Sunday, 6 May 2012

Making money from blogging and web writing

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Can you really make money blogging?
Even if you are new to blogging you will have heard about monetizing, affiliate marketing, the lot. Many bloggers are hoping to make money or at least get a few freebies, but some might have unrealistic expectations. Read Penelope Trunk's post Reality Check, You Are Not Going to Make Money from Your Blog  and weep! Some bloggers applaud her honesty, but many are really angry and in denial. This post was published in 2009 but it is still getting lots of comments.  Getting an income from blogging is a kind of Eldorado for aspiring writers. You write in your own time and get paid for it. In reality very few people make heaps of money out of blogging or get a book deal, and those who get a decent income have other arrows in their bow, such as running a linked business and being a professional writer. There might be other avenues, which I'm not aware of, so please leave a comment if you know any!

Making money as a web writer
I started blogging because I needed online writing experience. I had a website very early on called London Cheapskate, then started this blog in 2005. I have four now - they are there for me to post things I can't get published, to air my opinions or display photos. So far I got very little money through affiliate marketing and monetising, but some posts have landed me writing jobs. For instance this blog post on making stew helped to secure a commission writing family recipes. It's still one of the most popular entries, with two craft posts and one about being a Cheapskate in Cambridge (old habits die hard). Like many 'older' journalists the rapid rise of the internet took me by surprise and suddenly it was all about html, SEO and digital writing. I decided to make the switch as soon as I could. I'm completely self taught, I even designed my own website and wrote an article about the process to show how easy it can be (and all for under £40). I'm no boffin. Blogging and writing for Suite 101 and Bright Hub helped me get an online writing portfolio quickly. I was lucky that all my hard work paid off. My website landed me a big copywriting gig in 2009 and I reinvented myself as an SEO copywriter.

Fine, but I still want to make money from my blog
Right, if blogging floats your boat, why not try this free course by It's really ace (pardon the pun) and it covers all the basics of blogging (you don't need to be a parent to apply). If you are interested in SEO, I recommend browsing Great SEO. And if you want to know how other bloggers are faring, why not join Tots100 and download their free ebook How Parent Bloggers Make Money? Last but not least, you can get more tips and a supportive network at Britmums (dads are members too)! If you are not a parent, then you will need to find other ways to make your blog shine. If you have any tips, feel free to share.

PS: I owe a lot to the generosity of Alison Rothwell who coached us all through Britmums (formerly British Mummy Bloggers). Please read my previous post about SEO for blogs featuring her top tips.


  1. I know there are many work at home parents trying to make an income from blogging, and yes, some are doing very well from it. My stance is that you should only blog for enjoyment and not assume it is the way to replace your income. Choose a niche you are an expert in, or have a passion for and in time the rewards will come. I have just written a post over at Welsh Mums on the same topic:

  2. I have just started blogging and am quite happy that my friends and family and even some strangers have enjoyed reading it. If it ever comes to anything that would be great, but as I see it, it's a great record for my kids. To make serious money then you have to work seriously hard, with three little men thats not an option just now for me.