's if you're really committed to, really go for it and make lots of good content - otherwise it's going to be longer. And that's assuming you know your business model and where the opportunities lie.

Don't compare your start to where other people are but be inspired by their success.

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