We kicked off our interview series on how bloggers are making money blogging a couple of weeks ago. Throughout the series we’ll get to hear how different bloggers have monetized their blogs and are creating an income for themselves through products, services and other methods.
They’ll also share actionable tips. Yeah baby.
In today’s interview we chat with Danielle of Fitness Fashionista to hear how she flexed her creative muscles and turned the corner in her blog monetization journey.
Danielle of Fitness Fashionista
I am a mom, veteran and lover of nature. Oh and of course I am a blogger.
How would you describe your blog?
Fitness Fashionista is a fusion between fitness and graphic design. I wanted it to be colourful and inviting because bright colors make people happy which can help to push them to reach their weight loss and fitness goals. It is also a place where others can be inspired by my own personal journey to be more fit and active.
Building a Monetisation Strategy
How do you approach income creation (that is, what’s your overall big picture income strategy) and how did you decide blogging should be part of your strategy?
Blogging didn’t start out as my income strategy.
I started blogging to keep me accountable to my fitness related goals. Then something happened. People began reaching out to me for advice, guidance and support and I realized that it could actually be a business. So I consider my blog as the store front. I house my actual products and services within my blog but the blog is a way for people to get to know me and my products.
How do YOU make an income through your blog(ging)?
I make income through sponsored posts, ads, design services for other bloggers and selling my printables.
What skills, knowledge or attributes do you think have been key to your monetization success to date?
The ability to jump in and pick up new skills has been the key to my monetization success.
When I started blogging I knew nothing about graphic design, web design or product creation. Once I got serious about making this a full time gig I knew I needed more skills than just writing blog posts.
Visual media is popular so I knew learning how to create graphics and visuals were going to be what really brought in the money and traffic.
How did you decide HOW to monetise your blog and what were your reasons for choosing those methods?
I originally monetized like everyone else with Google Adsense because let’s face it, it is the easiest.
Then I started seeing people with all of these sponsored post bringing in money and I thought I should do that because $250-$300 a post isn’t bad but that has began to feel more like a chore and far less genuine so I started brainstorming again.
I created my first printable on December 29th and it went viral I realized that was the direction I needed to go in and I have been making printables to sale since.
Printables are one way you make income. What tips do you have for bloggers wanting to make and sell their own printables?
Many people say they aren’t creative but I believe we are all creatives everyday you create something even if we don’t realize it.
Creating printables can definitely take time but the passive income opportunity is amazing. I would say learn the tools of the trade. If you want to be a professional learn the professional tools.
I learned and am still learning about the Adobe Suite from watching videos on YouTube.
Also look and see what is popular on Pinterest don’t recreate the wheel just put your own spin on it. Your first few printables may not be the best but it’s all about starting and we all have to start somewhere.
You offer an affiliate scheme for your printables on Fitness Fashionista. Can you tell us how you’ve found that? (e.g. setting it up, take up rates, benefits, lessons learned etc?)
The affiliate program is new but I currently have 13 affiliates to help sell my printables.
I realized that I could reach more people if I offered an affiliate program.
My affiliates all have different audiences and one can only reach so many people on their own blog. Being able to reach those different audiences is invaluable to the success and growth of my business. I use SendOwl to manage my printable sales and affiliates.
It was very quick and easy to set up. Literally just a few clicks and then I shared the link so people could sign up.
I actually reached out to the first affiliates personally asking if they would like to join. Unlike other affiliate programs I offer my affiliates 50% of all sales and payment every single month with no minimum payout.
What do you believe are the fundamental components of monetization success?
EG Traffic, subscription, connecting with other bloggers, engagement, branding, connecting with influencers or brands etc?
Traffic is probably one of the most imporant things.
You could have all the products in the world but if no one comes to your site you will have a hard time selling them. Traffic seems to play a big role in getting high paying opps as well. So I think that it is important to get people in the door.
The next thing you will need is a network of other bloggers to help you gain some traction to share your content. Blogging is something that really does take a community effort.
It’s definitely important to grow your network with other bloggers so they can help you share and get your content out there to bring in the traffic.
What are your top tips for bloggers wanting to improve those areas?
First thing make sure you are creating content that is easy to share, work on your graphics bloggers don’t want to share things that don’t look good.
So although I suggest joining lost of blogging facebook groups you have to first create content worth other bloggers sharing.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I think that I would have started creating products much sooner. I definitely could have been making money sooner but I think that all things happen for a reason and everything is working out just the way that it should.
There are lots of bloggers making cents from their blogs who want to make dollars. What actions would you tell them to take TODAY?
Think of your blog as a business, run it like a business, put the same level of dedication into your blog as you would working for someone else.
Once you have the business mindset create a business plan and outline 3 ways that you could potentially make money from your blog.
The best way to find out what your readers are willing to buy is to send them a short survey limit it to roughly five very specific questions. Use that information that you gather to create your first product.
Head over to Fitness Fashionista to see how Danielle manages the printables and affiliate programme she talks about here.
You can also connect with her on social media:
Here are a couple of the printables Danielle mentioned:
Image of woman and laptop by Ed Gregory via Stokpic (Photograph End User Licence) – I’ve gone n modified it.
Image of Danielle borrowed with permission for use in this post. Thanks Danielle!