Monday Musings: Behind the Scenes of Blogging

When you think of a fashion blogger, you might picture glamorous photoshoots, stylish outfits, and a seemingly effortless lifestyle. However, the reality involves a lot more than just striking a pose and posting a picture. Several readers have been curious about what goes on behind the scenes of blogging, so I thought I would peel back the curtain and give you a personal look at how my blog works and what’s involved in creating content.

How Do I Make Money from Blogging?

1. Sponsored Posts

One way I make money is through brand-sponsored posts. Brands pay me to create content featuring their products. I always make sure to disclose when a post is sponsored to maintain transparency with my audience. I’m very picky about what brands I choose to work. with here on AWSL, and I turn away many brands that don’t align with my values or that don’t carry products that I truly love. You can see an example of a sponsored post here.

2. Ad Dollars

Ad dollars are another part of how I make money as a fashion blogger. Basically, brands and ad networks pay me to display ads on my blog and social media. The more people visit my blog and engage with my content, the more valuable my ad space becomes. The truth is they’re a passive way for me to earn income to pay my blogging expenses. Do I like them? In a word, no. They distract from my content. I always want to make sure that the ads don’t overwhelm my audience or take away from their experience, so I try to find a balance between displaying ads and keeping my content enjoyable for my followers.

Affiliate links are one of the most important aspects of monetizing my blog and social media content. I partner with various retailers and brands to promote their products, and when my followers click on these affiliate links and make a purchase, I earn a commission. It’s a win-win situation – my audience gets access to stylish products for no extra cost to them, and I receive a small percentage of the sales.

4. Buy Me a Coffee

Some readers may not want to shop through my links, but they love being a part of the AWSL community and would like a way to support my business. This is what led to me start a Buy Me a Coffee page so readers can buy me a coffee/tea and help support A Well Styled Life.

What is LTK?

One of the platforms I use to link products is called LTK, which stands for LiketoKnow.it. LTK is a popular platform that allows fashion influencers to monetize their content by sharing shoppable links with their followers. As a style blogger, I use LTK to tag the clothing, accessories, and beauty products featured in my posts, making it easy for my audience to shop my style. Through LTK, I earn a commission when someone makes a purchase through my links, which is a key part of how I make money as a fashion blogger. I also have a profile on LTK where I share outfit inspiration and photos of myself with each item linked to make shopping a breeze.

How to use LTK as a shopper?

As a shopper, using LTK is simple and convenient. You can easily browse through curated collections of products recommended by your favorite bloggers. When you find something you like, simply click on the item to get more details and make a purchase. If you’re using your phone, make sure to have the app installed to complete your purchase seamlessly. On the other hand, if you’re browsing on your desktop, you won’t need to log in to the website to make a purchase.

What Goes Into Creating Blog Content?

Now, let’s dive into the creative process behind fashion blogging. Contrary to popular belief, a lot of time and effort goes into producing those photos and blog posts. I spend between 50-70 hours a week working on this blog, which makes it a full-time job.

Photoshoots, for example, require planning and coordination with everything from scouting locations to selecting outfits, organizing hair and makeup, and capturing the perfect shot, which can take hours. I strive to create visually appealing and authentic content that resonates with my audience and that means investing time and energy into every aspect of the photoshoot process.

From a recent photo shoot for a sponsored post for Talbots

Aside from photoshoots, a significant amount of time is dedicated to writing and researching. Whether I’m sharing styling tips, trend forecasts, or personal anecdotes, I take pride in crafting engaging and informative blog posts. This involves staying up to date with the latest fashion, conducting thorough research, and infusing my writing with a personal touch that reflects my unique perspective on style and beauty. Additionally, online shopping plays a crucial role in my content creation process, as well as visiting stores in person for my dressing room diary series.

How Much Does it Cost to Run a Blog?

Here are some of the current costs associated with running my blog.

  • I host my website on a platform that charges me a monthly fee based on the size of my audience and the amount of data stored. Because my blog is image-heavy, I need lots of storage.
  • My posts are emailed by a service provider who charges me a monthly fee based on how many emails go out.
  • I pay an annual fee for access to a site where I size and edit my pictures so they won’t slow my site down and the pages won’t open for you.
  • I pay a technical person to help me with the nuts and bolts of my website. I’ve had it go down enough times to learn I should never go “under the hood” trying to fix technical issues 🙂
  • I pay smaller amounts for plugins, apps, and widgets, which add to the total expenses.
  • I have a company that creates my pins for Pinterest and a gal who helps me with collages.

The result is it costs just over 6,500 a month to float this boat and keep my blog on the internet.

How Can You Support Your Favorite Bloggers?

  • Don’t keep them a secret. If you like their content, share it with women you think will also enjoy it.
  • Subscribe to follow their blog.
  • Comment and engage with their content, which “tells” Google it’s worth showing to other women on the web.
  • Share their images to your Pinterest boards, so more people find them.
  • Follow them on social media.
  • Whenever possible, purchase through the link of the blogger who inspired you.

I’m so appreciative of my readers and the fabulous community we’ve built, Your support is essential to the ongoing success of A Well Styled Life, and I want to thank you you all from the bottom of my heart.

78 Comments

  1. This is so interesting. I have often wondered what goes into creating this blog and how much time you must spend on it. You’ve created a beautiful, informative and fun site that I look forward to every day. I appreciate that it’s more than fashion but also well researched skin/hair/vitamin information, and great reading recommendations. Love your style! Thank you for all that you do, and I look forward to hearing more about your trip!

    1. Thanks for being here Deby

  2. Jennifer, thank you for sharing so much about what you do to produce your blog, it was really interesting to read about it all! I’ve always enjoyed reading and learning from your posts, and now I appreciate your ability to make it all happen. I hope that it is a labor of love for you!

    1. I do love doing this and connecting with you all.

  3. This was a very interesting article Jennifer! I figured you put in a lot of time and effort but was still surprised by how much is involved. Thank you! Enjoy your blog and have ordered products through your links.
    Sandy R.

    1. Thanks for shopping through my links, Sandy!

      1. This was a very interesting post. I’ve wondered about all the details of setting up a blog and the work involved. You keep us all informed, engaged, and well-styled! Thanks!!

  4. Lynnefred says:

    Wow! The blogging world has certainly evolved! I had a blog years ago featuring my vintage trailer adventures. It was a pretty straight forward simple blog, only involving me. Your blog is a complicated business! I appreciate you taking the time to inform your viewers what it takes to produce a professional blog. Whew! Thank you!

  5. Having just retired from my finance career, I tip my hat to you for working so hard and being so creative. I understand the diligence and commitment it takes to go to work everyday and make a difference in the world. Thank you.

  6. Jennifer, I love your transparency and your willingness to explain all of this. That attitude and approach to your followers is part of what makes your blog so terrific.

    1. I love my readers and feel so blessed to have this great community.

  7. I knew preparing a blog would be hard work but I never knew what all goes into it. It’s really interesting to learn about it. Your blog is my favorite and it really shows all the time and effort you put into it. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks for being here Rosemary

  8. WOW! Thanks for sharing. I was wondering how the blog works. I really enjoy your blog. What is the travel co you uses for for artic trip? If possible email me privately.

    1. We are traveling on Quark which I can highly recommend

  9. Interesting. Transparent. Thank you.
    I have a question about Amazon. If I purchase an item through your link, will you also receive credit for another Amazon item not in your link or your store?

    1. If you go to Amazon thorugh my link and add several items to your cart, then checkout… I will earn a small commission of everthing in your cart. Thank you for asking.

  10. I can tell that you spend hours with your blog-the photos, the outfits, I can see why you spend up to 70 hours per week! And $6500 per month for running it-wow, I had no idea. Thank you for sharing , really interesting. Not an easy job, but I appreciate the genuine blog posts, real women sizing, and fashion ideas. Lovely blog, you do a great job. Carry on!

    1. Thanks Sandy! I’m so blessed to have this great audience

  11. Linda Dean says:

    Thank you for sharing about your blog. I’ve been following you for a few weeks and I am so glad I found you. Love your posts. So much good information. I used to follow fashion and would not go out of my house without makeup and dressed. After having breast cancer, foot problems, knee and hip replacement, shingles in my eye, and other health issues, I stopped caring about how I looked. When I had shingles in my eye, I could not wear makeup and I didn’t go any where. I work from home and I have just stayed here. I plan to do better and try to find the old me. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. I’m glad you’ve joined us Linda. You’ve had a rough go of it.

  12. Janice in Ky says:

    I’m sure I’m like everyone else, I had no idea the time and money involved in running a blog. All I can say is thank you. Please know we all appreciate your hard work. I look forward to reading the blog every morning with my coffee.

  13. The care and energy you put into your blog shows, Jennifer. I love your content and advice. I enjoy reading you everyday.

    1. Thanks for being here

  14. I am now a frequent shopper on Artful Home due to your posts previously about their site. Thanks!!

    1. They do have amazing things!

  15. It’s interesting to know what goes into the blog business. But if you incur direct expenses of $78,000, it’s clearly a very lucrative one — and you must have a good attorney, tax person, and accountants. Clearly, you are an excellent businesswoman as well. Kudos to you. One thing you did not mention as income is the clothes, jewelry, etc. that are gifted or comped to you in some way. BTW, I’ve just started looking at LTK and find it very helpful.

    1. Most of what I am gifted gets donated. I purchase most things myself.

  16. Thanks for all that you do, I truly appreciate your effort! So much time and money involved but I look for your email every day.

  17. Wow! Thank you for sharing this, Jennifer. I’m fairly new to your blog and I love it. I will definitely use the links when I order something in the future.

    1. Thank you, it’s very appreciated

  18. Debbie Barr says:

    Quite an eye opener, but know I truly enjoy your posts and look forward to each and every one. I LOVE the LTK app. What a game changer!

    1. It is such a great app.

  19. I sure hope you earn enough to cover expenses and have something left for yourself! How did you evolve into a fashion blogger? I know you have covered some of this in the past but acquiring the technical knowledge to produce a blog is something I assume you had to discover for yourself. Or do marketing classes, e.g., cover blogging requirements? I am curious about how one learns this profession, especially one involving visual posts. This is a most creative combination of business and the arts.

    1. I learned by trial and error. I watch You Tube videos and google everything I can on the subject. I think it keeps my brain agile to learn so many new things.

  20. Thank you for sharing these details. This great effort, your content and your knowledge elevate your blog above and beyond!

  21. I love your blog and can tell how much time and effort you put into it. But I had no idea the monthly cost overall was so high! Thanks for all you do, Jennifer.

  22. Thanks for this informative post. That’s a lot of work you put in, YIKES! I for one truly appreciate your hard work.

  23. Catherine says:

    Thank you for explaining this. I knew the time commitment but the total cost was much higher than I expected. No behind the scene for your reader, am in Canada, sometimes your links actually link to the Canadian version. I don’t know if it’s coincidence, it is inconsistent but it makes me happy. Some of the sites use “BorderFree’” which makes shipping easy. Question, do you get paid for the entire purchase or just the item that brought us to the company? Your content is fabulous. Thank you

    1. If my link is the last one that takes you to a merchant, I earn a tiny amount on that order. If you put something in your cart, then click back through other links, I don’t earn anything. It’s a sticky business

  24. Wow,….. way more time and money than I thought. My hat is off to you. I look forward to hearing about your polar adventures !

  25. Cheryll Sampson says:

    I very seldom comment but have read your blog for years and look forward to it daily. I had no idea how it worked. Thank you for explaining the process.

  26. Thanks, Jennifer for sharing. I had no idea what all was entailed in being a blogger. I appreciate all you do to keep us informed and stylish!

  27. I knew it was a lot of work, especially since I was a content creator/webmaster for a college. But didn’t know all the details. So interesting to learn about the ins and outs of blogging. Love your site and appreciate all the hard work you do in helping to keep us all stylish!

  28. Thank you for sharing this Jennifer. I for one had no idea how much time and money goes into creating your blog, which is excellent by the way.
    If I lived in the States I would be shopping your links all the time – you have such a great selection of styles, colour choices and much lower prices than we do in Canada.
    Thank you for all that you do.

    1. Thank you for being here with us Yvonne. I appreciate your support.

  29. Jennifer, this was fascinating! Thank you for sharing about your business and how you make it work. I enjoy reading your blog every day, and I suspected that you put tremendous effort into creating the content. Now I know for sure! Thank you and best wishes for continued success.

  30. You must REALLY love what you do! I knew blogging took up a lot of time but I had no idea of how much. Thank you for keeping us informed and stylish!!!

    1. I do love it and feel blessed to have such great women in our community.

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