Goodness, it’s one of those how I make money blogging posts…..
I never expected to write this because, quite frankly, I never expected to make a decent income when I started this blog.
So when I did, I really didn’t expect to be one of those bloggers who writes about how they made 6 figures by blogging, or scored so many free products they were crushed under the weight of them. (Okay, that last line might be made up. I’ve never read that.)
Money, Money, Money, Money
But recently, I shared I might write this on my Instagram and I had an overwhelming amount of DMs saying, “YES PLEASE WRITE THIS”, which shouldn’t surprise me because really, how often do any of us talk about money? In particular, how and how much money we make.
I’m not a huge proponent of everyone writing income reports and demanding 100% transparency 100% of the time, each to their own. But on the flipside I do think those of us who throw shade at the lack of lucidity in the industry have an obligation to put our money where our mouths are (fitting amiright?!) and share what we are asking others to.
First off, I won’t be publishing jazzy pie charts or monthly reports of how my income has flexed up or down. I won’t be sharing my outgoings or talking you through my secret pastry addiction. I will be sharing the breakdown of everything I earn right now, how I do it and my rough rates for each.
Pin me for later:
A bit of background first.
When I first started the blog I was travelling and did the most random things to make ends meet; mostly social media management (which I’m crap at) and VERY poorly paid freelance writing gigs; mostly for other people’s blogs.
That changed when I came home to London where my living wage was significantly higher. I temped in offices doing admin work, then worked in-house for Lonely Planet Traveller Magazine.
I was still travelling a lot, so picked up work with a big travel blog doing the founders social media management, managing their Instagram as well as the agency he also managed. That was crappy money, and as I wasn’t the favourite I never got the trips he’d promised would be given on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis when I took the role, BUT it was great for networking and I was fairly quickly approached for a role with a HUGE travel blogger in NEW YORK. The role was actually remote but the first week involved training with his team in New York and I was seriously pinching myself when I was shortlisted.
HOWEVER. Said potential boss told current boss I’d applied so current boss sacked me. It was hella awks.
Luckily, I was in the right place at the right time and started working with Traverse doing anything and everything for their digital agency. Not only was the THE MOST FUN EVER I also got my teeth stuck into proper freelance life, networking, hustling (ick) and generally learning lots.
Freelance writing was always my first love though, so again, I lucked out and landed my second ever staff writer role for the Express. Total baptism by fire going from full-time freelancer to full-time tabloid journalist but it taught me everything I know. I left when I was five months pregnant with Anaïs which brings us to where we are now…..
So, deep breath, here’s everything I earn, how I do it and how I make money blogging.
Journalism has long been my bread and butter. And in the year after I left the Express I was making a decent monthly income PURELY from cold pitching newspapers and magazines.
It’s only recently I’ve understood how rare it is for freelancers to make 100% of their income from writing the sexy stuff. Honestly. Most of my journo colleagues earn a chunk here, a chunk there usually making money through things like PR consulting, writing for trade mags, copywriting….all sorts.
In truth, I was incredibly lucky.
Now, freelance writing makes up a far smaller chunk and that’s on purpose. I no longer crave those bylines, I crave ease and a decent income.
Although I have to add a disclaimer here; I’ve read a fair few times from bloggers that freelance writing isn’t where the big bucks are. That’s true when you are a blogger writing occasionally, as opposed to building relationships with editors and writing professionally.
This is such a small part of my income but it has been bigger in the past.
I use three main affiliate networks; Amazon, Skimlinks and Affilinet. In truth, I haven’t focused very hard on this for a few years but I probably make about £25-40 a month across the board.
And I utilise a few referral programs for things I use and love which gives me money off stuff, as opposed to cold, hard cash.
However, I recently closed my zero waste shop page because so much of the stuff was from unethical companies (read: Amazon) and tbh I don’t wanna be *that* influencer. So I expect this income stream to drop while I work on new, ethical affiliate streams!
In the past I’ve done lots of brand collaborations now this makes up a very small part of my job, mostly because I have a small audience.
Previously I’ve made around £150-200 per Instagram/blog post but I recently signed up for Whalar where I earn……well, sweet FA.
Overall, I don’t love working with brands……it’s really hard to find a good match and those who are often have very small budgets so, going forward this will probably remain as small a part of my income as it is now.
This is where I was able to take control of my income, and the feast to famine cycle was a little less raw. Having said that, there was still a month where I made 5k and a month where I made £200 so……such is life I guess?
I started with a very simple self-paced course hosted on Teachable and ended last year with two more, more intensive courses, taught live by me.
However I wanted scalability and less 1:1 time because…..time is precious! Especially with another on the way. So I digged into price points, teaching platforms and now have a programme of courses I’ll release throughout the year that’ll, hopefully, be less time-intensive, more affordable for students and provide a source of reliable income.
Without realising it I’ve always consulted for others. A while back, for bloggers wanting to strategise and now for business owners needing digital marketing guidance.
I thought I wanted this to be a big part of my business but I don’t, so I do this on a word of mouth basis and don’t advertise my services. I’ve done corporate podcast training, right through to SEO strategy and it’s one of the most fun parts of my job.
But I typically make £250 – £500 per consulting client depending on whether the work is a 1/2 or full day.
This is a very new income stream for me and I put it in place to fund the podcast. Last season two sponsors funded the entire season, bringing in £1,750 in total.
This season my outgoings are exactly the same but this season I wanted to find a way to fund the podcast without them so my Patreon is 100% for that.
In theory. Because I only have 8 so this doesn’t bring in a whole heap right now……but, it’s better than nowt and I’m endlessly grateful for it 🙂