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How Do You Make Money Blogging?

One of the question themes I get asked about most is making money with blogs. While this isn’t a “make money online” blog like Darrens or Johns, it is still something I know many of you care about.

While I never talk about how much I earn it is no secret that my money is made almost entirely from indirect sources. I blog so people know who I am, know I can help them with certain things, and hopefully trust me to deliver. I say “almost” because I still make a small percentage from affiliate links and such.

That said, there is no right way or wrong way to make money from blogging. While my feelings against Adsense are well-known, I am all for any of the other direct monetization tactics providing they support long-term reader loyalty rather than work against it. One of my contacts makes a consistent and hands-off five-figure income monthly from his mini-network of blogs. It must be nice to know he is earning even as he sits sunning himself on a Mediterranean beach!

I would expect most of you, if you make anything at all from your blogs, will either earn from ads, from writing or from your existing business. Or I could be completely wrong! Hence the following poll πŸ™‚

How do you make money from your blog?
View Results

As well as taking part in the poll, also let me know in the comments your thoughts and experiences of blog monetization (I wish there was a better word) …

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Comments

  1. Definitely indirectly for me. I’m not a monetization whiz and that’s not where I put my energy. Blogging has led to several clients actually and a couple job offers.

  2. Definitely indirectly for me. I’m not a monetization whiz and that’s not where I put my energy. Blogging has led to several clients actually and a couple job offers.

  3. Blogging is an excellent way to get clients, particularly for a service, freelance or consultancy business. It has certainly worked well for me over the years πŸ™‚ The one downside of that approach is if you stop blogging your income can dry up pretty quickly unless you can get repeat work from your client base.

  4. Blogging is an excellent way to get clients, particularly for a service, freelance or consultancy business. It has certainly worked well for me over the years πŸ™‚ The one downside of that approach is if you stop blogging your income can dry up pretty quickly unless you can get repeat work from your client base.

  5. I guess I blog for my business then. Oh, and Christ I too don’t like Adsense at all. Never tried it and probably never will. Good question though.

  6. I guess I blog for my business then. Oh, and Christ I too don’t like Adsense at all. Never tried it and probably never will. Good question though.

  7. There are a lot of adsense fans out there because it is pretty much copy-past-and-play but most people find other methods fit better and usually earn more.

  8. There are a lot of adsense fans out there because it is pretty much copy-past-and-play but most people find other methods fit better and usually earn more.

  9. I go for TLA for some easy monetization (pays all the server, domains and other bits n’ pieces during the year).

    But basically, for my content blogs I go for the direct advertising/sponsorship route. You cut out the middle men, so it’s a bit more work but the payback is much greater.

    I also run a few blogs where there is no advertising as it’s for promoting one of my information product.

    AdSense – same here, tried it and dumped it.

  10. I go for TLA for some easy monetization (pays all the server, domains and other bits n’ pieces during the year).

    But basically, for my content blogs I go for the direct advertising/sponsorship route. You cut out the middle men, so it’s a bit more work but the payback is much greater.

    I also run a few blogs where there is no advertising as it’s for promoting one of my information product.

    AdSense – same here, tried it and dumped it.

  11. I don’t make money, I make peanuts. πŸ˜€
    But, beside fun of blogging and making a community, I consider my blog as a learning tool. I am going to lounch another one which could me more profitable, though that one is not intended to be just a cash-cow.
    Actually, even this one could be considered nice enterprise because it is about second life, and one can do a lot of in-game stuff with peanuts. Like, 10 US$ can be converted into nice pocket money for playing in second life. So I guess, my avatar whose blog is that can be considered working for her payment πŸ™‚ Only thing is that waiting for Google and Amazon check to come is too long… But that day, she will be very rich in virtual world πŸ™‚

  12. I don’t make money, I make peanuts. πŸ˜€
    But, beside fun of blogging and making a community, I consider my blog as a learning tool. I am going to lounch another one which could me more profitable, though that one is not intended to be just a cash-cow.
    Actually, even this one could be considered nice enterprise because it is about second life, and one can do a lot of in-game stuff with peanuts. Like, 10 US$ can be converted into nice pocket money for playing in second life. So I guess, my avatar whose blog is that can be considered working for her payment πŸ™‚ Only thing is that waiting for Google and Amazon check to come is too long… But that day, she will be very rich in virtual world πŸ™‚

  13. You forgot “Some of the above”. πŸ˜‰

    Mostly I monetize through affiliate commissions though I also use products that I have either obtained the rights to, or created myself.

    On my newest blog I intend to create and sell WP Themes once I’ve built a readership, and on another that’s in the initial stages there will be a paid subscription element to the blog, so those would both be direct. I suppose “blog for my business fits best”.

  14. You forgot “Some of the above”. πŸ˜‰

    Mostly I monetize through affiliate commissions though I also use products that I have either obtained the rights to, or created myself.

    On my newest blog I intend to create and sell WP Themes once I’ve built a readership, and on another that’s in the initial stages there will be a paid subscription element to the blog, so those would both be direct. I suppose “blog for my business fits best”.

  15. I’m another who doesn’t like AdSense. It’ll have something to do with my background in design and aesthetics.

    My blog has been an excellent way to attract new design business, and whilst I make a minimal amount through text link ads, I voted ‘I blog for my business’ in your poll.

  16. I’m another who doesn’t like AdSense. It’ll have something to do with my background in design and aesthetics.

    My blog has been an excellent way to attract new design business, and whilst I make a minimal amount through text link ads, I voted ‘I blog for my business’ in your poll.

  17. @Martin – TLA is a great way to earn money through no additional effort. Just a shame Google have such an unhelpful view of it.
    @dandellion – There are people who make real money in second life too πŸ™‚
    @Blog Strokes – It is a shame the poll plugin does not allow tick boxes instead of radio buttons!
    @David – Yeah, to make money with Adsense usually means making it look bad or misleadingly invisible – ew!

  18. I wished I could make money from my blog. People always say that blogs with high PR and low Alexa rankings gets all the moo-lah they wanted, but I don’t think so.

    Maybe something wrong with me. Or my blog. Or maybe I’m not monetizing it enough, LOL.

  19. @Martin – TLA is a great way to earn money through no additional effort. Just a shame Google have such an unhelpful view of it.

    @dandellion – There are people who make real money in second life too πŸ™‚

    @Blog Strokes – It is a shame the poll plugin does not allow tick boxes instead of radio buttons!

    @David – Yeah, to make money with Adsense usually means making it look bad or misleadingly invisible – ew!

  20. I wished I could make money from my blog. People always say that blogs with high PR and low Alexa rankings gets all the moo-lah they wanted, but I don’t think so.

    Maybe something wrong with me. Or my blog. Or maybe I’m not monetizing it enough, LOL.

  21. Some themes are just harder to monetize than others. For example there are a lot of people looking for product info but not so many commercial opps for saving turtles (although there might be good turtle related products?)

  22. Some themes are just harder to monetize than others. For example there are a lot of people looking for product info but not so many commercial opps for saving turtles (although there might be good turtle related products?)

  23. “@dandellion – There are people who make real money in second life too”
    yes, I know… but not so much as media sometimes wants to present. Stats are saying that number of people who make more than 1000 US$ a month is less thean 1000. Which is awfully low considering the number of active residents. And most of them are into land business which is (at least for me) boring thing to do. I’ll settle down on a half of mentioned sum πŸ™‚

  24. “@dandellion – There are people who make real money in second life too”
    yes, I know… but not so much as media sometimes wants to present. Stats are saying that number of people who make more than 1000 US$ a month is less thean 1000. Which is awfully low considering the number of active residents. And most of them are into land business which is (at least for me) boring thing to do. I’ll settle down on a half of mentioned sum πŸ™‚

  25. I mostly freelance, but sometimes it’s very hard to get some clients. It’s a cruel world. :S

  26. I mostly freelance, but sometimes it’s very hard to get some clients. It’s a cruel world. :S

  27. The poll’s a little limited (as they tend to be–no problem with ’em), but my income streams come from everything mentioned above except affiliate sales. Except they don’t come from just one blog. I have several. Some of them make money through AdSense (anywhere from around $200 – $400 hundred dollars per month). On some of them I do paid posts and/or text link ads.

    I don’t do too badly in the consulting department, either. In fact, I never really pushed it much (just had some low-key information in my about page) until now. I’m “officially” (air quotes) launching as a blog consultant. The best way to earn money is still to sell a product or service directly.

    Some of these methods I’ve only recently begun to use. I’ve been making money from AdSense since near the beginning of the program, so it’s made me the most money by far.

  28. The poll’s a little limited (as they tend to be–no problem with ’em), but my income streams come from everything mentioned above except affiliate sales. Except they don’t come from just one blog. I have several. Some of them make money through AdSense (anywhere from around $200 – $400 hundred dollars per month). On some of them I do paid posts and/or text link ads.

    I don’t do too badly in the consulting department, either. In fact, I never really pushed it much (just had some low-key information in my about page) until now. I’m “officially” (air quotes) launching as a blog consultant. The best way to earn money is still to sell a product or service directly.

    Some of these methods I’ve only recently begun to use. I’ve been making money from AdSense since near the beginning of the program, so it’s made me the most money by far.

  29. Chris,

    You know I’m with you on the no adsense route!

    I didn’t really see the #1 or #2 ways I make money from blogging:

    I sell my own information products
    I provide unique services in exchange for donations

    I receive offers to consult, teach, or develop — by others in my target audience looking to do something similar

    Perhaps these all qualify as “indirect” — but they all produce a my full-time income for me that is entirely driven by blogging and has almost no dependence on high traffic or alexa rankings.

  30. Chris,

    You know I’m with you on the no adsense route!

    I didn’t really see the #1 or #2 ways I make money from blogging:

    I sell my own information products
    I provide unique services in exchange for donations

    I receive offers to consult, teach, or develop — by others in my target audience looking to do something similar

    Perhaps these all qualify as “indirect” — but they all produce a my full-time income for me that is entirely driven by blogging and has almost no dependence on high traffic or alexa rankings.

  31. Yeah Chris, the options are too limited. Nobody has really found a better way to help bloggers do it yet. I’m trying. Give me another month and the new release will be ready.

    But I’m with you, I generate through indirect.

  32. Yeah Chris, the options are too limited. Nobody has really found a better way to help bloggers do it yet. I’m trying. Give me another month and the new release will be ready.

    But I’m with you, I generate through indirect.

  33. @dandellion – Yeah, I heard it called “second hype” the other day πŸ™‚

    @Jan – It’s a wonderful world most of the time, no freelance work is just your time to chill out (or panic, either or πŸ˜‰ )

    @Michael – $400 a month is doing well with adsense, well done πŸ™‚

    @Slade – Not to different from me so I guess you blog for your business, or indirect πŸ™‚

    @Jim – Let me know when it is released πŸ™‚

  34. @dandellion – Yeah, I heard it called “second hype” the other day πŸ™‚

    @Jan – It’s a wonderful world most of the time, no freelance work is just your time to chill out (or panic, either or πŸ˜‰ )

    @Michael – $400 a month is doing well with adsense, well done πŸ™‚

    @Slade – Not to different from me so I guess you blog for your business, or indirect πŸ™‚

    @Jim – Let me know when it is released πŸ™‚

  35. For me, it’s indirect earning. I have listed google Adsense, but it does not generate much. May be that’s because, I have not done much to focus on that.
    I am getting speaking and writing opportunities because of my blog.

    Rajesh Shakya

  36. For me, it’s indirect earning. I have listed google Adsense, but it does not generate much. May be that’s because, I have not done much to focus on that.
    I am getting speaking and writing opportunities because of my blog.

    Rajesh Shakya

  37. I’m using advertising and affiliate programs. When AdSense ads are really contextual, I believe they can be helpful to readers who landed there from SERPs. I did not care too much about my blog’s brand image, because it is an experiment. I use it to learn and play. I enjoyed very much playing for example with ads’ positioning: it is very interesting to see how a slight change of color can influence the results. With affiliate programs it seems I play in vain, as barely managed to make any money, although I spent some on AdWords. I suppose I have to go back to the research stage and give it another shot.

  38. I’m using advertising and affiliate programs. When AdSense ads are really contextual, I believe they can be helpful to readers who landed there from SERPs. I did not care too much about my blog’s brand image, because it is an experiment. I use it to learn and play. I enjoyed very much playing for example with ads’ positioning: it is very interesting to see how a slight change of color can influence the results. With affiliate programs it seems I play in vain, as barely managed to make any money, although I spent some on AdWords. I suppose I have to go back to the research stage and give it another shot.

  39. I can’t vote because I hardly make any money from my blog. That’s not to say I don’t try, I’m just in the beginning stages. But right now I view my blogging more as a hobby, so I’m not looking to pay the bills with it or anything. Down the road, however, I hope to be able to pay at least my hosting fees and maybe have a little left over.

  40. I can’t vote because I hardly make any money from my blog. That’s not to say I don’t try, I’m just in the beginning stages. But right now I view my blogging more as a hobby, so I’m not looking to pay the bills with it or anything. Down the road, however, I hope to be able to pay at least my hosting fees and maybe have a little left over.

  41. AdSense and TLA works best for me. I never earned a single cent from an affiliate link since ever. *sighs*

  42. AdSense and TLA works best for me. I never earned a single cent from an affiliate link since ever. *sighs*

  43. NOOO!! I don’t encourage the use of any turtle products! *sobs*

  44. NOOO!! I don’t encourage the use of any turtle products! *sobs*

  45. as mentioned, adsense is most used because it doesn’t require any thought at all.. just slap some JS on your site, forget about it.

    Indirect is best if you can find a way to make it work. Theres some new forms of monitization out there for blogs (payperpost) that I havn’t tried, and in a way, its ‘selling out’ a bit, but its something different. πŸ˜‰

    I personally like to keep my thoughts, etc separate from money making endeavors, as honestly, it doesn’t cost anything to run a blog except time.. and if you are that passionate about it, don’t fall into a trap of putting more effort into making money than doing what you do best.

    of course, if something fits, run with it. πŸ™‚

  46. as mentioned, adsense is most used because it doesn’t require any thought at all.. just slap some JS on your site, forget about it.

    Indirect is best if you can find a way to make it work. Theres some new forms of monitization out there for blogs (payperpost) that I havn’t tried, and in a way, its ‘selling out’ a bit, but its something different. πŸ˜‰

    I personally like to keep my thoughts, etc separate from money making endeavors, as honestly, it doesn’t cost anything to run a blog except time.. and if you are that passionate about it, don’t fall into a trap of putting more effort into making money than doing what you do best.

    of course, if something fits, run with it. πŸ™‚

  47. Yep, Adsense for me. At the moment, it’s just pennies, but it’s kinda fun watching the numbers clock up for very little investment in my time.

    I think it’s a case of horses for courses. I get tired of seeing people with “Blogs on Blogging” asking about how to get their PPC earnings up. Looking at the Adsense reports across my blogs, my blogging blog is waaaay down on clicks and values. But my blogs directed at less web-savvy readers do very well.

  48. Yep, Adsense for me. At the moment, it’s just pennies, but it’s kinda fun watching the numbers clock up for very little investment in my time.

    I think it’s a case of horses for courses. I get tired of seeing people with “Blogs on Blogging” asking about how to get their PPC earnings up. Looking at the Adsense reports across my blogs, my blogging blog is waaaay down on clicks and values. But my blogs directed at less web-savvy readers do very well.

  49. since my blog is fairly new i can only put that i am starting to make money with affiliate links. my thoughts on blog monetization are that you have to stick it out in the beginning because you don’t see to much growth until you establish a reader base. perseverance is the key.

  50. since my blog is fairly new i can only put that i am starting to make money with affiliate links. my thoughts on blog monetization are that you have to stick it out in the beginning because you don’t see to much growth until you establish a reader base. perseverance is the key.

  51. Hey Chris,

    I am going to say at work I blog for business. But the way i’m writing right now is for myself. So no actual income from my own blog but it’s there for me to write.

  52. Hey Chris,

    I am going to say at work I blog for business. But the way i’m writing right now is for myself. So no actual income from my own blog but it’s there for me to write.