Among the two kinds of bloggers, those blogging as business keep asking this question all the time. It’s a very common question and what you’ll find, at least from people who aren’t actively involved in the business themselves, is that you’ll get two very separate set of answers. How much money can you really make from blogging? Some people will tell you that earning a comfortable living from blogging alone is little more than a pipe dream and there are far greater opportunities worth exploring. Other people will tell you that with the right content, the right audience and the right strategy, the possibilities are literally boundless.
As you might suspect, the truth can be found somewhere in the middle. From the outside looking in, the life of the professional blogger sounds awfully attractive. You get to work from the comfort of your home, at the schedule that works best for you, working on subject matter that you’re really passionate about. You get all kinds of “cool swag” and you’re invited to incredible events. You can continue to earn your living whether you’re partying it up in Las Vegas or exploring the Australian Outback.
But none of that lifestyle stuff really matters if you can’t afford to pay the bills, right?
The exact data is really difficult to acquire because there are far too many variables involved and not all the information is widely available. You can’t know for certain how much money a blog makes unless you ask the blogger (and he is being 100% open, honest and transparent with you). And it’s also very much true that many bloggers run more than one blog too.
And you also have to recognize that a significant number (likely even a majority) of bloggers have no ambition to make any money from their blogs at all. It’s a hobby for them and they’re doing it just for fun. It wouldn’t be fair to include this subset in our discussion, because it would not be an accurate portrayal of income potential. You can’t expect them to make money if they’re not even trying.
That’s why an annual report put together by iBlog Magazine is so useful. They surveyed thousands of bloggers and because the report focused on the women’s blogging industry and business, the assumption is these bloggers did have financial aspirations. Again, the data is understandably limited and focusing solely on women bloggers limits the scope too.
Are You Treating Your Blog Like a Business?
Many successful bloggers have discussed in the past why so many bloggers don’t make money and part of this has to do with the fact that the overwhelming majority of bloggers aren’t taking it as seriously as they should be if they want their blog to produce full-time income. It’s because the barrier to entry is so low, so they don’t feel like they’ve invested that much.
If you took out a giant bank loan so you could start a brick-and-mortar business, surely you’d feel a lot more invested in the project and you’d be willing to put in a lot more effort to ensure it succeeds. The urgency is much higher than the few bucks you spend on domain registration and web hosting. There are some bloggers who think they’re trying to make money blogging, except they’re even using a free platform with free hosting.
You need to take it seriously and it becomes a chicken-and-egg type scenario. The same iBlog survey indicated that 42% of those surveyed still work full-time or part-time at some non-blogging job, 30% are stay-at-home parents (who are working on the blog as a side hustle), and 18% own a non-blogging business. This means that they’re not as fully committed to the blog as someone who may be running a more traditional business full-time.
Speaking for myself, my blog has become my primary source of income. I make the overwhelming majority of my money from this and other blogs I run. My blogs has benefited me a lot and I am still working hard to take it to the level I envisioned them.
Yes, it’s true that most bloggers don’t make any “real” money from their blogs at all, but most bloggers don’t approach their blogging endeavor in such a way that is conducive to maximum profits either. Don’t be like most bloggers if you want to make more money. .
You Must Take Your Blogging As A Serious Business
You need to think about your blog like a platform, not just a blog. A huge difference between million dollar and amateur bloggers is that they view their blog as a platform – meaning they use it to test (and then scale) money making ideas. They use it to connect with people. They use it to make money in a bunch of different ways. The more ways that you can make money on your blog, the more money you are likely going to make. Get creative. The experience you get monetizing your blog and connecting with other bloggers, the more ways you will find to monetize your content and your own brand. Over time you can grow your blog into a really profitable business that fits within your ideal lifestyle.
Anyone can earn money blogging, but it’s no get-rich-quick scheme. If you’re starting a blog from zero, it may take months before you see any money at all, and even more until you reach a decent income. If you take your blogging as business and you are serious at it, it’s not unrealistic to make at least $5,000-$10,000 your first year blogging, $20,000+ your second year, $50,000+ your third year of blogging, and $100,000+ in your fourth year. How much money you can make does not depend on how much traffic you are getting and how large your email list is. Seriously, if you keep at it and keep building your traffic and revenue will continue to grow.
Some of the bloggers that make the most money actually have pretty small audiences – they just know their audiences well and have maximized their earning per page view and email subscriber. Most professional bloggers are measuring both earnings per page view and earning per email subscriber monthly. It’s not unrealistic to make between $0.01 – $0.25 per page view in many blogging niches across display and affiliate ads. So if you get 1,000 page views a month (very very easy), you can make between $10-$25 per month, which will cover the cost of running the blog. But if you can get to 100,000 page views a month you can make between $1,000 – $25,000 off of your blog per month.
Put In More Time To Make More Money from your Blog
The more time you put into it, the bigger your traffic will grow, your email list will grow, and the more valuable your audience, the more money you can make. While making a lot of money blogging is definitely not easy, one of the best things about it is as your Google traffic grows over time, and your audience grows, you can make more and more money each year. This is why I love SEO (search engine optimization) so much – it really is the compound interest of blog growth. If you haven’t yet checked it out, here are my 60 Best SEO Tips for Bloggers. Study and use those strategies – they actually work. SEO is what is going to make you the money over the long run. Google organic traffic is by far the most sustainable traffic strategy.
Money Is In The Email List
The most important asset you have as a blogger is your email list. This is your crew, your audience, your tribe. They are the ones who will come back and keep reading your content and who you will build enough trust with so they will buy from you (either products you create or promote) or click on the affiliate links for the products you recommend. While you can, and will, definitely make money running display and affiliate ads on your blog, your biggest money making opportunity is going to be with your email list. The million dollar bloggers out there are able to make between $1-$5 in revenue per email subscriber each month!! If you have a list of 10,000 subscribers you can make up to $50,000 in revenue off that list per month! It’s crazy. Keep in mind that’s a really extreme example and not typical. Somewhere in the $1-$3 per month per email subscriber is actually realistic.
Make More Money With a Profitable Niche
How much money you can make blogging depends largely on the niche you are blogging about. If you blog about used books, for example, you could probably only make money if you sold books directly through your blog and then you likely won’t make much money. Unless of course, you blog about (and sell) expensive, in-demand, rate books. But if you blog about money, for example, it’s going to be easier for you to make money because you can get larger affiliate commissions, bigger advertiser fees or CPMs (cost per thousand impressions), and sell products for more money. So pick a niche that you are really interested in writing about (this will help you stick with it) and one that can also make you money (if you want to make money blogging). Not all bloggers want to make money. Over the past 3 years, I have had the opportunity to meet (and work) with many full-time bloggers and while you can make money blogging in almost any niche, some niche makes more money than others.
Though some bloggers don’t make much money there many rich and successful bloggers. If you really want it and keep at it, you can actually become a millionaire blogger. Seriously, the first year might be pretty hard, but not only does it get easier after the first year, you can also start making a lot more money. Happy Blogging!
Have you started a blog? How do you make money?