The Crisis Blogger Guide – How to make a Digital Living in Times of Covid-19

Blogger Crisis Covid Guide - how to make money online

In this Blogger Crisis Guide  I am listing a few tips for my fellow Freelancers and Bloggers out there who are facing rough times in this Coronavirus-affected economy. Everyone in the world is going through difficult times right now, many businesses are struggling for survival. Know, that we are all in this together and you are not alone.

The Crisis Blogger Guide – How to make a Digital Living in Times of Covid-19

What can you do? Don't feel stuck or isolated at home, but take the opportunity to learn the skills you've always wanted to master. Teach yourself and grow. Invest in yourself - every storm eventually runs out of rain. And when the sunshine comes back and our economy bounces back I want you to be ready! In addition to getting rolling up your sleeves, I recommend you to pick up a new wellness hobby such as Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi or Meditation. Nothing will keep you more from success than a tired and stressed-out mind that's frightened and blocked. Free yourself and get started. Find your strenght in the silence. Know, that nothing ever stands still, the only way is forward.  The first thing you need to check are your expenses - can you cut cost somewhere? Also remember to check your subscriptions.

You can do this.

People especially in the travel industry are being hit hard. If you are a blogger or freelancer, here's some ideas how to start making an income online. In the next steps I've collected inspiration and put together a small guide to help you get started.

How to sell photos as Stock

1. Earn money with your Photos

You already have lots of photos lying around unused on harddrives? Great! Sell them on photo stock websites!

What is stock material? All communication requires pictures, illustrations and graphics. Think about newspapers, magazines, online platforms, product packaging, book covers... the list goes on. A large amount of the pictures you see there come from stock suppliers. Editors and Creative Directors go to these stock websites and browse their libraries for suitable content. You as a photographer or graphic designer can sign up to a stock platform, upload your work and earn royalties from allowing them to sell licences to your content. Use your existing work or create specific photos and graphics to sell it as stock material. Think about your travel photos, food shots, nature and hobby photos but also digital graphics and illustrations - you can monetize them all.  You don't have a professional Camera or Photoshop? No Problem, many platforms are even looking for mobile generated photos as they are usually candid and authentic. Personally, I am an exclusive contributor for Getty Images and iStock, but here are countless other great platforms such as 123RF, Alarmy Stock or Shutterstock, where you can upload your work. All you need to receive your royalty payments is a PayPal account. To increase your sales, make sure you upload your best work in the highest possible resolution. It also helps in the beginning to search the platforms for photos similar to yours, to get an idea what kind of content is popular and highly searched. The goal is to have a large variety of motives online. The more you offer, the liklier a sale will come your way. Higher sales also mean higher earning tiers but not every photo is suitable as stock material, here's some general tips:

Melanie Travel and Treasures Blog Oman

Faces  and  recognizeable property / houses require a property or model release form signed. Your stock platform will provide you with these. Have them signed and start selling. It's a bit of a hassle to collect your signatures, but photos with people sell well.


Brands / Logos - Identifyable Brand Logos cannot appear in any picture as you do not own the rights. Make sure they're blurry and cannot be read. I recommend to simply remove brand logos.

Copy Space - copy space is what empty space in photos is called. It sells well as it enables editors to add writing to photos and create f.e. menus, greeting cards or product packaging.


Royaly Free vs Editorial - Royalty Free stock content can be used for any commercial usage while editorial photos with recognizeable streets will only be allowed for news reporting and editorial usage as in newspaper articles.

Osaka City

Motives - keep your work interesting and authentic. Look for natural light, candid situations and current topics. Lots of stock sites such as Getty Images even have "What to shoot" briefings online. They tell you exactly what customers are looking for and provide you with shooting guidelines. Also seasonal shots for Valentine's, Easter, Halloween, Christmas etc are popular.

money neu

2. Monetize your Websites

You already have lots of photos lying around unused on harddrives? Great! Sell them on photo stock websites!

You have lots of beautiful content on your website? Great, use it. I have to admit, adding advertisements to your website can be scary and you might think it destroys the user experience. I agree, ads can be annoying if not displayed properly but these are difficult times and people understand your quality writing and journalism is not for free.  To keep your website from overflowing with spammy ads, I recommend to control the displayed ads by genre and density. Here's what you can do to monetize your website:

  • Sign up with Google Adsense and add their crawler code to all pages on your website where you would like to allow advertisement. With the Adsense tool you can control the amount of ads and the genre of ads appearing on your site nicely. I chose travel and lifestyle for my travel blog. There's CPC/PPC Ads: Cost per click (also called pay per click) ads are usually banners that you place in your content or sidebar. Each time a reader clicks on the ad, you are paid for that click. There's also CPM Ads: CPM Ads, or “cost per 1,000 impressions,” are ads that pay you a fixed amount of money based on how many people view your ad.
  • Monetize the existing traffic on your website and increase your clicks by opening a Pinterest account. Pinterest is a powerful search engine that will send users to your page and improve your ranking. Use it.
  • Optimize your website with SEO plugins. I use WordPress WP SEO, but there are many free plugins that will help you improve.
  • Check your best-performing posts. Understand why they performed better than other pieces you wrote and publish more in that style.
  • Include Affiliate Links in Your Content. When you write about a product, add an affiliate link by f.e. Amazon Affiliates to your article. If someone buys the product because your website sent them to buy it, you'll earn a commission.
  • Sell a digital product. Do you have special skills or knowledge you can share? Why not create an e-book or a travel guide? With easy plugins such as WooCommerce for WordPress, you can easily add a small online shop to your page.

3. Learn valuable Skills

Sitting around with nothing to do? Forget about it, time to go back to school, even if you go virtually. There's a great selection of university courses you can take online, find them here. uAttend online trainings by skill sharing websites, take part in an e-learning courses and use the time you have on your hands now.

Invest in yourself and add to your skillset. Make use of online learning platforms for high-quality courses such as Udemy or Skillshare. After finishing a course, you will even receive a certificate! Free tutorials can be found all over Youtube, they're great to get startet! Valuable skills you can easily learn online are:

  • WordPress Website creation and how to build your own Website
  • Graphic Design Skills
  • Photography Courses
  • Strategic Journalism
  • Professional Social Media Management
  • Photoshop and Lightroom Photo Retouching
  • 3D Animations and AR Courses
  • Video Production with Final Cut and Premier Pro
  • Digital Brand Marketing
  • HTML Coding
  • Languages

4. Enjoy Everyday

Don't forget to take care of yourself. Create a daily wellbeing routine. Mind & Body need nurturing, to function, focus, be happy and healthy.

One of my favorite Quotes I live by is "Let go or be dragged" - that's a Daoist way of surrendering to circumstances you cannot change. Keep positivity in your life and make concious time to take care of yourself. Here's how:

  • Schedule digital friends time. Keep in touch with your social contacts even if you do it from home. Chat, skype, Facetime or whatever makes you happy. Don't be afraid to open up about your stress and share your emotions.
  • Start a meditation programme. Meditating helps relieve stress and anxiety. It even has a soothing and healing effect on your mind and body, will help you to focus and sleep more soundly. There's great apps such as Calm or Headspace with guided meditation courses to help you practice daily mindfulness.
  • Start a Yogaclass on Youtube. There's so many bloggers out there who offer great videos to join them in their daily routine. I love to do a round of sun salutations in the morning. It gets the blood flowing and releases Endorphins. Start your day right!
  • Pick up Pilates for fitness and wellbeing. I recommend the very fun and cheerful programme Blogilates by the lovely Cassey. She will kick your ass.
  • Eat well. Your body and mind need nutrients to function. Have some veggies and fruit and drink plenty of water throughout the day
  • Stretch in between work, this one's pretty obvious. Working from home usually involves LOTS of sitting. Get up, stretch, open your windows , walk around a bit and take a break.