Anjali’s journey to success
Blogging as An Income Generator is the first guest blog you’ll see published on FreeAt50. I am excited to share Anjali’s story with you, please read on!
Hi, I’m Anjali and I run the blog This Splendid Shambles. I’m a New Zealander with a love of travel, books, creative projects and sharing all the tips and tricks I’ve learnt in over 10 years of blogging. When I’m not creating content or connecting with people on Instagram, you can find me on the couch with a cup of tea and a good book.
When I was 17, my friend suggested I check out this thing called a ‘blog’. He knew I loved writing and photography, and this seemed to cover both grounds. I looked into it, set up a free Blogger account, and the rest, as they say is history.
Now I run the website This Splendid Shambles, a lifestyle blog dedicated to book reviews, travel posts, creative projects and blogging tips. It’s changed a bit over the years, and while this iteration of the blog hasn’t been around forever, it was in 2016 that I decided to start monetising my blog and make a real go of it.
While it has had it’s highs and lows, there are so many things that I have learnt along the way, all of which I have grown from.
3 things I’ve learnt from moving into blogging as an income generator
1 Just Start
It was because of one single conversation that I had with a friend at age 17 that I am now where I am today. This Splendid Shambles has given me a plethora of opportunities, connections and friendships with others, and a chance to live the life I want to live. There’s no way I would be where I am today if I didn’t just start.
As humans, we overthink things, or we wait until the opportune moment, or when we’ll ‘be ready’. It’s okay if it’s not perfect in the beginning, it’s okay if it’s a little clumsy or chaotic. But if you don’t start then you’ll never be able to look back and see how far you’ve come.
If you’re thinking about moving into blogging as a career, the only thing that is stopping you is you. There are so many opportunities out there for bloggers, and while it’s hard work, you can make it happen.
2 Solve a problem
The most successful blogs are often ones that solve a problem. There are exceptions to this rule (lifestyle blogs, for example, are used to promote, share, encourage and inspire others in their lifestyles, their homes, their everyday lives), but on the whole if you can solve someone’s problem then you’re going to become the go-to person in your field when they need tips, advice or help.
A good way to figure out what you want to blog about is finding what you’re good at and what you have knowledge or expertise about, and what people’s problems are in that area. For example, one of the things I blog about is how to start a blog. It can be overwhelming and daunting when you start your first blog (the problem) but I know how to do it as I’ve been doing it for over a decade (what I’m good at) … so I have merged the two together and provide resources, training and guides to help walk people through it.
Once you can identify a problem and how you can help people, you work through your blog on solutions to those problems.
3 Make connections
Networking and engaging with the community and the niche that you are in means you’re getting your voice and your services out there into the world. Use social media to engage with fellow entrepreneurs and bloggers, join Facebook Groups and take part in the posts and community, share your blog posts with your audience in multiple different ways so people start to recognise who you are and what you’re about.
Making connections with people online is just the same as if you were in a corporate 9-5 and you went to networking functions to meet people. The only difference is you can do it from the comfort of your pyjamas and your sofa.
How to turn your blog into an income stream
When I started blogging, it wasn’t as big as it is today. People were often confused when I told them I had a blog and wondered why I would do such a thing. But these days, it’s not as rare, and you probably know a handful of people in your lives who already have blogs.
Whether they monetise them or not is another question.
I didn’t start to monetise my blog until 2016 when I had a big re-brand, and to be honest, starting out it wasn’t actually my blog that was making the money, it was the connections that I made through my blog (see point number three above) that got me paid gigs (one that was meant to last just a month ended up lasting three years!).
But there are a vast array of ways that you can earn money through and on your blog.
- Affiliate marketing: Adding links to your blog that take users to products on other websites. If they make a purchase using that link, you get a commission.
- Paid product posts: When a company will give you a product and X amount of dollars to write a post about it and share it on social media.
- Paid guest or contributor posts: Some people will pay you to write guest posts on your blog. You can veto anything and make adjustments so it suits your blog.
- Sell your own products: Create guides, templates, workbooks, planners – whatever your niche is, there is bound to be something that you can create that will make other people’s lives that much easier. Create them, and set up a system that allows you to sell them.
- Offer services: Much like creating products, if you’ve got something you can teach someone else (starting a blog, totally rocking it on Pinterest, working with finances etc), then offering a service where you actually provide solutions to your clients’ problems and help them make changes is another great way to earn money while blogging.
Whether you’re just starting out in your blogging journey or you’ve been at it for a while and want to take the step towards creating an income stream through blogging, the best thing you can do is just start. Read up on other people’s stories, know that it doesn’t have to be perfect at the beginning, plan out what you want to write about and how you’re going to make money from it, and give it a trial and error period to test things out.
Moving into blogging as an income stream is a big step, but it’s so worth it when you put in the effort and energy.
Blog: This Splendid Shambles
Facebook: Bold Beginner Bloggers