When can you consider yourself a blogger? Is it the minute you hit “Publish” on WordPress or Squarespace? Maybe when you start making money with your blog? And what about when you have a small business and add a blog to your website? Are you a blogger then? What came first? The chicken or the egg?
Many people start blogging just because they love to write and feel the need to share their knowledge and advice with the rest of the world. After a while, though, when they realize how much work blogging actually involves, they have to make THE choice: Going all in and turning their blog into a business, or rather keep it a hobby and dedicate it way less time than they used to. Yep. Blogging can get very time-consuming.
On the other hand, there comes a time for many solopreneurs when they realize that having a blog as part of their websites could benefit their businesses. As you can read in this post on the difference between websites and blogs, you can have a website with a blog that is mainly used to:
- create community
- gain authority
- attract users/traffic to your site
The ultimate goal of this kind of blog is usually to help, motivate, teach and offer your services or sell your products. But that doesn’t mean that you’re a blogger. At least not “just a blogger.”
How do bloggers make money out of their blogs?
For a blogger, her blog is her business. And that means that a blogger would naturally want to monetize her blog. And how do bloggers make money out of their blogs, you ask? Well, I would say that there are four main streams of income for a blog:
1. Online Advertisement
You let advertising platforms place ads on your blog. As they usually pay per page views, the more visitors you have, the more money you’ll get! This means that bloggers need to attract traffic to their blogs to make more money out of ads. There are several ways to do this, like content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing, for instance.
If the word “marketing” sounds to you like “blockchain” to me – I hear it every other day but wouldn’t really know how to start – check out this online marketing series for total beginners.
2. Collaboration with brands or sponsored posts
This option is similar to what Instagrammers do with brands: They talk about a product and get a set amount of money from their post. With a blog, you can review a product (unboxings are still very popular), show how you use it, or even craft something new using the product you’re promoting! You’ll find an example of this in this post on how to make decals with Cricuts, by Neat House Sweet Home.
3. Affiliate marketing
I would say that working with affiliates is a combination of online ads and collaboration with brands, only better! You get to recommend the tool or product that you like, and if someone purchases through your link, you automatically get a commission for the sales! I prefer having affiliate links to placing ads on my blog because I get to choose which products or services I recommend, and you never know which ads could pop up!
If you’d like to get more info about affiliate marketing, check out this blog post!
4. Products / Service offerings
The probably hardest but also most profitable way to make money as a blogger is to create, market, and sell your own products or services to your audience. Now, you may think that this option is very similar to having a blog without being a blogger, right? So let’s see what the difference between bloggers selling products and entrepreneurs is.
What’s the difference between a solopreneur or freelancer with a blog and a blogger who sells her own products?
Many bloggers become solopreneurs just because they focus on selling their own products as a way to make money out of their blogs. Once you start blogging, your blog can evolve into something else. You may discover your love for writing and publish a book. Or you realize how much you love it to give pieces of advice and teach your readers! In that case, you can adapt your blog post content to an online course, for instance.
But, in my opinion, there’s a difference between bloggers and solopreneurs with a blog though:
- Entrepreneurs usually have an idea, a service, or a product, and they launch a website or a blog as a platform to sell it.
- Bloggers, on the other hand, usually follow the reverse process:
- Find a subject they’re passionate about.
- Start blogging about it.
- Create a community.
- Get to know their community and find out what their main struggle is – related to their blog, of course.
- Create the solution for their readers’ struggles.
So to answer the question “am I a blogger if I have a blog?”, I would say no, you aren’t! I do differentiate between having a blog (with or without a homepage) and being a blogger.
Feel free to download this content brainstorming sheet if you struggle with coming up with ideas for your blog posts. I hope you find it helpful!
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