My first experience with a blog was back in 2005. A friend of mine told me that I needed to check out this celebrity gossip blog called Pink is the New Blog. After reading a few posts, I was hooked. Not only did I enjoy the daily gossip, but I loved the casual and personal nature of his writing. Reading this blog became my morning ritual, and it soon got me thinking:
- Is this his full-time job?
- How is he making money from his blog?
- How did he land these big-time TV interviews?
Fast forward to 2007.
After the birth of my daughter, I quit my full-time job as an RN Clinical Research Coordinator and became a full-time stay-at-home mom. But after nine months of play dates, mommy and me classes, and a dwindling bank account, I felt the urge to make some money and exercise my brain. I looked online for different work-at-home jobs, but the majority of my time was spent weeding through scams and sifting through websites to find all of the information that I was looking for. It was at this time that I decided to create my own monetized blog.
Fast forward to 2009.
After 15 months of doing research, creating content, and having a designer create a custom theme for me — I was finally able to launch in March 2009. It took me almost three months to get my first advertiser, and from there, it has continued to grow and is now my full-time career. While I’m not going to go into specifics on how much I earn, I can tell you that I’m making excellent money blogging and that, yes indeed, you can make money blogging too!
Here’s how I personally make money blogging, as well as some other bloggers’ stories, earnings, and tips.
1. Make Money with Direct Advertising
A lot of people will tell you that traditional advertising is dead, but I’m living proof that you can make good money from direct ad sales. In fact, this is one of my biggest sources of income. You can look at my advertising page for rates and offerings. I’ve also written extensively on the subject, so make sure to check out these posts.
2. Make Money with Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is another income stream that I used right from the start. In fact, when I didn’t have any direct advertisers in the first few months, I filled my ad slots with affiliate marketing ads. This way, I could potentially make money while looking like other companies were purchasing ad space on the site. Make sure to check out my favorite affiliate networks and read this article for information on making money with affiliate marketing.
3. Earn Money From Corporate Sponsorships
Over the past couple of years, I’ve worked with a few brands that I really love. For these companies, I do more intense sponsorship packages that can include anything from written reviews, live social media correspondence at events, Twitter parties, and social media campaigns. If this is something you’re interested in pursuing, check out these articles on working with brands.
- Tips For Becoming a PR Friendly Blogger
- How to Work with Brands: Learning the Ropes of Influencer Marketing
4. Work with an Ad Network
When I first started blogging, I worked with a couple of ad networks only to make pennies each month. Later, I signed up for Google Adsense, and I began to make a little more money, about $100 each month. But then, poof, Google decided I had invalid ad clicks and banned me from the program. After that had happened, I decided to join
After that had happened, I decided to join Media.net (Yahoo and Bings ad network). I made decent money with them, but once I got accepted into Raptive’s program, I stopped using them. I’ve been with Raptive for a few years now, and I absolutely love working with them! I make excellent money using their ad optimization network, and their staff is incredible!
Just a side note about working with ad networks. It can be a great way to generate money, but you need to have a decent number of page views each month since these networks pay on a CPM basis. If you’re interested in this monetization method, check out the ad networks I mentioned above and those below.
- SheKnows Media
5. Sell Services on Your Blog
Besides the revenue sources mentioned above, I’ve also done some social media contract work, and occasionally, I’ll receive a paid request to write an article for another publication. Depending on the pay, brand, and my schedule I’ll sprinkle these in from time to time. If you want to sell services on your blog, make sure you check out this post.
6. Other Blog Monetization Methods
Some other ways I’ve made money in the past are blog consulting, e-book sales, sold advertising through a holiday gift guide, as well as ran a lead generation service for direct sales consultants. While these did bring in some cash flow, they didn’t work well with my overall goals or vision for the site, so I closed them down.
Want to Know How Much Other Bloggers Earn?
- Miranda Grimm – WAH Adventures – $2,000 per month
- Mandy Rose – House of Rose Blog – $3,200 per month
- Meagan Paullin – Sunshine and Sippy Cups – $8,000+ per month
- Miranda Marquit – Planting Money Seeds – $10,000 per month
- Lisa Weber – Celebrity Baby Scoop – $25,000 per month
- Lindsay – Pinch of Yum – $26,000+ per month
- Heather Armstrong – Dooce – $50,000 per month
- Kristin Larsen – Believe in a Budget – $68,000 per month
- Sarah Titus – SarahTitus.com – $75,000 per month
- Michelle Schroeder – Making Sense of Cents – $100,000+ per month
- Pat Flynn – Smart Passive Income – $213,000+ per month
- Arianna Huffington – The Huffington Post – $2,330,000 per month
It Takes Time.
Impressive numbers, right? But let me tell you, blogging is not for the faint of heart, it takes time, as well as patience, persistence, hard work, and perseverance. I tell you this not to discourage you from becoming a monetized blogger, but to give you a realistic point of view on what you can expect. For myself, I fell into a career that I absolutely love, and because of my blog, it has laid the groundwork for other opportunities that I otherwise would not have been privileged to.
Are you ready to start a blog? Here’s a step-by-step tutorial that’s easy and affordable (just $3.95 a month). And if you’re interested in how I took my blog to the next level — be sure to read this post!
How do you make money blogging? Leave us your monetization methods in the comment section below!
Originally published September 10, 2014. Content updated December 12, 2017.