How do you make money from blogging and YouTube has to be up there in the top five questions I get asked on a weekly basis, so I thought it might be handy to do a blog post to answer the question as best I can. I don’t proclaim to be an expert though so don’t take my word as gospel! I didn’t even realise you could make any money from a blog or YouTube channel (other than side bar advertising etc) when I started out. I just started it as a hobby for myself. So naïve, but I do think blogs and YouTube channels which have started as just hobby projects are often the ones that end up doing well in the long run.
I’ll break down how I earn money from blogging and YouTube into categories:
Blog wise, these are the main ways that bloggers are able to make an income.
There is a bit of a crossover on how you can make money on YouTube and how you can make money blogging, but there are a couple different avenues as well.
I’m mainly talking about Instagram here. I do charge for some tweets and Facebook posts as part of a package of work for a brand sometimes, but my main social media income comes from Instagram.
Event attendance – I’ve only had this happen about three or four times so far and it’s never been me that has broached the subject. It has always been the brand. Half the time I’m just grateful to be invited to a fun event (especially if it involves any form of food or alcohol) but I do like the travel cost to be covered. Sometimes though, there is a lot of work involved, and you are expected to ‘represent’ the brand to a certain extent, so it makes sense that a brand would expect to pay you.
Sometimes we will be offered experiences or days out etc where we won’t get paid for going/a review/any coverage and we will pay for travel ourselves but it’s still a nice thing that we would like to do as a family so we do it. This can be a bit of a Grey area but I always disclaim that we’ve been invited along for ‘free’.
I will ALWAYS fully disclaim when something is an ‘AD’, ‘collaboration’, ‘gifted’ – basically any sort of arrangement where an income is involved or something has been gifted. Full transparency is so important for the trust between a ‘creator’ and their audience. It’s so easy to spot the people who don’t follow these rules and for me, it just makes me very unlikely to check out their content again. Is that bitchy? I hope not!! I just like people to be honest. Maybe I’m old fashioned like that haha.
I think some people begin to think that every single thing a blogger or vlogger does is a secret AD but I promise you, in most cases (of us honest ones anyway!), it isn’t. I partner up with brands I use anyway or genuinely want to try, and so end up using the product in question much more than I’m paid to, and giving more coverage for ‘free’ because I like it and want to share it with others.
I also now turn down a lot of things. I’ve been offered paid reviews for all sorts of weird and wonderful things but they just don’t fit with my life or audience (sex toys, ski poles, foot fungus cream, bad breath tablets anyone?) so every AD you see on my website, YouTube or social media has been carefully considered.
I hope this has helped clear some questions up. Please ask any more questions in the comments below if I’ve not made sense anywhere. I’m unlikely to tell you exact figures of what I earn though because I am terribly British and wouldn’t do that with my other job either. I tell friends and family about some jobs but it would just seem a bit odd splashing it across the internet. The past year has been my highest paid yet and I’m hopefully on track to earn more this year. It’s so un-British to talk about what you earn so I feel really strange talking about it, even in this vague sense. My online work is allowing us to save for a house deposit, which we wouldn’t be able to do comfortably without it (hello high childcare bill), go on a nice family holiday each year and generally just not worry about money as much as we would have before.
Lastly, I have to say that although I absolutely love this second job of mine, and am forever grateful to everyone who’s helped to make it happen by watching and reading, it is a pretty relentless way to make money and you have to be prepared to put in a good hard slog if you really want to do it. It’s not as easy as it’s perceived to be and is probably the hardest job I’ve ever done, but also one of the best. I rarely go to bed before midnight but that’s ok because I’ve got you lovely lot to entertain and for that I am forever grateful.