Cha-ching! To me, crazy money means over $100,000 per year. As a writer??!! Since everyone asks me, “How do bloggers make money?”, here’s how my Blossom blogs pay the mortgage.
I’ve been blogging since 2008, and started making money blogging right away. In How I Became a Blogger – Laurie’s Story I describe how I started freelance writing, then online writing for Suite101, then blogging for my own “Quips and Tips” blogs.
I originally wrote this post about making money blogging in 2011, and have been updating it for the past six years. The numbers are a bit of a mishmash between then and now because I’m not great at remembering my income from back then. I should write a new blog post about how I make money blogging every year, so it’s clear and straightforward.
But I don’t often write about how to make money as a blogger. Why? Because I’m a writer, and all I want to do is write about a million different things. And, because there are SO MANY online resources for earning an income on the internet. Two of the best are Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger and Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income blog. Pat shares how much money he makes every month. He’s not “just” a writer or blogger; he’s a book author, podcaster, and niche affiliate marketer. If you were impressed that I make over $100,000 a year as a blogger, you’ll be shocked and awed that Pat makes over $100,000 A MONTH.
Below, I share how I make money from my Blossom blog series.
Last December I made almost $6,000 from Google Adsense, almost $13,000 from Amazon, and assorted other income from my ebooks, Amazon, Clickbank, and ShareaSale. Every month is different, but I always make at least $9,000 per month. It’s shocking how much money you can earn from blogging – I can barely believe it and I’m living it! But it requires a lot of work.
Making money blogging is like making money from any other business. It requires dedication, time, effort, learning, and patience. Learning how to make money as a blogger also requires you to ride out the slow months, and know/hope that better months are ahead.
8 Ways Most Bloggers Make Crazy Good Money
“If you decide to generate income from your blog, then don’t be shy about it,” says successful blogger Steve Pavlina. “If you’re going to put up ads, then really put up ads. Don’t just stick a puny little ad square in a remote corner somewhere.” Puny little ads don’t earn money, and big fat ads in the middle of your blog posts look terrible! But if you want to make money as a blogger, you need to make sacrifices.
The most important thing to remember about making money blogging is that it takes time and sustained effort. There are no fast, easy secrets to earning a living as a blogger. Like any small business, you have to work hard on your blogs. Successful bloggers are entrepreneurs who know that “get rich quick” schemes will fail every time.
Making money blogging like compound interest: the more you write, the more you make (if your content is interesting and either helpful or entertaining!).
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1. Most bloggers experiment until they find what works for them
Don’t just blindly copy the “Quips and Tips” blog style (which is what my Blossom blogs were called until recently), the “Problogger” style, or Steve Pavlina’s blog style. It’s not only irritating to the original blogger, it doesn’t work!
Successful bloggers – like all successful entrepreneurs – have two jobs:
- To learn as much as they can about earning an online income; and
- To try different things until they find what works for their blog.
I find the most common ways bloggers earn money extremely time-consuming and labor-intensive. I tried them all: blog carnivals, posting comments on forums, commenting on other blogs, participating in link exchanges, and writing guest posts. But, these activities work for some bloggers — and all bloggers have to learn what works for them.
2. All bloggers remember the concept of “compound interest”
Plant seeds now; they’ll yield acorns and trees later! Some of my most popular blog posts – and highest sources of income – are articles I wrote a couple years ago. Making money blogging is a labor of love for the first two or three years. It helps if you have another source of income or a wealthy spouse to pick up the financial slack.
I worked part-time as a freelance writer while creating my “Blossom” blog series, and took the full-time plunge about a year ago. Like any small business or seedling, a blog needs time and energy. Nurture your blog from the ground up, and you’ll make money blogging.
3. Most bloggers entertain, educate, or somehow edify their readers
Find a topic or niche that interests you, learn about it, and share what you learn in a unique, creative way. Solve problems, using your writer’s voice! Build your own blog with a theme and content you can’t wait to wake up to every morning!
And keep reminding yourself that earning an income online – like anything worthwhile – is a long-term process.
4. All bloggers incorporate ads or products that fill readers’ needs
On Blossom in Your Health, I advertise all manner ‘o things about getting pregnant and coping with fertility issues. Most bloggers make money by closely aligning their advertisements with their blog content, because readers are more likely to clicky-clicky on ads that solve their problems and meet their needs.
If you want to make money blogging but struggle with the “behind the scenes” stuff, read When to Hire a Webmaster for Your Blog.
5. All bloggers pay attention to readers’ search terms
My readers often find Quips and Tips for Successful Writers by searching for “freelance writing tips”, “feature article ideas”, “make money blogging tips”, and “magazine writing tips.”
I’ve gotten really good at learning search engine optimization as a blogger. Hence SEO Tips for WordPress Blogs.
Knowing how people find my blog helps me choose the ads that both meet their needs and increase my online income. I also feature books, books, and more books because I love books! Plus, I like being an Amazon affiliate.
For Amazon-specific advertising tips, read 5 Tips for Advertising Amazon Products.
6. Most bloggers earn money by exploring affiliate advertising networks
The best way to earn an income online is to experiment with different affiliate advertising networks. I’ve tried Commission Junction, LinkShare, AdBrite, Chikita, Google Affiliate Network, Kontera, ClickBank, and more. Don’t just copy what works for other bloggers! Take time to figure out what the best ads are for your blog.
7. Many bloggers occasionally change ad placement on their blogs
The Google Adsense gurus say the most profitable ads are within the blog post and “above the fold.” Does that work for your blog? Try it and see! I don’t advertise above the fold because I think it’s too much — it’s bad enough that I have ads smack in the middle of my posts.
To earn an income online, find a balance between making your ads obvious but not too distracting or annoying. Experiment with ad placement — try ads at the end of your blog posts, along the sides, and in the footer.
8. Many bloggers make money by play with types and sizes of ads
There are so many ads to choose from! Banner ads, product images, text ads, in-text link ads, pixel/favicon ads, contextual links, eBook ads, exit ads, lions and tigers and bears, oh my. Incorporate the ad types and sizes that you dislike the least, let them run for a couple of months, and see if you make money. Remember that you may need over 1,000 page views a day before you make $100 or even $50 a day with your blog, depending on your niche and products.
One of the most important tips is to read as much as you can about making money blogging, and then keep experimenting until you find what works for you. How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul by Ruth Soukup is an excellent place to start. Learn how other bloggers make money. Do your research, try their tips, and keep measuring how successful you are.
If you want to learn how to blog for money, you need to dedicate at least one year. Study online writing and blogging as if it was a BUSINESS — because it really is.
And, read my 10 Tips to Help You Start Your First Online Magazine. It’ll help.
I welcome your thoughts or questions on how bloggers make money below…