Can You REALLY Make Money Blogging?

7 Things I Know About Making Money from Blogging

Can You REALLY Make Money Blogging? [6 Things I Know About Making Money from Blogging]

Every so often, I find myself pulled aside at conferences or receiving emails and tweets from individuals seeking the genuine truth about the feasibility of making money through blogging.

Questions like: Can you truly earn a living from blogging? Is it only a select few who are successful in monetizing their blogs? Does success hinge on exclusively writing about making money from blogging?

I empathize with these questions, and I’d even add one more to the mix: If making money from blogging is indeed possible, how likely is it for someone to succeed?

While I’ve previously addressed these concerns on ProBlogger, it’s worth revisiting the topic due to the abundance of misinformation circulating. On one hand, there’s the occasional hype where someone claims rapid millions from blogging, often coinciding with the launch of a product or service—essentially marketing spin.

Conversely, voices are asserting the impossibility of making money through blogging, suggesting that anyone claiming to be a full-time blogger is either a scammer, a liar or is trying to sell something related to making money online.

In this article, we’ll delve into the realities of making money from blogging, debunking myths, and setting realistic expectations for those looking to venture into the world of monetized blogging.

Can You REALLY Make Money Blogging?: Here are 7 things I know about making money blogging

1. It is possible

I’ve been immersed in the world of blogging for nearly thirteen years, and for the past twelve, I’ve been successfully monetizing my blog. What initially began as a modest income of just a few dollars a day gradually evolved, transforming into the equivalent of a part-time job, then a full-time occupation, and most recently, into a fully-fledged business with employed staff.

In the early days of ProBlogger, I used to openly discuss the specific details of my earnings. However, over time, I became increasingly uneasy about it. It felt somewhat intrusive and resembled a self-indulgent exercise in boasting. Eventually, I saw little value in continuing this practice. Nonetheless, I can affirm that my income has seen consistent growth each year since I embarked on this journey.

In some ways, I found myself in the right place at the right time—I entered the world of blogging in 2002 (although it felt belated to me at the time). I was fortunate enough to start blogs on relevant topics at opportune moments.

While timing played a role, I’m aware of numerous other bloggers who’ve achieved financial success, some of whom haven’t been blogging as long as I have. For some, blogging is a delightful hobby that sustains their coffee habits; for others, it serves as a part-time job, supplementing income from traditional ‘real jobs,’ or assisting with family responsibilities like raising children. And for a select few, it has become a full-time pursuit.

I’ll share a few examples below to illustrate the diverse ways in which individuals navigate the blogging landscape.

2. There is no single way to monetize blogs

Recently, at the ProBlogger event, I showcased a diverse lineup of Australian bloggers, each occupying a space on the part-time to full-time spectrum. The range of niches they represent demonstrates the breadth of blogging possibilities. Here are some notable bloggers from our speaker lineup:

The previous year featured other outstanding bloggers, such as:

  • Lucy Feagins: Design Blog
  • Emma Merkas: Dating Blog
  • Chris Hunter: Motorbike Blog
  • Phoebe Montague: Fashion Blog

The majority of these bloggers have transitioned to full-time status or are well on their way. What’s fascinating is the variety of monetization strategies they employ, ranging from advertising sales, membership areas, ebook sales, affiliate promotions, offline business promotions, speaking engagements, book deals, and more. Many have diversified their income streams, showcasing the versatility of blog monetization.

Can You REALLY Make Money Blogging?
Can You REALLY Make Money Blogging? 4

These examples are just a glimpse of the vibrant blogging scene in Australia, and similar trends are occurring globally. Monetizing a blog can take numerous forms, and to illustrate this diversity, I created a “money map” providing an overview of various monetization methods. Additionally, I conducted a free hour-and-twenty-minute webinar offering an introduction to the topic for those looking to explore the possibilities.

3. There are no formulas

From time to time, individuals release products claiming to hold the secret formula for guaranteed success in making money online. They outline steps that, supposedly, will ensure financial success.

In my extensive experience, I’ve concluded that there is no one-size-fits-all formula. Every full-time blogger I’ve encountered over the past decade has paved a unique path, crafting a distinct narrative of their journey. Many have relied on intuition, acted on hunches, and stumbled upon surprising discoveries along the way.

While certain patterns may emerge in their stories, each blogger possesses a unique personality and style. They cater to different audiences, and each niche tends to have its distinctive monetization methods.

The crucial takeaway is to observe and learn from the experiences of others but to also recognize the importance of forging your path. Acknowledge what works for others, but be willing to embrace your individuality and make unexpected choices in your blogging journey. Success in the ever-evolving landscape of online entrepreneurship often requires a blend of learning from others and creating your narrative.

4. Many niches monetize

One common misconception about monetizing blogs is the belief that only those writing about how to make money blogging are earning income. However, this assertion is simply inaccurate.

In the list of speakers from our Melbourne event mentioned earlier, it’s evident that bloggers covering a range of normal topics are successfully monetizing their blogs. Notably, none of them sell products or guide making money through blogging.

Drawing from personal experience, my blog about photography has proven to be significantly more profitable than my blog about blogging (ProBlogger), disproving the notion that only blogs discussing blogging generate income.

In a recent webinar series featuring interviews with full-time bloggers, including Sarah Wilson, Tsh Oxenreider, and Ana White, a common thread emerges: none of them generate revenue by teaching others how to make money online. Sarah focuses on health and well-being, Tsh on simple living, and Ana on woodwork. This diversity highlights that successful blogging spans various niches, debunking the myth that financial success is exclusive to blogs about blogging.

5. Most bloggers don’t make a full-time living from blogging

Every time I’ve surveyed readers of ProBlogger about their earnings, we’ve seen that those making money from blogging are in the minority.

In a recent survey of 1500 ProBlogger readers, we asked about their monthly earnings. What you’re seeing below is the spread of earnings from readers who are attempting to make money blogging (note: not all ProBlogger readers attempt to make money, so not all are included in these results.

Keep in mind that ProBlogger readers are generally newish bloggers — about half of those who took this survey had been blogging for less than two years.

So of those trying to make money blogging, 10% don’t make anything and 28% are making less than 30 cents per day. A total of 63% make less than $3.50 per day.

problogger readers
Can You REALLY Make Money Blogging? 5

Let’s be clear — most bloggers who are attempting to make money are not making a living from blogging.

Having said that, of the 1508 bloggers surveyed 65 (4%) are making over $10,000 per month (over six figures per year) and a further 9% were doing over $1000 per month (which is at least a part-time level of income).

My feeling, having been attending blogging conferences for two or so years now, is that the number of full-time bloggers is on the rise, and there are quite a few more people now at least making the equivalent of a couple of days’ work a week in income from their blogs.

However, most bloggers don’t make much.

Read also: Decoding the Realities of Prompt Engineering: Unveiling the Truth Behind Lucrative Salary Claims

6. It takes time to build

Upon delving into the statistics from the income level survey above and analyzing those in the top earnings bracket, it’s intriguing to observe the correlation between blogging longevity and financial success.

A staggering 85% of individuals in the top income bracket have been blogging for four years or more, with almost all others having a blogging history of three or four years. This aligns with my journey, where I blogged for a year without generating income. It took approximately two years of gradual increases before reaching a point where my blog approached a full-time income level. It was only after four years that I entered the top income bracket, surpassing $10,000 per month.

This pattern underscores a fundamental reality: blogging for monetary gain is far from a get-rich-quick endeavor. It demands time to cultivate an audience, establish a brand, and develop trust and a positive reputation. Even with several years of blogging experience, there’s no guarantee of attaining a substantial income. Success in blogging is a gradual process that requires persistence, dedication, and a long-term perspective.

7. It takes a lot of work

Longevity alone is not the sole determinant of a profitable blog. Another common factor I’ve observed in most full-time bloggers is their proactive nature. Blogging and passivity typically do not go hand in hand.

The notion of blogging as a “passive income stream” is often emphasized in many make-money-blogging products, but it starkly contrasts with my own experience. Over the past decade, I’ve dedicated more effort to my blogging business than anything else in my life before this. While the work is often enjoyable and energizing, creating content daily, staying informed about community developments, managing the business aspects, developing and selling products, and building an audience all demand substantial effort.

The key lies in building blogs that genuinely matter to people—blogs that are original, interesting, and helpful. However, this doesn’t happen effortlessly; it requires a significant amount of work. Successful bloggers understand that sustained effort, continuous improvement, and an active approach are crucial elements in creating and maintaining a blog that resonates with an audience.

Conclusions

Indeed, making money through blogging is a viable endeavor. While the number of individuals successfully monetizing their blogs at a part-time to full-time level is on the rise, they still represent a minority within the blogging community.

Those who have achieved a sustainable income from blogging hail from diverse niches. However, a prevalent commonality among many successful bloggers is the significant amount of time they have invested in their craft. Longevity in the blogging world is often a key factor in building a solid foundation for financial success. It underscores the importance of patience, persistence, and commitment as bloggers navigate the journey from starting to establishing a sustainable income stream.

The above article is about :

Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips.

Originally published at www.problogger.net.

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