How do bloggers make money? Or more importantly – how do bloggers make enough money to support themselves full time? This is a question we have been getting a lot lately! There is a lot of information out there surrounding this topic but I wanted to layout how we are and have made money within this career.
The #1 way that bloggers make money is through brand partnerships or sponsored posts. Essentially this is when a brand such as Bed, Bath and Beyond pays you to post about their products. This could be a sponsored post on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, or your blog. Generally the way this interaction happens is the brand itself or PR agency that represents the brand, will reach out to you directly via email. They will ask if you are interested in this sponsorship and to send through your rates for say a blog post, 2 IG posts and 3-4 IG stories including a swipe up link. Based on the scope of work you will come back to the brand with a dollar amount. Depending on your follower size this $ amount could vary anywhere from $1,500-$15,000 or even more. Once an initial price is discussed, there are other details that could increase this price, such as exclusivity rights, usage rights, rights to the images, etc. It typically takes around 7-10 days to negotiate budget, discuss contract details and come to an agreement on a brand partnership or sponsored post. Many, many bloggers are making six figure incomes on sponsored posts alone! It is an extremely competitive industry and you must really identify your niche in order to find partnerships that you would be the perfect fit for. Meaning that brands will pay your highest price, because they want you and only you!
The second way that bloggers/influencers will make money is from attending events or hosting events for brands. This is something that is a bit “newer” to the industry. However there are many bloggers/influencers that will not attend an event unless being paid to be there, which in my opinion make sense because events are essentially free press/marketing for the brand. This negotiation could also include posting a photo from the event, or covering the event via IG stories, which could increase their overall $ amount based on their attending fee + posting fee.
Bloggers will also host events for brands which will bring in more $ than just attending an event. In terms of hosting, you will be taking care of the VIP guest list, promoting on your Instagram, IG Stories and all corresponding social media platforms. This is in order to get people through the door and essentially getting the brand back that ROI. It is a large amount of work to take on, as well as pressure, which ultimately results in a larger check to the blogger/influencer hosting.
Bloggers will also make money from affiliate links. Affiliate links will track when a reader clicks (or swipes up) on one of your links and purchases what it is that you were promoting. Bloggers will receive a kick back of that purchase anywhere from 5%-30%. A few of the larger platforms that bloggers use are Reward Style (i.e LikeToKnowIt) and Shop Style! This is not as common but there are bloggers that make their full incomes from affiliate links and the compensation that they receive from them.
There are many OG bloggers that still make a great deal of income from running advertisements on their website. Which has gone away in the last few years due to the rise of Instagram in the influencer world. This type of ad is different from the #ad’s you see on IG and the ones I talked about in the first bullet. This is because the brand (example: Nordstrom) has created it and essentially is selling it to you to promote on your site. This can be anywhere from banner ad’s to click bait(example: Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Advertisements you might be fed on Facebook).
Lastly many bloggers now a day are making money (and a lot of it) from selling something of theirs. More notably selling their Lightroom Presets for photo editing which can range from $80-$200 a package. They are selling their knowledge of “How To Make It In The Influencer World” via books, ebooks, webinars, classes which can cost up to $500. Bloggers even sell their clothes via websites and apps such as Depop and Poshmark.
My personal favorite is that Bloggers/Influencers are now landing major clothing deals with companies such as Nordstrom, Macy’s and Target! Most notably Something Navy – who became the first ever Influencer Headed Private Label Brand exclusively sold at Nordstrom, which has sold out its last three collections in less than 5 mins each time. Pete Nordstrom even taking to Instagram Live stating that Something Navy’s Collections have been the most successful launches in Nordstrom history. INCREDIBLE.
It really is amazing how this industry has evolved. So many say that the bubble has to pop at some point and these “Instagram Girls” cannot continue to rake in the amount of $ that they are right now. However I disagree. I believe it is just continuing to grow and it will continue to evolve. The most important things is staying on top of the changes that come with the industry. There are only positive things to come in 2019!
Love the transparency here – thanks for sharing! I have always loved Something Navy and her success with her Nordstrom line has been amazing to watch. I’ve loved watching both of your journey – it’s been such a learning experience as a young business woman!