How an influencer earns over $ 200,000 per year from her blog

  • Kara Harms started blogging in 2015 and has built an audience on Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest.
  • But she still sees her blog as the “backbone” of her business.
  • Here’s how she earns over $ 200,000 a year blogging.

The blog is not dead, according to Kara Harms, who has been posting on her blog since 2015.

“My business can attest to that,” Harms told Insider. “People still need lengthy content and people read blogs every day.”

Harms’ female lifestyle blog, Whimsy Soul, currently attracts between 300,000 and 400,000 monthly readers, according to data from Similarweb. With 77,000 Instagram followers, 283,000 TikTok fans and more than 2.7 million monthly views on Pinterest, its audience is also growing elsewhere.

Whimsy Soul is expected to earn more than $ 200,000 for 2021, according to documentation provided by Harms. While many influencers and bloggers often derive the majority of their income from brand deals, Harms has turned away from it, she told Insider.

Most of Whimsy Soul’s revenue comes from banner ads programmatically sold on the blog. Another big part comes from affiliate links, which allow him to earn a share of the sales generated by his blog.

Prior to launching as a full-time blogger, Harms, who is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, worked in tech as a social media manager for a startup. When she moved from the Midwest to the West Coast, Harms started a blog as a way to build community after moving to a new city, she said.

“I wasn’t planning on making this my full-time job for a while,” Harms added.

But in 2017, about two years after running her blog, Harms quit her tech job to become a full-time influencer and blogger.

In 2018, she was making more money than she was at work that she just left, Harms said. “And that was mainly raised through brand and affiliate agreements.” She hired her husband, Robin Berenson, the same year.

“Now I earn a lot more than in my technical work,” she added. “I would almost like to stop earlier to start this train faster.”

Kara Harms posing in a yellow jacket in front of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Harms considers the Whimsy Soul blog to be the “backbone” of his business.

Fanciful soul

Today, Whimsy Soul is a team of two full-time employees: Harms and her husband, respectively co-founders and CEO and administrative director. Whimsy Soul employs four part-time freelance writers in addition to various freelance roles such as public relations, copywriters, legal departments and accounting, Harms said.

Maintain a blogging business in 2021

However, it was not all smooth sailing for his blogging business.

In March 2020, Harms and Whimsy Soul “were to sign a contract with a brand that would have covered our rent and more for the whole year,” she said.

But in the wake of the pandemic that hit the United States in March, many brands and agencies have flocked to it. That deal Harms was about to sign for Whimsy Soul “got canceled” overnight, she said.

Kara Harms stands in her apartment with houseplants

Harms’ “Whimsy Soul” blog attracts hundreds of thousands of readers every month.

Fanciful soul

Reacting to the loss of brand deals and a silent inbox, Harms and his team “crouched down” and invested their resources in building a business around the revenue generated from banner ads on the blog ( using the third-party Mediavine platform) and affiliate links (using platforms like LTK, Skimlinks or brand specific programs), she said.

It worked to diversify his business.

While Harms still works directly with some brands, that number has dropped significantly. In 2019, she signed contracts for 72 branded contracts, Harms told Insider. This year, Harms signed less than 10 branded contracts, she said.

Harms also works with brands and clients as a content creator for their own verticals – more as a freelance writer than an influencer, she said.

Here’s how his income diversification in 2020 impacted his annual income, according to Harms:

The insider verified Whimsy Soul’s affiliation and advertising revenue with documentation provided by Harms.

Harms also makes money from TikTok through the Creator Fund, but that’s a minimal amount compared to his other sources of income.

However, a good chunk of Whimsy Soul’s total revenue goes towards paying for expenses like paying freelancers, travel expenses, and blog web domain hosting costs. Another part – about 30% – goes towards paying taxes, according to Harms.

Ultimately, Harms sees “the blog as the backbone of our brand,” she said.

“It’s important for influencers and content creators to have a channel of their own,” Harms said. “If TikTok, YouTube, Instagram die tomorrow – and stay dead – they still have to have a way to connect with their audience.”

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