How Much Money Can You Make Blogging?

My sister is looking to supplement her income when she retires from the Navy and did some research to get an idea of how much she could make from blogging. She is letting me post her results here.

Realistic Income Expectations:

Months 0-12: Anywhere from 65 cents to up to maybe 20ish bucks/month.

Months 12-24: Now that you’re a little more experienced and know how to work the various ads, affiliates, attract customers, etc, you can reasonably anticipate making in the $200-$600/month range.

2-5 years: Even more experienced, with a solid following. You may well still only bring in the $200-600 you did during years 1-2. However, at least now that you have years of experience behind you, you’re probably not working as many hours on your blog as you initially did.

However, it’s not completely uncommon to near or surpass the $1k/month milestone during years 2-5. It’s even possible to surpass the $1k/month milestone, but bloggers in this range seem to be pretty darn happy if they’re regularly pulling in 1-2k/month.

Realistic Expectation of Hours Worked:

Months 0-12: Expect to put in at least 4-6 hours/day. Some report putting in less, but many report putting in more than full time work during this stage. So, 20-60 hours a week to earn that whopping 65 cent paycheck! woohoo!

Months 12-24: Expected working hours in this range can really vary. Basically, it appears one of two things usually happen at this point. One, you’ve developed a good following and have worked out how to get money through Adsense, affiliates, etc. and now your work load has evened out a bit, still averaging working 2-6 hours/day.

Or, the other thing that could happen, is, now that you’re more experienced, you’re starting to really get a feel with how to maximize your profits, and you now spend a few MORE hours per day/week, working all the angles to really get your blog/website going where you want it to go. If this is where you’re at at this stage, you can reasonably expect to put in anywhere from 6 to 10 hours/day.

Years 2-5: If you haven’t given up yet, once you reach this stage, you’ve probably figured out how to maximize your profits while minimizing your workload. You’re probably still working 2-4 hours per day to maintain your regularly monthly income flow or perhaps modestly increase it. Be warned though, just because you know what to do to maximize profits while minimizing workload, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to actually do those things. Many perfectionists will burn themselves out.

It seems that most bloggers who manage to pull in a significant income (1-3k/month is my personal definition of ‘significant income’) seem to do one of two things, listed below.

One, is that they have a good niche. Their target audience is well defined enough that they don’t have to compete with as many people, and thereby make more profit. However, their target audience is still broad enough to attract enough readership to pull in those profits.

The second thing I noticed that those ‘significant income’ earners did, was they sold an actual product or service that they made/invented themselves via their blog (or at least linked their product/service website to their blog and used their blog as one means of attracting customers to their product).

So, that’s it. Bottom line, if you have a good idea for an online business, and are willing to put in 20-60 hours per week, and willing to wait/work for pennies for a few months to a few years, you can probably realistically expect to make $200-$600/month from it. If you have a good idea, plus a good niche, plus an actual product/service, then you can somewhat realistically expect to earn $1-2k/month, after a few years of growing your business.

These number seem fairly accurate to me. What do you think?

40 thoughts on “How Much Money Can You Make Blogging?

  1. Good post. I’ve seen numbers be all over the place on this. I think the key is being realistic and knowing that you’re not going to start a blog and all of a sudden have marketer’s flock to you and end up making thousands of dollars in a month. Sure, it’s possible, but so is being struck by lightning.

  2. Great post. When I started CBB I never set out to make any money. Now that I’ve grown faster than expected I’m looking to move self hosted and see if I can better the space for the fans. One of my mates who has been blogging less than a year brings in about 2k a month so I’m sure it varies. I always used to say I’d be happy if I made enough for a case of beer. A hobby is fun but if you get the beer to go with it, even better! Cheers Mr.CBB

  3. Interesting findings. I can’t say that I’ve personally experienced this, but I think the income you make is based on a lot of variables. Anyhow, after about 7 months I was able to surpass the $1k/month mark, but I’d venture to say that I got fairly lucky.

  4. Probably very accurate numbers and I would expect you really want to consider the ups and downs, some months could be $1,000 and then for no apparent reason it could dip to $100 the following month. Don’t get dependent on a steady stream because I’m guessing it’s not going to be there.

  5. The reason I decided to start up my blog (less than 2 weeks ago) was to see if I could use the downtime I had after work to earn a side income from blogging. I’m aware it’s going to be a long haul to get to earning the numbers above, but if I can break even with my hosting costs then I’d be happy just to have the experience of marketing myself, and learning from other bloggers!

  6. I think those numbers are pretty well researched, although it depends how you invest your time. If you spend the first three months blogging on your own and hoping the world will notice, you just lost three months. Spending a month not writing anything and reading about other bloggers’ mistakes can be much more productive to start on the right foot.

  7. Bahaha, I have been blogging for 4 years and make about $.65 a month. I think I just like to write to entertain myself. Or maybe I have nothing important to say. Yup, that’s it.

  8. Wow, I have been writing for years and I have never received a penny for my thoughts. If I did I think I would fall over in excitement. Maybe I am not doing what I should be doing to get a passive income out of it.

  9. Thanks for sharing this. I’ve just started a new blog, mostly just for entertainment (for now) and was always curious about how much bloggers were able to pull in from ad’s etc. Really interesting!

    Just found your blog and looking forward to going through your older posts.

  10. Very interesting post!

    I think your income expectations for months 0-12 are right on the money. 5 months into my new blog and I’m making almost $20/mth. – that’s with 20-30 visitors/day.

    All I gotta do now is get more people to read my blog.

  11. Why the heck do any of us do this for .65 a month? I actually get lots from it other than money at this point. I think I’m up to about $3/mo on adsense, which just cracks me up for all the time spent, but as long as it’s fun and someone reads it, I’ll keep going.

  12. Hi Andy,
    Thank you for these numbers, they seem to me quite realistic. Some of us do not start blogging for money when we are passionate on a subject, but if you are really giving valuable material and your time, it is logical to get money in return.
    But blogging is a serious thing and passionating to me because I like writing, I dream of having more time to do it.
    I’m bookmarking your blog to read more.. 🙂

  13. 2-5 years : Earning should be between $500-$1000, if making money is the purpose of blogging otherwise earning should not matter for you. There are number of bloggers running blog to assist other and for their personal satisfaction.

  14. I am so glad I hit upon your blog. According to me your estimates are quite accurate. I have been blogging for a year now and my earnings are very much within the range you mention. But I think I have put in on an average a couple of hours more. thanks for this brilliant post!

  15. I think it matters how much time you spend marketing and how to present affiliate links to potential clientele. It’s all a matter of perspective when it comes down to it. Take the time to build the audience first, then worry about trying to get it to convert like it should.

  16. Hey Andy: Nice piece on earning money from your blog. I had never really thought about the money aspect and have been blogging just to give back by providing free legal advice and insight. Not sure my blog (frommtaxes.wordpress.com) will ever be a money maker. Interesting post in any event.

    • Thanks. Money is not my primary motivation for blogging but I’ve managed to make a bit from it anyhow. If you like to blog just keep blogging and you might start making money.

  17. I’m in it for the money.

    Work now to build a base, get to critical mass, continue to feed great content and eventually the site will become more like a passive income source. Takes a little time, and I think most people fall off before they see the rewards, but its worth it if you can see it through.

  18. I actually actively bookmarked this post when I was starting out taking blogging seriously as a profession and used to come here for encouragement. Everyone of course has their own timeline, and no two blogs make X amount of money in quite the same length of time, but this helped to encourage met that, give it a lot of time and with a solid plan, you’ll for sure be making enough blogging eventually.

    And it worked ! Now a full time blogger and could not be happier. Absolutely love being able to call this my only job. It’s really possible guys. If you’ve got a little money coming in those first few months, just stick to it. You might even be surprised at how quick it can be to double or triple your earnings.

  19. Persistence is key with building a good blog. I’ve seen so many people who think that they can just slap up a website, write a few 250 word posts and watch the money pour in. They’re always disappointed when they find out this is far from reality!

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