Last week I started this short little series on blog building and shared with you that talking about blog building really makes me nervous (part 1 is here). As a matter-of-fact I almost backed out of writing this post.
Blogging is big business in this world. But as Christians, we must do it differently than the world does it. Even radically different. Everything we do is for the glory of God. It shouldn't be to promote self or for greedy gain. Therefore, we must apply Biblical principles to the way we blog, even if we are hoping to earn money from it eventually.
Ways a Christian Blog Will be Different
- First, whether we are blogging for income or not, our blogs and social media should ultimately be about Christ. That doesn't mean that we can't ever post anything personal, but if your blog or Facebook page is full of nothing but photos of yourself or all about you, you, you...then you are probably posting to bring yourself glory. He must increase, we must decrease. I try to remember that not too long ago (ten years or less?) talking about yourself was considered rude. So ask yourself, "If I took everything off my _______(blog, Facebook page, etc.) that was only about me, what would be left?"
- Secondly, the time we spend on it may be different. This could very well mean our blogs grow slow or not at all. I mentioned in part 1 that the more you post, the more traffic you have. But we have a task to fulfill the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20). For most of us, we are sharing the gospel and making disciples in our homes. That is our priority. So if we are not being obedient to that command, even if our blogs are God-glorifying, God has not given us the time to participate in the blogosphere yet. There are other ways to earn income besides blogging, that take less time. (Read: A Journey Home)
- Lastly, we can't measure our worth and the worth of our blog, by numbers. The reason is due to #1 and #2. And we are being obedient to the Lord and our posts are God-honoring, they may not be that popular except to a minority. I like this quote by Os Guinness:
"I live before the audience of One;
before others I have nothing to gain,
nothing to lose,
nothing to prove."
We can bring glory to God by what is said on a blog. But if we use the world's methods, then we need to guard ourselves against copying the way the world uses them. There are entrapments involved and we must be discerning. This goes for all social media, not just blogging.
Our goal should be to keep the Internet, and blogging, as a tool that brings glory to God.
- Helping our husbands and contributing to the family economy while not leaving home, is certainly doing that.
- Or simply writing in a way that brings God and His Word honor.
- Or encouraging fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord.
- And expressing thankfulness and praise for our families, or helping others learn more about Him can all be ways to glorify God in blogging.
But the caution I give here is not to become addicted, whether it be to the "name" you have built for yourself, the income you may be earning or just the overall fun of it. (Read: Ten Reasons a Christian Woman Might Want to Blog)
Okay, finally. Enough warnings. Here is a little information on ways you can earn income by blogging.
1.) Free Stuff
Once I had been blogging about a year, I started asking people for free stuff. If I saw a book I wanted for my kids I emailed the company and asked to get it for free. They usually said no or didn't even bother to respond. Ha! A few said yes. The following year more of them said yes. Now after three years, I can usually count on them saying yes to items less than $50. It’s pretty cool to see something online you need and know that because of your blog, you might just be able to get it for free.
Right now, even if your blog is microscopic in size, most ebook authors are probably willing to give you a free copy of their book in exchange for a review. Awesome, huh?
2.) Ad Space
Many bloggers sell ad space and I have begun to as well. Depending on the size of the blog some companies will pay to have their graphic in your sidebar. Usually they want you to review their product and/or host a giveaway, too.
I have been on both sides of this coin, both as the one purchasing ad space and the one selling it. When I look for a blog to advertise my Lilla Rose business or my ebook on, I look at previous reviews the blogger has done. Was there a good response? Did she do a thorough review and offer her honest opinion or did she just show a picture and throw out a link to the website? Some bloggers do very well at selling ad space and it is a combination of: experience doing exceptional reviews, good blog design and good amount of traffic to the site.
3.) Sell Your Own Stuff
Have a book you want to sell? An etsy shop you want to promote? Some homeschool pintables you made for your kids that you think others would enjoy? An eBay auction or homeschool classified page you want to direct people to? Do it! The blog is your property so do what you want. I have also advertised our used books and movies, our family vehicle and our cat several times (but no one wants him).
4.) Write an eBook
Once you have some people reading (and it can be as few or as many as you like), self-publish something you know would bless them, and sell it. Self-publishing means you can publish for cheap, sell it for cheap and still make a profit. Cheap is what we all want, right? Again, it’s a win-win for us all.
I entered into the ebook world last summer after three years of blogging. It was a hairy few weeks, but yes, it was profitable and more experienced friends tell me that it will continue to provide a modest monthly income.
5.) Multi-Level Marketing
You can immediately begin to advertise and hold giveaways on your own blog, for anything you want to sell. However, multi-level marketing is perfect for bloggers. I LOVE selling Lilla Rose and personally, this is where the majority of income from my blogging, comes from. People click on those pretty ads in the sidebar, they go to my Lilla Rose store…and they buy. Then I get a check. It’s pretty easy. No…it’s very easy. I spend very little time on Lilla Rose.
These are only a few possibilities of how to earn income by blogging. There are many more. Here are a few links to others who know way more about blogging for income, than I do:
Blogging with Amy
How to Grow Your Blog by Jacinda at Growing Home ($4.99)
Home-Paid Blogger by Kelly Crawford (Free two-week trial)
June's Blog Consulting
How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul
A Christian Mom's Guide to Blogging series at Raising Arrows
Christian Mommy Blogger
Are there other tips you would add to this list? :)