“It must be nice to not have to work.”
This was a statement made to me recently. It wasn’t a question, or quandary. Not a hanging thought, or a curiosity about what I do. About blogging in general. I know that other Bloggers have heard this before and it gob-smacks me when I think about it. In fact, it’s been stuck in my craw. I know I should just let it go as an ignorant and possibly rude and uncaring comment, but instead I thought I would try to enlighten the masses. Show you what being a blogger really entails. Spoiler-it’s a lot of work.
Many of us blog for different reasons. There are as many reasons to blog as there are types of blogs. Many parents turn to blogging; as a way to connect with other parents or as a source of income so they can stay at home with their kids. I’ve met quite a few Chronically Ill bloggers, not only do they help educate others about chronic disease, they also work to generate an income from home. Many teenagers or college students own blogs-making money online working around their hectic schedule. I know many bloggers who have retired decide to begin a blog, great way to keep young active after retirement and a brilliant way to continue to earn income from home. Military wives. Travelers. Single parents. Lawyers. Doctors. Blogging can be a hobby or it can be a career, either way it’s a lot of work.
Creating work you can do, no matter the circumstances
When I began blogging I worked a full time job and had a network marketing business on the side. I began blogging as a way to connect with others, share my insights and fulfill my love of writing. That was 7 years ago. I had no idea where it would take me and I treated it as a hobby, fitting it in where I could.
Then life changed. I became chronically ill. When I got “better” (not having to be on bed-rest) I tried to work outside the home, return to life as it was. But I was unable to maintain the physical and mental stress, I ended up on complete bed-rest, again. Not to be beaten by my disease, after 4+ months of bed-rest, I got another job, only to end up in the same situation. In the end I let down 3 employers, due to disease flare-ups, have spent more than 15 months in bed, unable to work. Racking up far more in medical bills than I made in income. Something had to change.
Learning to work smarter.
I’ve always been a worker. Working my way out of financial issues, picking up more hours here and there to fund vacations, a down-payment for our home, school fees, extra-curricular activities for the kids, car repairs, whatever was needed. But now I had to think of a way to be able to work but not end up back in bed.
Thankfully I already had a blog and a bit of a following, because I needed to find a way to make this my career. It was daunting and scary. I knew how to write, but I didn’t know a thing about marketing myself and my ideas online. So I began studying, implementing what I learned, trying different things, reaching out to other bloggers. In other words-I put in the work. Hundreds and thousands of hours of work.
Like many other bloggers I do more than one thing. In fact, I do a lot of things to earn a living. It never gets boring and I try not to put all my eggs in one basket, my only resource for income prior to getting sick was my ability to physically work. This time around I’m learning to work smarter.
Thankfully when I had to give up my full time work in a catering kitchen due to my physical limitations, prepping and delivering food, my employer offered me another option. Two days a week I work at his office, doing data entry and book work. It gets me out of the house and I’m able to have interaction with friends and co-workers.
He also books me for catering jobs, I take care of his Social Media accounts, photograph events and edit images for promotional tools that I also create. There are certain times of the year that are busier than others, but the work is steady and I can tailor my hours around other obligations. He’s a great boss and I’m so thankful that he understood my want and need to work.
The Blog Itself
I have learned so much since I began blogging. It’s still a work in progress, but I am learning, and earning, as I go. I think this is the area that confuses the masses. How we bloggers make money with a blog. Don’t we just write a quick post, publish it and move on?
That’s what I thought when I started, build it and they will come! LOL How wrong I was.
There are many ways to earn money from a blog, they all take work. They all take time to implement. Here are a few ways that Bloggers create income online.
(This post contains Affiliate Links. Click here for full disclosure.)
Ads. Most people are so used to seeing ads on the websites they visit, they don’t pay them any attention or think about them. I have 2 different ad networks displaying on my site. Each time someone visits my blog I earn a bit of ad revenue. It’s not much, but it ads up and it’s a passive way to earn money from your website. The more I grow, the more the Ad money grows.
Working smarter, not harder.
Sponsors. Companies have realized how influential bloggers can be. It has become one of their favorite ways to advertise their products and services. Brands pay bloggers to use their products and write about their experiences. All kinds of companies, all kinds of products. From diapers to cheese, to home decor items.
Bloggers do the legwork to find the companies, promote themselves and pitch their ideas. This creates a partnership between the Brand and the Blogger which can be a very lucrative way to earn income.
Bloggers can earn money to share their thoughts about a product on Social Media. Not only do we build our Blog we also work to build our social Media accounts so that we will be able to run an effective campaign for the Brand we work with.
It takes time and effort to build a plethora of Social Media accounts, I focus on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. But spend a bit of time on StumbleUpon and Google+ too. Although most of what I do on Social Media is fun, it’s also a lot of work.
Affiliates. Bloggers can partner with companies to help promote a product or service. When someone clicks through from our sites to purchase a product we get a small cut, or finders fee, for promoting the company and it’s products. Taking the time to find companies that work with our audience, apply to their programs, research the product or service, write a post and share it on social media is work.
It takes time and skill to do this effectively.
EBooks, Digital Products or Courses. Many bloggers use their sites to teach others. DIY, Cooking, Crafting, Writing, Blogging. They create an ebook or a paid online course. Artwork that can be purchased, downloaded and printed, or selling images that can be used online. Creating fonts, printables, even planner inserts. This is a brilliant way to make money from your expertise, to earn while helping others to develop their talents.
I personally have not attempted this. But there are ideas in the back of my mind that may end up in ebook form someday. It’s a great way to earn an income from your website and help others at the same time.
Physical Product. Etsy is full of products created by bloggers and creatives. Have a talent or a skill that you could sell? Creating an online store is a great way to market your product.
Knowing that I wanted several avenues of income I created a product and sell it online, this enables me to work from home. I was terrified to branch out and try something new, but I am loving the results.
The Make Lemonade Shop is the storefront for my hand-painted pillowcases and custom products. I have loved painting for years, but I struggled to come up with a product that would be popular and easy to ship. Since the Grand Opening in May this year we have created and sold more than 200 Pillowcases and our product is also carried in a local boutique.
Breaking down my Work and Earnings
Obviously telling you how a Blogger “can” make money is not the same as proving it. You can generate money online or mix it up and earn a living in several different ways. Normally I don’t share financial information on my blog. But in this case I feel that it is needed to prove I’m not just sitting at home eating bonbons and surfing Netflix all day.
Not that I should have to prove it, if you know me, you know I work. ALL. THE. TIME. But, for those who don’t “Get It” here’s your breakdown.
These numbers reflect the earnings in November 2016, each month the totals are different, numbers below are monies taken in before expenses and taxes are applied. I do work and I work hard.
Blog Post Creation/Social Media
It takes approximately 10/12 hours for me to write a blog post. This includes adding affiliate and sponsors, research, taking and editing photos, or creating a recipe. I work to publish 2 posts a week plus 2 linkups to build friendship and community on my blog as well as build my Social Media Accounts to be appealing to Brands.
Time investment: 25 hours a week minimum
Behind the scenes work on the blog. Answering comments, fulfilling the #WAYWOW Linkup tasks, website work and tweaks, updates, Newsletter creation, education and research.
Time Investment: 8 hours a week minimum
Make Lemonade Shop
Maintaining the website, researching ideas and techniques, creating stencils and pillowcases, sewing pillowcases, packaging for shipping, promoting the site and products online and physically. Created an entire new Collection in November.
Time Investment: 40+ hours a week
Book-work, catering, social media, editing images
Time Investment: Average for November 5 hours a week (Not many caterings this month, which lowered the amount of hours booked)
Total time investment per week for November: 78 hours minimum. Since I work from home, for the most part, it’s hard to set it aside. Putting 12 to 16 hours a day is a normal day for me. As a business owner, especially one who is still new and learning, I’m willing to invest the time needed to create an income that helps take care of my family. And to create a career for myself that doesn’t land me back on bed-rest!
Earnings for November 2016:
|Type of Work||Earnings|
|Traditional Work-Catering Company, Online work, Caterings (taxes removed)||$185.21|
|Make Lemonade Shop||$459.00|
It Must Be Nice to Not Work…
To sum it up, I do work, I work a lot. Not all bloggers do, some work more, some work smarter. But this is what I do, for now it works. As I learn more I get faster, perhaps one day I won’t need to put in the time that I do. But this is something I can do, when I get tired, or know that I’ve done to much I can take a break.
Blogging is something that is misunderstood by many, I’m not sure that this post will change anyone’s opinions, but I have this huge urge to educate the masses. We bloggers do work hard, really hard. Just because someone doesn’t understand it, doesn’t mean that it’s not work.
Kind of like a tree falling in the forest, just cause you’re not there to hear it doesn’t mean that it didn’t make any noise?
So, if you have a friend that’s a blogger, or a favorite blog that you read, look around their site. Do you see clickable links to products and services? Do they have a product for sale? If it’s something you’re interested in then click through and check it out! Most of us only link to products or services that we love and that we think our reader’s will love too. It’s kinda like having a personal shopper, we do the legwork so you don’t have to.