It seems that one main thing everyone in my audience has in common is the interest to make money from what they’re doing online. Throughout this summer I created a lot of content on how to do that specifically for creative business owners, but I know that many of you are actually lifestyle bloggers.
For bloggers, monetizing your work (because let’s be real blogging is work even if you enjoy it) is a little bit harder. Most people find themselves unsure of where to turn, what to offer their audience, and how to be profitable without necessarily spending more time creating more content.
In addition to my time as a blogger, I’ve worked with lots of lifestyle bloggers in my seven years of running an online business. So today, I wanted to use my experience to cover four main ways you can monetize your lifestyle blog.
1 | Ads
First: what are ads? Specifically, when I talk about ads in this post I’m referring to graphics promoting specific products or brands.
These are probably the most popular way for bloggers to start making money, but I’ll be honest – this is my least favorite. Ads are an easy way to monetize your blog because there’s little barrier to entry once you hit the required threshold of pageviews each month
Typically once you hit a certain number (generally around 25,000) you can work with companies who will help you get things like sponsored posts, manage ad placements on your site, and more.
While ads are a great way to make money passively, I truly believe there are a lot more cons to monetizing with ads than pros.
The downsides of ads
First and foremost, unless you have a huge audience, ads are going to generate a low (low, low) income rate.
The only people I’ve heard of making a significant amount of money from ads are people who are generating 50k-100k+ unique visitors on their blog each month. That’s a huge audience, and it takes a long time to authentically grow your brand to that level. That means that if you have a smaller audience than that, you’re typically looking at a few bucks per month from your ads.
Aside from this low income rate, you also have to start thinking about what investments you’ll have to make once you start growing your blog.
The lifestyle blogs I’ve worked on have had big web hosting plans because they need their website to be able to withstand all of the traffic it’s getting.
So you have to really ask yourself if a few dollars each month from ads would be worth it.
2 | Affiliate Links
What is an affiliate link? Essentially affiliate links give you the opportunity to share something with your audience and generate income if someone purchases that product after clicking your link.
This is the second most popular way for lifestyle bloggers to generate income through their blog. Monetizing through affiliate links is a great idea because you actually don’t have to have a big following for this (although it certainly helps).
Sometimes affiliate links work in partnership with paid content placement (i.e. sponsored posts), but you don’t always have to work with a company to have an affiliate link for their product.
In fact, there are a handful of different networks for influencers that you can apply to be a part of that will allow you to generate affiliate links for your favorite products.
I know many lifestyle bloggers, myself included, have Amazon affiliate accounts. I’ve never made hundreds from my account with them, but it’s a great way to generate a few extra bucks if someone purchases a product you’ve shared.
When you’re using affiliate links, I urge you to be authentic and intentional with them.
When I share affiliate links, I generally only share a link to a product or resource that I have either used myself or something from a peer that I have a relationship with (and therefore trust what they’re selling).
Because if you’re sharing an affiliate link to anything and everything, your audience will catch on. Yes, big lifestyle bloggers share an affiliate link for every single product ever. But be mindful of how you’re doing this when you’re just getting started.
Make sure you’re telling people when you use an affiliate link – it’s the law! Last but not least, make sure you tell your audience that a link is an affiliate link. Not only do you not want to break the law, but you also don’t want to be caught trying to be sneaky about making money from your audience.
3 | Digital Products
This is where things really start to get interesting for your brand. Depending on your niche, your expertise, and your interest in pushing beyond just blog posts, creating digital products could be a game changer for you.
This is where you really go from just a lifestyle blogger to a lifestyle brand.
But let me back up here.
What is a digital product? A digital product is a product that is delivered online that you created based off your expertise to help someone solve a problem. This could be templates, trainings, ebooks, etc.
I love this idea for lifestyle bloggers because not many people ever actually go this far with their brand, which means you have a wide open market who could be interested in your product.
I love selling digital products because even though the actual creation of the product isn’t passive, once you set up a marketing plan and launch the product it can become a relatively easy way to generate passive income from your blog.
I know you may be thinking I have no clue where to start! So let me give you some ideas of digital products as examples:
- A collection of seasonal recipes that you created
- A guide to styling a specific body type for a variety of occasions
- A system to find your style and decorate your home
Each of these ideas could easily be a series of blog posts, right? If you went one step further and turned them into a digital product for even a small price, you’d start generate income quickly – especially if people already love your content around that specific topic or niche.
Create based on your expertise and experience
There are a lot of bloggers online, and truthfully some of the content I come across is very clearly second hand ideas from someone else. Whatever you do, if you want to create a digital product don’t steal someone else’s content or ideas to do so.
Take strategies from your own life experience and things that you know a lot about to create something really great for your audience
4 | Services
Taking your expertise and experience to the next level would be a 1:1 service.
A service is any one-time or ongoing relationship with a client where you’re completing an action for them or teaching them something. For example, my creating a custom design for a blog is a service.
I wanted to throw this idea in here because I don’t think it has to be as complicated as a transition from your lifestyle blog to a service-based business.
However, offering even one service could make a significant impact on the income that you’re bringing in from the audience of your lifestyle blog.
One of my favorite examples of this is a decor blogger I used to follow who offered design services to help her clients cultivate a new design style and decorate different parts of their home.
The downside of services
Creating service offerings for your audience is not as simple as offering something and then raking the money in. You not only have to think about what you’ll charge and how much time it’ll take you to complete the task, but you also need to make sure you’re protecting yourself legally.
I only recommend launching a service if you’re really serious about making money from your expertise and have covered all of your bases on how to work with clients.
So, are you ready to monetize your blog?
How do you feel about generating income from your lifestyle blog after reading this post? Head over to Instagram (@codedcreative) and let me know if you’ll be trying one of these methods!