If you’re on my Grow Your Blog email list, you already know what my income reports are every month. You know that yes, I do earn a full-time income from my blog, but you also know that no, I am not an “elite” blogger earning upwards of $100,000 or more a year. I’m not a six-figure blogger.
But I could’ve been.
You see, the thing is that most of the six-figure bloggers I know make that kind of money because they either sell, or promote via affiliate links products and services geared towards earning money blogging. I mean, look at Michael Hyatt and every other big-name blogger you follow.
Do they promote BlueHost?
The thing is that BlueHost approached me last year, offering to give me $90 per sign up. Per freaking sign up! Holy freaking cow that’s a lot of dang money. I mean, all I’d have to do is is sign up a 1,000 folks and I’d earn $90,000 just from promoting BlueHost.
And that’s the thing, that’s the secret to a lot (certainly not all) of the six-figure bloggers out there. They promote products and services geared towards blogging and earn a very handsome commission. Before you know it they are in the elite arena.
Now, before you go thinking that I hate BlueHost or six-figure bloggers, let me be clear. I don’t. I turned BlueHost’s offer down for two reasons:
- I have never used them before and they have very mixed reviews so I couldn’t trust their quality of service.
- I would end up just chasing the money and forgetting the real purpose of my blog.
The thing is, I do earn an income from affiliate links. I do promote some blogging resources that I’ve personally used and loved. But if I start earning that kind of money from pushing a product that I can’t stand 100% behind then I’m forgetting the whole reason I started this blog.If I start earning money by pushing a product that I can't stand behind then I'm forgetting why I started this blog.Click To Tweet
I started The Budget Mama to help others manage their money well and yes, a part of that is sometimes generating additional income. I didn’t start my blog with the intention of earning six-figures a year and if I become blinded by the money then I’m compromising my own integrity and that’s just not okay in my book.
So should you listen to the other bloggers?
Here’s the thing, many of the bloggers that promote BlueHost are my personal friends and every single one of them has personal experience with BlueHost. I do not. But it is hard to tell who is being honest and who is “just in it for the money”.
These are some reviews done by my personal blogging BFFs so if you’re trying to decide if BlueHost is the hosting company you should go with, read one of these before finalizing your decision.
Am I Doomed if I don’t Promote BlueHost?
Nope you’re not doomed if you decide like I did to not promote BlueHost or any other affiliate that you’re not 100% in love with. In fact, I think it’s better for your own credibility that you only promote products and services that you can stand behind.
But know that it may take you longer to reach that six-figure status of blogging and personally, I think that’s perfectly fine. In fact, I believe that the more you preserve and the slower the growth the better.
So What Can I do?
I’m a firm believer in creating your own products and services. My own products have garnered me more stable and reliable income than any affiliate could ever offer. The thing is, an affiliate could just decide they no longer want to offer a product. Take BlueHost from above – I know that they’ve changed their commission rates many different times.
If a blogger puts all their eggs into the BlueHost (or just one big affiliate) basket and then BH decides they’re done with affiliates or they decide to cut commission, guess what? Your income will suffer greatly. This is why I believe that you need to have a healthy mix of your own products/services, affiliates, and other income sources (ads, or another 3rd party stuff).
Here’s a screen shot of the current mix of my income (numbers from October 2016):
Here’s how my income breaks down:
The majority of my income is earned through my own products which breaks out into my course, Real Life Money Plan being the highest earner, followed by my 2017 Budget Planner, followed by my book Real Life on a Budget.
Ads make up the next largest chunk of my income….which drives me crazy and I hope to one day get rid of them completely.
Affiliates in October were a small amount of my overall income – some months they’re more but this is a pretty average look at how affiliates play out for me.
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