This is where readers pay a regular recurring amount (usually on a monthly or annual basis) for access to either premium content, a community area, some kind of service, tools, coaching (or some combination of these things).
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.
I agree with your statement “Often times, you can make more money selling to the 2% than you can to the entire 98% combined.” and your following example about selling a $10,000 mentoring program for aspiring writers.
Jon, amazing article! I would just add to your #15 regarding e-mail subscribers. The number you described is real if you have a legit database of subscribers behind it (don’t know if you take this here for granted).
Reddit – ads appear on the top of the various pages. They are obviously ads so users don’t feel tricked into clicking on them. When people choose to select an ad they usually know it. So there is little chance of upsetting customers this way.
As far as blogging, there are many bloggers that earn a blogging income doing the same thing and there are just fine.  Competition is good, and there are so many people to reach out to one blogger could never do it all.
This list accelerates me to make more efforts in the online world. I think you made this commission through the affiliate sale. Patflynn is the kind of income reports. He always inspires other bloggers to make money online. I would keep engaged with this post to know more about income reports.
If you are new, obviously don’t try to fit all of these income streams in at one time. You should build on it and work on one at a time. Slowly build your income. Think of it in terms of a job. When you start out at a job you don’t usually start making the big bucks right away. After time and experience come into play, then you start making more and more money with raises and promotions. Now you can make a ton more money online than a typical job but it is the same concept!
Nick is the co-founder, editor and author of Goats On The Road. He contributes to numerous other media sites regularly and shares his knowledge of travel, online entrepreneurship and blogging with the world whenever he can. Nick’s advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider and Forbes.
As usual a top knotch post full of excellent advice, very easy to understand and follow. Just studying your posts is an object lesson in how these things are done. I, like many aspiring bloggers, am very familiar with the glazed look that passes over people’s faces when I attempt to explain what my plans are! I think the primary problem is that we have been brought up to do business in a particular way. You make something therefore you get paid for it. Most business people feel there is something inherently wrong about a system where you provide huge amounts of valuable content free of charge and without obligation. The peception is that the model cannot be susstainable.
PS: my answer to this question is always… “the better question is… how can my blog help me build a profitable business?” Most of the profits from blogging are not made on your blog, but that’s okay. I don’t believe blogging about making money per se, but about branding yourself and positioning yourself within your niche market as an authority and leader. Once that is established, there are so many ways to move people into your money making enterprises. Email marketing, as you pointed out, is one of the best ways to do this. Sending people to your membership sites, services, info products and coaching programs are all great things to route people into as well.
The reason this section is called “Great Content” is because your content really does need to be of a high standard. Everyday millions of blog posts are published on the internet and with so much competition for our limited attention spans you really have to be creating blog posts people are going to want to read and perhaps even share on social media or on their own blogs.
In other words, Jon is an incredible writer, communicator, and hard worker–no question. But you’re in the business of helping other people make money. You’re not, by contrast, a travel blogger. You’re not, by contrast, helping to teach people how to buy their first pet. You’re not, by contrast, an entertainment blogger writing about Rihanna and “True Detective.”
When anyone asks me about starting a professional money making blog I always recommend them to use self hosted WordPress as it’s the best platform for bloggers and I suggest you use BlueHost to host your new blog.
This list is perfect for new bloggers. You get to see all the cool ways the other more experienced bloggers are already utilizing. I know that all the ways I make blog income has been learned from what these other people are doing. Its truly inspiring!
Thank you so much for this post! I am one of those people who decided to blog full time for a living and am loving every thing about it regardless of the lack of time, social life or sleep. I truly believe that we have an opportunity to do what we love for a living. I will definitely start guest posting more often (I’ve only done a few).
So this is really based on when you’re planning to blog about ‘making money online’ I guess… because lesson #10 “Don’t Waste Time on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.” is so not true when you’re blogging about travel, recipes, photography, viral topics, news….. and a whole lot more.:P
I am wanting to start a blog focusing on writing and craft/art, and photography, perhaps with reader story submissions. Is this a good platform? I know that is a lot of stuff. And what if i want affiliate links? Would this support that?
One thing I notice is that the people making the serious money on this list earn the bulk of it through affiliates, not necessarily ad networks. So that is something to think about. While ad networks can be lucrative, there are downsides to them. They slow down your blog, you don’t get to pick the ads that display, and they are kind of annoying/not pleasant to look at.
really great article, thanks Jon. I particularly like #1 – it’s the mindset shift that we all need to step up and “play” at the level to generate substantial revenue. Reversing the sales funnel is also very smart and makes a lot of sense. It’s easier to make one $3,000 sale than making 300 $10 sale – although putting a $10 product out there is less scary than selling a $3000 service – again, it’s all about the mindset.
Thank you Abby for being so transparent. As an ethical blogger I have decided to start revealing this information in a report – it’s a part of my commitment to transparency more so than inspiring people. For me, if I expect transparency from brands, I must be transparent with the way I run my blog. Would love to know your thoughts! xx
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.
#21 – Smart Passive Income – $166,123 in April of 2016 – Pat Flynn is pretty much the king on online income reports and has some of the most impressive blogging income numbers you’ll find on the web. He lists in detail his income and expenses. The vast majority of that income is from his affiliate relationships. He also earns from niche sites, book sales, and other smaller sources.
Making money through blogging requires a carefully thought out topic. If you have an existing blog with a small audience, be honest when considering whether the topic has broad appeal that isn’t already covered by other established bloggers. If it does, great! Otherwise, there’s nothing wrong with starting a second blog that will be more successful in attracting an audience, marketing itself, and making money through a variety of methods described below.
Jamie, Thanks you for this wonderful post. Blogging is the best making money business if someone treat it like a business. Your good content cannot make you money if you don’t know how to monetize your blog.
My other point is to say, don’t blog for $10 a post. There are living-wage blogging jobs out there. Anywhere a company or publication needs to talk to a specialized audience, there’s an opportunity. Blogging really can pay the bills.
It will also give you the funds you need to build a team around you. You can hire an assistant, a tech person, a billing person. The faster you get rid of stuff you suck at doing, the faster you will grow.
you changed your domain name and you are doing well but i did the same but things are bad (no traffic, back links, mass email not working). I have just read your advice on domain change in one of your posts but now what should i do.
I’ve written many articles here on ProBlogger on the topic of making money blogging and will link to some suggested further reading on the topic below but let me share a few introductory words on the topic first.
I learned this lesson the hard way after having most of my income coming from one source in the early days but after a bit of a bad experience began to diversify my income streams (read about that here) – it was one of the best things I ever did!
I had a blog a couple years ago in a pretty precise niche (female musicians), too precise maybe. I had like 20 readers! Now I’d like to try again with another topic but I’m afraid there’s way too much blogs about it already (hippie lifestyle including health, fashion, decor, beauty, printables, etc). I tried checking stats and keywords but I don’t understand any of the information I’m getting. I’d rather pay someone to do the research for me but I have no money. The other thing is that I’m not an expert in anything. The hippie lifestyle thing is the only topic I can think of that would generate more than two article ideas in my brain! Do you think there are solutions for someone in my situation ?
Congrats Grant! Incredible year, it’s been a ton of fun following along your journey. Really enjoyed the video of your interview as well. Keep up the great work and I’m sure you’ll crush your 2018 goals too!
Hey Kenzie!! Aww, you’re so nice! If you’re ever in the Nashville area, let me know 🙂 Blogging has totally changed my life, but it took some work to get where I am now (I’m on maybe my 12th income report?) But I am totally open and share the good and the bad when it comes to blogging, so hopefully others find it useful. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment 🙂
With WordPress, creating a paid job board is easy. See our tutorial on how to create a job board in WordPress with WP Job Manager for a step-by-step walkthrough. You can use the WooCommerce Paid Listings addon to charge for job post submissions.
Below are the 10 goals I set for the blog in 2017, what I was able to accomplish in 2017, and my goals for 2018. These also include a detailed breakout of the $401,681 in blog income I made from the Millennial Money website.
This is such a great resource with all these reports in one place. I do my report a bit differently – since I’m still small I report on what’s working and what I’ve learned – along with details about growth. I’ve been so encouraged by others who share! http://www.balancingmotherhood.com/tag/blog-traffic-report/
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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!

One of the most frustrating things for me since I began blogging was getting more engagement on my blog posts. When I first started I went from nothing to around 200,000 on Alexa in about 3 to 6 months. After that, I had a long hiatus of no content and flew back up past 10,000,000.
Personally, I think that the most lucrative way to earn money from your blog is to use your blog as a marketing tool and stepping stone, rather than the whole shebang. Branching out also helps you to grow your blog in general, because it increases your presence around the web (and the world). So, what do I mean by “branching out”? Here are some examples of how you could use your blog to gain income and create more followers:
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!
This is complete motivation for me to keep on blogging and not giving up. Thanks for taking the time to put this list together. I know it takes some time searching Google for these folks updated income reports.
#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.
Thank you for sharing such a great post! I am new to blogging and I keep on searching for website like this. One of the hardship I encountered is content for my blog I am not very good at writing so I am planning to hire someone who could provide a very good content. Do you have any recommendation where to hire for someone who could write an article for me?
Love all of the info you have available here! I wanted to clear something up, I am kinda confused!! I just launched my website with Bluehost. When you mention having WordPress. org in order to use adsense, do you mean that you have to purchase a wordpress.org theme? (as in graphics and format)
I feel skeptical writing blogs again as i never had a good experience earlier. Had some blogs and no traffic. Going by your narrative and very useful blog, i hope that i will succeed in my blogging deeds:)
I’m blogger from Indonesia, it’s really helpful to find a blogger like you who dedicated for the “art of traffic”, not many bloggers here (Indonesia) explain it deeply like your blog, though some advice not applicable here.
Hey! I really want to thank you for providing these tips for someone who is just starting out. Sometime its difficult to know where to start. With your post, it has given me a clear focus and motivation. Thanks so much Jamie
And so, I guess my question here would simply be–would a person who follows your blog about TV shows be interested in paying for a TV-related webinar you created? Would a person who follows your blog about vinyl record collecting want to buy an online course from you? Would a person who follows a travel blog you created want to call you up for coaching lessons?
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).
It’s so refreshing to see someone write about the times that they were making only $60 per month, since most links I find are about how to make thousands. That seems pretty out of reach when you’re just starting out.
Definitely not mandatory! The majority of bloggers don’t share income reports. We had just learned so much from other bloggers who had, so before we started making much at all, we started sharing our income in hopes that following our journey would help others be able to figure out this whole money and blogging thing too! Best of luck with your blog!
Some blogs are focused on getting paid to provide links to news articles, company stores, or other third party websites. The most financially successful of these range from the Drudge, a blog composed almost entirely of conservative-leaning news links, to Smashing Magazine, a site that provides advice and product reviews to help software developers.[5][6]
Really enjoyed the Article – Well written and full of information! It is great to see and quite motivating. The focus on determining what your site/blog is worth based on subscribers makes complete sense!
Thanks Gustavo. Glad it’s been of great help to you. You’re right, there’s a lot of shit out there that is misleading and ultimately want to take money from newbies in exchange for misinformation and crap services/products. All the best.
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!
Some bloggers publish their own income reports, but again, it’s difficult to draw general conclusions since each blogger’s circumstance is unique. Many bloggers have stopped sharing income reports, such as Pinch of Yum, but one of the more well-known bloggers who continues to share his is Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income.
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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.
The key with creating content is to make it as useful as possible. Focus upon creating content that changes people’s lives in some way will be the type of content that people will value the most and it will help people to feel like they know, like and trust you – which is really important if you later want to make money from your blog.
Well, out of curiosity, I shopped around to see how much advertisers would pay for the same ad space. The absolute highest rates I could negotiate would’ve brought in only $5,000 per month per ad spot, totaling $15,000 per month — 70% less than we made selling our own products.
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.
Edge on the side of caution. Although putting a link on your site to another site for money is not illegal, it is against Google’s guidelines, as the person wanting the link is trying to manipulate the SERPs for their own gain.
Thanks, This is very nice article. I like it so much. I have created a newly news portal with wordpress and install Hueman theme for free. But after installation no pic showing in my pages. Can you give me a good suggestion for me?
I’ve found paying for many of those expenses by year (not monthly) saves you at least 10% throughout the year. With so many expenses you may find it helpful! Love your encouraging income reports! Keep ’em coming!
Congrats on the paycheck! I’ve had my blog for about a month now. Growing enough followers to get Adsense to work for me has been a chore. Nice to know that others have a similar story, that it is work, that it didn’t come easy, but that the work paid off.
If you already have a blog and are interested in monetizing it, you can can get actual real world examples, tips and ideas on how to do this by reading these monthly income reports.  Find out how it’s already being accomplished.
Also, in Building the Framework, the mid-range course comes with 20 videos. I do not use WordPress, and so would like to know if those videos are focused on WP setups and themes? Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
No matter which group you’re in, making money with a blog – whether it’s a hobby blog or a business blog –is possible. It’s not a get rich quick ordeal, but if you do it right, you could make enough to support your family and more. Let’s dive in and see how you can make a profit with your blog.
I am wanting to start a blog focusing on writing and craft/art, and photography, perhaps with reader story submissions. Is this a good platform? I know that is a lot of stuff. And what if i want affiliate links? Would this support that?
Simple, Search engines, at least the first scan of a page do not scan all the content. By showing the pages latest comments first, it make those comments more likely to be read by the search engine’s spiders. This will register as always fresh content and fresh engagement – which is good for SEO.