This is a really interesting post Jon. What you’ve listed here are the “tools of the trade” so to speak. Every type of business has a list of things specific to that business that must happen in order for their to be income produced. If that list isn’t followed, then you have a hobby, not a business.
There is plenty to learn and go through in blogging for money that newbie should be aware of and read first. I agree, this could also inspire anyone to do better with his blog, but caution, caution and caution.
Direct Income – when I started making money from my blogs it was through ‘direct’ income streams. I put AdSense ads on my blog and promoted some products on Amazon as an affiliate and the more readers I had the more income began to trickle in (it really was a trickle at first). In time as my traffic grew this income grew and I was also able to experiment with other direct forms of income such as selling advertising directly to advertisers.
Congrats on making some money! I’m terrible about affiliate stuff, so the money I make is often from cash back site referrals. (Mr. Rebates gives you an amount equal to 20% of your referrals’ rebates. No time limit.)
Thanks for this list. It is really inspiring. I started my own blog, http://www.wisdomforwinning.net but am not sure how to go about and earn some passive income from it. It has been running for a month now and I have got feedback from different people that I really publish some good content which is really helping them. Even the traffic is getting bigger each day which motivates me to go on.
I was under the impression that I should probably build up a little content before I started putting myself out there via social media and seeking affiliate income, ads, etc, but the more I read, it seems like many successful bloggers try those things out of the gate because (as you said) it all takes a while to build up. What do you think?
Alexander, thank you so much for championing this cause and pulling this list together. I have been inspired by many bloggers income reports over the last year and felt a calling to put together a site that documents each of their journeys so that we can all learn from those who have gone before us, whether they made $10 or $10k.
A great post Jon. I enjoyed reading it and learn a lot. I was particularly impressed by your take the one metric that matters. I was also surprised to find that spending time on social media isn’t a great use of a blogger’s time.
For example I really launched a blog in the survivalist niche a couple of years ago which I sold for a great profit. The reason I created this blog was that I enjoy being outdoors, hiking and mountain biking etc. I also watch a lot of TV shows about people like Bear Grylls and Ray Mears.
My hurdle that you make seem so easy comes for this one line: “Write content that gets lots of traffic”. I know that I write good content, but content that gets lots of traffic … well. In that one line you have made the most difficult part of getting started seem like a “no brainer”.
As your blog grows, you may want to change the look of your site and add more features for your growing audience. That means it’s important to choose a blogging platform that’s flexible, with room to grow. 
This is all great information from someone who has had connections and still has connections for year. If you never worked at copyblogger you’d have a real job. In other words…you got lucky and the other 1988098804880979 million bloggers out there won’t have your right place right time luck and therefore won’t have your connections and therefore won’t make this kind of money. Your bragging is embarrassing and shameful!
Twitter – has a variety of ad options like Facebook and other social networks. The best one for your blog marketing efforts is the Promoted Tweets option. You can expect about $0.50 to $0.75 estimated cost per engagement, which is Twitter’s way of telling you what your cost per click is.
Great information and all in one place too! Nowadays I see people are getting very creative in ways to make some extra money from home. I must say, you certainly help to solve this problem very beautifully. Nice guide for making money.
Anybody who’s been online for a while has heard the term “VALUE” at least a million times. Yet, only a few of us know “WHAT” value IS. I’ve generated a substantial amount of subscribers over the years, but my relationship with them was lacking, because I didn’t fully grasp the concept of giving value.
Thanks Sam. I split it between index funds, AMZN stock, and saving for another property in the next few years (location TBD!). I like being on TV and it’s led to a lot of new opportunities. It’s also helping me get the message out to a much broader group of people who don’t read blogs. After I’m on TV I get emails that are like “Hey I never thought about saving more than 10% of my income!” I’m all about meeting people where they are. Sure, it’s definitely a personality trait – I think you either like it or you don’t. I really dig the energy of being on TV. It’s fun.
Hi Jamie, this is great. I am totally new to the idea of blogging for myself and your website is clear and jargon free. From everything I have read, it seems it’s about having a subject you are either very knowledgeable in or are passionate about and then sharing that information with other people who may find it useful through blog posts. Once the audience are there, then looking at ways to monetise through audience numbers, if I’ve got it right?
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If you need a little help I would highly recommend you check out my article How to Start a Blog in which I run through the steps you need to take to get up and running. It’s really not as hard as you might think!
In return for a reader’s email address, I would give away a free 7 day email course via email. About 85% of the time, that reader would stick around after the mini course to check out my new articles and updates.
So as we can see from this chart SEMRush thinks that it would cost Everydaycarry.com over $30k per month to get the traffic they are getting for “free” from Google’s organic results. By clicking on the different options we can then see which keywords have the highest search volumes.
Bill hit upon an interesting point (although I disagree with how he expressed it…) Jon, you’re a phenomenal writer, but would you say it’s phenomenal writing alone that got you to where you are today, or your connections with well-known blogs, or both?
Excellent post, and very encouraging! My coworker knows I love to write and was toying with the idea of starting a blog, so for Christmas he offered to go halvsies on my hosting and domain. That was definitely the push I needed, and I did a ton a of research before finally taking the leap, but I still feel like there is so much I need to get a good handle on!
Wow. I love this list. As a new blogger, I often feel overwhelmed and sometimes uninspired because it feels like an uphill battle trying to figure out this business. This list has really helped me compile a great deal of resources for what I hope will be a successful blog in the future. Thank you for this!
most bloggers make $0..01 per page view or $0.02 per visitor. Very succssful (efficient) bloggers make 10 times more than that (I’ve made a research about it – researchasahobby.com/how-much-money-can-earn-blogging-per-visitor/)..
Great post, thanks for sharing. Couldn’t agree more as Blue Host with WordPress Blogging is an Excellent way to generate a Passive Income Online. Love the use of Plugins with WordPress, makes Search Engine Optimization SO Much Easier.
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Great article here. I’ve been running my healthcare blog for a few months and have just recently started to spend more time on it (learning wordpress, marketing strategies, etc). I’m noway near earning anything from it yet but with effort and time, hope to establish myself as a leading pharmacy blogger.
I just wanted to say that your income reports helped me a lot over the years. They provided a lot of motivation and they also helped me understand what tools might be useful to me as a blogger (the expenses part). It would be great if you continue sharing what tools and resources you use to power your blog, even without the numbers! Thanks so much and continued blessings to you and your family.
#20 – Making Sense of Cents – $71,761 in April of 2016 – Michelle has been publishing her income reports for quite a while now, and they are always so inspiring. Well over half of her income in April came from affiliates with the rest coming from ads, sponsorships, staff writing, and client work. The income is listed is before her expenses.
It’s faster. Instead of investing months or even years creating a product, all you have to do is publish a link on your site. Assuming your audience is engaged, you could be earning commissions within hours or even minutes.
Example: The past 5 months I have been getting clients hiring me to be their Social Media Manager. I never planned to offer this service and I never even had it on my blog, but because of what I was doing on my blog and the social proof, they reached out to me.
I put in so many hours into my blog, I probably get paid like .5 cents per hour. LOL, but I dont care because I love blogging. Its a great way to get my creative juices out there and help others with investing.
You deducted $5 for Google as a blog expense. But didn’t you mention in your article that you also pay for your domain and a wordpress website? Do you still pay for those, and if so, how much per month? I was wanting to start blogging, but the whole decision on going with a free site or paying for one still has me in limbo. Also, do you have a domain or website you recommend? Thanks.
Let your readers know that you are an affiliate. In the United States and some other countries, you are required by law to reveal to your readers that you receive material benefits from the manufacturer of the product. This includes affiliate link payments as well as gifts and cash offered in return for a review.
This certainly isn’t a direct form of making money blogging, but it has worked for many well-known bloggers, and it can work for you, too. If you’re looking for a direct revenue stream, popular blogs have sold for 4-7 figures (sometimes more) by selling their branding and content.
The idea that you can start a blog today and make a full-time income within a few months is, for most, not realistic. There is simply too much too learn and too much to build (your site, your content library, your social media presence, your trustworthiness, relationships with readers, etc.). If you need money right away, building a blog may not be your best option.