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There’s not a day that seems to go by without someone asking me the question: “How do you make money?”  Um, excuse me?  “How do you make money?”  Is what I used to feel like responding!  But in recent months it’s become clear that the people asking me this are never trying to be rude, they’re genuinely interested and curious.  Blogging is something even I wasn’t very familiar with until a few years ago, so I completely understand that many people are still trying to figure out what exactly it is, how it could possibly be profitable, and why on earth someone with a law degree would stick with blogging instead of pursuing an office job.  So here it is… My comprehensive answer to the question of how bloggers (or at least this one) make money.

1.  Advertising.  It’s one of the first things you see when you open TCLB in your internet browser, and while some days I resent this fact, the truth is that it gets me paid and allows me to continue pursuing the creative things I love to do.  My homepage ads are generated by a publishing company I work with, and are typically catered to the person looking at them.  The more traffic the site gets, the more income is generated.

2.  Affiliate Links.  This is something I was definitely not aware of until I was deep in the throws of blogging myself.  Affiliate links are essentially the internet’s answer to the idea of personal shoppers.  If you go to a department store and a personal shopper helps you, they get a commission.  If you’re reading this blog, and you buy a product I’ve recommended I get a commission just as a personal shopper would.  This is all tracked with affiliate links on the back end, never affects the price you pay for anything, and no, I can’t see who you are or what you specifically are purchasing, but I do get a commission (usually in the neighborhood of 10-20%) of purchases made from virtually any retailer through the blog through.  Typically I used affiliate links to generate income in “outfit posts” such as this one.  In fact, that’s the main reason said “outfit posts” exist.

3.  Sponsored Posts.  While I love working with my publishing network and affiliate link program, sometimes I work directly with brands to generate content and revenue.  It’s always on my terms (ie. I won’t work with a brand/company/product that I don’t believe in and actually wear/use) and it’s always disclosed.  The most recent example of this is my Valentine’s Day post with local company, Kalla, earlier this week.  In these cases I’m under contract with and paid directly by the company, so it’s one of the many instances where having a law degree comes in handy and I get excited to use it!

4.  Sponsored Social Media Posts.  Very similar to the sponsored posts discussed above, except sometimes companies are interested in specifically purchasing exposure on social media.  An example would be a facebook post like this one from Ford.

5.  Events.  One of the most fun ways (when I’m not 8 months pregnant) I make money is by hosting events around town.  They’re pretty much negotiated on a case by case basis, sometimes working on an event is all about being involved with the promotion and getting people to the event, and sometimes it’s more about emceeing and hosting during the actual event.  Either way, it’s no secret that I love a good party!

6.  Interior Design.  I don’t often explicitly talk about it on the blog, but over the past year I’ve taken on at least a dozen interior design clients.  Initial interest probably came from posts such as my old apartment (you can see the before and after here) and this living room makeover, but before I knew it I had people consistently calling and emailing asking to hire me.  It’s turned into a great side business, and a nice compliment to the blog!  I don’t really advertise it because I’ve been able to keep a steady stream of clients via referrals and word of mouth.  Recently I’ve shared some design projects I’ve completed in my own home (such as our guest room, and kitchen) but look forward to showing you some of the completed projects from my clients’ homes (with their permission- of course!) in the coming months.

[Photos By Hallie Duesenberg]

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5 Responses to All Black Everything + Answering My Least Favorite Question

  1. Melissa S says:

    Great post! I never knew any of this as I’m not a blogger myself but am always wanting to support those of you who do it. :) You look great!

  2. Alysha says:

    I, personally, would love to see your clients’ houses that you’ve designed. I think that’s really inspiring that you’ve developed your blogging business into another side business. I just recently hired an interior designer to redo our breakfast room. I would love to know how you tackle a room from start to finish. Ive been in the process of decorating my living room and the hardest part was learning where to start and what to buy first. I would love to hear your tips. Love your blog!

  3. thekittchen says:

    Love this post. People ask me how I make money from blogging all time. When I self published a book people would bluntly ask how much money I made. At first I thought it was rude, but then I realized they are just genuinely curious.

  4. Deanna says:

    I knew a lot of this but would love to find how I can collaborate,host events,etc on a local level-I’m in Chicago too-thanks for sharing!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I really learned a lot reading your post. This information will allow me to support some of my favorite bloggers. And, you are glowing. Wishing you all the happiness in the world with your new baby.

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