Make Money Blogging: Income Report Lessons

This post about how to make money blogging contains some affiliate links. That means some of the links you click on will earn me a little money…to buy cupcakes and running shoes. Of course.

One of the questions I hear most often from other bloggers is, “How do I make money blogging?” Because let’s be honest, blogging is a lot of work…creating content, managing social media accounts (and their ever changing algorithms), networking with other bloggers, staying on-top of the latest trends…and so it seems like it would be really nice to get paid for all of your time. And you hear of bloggers making money, maybe even lots of money, and it makes you think about how you can turn your little space on the internet into an income-producing business.

So you decide to research, “How to Make Money Blogging” and your Google search yields 17,893 results…where do you even begin? What’s the best way to make money? Are some of these methods scams? Which of these ways will help me earn 6-figures a year? And ultimately your search just leaves you with more questions.

And so I decided to do a little research. Well actually, a LOT of research. Because here’s the thing…if I had just looked at five or six blog income reports that wouldn’t really be a big enough sample size to find any generalizations about how to make money blogging. So I looked at income reports for bloggers making $100,000+ per month (WOW!), and I looked at income reports for bloggers making $157 per month and I looked at TONS of income reports for bloggers making every amount between there.

And here’s a look at what I learned…

Disclaimer: 1. There are obviously exceptions to these trends (like this report), but overall these trends held true across all of the blog income reports I studied. 2. This data comes from blog income reports made available to the public.

*As a blogger’s income increased, the percent of their income that came from sponsored posts decreased. That’s right, the more money bloggers made, the less they made through sponsored content…because that’s a one-time paycheck! In all of the income reports I studied, I noticed the biggest shift as a blogger’s income crossed over the $10,000/month threshold. Simply put: Bloggers making $10,000+ per month made very little of their money through sponsored posts.  So if you want to make a lot of money blogging, don’t spend all of your time doing sponsored posts!

Tweet: “As a blogger’s income increased, the percent of their income that came from sponsored posts decreased” – @jmdenouden http://bit.ly/21Fqndl
How to Make Money Blogging: Lessons Learned from Blog Income Reports

*It’s important to spend a little time reading through blog income reports, especially if you are new to blog monetization! If you’ve ever wondered how to find blog networks that pay, you can find tons of ideas for how to make money blogging in various blog income reports. You’ll also get other ideas for how to increase your number of income streams. Read through blog income reports and jot down a list of money-making ideas that would also work for your blog.

Also, if you are new to blogging, I’d recommend checking out this Bloggy Bootcamp for additional resources for taking your blog to the next level!

Follow Girl on the Move’s board Blog Income Reports on Pinterest.
*Establish your self as a value-added expert, and then share affiliate links! As I looked through income reports I found some astonishingly high incomes for affiliate links. In a recent month, Pat Flynn, of Smart Passive Income made $79,927.94 from affiliates (that’s 74% of his income!!!!) and $40,800 of that came from BlueHost affiliate income alone.   For every income report I studied where the blogger made a significant amount of money off of affiliate links I could also browse through their blog and see how they had established themselves as an expert…in something.   Here’s the thing, people are busy. They don’t have time to read 373 blogs a week. They are going to make the time to read the blogs that add the most value to their life. So be that blog. Offer value to your readers. And then share with them the products and services you use by sharing affiliate links. (But please, disclose correctly!!!!)

*Low page views doesn’t necessarily mean low income. And high page views doesn’t necessarily mean high income. There are a lot of other factors that help determine how much money bloggers are making. There were some bloggers that only publish one blog post a week, but have built up incredible email lists and social media followings so whenever they offer a product or service they have a committed group of people ready to click, “Purchase.” They don’t need to create 12 blog posts a week, because they create one really good…and add value to their readers’ lives.

*Diversify, diversify, diversify. I can tell you that this is the one piece of advice with ZERO outliers. I did not find one single income report (at ANY income level) where all of their income came from the same source. Most income reports had at least 4-5 sources of income, and many had 15+ sources of income. If one income stream doesn’t do well that’s okay because you still have multiple other income streams bringing in money.

How to Make Money Blogging: Lessons Learned from Blog Income Reports

*BIG blogging incomes come from creating products or offering services. Y’all after looking at countless blog income reports I decided that this is my biggest takeaway. Remember how I said bloggers make big money weren’t doing sponsored posts? Well that means they have to be making their money another way. And they are! By creating products or offering services. Podcasts, webinars, e-courses, e-books, consulting services, design services, speaking engagements, etc. And I’ll even take it a step further…the bloggers making the most money have created products or services that don’t require their one-on-one time and attention. That means they spend the time to create a webinar (or something similar) and then it sells over and over again. Month after month.  Bottom line is that if you want to make big money blogging you’ll need to create some type of product or service.

Tweet: “BIG blogging incomes come from creating products or offering services” – @jmdenouden http://bit.ly/21Fqndl
So what does this mean for you right now?

Action Steps to Make Money Blogging

1.Establish yourself as an expert and determine how you will add value to your reader’s life. And then include affiliate links for your readers! Again, just remember to disclose correctly!

2.Brainstorm a list of products and/or services you can offer through your blog

3.Take one item off that list and make a plan for how you’re going to make that happen. Don’t make a list of excuses for why you can’t create the product or service. Instead make an actionable plan and get it done!

How do you make money blogging? What questions do you have about blog income reports? What is your next step to begin making money with your blog or increase the amount of money you make with your blog?

 

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39 comments

    1. I’m with you! I need to sit down and brainstorm a list of products/services and then make it happen!

  1. yea, good stuff. interesting info on sponsored links. and good to know since i really have never wanted to do sponsored links!!! now, to think of a service i can offer… that’s what i’ve been wanting to do actually… hmmmm

  2. That’s an awesome article! I know affiliates are a huge way to make a passive income- I just suck at them! I’m constantly trying though so maybe at some point my luck will change! Thanks for sharing- it is quite eye-opening!

  3. So much information in this I love this post! Reading the blogging income reports I always see so many different places that income comes from. It also seems the more they make the less they are posting on their blog. Now I need to come up with a product / service!

  4. This is going to help a lot of bloggers who don’t even know where to start. What a helpful article this is.

  5. Great suggestions for having blogging contribute to your income.

    Blogs with mostly sponsored posts no longer feel authentic, so I bet that’s why the highly successful blogs your reviewed take them on so scarcely.

  6. After 5 years of blogging I still have a lot to learn about making money blogging. I am getting better at it and even though my numbers are still small I am making a decent amount with being consistent and quality content.

  7. I am finding that sponsored posts don’t pay as much as I would like it to pay and it is good to know that you can make money elsewhere! I make a little money but not enough lol!

  8. this is such a great post and I agree – we have to diversify! I have an Etsy shop plus do sponsored posts but I have got to figure out affiliate marketing as I know I am missing out there

  9. Julie this is awesome info. A blogging income of almost $80,000? OMG! I have grown my blog and income more last year and into this year more than ever. I need to learn more about maximizing use of affiliates.

  10. Creating products that your readers love is great advice! Of course, trying to figure out time to create that product while also blogging…that is the challenge!

  11. I love reading different blog income reports. It’s nice that bloggers are sharing how they are making their money. I have found several different affiliates or networks that I had never heard of by reading others income reports.

  12. That was absolutely fascinating to find that the more people make, the less comes from sponsored posts! I really need to figure out how to diversify a little better!

  13. I love that first point! I definitely bank in sponsored posts right now, but I know that’s only because it is ALL I have been focusing on. My next “to do” is to find a few additional ways to add income to my blog!

    1. You should also check out the Blog Staycation I’m hosting next month…a great opportunity to network, learn, and create a gameplan!

  14. I think you are spot on with these takeaways. I am really trying to grow and monetize my blog better this year. Right now I just do affiliate marketing but I’m hoping to diversify and think of products that will help my audience.

    1. It’s not always easy to do the brainstorming but I really think when we brainstorm and then diversify we’re setting ourselves up well for successful monetization!

  15. Thanks so much for going through all this information and making it make sense. 🙂 Your point about diversification is so true — no one will make money from just one thing. I’m not really into sponsored posts, but I’ve done affiliate sales and hope to move on to selling my own product as well. I’ll be pinning and sharing this. Good stuff!

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