How much do Bloggers earn? (It depends on a few things…)
If you've ever thought of being a blogger or have a friend who's in the blogging community... you've probably wondered "How much does a blogger actually make?".
Well, bloggers earn money through a variety of different methods, but their income can usually be determined by knowing their amount of traffic and their quality of traffic. Millions of bloggers don't get paid at all, while very few earn millions per month.
Before we get into how much specific bloggers actually earn (yes, I'll make a whole list for you), let's talk about how bloggers earn their cash. Obviously, with more pageviews comes the possibility to earn more money through selling things. Whether that's selling advertising space on the page, selling someone's course, or their own products, a blogger essentially earns all of their income by selling stuff.
How do bloggers even make money?
Bloggers earn money in many different ways, but here's a list of the most common methods:
- Affiliate Products
- Their Products (Merchandise/Courses)
- Sponsorsed Posts
- Freelance Writing Jobs
Advertisements. For the past 20 years, inserting advertisements into your posts was the most reliable and profitable monetization method for most bloggers. You'd get a simple ad code that consisted of HTML and just paste it into the sidebar or into the middle/end of a post.
Bloggers are paid per click or per thousand pageviews, and depending on the niche... some blogs earn $10 per 1000 views while others will earn .50.
Affiliate Products. Affiliate marketing in blogging is super easy and also a nice cash cow. Affiliate marketing is when someone sells another company's service or product. For example, if I wanted to try to sell you on Convertkit, according to their contracts I'd earn 30% commission for life. So if you paid the most basic plan of $30, I'd get $9/month paid to my bank account.
Most affiliate marketers sell products though, usually through Amazon where a $600 camera could yield a $24 payout. Others sell courses and digital products because the commissions can be much higher due to no inventory for the creators. For example, I think Createandgo.co allows affiliates to earn $150 from their $300 blogging course.
Their own products. For example, on my Youtube channel I currently have over 1.5 million subscribers. Every time I post a video I get views and I use those eyeballs to direct traffic to my courses. Courses are the most profitable because of the super low inventory and how much people will pay for information to better themselves.
Merchandise is usually much harder to make a profit on because to make $1000 from a $30 tshirt, you'll have to sell 100 shirts if your profit is $10/shirt.
Sponsored Posts are a way for professional bloggers and those who have really grown their blog to earn some extra cash. Sponsored posts can earn a blogger $5 to $5000 per post. Usually a newer or less-known blogger or company pays a blog to post their article (including a link back to their website) for 2 reasons. One is the backlink: this will help Google think the newer website is more trustworthy because the established website is linking to it. Second is the eyeballs: Imagine your product getting posted on HuffingtonPost... you'd get tons of clicks and interest in your product even if you had a niche market.
Email Marketing. Email Marketing isn't really new, but during the last 5-8 years it's really exploded as a way for bloggers and internet marketers to make thousands of dollars by just sending a few emails. Bloggers make money with email marketing by first creating a relationship with the reader of the email. After they have "warmed up" the reader and built trust... it becomes really easy to sell something through an email. Whether that be their own digital products, an affiliate offer, or merchandise, all they have to do is send an email with a link. Some experts can earn over 6 figures from a single email or launch.
Podcasting. Bloggers are known for being on podcasts and having their own podcasts. Podcasts are like Television shows, except without the visual... you only hear sound. When a bunch of people listen to podcasts, the creators get paid through sponsorships to shoutout products and services from other companies. Bloggers sometimes get paid for being on a podcast to help produce more content. Also, most bloggers with podcasts will promote the podcast to their email list and articles to get more listeners... which means more money.
Freelance Writing Gigs. Most bloggers are decent writers, and when they're going through the grind of building their own blog, freelance work becomes a great extra source of revenue. Whether it's writing a 1000 word blog post for other bloggers, an essay for a friend, or a script for a video, some cash during the startup phase of a blog is very enticing.
Book Deals. Again, most writers are usually pretty good at writing and also enjoy writing, which means when they grow a following, it's very easy to turn all of their blog posts into a book. With the following, it's also easy to pitch the book to interested readers who have subscribed to an email list.
There are hundreds of ways to monetize a blog, but the ones I just listed are the most common and also most reliable.
Is starting a blog risky?
In my opinion, starting a blog isn't risky at all.
However, putting thousands of hours into creating a blog and hundreds of dollars into a business just to get a return and using blogging as the vehicle is risky.
Here's what I mean: if you're starting a blog as a business... it's going to be risky. Most bloggers started out writing articles as a hobby, they did it for fun.
If you're starting your blog as a fun side hustle, starting a blog isn't risky at all. This blog cost less than $200/year to set up and for most bloggers, that's nothing. I guarantee if I post one article a week for a year, I'll earn more than $200 a month.
You should understand that it could take up to 4 years before your blog become a full-time gig if that's what you're trying to accomplish. Think of it as your 4 years of college before obtaining a job somewhere. Except the college is 4 years of your posting, learning, and growing and the job is all passive income.
Can you make money blogging in 2018?
Earning money on the internet has been super awesome and I'm very grateful for the opportunity. Almost everyone who starts a blog and sticks to it for a year will be able to earn money with their blog in 2018 and beyond. People make money with attention and one of the best ways to get targeted traffic is by optimizing your website for SEO and providing great content.
When people type their questions into Google (and I think people are going to be doing this for years to come...) if you have the best content, or the best answer to their question then you will show up first.
Google wins because they showed someone the answer they were looking for. The searcher wins because they found their answer. And you win because your blog received a click and got some eyeballs on it! Win - Win - Win!
If you want proof that income is still possible though, here's a list of bloggers who are killing it this year.
Blogging Income Reports
Here's a list of the top earning bloggers to inspire you:
Melyssa Griffin earns over $280,000 per month selling her online video courses, but also earns extra cash with affiliate sales. In fact, her last income report was in December 2016, which was a while ago and I'm sure she's still growing.
She's also recently started a new podcast titled Pursuit of Purpose and is (in my opinion) doing an awesome job!
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner owns and runs Making Sense of Cents, probably the most famous finance blog on the net. She's clearing $200,000+ a month from affiliate income and sponsorships. In June 2018, she reported:
- 57% from affiliate income
- 21% from sponsorships (a whopping $21,000!)
- 19% from her own course on affiliate marketing
- 3% from advertising on her website
Pat Flynn is one of my favorite bloggers. He also earns a reported $200,000+ a month from his main blog Smart Passive Income where he teaches people how to also make money online. According to his recent income reports, he earns 40% from affiliate marketing, 50% from his own courses and the rest comes from a bunch of other small passive income channels.
Pat is has been growing his business since 2008 and recently he's really stepped up his Youtube game. I think what really makes him stand out is the authenticity and transparency that Pat shows in every single video and all of his articles. I'd confidently say he rightfully earns every dollar he makes.
Alex Nerney and Lauren McManus are the founders of Createandgo.co where they teach everything they know about starting a blog and making money with a blog. Yeah, I know... they're technically my competition, but they're also here because they inspired me to create this blog. I saw a lot of holes they didn't fill and issues with their system I thought I could do better... so here I am!
In July 2018, they earned over $150,000 a month from Avocadu and CreateAndGo by selling digital products and affiliate marketing. They are very diversified in their cash flow and that's something I look forward to also learning from them.
Jeff Rose also owns a financial blog titled Good Financial Cents, but is most focused on growing his Youtube channel now. Jeff earns over $100,000 a month from a financial planning practice he owns, affiliate marketing, and selling his own courses. What I love about Jeff is his ability to hold attention and tell great stories (specifically on his Youtube channel).
How can I start my own blog?
Starting a blog is super easy and cheap if you go through Bluehost like I did. Yes, I get an affiliate commission if you use my link, but I'm promoting it because it's what I've used and works best for me. I've used 1and1 before and also GoDaddy, but Bluehost was the cheapest and easiest for what I wanted to do: Build a simple, yet effective and customizable blog. They also have great support.
You can sign up to Bluehost and start a blog for only $3.95 a month using this link.
If I were starting, I'd go with Basic because you can always upgrade later.
Then you can choose your domain, and I actually wrote a whole post about how to name your blog.
Again, if you're starting and want to create a blog at a super low cost... pick the 12 month option and you can get started for under $200.
After that, it might take a few hours for DNS to propagate which means for the internet to fully accept your domain. Until then, Bluehost gives you a test domain. This means you can literally start working on your blog, adding plugins and choosing themes within 30 seconds... another reason I love Bluehost.
If you need any help setting up your blog or have any questions on monetizing it, free free to leave a comment below and I'd LOVE to help you out!