How Much Money Do Bloggers Make?

moneyIf you are asking this question, you either own, or are thinking of starting, a blog. You hope to make some money from that venture, as well. Join the party… most of us at least started to consider monetizing our sites when they began gaining more traffic and a higher number of regular readers. Though asking how much money the average blog makes is the wrong question.

The Highest Earning Blogs Online

According to Online Income Teacher, these are the top ten earning blogs online. They have all used their own methods of generating that income, but most are advertising banners, Pay Per Click (PPC), or CPM advertising.

  1. The Huffington Post ≈ $21.82 million value ($29,896 daily)
  2. Mashable ≈ $11.52 million value ($15,781 daily)
  3. Techcrunch ≈ $10.82 million   ($14,816 daily)
  4. Engadget –  $7.2 million ($9,861 daily)
  5. Smashing Magazine –  $4.66 million ($6,382 daily)
  6. Tuts+ ≈ $3.7 million ($5,068 daily)
  7. Life Hacker ≈ $3.52 million ($4,821 daily)
  8. Gizmodo ≈ $2.86 million ($3,918 daily)
  9. Perez Hilton ≈ $2.66 million ($3,645 daily)
  10. Joystiq AOL ≈ $1.28 million ($1,752 daily)

They are also all companies, more or less. Or they have become companies under the leadership of their original blogger (Arianna Huffington and Perez Hilton, for example). Independent bloggers have also managed to generate a profit, such as Joel Comm ($55,408 worth through affiliate sales), and John Chow ($405,242, also through affiliate sales).

It shows that any blog can have earning potential, as long as you find the most profitable means of advertising, sales or promotion.

When You Should Begin Monetizing Your Blog

When you are planning on having a profitable site, you can technically begin monetizing it right away. You can certainly start a PPC or similar campaign, though keep in mind you need people there to click on the links.

But the most successful independent blogs focus on gaining a following, then start to add in monetization tactics once they have steady traffic and dedicated readers. Being stable on that front increase your opportunities, including those than come from companies and brands wanting you to try and review their products/services.

How You Can Begin Monetizing Your Blog

Start with the obvious, though generally less profitable, options such as Adsense. Will you make a whole lot there? Probably not, but you will make something. Through the year, it may be enough to cover the hosting and other registration fees necessary for running your blog. Which means your blog will be sustainable, and any additional money made will be profit.

Next, begin looking into what option works best for you. PPC? Traditional advertising? CPM? Affiliate marketing? The last is usually a good option for new bloggers, or those who are running an independent site. You can start to make money daily, which adds up to a decent monthly amount.

I’ve found affiliate marketing most successful for niche and local blogging. Using local directories it’s easy to find local businesses that are looking for ways to establish online presence. So just be pro-active and approach them with your offer. I’ve seen people find life-time partnerships this way…

While you can use a combination of those methods, try not to speak yourself too thin. Time spent focusing on several marketing techniques means time taken away from cultivating any single one. One or two should suffice.

Once you have started those campaigns and have an Adsense account. Start considering indirect, but related, money making ventures. Speaking at events, lectures, or doing video interviews. Hosting webinars or online classes about your area of expertise. Ebooks, including taking advantage of perks offered through platforms like Kindle (they have an author program that could benefit you, and Amazon Associates).

Cotributing may be a way to both increase visibility and get a little something extra for it. Sites like Listverse and Cracked pay around $100 per article, and offer a byline. Or you can check out blogs in your industry that pay a bit.

Here’s my tested list: 15 Blogs To Apply To In Order To Become a Paid Contributor

What you are really looking for is exposure, so try and find the highest profile guest posting opportunities possible. The more successful your blog becomes, the easier it will be to do that.

Once you have gained some standing, you may want to consider starting a membership program. Sites like Moz have a paid program that is separate from their blog. A number of sites have started to do that. Just make sure you have something unique and worth paying for, and never charge for your actual blog posts. That is a shady practice that has been seen before, and backfired spectacularly.

Consultancy is one more option, though this becomes a matter of your popularity when you begin monetizing. You have to be a well known name in your industry to begin trading on that reputation and targeting professionals or businesses that might be helped by your expertise. But a blog is a great platform for launching that kind of career, if that is a dream you have for the future. You might as well start now.

Finally, you have private ads and sponsorships, which you can offer on your site for a fee (either monthly or one-time to cover a certain period). But this is one of the last resorts; sure, it works. But it has become less popular as companies realize they can get more traction through content and engagement than stagnant ads on even well known sites. They would rather pay for a review that talks up their service than for an ad the majority of visitors will ignore.


There is no one answer for the question of how much bloggers make. But there is one that should be reassuring for anyone who is planning on earning an income from their own: the sky is the limit, it just depends on you.

Monetizing your blog is a good way to earn a passive income. So get started; the sooner you begin, the sooner you will start to see profits.

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