Can I make a living as an expat blogger?

The short answer to the question can you make a living as an expat blogger is: “Yes”. The slightly longer answer is: “Yes, you can but how much you make depends on how you go about it”. Here are 6 ways to do it…

Man sitting at cafe writing a blog in Istanbul

I’ve tried a few different kinds of blogging, all while living as an expat. Some worked better than others, mainly down to my interest in it and the desire to make it work. I have made money from being paid to write blogs for businesses through to running my own blog about meditation, which had advertising and affiliate links on it.

I’d say there are 6 main ways of making money from blogging, all of them take time to get going, so this is not a “get rich quick” method of making money. Here they are:

  1. Build a blog then add advertising

Whatever type of blog you decide to set up and write, you can add advertising to it. The most common is Google Adsense, which places ads on your site. When a reader clicks on the ad you the blog owner get paid. Another popular advertising ad-on worth exploring is Blogads.

  1. Sign up to affiliate programmes

You sign up as an affiliate of a company that complements your blog. The company agrees to pay you a commission for helping to sell their products. Visitors see the company’s ad on your blog and, if they click through to the company’s website and buy something or sign up for a newsletter, whatever the desired action is, you’ll get paid. Well known affiliate programmes are run by Amazon, Linkshare, Clickbank and Commission Junction.

  1. Find brand sponsorship

If you’re good at what you do, and you are a so-called “Influencer”, brands will want you as an ambassador of their products. They will sponsor you in kind or with payments and will want their company’s name, logo and brand on your blog. MadtoLive is a good example of an expat who has done this. The main hurdle with making money this way is that you have to be known already (and have enough traffic) to attract sponsorship.

Young woman sitting at a desk typing on a laptop

  1. Get hired by a company to write their blogs

I have picked up some good blogging work this way. If I see a company website that has a blog and the blog is out of date or clearly not well written, I approach businesses with a blogging plan. Don’t be put off doing this if you don’t already have a portfolio, simply tell the web owner that you will write the first blog for free or at a greatly reduced price off your normal fees. “The proof is in the pudding!”

  1. Freelance blog

A bit like the point above, but this is about joining freelance sites, like UpWork (formerly eLance) where you offer your blog writing services to potential clients through the UpWork channel. It’s a bit of a dog-eat-dog world there, but not as poorly paid as other sites like Fiver.

  1. Create a blog to advertise a specific product/service

If you have a real passion about a particular product or service, you could set up a web site with a blog and write all about it. This kind of blog would need the kind of income generating products mentioned above to make money. The Coffee Detective is one such site that was started by the owner/writer as a simple interest site focusing on coffee machines!

I think Blog Tyrant has some of the best information out there to help would-be bloggers get going. including ‘How to start a blog and succeed in 2018‘.

For some inspiration check out Angloinfo’s Expat of Week, which regularly features expats who are blogging about their travels and lives.

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