Making Money from Blogging?

I don’t know why, but this topic in the book blogging community is so sensitive, every blogger that has mentioned seems to write about it cautiously whereas other bloggers avoid bringing it up at all. Why not try to make money from something you enjoy doing for free?

In all honesty I don’t understand the problem, why is it frowned upon to try and find an income from book blogging? If you have any idea let me know in the comments! I understand the controversial aspect when it comes to paid book reviews, it’s a fairly tricky situation which is why I don’t think that’s something I’ll consider any time soon. As a blogger I know that the financial aspect of the book review would have no effect on my opinion but I also have no way of proving that to you as my audience, so I’d rather not have that doubt associated with my reviews in the first place.

BUT that doesn’t mean I haven’t considered other ways of making money from book blogging. By making money I mean an income that I can feed back into the blog, so I can buy a domain, host giveaways, maintenance of the blog etc. I’m a student so at this point I barely have enough money for myself let alone funding this blog…

One of the ways I’ve seen that you could make money is by providing services, for example:

  • Editing
  • Proofreading
  • Beta-reading
  • Providing blog tours, promotional services.
  • Designing book covers, or bookish merch

Immediately I was interested in being a beta reader, I’ve never been particularly talented in art/design so that was not an option, I’m not going to subject you to my horrific creations, let alone make you pay for them :’D. But doing further research on beta reading I realised that was something I do when I review as well. If you notice my reviews tends to go on for far too long. Naturally I analyse books when I read them, don’t ask me why it’s just something I do! Literally the notes I make when reading go on for pages and pages, that’s also why it takes me a little longer to post the review after I’ve read the book.

                                               What is a beta reader?

Its someone who looks over an author’s early draft of their work, they basically test it for readability and also try and identify inconsistencies in the world building, characters and if there are any plot holes. As a beta reader you’re not necessarily concerned with grammatical/spelling mistakes, you tend to look at the broader picture. You are also providing the author with an unbiased perspective, you could be notifying them when an aspect is not working, and might need adjustment to simply trying to help the author present their characters in a clearer way. I’m personally really interested in this so I’m seriously considering providing it as a service. I will probably do a trial run where I’ll accept manuscripts for free and see where I go from there! Let me know if you are aware of other ways of making money from book blogging and what you think of providing this service in the comments below! Also if I did offer this as a service would you be interested in it?

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47 thoughts on “Making Money from Blogging?

  1. Blue Haven Press says:

    I haven’t heard this argument but don’t understand why a good writer should not be able to create an income. Why not? Beta-reading is a good idea. What kind of fees do readers charge? What length of report is expected for the fee? I think editing is another excellent idea; not that I’d do it myself. I read way too many English essays when I taught literature:)

    Liked by 2 people

    • abooknation says:

      I’ve actually seen a range of numbers, ranging from $50 to $300 for beta reading a manuscript with 100k words. The kind of report I feel like depends on the person providing the service, some would like to give you just enough guidance to provide you with a kickstart when making adjustments others provide detailed notes on every chapter, I think I would probably be the latter!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. sassybooklover says:

    I’m glad you posted this I found myself being cautious when writing about this last week. I started offering virtual assistant services (similar to your list) to authors recently and was almost afraid to mention it in a blog post.

    Liked by 2 people

    • abooknation says:

      See! The thing is the bookish community is amazing, we all share a passion for books and that brings us together, but the minute you mention money… Don’t be afraid! If someone is interested in your services they’ll want them anyway, anyone that has a problem with you charging for those services that’s their problem :’D.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Kitty Maschan says:

    Personally, I won’t accept payment for reviews because I don’t trust myself to go 100% in that review if money is at stake. I do accept ARCs on a limited basis but I don’t see that as payment.

    However, I’m all for people making money doing the thing they enjoy! If you can be paid to do it without compromising anything, why not? I have also taken on some editing and beta reading, but only for friends (who I can’t bring myself to charge). Also, I do love a good blog tour! 🙂 Great post!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • abooknation says:

      I see what you mean, I love your honestly as well! I’ve never been paid for a review so I can’t honestly say how I would feel about it, but I also don’t feel like receiving ARCs are payment either. We put in a lot of time into maintains our blogs I think the least we can receive is a book in return for a review :’D. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nadwa @ painfullyfictional says:

    Thank you for posting this. This is a very interesting side of book blogging, and one that -indeed- only a few mention. Actually, this is the first post I’ve ever read about making money from book blogging. I have reviewed a bunch of ARCs, which I realized -after a lot of debates with a certain beta-reader- is actually quite similar to beta-reading. I’m still a senior at high school, but I think I’d actually take this concept into consideration next year when I’m at uni. The thing is, I’ve always thought beta-reading and editing and that sort of thing requires a person having a certain degree in literature or working for a certain publisher. Thank you again ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • abooknation says:

      Thank you for taking the time to read it! In my opinion I think it would be useful to you if have the degree if you want to be an editor, but sometimes an author has friends and family beta-read. It’s kind of like the initial reaction to the book, now who you decide to beta read will determine what kind of feedback you get. And of course if you’re paying for the service you’re going to expect a lot more than if you just gave it to your friend to read! I’m glad this post was useful 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Nikki C says:

    I didn’t realize that it was taboo to think about payment. It’s something that crossed my mind also. But I’m so new at this I figured I should just let that idea go.
    I have seriously thought about becoming a beta reader but I didn’t know where to start. Can you actually be a beta reader and not charge for it?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Books, Vertigo and Tea says:

    I have not personally experienced any negative feedback regarding bloggers making money. I know a ton belong to affiliate programs (which doesn’t generate much unless you are pretty big) and know a few who beta-read.

    Maybe the concern is centered around someone receiving payment for a review and not remaining completely honest? I can see how some might be include to be more “polite” if they are being paid.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. lgarrison1023 says:

    I think readers are just worried about bloggers who solely post blogs because they are being paid (like a paid product review). They don’t want to be mislead.

    I am all for bloggers making money. People want (good) content to read, and somehow writers need to be paid to be able to keep creating. People nowadays are used to reading and watching videos for “free”. This is a misconception- most likely that site has affiliate links/ads that pay for the content create (on a well-known blog).

    Liked by 1 person

    • abooknation says:

      I completely agree, I mean look if you’re living situation allows you to do this for free that’s amazing. BUT as a student the amount of free time and funds I have is already limited, if I can make money doing something I already enjoy doing for free I don’t see the problem!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Debbie says:

    I am personally not active busy to ‘make money’ out of my blog. But I do see that an author gives me his/her book/ebook for free as a sort of payment as well.
    And I don’t think it is a bad thing to make money out of your blog, you spend so much time in it, why not? As long as I won’t be of influence to the way you review.
    I like the idea of being a beta reader as well, just not next to my student life, it is already busy enough 😆

    Liked by 1 person

    • abooknation says:

      You’ve literally summed up my post perfectly! I know that beta reading is actually quite a demanding job, but I think the time frame makes up for it. Also you can decide how long it’ll take you to beta read! If it’s something like 6 weeks for a manuscript you’d be able to spread it out! I’m a student as well so I thought about the workload as well 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Debbie says:

        I am thinking of doing beta reader once I am done with college. That would be this summer if everything goes well. And I agree that it is up to yourself how fast you work yourself through a manuscript.

        Like

  9. roberteggleton says:

    The issue solely concerns paid for book reviews. One that is paid for has no value in the marketplace unless it is performed by a large company with an organizational structure that ensures payment not associated with specific book reviews, such as Kirkus. In fact, one paid-for book review posted on Amazon, for example, can taint all other reviews of that title whether they were paid for or not. Otherwise, as long as the person performing a service, such as editing, doesn’t follow-up by also posting a review of that title which she or he edited, go for the income. Personally, I can’t afford to pay for services and am fortunate to have attracted a traditional small press with excellent affiliations to perform services that I don’t pay for, but there are a lot of writers who would value paid for services. Good luck everybody.

    Liked by 1 person

    • abooknation says:

      I completely agree, I mean I don’t know a single author/publisher that would pay a blogger for a review either! If I do beta-read I definitely wouldn’t review the book! I wouldn’t be able to look at it as a reviewer if I have already offered my input to the author in the early stages!

      Like

  10. tj6james6 says:

    I have beta read for quite a while now.
    I started betaing fanfiction and moved on from there.
    I don’t beta for paid authors very often since I haven’t been contacted very often, although I am putting myself out there to more authors, so time will tell.
    Those books I have beta’d I do tend to do a review for after the fact: I can think of four off the top of my head where I have both beta’d and reviewed. It’s easy for me since my reviews rarely have anything to do with the actual spelling/grammar/flow of a story, unless they were horrid. My reviews tend to be my feelings about the book, whether I enjoyed it and how much, and whether I will continue on if it is a series.
    I will tell you though, that betaing on an ereader is not an easy thing to do! Lol.
    Some authors will ask for specific things when they contact you, and others will simply leave it up to you as to what you tell them.
    It’s not overly time consuming, especially if you commute on the bus/train since you can do your reading while someone else does the driving :D. Most of the books I beta tend to be quick reads.
    Good luck if you do decide to try this. I can be quite fun and I’ve made one or two good friends along the way :).

    Liked by 1 person

    • abooknation says:

      Thank you so much for your input, I haven’t been able to personally contact anyone who has experience providing the service! I really value your perspective, I do understand that it isn’t a simple service I would be providing! I do travel to uni so hopefully I’d be able to utilise my travel! Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • tj6james6 says:

        Quite welcome. I know there r FanFiction authors who r always looking for someone to go over their stuff, even if they don’t know the fandom. I’ve also Vera’s for a college student dent who need spell check and someone to tell her when she was off topic, nowhere near it or bang on. Those might be avenues u could explore as a way to get into it slowly and find your way.
        Glad I could help.

        Like

  11. Raney Simmon says:

    Yeah, I’ve noticed making money from blogging being a tricky topic too. Like, it would be cool to get paid for the posts you write. But at the same time, it would be hard because people might wonder whether your being biased or not. I’ve also never thought of doing something like beta reading before either, but that could definitely be something to look into. Freelancing is also another option us bloggers can look into.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Alexandria D. says:

    Controversy over making money for the things you enjoy? Huh.

    I can see where there’s a line when it comes to making money from book blogging but it can be a good, clean if you’re doing it right.

    I’ve heard of book bloggers making money as affiliate marketers. I see this as an excellent opportunity as long you’re using affiliate links in your reviews from books you’ve read on your free will as opposed to being assigned by a publishing company.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. exai says:

    Hmm, this gave me a lot to think about. God knows it’s hard being a writer, so finding a way to bring in additional income is always a good thing.

    Oh, and thanks for stopping by my blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    • abooknation says:

      Thank YOU for stopping by mine! I completely understand, there are a lot of authors who monetise their blog as well. And that’s absolutely fine, as long as they’re not harming anyone I don’t see the problem!

      Like

  14. floridaborne says:

    I’m dyslexic and need 2 editors: One for the usual things an editor does, and one for sequencing (which I tested out as 3rd grade level when tested for learning disabilities — in college).

    Just to have someone tell me which chapters are weak, strong, unnecessary, belong after “X” chapter is a service I sorely need.

    I see no reason why people can’t make money off their blog. The cover for my next book (#2) was completed by another blogger. Once the edits on book 2 are completed, I have a blogger ready to format and upload the book onto the Indie publishing site and on Kindle. The cost is 1/3 of what the publishing site is charging.

    Liked by 1 person

    • abooknation says:

      I think authors that have experience with bloggers and their services tend to be more understanding! Exactly, a lot of times bloggers make services more accessible for self-publishers. Providing the services at a much lower price and no doubt at the same quality (if they find the right person)!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. ireadnovels says:

    I admire you for uploading this fabulous information. I do believe there is a website where you can submit your details and price for reading books. But there are a lot of names on the list and you would have to be super lucky to be chosen by an author or new author. I joined the Book Depository online affiliate link and received nothing which I am in the progress of cancelling as its not worth doing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • abooknation says:

      Thank you for reading it! I haven’t heard of that before, but I’ve heard of the Book Depository affiliate link. I actually think I was in the process of signing up for one. Now I might just ditch it!

      Like

  16. Rosepoint Publishing says:

    Excellent article and very timely since I’ve been wrestling with the same problem for some time. I’ve gotten to the point where I have more book reviews than I can handle, including ARC’s and beta-reading. I spend a lot of time on it and try to give them honest consideration. My reviews can get brutal if I’m down to a 3 star, but if I consider it less than that, I’ll write the author that I’m forced to abandon it (for whatever reason–usually so many edit problems I give up). I’ve been asked to forward lists of the problems I’ve found–but wait a minute–shouldn’t that be worth something?

    Like

  17. prep922 says:

    Free WordPress sites (wordpress.com) that were making money or talking about making money or were suspected to trying to make money via their blog were deleted and accounts closed in the past without warning, without redress. Maybe that is why some people with free wordpress sites avoid writing about the topic of making money on their site.

    Liked by 1 person

    • abooknation says:

      I know that free WordPress sites aren’t ideal for making money, but I wasn’t aware that it was a problem. To my knowledge it isn’t prohibited on this platform, so I’m not sure why they would do that?

      Like

      • prep922 says:

        At one time, 15 years ago it was verboten. A post about affiliate marketing and a sample affiliate link was enough to have your site and your account disappeared without reddress. I guess one way to find out if it is prohibited is to read the terms of use of the free platform. By free platform, I mean a website that you don’t pay hosting for. Of course another way is to monetize and see what happens but I am not recommending that way.

        Liked by 1 person

      • abooknation says:

        Ohh I see, I have read through the terms and conditions, but nothing seems to allude to prohibition of making money using the free site. So I can assume that it’s okay? Also although I don’t make money from it, I have had my services page up for quite a while now and nothing has happened to my blog (yet).

        Liked by 1 person

      • prep922 says:

        Well you have read the terms and conditions and feel you are in line with the rules so you’ve done your best. Plus the fact that you are more or less advertising your services on a page of your site and nothing untoward has happened, that is confirmation that you are operating within the rules. All good! That’s great. Best wishes and continued sucess to you! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Read Voraciously says:

    I’m a partner with a large, local bookstore, Powell’s, and with IndieNext where readers can buy the books I review from their site and I get a small referral percentage. I have yet to make any money, but I feel good about supporting my local stores and independent authors.

    Liked by 1 person

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