I had this same question when I started my first professional blog in 2012.
In the last several years, I’ve learned a TON about blogging, online marketing, podcasting, and more. I’m here to today to share that knowledge with you!
Before we talk turkey, let me just say that making money from a blog is not something that you do over night. It takes time, consistent work, and a lot of learning.
For me, it took a year before I was able to go full-time on my first professional blog. In that year, I made ~$30k.
My initial sources of income:
- Adsense: This is Google’s advertising program. You can put banner ads on your website and make money. I have a video about this program.
- Consulting: I was making money by offering consulting services.
- Services: I was offering a business service to my readers, which generated income.
This first year, I also wrote an ebook that I sold on my own website, but it didn’t make a tremendous amount of money.
It takes a lot of traffic to make good money from advertisements or affiliate marketing. It also takes knowledge and time to put together digital products.
Therefore, when you start out, your primary source of income is going to come from services or consulting. You’ll be trading time for money.
Can you make money directly from blogging?
Since a blog is free, the simple answer is no. The free content that you put out is meant to develop a relationship with a particular type of reader.
Once that reader is on your website, you can monetize their attention in a variety of ways. For the most part, this includes advertisements, sponsored content, digital products, services, and affiliate marketing.
How much can you actually make?
The top bloggers don’t really consider themselves to be bloggers. They’re content marketers.
They use the blog to attract ‘leads’ and monetize those leads by selling them digital courses and products.
Now, of course there are fashion and entertainment bloggers out there that aren’t selling these types of products. However, they’re selling other people’s products in the form of sponsorships advertising, and affiliate marketing,
At a certain point, a “professional blogger” might decide to use their excess funds to hire a team and turn their online presence into an education company or an entertainment company.
All of this being said, as an individual blogger, you can probably expect the upper tiers to make $100k – $200k max with a lot of hard work over a span of 5-10 years.
This income is likely not solely derived from blogging. It probably also comes from services, products, affiliate marketing, etc.
You can certainly make more than this, but at this stage, you’re transitioning more into an internet marketer and using things like webinars to sell high ticket products.
A more realistic goal is to make between $30k – $80k, depending on how hard you’re willing to work and the breakdown between selling services vs. other forms of monetization. Your niche also plays a big role.
Overall, the majority of bloggers don’t make very much money at all. It’s more of a hobby for them. If you want to make money, you gotta treat it like a business.
The real benefit of blogging
This can be summed up in one word… FREEDOM!
Just imagine how awesome it would be to be your own boss.
You don’t have to commute to work every day.
You can work from home, a cafe, a beach in a foreign country, or really, anywhere you want.
I’ve worked from a lot of different locations including:
- Co-working spaces in Manhattan
- Cafes in Brooklyn
- Other countries (Thailand)
Since you run your own life, you can also decide when you work. You don’t have to wake up early if you don’t want to.
Pretty cool, eh?
So… is blogging dead?
Not at all. The “heyday” of blogging was about 2005 – 2009. I started mine in late 2012. I made $30k when I went full-time about a year later.
I think that most people see the popularity of online video and social media platforms and they assume that people don’t read blogs any more.
This is 100% false. After all, I started the blog that you’re reading and I still continue to grow my other blog.
There are some factors that have changed in the blogging industry, most notably comments and SEO, but it’s not going anywhere.
You can still start a blog today and be VERY successful.
The first step you MUST take
The first step is simple: find a mentor.
You’re chances of success are much higher when you’re learning from someone who’s been there done that.
I’m happy to help you along your journey. Just reply to one of the emails that I send out with my newsletter.
The other HUGE step that I recommend taking ASAP is to set up a blog with Bluehost. The main difference between a hobbyist and a professional blogger is that a pro blogger has a unique domain name and a privately hosted blog.
You will use Bluehost in conjunction with WordPress to power the blog. WordPress will give you all of the functionality that you need to create posts, upload images, get professional themes, and more.
A lot of professional bloggers use and recommend Bluehost to set up your blog and get a unique domain.
If you need some hand holding as you’re setting up the blog, I’ve put together a Youtube video that will show you how to set up a WordPress website with Bluehost.
I hope that you find this training video to be helpful. If you do, can you give it a thumbs up on YouTube? Thanks!
Now… just because I recommend using Bluehost, doesn’t mean that you have to. There are many other hosting providers out there that you can use to host your blog. You just gotta search around.
The next step for making money
Once you set up the blog your next step is going to be to start driving traffic!
It’s not as hard as you think.
To give you an example, I wrote up a post on how this very blog got its first 78k views. You can read that article here.
There are many more topics that I’m happy to help you with on your blogging journey. If you want to receive more content like this, you can subscribe to my newsletter down below.
I’m a real person (shock and awe)!
Yes, I’m an actual human being.
You can reply to any of the emails that I send out.