How you can make money blogging in 2022
Are you looking for a side hustle? Something to make the working week easier to handle? Or maybe a full-time hustle to finally get you out of that office? Or maybe you have a business you’re looking to market, but have run out of ideas? Do you know what could do all of those things? A blog.
A blog can be a vehicle for your extra spending income, a way for you to get into the freelance gig, and, crucially, a great way to market any business at any level, but it takes some know how today. A lot has changed on the internet and marketing over the past couple of years. And that’s where we come in. Whether you’re writing a personal blog to just get your own thoughts out there or looking to make money on affiliate marketing with a blog, we’ve got the guide for you on how to do it right.
A personal blog comes with the assumption that it is a diary that you don’t mind being broadcast to the world. We’re talking a little broader here for the sake of making money. Personal blogging can go alongside a startup business idea as a means of bringing in clients and customers.
If you incorporate a blog into your business website, you will give your clients and customers, potential partners, or investors, etc. a personal tether to hold onto. They will get to know you as a person without ever having known you, and you can even incorporate your know how and expertise on the industry you are wading into. For example, if you are a copywriter, you can fill your content with writing tips, SEO knowledge, etc. This is also a good option for a B2B business, or an industry where you rely on clients. You can show them that they can rely on your expertise by laying it all out in a blog.
Meanwhile, your website can deal with the other side of enticing customers, like setting up a shop to sell items, adding a booking forum for appointments, and other features that will expand your business.
You can even sell some of this advice content as a course. Record or write your courses out and sell them as exclusive class plans that people can follow to make a success of themselves in your industry.
And, of course, you can add an affiliate marketing element.
An affiliate blog is a blog built around the idea of promoting brands and products for a commission. The way it works is that you will add an affiliate link that sends the user to the chosen page of your affiliate partner. It will be unique to you so that the partner knows where the traffic is coming from and you will be paid an amount depending on how much traffic you drive to the site. You can simply choose a demographic and appeal to them by showing them items and brands that they might be interested in.
You can solely focus on an affiliate blog, or incorporate affiliate links into your usual content, and the result is a steady stream of income which can achieve a monthly salary for a couple of hours work a week.
However, in order to reach that level of monthly income, you will need the numbers behind you. Some affiliate programs don’t even allow you to sign up until reach a certain threshold of followers, which means you will have to know how to market your blog.
And be aware that the more variations of content you pursue, the more chance for marketing opportunities, which means you can be paid for a mention in a podcast, an Instagram story, a TikTok video, a YouTube video, etc.
Promoting your blog on social media
The most effective and most affordable means of promoting your blog is with social media, however, social media is constantly changing, and has gone through a severe shakeup since the lockdowns were put in place, so it’s important to retrain yourself on what works on social media.
For one thing, users have caught on to what an ad looks like. This will be due to oversaturation and the regulations that require companies to flag up posts with colorful banners and #ads, but it means users are not about to give it their time unless they are given a reason to.
This means redefining what makes “quality content”. That term used to mean having the best camera, but today, it means offering a reason to keep watching. Marketing, therefore, has had to shift its focus from grabbing the attention of users, to keeping it.
And with the explosion of TikTok, there are more opportunities than ever to do this. You, your team, your product, your brand, can all be showcased in social media content. They can feature in trends, genres, skits, reviews, etc. A good example is #BookTok, which is a genre of book reviews that is filling every bookstore with #BookTok viral novels. Another, more obscure example, is the idea of #oddlysatisfying. The genre that is known for slime or slotting a jigsaw piece perfectly into place has become a hub for cleaning services and products, which offer a sparking clean car, bathroom, kitchen, etc. as the crescendo of their content.
Keep in mind, too, that your users want to get to know you. They are researching brands to learn more about them. Chiefly they want to know one of three things: if you can be trusted, if they like you and if your priorities align with theirs. This means keeping your website and blog looked after, keeping you or your team at the forefront of content, and showcasing what you stand for in your content.
Think about the taxes
Unfortunately, nothing in life is free, and yes, even a blog needs taxed. Any income that you are gaining needs taxed, and you could be penalized for underpaying your taxes, even on a blog. For more detail on the IRS payment plan interest rate, take a look at this guide.
Unfortunately, running a blog is seen as a self-employed business, so you will be expected to pay self-employment tax. This is the combined Social Security and Medicare taxes that would ordinarily be paid by your employer.
However, the IRS will help you out with a discount. There is a policy for deducting expenses for a blogger, for one thing. Expenses that are considered reasonable for your profession can be written off, such as advertising, supplies, office furniture, electronics, insurance and other goods and services. Be careful with that, though. You can try and get that meal at a fancy restaurant written off if you’re a food blogger, not so much if you’re giving out law advice.
But the IRS isn’t about to give tax deductions to every blogger. You will have to prove that this is a business and not a hobby. The main way you can do this is to prove to the IRS that you are earning a profit. You are aiming to gain a profit from at least three of the past five tax years, which will allow you the tax deductible.