The one question I most often get asked about my work from home job is, “how on earth do you make money blogging?”
I should probably start at the beginning, because the second most frequent question I get is, “exactly what does a blogger actually do?”
I started this here blog in March of 2014. I’ve always been an over-sharer, whether my advice was warranted or not. I have a need to share all things I learn almost to a fault. I’ve learned over the years that not everyone is as interested in learning all of the details all of the time. In an effort to preserve my relationships with those closest to me, I started essentiallyerika.com. My friends and family were all tired of me sharing my natural home remedies and a friend of mine suggested I put it all on a blog where other moms interested in the same issues would get the help they were looking for. Voila! Essentially Erika was officially an idea. Well, I didn’t have a name quite yet. I started off really simple on a free hosted site because unlike now, I wasn’t even aware you could make money by writing a blog.
I started with a concept. I knew I wanted to share all of the natural / organic finds I was discovering on a daily basis. You see, I spent the better part of ten years as a Project Manager in construction. I was used to dedicating myself to multiple projects on a constant basis. So when I suddenly became a stay-at-home mom with only a handful of projects, I did what I knew best to do, I dived in head first and never looked back. My days were spent devoting as much time to running our home like my new personal project. Homemade EVERYTHING! Living on one income, I also devoted myself to purging all of the “extras” in life, and saving where we could. Turns out, I wasn’t alone.
I was originally going to name my blog “Two Under Two,” because whenever I would meet any resistance from companies on the phone asking why I couldn’t just “show up,” I would respond with, “I have two kids under two years old”, and immediately they had compassion for my situation. Turns out, naming a blog isn’t as easy as it looks. I muddled around for a while thinking carefully so I wouldn’t get pigeon-holed to one description, when suddenly it just came to me.. and Essentially Erika was born..
Make Money Blogging
I dove head first sharing homemade recipes and different ways we were saving in our home. From the very start I included all I was learning in parenting, and eventually the blog grew from a ‘Mom Blog’ to a full Lifestyle blog. I didn’t even have a Facebook at the time and only shared pics of the kids on my Instagram for family and friends. I had no clue you could get paid to write and didn’t have the fondest idea where to start. I’m often approached on how to start a blog now that folks see there is money to be made in it, but I always recommend writing for the love of it, before jumping into the monetization pool too quickly. At the end of the day, like most jobs, you have to love blogging in order to keep doing it. There are late nights, and lots of actual writing involved. There are nights I need to whip up 1200 words and edit 100 photos. Blogging has re-introduced me to an old passion of mine, photography. I’ve always loved the art of photography and I love how its brought me back to my love of photos. Learning a lot through trial and error (I haven’t taken any classes), I’ve been able to grow in other areas (I recently shot a family reunion). Still, my heart is with blogging, and as I tell most people, if I weren’t making money doing it I would still find time to do it. It’s certainly therapeutic, and I love going back and seeing how much I’ve learned / grown. Three of the key ways to make money as a blogger are:
Join an Influencer Network – There are many online Influencer Networks geared towards matching the right blogger with the right brand. One of my favorites is Everywhere Society. They are a nationwide agency and provide different opportunities for all kinds of bloggers. I’ve recently enjoyed a few of their campaigns with Orkin, Osh Kosh, and Macy’s. Their campaigns span from fashion, cooking, home, and kids. They sent me to my favorite blog conference in NOLA last year, ShiftCon. The ladies I’ve met working with Everywhere Society are some of my favorite folks, it feels like we get to work alongside friends and have a great time in the process.
Become a Contributor – One of the ways you can earn money blogging is by contributing to other blogs. Bloggers can hire out bloggers to provide content for them as a contributor, or you can become a ghost writer for other blogs and online magazines. I’ve enjoyed this kind of writing because it provided me a different outlet to be able to explore other “voices” and writing styles. There is freedom in anonymity at times, this is ideal if you enjoy any political writing.
Affiliate Marketing – Affiliate links are another way bloggers can make income. There are brands that you can align yourself with (that you believe in) that can provide you with your own special trackable links. These links are placed throughout your blog posts, depending on your writing style, when clicked on and any items are purchased the blogger will receive a percentage of those sales. This allows a creative freedom to work with only the brands you absolutely love. Of course these types of arrangements and the compensation you receive rely heavily on your site’s traffic, so this isn’t always easy to pull off as a new blogger.
All in all there are many different ways you can create an income through an online blog. I’ve found that in blogging, I’ve met some of the most uplifting and supportive group of people. I’ve shared a ton of experiences with some really interesting folks, and had some of the best vacations with my family in tow. While I’d always assumed I would return to the corporate life after my kids went off to school, blogging has provided me with other options. The option to do something I truly love while being creative, and be there for my family in a way I could never have done working from an office. I’m able to BE THERE with my family. For breakfast, homemade lunches, drop-offs/pick-ups, PTA meetings, dinner, and everything in between. All without having to sacrifice financially. I’ll always love this little blog of mine that has grown by leaps and bounds, and I’m only getting started..
If you are a blogger, and are interested in working with The Everywhere Society you can sign up here!