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How Much Do Bloggers Make? [150 Bloggers Told Me Their Income]

Actual blogging income and the sources that really work to make money online

I asked 150 bloggers how much they make and their favorite sources of income.

What I got was an amazing resource for how bloggers make money and what you can do to make money online fast. In this video, I’ll not only reveal how much bloggers make but three secrets to making money that will put you in the top tier of online entrepreneurs.

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How Much I Make Blogging

Blogging and building online assets has changed my life. I started freelancing for bloggers in 2012 and then started my own blogs in 2014. Five years of developing my digital business, I broke ten grand a month this year and have made over $222,000 with my online assets.

blog income
How to Make More than the Average Blog Income

And this is all from something that most people don’t even know you can make money doing.

In this video, I’m using a survey of 150 bloggers to show you exactly how much bloggers make. I’ll walk you through the most popular income sources and reveal three secrets to making money online.

This graphic shows the breakdown of blog income by month for bloggers in that survey. Now what we see might not seem too impressive. Just under half of all bloggers make less than $1,500 a month but understand that was on an average 8 hours a week bloggers reported spending on their blogs.

how much do bloggers make each month
How Much Do Bloggers Make?

That means even the bloggers at this low-end of the scale are making about $42 an hour.

Now I’d say most of these the part-time bloggers still grinding it out in a 9-to-5 but it really starts to get interesting when you look at this other 50% of the graphic. Here at the top end, we see 23%, more than one-in-five are making five thousand or more a month and we’ve got almost one-in-ten making ten grand or more a month.

You can make a lot of money blogging and I’m going to show you exactly how to break into that top 20% by income.

What are the Best Blogging Income Sources?

Now I want to share some other results from that survey of bloggers, results that are going to show you how that top tier of bloggers is making their money. This is what I got when I asked bloggers to list out the income sources they were using.

how do bloggers make money sources
Most Popular Blogging Income Sources

Understand first, this isn’t necessarily the most profitable sources. I’ve got another graphic for that in a bit. This just shows the most popular, most often used income sources.

So we see that nearly all bloggers, seven-of-ten, use affiliate marketing and more than half make money on sponsored posts and pay-per-click ads. I’m going to explain each of these next but just want to list them out here. At the bottom of the list, we see fewer bloggers are selling courses, books and using membership sites.

Before we look at how profitable each of these sources are and how you can use them I want to share one of those three secrets to making money online. There is an immutable law of business, you can take all your MBA classes and boil them down to this one truth. You need one of two things to make money, product or distribution.

Distribution is getting things in front of people so you have TV, websites, billboards, whatever it is you own that gets a product in front of buyers. Now if you have this but nothing to sell, you make money by advertising other people’s products.

The flip-side to this is you can have a product but no distribution. All those commercials you see on TV. That’s companies with a product but no way of getting it in front of people. They can make a lot of money selling the product but first they have to make that sale.

So as we’re looking at some of these blogging income sources, understand that a blog is distribution. This digital real estate you own can get products in front of people. Bloggers are turning that traffic they get every month into cold, hard cash through some kind of advertising.

But, and this is something we’ll see in those income sources and how that top tier of bloggers makes ten grand and more each month. Making more money means being on both sides with the distribution and the product, being able to sell your own products through your blog.

Most Profitable Blogging Income Strategies

Now when I asked bloggers what percent of their income they made from each source, so we’re now talking about the best income sources, we see something entirely different.

which is best income source for bloggers
Best Blogging Income Source

Of bloggers saying they made money on membership sites, remember that’s only about one-in-20 bloggers, they reported making 67% of their income from the source. Another one here, online courses, only about one-in-four bloggers said they had online courses to sell but of those they reported making half their income from it.

FREE – Watch this three-video series on creating and selling an online course

You see that idea we just talked about, having the product and the distribution in these numbers. Look at the advertising types of income sources; affiliates, sponsored posts and pay-per-click ads. Most bloggers reported using these sources, up to 70% of bloggers said they made money on affiliates, but these three sources account for about a third or less of the total income for those bloggers.

By comparison, look at the product type sources; membership sites, courses and books that make up a bigger portion of total income.

You can make money on advertising. I average $3,500 a month on YouTube ads on this channel alone and another $3,500 on affiliate marketing but you will never reach that top tier of income without hitting it from both sides and with your own products to sell.

How Much Does Blogging Cost?

So you can start a blog for almost nothing. In fact, through a special offer I set up with Blue Host, you can get web hosting for less than $3 a month and that’s all you need to get online.

But really taking your blog to the next level, making a business out of it, means treating it like a business and is going to mean investing in that business.

Here we see how much bloggers reported spending on their blog each month. Just over four-in-ten said they spent less than $50 a month so they might have that web hosting and a few resources they use. You’ve got another 26%, about two or three in ten bloggers that spend between $50 to $200 a month. This 68% or about seven-in-ten bloggers are probably those part-timers making upwards of $1,500 a month on their blogs.

how much does blogging cost per month
How Much Does Blogging Cost?

Now that’s still pretty damn good. Spending less than $200 a month to make fifteen hundred but then there’s the group of full-time bloggers. Here we have another group, 29% or about three-in-ten bloggers spending between $200 to $5,000 a month to run their blog. I’m in this group with expenses that average just under $2,000 a month to run four blogs and the YouTube channel.

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This all gets to our second secret to making money blogging, to treat it like a business. Learn how the business of blogging works, the tools and resources that will make your blog more profitable, and don’t be afraid to invest in it.

I’ve seen a lot of beginners jump into blogging, give it six months and then wonder why they aren’t making any money. And I ask them, “Ok what have you done to make your blog more like a business? What are the tools you’re using to get more work done in less time?”

How to Make More Money Blogging

Now I want to highlight some of those income sources, some of the best income sources for bloggers. This is really going to bring out our third secret to making money, that you have to take advantage of multiple income sources.

If you remember in that income sources graphic, even the bloggers making a lot of money on membership sites, were only making two-thirds of their income on it. For other bloggers, for example those using courses or self-publishing, they were only making between a third or half their income on each individual source.

Few of these sources individually are going to make you rich. I have ten books self-published on Amazon with two more on the way, yet it’s still only a couple of grand a month. That alone isn’t going to pay the bills but when I combine it with courses, affiliates, sponsorships and ads…I’m making a decent check every single month.

Just as importantly here, so maybe this is secret 3.5 to blogging, is that having all these income sources means if one craps out during a month or two, I’m not sweating to pay the bills. The income from a few of these sources, especially affiliates and sponsored posts, can go up and down dramatically from month-to-month. Combining all these together though gives me a stable income I can count on.

My Favorite Ways to Make Money Blogging

Now I want to highlight a few of these blogging income sources but what we’ll do is cover the basics here, then in our next video, I’ll go into each in more detail to show you exactly HOW bloggers use these to make money so don’t forget to click that subscribe button so you don’t miss that next video.

Membership sites are just an extension of your blog, a private area reserved for monthly subscribers. You create these areas with a plugin like Member Mouse or MemberPress and it lets you restrict access to extra content, forums, downloads and other bonus material. So for between $25 to $200 a month, people get VIP treatment and additional information. These are some great money-makers and really just like creating two blogs, one public and the other private. 

Courses are the next level of making money for a lot of bloggers and something I just got into last year. In fact, four months into my investing course and I had made just over $9,000 with the income growing almost every month. The beauty of courses is that most bloggers already have one in their blog content, they just need to put it in order and polish it off for an easy-to-follow series.

Affiliate marketing is a great income source for bloggers because you don’t have to go through that work to create your own product. Now I know I said making that big money meant creating those products but using affiliate marketing can help you make money before your products are ready and will help smooth out your income like we talked about.

Affiliate marketing is just talking about a company’s product or service on your blog, linking to their website and then getting a commission if one of your readers makes a purchase. The commission you get will vary by affiliate but usually average from $25 to over $100 per sale.

FREE – Watch this two-video series on making money with affiliate marketing

For those of you in the community, you know I’m a huge fan of self-publishing but we haven’t talked nearly as much about making money with printables. These can actually be just as profitable as books and much faster.

Printables are from one to ten pages someone can download directly from your blog. This is special content and might be a checklist, a secret process to getting something done or a worksheet planner. It’s anything people are going to find value in that will be worth a few bucks.

The best part about printables is they’re super-fast to create, you can put one of these together over a weekend. Plus they’re highly targeted and this fits with my favorite printables strategy.

So if you’re like 99% of the bloggers out there, just a handful of posts are going to account for the majority of your blog traffic. It’s like the 80/20 rule. About 20% of your articles will account for 80% of your traffic.

What you can do is go through each of these highly-popular blog posts and create a printable offer specifically for that topic. Your blog might be about cooking but let’s say you get a third of your monthly visitors from one post about baking a cake. So you create a Grandma’s Secret Chocolate Cake recipe as a printable and sell it inside that post. You know that people visiting that post from Google are looking for exactly that kind of information, they’re primed and ready for the sale.

I’ve seen these quick-sale printables make thousands when used right and it’s a great strategy.

how much do bloggers make a year
How Much Do Bloggers Really Make?

We’re following this video up with a deeper look into these income sources, how to get started and exactly how much you can make. Make sure you scroll back up and join the Let’s Talk Money community on YouTube so you don’t miss it.

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Comments

  1. Thank you! Very interesting statistics.
    I have to use this information for to get ahead 🙂

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