After posting my blogging income report from last year, I’ve been getting a lot of reader questions asking:
How much money can you actually make blogging?
I think blogging is the perfect side hustle because you can do it in your own time, you can do it from anywhere, and you can build it into your lifestyle.
HOW MUCH MONEY DO BLOGGERS MAKE?
It’s pretty easy to make an extra $500 – $2,000 per month blogging in your first year. And then in year 2, 3, 4, and 5, you can significantly increase your monthly blog revenue. Glassdoor reports that the average blogger salary is over $32,500 per year, based on several anonymously submitted salaries.
Many of the full-time bloggers that I know are able to make over $200,000 per year and work about 10-30 hours per week. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve posted my income report where I made over $400,000 with my blogging side hustle.
And while it’s a smaller group, I also know bloggers who make millions every year and work less than 10 hours a week (wouldn’t that be nice!). That’s an absolutely insane ROI for your time.
More and more people are also reading blogs, so it’s really just the beginning. It’s still the Blogging Wild West. Get in NOW!!
First, because there have been so many questions I decided to put everything I know about blogging into a Free 7 Day Blogging Side Hustle Email Course.
That course is an absolute beast (like 20,000 words over 7 days!) and includes my strategy on blog branding, design, building traffic, building email your email list and so much money. If you want to make money blogging definitely sign up (it’s completely free).
Alright, now onto the good stuff. Here’s how you make money blogging and how much you can realistically make in year 1, 2, 3 and beyond.
HOW DO BLOGS MAKE MONEY?
How much money you can make depends on how much traffic you are getting and how large your email list is. You can realistically make $25,000-$50,000 your first year blogging, $100,000+ your second year, $250,000+ your third year of blogging, and $500,000+ in your fourth year.
Seriously, if you keep at it and keep building, your traffic and revenue will continue to grow. In my first year blogging, I made about $25,000, in year 2 I made about $150,000 and in my 3rd year, I made over $400,000, and I’m (crossing my fingers) on pace in year 4 to make over $1 million from this blog. And I’m able to write all of the posts on my laptop wherever I am. No matter what keep at it! While it takes time, blogging = freedom.
Some of the bloggers that make the most money actually have pretty small audiences – they just know their audiences well and have maximized their earning per page view and email subscriber. Most professional bloggers are measuring both earnings per page view and earning per email subscriber monthly. Since I’m so busy I do it quarterly and it works for me.
More Traffic = More Revenue
It’s not unrealistic to make between $0.01 – $0.25 per page view in many blogging niches across display and affiliate ads.
So if you get 1,000 page views a month (very very easy), you can make between $10-$25 per month, which will cover the cost of running the blog.
But if you can get to 100,000 page views a month you can make between $1,000 – $25,000 off of your blog per month. In rare cases I’ve seen a blogger make $0.20 per page view in a very profitable niche like insurance, but somewhere in the $0.02 – $0.05 is realistic. So the more people your blog reaches the more money you can obviously make.
The more time you put into it, the bigger your traffic will grow, your email list will grow, and the more valuable your audience, the more money you can make. While making a lot of money blogging is definitely not easy, one of the best things about it is as your Google traffic grows over time, and your audience grows, you can make more and more money each year.
This is why I love SEO (search engine optimization) so much – it really is the compound interest of blog growth.
Email Lists are Your Most Important Asset
The most important asset you have as a blogger is your email list. This is your crew, your audience, your tribe. They are the ones who will come back and keep reading your content and who you will build enough trust with so they will buy from you (either products you create or promote) or click on the affiliate links for the products you recommend.
While you can, and will, definitely make money running display and affiliate ads on your blog, your biggest money making opportunity is going to be with your email list. The million dollar bloggers out there are able to make between $1-$5 in revenue per email subscriber each month!! If you have a list of 10,000 subscribers you can make up to $50,000 in revenue off that list per month! It’s crazy.
Keep in mind that’s a really extreme example and not typical. Somewhere in the $1-$3 per month per email subscriber is actually realistic.
The email marketing platform I recommend is Constant Contact. They offer a free 60-day trial of their service, and you don’t even have to input your credit card number for access.
Start building your email list as soon as you start your blog. Your email list is your most important asset.
YOUR BLOG NICHE MATTERS
How much money you can make blogging depends largely on the niche you are blogging about. If you blog about used books, for example, you could probably only make money if you sold books directly through your blog and then you likely won’t make much money. Unless of course, you blog about (and sell) expensive, in-demand, rate books. But if you blog about money, for example, it’s going to be easier for you to make money because you can get larger affiliate commissions, bigger advertiser fees or CPMs (cost per thousand impressions), and sell products for more money.
So pick a niche that you are really interested in writing about (this will help you stick with it) and one that can also make you money (if you want to make money blogging). Not all bloggers want to make money. Over the past 3 years, I have had the opportunity to meet (and work) with many full-time bloggers and while you can make money blogging in almost any niche, below are the most and least profitable blogging niches based on my own research and experience.
Some bloggers are able to successfully combine multiple niches, for example, “travel and product reviews” to maximize monetization opportunities. Keep in mind these numbers are just average ranges that I have observed and were reported to me in a blogger survey of 481 bloggers across many niches.
Most Profitable Blogging Niches
Here are some of the most profitable 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 profitable 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 MAKE MONEY BLOGGING
You need to think about your blog like a platform, not just a blog. A huge difference between million dollar and amateur bloggers is that they view their blog as a platform – meaning they use it to test (and then scale) money making ideas. They use it to connect with people. They use it to make money in a bunch of different ways.
The more ways that you can make money on your blog, the more money you are likely going to make. Get creative. The experience you get monetizing your blog and connecting with other bloggers, the more ways you will find to monetize your content and your own brand. Over time you can grow your blog into a really profitable business that fits within your ideal lifestyle.
If you really want it and keep at it, you can actually become a millionaire blogger. Seriously, the first year might be pretty hard, but not only does it get easier after the first year, but you can also start making a lot more money. Happy Blogging!
Have you started a blog? How do you make money?