A few weeks ago, I shared an article that was featured on Metro about passive income and how I earn passive income through blogging. Since then, I’ve gotten a lot of chats and questions from you guys, so I thought I’d explain a little more about making money from blogging in 2022.
I’ve been a full-time blogger since around 2017, and while a lot has changed since then, the basics are still the same. The best way to make money as a blogger is to create useful content that helps people. Of course, there are other tactics and strategies, but if that’s the core of what you’re doing, you can’t go wrong.
If you are interested in making money, it is possible. In fact, it can be a very lucrative business with very little financial investment to start.
If you’re thinking of starting a blog in 2022, or reviving an old blog that hasn’t gotten much attention, I 100% recommend doing it!
I know that from the outside looking in, it probably seems like you should start a YouTube channel or an Instagram or TikTok account. I think it’s because it feels like that’s where everyone belongs because all the stats, likes, engagement, numbers are there. But the blog has never been bigger!
If you think about how often you search for something on Google, your blog will be among the top results. It’s no longer the big media companies that take the top spot, but bloggers. It is the public who share their expertise. They sit at the kitchen table, share really valuable information, and make a living doing it.
You don’t need a degree, fancy equipment, or specialized knowledge. All you need is passion and a desire to learn!
What is passive income?
Passive income is money that you earn without actually working. You have to work hard to set it up, but then you can sit back and watch the money roll in….
Well, I wish it was that simple!
A simple example of passive income is being a landlord or landlady. They can buy a home, rent it out, and receive money from the tenant every month without having to do anything.
Earning passive income with a blog requires a lot of time and effort to initially set up, but once you do, you can earn six figures with minimal effort.
It may sound too good to be true, but… well… it’s not that simple.
Most bloggers earn passive income in the following ways:
- display advertising
- affiliate marketing
When you write a blog post, it gets read by your followers and then continues to be read by people who find it on Google searches for years to come.
To me, passive income isn’t about setting it up, closing your laptop, and forgetting it. This means that you can work hard for a few months and not work at all for a few months and still continue to earn the same amount of money.
It gives you the freedom and flexibility to work when you want. For example, I currently work part-time (about 16 hours a week), but once my youngest starts school, I’ll be working from 9am to 3pm again. I work harder in the winter than in the summer, so I can take 2-3 months off during the summer. When my child was born, I worked hard during my pregnancy so that I could take it easy for the first year after my child was born.
To me, passive income is working hard for a short period of time and then not working at all for a long period of time.
This is similar to HIIT training for your career. It’s short and intense, so you can sit back and relax afterwards.
It doesn’t apply to everyone. Some people hate HIIT! Some people prefer slow and steady workouts that last twice as long, and they find it more enjoyable. I totally understand that, but I personally like to work hard, get it done, and then relax!
Passive income earning potential
Many people who earn passive income never take a break like I did and keep increasing their income each month. The passive income you can earn through blogging is potentially limitless, the only thing holding you back is the amount of content you (or your team) can create.
This is why passive income is so attractive!
Maybe once the kids are older I won’t take much of a break and I’ll just keep increasing my passive income. I don’t know because work-life balance is very important to me, but it’s always good to know that you have that option.
What’s the difference between a blogger and an influencer?
First of all, let’s clarify the difference between a blogger and an influencer.
In a sense, there is no difference. Bloggers and influencers both gather followers online and create content that influences their followers. That influence is often used to encourage people to buy something or change their opinion.
The biggest difference between bloggers and influencers is that bloggers create most of their content for their websites, while influencers typically create more content for their social channels.
Another big difference is that bloggers tend to create more “even-green content.” This means creating blog posts and videos that are searchable and relevant for years to come, but an influencer’s content is often published in his first 24 hours. It’s about.
On the surface, it might seem like they’re the same thing, just different platforms, but it’s actually much more than that because they have different ways of making money.
Most influencers earn the majority of their income through brand partnerships, so they are often seen promoting products and services.
Bloggers also do brand partnerships, but they earn a large portion of their income through display advertising and affiliate sales.
No one particularly likes display advertising, but it means bloggers can earn money by creating content that doesn’t necessarily need to lead to sales.
For example, this blog post was written for no purpose other than to provide information and encourage people to read it. I make money from people reading this article, so I don’t need to sell you anything.
Influencers also earn money through affiliate marketing. If a big Instagrammer shares a link to a sweatshirt she’s wearing and thousands of people buy it, she’ll do well. But my understanding is that for this to really work, you need to have a very large following online.
Why I’m a blogger
First and foremost, I’m a blogger because I love writing long blog posts like this one.
I studied English and English Literature, then Journalism, and began my career as a writer. I love photography and creating videos, but my main skill is writing.
I can also write very quickly, which is an underrated blogging skill in my opinion!
I enjoy Instagram, but I’ve noticed that spending too much time on Instagram is having a negative impact on my mental health. I start comparing myself to others and I feel like I can’t concentrate because I want to constantly check my Instagram stats!
If you are more visual and prefer photography or videography to writing, it makes more sense to create content for social media.
Of course, you can also be both a blogger and an influencer. You will also find that blogging can help you grow your social media channels and vice versa. But most people have one platform that they really specialize in and want to spend more time on.
The second reason why I still focus on blogging is because of the reason mentioned above: bloggers don’t need to create content that will lead to sales. It just doesn’t feel right to always try to sell something. I love that I can earn money just by creating useful content that you can read for free. The more people that read my blog, the more money I can make, so I need to write the best blog posts I can to keep you guys coming back. Yes, the ads are on the side, and yes, they are a little annoying, but I’m sure most of us have learned to live with them!
The biggest thing we learned during the pandemic is that anything can happen and we really need to be prepared for every possibility!
For me, the biggest takeaway was that I needed to be more in control of my income.
Before the pandemic, I relied on brands to reach out and offer me work.
I basically sat at my computer and waited for work to come.
I’ve been very, very lucky because the work has been coming my way for over 10 years. But to be honest, this was always quite stressful and I relied too much on others “picking me”, knowing full well that it could run dry at any moment. If for some reason they didn’t choose me, I would be in serious trouble.
And that serious problem happened in 2020!
Before coronavirus, I made money in the following ways:
- brand ambassadorship
- paid press trips
- advertising article
- Instagram collaborates with brands
- affiliate marketing
- display advertising
During the pandemic, my top three breadwinners fell off a cliff and there was very little work left.
Instagram temporarily became my savior and most of my work during the pandemic came from Instagram. But as I mentioned above, spending a lot of time on Instagram can be exhausting. I started losing track of what I was doing for myself and what I was doing for the ‘gram. Do I paint my living room green and fill it with plants because that’s what I want, or because I know it’ll look good on Instagram? Did I go paddle boarding to have fun or to take some nice photos? It really wasn’t good for me!
But it was good to figure out what works for me and what I enjoy the most.
What I was left with was affiliate marketing and display advertising, and the realization that these two sources of income had great potential.
In the past, it was just something I had put off. They didn’t require much effort and were basically a byproduct of other things I did.
Let’s say I went on a press trip and wrote three blog posts about it. I then added display ads and affiliate links to those posts, which gave me some extra income, but I didn’t put much effort into it.
But now I had to really try!
Display advertising for passive income
The biggest thing I’m working on in 2022 is increasing my passive income through display advertising. That’s the ads that appear in the sidebar and throughout the content of this blog.
Display advertising is all about small numbers. I earn one penny for every person who reads my blog, but when hundreds of thousands of people read it, those pennies add up!
Our goal is to attract hundreds of thousands of people every day!
And instead of focusing on pennies, it’s best to focus on people. Continue to create content that people want to read. And there are a lot of them!
Affiliate marketing is when you receive a small percentage of the sale when someone buys a product or service that you recommend.
You need to sign up for an affiliate program. That way, you’ll have a special link that will track sales from users who click on your sales page from your link.
Affiliate marketing isn’t a big deal to me, but it just happens naturally once you start getting a lot of pageviews.
I wrote a blog post about my 3 day trip to Krakow. In that post, I mentioned the hotel I stayed at, and 10 people booked that hotel after seeing me mention it. Each sale is small, but there is a lot of potential, especially for blog posts that go viral or get a lot of traffic.
Affiliate marketing is very strategic, but I personally keep it simple. We don’t force products into blog posts for the purpose of selling, but if a product comes up organically, we’ll feature it and add an affiliate link if possible.
Should you focus on a niche?
The main advice, and the advice I have been giving for the past 10 years, is to focus on one niche. You need to make yourself an expert in a certain field. Not only will your audience trust you, but so will Google.
Let’s say you’re a cake blogger and specialize in baking gluten-free cakes. If you publish a new gluten-free orange cake recipe, you’re likely to get more views than your average food blogger who blogs about all kinds of food.
You’re an expert, Google knows you’re an expert, and your audience knows you’re an expert.
Sounds simple. So what’s the problem?
The problem with this is that it’s boring for most people!
We are multifaceted people with so many interests and passions. Most people would get really bored if all they did was make gluten-free cakes. I love gluten-free cake as much as the next person, but I couldn’t write about it all day every day.
Niche content is the fastest way to grow, but it can also be limiting, and most people end up losing their passion for that one topic. Most of us start blogging because we like the creative freedom to write and photograph what we like. So it’s very important to keep that passion alive. Otherwise, your blog will lose its luster.
My advice is to start with a niche and gradually branch out into other areas.
When the travel industry was devastated, many travel bloggers were forced to create different types of content and adjust their blogs to ensure they were creating articles that people wanted to read. No one wanted to read his two-week itinerary to Thailand at a time when he wasn’t even allowed to leave the house!
My main focus has always been travel, but since having kids I’ve started sharing more parenting and lifestyle posts as well. During lockdown I blogged about life with her three children, her routine in lockdown, buying a Peloton bike and owning a stationary caravan. These are still some of my most popular blog posts!
I find it interesting to share a variety of content without having to focus on one topic.
Consistency is the difference between success and failure, so staying passionate about your blog is 100% of the utmost importance.
You should be consistently producing great content for at least a year before you start seeing financial results.
And this is where most people fail. Most people get bored with it after a few months. Or maybe he only blogs once a month and can’t understand why he can’t make a lot of money with 12 blog posts a year.
To put this into perspective, I have about 1,500 blog posts. I think you need at least 100 blog posts to see great results.
This is also one of the reasons why blogging is not the best business for you if you are looking for purely financial rewards. There are better ways to make money.
But if you have a passion and love for writing and photography, I can’t think of a better business!
I use WordPress.org for my site.
I host my blog through Try Assistant. I’ve used Chris for years and he’s great.
The theme I’m using is Mediavine’s Trellis
We use Mediavine for display ads
My biggest earners from affiliate sales are Get Your Guide and Amazon
Metro article: How to make money from home: 15 sources of passive income
Some great podcasts about blogging and passive income
pro blogger podcast
Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income
Julie Solomon’s Influencer Podcast
Build your brand with Liz Mosley