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How I Make Money Blogging || Becoming A Professional Blogger

How To Become a Professional Blogger, How To Make Money Blogging, Latina Mom Blogger, How I Quit My Job To Blog

Update: 10/20/16 Since writing this post I have launched an Ecourse for Bloggers – Mastering The Art of Working with Brands where I teach the strategies that have helped me make thousands of dollars every month from sponsored posts. Check out the course here.

I mingle and meet a lot of new moms all the time. Whether it’s at my daughter’s dance classes or swim lessons or randomly chatting with a mom at the grocery store and whenever the question comes up “So what do you do?” and after my response of “I’m a blogger”, I typically get one of two things. Either I get a strange look then a quick change of subject or a follow up question like “What is that?” Most people I come across these days don’t actually know what a blogger does, let alone the fact that you can actually make an income from it. Up until just recently even some of my closest friends didn’t realize I was making income from my blog, but I do. Blogging is my job.

How To Become a Professional Blogger, How To Make Money Blogging, Latina Mom Blogger, How I Quit My Job To Blog

Blogging is the reason I was able to leave my full-time job and not return to a corporate job after my second daughter was born. I work everyday and even on weekends. I work around the clock, sometimes early mornings or late into the evenings, sometimes both. Blogging has become my main source of income and has surpassed what I was making from my photography gig.

Related: 2 Side Jobs that Make Me $3,000 Per Month as a Stay at Home Mom

So what is a blogger and a professional blogger? A blogger is someone who has a website (blog) and publishes posts. This can be about anything! Advice, tutorials, recipes, lectures and is usually done just as a hobby. A professional blogger is a blogger who is earning a living as a blogger, either through advertising revenue on their sites or getting paid to write posts about products or services for brands. What this means is that the blogger is not only getting a product to review or feature, but they are also getting paid for their time to write and review the product. I rarely trade products in exchange for posts because to put it simply – products do not pay the bills. However, I won’t say that I will never accept a product in exchange for a post. It all really depends on the product and company and my workload at the time. The great thing about being a professional blogger is that you are your own boss and you can decide each and every time what is going to be right for you and your current situation.

Most bloggers will do a little of both. Although I get paid to write posts and product reviews, I also have just as many personal posts with recipes I love, DIY projects or crafts or activities I’ve done with my little ones.

How To Find Blogging Jobs

A professional blogger’s income can vary greatly depending on what they are writing about and the companies they are collaborating with. It also depends on just how many jobs they are getting in. Jobs can come in a number of ways. Here are some ways to get blogging jobs.

1. Sign up with media companies

There are many media companies that are hired by brands to find bloggers to work with. Some are small brands, while others are big national brands. Media companies are the way I get about 50% of my jobs.

Example: We recently worked with Disney to promote the new and first Mexican Disney Princess. 🙂

Elena of Avalor Birthday Party Disney Blogger

2. Dealing with brands directly

I would say this is where a good 30% of my jobs come from. This means that either I am finding brands to work with and pitching to them or brands are finding me online through my social media accounts or by coming across my blog and are reaching out to negotiate terms with me directly. Most of them are from the latter. In this case there is no middle man like there is when you use media companies. You can probably guess what that means – no middle man = bigger paychecks.

Example: Here I worked with Owlet to help them promote their baby vitals monitor.

Owlet Baby Vitals Monitor from Smartphone

3. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing can be HUGE. When I first started blogging I had no idea what the term ‘affiliate’ even meant. I wish I had gotten into affiliate marketing sooner than I did. Basically affiliate marketing is when a company shares a commission with you from sales made from unique links you have posted in your blog posts.

If you’re not earning money through affiliate marketing, then you are leaving money on the table. I recently took THIS affiliate marketing strategy course that shows you step-by-step how to increase your affiliate income and within just a few days of implementing some of the strategies I started seeing results! You can read my post about that here: Can You Really Make $50K Per Month Blogging?

4.  Ad Networks 

There are ad networks that companies use to keep ads on your site. You basically don’t do anything here except to keep a section for the ads and get paid!

5. Social Media Posts

Recently I’ve had a large number of companies contacting me about sponsored Instagram posts. I didn’t always offer sponsored social media posts as an option but when you’re a blogger you have to be flexible to the changing times and demands of companies. Although I typically like to keep my Instagram feed personal I will say that 20% of my sponsored posts are Instagram only promotions.

Example: Here is an example of an Instagram only post that I worked with Nestle Toll House on.

 

I have my first heading to her first Kids Day Out this year. We did the whole back to school shopping and it was fun! It’s going to be such a change when she starts but I know she’s going to love it. Back to school season means a change to our current schedule, it means early mornings and early bedtimes. @Nestletollhouse has a variety of amazing products that are the perfect solution for the busy Back to School season. I rely on my coffee to get me through the days with the littles. My favorite iced coffee recipe is a Latin-blend coffee with Nestle @Coffee_Mate creamer. Mix in some cinnamon and piloncillo or brown sugar, add some ice and you’re ready for the day. Here’s a tip: If you don’t like your iced coffee to get watered down, make some coffee cubes and use those instead of regular iced cubes. YUM. From July 25 to September 15, when you purchase any two (2) 30 oz. or larger Stouffer’s products and at least one (1) refrigerated Tollhouse cookie dough product at a participating Walmart store you can get a $5 Walmart egift card! #BackToSchoolReady #ad

A photo posted by Melanie ? Mom Blogger (@thestoryoffive) on

 

How Much Money Can One Make Blogging

The money a professional blogger can make can vary greatly. Personally I have a rate for each type of post that I write, whether it’s a product review, a feature and a giveaway or just a social media post. I typically write multiple sponsored posts each month that pay anywhere between $150 – $600 per post. The range is big because it varies by company, the requirements, if there is a product or service included and whether or not there is a middle man.

As far as the pay schedule is concerned…this varies greatly too. When dealing with brands directly on sponsored posts or social media posts, you typically get paid either – upfront or as soon as your post is published. When it comes to large media companies, those payments can take anywhere from 30-60 days. So if you are relying on the majority of your income to come from large media companies, it’s best to continue to work and apply for jobs regularly to keep a steady flow of income coming in.

How To Become a Professional Blogger

When it comes to being a professional blogger there are a few KEY things to remember.

Treat This Like a Job

First, you need to treat this like a job and NOT a hobby. How do you do that? Ask yourself, would you work at a corporate level job for free? Of course not. You’re time is valuable, especially if you have a family and kids. When you’re a blogger it’s easy to mix your home life with work life. Your home is your office, so it’s easy to say yes to everything that comes your way because at first it may not feel as if you’re actually working. But trust me. YOU ARE. You will soon realize that you’re spending hours of your day photographing products, making recipes, grocery shopping for what you need for those recipes, editing those photos and finally writing the post. It doesn’t stop there though. Then you need to be sure you’re promoting your posts on social media. I work even when I’m not writing an actual post, whether it’s keeping up with my social media posts, returning emails, negotiating future posts and keeping up with invoices and payments – I’m still working. I was working from my hospital bed while I was getting ready to have a baby. I had a last minute social media post that needed to posted by a specific date and time while I was in the hospital getting ready to have Lennon. So there I was in my bed, hooked up to monitors about to have my baby and on my phone posting to Facebook and then submitting my link to the company. I met the deadline.

The best advice I can give a new blogger is – Know what your time is worth. Don’t work for free. If you start treating this like a job and can quote a rate that is appropriate for the amount of work required then you will soon start having a consistent stream of income coming in.

Get a Media Kit

Have a resume to send companies when they contact you and when you pitch companies. Your media kit is your blogger’s resume. If you don’t have one, get one, you NEED one. I made mine myself and I actually give my template away for free in my eCourse Mastering The Art of Working with Brands. Your media kit is a way for companies to get to know you and see why you are the right person to represent their brand or product. Don’t post your rates on your media kit though. Tailor your rates to the job, just as if you were negotiating for a corporate salaried job. Take into account the work required, the benefits and the perks when throwing out a number.

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A Few Final Tips

1. Make it easy for brands to contact you – Be sure you are including every which way a brand can contact you on every single social media account you have and on every single email you send out.

2. Take good photos – I’m a professional photographer but you don’t need a DSLR to get blogging jobs. However, brands do want to see nice, clear photos of their products. You don’t need an expensive camera to get jobs but you will need to learn to use your cell phone to take good photos. I recently wrote a post here – My Photo Editing Secrets || Tips From A Professional Photographer on how to get the most of your phone camera.

3. Don’t be afraid to throw out a rate – I was guilty of this for the LONGEST time. Too Long. You don’t need to wait until you hit a specific number or follower count to start making money. I was scared to start asking for compensation for a really long time and guess what? I made no money. Throw out a number, even if you aren’t sure of where to start. Everything is negotiable and you can always talk details later, but at least it gives you a starting point.

4. Join blogging support groups – There are so many blogging support groups on Facebook that have been so helpful for me when I was first starting out. I have my own blogging group that you can join HERE. It hasn’t been as active lately but I have a couple of things in the works that I plan on announcing in this group soon so feel free to join us!

I hope this has been helpful, it’s what has been working for me the past few years. I hope you take something away from it and it can help you in some way reach your family’s financial goals!

Don’t have a blog yet?

Blogging has such a low start-up investment at just $3.95 a month. Start a blog with Bluehost here and get a free domain too! Check out THIS post to see a tutorial once you have your domain. You will see just how easy it is to start a blog!

 

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28 Comments

  • Reply
    Amber Starr
    August 8, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    So many great tips!!! Thanks for writing this!

    • Reply
      Melanie
      August 16, 2016 at 11:12 pm

      So glad you liked it Amber! 🙂

  • Reply
    June
    August 9, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    Hi Melanie!

    Your article has come in at a great time, I’ve just decide I want to try blogging & am in process of learning everything I can before I “start”. I have a question regarding advertising, your site doesn’t seem to have any. Why is that? Does it depend on what time of site you get? I was hoping to have some advertising on my future blog to create revenue, especially at the beginning. Thanks again for the great post & would love your feedback if possible <3

    • Reply
      Melanie
      August 16, 2016 at 11:13 pm

      Yes, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the non-advertisements on my site. I do have very few but I don’t want my site to be overloaded with ads because I want people to stay on my site versus clicking out of it because of an ad they see. 🙂

  • Reply
    Megan | Balancing The Baby
    August 16, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    I am so glad I found your blog! I have read post after post about how to make money with a blog, and I feel like it’s the same thing. None of them explain how to start when you don’t have hundreds of thousands of followers just yet. Thank you for an informative post – I think this is just what I needed to give me the confidence to really start putting things in motion to make my blog into my business.

    • Reply
      Melanie
      August 16, 2016 at 11:14 pm

      Yay! I am so glad it helped!! Just go for it! 🙂

  • Reply
    Robin Masshole Mommy
    August 18, 2016 at 7:20 am

    Also, make sure you check your grammar. I read a lot of blogs and am shocked sometimes that people seemingly have not proof-read their posts.

    • Reply
      Melanie
      August 18, 2016 at 7:42 am

      Yes! This is a big one. It can definitely make a difference with me wanting to continue reading the post or not.

  • Reply
    Jeanette
    August 18, 2016 at 7:43 am

    This is all extremely good advice. I have been asked over and over again how to start a blog and get paid for it. I give them some advice, but sometimes they need to read stuff themselves. I love the way you have this all laid out.

  • Reply
    Alli Smith
    August 18, 2016 at 8:56 am

    I remember when I opened my business checking account and the lady at the bank didn’t know what a blogger was. I get those blank stares a lot. Usually, I tell them I’m a writer and get paid for writing articles. They seem to understand it better than when I tell them I’m a blogger. When people find out I make my living blogging, many of them want to start a blog. The first thing I tell them is that blogging is hard work. I’m not trying to discourage them, but they need to know. Excellent advice!

  • Reply
    Jenn @ EngineerMommy
    August 18, 2016 at 9:00 am

    Professional blogging can be a lucrative career, but I think so many people underestimate how much work it takes to really do this full-time. It’s a lot of fun, but like any job, it requires dedication and hard work.

  • Reply
    Annemarie LeBlanc
    August 18, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Thanks for the ton of information you’ve provided in this post. I have learned a thing or two on how to achieve success with blogging. I agree with having a media kit. That’s one of the first things I created when my blog started picking up.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    August 18, 2016 at 9:49 am

    What a great post to share how you make money blogging, there are really so many ways to make money blogging and I am glad that you found ways to make it work for you!

  • Reply
    Francisca Ramos
    August 18, 2016 at 10:46 am

    This is great to be open and not afraid to share pay rate. A blogger shouldn’t settle for less. I like meeting with brands and connecting with them. It always opens one door for another. Thanks for sharing your post.

  • Reply
    Pam
    August 18, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Great post! So many people ask me how I make money blogging. I think I am going to start directing them to this.

  • Reply
    Tiaras & Tantrums
    August 18, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    I have been blogging for a decade now and what started out as a life line to me, turned hobby, turned “real job” has been great. Great tips

  • Reply
    lisa
    August 18, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    There’s a lot of great info here for people that want to blog professionally. Lots of great insight and tips.

  • Reply
    Jeanine
    August 18, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    There is great money to be made in blogging. I’m glad after so many years I figured it out and started making money. Its a lot of work, but so worth it and the money is there!

  • Reply
    Heather Lawrence
    August 18, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Ok, looks like I have a little more work to do before I am comfortable asking for money.
    Currently I am taking an SEO course to improve my blog 🙂 I can’t believe you were in labor and on facebook…girl that’s insane!

  • Reply
    Nancy @ whispered inspirations
    August 18, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Great tips! There are many ways to make money blogging but most importantly enjoying what you do!

  • Reply
    rika
    August 19, 2016 at 12:37 am

    Great post with useful info for newbie.. Blogging is fun and I think most people don’t think bloggers could earn $$$

  • Reply
    Terri Beavers
    August 19, 2016 at 1:45 am

    These are all great tips for those wanting to become a professional blogger. It can become time consuming but rewarding at the same time.

  • Reply
    Nikki
    August 19, 2016 at 2:25 am

    I think blogging is my passion, I love doing reviews and sharing brilliant tips and ideas. I’m really glad that you share how to make money on blogging. Newbie should know it.

  • Reply
    AnnMarie Brown
    August 19, 2016 at 8:42 am

    Great post with lots of good advice. Thanks for sharing your advice.

  • Reply
    Rebecca Swenor
    August 19, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    This is a great post for those starting a blog or those who are blogging. I love the information about how to make money and the advice on how much to ask for when doing post for sponsors. Thanks for sharing the information.

  • Reply
    Natalie
    August 20, 2016 at 11:17 am

    I have been blogging for about 5 years. It really shocks people that it’s a source of income and not just a hobby. Thanks for sharing some additional tips!

  • Reply
    Sara Kate Styling
    August 22, 2016 at 7:01 am

    Wow! Thank you for sharing all of this. I would love to make it my full time job, but sometimes it seems like you just can’t do it all to make it happen. So inspiriting, great tips.

    xo,
    Sara Kate Styling

  • Reply
    Mimi Green
    August 22, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    Great info, I want to work with brands directly. I need to get outside of myself and just do it.

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