We now turn our attention to ways of making money from blogging that are more more ‘indirect’ in nature – or how to earn money because of your blog rather than from it (How to Make Money From Your Blog – Direct Methods).
Many of the following methods are the result of the profile and perceived expertise of the blogger themselves (whereas many of the direct methods mentioned previously are less reliant upon this).
Building a profile as a blogger doesn’t happen quickly and starting a blog with some of these hopes should be seen as a long term thing. My own experience in this area when starting ProBlogger is that it took about 12 months for opportunities to open in most of these areas. However, with the accelerated pace with which you’re now able to build a personal brand online, these opportunities are probably all available sooner.
When you are perceived as an expert on a topic you will find that people naturally come to you for advice – some of them willing to pay for it. Some niches are probably better positioned than others for their bloggers to get into paid consultancy work of course. I spoke with one blogger recently (blogging in a business/technology field) who was able to charge himself out at $600 per hour to give advice to a large company. Many bloggers sell appointments in their calendar, using a cart linked to a booking app or an all-in-one solution like Book Like a Boss. Most of these 1:1 consults are at the top of a pyramid of consulting-type services or digital services that bloggers offer.
- Neil Patel has built a successful consulting business by leveraging his expertise in SEO, content marketing, and online advertising. He offers consulting services to companies and individuals seeking to improve their digital marketing strategies and increase their online visibility.
- Amy Porterfield is a blogger, online marketing expert, and host of the podcast “Online Marketing Made Easy.” Through her blog and online courses, she provides valuable insights and resources on topics such as social media marketing and list building. Amy has expanded her business by offering consulting services, where she works closely with clients to develop and implement effective marketing strategies.
- Joanna Wiebe is the founder of Copyhackers, a blog and training platform dedicated to teaching persuasive writing and conversion copywriting. Joanna has utilized her expertise to offer consulting services to businesses aiming to improve their copywriting and conversion optimization.
These examples demonstrate how successful bloggers can leverage their expertise and credibility to offer consulting services in their respective niches. By sharing their knowledge and providing personalized guidance, these bloggers have built thriving consulting businesses, helping clients achieve their marketing and business goals.
There’s many examples of companies not just hiring bloggers as consultants, but actually employing them full-time for their demonstrated expertise. Here’s just a couple to give you an idea of how your blog can act like your online CV.
- Lindsay Ostrom started the food blog Pinch of Yum in 2010, where she shared recipes and food photography. Her blog gained a dedicated following and her photography skills attracted the attention of the kitchenware company, Williams-Sonoma who eventually hired her as a full-time photographer and recipe developer.
- Gina Luker ran the DIY and home decor blog The Shabby Creek Cottage. Her blog’s success and expertise in home decor and crafting led to her being hired by a home improvement retail company to create content and lead DIY workshops for their customers.
Successful blogs can lead to career opportunities and partnerships with companies seeking to tap into the blogger’s expertise, industry knowledge, and audience reach
Similarly there are some businesses who employ people to blog for them either as their main role or part of their role. These companies recognize the value of bloggers in creating engaging and authentic content that resonates with their target audience. Hiring bloggers to focus solely on creating content for the company’s blog allows them to tap into the blogger’s expertise and established audience, enhancing their brand’s online presence
- Kate Arends, the founder of the lifestyle blog Wit & Delight – which covers topics such as fashion, home decor, and personal development – was hired by Target, where she worked as a full-time blogger and content creator for the company’s website and social media platforms.
- The Toren brothers, Adam and Matthew Toren, started the blog YoungEntrepreneur.com, which provided resources, tips, and inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs. Their blog’s success led to them being hired by Dell as full-time bloggers and content creators, where they contributed to the company’s entrepreneur-focused initiatives.
ProBlogger Jobs is worth following if you’re looking for these types of jobs. There are hundreds of jobs listed each month across a variety of niches. You can set up job alerts based on keywords associated with your niche interests.
Some days as I read through the RSS feeds that I follow it seems that every blogger I read has a book either in progress or coming out. Once again it’s about being seen as an expert in your field – if you can achieve this you will find publishers are more receptive to having an idea pitched to them and at times will even seek you out. This is becoming more and more common with publishers as they are seeing not only some great writers but that many of them already have large amounts of content on their blogs ready to be pulled together into a book! Self-publication is also a viable option if you’ve built up an audience via blogging.
- Ree Drummond, also known as The Pioneer Woman, started her blog sharing stories about life on a ranch and her love for cooking. Her blog’s success led to her securing a book deal. She has since written several cookbooks, including “The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl,” which became a New York Times bestseller.
- Jenny Lawson, known as The Bloggess, gained popularity through her blog where she shares personal stories with humor and candor. She received a book deal and published her memoir “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir,” which became a bestseller and launched her career as an author.
- Brandon Stanton is the photographer and writer behind the blog Humans of New York (HONY). He started the blog as a way to capture the stories of people he encountered on the streets of New York City. His blog gained widespread recognition, leading to a book deal. He has published several books featuring photographs and stories of the individuals he has encountered, including “Humans of New York” and “Humans of New York: Stories.”
These examples showcase how bloggers who have established a strong online presence and gained a loyal following through their blogs have been able to secure book deals and transition into successful authors. Their unique voices and storytelling abilities captured the attention of publishers and allowed them to share their experiences and perspectives through printed works.
Offline Writing Gigs
Bloggers who demonstrate expertise, thought leadership, and a unique perspective through their blogs can also attract the attention of news outlets, leading to employment as full-time writers and contributors.
- Ezra Klein began his blogging career on The American Prospect website, where he wrote about politics and policy. His insightful analysis and writing caught the attention of The Washington Post, and he was eventually hired as a full-time blogger and columnist for the publication.
- Megan McArdle began her blogging career with her blog “Asymmetrical Information,” where she covered a wide range of topics including economics, politics, and public policy. She was hired by The Atlantic as a full-time blogger and columnist, where she continued to write on similar subjects.
- Martin Lewis began his career as a journalist, then launched the personal finance blog MoneySavingExpert.com, gained a significant following, and was then hired back as a full-time financial journalist and expert by a major news publication.
Online Writing Gigs
Similarly, some bloggers land jobs writing for other niche websites as a result of being discovered from their blogs, to contribute their knowledge, insights, and engaging content to the platform.
- Joanna Hawley, the creator of the blog Jojotastic, which focuses on home decor, lifestyle, and travel was hired by Apartment Therapy, a popular home decor and design website, as a regular contributor and writer.
- David Lebovitz a food blogger and author known was hired by the food and cooking website, Food52, as a regular contributor, where he shares his expertise and delicious recipes.
- Ana White’s self-named blog focuses on do-it-yourself furniture and woodworking plans. Her expertise in woodworking and her ability to provide accessible DIY tutorials led to her being hired by the website BuildSomething, where she writes and shares woodworking projects exclusively for the platform.
One of the benefits of blogging about a niche topic that interests you is that you will begin to connect with others who have similar interests and expertise. As you interact with them it’s amazing to see the opportunities for working together that arise.
- Joy Cho is the founder of the lifestyle blog Oh Joy!, known for its vibrant and creative content. Through her blog, she connected with her now business partner, Angi Welsch, who also had a blog focusing on children’s fashion. They joined forces and established Oh Joy! Studio, a design and branding agency that offers creative services, licensing partnerships, and product collaborations.
- Jess Constable, the founder of the blog Makeunder My Life, and Erin Loechner, the creator of the blog Design for Mankind, met through their respective blogs and realized they shared similar values and goals. They collaborated and co-founded The CAMP, a creative agency that offers branding and design services, as well as workshops and educational resources.
- David Schneider, a blogger and software tester, connected with Rosie Sherry through their shared interest in software testing and quality assurance. They co-founded the Ministry of Testing, a community-driven platform that provides resources, training, events, and conferences for software testers worldwide.
These examples showcase how bloggers who meet through blogging can form meaningful partnerships and go on to create successful businesses together, leveraging their complementary skills, shared interests, and established online presence to pursue ventures beyond their individual blogs.
Once again this is dependent upon the topic you’re writing about but some lucky bloggers end up with all kinds of opportunities to speak at conferences, workshops and seminars on their topic of choice. Sometimes they are freebies, other times the conference will cover costs and on other occasions there are speakers fees. You can check out my “Speaking” page for some ideas. Other bloggers who make money speaking include:
- Pat Flynn – the founder of the blog Smart Passive Income, where he shares his experiences and insights on online business, passive income, and entrepreneurship. His expertise and success in these areas led to him being invited to speak at various conferences and events related to online business and marketing. He has become a sought-after speaker (he’s spoken at a few ProBlogger Events) and has delivered keynote speeches at renowned industry conferences, earning a fee for his speaking engagements.
- Rand Fishkin is the co-founder of the blog Moz, which focuses on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and online marketing. Through his blog and expertise in the field, he became a recognized authority in SEO. He has been invited to speak at numerous conferences and events worldwide (including ProBlogger Event), where he shares his knowledge and insights on SEO and digital marketing. His speaking engagements have contributed to his reputation and he often commands a fee for his presentations.
- Marie Forleo – Marie Forleo is a life coach, author, and founder of the blog and online platform MarieTV. Through her blog and online presence, she has built a large following and established herself as a thought leader in personal development, business, and entrepreneurship. Forleo has been invited to speak at major conferences and events, where she delivers inspirational and empowering talks with a significant fee for her appearances.
What does this mean for your blog?
If you’re planning to use some of these indirect ways of making money because of your blog it’s important that you think seriously about building your own profile and credibility as a blogger. Think about the types of people that you respect and look to as experts an consider what they offer in their fields.
These people are generally original thinkers that not only report what others are doing, but who provide answers and vision for their industry. They are also often well networked and have the ability to draw others along with them.
Here’s where I’d start:
- provide useful content that shows an understanding of your niche.
- network within your niche. Work on being connected with other key players (big and small).
- use your blog not only to report and rehash news but to also show initiative in proposing solutions. Be proactive in your blogging and lead the conversation rather than just react to it.
There’s probably endless indirect methods to leverage your blog to make money. What are some other ways you’ve used or seen?