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.
Hi, of course a freestyle blog can be profitable, you have to research the market that your audience is interested in. So what topic(s) (read: niches) do you write about. Do some research in Google and see if any ads pop up. If none, that topic is probably not a very good one. The key is to write great posts, provide great content, build an email list and research what your list is interested in (hint: use polls to check that out, let’s say if you are considering to become an affiliate for amazon and you want to promote cooking books, just an example, you could ask your subscribers to go to a poll you created about what books they love to read, and add cooking books as one of the options, plus several others, to make it more attractive, promise that they can win a reward or so, a free product or free service or even $25 will take them to your 1 minute poll). Also: learn about doing keyword research in Google keywords tool. And learn a bit about SEO done the proper way. Now don’t think you learn this in a week. It can take many years to master this art, but at least a year, if you study like crazy. Make sure your content is great, over deliver in great content, so people LOVE to subscribe to your list, offer a freebie that they will LOVE, and to find out what they would Love you can do a poll in your blog post(s) to research various interests your readers have. Then see if there are affiliate programs for that. Before my reply becomes longer then Jon’s article, I think I leave now, but you get the point…. go do your homework kid 😉 Good luck with your booming business! Believe you can do it, because you can, but you need to work hard, and learn the art of building trust and offering what your readers and subscribers Love…. Woohoo, go do your research now!
Absolutely! It’s a great niche to get into. You can review cooking equipment and link it to your Amazon associate account, where you can earn commission from your blog posts. I’d probably keep the site in English as you’ll earn a lot more money targeting the US than France.
Jon, this is a great article. Thank you. As usual, you are full of useful information. I am new to blogging (just launched in March) and I initially started with the small e-mail list from my business website, which does not have a blog. I started a completely new website after realizing I was on the wrong platform altogether to grow an audience. I learned this thanks to the information you and other professional bloggers provide. You recommend affiliate marketing to monetize a small new blog, which are my exact thoughts for my blog. Do you have an affiliate program? If so I would love to promote your info on my site. Thanks again!
One area I never really got into with my survivalist blog and wanted to was Everyday Carry. Most people will have never heard of this concept but it really is an interesting sub-niche with in this niche. Everyday Carry is basically any items you can’t leave the house with.
A blog is not a blog without content so once you’ve set your blog up you need to focus your attention upon creating useful content. What you choose to create will depend a little on the topic that you choose to write about (on that note, most successful bloggers have some focus to their blogging whether that be a niche or a demographic that they write for).
Detailed and informative post. I’m a poker-player, I play online on different sites like 777spinslot. I’ve thought about my blog, where I can share different secrets of poker, tricks and tips. But I don’t know where to begin. May be your post will help me
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There are so many options for affiliate links, but I feel like I am just skimming the service and there is so much I don’t know. I started by looking into products and services I use and then find out if they have an affiliate program I could join! Some of the companies offer programs in their own; some are part of a big network. I think I am going to break this down in a blog post this week. Thank you for asking!
I think now that I have finally started to have a better understanding of how to provide value. My new challenge is learning how to differentiate when I’m giving “too much” value, in the case where I should have just packaged up the content and created a product.
Ad income comes from traffic to your website. So in the early stages, you will still be growing and won’t have a lot of traffic. Thus, low income from ads. But don’t give up! As time goes on, you will get more traffic and start earning income from ads! 
Good info Word of warning though if your website is not very niche you can forget about Google Adsense. I have a generic business directory and 30,000 monthly visits over 3 months Google Adsense payout? Zero!!!!!!
#11 – Rose Atwater – $4257 in March of 2016 – Rose has a lot of different income sources (always a good idea!). About half of what she earns comes from ad networks, while the rest is a mix of affiliates and sponsored posts.
I have been meaning to tell you thanks for including me! I need to get back to publishing these reports, I have been on a blogging sabbatical and have not published anything for a while now so need to get back to it!
This article was submitted by Daphne Z.  Travelling and living abroad have taught me a great deal. The main thing that have taken from my travels is surely an education that has rivaled what I have received in the classroom while…
Are you looking for the top ways to make money online that are NOT scams? WordPress is the largest publishing platform on the planet, and it powers over 27% of all websites. You can use WordPress and blogging to earn money online by doing what you love. In this article, we will share the 25 best ways to make money online blogging with WordPress.
Instead of a job board, you could create an event calendar where you charge people to advertise their events. This also works well if you already have an established audience, because businesses will be willing to pay to reach your audience.
Your income reports are inspirational! I have been blogging off and on for 2 years, and my income is sporadic. I love what you are doing, and am so happy that you are making a success out of blogging!
To be honest, I’m not a big podcast listener myself so this one really blew me away. I think a lot of the popularity ended up being because of the 5-minute format and the banter between Matt and me. Sometimes we agree and sometimes we don’t. We also try to balance the mechanics and the philosophy of money. I also chock up some of the success to the fact that we just kept at it. Recording 232 episodes took a ton of time but we’re both really committed. We also have a ton of fun recording, especially now that we both work online full-time. So for all of you who downloaded, listened, or shared any episodes we really appreciate it. As long as you keep listening, we will keep recording. We are planning to record another 200+ episodes in 2018, so hit us up for any topics you want us to cover.
With dropshipping, you create the store, manage the website, and customer service. But a dropshipping service will take your orders and ship them out to your customers. They’re an invisible third party that your customers don’t even know about.
Always blown away by your posts and funnel, but I can’t help but think that there is an easier way. Basically, take everything you reccomend, then only do what is absolutely nessicary for that tactic to work.
For example, if you’re currently only making, say, $20 a month with your blog, you might prefer to start small and just read an income report from someone making $100 per month to see how they are managing that.
I’ve just begun my passive income journey and one of my aims is to get added to this site as it’s so useful and inspirational. Unfortunately I’ve started rather poorly as the ad network and affiliate links scheme I was hoping to join refused my application. My fault, but bit of a shock.
Some time a few years ago I was fed up writing for no one online. I wanted my words to be read and ultimately wanted to be paid to write. So I decided to educate myself on the subject. Here’s what I did:
It can guide future product creation. If one affiliate product sells 10X better than all the others you promote, you might want to think about developing your own version of the product, because you have proof your audience wants it.
As I write this, I am getting ready to fly to New York to be interviewed on ABC Nightline which gets like 1.5 million viewers (freaking out a little bit). I also have two other TV interviews confirmed so far in just January. But in 2017, I made my first appearance on WGN News in Chicago and it was so much fun. I also learned (the hard way) that you should always wear makeup on TV simply to reduce the glare on your face from all the lights. Here’s my first time on TV for Millennial Money with my shiny forehead. It was a ton of fun though.
Now, starting a blog is easy but in order to be able to successfully monetize the blog, you need to establish the blog. In this guide, I have also covered the topics that help you establish your blog so you can monetize it.

Keep in mind you need lot’s of traffic that is actually targeted traffic which will help convert into money for you.. Let’s say you have a blog about dog grooming and you are getting backlinks on a high authority fashion blog. That traffic from that blog will not equal money for you or very little because those fashion freaks may not even care about dog grooming and find nothing interesting on your blog so they leave rright away. That effects bounce rate over time and you wasted your time getting a quality backlink on a blog that there visitors most likely don’t care about your blog.
Another thing you’ll notice is that many of these bloggers are doing a great job of diversifying their income (not putting all their eggs into one basket). This is very smart in blogging, and I can say from personal experience that the more I branched out with income streams, the more I earned overall. And it felt good to not be dependent on just one or two income sources.
If you’re interested in getting started with affiliate marketing, you can start by thinking about the products you already use that your readers may be interested in as well. Then you can see if they have an affiliate program that you can sign up for.
Now I am here to ask you to include my new blog in your Blog Income Report list. I created my new website last week however my income report is about my Niche Site. Please, could you include it to the list?
#6 – Embracing Simple – $630 in August of 2015 – I have Christina at Embracing Simple linked above as well with an older report when she wasn’t making as much. It’s inspiring and motivating to see how quickly someone can way more than double their blogging income when they try. It looks like most of this money came from affiliate links.
That is awesome! Really happy to see this is motivating you. It motivates me as well. To think there are already people out there making a ton of money from blogging just shows it can be done. Just need to keep at it and try really hard!
I’ve always had passion for blogging but didn’t exactly know how to go about it. And then the issue of continuity comes in.Having gone through this beautiful and well written article, I am highly motivated. ….Thanks
This is awesome post. More energy for new bloggers and monetization methods. The ultimate way to earn from blogging is to have something your own to sell. starting from cheaper and at discounted price is also good to penetrate in this market.
This guide to making a money making blog is completely free. I don’t want anything for it – just for you to take action and do it, so many of my friends would love to do it but give up too soon, often when their big breakthrough might only be a few weeks away.
While you need decent traffic to do a direct deal with an advertisers there are ad networks (like Google AdSense) that act as a middleman and enable smaller publishers to run ads on their blogs. This is where many bloggers start (I did too).
Great article I’ve been a plumber for over 25 years and was thinking of starting a plumbing blog withe free help and advice do you think this blog could make money and would it be difficult to set up ?
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To be honest, I’m not a big podcast listener myself so this one really blew me away. I think a lot of the popularity ended up being because of the 5-minute format and the banter between Matt and me. Sometimes we agree and sometimes we don’t. We also try to balance the mechanics and the philosophy of money. I also chock up some of the success to the fact that we just kept at it. Recording 232 episodes took a ton of time but we’re both really committed. We also have a ton of fun recording, especially now that we both work online full-time. So for all of you who downloaded, listened, or shared any episodes we really appreciate it. As long as you keep listening, we will keep recording. We are planning to record another 200+ episodes in 2018, so hit us up for any topics you want us to cover.
Once you’ve really understood the audience, it’s a case of demonstrating the potential value the product (in excess of the cost) will bring to the audience in the form of a solved problem. If it’s clear that your product will deliver more value to the customer than they pay for it, then it’s a no brainer for the customer.
It’s not because they were stupid. They didn’t get one of my emails and say, “Oh, look honey, this is a fabulous opportunity to throw our money away. Let’s give this good-looking fellow $10,000 just for the hell of it.”
Your blog is great and every single post is packed with truly useful and up to date information and tips, but one thing I am finding, not just with BBT, but most “how to be a successful blogger” sites is that the focus is almost entirely geared towards people who want to be a “blogger” and not on how a company can use a blog to drive sales.
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.
Excellent breakdown of the real deal man. Thanks for dispelling many of the get-rich-quick crap circulating about how to use blogging as a revenue stream. At MFJLabs we use blogging to augment our SEO efforts for client sites. Works nicely.
There are thousands of articles and podcast episodes on ProBlogger about how to create content. See our latest stuff in the content category on our blog and on the podcast. Also check out some of these popular articles on different aspects of creating content.
Plugins come in all varieties, from very simple code modifications to complex software applications. If you have a basic grasp of how WordPress works and some simple PHP knowledge, you can create your own WordPress plugin.
Very useful, applicable and dare I say inspiring post, Jon! I feel I’m ready to systematically implement all of your solutions (and similar ones offered by others) but I often wonder if I would have more success starting a new blog from scratch, than trying to up the ante with my existing blog. It would be nice to have time for both! Great post though, I will be bookmarking (and sharing, cuz you asked) this one.
But eventually you are going to get out of your depth either on that project on a project down the road, at which point who are you going to call? Are you going to call somebody randomly that you discovered on Google or are you going to call the guys who you just watched their logo in the corner of a 14-minute instructional video?
One downside of dropshipping is that you have to find a good supplier, which can be a challenge, and sometimes you have to place a large order up front. This can make it difficult to get started without investing a lot of money.
Using Bluehost, I paid for a domain and a wordpress website, used a free theme and had no idea what I was doing. This was my only expense for my first several months of blogging. Talk about a cheap, low cost to start an online blog/business!
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?
Just one word: WHOA! This post was so good that I bookmarked it!! 2 things amazed: your story about how it took about 8 years to bring it to that point (proves that there’s no overnight miracle that can happen in a snap of a finger) and the fact that you use tools and strategies for your every single moves while blogging!
Display ads are nice when they are contextually relevant, but they can get really random and clutter up the experience. Also – a quick note: If you run a display ad network on your website, it can undercut your affiliate revenue since most affiliate commissions are based on last-click attribution, not first-click. So, for example, if someone clicks on your affiliate link, but then comes back to your website and gets served a re-marketing display ad from your affiliate and they click on it, you might not get the affiliate commission (since they clicked on a re-marketing ad for the brand last!). I realized I was losing a lot of affiliate commissions this way, so be careful if you have run display ads and have affiliates.
Start by thinking carefully about the type of reader you’d like to have read your blog. You might like to create an avatar of that reader (sometimes called a reader persona or profile) to help you work out who you’re trying to attract.
Once a month we publish the income earned from JustAGirlandHerBlog.com. It gives us a chance to reflect on the month– what went well and what didn’t go so well. We hope you follow along on our journey of turning our blog into a business!
This is the first time I read the honest and so detail report on the blogging income. Love it since its so inspirational. Thank you for being so transparent with what you are doing. Just started my blog for my new year goal. You are one of my mentor in blogging business. Thank you again
Offering a service is an excellent way to make money quickly because startup costs are low, little to no inventory is required and you get paid for a skill you already have. The downside is, it’s not scalable.
There are some complicated rules for bloggers who publish sponsored posts and depending on your country they can differ. The main point is to make sure that you clearly declare when a blog post is an advertisement.
Selling your own product or service on something you REALLY know is the best way to make money fast with your blog.  All you need is a decent following or readers that trust you to start making a few sales.
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.