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How Much Money Can You Make Blogging?

By April 8, 2008

Everyone seems to be hopping on the professional blogging bandwagon these days. And why not? Blogs are hot right now, and blogging about a topic you're passionate about is a lot of fun.

But how much money can you really make blogging?

There are a couple of different approaches to professional blogging. The first is to write a blog for a blog network or other company -- basically a freelance writing gig. The second is to run your own blog and monetize it with advertising and affiliate programs.

Jennifer Chait at Network Blogging Tips offers some rare insight into the first model, with a look at typical blog wages, in which she exposes eight actual deals that either she or other bloggers have accepted recently. The deals range from $7-$12 a post or $120 a month at the low end to over $1,000 a month on the high end.

For independent bloggers, Problogger Darren Rowse provides a closer look at how much money a blog can earn. He shows examples ranging from about $135 a month to over $3,000 a month, and takes a look at seven factors that contribute to a blog's earnings.

The real question is... is it worth it?

Well, it depends... not only on how much traffic you can generate, ad rates and affiliate click-throughs, but on one thing especially: how efficient can you be at it?

If you can crank out two posts a day in an hour or two, then $1,000 a month is moderately good money (about $30-$35 an hour). If it takes you an hour a day to do one post on the lower end of the pay range, it's more like $5 an hour! And the reality is that the vast majority of "professional" bloggers are at the low end of the spectrum.

So why do so many people still do it if the pay is so bad for most people?

There are a few possible reasons:

  1. Some people just don't make good business decisions. They want to make money online, and they unrealistically think that they're going to grow into the next Boing Boing or TechCrunch.
  2. Others are simply passionate about their topic, and they blog because they love it. The money is icing on the cake. Just think about how many blogs there are that don't make any money at all. If you can get paid to do something you would do anyway, why not?
  3. They're using it to establish themselves as an expert in their field to support their primary business. It's even better than free marketing -- it's marketing you get paid to do! Neat trick.

So before you start a blog with the intention of making money, or accept a freelance blogging gig, do your homework. Take a good hard look at the time commitment and a realistic look at the expected financial returns. Don't just get sucked in because it sounds cool. Does it stand on its own as a good business decision? If not, do the personal satisfaction or marketing benefits to your primary business make it worthwhile?

If you answer those questions before you start, you greatly improve your odds that it will meet your expectations and be something that you'll stick with and not get burned out.

April 9, 2008 at 4:47 am
(1) Dan says:

Good point – but you should be accurate.
If a blogger earns 1500$ and the money goes completely into his own pocket, I prefer this on earning 20000$ while keeping only 1000$ ( due to administrative expenses and salaries.)
So becoming “Boing Boing” is good, but building a niche and earning a few thousand by myself is even better.

April 10, 2008 at 12:38 pm
(2) Betsy says:

What is a blog? How do I start this?

Thank you.

April 10, 2008 at 5:32 pm
(3) Scott Allen says:

We actually have an About.com Guide, Susan Gunelius, dedicated to that very topic:


Start with Starting a Blog, and then you can move on to Monetizing a Blog and Professional Blogging.

April 11, 2008 at 10:33 am
(4) Andi says:

This is really informative! Thanks!

April 12, 2008 at 6:16 am
(5) Fitz says:

Very good points raised in this article.

I must say, a lot of people start blogs with sole aspirations of wealth and fame and often fail to realize that blogging is primarily about writing.

Making money from blogs is not easy. If it were, then why do most bloggers (who are typically young urban professionals) still work in the corporate world?

What I personally learned from blogging is that you have to have purpose for your writing. Give consistent value and share meaning to your content and surely, the money will eventually come.

April 12, 2008 at 3:26 pm
(6) Allena says:

As a freelance writer, I’ve taken on a couple blog gigs- ie blogging for others. The short term ones (ie start ups or vacation coverage) were more up my alley, because the long term ones (ie niches for large networks) wore me out, even the ones that were decent pay began to just tire me out. I can’t do this day after day stuff on the same subject! I felt like a dry well.

Just my opinion.

April 16, 2008 at 1:41 am
(7) Jennifer says:

Thanks for the link love Scott :)

@Dan who wouldn’t rather make and keep all their own money? Many folks I bet, but the reality is that very few people make a living from their own blogs. I know more network and client based bloggers who make a living blogging than bloggers who make a living off their own blogs.

June 3, 2008 at 1:52 pm
(8) Mark says:

There are two types of bloggers. One just for fun and to write about what is important in there lives. The other is trying to make money. As in any business to succeed you need a business plan. Part of that plan has to be education to learn how to make money.

December 17, 2008 at 2:51 pm
(9) domain for sale says:

I know a couple of bloggers who make a pretty good income from ads, but for most of them it’s quite difficult to quantify just how much they make from their blog as their readers buy their products as well.
I blog about Premium Domains and how it can affect your online business. I don’t have any ads on the site, but a lot of my readers buy and bid on the names i have for sale.

December 22, 2008 at 11:23 am
(10) Alexa says:

I have blogged on Hot Chat Blog for a few months and have noticed that you really can make money (enough for a coffee a day at starbucks) blogging. You just have to pick the right topic and go with it. You have to have passion and have conviction in what you say.

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