The Secret: How to Make Money Blogging (Without EVER Writing)

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How to Make Money Blogging

Ever since I moved to Seoul, South Korea, I have had a number of people ask me how to make money blogging.  Some of these people were talented writers without URL’s, some were experts in the field of Korean beauty.  Most of these people had a variety of things in common: they were expats in Korea, enjoyed getting their passports stamped (please don’t confuse that with actually traveling), and had absolutely no follow through.  Most of the people who ask me how to make money blogging have no desire to buy a domain, spend their own money on cultural experiences, dining out at restaurants, paying for tickets to see shows, or buying products to test and review.

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How I Started to Make Money Blogging

Honestly?  In the beginning – I didn’t.  I also wondered how to make money blogging, however it wasn’t my priority when building my websites (I run The Toronto Seoulcialite and it’s devilish little sister That Girl Cartier).  I left a job as the director of sales and marketing for a group of companies in Toronto, and didn’t want to be completely irrelevant in my industry when I came back.  I pretty much was anyway, but that’s a different story.  The goal was never to become some famous travel blogger.  Korea was interesting for me.  I loved going to try out new restaurants, visit temples, or find new fashion trends.  In building my website, I just wanted to share my experiences and learn more about the content production side (writing, photography, editing, SEO, and website-building) of online media.  That’s not for everyone!  A lot of people truly desire to make money blogging without ever really writing.

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Photographer: Alexandre Vanier

If Writing Isn’t for You…

  1.  Insta-blogging:  Become an Instagram Blogger.  This is a great way to share a snapshot of something you like and add a very short review of why you like it and are encouraging people to visit a place or buy a product.  You won’t have PR gifts sent to you straight out of the gate unless you have some proof of conversions.  If you haven’t established trust with your audience by buying, loving, and sharing only the best, then why would a company want to send you anything?  Consider what might make you spend your money as a consumer, then develop your brand in that direction.
  2. Become a YouTuber!  I’ve seen plenty of people make boatloads of videos sitting in their plush, girly bed with pretty crappy sound quality.  I can’t imagine they make much (or any) money doing that form of blogging (nay, vlogging), but most people who ask me how to make money blogging are really on the hunt for fame anyway, so might as well go in that direction and see what you can make of it if you’re not great at filming/ editing.
  3. Get back on Twitter.  I know a lot of people who have partnerships with companies based on Twitter and Twitter alone.  My ex company paid an organization a boat-load of money thinking it was hosting a twitter party and paying the influencers involved about $1,000 for the night.  I have first-hand knowledge (my friend was on the panel) that they all got $100.  Where’d the rest of that $20,000 go?  I guess you could rep Twitter personalities if you really couldn’t even jot down 140 characters.  I personally don’t really get much use out of it these days, but it’s a great way to find out about contests (and see what T-Rump is up to).
  4. Hit up Pinterest.  There’s nothing lazier than sitting and clicking on things that you like, but the same ex company was hired to host a party for Pinterest influencers, so you really never know in what a business will find value.  Look at pictures.  Add them to the right board.  Follow other people.  Add your own inspirational bit.  I’m sure there’s more to being a Pinterest influencer, but it’s certainly never helped me make money blogging.
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Photographer: Wilfred Iven

The Next Great…Something

I don’t really get Snapchat beyond amazing filters and sending temporary nudie pics.  Vine has gone the way of the dinosaur from what I’ve been told.  I think we’re all just waiting for the next great social medium to arrive.  Until it does, I’m sorry (but not sorry) to tell all you “get rich quick” kiddos that blogging takes time, energy, and work.  Blogging takes start up investments.  Invest in yourself, your brand, your website.  Include affiliate links if you’re promoting a product out of pocket.  Add some banner ads (although they haven’t been very profitable for me when I’ve had them).  Gather amazing experiences and document them as best you can even if you’re not ready to publish.  I have so many posts from my recent time in Toronto waiting to be written, but I’m just not in the right head space right now.  I’m not making any money blogging right now because I’m not producing enough new content.

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Content is key.

If you can produce content which acts as an advertorial and is published on your website, you’ll make money blogging.  Accepting guest posts (once you’ve got enough content for readers and companies to find you) is also the way to a quick buck.  Make no mistake – even if you accept a guest post you should still be responsible for editing and ensuring it fits with the theme of your blog.  Don’t just accept anything to make a dolla, honey boo boo, child.  I’m glad to tell you that if you want to make money blogging you have to put in an effort.  You have to create a community which communicates not only with one another, but with you.  Honesty is the best policy and anyone looking to make a quick buck is transparent and unpalatable.  This takes work, and the reward does not always outweigh the risk or investment.  Share your experiences to help one another, not just for the free ‘ish.

Mic drop.


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