Imogen Lamport was blogging before she knew it was called blogging.

While that’s not all she does, blogging is a creative outlet she can earn money from, and in the past nine years she hasn’t run out of things to say. She’s also met people all over the world through blogging.

In this episode of the Own Up Grown-Up podcast, Imogen and I talk about how to use blogging for business. From our chat, you’ll learn:

  • Why blogging is great for introverts.
  • Different ways to earn money from a blog.
  • What it takes to get people’s attention and grow an audience.

“Introverts and blogging go hand-in-hand. It allows us to communicate with the rest of the world. It allows us to share our expertise our thoughts and all those sorts of things but it’s not in the same energy-draining way that face to face can feel”—Imogen Lamport, Inside Out Style

Imogen Lamport is an internationally certified image consultant and creator of the blog Inside Out Style.  She is the author of five ebooks, an international speaker and mother of two kids and one crazy but loveable whippet.  She runs a personal styling and training business in Melbourne, Australia and is a lover of cashmere, chocolate, and champagne. Imogen is passionate about empowering women of all ages and stages in life to gain the knowledge they need to look fabulous and feel confident every single day, and one way she does that is through her blog.

There are Two Kinds of Blogs

The word “blog” can conjure up two different images: one of a lonely creative publishing journal entries, and one of a purposeful creative who wants to spread their message and earn money from their art. Neither is better or worse, but I’m guessing you read more of the latter.

Imogen started her blog back in 2008. She would write an article every month and post it on her website. She loved fashion, and as an image consultant, she found an inviting challenge in helping people figure out how to dress and style their bodies, regardless of shape or size. Her blog had a clear purpose.

How do bloggers earn money?

Not easily, as I can attest, but there are several ways you can earn money from blogging.

Imogen wanted to monetize her blog to scale her business. Since personal styling is a service-based business (meaning she can only attend to one client at a time), her income was limited to the amount of time she could spend with her clients. When you sell things on your blog, your customer-base is limitless. Anyone can stop by anytime and buy something.

There are three ways blogs like Imogen’s can earn income:

  1. Information products like ebooks and online courses.
  2. Sponsored posts, where a company will pay for an advertorial article you write and share with your audience.
  3. Affiliate programs, where you earn a commission from products you sell through your website. When you sign up with affiliate programs like Commission Junction and Amazon, you’ll get a unique link that tells the company the sale came from your website.

While some people may call this way of earning money “passive income,” it’s anything but passive. You’ll spend hours creating information products and managing programs (believe me, my new guide “Work From Home (or Anywhere)” took three months to put together). You have to manage payment systems and customer questions and social media.

Your blog grows from a personal journal to a small business. And with that comes the added responsibility of showing up consistently, writing even when you don’t feel like it, and learning how to reach an audience.

Growing your audience

Writer’s block and software learning curves aside, the hardest thing about making money from blogging is growing your audience. People are busy and they’re bombarded with messages, especially when they’re online. Your articles need to be seen, then read, then shared.

It starts with writing great articles people want to read. This seems obvious, but if you’re focused on selling instead of educating or entertaining, your content will suffer. Choose a topic that you love to talk and write about.

Social media is a great platform to start sharing your articles. It doesn’t cost anything, just your time. Add images and social media sharing buttons to your blog to make it easier for readers to share your work. Imogen’s channel of choice is Pinterest.

The next thing you’ll need to do is to start building an email list. This is where you add a form to your blog where people can subscribe to get regular updates from you. Subscribers are interested in your work and they’ll be the most likely to buy something from you. I’m not going to go into the details of email marketing here, but I use Mailchimp and they have a great blog to help get you started.

Once you’ve built up a healthy quiver of articles, you can start reaching out to other bloggers about writing for their blog. You can pitch news and podcasts sites as a topic expert. You can advertise on Facebook. It takes work, but if you connect the right message to the right people, your audience will grow.

Blogging is a great creative outlet and can be an additional income source after you’ve put the work into it. What would you like to write about?

Check out Imogen Lamport’s website and be sure to follow her style tips on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.