Just about a year ago, I wrote an article here on IFB sharing on average how much I make a month as a “professional” fashion blogger. Especially in light of “82% of Bloggers made more money than ever last year”, I thought it was time for an update, a deeper look into my stats, and another reality check.
First, the reality check: according to the article I linked above, 31% off the “influencers” interviewed make less than $10,000 a year on their blogs. Only 21% of them make more than $50,000 a year from blogging. So, most of these influencers make less than enough to really rely on blogging as their only source of income (depending on where they live and their lifestyle of course). This only affirms what we know anyway: that most bloggers will find it very difficult to make enough money to blog full-time.
Not that you can't make any money at all blogging, you can, but it's unlikely that you'll be able to ONLY blog and make enough money to support yourself. But obviously, I'm not here to tell you that you should give up and quit blogging because it will never happen for you.
If you want to earn a living from your blog, you can, but you will have to find the combination of tools that work for you. Affiliate linking works for me. Sponsored posts may work for you. You might be most successful selling an ebook. Success is in the eye of the beholder; yours will not look the same as mine.
Now for my Facts:
1. I've been blogging for 10 years
2. On average this year, I've made about $4,200 a month
3. I have earned more than $50,000/year for the last 5-6 years
4. On average this year, my two blogs get about 54,000 page views a month
5. I have more than 4,000 twitter followers and more than 600 Instagram followers
6. I earn most of my income via affiliate linking
7. I do not generally take sponsored posts
That's it. My blogs do not average 248,000 page views a month (as the blogs in the article average), and never have. I have never had a lot of traffic, but I have been blogging consistently for 10 years, and have built up a very loyal community who interact with me frequently and buy via my affiliate links. It's very difficult to make money solely on affiliate commission nowadays, which is why most bloggers are successful with some combination of sponsored posts and affiliate linking (from the article I linked above, sponsored posts and display media provide more revenue than affiliate linking for the “top” bloggers interviewed).
Determine what success looks like to you, then find a way to achieve it. In general, to make money from affiliate linking you should have a lot of traffic, but I don't. Why is that? It's a combination of things, including longevity, loyalty and passion for what I do.
You can be the outlier too, if you're good enough at what you do, and provide consistent value to your readers. Figure out what your value is and focus on that more than anything else. Then use that to support your passion and your career.