Do bloggers make money? If so, how much money do bloggers make?
Let’s start with the facts and see if you can duplicate the success.
Recently in our Facebook community, someone was thinking of starting a blog but mentioned an overheard opinion that blogging was not a real career because blogging is dead.
Perhaps you have heard similar stories. Maybe you have been the object of the joke… “Bloggers don’t make money! Get a real job.”
Friend, I want to set the record completely straight by telling you exactly how much money bloggers make and whether or not you should consider blogging a career.
Is blogging a valid career choice?
I never planned to be a professional blogger. There was not a degree for blogging at my college, and to my knowledge, there still isn’t.
For me, I knew I wanted to write, and everyone said I would be broke. (Everyone except this one guy who thought it was an awesome idea so I married him.) After several rejected book proposals, I gave up on writing and started direct sales… only to find myself broke.
Out of desperation, I started using coupons to buy groceries and was sharing my deals on Facebook. A friend mentioned “blogging” and the rest of the story brings us to this post… and do you think I would be writing about making money as a blogger if I were NOT making money?
Let that one sink in…
Is blogging dead?
The fact is blogging is not dead, but it might not be what you think it is.
Back in the glory days, moms would keep an online diary of activities and photos to keep out-of-town family up to date. These “mom bloggers” were the pioneers of what is now considered content marketing.
Blogging as a career is not posting random photos, “happy birthday” notes, and the occasional craft. Professional blogging is more entrepreneurial… where you define your audience and create content to attract readers to sell a product.
Profitable blogging requires a deliberate strategy.
How much money do bloggers make?
I know you have seen those glowing blogging income reports where bloggers are making five to six figures a month. Enticing, right? And the majority of these money-making machines are not bragging… they are trying to educate others.
Regardless, the problem is when we assume these income reports are the average… or even the norm.
Check out these humbling facts:
- There are almost 7 million people writing blogs around the world. [SOURCE]
- 63% of bloggers make less than $3.50 per day and 10% of those make nothing. [SOURCE]
- About 14% of bloggers make enough money to consider it a “salary” and the average salary per year is just over $24,000. [SOURCE]
- Only 8% of bloggers make enough money to support a family. [SOURCE]
But, where do I fit into this equation?
My average monthly income (after expenses) in 2016 was $3,000. Where I live in the southeastern United States, that’s more money than qualified professionals like teachers and police officers make each month.
And guess what… I’m happy about it!
Through blogging, I have successfully doubled (and maintained) our household budget. We eat healthy, balanced meals. My children attend private school. My husband doesn’t need to work a second job. Our budget has room to include giving to our church and community. What more could I possibly want?!
Similarities between profitable bloggers
To keep you from feeling discouraged with the reality that blogging for profit is hard, I want you to consider the small portion of bloggers who make $100,000 a month.
Immediately dismiss those who are using fake news, celebrity trends, or blog hosting to make money. Focus on the real people who are creating REAL things like Erin Chase, Kim Sorgius, and Kelly Snyder.
Who? You may or may not have heard of these women but this proves an excellent point. Most money-making bloggers are quietly hustling and creating a business… but you will never hear them talk about how much money they are making.
I am fortunate to have these ladies as friends… and frequently chat about income reports with them. I know how much money they make… and it’s more than me.
Are they so special that they are the only ones who can make that much money? No.
What do these ladies have in common that enables them to bring in significant income?
- Posting consistently and frequently, each lady produces content for a very defined target audience.
- These ladies invest in tools, education, and/or coaching to keep their websites (and their minds) fresh.
- Each of their websites was developed to attract and retain the ideal reader.
- They all have one or more products to solve problems identified within their audience.
- Every aspect of their social media presence and blog content is curated with strategy.
- Their monthly revenue is stabilized by multiple streams of income.
Which of these characteristics are you missing?
While these traits are generalities, the truth is the more money a blogger makes, the more unique they are in their niche. They stand out because the focus is on what makes their blog different from the other 7 million blogs.
Granted, many of the most profitable bloggers have advantages like a large advertising budget or relationships with other people in power, but they must maintain uniqueness to capture and retain readers.
How do bloggers make money?
Many new bloggers assume that the only way to make money through blogging is with passive advertising using a company such as Google Adsense. However, sidebar advertising is one of the least profitable ways to monetize a blog.
Most bloggers who are making enough money to support their families implement a specific strategy to attract and nurture an audience that will ultimately purchase products.
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It’s a two step process:
- Being as specific as possible, decide the type of audience you want to attract. Then, brainstorm a list of their problems. Create content that will attract them and entice them to subscribe with an offer specific to the topic.
- Send your subscribers relevant, high-quality emails. After you have built a relationship with your dedicated readers (those who subscribed), offer them a product to solve a dilemma. The product may be one you created or a product you can monetize with an affiliate link.
Here is something SUPER important to notice…
HALF of the relationship is built away from the blog through email. If you are not collecting email addresses, you need to start now.
Other ways to make money blogging
Blogging income is more consistent when multiple streams of revenue are flowing into the bank.
On this website, the primary income source is courses and membership. The secondary source of revenue is through affiliate relationships.
However, on my blog at MeetPenny.com, the income streams are even more diversified: passive advertising, printables, ebooks, sponsored content, affiliate links, etc.
Bloggers with multiple sources of income have more financial stability because if one revenue resource ceases, the others continue to provide income.
Does blog niche matter?
Because I know you have thought about it, I can’t skip addressing the niche question…
“But don’t some blog niches make more money than others?”
Or maybe you wondered, “Aren’t the only bloggers making money the ones who are teaching how to blog?”
No. And no.
Remember the three ladies I mentioned? None of them teach bloggers about blogging and each makes a significant income in a niche where most think it is impossible: food (for those on a tight budget), fashion (primarily for moms), and parenting (with a focus on Christian discipleship.)
For each of these ladies, I know many more who are turning profits in the homeschool, DIY, cosmetics, and freebies niches.
Bloggers who find success understand their unique perspective within a focused market and seek to serve like-minded readers. There is no reason why you can’t make money blogging too.