Blogging can be a great side hustle as it offers flexibility in terms of time and location, and can be integrated into one’s lifestyle. After sharing my blogging income report, I have received numerous inquiries from readers regarding the potential earnings from blogging.
In this article we will discuss 15 legitimate methods for earning money through blogging and offer guidance on how to approach and evaluate the financial aspects of your blog.
How Much Money Do Bloggers Make?
It is possible to earn an additional $500 – $2,000 per month through blogging in your first year. Subsequently, in years 2, 3, 4, and 5, there is potential to significantly increase your monthly blog revenue. According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a blogger exceeds $50,000 per year, based on multiple anonymously submitted salaries.
Some full-time bloggers have the ability to earn over $200,000 per year while working approximately 10-30 hours per week. I previously mentioned my income report where I earned over $400,000 through my blogging side hustle.
Additionally, there are bloggers who earn millions of dollars annually while working less than 10 hours per week, which is an incredibly high return on investment for their time.
The amount of money you can earn is determined by the level of traffic you receive and the size of your email list.
It is possible to earn varying amounts in the first year of blogging, ranging from $25,000 to $50,000, increasing to over $100,000 in the second year, over $250,000 in the third year, and over $500,000 in the fourth year.
15 Ways To Make Money Blogging
Here are several ways in which I have generated income by blogging through the Millennial Money platform:
- Google Adsense
- Advertising/Publisher Networks
- Affiliate Ads
- Sponsored Content
- Direct Display Ads
- Social Media Promotion
- Paid Content Promotion
- Online Courses
- Brand Partnerships
- Podcast Sponsorships
- Private Coaching
- Conference Speaking
- Book Deals
- Freelance Writing Opportunities
1. Google Adsense
Google Adsense enables website owners to display ads from the Google Display network. For new bloggers, Google Adsense offers a straightforward method of monetizing their blogs, although the earnings may not be substantial.
If you receive around a thousand visitors per month, you may earn a maximum of $50 through Google Ads. However, this can be considered as a starting point. Personally, I utilized Google Adsense during my first year of blogging, but later transitioned to an ad network in order to achieve a higher CPM and CPC.
2. Advertising/Publisher Networks
When your website reaches a minimum of 25,000 page views per month, it is advisable to transition from Google Adsense and collaborate with advertising networks, also known as publisher networks. These networks will directly handle the display ads on your website to optimize your earnings. Generally, these networks receive a percentage ranging from 20% to 40% of the display ad revenue generated from your website.
You can earn more money by working with an advertiser/publishing network instead of working directly with Google. Certain bloggers make over $20,000 per month from display ads alone. There are ad/publisher networks that specialize in your niche, so search for [your niche] ad networks on Google and you’ll likely find a few to contact. Some networks are selective about who they work with, so consider reaching out to multiple options.
3. Affiliate Ads
Affiliate marketing is a legitimate way to earn money by placing ads on your website. You can make money by recommending products or services and receiving payment when someone signs up through your link. These ads benefit both bloggers and advertisers because the advertiser gets confirmed sign-ups and bloggers can earn more money compared to just receiving clicks. Depending on the product, you can earn anywhere from $5 to $500 (or more!) per sign-up.
To make money, only recommend products or services that you believe in or use. Recommending a bad or spammy product just for the sake of getting paid will cause you to lose your readers. It’s not worth it.
To find affiliate relationships, focus on products you believe in and use. Some companies may not have visible affiliate programs, so reach out to the makers of your favorite products or services. Inquire if they have an affiliate program and note any minimum traffic requirements. Contact them when your traffic increases.
If you want to learn how to make money with affiliate marketing, I recommend taking the course Make Sense of Affiliate Marketing by Michelle. The return on investment for this course is incredible, and you can recoup your expenses in a matter of weeks. I highly suggest checking it out.
Amazon Affiliate Ads
Amazon is a popular affiliate program that offers payment for linking to product listings on their site. Although the payouts may not be as high as other platforms, Amazon has a user-friendly interface and a wide range of products available for promotion. Additionally, the commission rate increases for more expensive products that are purchased through your affiliate link.
Bloggers who write about electronics, cameras, and expensive items have the potential to be highly successful with affiliate ads. They can earn up to $200 per transaction when someone purchases a TV through their link. Some transactions also offer up to 10% commission, which can lead to substantial earnings over time.
Learn the strategies to consistently earn over $1,000 per month through Amazon affiliate ads on the blog, Millennial Money. Don’t miss the recommended money books that are endorsed personally. Find detailed information here.
4. Sponsored Content
As your blog grows, more people will contact you to pay for placing their content on your blog. You will receive numerous requests. Each week, approximately 100 people reach out to me, asking to publish their post on Millennial Money. They usually offer between $50 – $1,000 for a single post on your blog.
Publishing paid content without caution can lead to consequences. Google may blacklist your blog, which would be difficult to recover from.
It is important to be cautious about the frequency of posting sponsored content, as some posts may contain low-quality or irrelevant links. When linking from a subpar blog post to a questionable link, both Google and your audience will take notice. Therefore, it is advisable to carefully consider accepting sponsored content posts or negotiate for a higher fee and write them yourself.
During my time writing Millennial Money, I have only agreed to 4 sponsored posts. However, I always rewrite them and charge a higher fee. It is important to prioritize the reputation of your readers and Google, so it is advisable to be cautious with sponsored content.
5. Direct Display Ad Buys
Brands or companies may contact you to place a banner display ad on your website for promotional purposes. Alternatively, you can approach companies that align with your target readers and blog niche. Emphasize the benefit of having a display ad on every page of your blog to maximize visibility.
On average, bloggers can earn between $200 to $2,500 per month per display, depending on the niche they are blogging about. The 728×90 banner ad is the most lucrative option as it is highly visible when placed in the blog header. However, it is important to exercise caution and avoid overcrowding the blog with ads, as typically only a limited number of direct display ad buys can be sold at a time.
However, it is possible to place smaller ads in your blog sidebar, such as the tiny square ads seen on websites. Some bloggers are able to generate a substantial income from these highly targeted 100 pixel / 100-pixel ads. While there was an app that expressed interest in advertising on the Millennial Money homepage for a month, I do not currently feature ads on my homepage.
They eventually offered me $15,000 for a one-month placement, which I accepted. I built a temporary box on my homepage for their ad and always negotiate by letting them make the first offer and then asking for at least $100-$200 higher to ensure you don’t leave money on the table.
6. Social Media Promotion
I was surprised when a brand paid me to tweet. They gave me $500 for a 30-minute Twitter chat. It was a positive experience. After that, I started getting paid for social media promotions. The pay ranged from $500 to $3,000. If you have influence or expertise in your niche, you can make money by promoting products or services on social media. The amount of money you can earn depends on the number of followers you have.
Paid promotions offer a profitable opportunity for individuals with a sizable social audience. For example, bloggers with substantial Instagram followings can earn a minimum of $5,000 per month by promoting products in their niche, such as fashion and travel. While these bloggers also have blogs, their primary source of income comes from their expanding social following.
7. Paid Social Media Content Promotion
Running Facebook or Google ads to monetize content is a commonly used strategy by successful bloggers to generate income from their blogs. The profitability of this option may vary depending on the niche and affiliates.
The process involves purchasing Facebook traffic to your blog at a cost of 3 cents to $2 per click. A percentage of that traffic then proceeds to sign up or make purchases through your affiliate links.
To generate affiliate revenue, you control your ad spending on Facebook and/or Google. By testing ads, you can find the winning combination and scale it quickly. Some bloggers spend $20,000 or more on ad traffic, but make over $30,000 in profit. Others make over $1 million a month through buying and monetizing paid traffic. I haven’t reached that level, but I’ve been exploring and growing in this area on Millennial Money.
8. Online Courses
Launching a course can be a profitable opportunity for bloggers, as it enables them to monetize their knowledge and educate others. There are multiple hosting options for courses, such as utilizing plugins like WordPress LMS or utilizing third-party platforms like Teachable.
The first version of the Millennial Money course was launched in 2017 and had initial success. However, it was later removed after only 30 days due to unforeseen challenges. Providing support to all students proved difficult, but the course ultimately generated profits.
Some bloggers have experienced success with their courses, earning significant amounts of money. However, it is essential to thoroughly research the market and competition before launching your own course, as there have been cases where bloggers have put in substantial effort but did not achieve their desired outcomes.
When deciding to create a course that is already available from other providers, it is important to consider the unique qualities of your course and why people would choose to buy from you instead. It is necessary to determine if your target audience would be interested in purchasing the course. It is generally advised to wait until you have spent a significant amount of time writing on the blog, as this will give you a better understanding of your audience and their purchasing behaviors.
9. Consulting with Companies
In recent years, various companies, regardless of size, have hired me as a consultant to perform a range of tasks. These include offering feedback on mobile apps and financial websites, collaborating with design and marketing teams, and engaging with financial advisors to discuss Millennials.
I’ve been diving headfirst into an endless sea of irresistible consulting opportunities, carefully selecting the ones that spark my curiosity and offer a deep connection. By becoming a niche guru or presenting a unique perspective, companies will eagerly compete for the chance to shower you with unimaginable wealth in exchange for your invaluable expertise.
To increase your chances of getting consulting opportunities, utilizing LinkedIn is highly recommended. Based on personal experience, approximately 80% of my consulting gigs have been secured through LinkedIn messages, rather than my blog platform. However, it is important to note that companies specifically reach out to me for consulting based on my background and the Millennial Money blog. A practical approach to positioning yourself for consulting opportunities is to connect with fellow bloggers and professionals in your industry on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn can be a useful platform for content distribution. Furthermore, when a company contacts you for a product review, you can ask if they would like you to personally test and discuss it, which may involve compensation and travel expenses. Companies generally pay me fees ranging from $500 for a brief call to $15,000 for a one-day visit and workshop with their team.
10. Brand Partnerships
When individuals become recognized in their respective fields, they may receive offers from brands to potentially collaborate. It is crucial to be prepared for these opportunities by having ideas and proposals on hand to showcase potential mutual benefits. Collaborating with suitable brands can prove advantageous as they have the capacity to promote your content and introduce you to their followers.
Through collaboration with large brands, I have been able to increase my blog followers significantly. Moreover, partnering with big brands provides the benefit of their substantial budgets, which allows for greater allocation of financial resources towards your collaboration.
One of my biggest brand partnerships was a $50,000 deal for 2 months that required minimal time commitment and was mutually beneficial for both my brand partner and my audience. I would advise not underselling yourself, as most brands will want to start with smaller collaborations. If a brand reaches out to you, it shows their interest in working together, so be open to negotiation.
Some of the brand deals I negotiated initially did not meet my profitability expectations because they required a significant amount of effort. It is important to establish long-lasting brand partnerships that are mutually beneficial and can provide consistent revenue for your platform.
11. Podcast Sponsorships
Podcasting is a rapidly growing industry, and while it may be challenging to earn substantial income without a large audience, it is comparatively easier to monetize your podcast when utilizing a podcast host like Podbean. Podbean offers a free feature that allows them to insert small ads before and after your podcast.
One method to generate income through podcasting is by selling advertisements, either through direct contact with brands or companies that express interest, or by continuing to produce content and attracting advertisers.
Pricing in the podcast industry is challenging. Podcasters usually charge $100 to $500 per episode. I haven’t earned much money from my podcast, but I have included podcast advertisements in brand partnerships. New bloggers should have at least 6 months of blogging experience before starting a podcast. It’s crucial to avoid burnout and neglecting your blog since podcasting requires a lot of work.
12. Private 1-on-1 Coaching
I began offering private coaching in the Summer of 2017 and have derived great satisfaction from it. It has also provided a reliable source of income through the Millennial Money platform, allowing me to connect with my audience on an individual level. My private coaching engagements have taught me a great deal about coaching and assisting readers.
Working with my private clients is a challenge because it requires time and preparation. I dedicate 30 minutes each week or 1 hour every two weeks to them, but it’s more than just that. I’m constantly thinking about my clients and how I can help them. That’s why I only work with 5 people at once. It allows me to give them my full attention and provide the most effective support. Even as my blog grows, I want to maintain this personal approach. It’s what I enjoy and it’s the fastest way for me to help people achieve financial freedom. In fact, in 2017, I made nearly $50,000 through my private coaching clients.
13. Conference Speaking
Once my book is published, speaking at conferences will become easier because attendees will have the option to purchase it. I make a considerable amount of money, ranging from $1,000 to $15,000, for each speaking engagement, but it can be difficult due to the need for travel. I am selective about the events I choose to speak at, but I am enthusiastic about the potential for growth through the Millennial Money platform, especially when it comes to promoting my book. I know bloggers who earn at least $200,000 every year from speaking at conferences.
14. Book Deal
If you achieve expertise in your chosen field, possess strong writing skills, and have built a dedicated following, you may be considered for a book deal. Publishers and book agents are constantly seeking talented writers with subject knowledge. While it may seem ambitious to contemplate writing a book at this moment, it could become a viable opportunity as your blog expands.
If someone had told me three years ago when I started the Millennial Money blog that I would be able to secure a book deal with a major publisher, I would have considered it unbelievable. The journey of a blog is unpredictable, and this is part of its adventure. By the way, I am giving away a minimum of 500 copies of my book to those on my book list. If you are interested in signing up for that list, you can do so here.
15. Freelance Writing Opportunities
Additionally, blogging can enhance your writing skills and offer potential freelance writing opportunities. Numerous companies and publications seek niche experts to contribute content and compensate writers for their work. Many new bloggers utilize freelance writing as a means to supplement their income while establishing their blogs and attracting an audience.
One advantage of earning money through freelance writing is the opportunity to gain recognition as an industry expert and expand your portfolio. Typically, freelance writers can earn between $300 and $1,000 per blog post, and higher rates for longer pieces such as white papers or reports.
There are various ways to generate income from your blog, such as selling products, monetizing videos on YouTube or your blog, offering access to a member area, and other methods. It is important to keep in mind that you are building a platform and the more innovative you can be, the greater your earning potential.
How Do Blogs Make Money?
If you continue building and stay committed, your traffic and revenue will grow. In my first year of blogging, I made $25,000. In year 2, I made $150,000, and in my 3rd year, I made over $400,000. Now, in year 4, I’m hoping to make over $1 million. I can write all of my blog posts on my laptop from anywhere. Remember, blogging takes time to gain momentum, but it offers freedom.
Some professional bloggers focus on maximizing their earnings per page view and email subscriber, regardless of the size of their audience. While many bloggers measure their earnings monthly, I personally prefer to do it quarterly due to my busy schedule.
Due to the high volume of inquiries, a comprehensive 7-day email course on blogging has been created. This course is free of charge and covers a variety of topics. Further details can be found by continuing to read.
More Traffic = More Revenue
In many blogging niches, it is possible to earn between $0.01 – $0.25 per page view through display and affiliate ads.
If a blog receives 1,000 pageviews per month, it can generate an income of $10-$25, which can offset the expenses of maintaining the blog.
If a blog reaches 100,000 pageviews a month, it can earn between $1,000 and $25,000 per month. Occasionally, bloggers in highly profitable niches like insurance can make $0.20 per pageview, but a more realistic range is $0.02 to $0.05.
The greater the number of people your blog reaches, the more potential income you can generate.
The more time you invest in sharing quality content, the larger your traffic and email list will expand, potentially leading to increased revenue.
SEO, or search engine optimization, helps blogs grow over time. Here are 67 SEO tips for bloggers that you should study and implement. These strategies are proven to be effective. SEO is what will generate income for you in the long run. Organic traffic from Google is the best way to drive sustainable traffic to your blog.
Email Lists are Your Most Important Asset
One of the most valuable resources for a blogger is their email list. This group of individuals comprises their audience, and they are the ones who will consistently engage with their content and establish enough trust to make purchases or click on recommended affiliate links.
You can make money by running display and affiliate ads on your blog. But the real money-making opportunity comes from your email list. Top bloggers can earn $1-$5 per email subscriber each month. If you have a list of 10,000 subscribers, you could potentially make up to $50,000 in revenue per month. It’s truly astonishing.
It is important to note that the example provided is an extreme case and not representative of the typical situation. A more realistic range would be between $1 and $3 per month per email subscriber.
A recommended email marketing platform is Constant Contact, which offers a free 60-day trial of their service without requiring credit card information.
It is recommended to begin building your email list as soon as you start your blog, as it is considered to be your most valuable asset.
Your Blog Niche Matters
The potential earnings from blogging are influenced by the niche chosen. If the niche is used books, there may be limited income opportunities, possibly only through direct book sales on the blog. Conversely, blogging about money offers more lucrative possibilities such as larger affiliate commissions, higher advertiser fees or CPM rates, and the ability to sell products at higher prices.
When choosing a niche for your blog, it is important to select one that aligns with your interests and has the potential to generate income if that is your goal. While not all bloggers aim to make money, there are opportunities for profitability in various niches based on research and personal experiences with full-time bloggers over the past 3 years.
Some bloggers are skilled at combining different niches, such as “travel and product reviews,” to increase their chances of making money. It is worth mentioning that these numbers are just average ranges that I observed and were reported to me in a survey of 481 bloggers from various niches.
Most Profitable Blogging Niches
Here are some of the most financially successful blog niches.
- Money / Insurance: $0.02 – $0.25 per pageview, $0.50 – $6 per email subscriber per month
- Product Reviews: $0.01 – $0.15 per pageview, $0.25 – $5 per email subscriber per month
- Travel: $0.01 – $0.10 per pageview, $0.50 – $4 per email subscriber per month
- Fashion: $0.01 – $0.10 per pageview, $0.10 – $4 per email subscriber per month
- Decorating: $0.01 – $0.05 per pageview, $0.10 – $4 per email subscriber per month
Least Profitable Blogging Niches
These are some of the least financially successful niches.
- Music: $0.01 – $0.03 per pageview, $0.10 – $1 per email subscriber per month (I worked with a guy that had a music blog that got 2 million unique visitors a month, but he barely made $2,500 a month because it’s so tough to monetize)
- General News / Politics: $0.01 – $0.02 per pageview, $0.10 – $2 per email subscriber per month
- Cooking / Gardening: $0.01 – $0.03 per pageview, $0.10 – $3 per email subscriber per month
- Home Improvement: $0.01 – $0.03 per pageview, $0.10 – $3 per email subscriber per month
- Toys / Games: $0.01 – $0.03 per pageview, $0.10 – $3 per email subscriber per month
How To Become A Millionaire Blogger
When it comes to your blog, think of it as a platform, not just a blog. Successful bloggers treat their blog as a platform to test and scale money-making ideas. They also use it to connect with people and make money in various ways.
The more ways you can make money on your blog, the more money you’ll likely make. Be creative. The more experience you gain in monetizing your blog and connecting with other bloggers, the more ways you’ll discover to monetize your content and brand. Eventually, you can grow your blog into a profitable business that aligns with your ideal lifestyle.
In the past year, I have outlined 15 different ways I have made money from the Millennial Money platform. These ideas are not limited to money blogging and can be applied to almost any niche. One tip to maximize earnings is to offer brands a package deal that includes a combination of the ideas mentioned below when they reach out for advertising or sponsored blog posts.
Becoming a millionaire blogger is possible with persistence and dedication. The first year may be challenging, but it becomes easier and more profitable over time.
There are certain factors that are common among blogs that generate income.
Individuals have developed a connected audience by engaging in personal and meaningful conversations with their readers.
A market segment that is generating profit has been identified.
They have a good understanding of what makes a post exceptional.
They have discovered various methods to generate income, such as affiliate marketing, offering online courses, or selling products through an online store.
It requires a significant amount of time and numerous attempts to achieve perfection in those tasks.
We’re here to assist!
How to Make Money Blogging FAQs
Can you make a living blogging?
Blogging can be a viable source of income, although it’s important not overlook the fact that most bloggers do not earn enough money for full financial sustainability. I began this blog in 2019, and according my Blog Income Report, I generate over $80,000 per month from it.
How do beginner bloggers make money?
When starting out, it may take some time to generate income. During the initial stages, bloggers can consider offering consulting and coaching services to earn a higher income in exchange for their time. As traffic levels are initially low, it is logical to convert visitors into customers by offering higher-priced services. Once steady consulting income and traffic levels increase, bloggers can then incorporate affiliate links, digital products, and ads into their blogs.
How much money do bloggers make?
The ProBlogger Report states that the earnings per month for bloggers vary greatly. The breakdown is as follows: Almost 38% of bloggers make less than $10, 10% earn between $10 and $99, 17% earn between $100 and $499, 7% earn between $500 and $999, 9% earn between $1,000 and $9,999, and 4% earn $10,000 or higher.
Do bloggers pay taxes?
Bloggers are required to pay taxes on their income, regardless of their business structure. Different sources of income have different tax obligations. For instance, if you sell products on your blog, you are only required to collect sales taxes from customers who reside within your tax nexus (typically your state in the US). Many ecommerce platforms can handle these calculations for you. If you earn income from affiliate programs, the companies you promote will classify you as a 1099 independent contractor.
Do I need an LLC for my blog?
The answer is no. It is not necessary to have an LLC to run a blog. You can begin as a sole proprietor and report your income with your taxes. However, there are tax benefits to establishing an LLC or S Corp once your income becomes substantial.
Who is the wealthiest blogger?
Arianna Huffington, the founder of the Huffington Post, is considered one of the world’s wealthiest bloggers. She started her company in 2005 and currently earns over $2 million per month from her news website. Another blogger who has achieved significant financial success is Michael Arrington, the founder of TechCrunch, who earns approximately $800,000 per month from his technology blog.
What’s the difference between blogging and YouTube?
There are distinct differences between blogging and YouTube channels. YouTube channels primarily share videos and multimedia content, while blogging focuses on written and textual content. YouTube videos have the potential to reach larger audiences compared to blog posts. However, blogs have a longer lifespan as they can be shared and revisited at any time. Additionally, blogging allows for more comprehensive information, such as research, product reviews, and interviews.
Can an online store benefit from SEO?
A distinct content strategy is necessary for every successful niche website. This includes identifying intriguing subjects for your target audience and creating valuable content. Keyword research tools can help pinpoint popular topics within your niche and develop content focused on current news or commonly asked questions online.