Moving your blog from fun hobby to a source of meaningful income can seem incredibly daunting.

With numerous online courses promising the answers and frightening financial claims made by some bloggers, how can you take small but meaningful steps to take your blog from past-time to full-time?

At our inaugural HBCxMeet in Dublin last year it was clear from the Q&A session that this was a hot topic for our Irish bloggers.

So we’ve teamed up with to get their top tips in this two part Magazine feature.

Want more? Health Bloggers Community and are hosting a talk on the topic of negotiating for bloggers on Tuesday 20th February 2018 in Dublin. Find out more and get your tickets. 

For now? Let’s answer some questions we know you’re dying to ask:

A brand sends a blogger some samples to try. How would they go about moving that conversation from freebies to paid work?

This might sound simplistic, but you just need to ask. If you want to transition from blogging as a hobby to making real money for your work, at some point you must put a price on yourself and risk getting rejected.
I completely recognise the value of starting off by doing work for free to build your reputation, then moving on to getting freebies but unfortunately most bloggers get stuck at this point.
It may seem like a great perk to get lots of cool stuff sent to you for free, but freebies don’t pay the bills. The successful bloggers we represent all broke through the barrier of getting paid cold hard cash for their creative input by starting small, building credibility with key brands and then slowly but surely started to charge based on their increasing level of value to brands.
Like I said, it can be a scary leap of faith but at some point, when a brand contacts you about a project, you need to go back with a reasonable price for completing the work and see what happens.
My top tip is, don’t be apologetic in your correspondence with the brand representative. You are creating something valuable to brands (they wouldn’t be contacting you if you weren’t) and you deserve to be paid for that work.

Should bloggers have a rate card that they share with clients?

Yes, it is always advisable to have a standard rate card and you can use this to negotiate terms with clients if they want a bespoke service offering.
Most bloggers start off with a basic hourly rate and this will differ depending on a whole range of individual metrics and audience factors. When you have built your following to a considerable size, say 20k+ followers, you should be transitioning to a set rate for each assignment.
Top bloggers will typically quote a price for the entire job which is more focused on the engagement they can deliver rather than the hours they put in to completing the project.

Not sure how much to charge? Download the Health Blogger’s Community’s Influencer Pricing Guidelines.

Should bloggers charge different prices to different brands for the same sort of work?

While I would advise the use of a rate card, never allow yourself to be completely married to your rates as there are always going to be multiple factors at play.
If you are dealing with a major brand with a large marketing budget you should always push for your rates but when dealing with an emerging brand which has the potential to be a big earner for you down the line it can be prudent to cut them some slack and offer a discount for the first piece of work you complete.
My tip here is to send them your rate card and then offer a discount. Let’s say you would normally charge €300 for the job but you feel that a 50% discount would be strategically beneficial. Don’t just quote them €150, quote them €300 but apply a 50% discount on the invoice so they feel like they are getting a great deal.
This is how you develop strong brand partnerships and if you manage to get in at the ground floor with a growth brand you can end up riding that wave of growth right along with them.

What are the habits of your most successful influencer clients that enable them to bring in consistent income?

Flexibility, confidence in their ability to deliver value, and straight up hustle.
Even the top bloggers we represent are constantly forging new relationships with brands, industry insiders, photographers, etc. to ensure that they have a strong pipeline of new business every month and to also stay ahead of industry trends.
You must be flexible and adaptable to the needs of your client – don’t box yourself in to a limited position by saying you will only accept certain types of work. You need to align your ability to creating engaging content with the marketing needs of specific brands.
Constantly do your homework on brands in your space – are they seasonal? are they rapidly increasing their influencer marketing spend? are they trying to target a very specific audience that you can provide access to?
Once you have developed strong relationships with several brands, you must then have confidence in your own creative output and recognise that your ability to develop engaging content has real monetary value to the brand.


Got more questions? Health Bloggers Community and are hosting a talk on the topic of negotiating for bloggers on Tuesday 20th February 2018. Find out more and get your tickets. 

And remember you can download the HBC’s influencer pricing guidelines here.