When I tell people what I do for a living, sometimes I say, “I’m mostly a mom…”, sometimes “I’m a writer,” and sometimes, “I publish a website” or “I’m a blogger.” Invariably I receive one of three questions:
- What is a blog, anyway?
- What exactly do you do?
- How do you make money from that?
In the interest of transparency and fun, I’m going to invite you to look over my shoulder the next few days as I share answers to all three questions.
If you’re not interested in a behind the scenes look at the art of blogging, I’ll see you again on Friday for birthday cakes! In the meantime, you might enjoy these very popular posts (based on reader interaction and clicks, not just my opinion) from earlier this summer:
- Real Gardening vs. American Lawncare
- The List: What to Eat, What to Avoid, How to Compromise
- Michael Pollan on “Can Grassfed Feed the World?”
Today’s list will help you tell your favorite blogger “Happy Birthday” (ahem) but also can be utilized any day to brighten the smile of those who sit at their computer screens tapping out blog posts. Disclaimer: I am not in any way claiming to be your favorite blogger, nor am I assuming that I would be. I will, however, throw my name in the hat. Transparency: the FDA (or is it the FCC or some other “F” letters? Probably FCC!) requires that anytime a blogger’s post includes a product or giveaway, that we disclose our relationship with the company in question.
Many of these ideas really answer the question “How do you make money blogging?” and help you understand how you as a reader fit into the system.
10 Ways to Make a Blogger’s Day
- Tell a friend about their site or forward your email to folks who would appreciate it when you love a post. As much as an income is fun, it’s people appreciating my work enough to share it that truly makes me smile. You know, like a gold star from the teacher.
- Retweet a great post or share on Facebook. Did you know that if you want someone to see something you post on Facebook, you can type the “@” symbol and their name? This works for both personal and business pages. If you’re telling someone about KS, for example, you could type “My new favorite recipe is from @Kitchen Stewardship,” and then your friends will be able to find my Facebook Fan Page AND I’ll know why my ears are ringing. It’s like a gold star that gets put on the bulletin board for everyone to see!
- If you shop at Amazon.com anyway, use one of their links – for any product – to start your shopping. They’ll get a small percentage of everything you buy within 24 hours. You can find links to Amazon from KS under “What to Buy” at the top and “KS Recommends.” (Or click here if you happen to be shopping today.)
- Buy their products. My eBooks, for example, are on sale 30% off through tonight at midnight. Making a little purchase is a simple way to say “thanks for all that free content” to a blogger you read regularly.
- Both subscribe and visit the site. When a blogger presents their stats to an advertiser, it’s lovely to show how many regular subscribers the site has accumulated, but it’s also important to show pageviews on the site. Also, some ads pay simply by the number of people who visit the site, so just by reading a few posts you help your favorite blogger generate income. Have you seen 7 Reasons to Subscribe to Kitchen Stewardship?The ads are called “CPM” or “cost per mille (1000)” and networks like Foodbuzz, Lifetime, and BlogHer work that way, paying X amount per 1000 visits to the site. They’re my favorite stream of income because neither of us has to DO anything or spend any money; I just write the best content I can and you enjoy it. Perfect!I think it’s an important gift from me to you that I make a “full feed” in both the email and the RSS reader, which means that you get to read everything I write without clicking to site if you want to. In return, it helps me if you click to the site every so often. If you’re an email subscriber, you can do that by clicking on the title of the post in your email.
- Click on ads every so often. If you see an interesting ad, it may help the blogger if you click on it. Some ads are called “CPC” or “cost per click” and pay a small fee (usually under a dollar) for every person who clicks on the ad, even if they don’t buy anything on the other end. Google ads (which I don’t have on the site) and Real Food Media ads (of which I’m not a part) work this way.Some ads, by the way, are simply paid for by the month. The little boxes on my site are largely that way, although I fill open spaces with affiliate images. Private advertising is also very nice, because the readers don’t have to do anything to help the blogger other than read and enjoy, regularly, but they do take more work on the part of the blogger (more on that tomorrow).
- Read the blog in Google reader and share a post – getting on Google Reader’s “What’s Hot” is awesome! I think it happened to me once, and I felt like a big stud.
- Buy a product they recommend, especially if it’s an affiliate link. I can’t say I love that you have to spend money for me to make money, but we all are going to spend money on certain things anyway. If you see that your favorite blogger is advertising something you think you’d like, if you click on their link to get to the product’s or business’s website, you may help them earn a commission. Many bloggers help each other sell eBooks and eCourses with affiliate programs, and many online businesses also do the same. You can see all the good folks I’m working with HERE.Some insight/secrets from the blog world: Many affiliate programs are set up to give the commission to whomever gets the “first click,” so if you see an eCourse advertised at many blogs at the same time, for example, and you want to purchase it, the blogger from whose site you FIRST clicked to read about the course will probably get the commission, even if you click from another site right before buying (although some programs are “last click” which would let you choose which blogger gets the commission). Some affiliate programs give commissions for a certain number of months after your click. For example, if you clicked over to KS to buy “Healthy Snacks to Go” from Keeper of the Home’s giveaway, and then you purchased the Camping Handbook a few months later, Stephanie happily earned a commission on the second purchase (and I was happy to pay it out, because it’s actually kind of fun to share income with others who are all working hard to reach the same goal).
- Use the Tip Jar or Donate button. After a reader said in my survey (still open for a few more days – you can take it HERE) that they’d rather just give a little money than see all those images in the sidebar, I stuck a “Donate” button there as a test. (It’s under the search bar.) I don’t really like them, because again, I’d rather make my income without bothering you too much. If that’s the way you’d like to go, though, go for it! I’ll leave it up for a while to see what happens. I also have an idea about the sidebar images that I’m hoping my husband can program for me, a rotating spot that would only show one ad at a time but flip through a different one each day. There’s always more to do when you’re blogging!
- Leave a meaningful comment, especially if you made and love a recipe or something like that. Questions and discussions (and around here, even challenging new facts) are always really fun, too! If you don’t know how to comment, sometimes a quick email is sweet too. A comment on an old post particularly brings a smile to my face, because I know someone’s been browsing the archives.How to Browse the Archives at Kitchen Stewardship
See that menu bar at the top that has categories like “Start Here” “The Lists” and “Series/Carnivals”? You can find pretty much every old post that’s worth its salt by clicking around up there. The very best stuff is under “The Lists” (especially the Monday Missions) and “Features – KS Series” and of course, “Recipes”. You can find just about anything there. If you have a certain old post in mind that you can’t quite remember, you might also find it by using the search function along the righthand side of the page under the Foodbuzz ads. I do manually update the lists and recipes, so sometimes they’re a month or two behind, which is another great reason to use the search bar.
The short answer? Yes, you can make money blogging.
The long answer? It takes many streams of income to make a river, and a lot of work (see above)! Tomorrow I’ll let you look over my shoulder at the computer and share all the many varied job positions I hold as a blogger.
See my full disclosure statement here.
This post is entered in Top 10 Tuesday at Oh! Amanda.