Have you ever wondered how much do bloggers make? Is it possible to make a full time salary as a blogger?
While blogging can be seen as a hobby for some, is it ‘worth it’ all the time and effort it seems to take?
As someone who has tried and succeeded on different ways of making money online, I’ll share why blogging is still one of my favorites.
Furthermore, we’ll reveal the details on how much bloggers make at every stage of their journey (and what you can expect), why some blogs fail, and to make sure you don’t.
How much do bloggers make?
The real answer to how much do bloggers make is… it depends.
I think when people ask this question they are probably trying to figure out if blogging is something they want to invest their time in which, as a blogger, I can definitely understand.
However, as much as I would like to give you a straight answer there are many factors blog’s earnings, such as:
- Its niche.
- How old it is.
- How much traffic it gets.
- Its monetization methods.
- How large their email list is.
This means there are bloggers out there who make zero dollars while others make six figures a month.
So, I think understanding the keys that make some blogs successful vs others is as important as knowing how much they make.
With that said, let’s explore the numbers we do have on bloggers’ incomes.
What do we know about how much bloggers make?
- Glassdoor reports that the average blogger salary is over $32,800 per year, based on 88 anonymously submitted salaries.
- In a survey of 1,500 Problogger readers revealed 63% made $0 – $99 per month. 17% made more than $100/month. 16% made at least 5-figures annually, and 4% made 6-figures a year. (Considering that Problogger teaches new bloggers I would say most of the responders were just starting out).
- One of the most common ways in which blogs make money is through ads, which make you around $0.01 – $0.25 per page view. This means that a new blog with 1,000 pageviews a month can make $10-$25 and turn into $1,000 – $2,500/ month when reaching 100,000 pageviews a month.
- Email lists are another important asset bloggers use to create their income. Depending on the niche, making $1-$3 per month per email subscriber is a realistic projection.
- If you add other monetization methods, it is realistic to make $500 – $2,000/ month in your first year, $5,000-$10,000/month in your second year, $10,000-$20,000/moth in your third year and $50,000+/month in your fourth year.
How much are ‘successful’ bloggers making?
To give you an insider’s look at the true income potential of blogging, I asked professional bloggers to share how they successfully monetize their blogs. I think it’s important to set realistic expectations, so you’ll see all types of bloggers at all income levels on this list.
I included an approximation of each blogger’s income based on the information they provided or from the income reports available on their sites.
The Ski Girl
Niche: Sports (Skiing)
Approximate income: Currently averaging six figures per month and on its way to to hit seven figures in the next six months
Monetization strategies: Affiliate marketing through Amazon.
I must admit I was surprised when I learned how much this site was making with affiliate links only, especially considering skiing is a seasonal niche.
Recently, Amazon reduced its affiliates’ fees significantly, which must have impacted the blog’s income. Thankfully, that can be easily fixed by moving to other affiliate programs with better fees.
Making Sense of Cents
Niche: Personal finance.
Approximate income: $1.5 million annually
Monetization strategies: Affiliate marketing, online courses, sponsored partnerships, advertising
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner managed to position her blog into the competitive niche of personal finance by adding a personal perspective in every post and sharing her journey from debt to financial freedom.
She claims it took her around six months to make $100 because she wasn’t focused on monetizing it at first. She then went on to make her first $1000 a month after one year of starting and went to earn $5,000 a month a few months after that.
In the last couple of year, she has made 1.5 million annually.
The Wayward Home
Niche: Nomadic and alternative living
Approximate income: $3,000 to $6,000 a month
Monetization strategies: Sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, and advertising
TheWaywardHome is in the nomadic niche which includes super trendy interest such as off-the-grid living, van life, RVs, and boat living.
Despite the niche being in such high interest, it is a bit hard to monetize. People interested in this lifestyle are often looking to cut down expenses and won’t but a van or RV from the internet.
However, Kristin Hanes, the founder, has managed to monetize the blog through ads, sponsored posts, and affiliate links for renting sites and accessories.
The Ways to Wealth
Niche: Personal finance
Approximate income: $15,000 per month
Monetization strategies: Affiliate marketing and advertising
The Ways to Health is another successful blog in the personal finance niche. Its founder, R.J Weiss who applies his expertise to write about legitimate side hustles, money-saving tips, and investment tips for beginners.
The blog’s primary source of income is affiliate marketing with some of its main products being insurance and investment services.
Amazing Me Movement
Niche: Personal growth and self-improvement
Approximate income: $3,000 to $5,000 monthly
Monetization strategies: Affiliate marketing, e-books, advertising, sponsored posts, and coaching services
Amazing Me Movement is a great example of a successful blog in the personal growth niche. This market can be hard to monetize since there is not many affiliate products or services out.
However, Iva Ursano, founder of the blog, has used a variety of monetization methods to turn it into a profitable site that is aligned to her coaching services. She currently makes $3,000-$5,000 monthly.
She has more than 145,800 thousand followers on Pinterest which definitely helps to direct traffic to her blog.
A quick look at google search volume around this niche shows it is filled with opportunities and has very low competition when it comes to SEO.
Niche: Survivalist / ‘Prepper’
Approximate income: $1,000,000 per month
Monetization strategies: Affiliate marketing, advertising, and selling their own products.
SurvivalLife.com makes 1 million dollars a month in the ‘prepper’ or survivalist niche. It was created by Ryan Deiss and the DigitalMarketer.com team who attribute its success to having treated it as a business since the beginning.
They sell survival knives, outdoor gear, battery cell phones, wilderness survival kits, and more. Contrary to other bloggers who sometimes are afraid to upset their audience by being too ‘salesy’, SurvivalLife takes every chance they have to promote whether it is on the blog itself, their making list, or their Facebook.
Pinch of Yum
Niche: Food / Recipes
Approximate income: $60,000 per month
Monetization strategies: Affiliate marketing, advertising, digital products
I’m Lindsay, the founder of Pinch of Yum, used to be a 4th grade teacher with no digital marketing knowledge. She started the blog with the hopes of creating a side income and has now grow it into a six-figures-a-year business.
She makes her income through affiliate marketing, ads and selling her digital products around food blogging and food photography.
Together with her husband she also started a (paid) community called Food Blogger Pro where they place to teach people everything about —yes— food blogging.
Digital Photography School
Approximate income: Millions a year according to Copyblogger.
Monetization strategies: Affiliate marketing, advertising, Courses, Presets, Ebooks
Digital Photography School is definitely an authority in its niche with over 500,000 subscribers, and 5,000,000 monthly site visitors.
While it has taken its founder, Darren Rowse, years to get there, it is onky an example to the potential a blog can have over time.
Most of the income of Digital Photography School now comes form its own products including courses, ebooks, and presents. It even has its own Affiliate Program in which other people can promote those products in exchange for a commission.
Approximate income: $65,000 a month
Monetization strategies: Affiliate Marketing, Ads, Courses and EBooks
Matt Kepnes, the founder of Nomadic Matt, started the blog after an 18-month trek around the world that make him realized he wanted a job that would keep him traveling.
Thanks to great timing, good SEO and a few viral posts, the site began to take off after about a year. After 2 years, the blog was bringing in $50,000 to $60,000 a year from e-books, sponsored posts and affiliate marketing,
He continued to develop his travel courses, increased his affiliate revenue, and regularly launched new products.
By 2013 (year 5), the site was bringing in six figures. Now, Nomadic Matt has 1.5 million visitors a month and grosses about $750,000 year. He has three full-time employees and lots of freelancers. He also co-owns a hostel in Austin, Texas.
Niche: RV Camping
Approximate income: $8,000 a month
Monetization strategies: Mostly Ads
Note: While most of the previous sites have 6+ years of being created, I wanted to show you an example of a site that is only 3 years olds so you can see what is completely attainable in the mid-term.
CamperReport is one of the niche sites created by Ricky and Jim (IncomeSchool founders).
The most impressive thing about this blog is that they wrote 35 articles on the site and let it ‘sit’ for about a year. By that time it was bringing in 100,000 page views per month which is what allows them to make around $8,000 a month of very passive income.
They also started a Youtube channel with just a few videos that are now over 500,000 views, which helps drive traffic to the blog.
What methods do bloggers use to make money?
One of my favorite things about blogging is that there is not one, but MANY ways to make money AND the opportunities keep growing once your blog does so.
Here are some of the most common ways in which bloggers monetize their platform.
1. Placing Ads on your blog ($0.1 – $0.25 per page view)
Having ads on your blog is one of the easiest and quickest ways to start making some money.
Since Ads are paid based on views or click, you might not make much at the beginning but it will add up as your traffic grows.
Depending on how many visitors you have per month you will have the option to work with different advertising networks.
a. Google Adsense ($0.01 – $0.05 per page view)
Google Adsense is Google’s ad platform and the easiest way to monetize your blog if you are just starting out.
On the good side, they don’t have a requirement for a minimum amount of visitors so you can start working with them right away.
On the bad side, they have probably the lowest fees when it comes to CPM (cost per thousand impressions) and CPC (cost per click).
But no other networks will acept you will less thank 10 visitors a month so it is still better than nothing.
I recommend getting started with Google Adsense as soon as you have a few blog posts up and then switching to another platform once you get consistently 10k visitors/month.
b. Other Advertising Networks ($0.10 – $0.25 per page view)
Once you have reached at least 10,000 page views per month, you will have the chance to work with other networks that can offer you better fees such as Ezoic and AdThrive.
At the moment of writing this article, Ezoic only requires 10,000 page views per month which is amazing since I have seen people tripe ad their income when switching to them after been on Google AdSense.
AdThrive is another great Advertising Network but they require at least 25,000 page views per month. Some people have reported getting better fees when switching to AdThrive and others said their results were Ezoic were actually better so they went back to it.
The results will change depending on your niche, blog, and posts so I recommend trying them both as soon as you meet the requirements.
2. Affiliate Marketing ($1-%500+ per commission)
Affiliate Marketing is a very common method that bloggers to generate revenue. In fact, according to a 2018 survey with 150 bloggers, Affiliate Marketing was their most common source of income.
Put simply, Affiliate Marketing means a blogger promotes another company’s product or service and receives and commission for every sale that is made thanks to them.
Review posts, tutorials, and ‘best of’ articles’ are some of the ways in which bloggers tend to promote their affiliate products.
Contrary to plain ads, the point in being successful at ‘promoting’ an affiliate product is to create valuable content around it, find out how would it help the audience and focus on serving them rather than selling.
In the above picture for example, you can see how Nomadic Matt casually place his affiliate links as a ‘reminder’ at the end of most of his posts in a way that actually helps the reader and condenses all the importan steps they need to take.
Now every time someone click through those links an make a booking/ purchase, he will get a commission.
In this other example of Digital Photography School, all of the models in this ‘Best of’ article are affiliate products and the blogger will get a commission for every sale.
The commission rates can go from 1% up to 30% or even 40% for some digital products like courses and memberships.
Amazon used to be the most popular affiliate program since it has products for almost every niche but it recently slashed his commission to less than half so I am sure bloggers will be migrating to better alternatives.
3. Selling their own products ($1-$1000+)
Another popular way for bloggers to make money is to sell their own products whether it be physical products in their niche or digital products such as courses, ebooks, or memberships.
At first, most bloggers are skeptical about people buying anything from them but if you are doing a decent job as a blogger you don’t need to make a lot of selling.
Your readers are already interested in the free content you are putting out there. This means they have probably come to trust you and will, most likely, be interested in your paid offers.
In the image below you can see an example of the blogger of Pinch of Yum who is making money by selling a Food Photography Course.
Or the blogger at AmazingMeMovement who is selling her own Self Development Book.
Lots of bloggers promote ‘low-ticket’ products at the beginning as a way to create more trust with their readers.
But most of them also have a complete sales-funnel set up so when someone buys these products, they continue to promote bigger, more expensive offers via email. This ‘back-end’ or ‘high ticket’ offers usually range between $299 and $1999.
4. Sponsored Content ($50 – $1000 per post)
Once your blog starts to grow, you will also have the chance to sell sponsored content. This means a company will reach out to you and pay you to publish a post about their brand or product.
Sponsored posts can pay between $50 to $1,000 depending on your blog’s popularity and niche. These prices are average just for publishing the post but you you can always offer to write it yourlsef and negotiate a much higher fee.
Besides sponsored posts are often really crappy or have crappy links included which Google and your audience will notice. So that’s an extra reason to rewrite them yourself.
While it might be tempting to go ahead and accept every sponsored post you are offered, you must be careful with how often you publish them. Google doesn’t like when blogs that do a lot of sponsored content so it could get you blacklisted and prejudice your traffic.
5. Social Media Promotion ($500 – $3000 per promotion)
Yes, bloggers are paid to post on social media…and yet you were doing it for free all this time.
While you might need to grow your blog to at least 100k visitors per month before you can leverage this type of income, once you do, you can easily get paid $500 for a tweet.
This is of course considering you have a social media account that is dedicated exclusively to your blog and niche and has a significant amount of followers.
In that case, you are considered an influencer or expert in your niche and you can definitely make money promoting products or services on social media. The bigger your following the more money you can get paid.
There are some niches where this type of promotion is most common such as travel and fashion. Bloggers with big Instagram followings can make at least $5,000 per month from promotions only.
6. Brand Partnership ($1,000 – $30,000)
The same way brands will be interested in paying for social media promotions, they will also want to create partnerships to promote their products through your blog.
Partnerships can look a hundred different ways depending on the brand or product but as your blog grows, you want to be prepared and create packages on how you can help their brand reach your audience AND vice versa.
Contrary to sponsorships or paid posts, a partnership involves both parties actively helping each other. In this case, partnering with the right brands can help you grow your audience since they will share your content and email their followers about you as well.
Furthermore, working with big brands means they have big budgets so don’t be afraid to negotiate. If a brand is reaching out is because they want to work with you and are probably expecting the negotiation part.
7. Freelance Writing ($300 – $1,000 per post)
Last but not least, blogging is writing, and not any writing but expert-level writing.
The truth is, once you start growing your blog you will become an authority and an expert in your niche. (Which means you should be writing about something you know or about something you like enough to be learning about in the process)
So the more your blogs grows, the more of an expert you will be, and the more you’ll be able to leverage that expertise through freelance writing opportunities.
Every company and oublication out there is producing content constantly and they are often looking for niche experts to write for them.
In fact, many new bloggers do freelance writing gigs as a way to supplement their blogging income at the beginning. You can get paid $300 per blog post and up to $100 for longer pieces like white papers or reports.
Even more, it can help grow your authority as an expert in your industry and build your portfolio.
These are just some of the most common ways in which bloggers make money. There are many more like coaching or consulting which you can do once your blog gets really big. The main benefit of creating a blog is that you are building a platform and an audience so you can then choose and get creative about your monetization.
Best tips to make money blogging
Now that you know how much bloggers can make and what are the different methods they use to make their money, pay attention to the following keys so you can create your own profitable blog.
1. Blogging will not make you money fast
There, I said it! Are you still here? Good! Because even though blogging won’t make you money fast it doesn’t mean it won’t make you good and sustainable money. (which is must say is my favorite type of money)
While some people will pass on blogging because they are looking for a short term solution, that just weeds them out and leave more room for people with long term mindset.
Having that clear from the begginning is the most important pice since the first months will be the hardest. You’ll have to put a lot of time and effort and won’t see results for a while but if you are expecting it you’ll be able to push through and enjoy all the fruits of your labor.
Once your blog starts growing and the snowball starts rolling, the rest is easy, you’ll see results and you’ll naturally keep going.
2. Your niche is key to how much you can make
As I have shown in the article, there are bloggers making 5, 6, and 7 figures in every niche out there. However, it is undeniable that some niches have more potential for monetization than others.
For example, a blog about plants can maybe make as much money in its first 2 years as one about insurance. However, the first one might hit a cap after that and have a harder time increasing its income. Whereas the second one will probably continue to grow along with its income for the next 6-7 years.
It comes down to factors such as audience size, monetization methods, and the typical buyer journey. People are muss lees likely to buy plants online than to buy insurance. Plus, with a blog about insurance, you can get larger affiliate commissions, bigger advertiser fees, and sell products for more money.
In conclusion, you want to So pick a niche that you are really interested in (this will help you stick with it) and that can ALSO make you money.
How To Pick The Right Niche To Make Money Blogging
Here are some of the most profitable blog niches:
- Personal Finance / Insurance: $0.02 – $0.25 per pageview, $0.50 – $6 per email subscriber per month
- Product Reviews: $0.01 – $0.15 per pageview, $0.25 – $5 per email subscriber per month
- Travel: $0.01 – $0.10 per pageview, $0.50 – $4 per email subscriber per month
- Fashion: $0.01 – $0.10 per pageview, $0.10 – $4 per email subscriber per month
- Home Decor: $0.01 – $0.05 per pageview, $0.10 – $4 per email subscriber per month
These are some of the least profitable niches:
- Music: $0.01 – $0.03 per pageview, $0.10 – $1 per email subscriber per month
- News / Politics: $0.01 – $0.02 per pageview, $0.10 – $2 per email subscriber per month (requires LOTS of content daily)
- Cooking / Gardening: $0.01 – $0.03 per pageview, $0.10 – $3 per email subscriber per month
- Home Improvement: $0.01 – $0.03 per pageview, $0.10 – $3 per email subscriber per month
- Toys / Games: $0.01 – $0.03 per pageview, $0.10 – $3 per email subscriber per month (works very well on Youtube thought)
3. More content, more money
As a blogger, your content is your main product so the only way to get more readers, more view, more sales, more anything, is to create more of it.
Especially at the beginning, you want to be publishing 2-3 blog posts a week for the first 8-10 months. It might seem like a lot of upfront effort but remember than one single blog post can make you money for years and years. That is the closest to passive income than it gets.
Of course, if you don’t have the time to do so do not let that discourgae you from starting. You can still make it at a slower peace, it’ll just gonna take more time to take off.
The good thing is that after you start getting some income you can hire freelance writers to help you and devote your time only to the main articles or to the marketing part of your blogging business.
4. Do not be afraid to promote to make money
Some bloggers are afraid to come too ‘salesy’ so they will try to not promote their offers too ‘obviously’ in an attempt to not scare their readers.
As longs as you are consistently providing value through your content and expertise, it is ok to sell. People won’t leave your blog because you mention a product or send a promo email.
If you believe in the products you are promoting and trust that they might help them someway, then, by all means, be direct about it. People are always looking for solutions to their problems so if you have one you are making them a favor.
5. Diversify your revenue sources
One of the difference between bloggers who make 5 figures a year and those who make 6 or 7 is now many income streams you have.
If you settle with ads and affiliate products then your income will eventually hit a cap. Or it might grow a little month by month as your traffic keeps growing but if you keep adding more income sources like your own products, partnerships, etc. you can escalate your revenue much faster.
6. Always be growing your email list
I can’t tell you how many times I heard this advice and thought ‘well yeah but I have more important things to get done before’. I am sure I am not the only one guilty of this. As an entrepreneur trying to juggle a lot of urgent things, creating an email list never looks so urgent in comparison.
However, it is. Your email list will be your most important asset you have as a blogger.
They’ll be the ones coming back and continue to read every post you publish, sharing them on social media, buying your affiliate offers, and also your own products.
Google could change its algorithm making you lose your ranking and Facebook could ban your account yet you’ll still be able to contact them FOR FREE.
You can get your blog hacked and you could rebuild your traffic and authority through your email email.
You can send an email an make thousands of dollars in hours if you have a well nurtured email list.
The average revenue per email subscriber $1-$3 per month!! If you have a list of 10,000 subscribers you can make up to $30,000 off that list every month!
The email marketing platform I recommend is Active Campaign. They offer a free 30-day trial of their service. Make sure to check out this article to learn How To Create a Profitable Email List.
7. Make Blogging work for the lifestyle you want
Some bloggers want to grow millonaires businesses, other just want to replace their income to have more free time to spend with their family or travel the world.
If you have already reached your goals and want to cut down on the time you put in your blog, then don’t feel pressured to keep on working. You are allowed to sit back and enjoy what you have created.
Whether you want a mostly passive income or a booming empire, you can design and build your grow to be it. It is the best part of having your own platform.
How Much Do Bloogers Make | FAQ
How much do bloggers make per post?
In the case of an sponsored posts in which bloggers are paid a one time fee, the rates will depend on the amount of visiotr per month the blog has.
Here are the approximate rates based on the blogger’s number of monthly impressions:
- 10,000 to 50,000 monthly blog impressions: $175 to $250 per post
- 50,000 to 100,000 monthly blog impressions: $250 to $500 per post
- 100,000 to 500,000 monthly blog impressions: $500 to $1,000 per post
- 500,000+ monthly blog impressions: $1,000 to $5,000+ per post
However, as we have mentioned before, sponsored posts are only one of the ways in which bloggers make money.
A regular blog posts can bring anything from $100 to $1000+ per month (for years) depending on the amount of traffic it brings, the affiliate links it contains and how many email subscribers the bloggers got thanks to that post.
How long does it take to make money blogging?
While this again depends on a lot of factors, it is realistic to say you’ll probably not make anything from your blog for the first 6-8 months.
If you put in the time and publish at least 40-50 articles in those month that time, you can start making $500-$2000 by month 9-12.
By your second year you should be making an average full time income.
Why do some bloggers fail?
In my experience, there are only three reasons why bloggers fail.
1. They gave up too soon. Some bloggers start with the right foot but don’t have the stamina to push through the first few months. They might publish 10-20 articles and stop there which is not enough for Google to start ranking them. If only they have made 10-15 articles more, they could have start seeing the results and could have keep going.
2. They made very bad choices. A quick Google search can take you to an article like this where you can learn what sort of niches are good to make moneyHowever, there are people starting blogs on dying industries or niches that are almost impossible to monetize which fill obviously lead to them failing.
3. Their content suck. If you choose the right niche and do not give up too soon, you can still fail if your content sucks. As a new blogger, you want to to choose your topics wisely and create content that Googles likes. Make sure to check out this article later to exactly how to do that.
Are there any risks in starting a blog?
The risks are very low compared to the potential benefits and also compared to other businesses.
Honestly, starting a blog is not hard, it only requires commitment and patience. I’ve seen people with no prior experience creating profitable blogs in many different niches.
In the worst case scenario, the risk would be you ‘wasting’ a couple months of your time because you failed to do it long enough to reap the rewards.
How much does it cost to start a blog?
The only two essentials tools you’d need to spend on are a domain and a hosting which if you use Bluehost will come together and will cost you around $106 for 3 years. I don’t know about you what I don’t know of any other business with such a low investment.
If I want to start my own blog to make money, where do I begin?
Start right here! This article will take you to step by step from validating your niche, to getting your domain and host and choosing the topics for your first posts.
How to Start a Blog to Make Money
Takeaway | Making Money Blogging
If you came here looking for an answer on whether or not you should start a blog to make money I hope you found it!
I am a bit biased since blogging is one of my favorite ways to make money however I do think it is not for everyone. Blogging takes time and dedication and it is definitely not a get-rich-quick-scheme. However, it is one of those cases in which your efforts are always rewarded.
There are certainly other ways to make money online which can give you faster results butt hey also involve more money investment and higher risks. So it all comes down to your personal preferences.
If you think blogging is for you I’d encourage you to start today. Truste me, you’ll wish you had started sooner.
Treat your blog as a business from the beginning and never stop testing and adding new ways to monetize it. As you have seen, there are many ways to do it so it’d be silly to not diversify and use as many as you can.
The more ways you use to make money with your blog, the more money you are likely going to make.
Over time you can turn your blog into a really profitable business that gives you the freedom to live life on your own terms.
The first year is the hardes but if you can push through it, not only does it get easier after the first year, but start making a lot more money!