How to become a blogger and get paid (My story)

Travelling and blogging

I’ll admit, this hasn’t been a straightforward journey, but I am glad that it is a journey that I have taken. Although, I do think that I jumped into professional blogging and influencing a bit late, the saying ‘better late than never’ is true.

The way that I originally came across these professional bloggers and influencers was from when I was working at an agency in London and our agency was paying these bloggers (This was between 2007-2014 and the term ‘influencer wasn’t coined yet) to publish content or advertise on their platforms.

At that time, it was through blogs. But it did venture into YouTube (video platform) and Facebook fan pages. Twitter was still new, but there were opportunities there. And there were other platforms as well.

Guest blogging, sponsored posts, email cross-promotions, and sponsored social media posts were also the norm as well.

The space has continued to boom over the past decade as brands, advertising and marketing agencies recognize the value in tapping into influencer’s platforms so they can reach engaged markets.

At the time, people were charging anywhere from $20 to $2000 USD to post on their platform. The people that I happened to work with at the time were usually travelling throughout South-East Asia (Thailand, Vietnam) and they were using promoting to their audience whilst getting paid for working part-time, and then travelling around the world whilst doing it.

There were a few that really stood out and made me decide to take my chance at pursuing a profession in the blogging and influencing space.

Some of these folks included:

How was I able to transition to professional blogging and influencing?

I needed to start publishing on a platform and building an audience. The first one I started with was Lollivia.com.

Travelling on the Mekong Delta

I’ll be the first to admit that I got a lot wrong with this. You have to choose the right niche and build an audience.

It’s also important to learn to write so that you can publish content regularly to your audience. If you decide not to write, you need to publish via audio (in Podcast form) or video (YouTube, video social media sites) and then build your audience.

You then need to attract attention which is your audience. Once you start to build your audience and the traffic, you will have opportunities to promote offers or advertising to monetize your platform. This will take it from being a hobby to a profession.

How much money can you make from your platform?

The possibility is limitless. It does depend on the monetization method, the industry niche, the demand to get in front of your audience, and the offers that are available.

Ideally, you will be able to generate $100USD per day from your platform, which will earn you $3000USD per month. This is enough to command a full-time salary at most places and definitely if you are travelling in most places around the world.

What forms of monetization can work for your platform?

It differs, but you do have the following.

Ads syndicated to your platform from ad networks

This includes platforms like Adsense. Although Adsense pays between $2-4 per 1000 views/hits.

Adsense revenue example
Adsense revenue example

I’d also experimented with other ad syndication networks and recorded a video showing my experience with them as well.

Influence networks

These ones are more lucrative and they vet the partners before they present offers for your platform. Intellifluence is one of the most interesting influencer marketplace platforms that I’ve come across. Earning between $50-150 per influencer campaign is possible at the low end. And you are able to negotiate a higher price directly with the brand.

Brazilian influencer Josi Maia has successfully used Intellifluence to connect with the right brands for her platform.

You can click here to sign-up to their platform and earn your first $100.

Affiliate marketing

You can sell products on a pay per commission basis. I successfully implemented this using Amazon affiliates and also seeking out and partnering with other product providers in the industry that I blogged in. Commission rates vary from 3-50%, depending on what’s being offered. The lowest commission that I’ve made is $0.02. The highest commission that I’ve made on one sale is $75.

Example of affiliate marketing earnings from the Amazon Associates Program.
Example of affiliate marketing earnings from the Amazon Associates Program.

And another example from another program that I participate in.

Affiliate referrals & commission
Affiliate referrals & commission

And some revenue from another program that I participate in.

Affiliate revenue
Affiliate revenue

Selling your own products

This is great if you can crack the code. You can sell information products, merchandise, services, consultancy, and more. You will set your own pricing and profit margins.

I’ve done this with my consultancy business, where I can charge $500-2000USD per month for consultancy off the back of enquiries through the content that I produce.

I did this by selling on my own website and also on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).

Orders from selling my own products
Orders from selling my own products

Selling your own direct ads.

This is really lucrative as well. You set your own prices, but you have to seek out partners in your industry. If you can get monthly subscriptions, then this will provide you with a steady income.

For example, if you have ads on your blog and you charge $200 per month for 6 spots, that’s $1200 per month in your pocket.

However, you will need to provide a compelling business case to the potential partner.

Track your progress.

Ideally, track your growth by doing income reports either monthly or annually. This way, people can see what you are doing and you are also holding yourself accountable for your progression as a professional blogger and influencer. I did a post in 2017 where I disclosed an income report from the digital nomad lifestyle, which was partly funded by influencing programs.

Next step

Look for a platform where you can publish quickly and easily. My recommendation at the moment is to pursue video platforms because that is where the attention is and it is also quicker to publish and reach your target audience. But combine this with a written and audio/podcasting platform in the future so that you can really maximize your reach.

Focus on building your audience through traffic and people registering on your database (email list, subscribers, etc).

Once you start to get the traffic, you can monetize and create a profession as an influencer or blogger.

Have you had any experience with this? Share your story with us below.

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