Welcome to my Money Making Blogger interview series where I interview bloggers who are making money from their blogs!
Scroll down if you've been here before, or if it's your first time then read this intro first to understand why I'm doing this interview series.
I've been a full time blogger officially since May 2017. For one year before this I made a part time wage from my blog and worked a part time job. I started blogging in April 2013 and never even realised I could make a real living from my blog and thought it was just a hobby. So for the first three years I didn't make any money from my blog.
Before properly monetizing my blog I did have a few opportunities land in my inbox which I politely declined as I wasn't really sure what they were. Then I stumbled upon some blogger income reports and realised there was some real money to be made. I’ve never looked back and I started collaborating with brands and putting a value on my time and worth, instead of accepting unpaid collaborations. I now make a full time living from my blog and I want you to realise you can do this too, if you want to.
I get to write every day and make money by doing what I love. It’s amazing and still amazes me each day, even two years into making money from my website. It’s not without a lot of hard work though, so don’t be fooled into thinking you simply set up a website and voila, income starts rolling in. If only! I work 30-40 hours per week currently and my blog is my life!
In this series I am going to interview other bloggers who also make money from their blogs to hopefully inspire people to start a blog if they wish or to make that leap to monetizing content. I also find it so interesting to learn what other bloggers are up to and even us full time bloggers can learn from each other and inspire one another.
Hello, please introduce yourself and tell us all about your money making blog.
Hi, I'm Andy and I enjoy making and mending in a shed at the bottom of the garden. I started blogging at www.workshopshed.com just to keep notes on my projects and after a while the blog took on a life of its own. I now include interviews, other people's projects and even news for makers, tinkers and inventors.
How long have you been blogging for and when did you begin to monetize?
Workshopshed blog is 10 years old this year. I've always had some kind of advert running on the site to help pay for costs but this has always been a trickle. It was not till 2012 that I had my first sponsored post.
What's your monthly blog income like? (Pocket money, part time, full time or the figure)
The blog income pays for the hosting and domains. There's some left over for new tools and things like photos and fonts for the blogs and projects. It's still in the pocket money range but it means that I can take on some more exciting projects without having to worry about paying the bills for the blog.
How exactly do you make money from your blog and tell us more about your favourite method?
The main money comes from writing for magazines about projects made in the Workshopshed. This is a parallel activity to the blogging but often has some useful spinoffs for blog posts. The next is sponsored guest posts. Most of these are written by the guest but I have been known to ghost write for those who are not so experienced. Some sponsors also go for an interview approach which I think is a good way to get the public seeing the people behind the business. I've also had one sponsor who allowed me to go totally free range on their topic of future transport. I had great fun with that one. I also do affiliate links to relevant books as well as my own book. This does not bring in much money but it is a steady trickle. I have tried various advertising tools but never had much luck with those.
Were there any steps you took in the early days to prep your blog for making money?
My main thing was getting a site review done by a more experience blogger. They gave advise on layout, content and navigation. This was to give a better overall experience for the readers which I think is the key thing for attracting sponsors and advertisers.
Has it been an easy process to make money from your blog? Why?
Blogging is not an easy way to make money. But it can be quite flexible, for example I'll often answer emails and review content on my daily commute across London on the underground. I typically don't have to chase sponsors, they come to me but I have signed up to a few sites that look for bloggers to match their sponsors.
How many hours per week do you work on your blog? Has this changed over time?
Just blogging is around 3 hours a week, the projects require a lot more time. I do have times when it is busier, for example coming up to the holidays I like to schedule several posts ahead. The effort has stayed fairly constant with the exception of a few years back when I ported from Blogger to WordPress and did a big redesign/rebuild myself.
What are your aims for your blog in the future?
I did some mini-series on other Makers the other year and would like repeat that. I have done the research, I just need to do the writing. I'd also like to expand into video but there is a bit of preparation such as tidying the workshop and getting a suitable camera. I've also another book in the works.
If someone is totally new to blogging, what should they concentrate on most to make money?
I think quality content is the best approach for any new blogger. And one way to get better at blogging is to blog often.
What are the drawbacks to running a money making blog?
The main drawback is having to deal with dodgy sponsorship enquiries. "I'd like the moon on a stick in return for a packet of sweets and a plastic toy"
What inspires you to blog and what is the best thing about blogging?
My inspiration comes from many places but mostly the projects I've created. Often I'll see a piece of sculpture in a building or on the road and that will inspire me to look up the artist or technique and write about it. The best thing is when people "get it". I'd written a post about how to deal with failure and my own sister passed that on to one of her junior colleagues who was having a hard time. It's a great feeling that your blog post might have helped someone else.
Would you still blog even if you couldn’t make money doing it and why?
Definitely. For me the money is just a means to an end. It allows me to do more interesting and exiting projects. I do like dealing with some of the sponsors as often they have the same interests as myself such as metal working or DIY.
Do you think blogging is here to stay and why?
As mentioned, I do hope to expand out to video but that's not a replacement for the blog but an addition. I think that many people find written text a better way to digest information compared to audio, pictures or video. For example you could read a blog on the bus and not have to worry about a shaky connection or noise from your fellow passengers. Also reading can be done at your pace, not the pace determined by the presenter. So you can take as long or short over reading a blog as you want which gives it a massive advantage over other media types.
Thank you so much for taking part in my Money Making Blogger interview series and best of luck with your blog!
Helpful articles if you want to monetise your blog:
Make money from your blog with Awin affiliate marketing
Make money from your blog without Google ads
4 ways to find paid blog opportunities
How I save hours every week scheduling tweets with Social Oomph
How to improve your domain authority (DA)
The 5 ways I made £30000 money from home in 2017/2018
5 tried and tested ways to make money as a UK stay at home mum
Do you make money from your blog? Would you like to take part? Click here for the interview questions.