How much do bloggers make? It depends really. Bloggers who are able to keep posting consistently, break through the 1 year mark, and keep going can make anywhere between $1000 a month to $30,000. I’ve even know a blogger who is earning up to $80,000 a month. Now this is a huge range of earnings, so what determines how much they are making?
Below I go over the 5 factors that determine how much bloggers make, and how they make money blogging from home. The most important factors are: how long they have been blogging for and where on the income stream ladder they are.
This is a real life look into what makes bloggers successful, and what it takes to start a successful blog.
If you want to set up a blog, you can follow along with my simple step by step guide here: How To Start a Blog – Your Step by Step Successful Launch Guide
Bloggers Making $5,000 – $30,000
Let’s take a quick look at some bloggers who are earning a lot with their blogs.
How much they make: Between $20,000 – $30,000 a month
Blog topic: Food
How long they have been blogging for: 4.5 years
Sources of income:
- Affiliate earnings
- Speaking at events
- Food photography book
- Other products they have created
How much they make: Between $6,000 – $13,000 a month
Blog topics: Craft projects, DIY, and home decor ideas
How long they have been blogging for: Just over 2 years
Sources of income:
- Affiliate sales
Those are just 2 examples of high earners. There are also a lot of bloggers who are earning around $1,000 to $3,000 dollars. If you want to hear stories of bloggers making a living from their blogs, then sign up to the launch of my new book coming out soon: My Blogging Life Inc [coming soon].
There are 5 factors that these bloggers have in common that make them successful, and determine how much they are making.
The 5 Factors That Make a Successful Blogger
1. The Blog Topic
Successful bloggers know how to make money from their blog topic
Some blog topics have better potential for higher earnings. Financial topics for example have high payouts for adverts that you can put on your blog, they also have high earnings for affiliate products too. But competition is fierce among financial blogs.
You can create a successful blog around any topic. Just a long as you can build a good sized audience who is interested in your subject. I knew a blogger who’s blog was about space news and had articles talking about each planet. He would always say that there are no adverts related to space. This meant that any ads he put on his blog would have really low earnings. But because he gets so much traffic, the small cents he make from the ad clicks adds up into the tens of thousands of dollars.
The more popular the topic (such as food), the more options you have when it comes to earning money. But there is more competition.
If you can build an audience, then you can build an income – no matter what topic. You just have to know your topic in and out, be unique, and figure out the best way to monetize your blog (this takes experience).
2. Number of Posts
Successful bloggers have produced a lot of content
The more posts you have, the more ways people have to find your blog online. Right now my home design blog Home Tree Atlas has 240 posts.
Most of your posts will just create a trickle of traffic. But there will be a few (say 1 in 50 or 1 in 100 posts) that will be your hit posts. These will drive up to 80% of the traffic to your site. It’s hard to tell what a hit post will be, that’s why you need to keep creating top notch content.
Your posts need to be evergreen – this means posts that are timeless. A post about “what I did today” is not evergreen or timeless, and doesn’t provide much value to readers. Whereas a blog post on “How to Turn a Basement into a Family Room” is a post that can keep driving traffic to your blog.
You don’t have to have a lot of posts. But it is a good mindset to have. That you have to keep going, keep creating content to make money and to build a successful blog.
To get away from creating lots of posts to boost your income, you need to start jumping up the income stream ladder – seen in the 5th factor below.
3. Blogging Experience
Successful bloggers have been blogging for a number of years
Bloggers will always say that it took them a long time to create a successful blog. It takes close to over a year to really see your hard work payoff. This is because the longer you have been blogging for:
- the more posts you have (the benefits of this I mentioned earlier)
- the more spread out your posts will be on social media platforms
- the more people have found you and are following you
- the more other blogs and sites have linked to your site
- the more trust you get from search engines
- the better the understanding you have of your audience – what type of posts they like, what problems they have, etc.
- the better your blog becomes – you’ll learn how to write better posts, take better photographs, and learn the best ways to run your blog. These are skills that you get better at the more you do them
4. High Up on the Search Rankings
Successful bloggers are high up in the search results
You can easily find out what people are searching for on Google, and how many people are searching for it every month.
Say you are starting an online food blog. You’ll be able to see that 14,800 people a month search for “turkey meatloaf recipe”. Now that would be a good post to write about, in terms of traffic numbers (but maybe you have no interest in turkey and meat loafs – keep looking for an idea that fits with you).
If you can get high up on Google’s search results for a post that a lot of people are searching for, then you’ll have a boat load of traffic coming into your site, which can be converted into income.
These are the 2 basic principles when it comes to ranking high in the search engines:
- You have been blogging for a while. The longer the better. I saw a bump in Google traffic after 12-13 months from starting my blog.
- The more people that link to your site, the more powerful your site is seen by Google. You want to be linked by well known sites. I’ve been featured on Huffington Post. I did nothing special. I just kept writing and trying to figure out what people wanted to read. And they found my site.
This is something to keep in mind when blogging: write posts that people are searching for and know that when people link to your website, the more powerful your blog becomes.
I only go to submission sites (CraftGawker, etc.) and use social media (Pinterest, Facebook, etc.) to promote my blog. I don’t go out trying to get links. There is too much bad stuff happening with people trying to take advantage of the system. Their blogs usually get punished by Google.
5. The Income Stream Ladder
Successful bloggers use their blogs to launch products
You need to know how to make money blogging on the different levels of the ladder. If you want to create a healthy living making money from a blog, then you need to move up the income stream ladder and start creating your own products. Here are the different levels and ways how bloggers make money.
Level 1: The Intern
Once you have a number of posts up, say around 20+, you can start adding ways to make money with your blog. The first 2 ways are the easiest, and most accessible for beginner bloggers:
Google Adsense: When you sign up for Adsense, Google will give you a piece of code that you simply copy and paste into your blog. Google is then able to read what is on your blog and then post relevant ads. Say your post is about lighting ideas for your home – then Google will put up ads about lighting companies, home renovators, etc.
You need a lot of traffic and blog posts to earn a lot from Google Adsense. A general rule of thumb would be that for every evergreen post (posts people are always searching for) you create earns about $1 per month.
It is possible to earn a lot of money through Adsense, but it is best to focus on moving up the income stream ladder rather than just producing lots of content.
Amazon Associates: Say you’ve written a blog post about your new camera that you will be taking with you when you travel to NYC. You talked about how great it is, the features it has, and what you’ll been taking photos of. You then link to the same camera on Amazon.
If someone reads your post, clicks on the link to Amazon and then buys the camera, you get a commission from that sale. This is called affiliate sales. Anything on Amazon can be linked to, from kitchen items and electronics, to home decor pieces – and you earn a commission.
The commission from Amazon Associates is quite low – around 4-6%. But once you’ve got some experience here, you can start looking for products that have commissions going up to 40% and above.
Level 2: The 9-5
Bloggers who get to this stage understand what it takes to build a blog. They have a steady stream of traffic, and they have a routine that publishes posts consistently.
Bloggers at this level understand their blog’s audience well. They know what blog posts and topics are popular with them.
Ad Networks: When you have built a solid blog, with good traffic, you can start applying to other advertising networks. You can start experimenting with different advertising networks to see which works best, and earns the most with the traffic you have.
Higher Level Affiliate Sales: With a good understanding of your audience, and having traffic in the thousands, you can go out and look for products that would be a good fit with your audience. These are products that other people/other bloggers have created that give you a commission every time someone from your blog buys one.
Say you have a food blog. You can promote other bloggers’ cook books that have affiliate programs. Pinch of Yum has a Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Cookbook that costs $9. But if you link to it from your food blog and someone buys it, you get 50% of the sales.
Now that you have looked at what other people are selling online, you can start to think about creating your own products.
Level 3: The Startup Founder
Once you have tens of thousands of visitors a day, you have a one powerful blog.
This is when things get really exciting. At this level people start their own studio of sorts: where they create products, which become businesses. This takes their earnings to a whole new level. The products that can be created include:
- membership programs
- physical products
This is why people say a blog is not a good business, but is a great way to launch businesses. You have the audience in your hand, an audience that you know so well and have built yourself. You don’t need to go out looking for them, and spend money advertising to them.
With a new product you can create an overnight success. Since you have the traffic, and you already know what people like. You can even test out your new ideas on your audience before launching anything.
Moving up the Ladder
The first stages of starting a successful blog are gruelling. This is the time when you need to be busting away to build your blog, only to see a trickle of traffic and earnings. But once you start building an audience, start building momentum, you can start moving up the ladder. This is when your hard work in the early days really pays off.
Getting Started – Create a Successful Blog
Building a blog is a fun journey. One that can pay off in big ways if you can stick it out, and work hard.
Follow my simple set up guide here to get started building your successful blog.
Or you can check out my blog post on what to expect in the first year of blogging, and what are the 2 things you need to do to launch a successful blog quickly: The First Year of Blogging – What You Need To Know.