A common question asked by me as a blogger is, “Can you really make money blogging?” I always answer this question yes, but I add a caveat that it doesn’t happen overnight. I tell people to look at blogging the same way they should look at investing. You have to give your investment time to grow before you can reap the rewards.
However, blogging is one of the most ideal side activities to have because it doesn’t cost a lot of money, it doesn’t take a lot of time, and it’s actually easy to fit into your lifestyle.
There are many full-time bloggers I know who are making a six-figure income from their blog. The nice thing is that they do this while just working on their blog anywhere from 10-20 hours a week. As more and more people are turning to the internet for product reviews and how-to articles, now is the time to start a profitable blog anywhere.
How to start blogging
Blogging gets such a bad rap because it takes a while before you see any income. Sure, there are exceptions, but you won’t see many people coming to your site in your first year – expect to make anywhere from $0 to $500 a month in those first 12 months.
This is mainly because your blog’s revenue is highly dependent on your monthly traffic. In your first year, you will probably have a few hundred to a few thousand visitors per month. This leads many people to give up blogging, as many of us are eager for instant gratification.
However, there is no reason to abandon your blog after your first year. All blogs really require time, the financial cost of running a blog is marginal. Your primary expenses will be your hosting plan, domain provider, and CMS platform (WordPress, Squarespace, etc.). You can find a hosting plan as low as $10 per month, a domain provider for $10 to $20 per year, and most CMS platforms cost no more than $100 per year.
This means that all you have to do is earn over $250 in one year to break even. Now, this may or may not happen in your first year. But, if you can get over it and set zero expectations for your first 12 months, you’ll be well positioned to enjoy the long-term gratification of running a blog.
monetize your blog
There are three ways to monetize your blog. You can either use display ads, affiliate marketing, or sell a product or service. Most bloggers start advertising on the Display Network because it is easy to set up. In your early days, when you can only engage with Google Ad Sense, you’ll make between $0.30 and $2 per thousand views.
As your blog grows in traffic, you will be able to start partnering with leading ad networks like Ezoic, Mediavine, and Ad Thrive. Once you partner with these networks, your revenue per thousand page views will go up anywhere from $7 to $30.
This is why it is so important to learn SEO, as it will be the backbone of your blog growth. The more visitors to your site, the more your ad revenue will also increase, not to mention the sales of any affiliate products or services you offer on your website.
How I built my blog to make money
When I started taking my blog, The Success Bug, seriously in May of 2020, I had no traffic, and the co-founder and I were wondering if blogging was right for us. Fortunately, this was the time when we included college students looking to try out blogging.
With an entire summer of freelance writers, we were able to significantly increase our content production. By the end of the summer we were getting about 2,500 visitors a month.
Over the summer, we covered everything from entrepreneurship to marketing, business strategy, and personal finance. By the end of the summer, we realized we were covering too many topics when only one topic was driving most of our traffic: personal finance. So we decided to stop writing about all the other topics and just focus on the money.
We’ve maintained a strong content strategy, and we’ve been able to bring our traffic from 2,500 visitors in September 2020 to 67,000 in May of 2021. At this point, we’ve been able to partner with Mediavine, a leading display ad network that pays us a lot. $30 per thousand page views. We set up the platform in June and made $672 that month. In July, we made $1,200, and just last month, in August, we made $2,000. As our revenue increases, we hire more writers to produce more content. Given our current growth rate, we expect to be generating around $5,000 per month from display ads by the end of the year.