When getting into the blogging business, there are millions of questions that don’t have set answers.
“How much do bloggers earn?”
“How can I earn $3000 a month blogging?”
“How much traffic to I need to earn money?”
If you’re new to blogging, or wondering if you should start one, or even if you’ve been doing this for years – chances are you’ve also googled these questions in hopes of an answer that can provide us with a sense of safety or security.
Sadly, no one can.
But what we can do, however, is look around at the people who are already doing what you dream of. Look at the people who know what you don’t.
There are thousands of bloggers and writers out there right now who are pushing the limits of what we thought was possible, and showing us that there is no reason to hold back.
You can succeed in any niche, with any voice, any personality, with no experience.
And that’s the beauty of blogging, the amazing part of starting your own business and just learning by experience, implementing as you go, trying, failing, and enjoying every part of it.
Obviously I’m unable to give a straight answer as to how much bloggers earn, or how much they can earn. So here I’ve compiled a huge list of great bloggers at all different income levels and the different ways they choose to monetize, so you can get an idea of what is possible.
6 Bloggers Earning Up To $14,000 a Month
Ali Adventures is mainly a travel blog, with travel tips and stories, as well as some posts on making money online and food.
She uses several different affiliate networks and ad programs, but the majority of her income is from AdThrive ($1,817.31) and the Amazon Affiliate Program ($729.15).
Easy Baby Life is a blog on everything from pregnancy to raising children, with the aim to “simplify motherhood”. This blog is run by Paula, who has been writing on it for over 10 (!!) years.
Her main income source is MediaVine ($3,801).
The Practical Saver is a blog on everything within personal finance, with sub-categories such as saving money, making money, creating budgets and paying off debt.
The majority of his income is through sponsored posts ($2,780) and Pinterest coaching ($853.50).
Millennial Boss is a lifestyle blog on everything from personal finance and handling debt, to wedding planning and traveling.
Their main income source is the Amazon Affiliate Program ($1481.73) and AdThrive ($3416), although they’re using over fifteen different income streams, earning a few hundred dollars each, which obviously adds up.
Income: $8,000 +
Pulling Curls is a lifestyle blog with no specific niche, proving once again that multi-niche blogs can absolutely generate a massive income and create a community. Their sub-categories are parenting, travel, organization and recipes.
Their main income sources are MediaVine ($1,579) and sponsored posts ($3,250), although there is a good amount coming through various affiliates. Pulling Curls is a great example of using direct affiliate programs instead of networks, and still generating a $2,100 through affiliations.
Income: up to $13,489.94
The Endless Meal is a food blog with stunning photos and recipes for everyone. Kristen has set it up so you can search by specific diets and lifestyles or by recipe type, and has published a book on sugar free, paleo dinner recipes.
Now, as she is a food blogger, naturally her traffic and income will vary quite a lot. Usually this niche will see an increase in both numbers during holiday seasons, specifically November and December.
This is further shown on her income reports, as she had an income of $13,489.94 in December, while other months usually stay between $5000-7000.
The majority of her income is through AdThrive and sponsored posts.
Hopefully this gives a slight overview, an idea, of what is possible within blogging and content marketing. There are no rules, no restrictions, and nothing stopping you from jumping in head first and creating a platform for yourself and your work.
6 Steps To Create A Successful Blog
“Isn’t it too late to start a blog?”
So, chances are, if you’re looking to start your own website, you’re overthinking it like crazy. You’ll spend weeks, months, maybe even years reading up on profitability, niche selections, success stories, failure stories, while occasionally searching the term “is it too late to start a blog in *year*?” as you realize time is passing.
If you look at it logically, there’s no reason not to start a website in 2019, as long as it’s something you have even the slightest interest in.
Everything is happening online these days, people are cravingcommunities and interactions more than ever, and the more the world goes to shit, the more people are coming together to find enjoyment and safety in pursuing their passions along with like-minded individuals.
Whether a blog is profitable or not, is really up to you.
Actually, the unofficial first step, is to stop searching for “is it possible to…” and start reading up on “how do I…”.
You decide your business, you decide your future, and it’s up to you to network with the right people and learn what you need to know in order to succeed.
So to summarize how to actually make a living off of blogging, article-writing, content marketing – whatever you want to call it – here’s a 6 step overview on how to get started the right way.
#1 Decide Your “Why”: Goals, expectations and direction
Before you even start worrying about hosting and niches, you need to clarify your “why”.
What is it you want to get out of blogging?
What is important to you, what are you willing to give up?
Do you want a high income, less hours, or do you want to be able to blog full-time and build a platform where you can share your passion?
Why are you doing this?
Once you figure out your why, you’re ready to take the scariest step. Finding hosting.
#2 Finding The Right Hosting For Your Blog
See, now you can worry about hosting.
If your plans are to treat your website as a business, to make an income, build a community or any of the sort, then you will need to get a self-hosted website where you are in charge.
I’m not going to go into the endless variants of websites and hosts, but let’s just say you will most likely end up with WordPress and Bluehost, because they’re just great.
These two companies also work together, so once you sign up for Bluehost you’ll get access to this amazing button that says “1-Click WordPress Install” and then you’ll have both.
More than that, they’ll take care of you with 24/7 customer service, cover all of your future needs, and when everything goes to shit because you accidentally press the wrong button (trust me, it will happen a lot), there are endless resources online for any and every problem that may occur.
Literally so well known that there is nothing you can’t google your way out of.
You’ll also get a free domain name registration, which usually costs $15, so you won’t have to worry about any additional startup costs.
#3 What’s Your What: Find A Niche
Ok, so you have your why, you have your hosting, now what’s your “what”?
What do you plan to write about?
Obviously this is pretty crucial at this point, as you’re about to register your domain, which is a bitch to change later on.
When it comes to niche selection, it’s really up to you how you want to do it.
Most people will tell you to pick a narrow niche, focus on only that topic, as this will make it easier to rank with SEO and later on monetize.
Well, I don’t really agree (shocker).
The way I see it, you need to stay sane, and this whole “single niche rule” is slightly bullshit.
There are plenty of sites that have 20+ articles within 5-6 wildly different topics, that earn $10K+ a month. This isn’t just for online magazines with teams of writers, you can easily do it yourself if that’s what you prefer.
An example of this is www.chasingfoxes.com, who is making $10-15K a month after less than a year, and her topics include Food, Career, Money, Men’s Fashion, literally everything.
The key to deciding your niche lies in the longevity of your interest in it.
The median blog that makes a full-time income is 36 months old, so the question is, are you able to write about your topic every single day for the next 3 years?
The next 10 years?
Honestly, I would jump out a God damn window if I had to write about Celery Juice for the next 36 months, which is why I chose several niches that make up the millennial lifestyle.
Which brings me to my next point, which is to write what you want to read.
Personally I want to stay updated on which spices to add to my morning coffee, but at some point I will also need a refresher in my negotiation skills before meeting up in the office.
There is nothing wrong with having it all in one place, because it’s all relevant to my target audience.
And I certainly will be bringing my celery juice into that negotiation, so clearly it’s all connected.
As you’re slowly figuring out where your passion lies, what you want to be writing about and researching for the next 3-5 years minimum, I’ll just mention that the most profitable niches at the moment are:
- Health / Fitness
- Finance / Making Money
…so while you figure that part out, I’m just going to move on to step 4.
#4 Setup: The technical stuff
After you’ve decided niche and domain name, you’re probably getting some ideas for content you want to be writing already.
That’s great, but now there’s also a lot of setup to do.
Again, here is where I disagree with most people.
It’s usually recommended to write up 20-25 articles minimum before “launching” your website, to ensure perfect user experience from the first visit, build your email list from day one, etc.
Weeeeell…. Not sure what personality type you are, but that sure as hell would never work for me.
Yes, there’s a lot of setup to be done, but the great thing is that you can change themes and add plugins whenever you want. Even if you were to design the perfect website from scratch, you’re probably going to spend countless hours changing it and making improvements regularly.
So I recommend finding a theme you can deal with for the time being, whether you want to start out with a paid one or a free one doesn’t matter, then start getting some content out there.
It makes it a whole lot easier to design your website when you don’t have to imagine the articles there, just get them out and go back to setting up when you feel like it.
No offense, but no one’s really going to be reading it in the beginning anyway, so you actually are free to whatever you feel like doing in the order you feel like doing it.
Welcome to being your own boss.
#5 Build Content
As for content, just start writing.
It’s useful to understand the different types of content you’ll be producing, and deciding your own style.
Some prefer to have a low amount of 10K+ word posts that rank high in SEO, literally feels like you’re reading an ebook on your phone, yet others prefer more light-hearted articles that are 5-800 words and more regular.
Both are great, so just figure out how you prefer to present your topics, and get started.
More than this, it’s good to understand that different types of content will increase your website’s value in the eyes of our master AKA Google.
Read up on the value of cornerstone content, using inbound and outbound links, writing seasonal content for higher traffic, etc, and start playing around.
When you’re finally getting a hang of steps 1-5, it’s time for the fun part, which is actually making money off of blogging.
There are many ways to do this, but here are the most used and trusted ways.
You’ve probably heard of affiliate marketing, so in short, it’s when you work with a company who gives you commision when you bring them new customers.
There are thousands of brands who will be willing to work with you, even without traffic, as they don’t spend money until the customers do, so it’s a great way to get started with monetizing.
I recommend joining a few affiliate networks as most of them have hundreds of brands working with them, so you won’t have to approach them individually.
It will make it a hell of a lot easier to keep track of your income if it’s in the same network, and it’s also easier to find the products you use and want to promote.
A great example of this is Amazon affiliate program.
Basically you won’t have to look ways to sell a certain product, but instead just write about whatever your topic is, and whenever you refer to something you like, add an amazon link to it.
I swear, they have literally everything.
Apply for an automatic ad network like AdSense, Mediavine, AdThrive, etc., or even go as far as selling your ad space individually to companies and brands.
This doesn’t produce much in the beginning, but is the most consistent form of monetization, as it’s based on traffic and click through rate.
The most popular products to monetize with are usually digital ones, such as webinars, ebooks and ecourses.
This will require a lot more forethought than simple ads, but can also be more profitable than any other form of monetization.
It’s recommended to wait until you have loyal readers who are email subscribers or previous customers, as they won’t get their social proof the same way they will when buying something through your Amazon affiliate link.
Although I could make this ten times longer, this is a quick run-through of what your startup process should look like.
Also, if I don’t stop writing now this will turn into a fucking ebook, which I’m not here for because it’s 4:30am and I have to be at work in three hours.
So I guess my last advise for anyone looking to start a profitable website, is learn to live off of caffeine ASAP. You will need it.