Have you ever wondered about craft blogging and how we actually make money? I’m sharing everything about starting a craft blog and this creative line of work!
Blogging…something everyone has heard of but not many people actually know what goes into being a blogger and how it can be a full-time job.
I get questions all of the time about how I started craft blogging, how long it takes to write blogs, how I have time to post on social media all the time, and of course how I make money.
Actually, most people are truly shocked that bloggers make money and that some bloggers make A. LOT. OF. MONEY!
Most people start blogs about something they are passionate about and not necessarily as a business. I definitely fit into this category.
You can read all about my journey here, but to sum it up I started blogging because I wanted to showcase and advertise a handmade Cricut craft business. I loved making personalized favors and gifts and after I decided to leave my job as an Optometrist I wanted to make a little extra money so I thought I would sell stuff locally.
So in the spring of 2016, I researched all about how to start a blog, and without being tech savvy in the least, I set it up and started randomly posting about stuff. To be honest, it was a hot mess! I was all over the place as are most first time bloggers.
In the first six months, I quickly fell in love with blogging and out of love with selling items to people! We all have different strengths and being an introvert, I much preferred working on my own timeline and doing things that I wanted.
I have learned a ton over the past almost 5 years so I thought I’d share a little bit about having craft blogs that make money. There are a ton of blogs specifically about how to start blogs with a step by step guide so I’m not going to share all that technical stuff.
To Niche or Not To Niche… The Million Dollar Question!
With over 600 million blogs out there, you can imagine that they are about a lot of different things. The first thing when you are starting a blog is to figure out what you want to blog about!
If you want a blog to turn into a business, then I would suggest finding something you love to do since you will hopefully be writing about it for years to come! I have a science and health industry background, but that didn’t stop me from blogging about crafts and DIY (do it yourself) stuff.
I started doing home repairs, DIY projects, and remodels on my own and I figured if I could do it then other middle aged women could to and I wanted to show them how! So it was easy for me to decide on a crafty/DIY niche.
Starting to use some technical terms… so what is a niche? A niche is a small specialized section that you are trying to become an expert in. In terms of broad niches, think travel, food, money, parenting, religion, crafting, fitness, etc.
Then if you should narrow down or “niche down” even further is a hot debate among the so called experts. In terms of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or if people will be able to find you if they do a google search, some experts will say you will be ranked higher by Google if you are writing all about a specific topic.
The Google Gods are very important in the blogging world… as are the Pinterest Gods, Instagram Gods, and Facebook Gods. Unfortunately, we are all at the mercy of algorithm changes and we depend on all of these places to drive traffic to our sites.
Some people can do very well with a lifestyle blog – a blog that covers multiple niches, including food, crafts, travel, etc. Others find it easier to focus mostly on one very specific niche like Cricut crafts, DIY home projects, embroidery, paper crafts, keto recipes, desserts, foreign travel, retirement investing, hyper-local events/travel, etc.
I think it really comes down to what you want to write about. This definitely can change as your blog grows and you realize what your readers want to learn from you.
When I first started I posted some more personal parenting and travel posts, but quickly realized personal information didn’t really fit into what I was molding my business into.
Once you decide what you want to write about, you get to do the stressful (or maybe fun for you!) job of picking a domain name. You’ll have to do some research to make sure the url or brand name you want is not taken or similar to someone else’s.
Using sites like instantdomainsearch.com is a great way to find out which domain names are open for a new blog.
What to Concentrate on When You First Start Blogging
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links from Sticky Blogging, RankIQ, NewBlogHosting, and Amazon.com. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my links (purple text). As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
The biggest advice I would give anyone wanting to start a craft blog is to learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) before you start writing. I had no idea what it was when I started and my posts were all over the place.
Knowing about SEO and putting all the best practices into place from the beginning will help you grow faster. It still will take time, but with all the people that search Google, having one of our posts up in the search results is huge.
A few classes I took that really helped me understand SEO were: (affiliate links)
- Sticky SEO Course – This course really helped me boost my SEO game! I used to get maybe 10% of my traffic from google and now I get about 50%!
- I’ve taken a few of Kelly’s courses and really like how easy they are to understand and follow. She also offers a free class about master blogging that you can find here.
- Theory of Content Podcast – this is a great free podcast and a great place to listen to all about SEO
- RankIQ – I just recently started using this SEO tool and find it to be of immense helping when writing and updating blog posts.
Also doing video from the beginning is a great idea! Pretty much every platform wants video and advertisers will pay more for ads in videos.
How Do Craft Blogs Make Money?
This is probably the most common question I get from friends and family who don’t really understand blogging as a business. And before I started a blog, I honestly had no idea either!
I did survey some other craft bloggers about their income and I have the results below!
The one major drawback of blogging is it takes time to make money. Sometimes a lot of time… like years! A good craft blog is not a get rich quick scheme or something that everyone can be successful at. I will tell you it took over a year and a half before I started making any money with my site.
It takes patience and the willingness to learn new things and a lot of hard work. From the outside, bloggers can seem like they have a lot of time or don’t have to work much, but that is very far from the truth.
A huge advantage of blogging as a business is that you are your own boss and can work when you want. I can take the time to meet friends for coffee and go to all my kids’ events and drive them everywhere because I can work at night or on the weekends if I need to. Or for some people blogging is a side hustle and the best way to make just a little extra money so they might spend less time on it.
I can only speak to my own experience and my own business. I would say on average I work 30-40 hours per week and maybe even up to 50 hours during high traffic season. But then there are weeks when life happens and I can only work maybe an hour or day on my own blog and I am ok with that.
Once your blog is up and running, you start earning passive income or income on work you’ve already put in. I try not to work much on the weekends but those are my highest traffic days so I make more money on those days!
So let’s talk about the typical ways craft blogs make money:
- Ad revenue – I know ads can be annoying but that is how most of us make money. Just like advertisers are willing to pay a lot of money for ads on TV, they are willing to pay for people seeing ads when they are searching the internet.
- I’d rather give my readers free content and files and have advertisers pay me for you being on my site than charging you for a file. But Ad revenue is pretty much related to traffic or how many people are looking at your posts.
- Generally speaking, the more time on your site the more ads are being seen and the more you get paid. The two biggest ad companies to join are Mediavine and AdThrive. I have been with Mediavine for 4 years and LOVE THEM! They do all the work and are so helpful. But sometimes it can take years to build up to the traffic levels needed to apply to these agencies. Mediavine requites 50K sessions/month and I believe AdThrive is 100k pageviews/month.
- I started out running Google adsense ads on my site since they are easier to join but it took me probably a year before I could reach the $100 payment threshold!
2. Affiliate Sales – affiliate sales are money generated off someone referring you to a site to buy something. All of the hyperlinks found in blog posts will usually send you either to another post on that page or to a product that the blogger is recommending and then they earn a small commission on it. (As in this post! I only recommend products and courses that I have taken and love!)
There are a lot of different affiliate programs that bloggers can be a part of and they each pay a different percent for referrals. Amazon affiliates is probably the most known but it pays the least. However, if you have a lot of traffic on your site then all those click overs and people buying anything off Amazon can add up.
- Other good craft affiliates: Sharesale has a great affiliate program with a lot of companies including Cricut.com, DollarTree, craft subscription services, font sites and thousands more. Rakuten, Awin, Savings.com all have different companies to look at. If there is a product I like, I will look on their website and down at the bottom there is usually a link for Affiliates with all the information to join.
3. Selling digital products, online courses, books, etc on your own website or on Etsy or Shopify stores. If you know how to use software to create files or printables, then selling those files might be a great source of extra income.
4. Sponsored Work – some bloggers make a decent amount of money working with companies that will pay them to make a post or video using their product. If you’ve followed me a while, you know I love my Cricut and they were really the only company I wanted to work with when I started. It took about two years before they reached out to join their influencer team and I was ecstatic!
Finding companies to do work with isn’t always easy and some influencers are better at it than others. Most of the time they reach out to companies and pitch them an idea. Or there are sites like Clever.com and Activate that you can join that connects brands with influencers. Most of the time you need a decent following on social media channels before brands will work with you.
Income Reports for DIY/Craft Bloggers
Ok, let’s get to the nitty gritty… the money!
I sent an anonymous 2 question survey to some other DIY bloggers in some of my Facebook groups because I wanted to be able to give you some accurate data when it comes to a realistic income from blogging.
As I said before, some people can make a lot of money and run a very successful blog, but I would say that is the minority and only usually comes after you release products… courses, membership sites, books, etc.
And if you plan on making a good amount of money from your blog, you’ll need a good hosting company for your site that can grow with your traffic. I have been using NewBlogHosting for over 5 years and love them!
This first graph is the average yearly income of craft bloggers. Granted only 41 bloggers answered, but the majority made between 15K-50K. However, there are a good amount making between 50K-100K! And a few making even more!
Then I asked what they made most of their money from, and not surprisingly to me, ads were way on top from the other different ways of income.
The Good and Bad of Social Media
Building social media following takes time and patience. The problem is there are so many platforms, and trying to do them all can be overwhelming. Unless you have enough money to hire virtual assistants then manning all of the platforms can be very time-consuming.
Pinterest is definitely a must for DIY and craft blogging. It’s where I get the majority of my traffic. I would recommend concentrating here first. I schedule all of my Pins using Tailwind and it’s a huge time saver!
Facebook used to be the place where you could get a ton of traffic from but with all the algorithm changes, I found it really hard to grow on there unless you were huge before all the updates. Some bloggers still do great with Facebook. I do have my daughter schedule one post a day using the Facebook scheduler.
Twitter is something some people still use. I never have so I can’t give you any advice there.
TikTok is a new one that is popular with the younger kids. My daughter told me I wasn’t allowed to get on there because I’m too old! LOL! Honestly, I don’t have the time to try and learn a new platform so I’m sticking to what’s working.
YouTube is another place you can try and grow a following. YouTube uses Google Adsense for their ads. You have to get a certain number of subscribers and hours watched to be eligible to start running ads. It’s a good idea to have a diversified income stream so you aren’t dependent on one platform.
Where to Get Shared From
Getting link backs is another way to grow your blog in the eyes of Google. You want reputable people or companies mentioning your blog or post on their site with a link to your site.
The more authority a site has, the more it helps Google see you as an expert in what you are talking about. The big back links can be hard to get!
But it’s not as hard to start off getting backlinks from other bloggers when they are doing roundup posts. I have quite a few roundup posts on my blogs where I mention other blogger’s posts and provide a link to it.
The easiest way to get included in roundups is to join Facebook groups for bloggers looking for posts to feature. Here are a few that I like for crafting and recipe niches:
There are also a lot of great Blogger Facebook groups about different topics. These are great places to ask questions and get advice from other bloggers.
I hope you learned something new about craft blogging and hopefully a few things to think about before you start on this new adventure! I absolutely love my job and am so blessed that I am able to make a full-time income by doing something I love and helping others.
It’s not at all how I envisioned my life to turn out… it’s better!
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Thanks for stopping by and have a creative day!