Ask the blogger: can you really make money from blogging?

I have always been curious to find out how much other people make from their blogs (and I’m guessing you might be curious too!) Do they use their blog as a main source of income? Is that even possible? And, more importantly, do they make more money than I do?

You may have read about my dismal WordAd earnings from waaaaay back in May. Those earnings haven’t changed. They’ve actually crashed.

Thankfully, as some of the bloggers will tell you below, there are plenty of other ways to make money from your blog. And if you don’t care either way? Than you’re in good company, my friends.


Reappropriate

Some people can, but I don’t. Some bloggers – particularly bloggers who partner with brands to promote products – can receive a lot of incentives for product placement. Other bloggers receive money for sponsored content, and some very successful bloggers can receive substantial honorariums for public speaking appearances or with subscription services to their blogs.

Because my blog is focused on social justice advocacy, I try not to engage in these for-profit business models. I see my blog as a community service, and so I do not – and have never – made a profit from the blog. I run a feminist-founded ad service and offer Patreon subscriptions as sustainable ways through which readers can help offset the costs of running the site; all additional funds raised through these mechanisms are donated back to the community.

~ Jennifer Fang, creator of Reappropriate


Whatever

I never intended to.

~ John Scalzi, creator of Whatever


Benjamin Wild

I have gained work through my blog and made some money, but indirectly. For example, I was commissioned by PR company Freuds to research and write about the history of the Christmas Jumper for the UK supermarket chain ASDA. This was on the back of a fashion-related post that I had written a couple of years before about Christmas jumpers. On another occasion, a producer from BBC Radio 3 read a post I had written that mentioned Kenilworth Castle. He commissioned me to write and present a segment for a radio series he edited about medieval castles. I have also received offers to be sent products, but this is something I am more uncomfortable with. I have always said that I will not be sponsored to write product endorsements. So, perhaps I am willfully limiting the extent to which my blog can earn me money to some extent.

~ Benjamin Wild, creator of Benjamin Wild [Musings on Cultural History ~ Clothing, Chiefly]


Ann Foster

Blogging is kinda retro these days but there can still be ways to use it to make money, though to do so requires a LOT of hard work and business savvy. But the main thing is really having something to say that you truly care about — opportunities for further success always seem to come from there, in my experience.

~ Ann Foster, writer 


Little Fears

Yes, you can. Aim for multiple income streams. Blend it with real-life earnings. From the Little Fears, I get Threadless/Society6, Patreon, Ko-Fi, Etsy, Book sales, affiliate links, original art and art prints on Etsy and folksy and Skillshare teacher earnings. Back that up with real-world market stalls along with arts and craft shows. It also bags me some freelance work. Such as logo and poster design. Although my site is super niche blogs also have the option of sponsored posts.

~ Peter Edwards, creator of Little Fears


Emily Contois

I often say that blogging opened doors I didn’t even know to knock. While I do not accept advertisements or sponsored posts, the blog’s very existence, as a portfolio of my work, has brought about opportunities like speaking engagements and consulting.

~ Emily Contois, creator of Emily Contois


A Writer’s Path

Yes, you can make money from blogging. Within a few months of attempting to monetize my blog, I made money at it. I think the more pertinent question is if the money is worth it, after weighing the amount of money against how much time it takes to create/acquire the material. A blog takes up a lot of time if you’re doing it “right.” Myself, I post every other day on two websites and weekly on my Writers Club website.

~ Ryan Lanz, creator of A Writer’s Path


Daily Echo

So I am told. I have not monetised my blogs as they are designed to share ideas, rather than make a profit.

~ Sue Vincent, creator of Daily Echo


Katzenworld

This is a difficult one! Some people probably yes but for us it’s about promoting cat welfare and working with businesses that are closely alligned to us thus to us it’s more important to achieve that than becoming rich of our blog

~ Marc-André Runcie-Unger, founder & blogger at Katzenworld


HarsH ReaLiTy

Yes. But how badly do you want it?

~ Opinionated Man, creator of HarsH ReaLiTy


Hugh’s Views & News

Yes, you can. However, research has shown that over 81% of bloggers who want to make some money out of blogging, will never earn more than £100. Don’t come into blogging just for the reason of making money. Those who do make money from it, do so because of the high volume of traffic to their blog. You have to build up a large follower base in order for companies to pay you to advertise on your blog, and this involves lots of hard work and many, many hours spent building up your reader base. As well as that, you also have to write and publish posts that people actually want to read and engage with. Again, this takes up a lot of time and can be hard work. You’ll be saying goodbye to any kind of social life for quite some time. 

~ Hugh W. Roberts, creator of Hugh’s Views & News


Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha

I’m not sure about making money from blogging. I make a couple hundred bucks a year from books and blogging, so it’s really just a labor of love at this point.

~ Kent Wayne, creator of Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha


Richard Ankers

Give me twenty pounds and I’ll give you an answer. 😉

~ Richard M. Ankers, creator of Richard M. Ankers


Myths of the Mirror

I haven’t monetized my blog, but as an author, I will readily admit that blogging is a great way to promote books and get reviews, which ultimately leads to sales. The WP community is something special if an author takes the time to build relationships and reciprocate. For most of my books, the first dozen reviews or so are from other bloggers and my initial ranking reflects those purchases. I’m also a better writer and marketer because of the wonderful feedback and advice gleaned from these relationships. So my answer is yes, although perhaps, not in the way you were thinking.

~ D. Wallace Peach, creator of Myths of the Mirror


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If you have any other questions you would like answered by the bloggers, please shoot me an email, or alternatively, comment below! 

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19 thoughts

  1. I know people who have been blogging for over 15 years and have not made a penny. It really depends on what the person wants and how hard they are willing to work. I have been blogging for over five years and one thing I can tell you is if you want to make money with it. Your best bet is to have your own product and sell it.

    Like

  2. Really interesting stuff! Great to hear from so many other bloggers. From what I have found out is that it’s very hard to fall into making money through a blog, unless it racks up serious attention from people.

    It seems like things need to be set up correctly from the start and as people often get attached to their blog not many want to start a new one to monetise.

    Thanks so much for sharing I think this is something any blogger would be interested in!

    Like

  3. According to Google there are over three hundred million blogs trying to make money online these days and only about 4 % do any good.
    The main part of blogging is about connecting with the readers so the ones who make the best money are the ones who make a real connection with their readers.
    Great post and have a super wonderful day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve recently added a link to Ko-fi on my posts. I didn’t really want to, but I have no money and I need to replace my computer as there are huge problems with it. So far only two people have contributed and they were friends from Facebook. So no money from blogging yet…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great post, Milly. I never expect to earn money from my blog, however I use it more for personal catharsis than anything else. Maybe one day…
    At this point, Steve lapses into an almost comatose dream state, imagining himself rolling around in piles of money—unhappily, of course, because we all know money can’t buy that 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I always lose interest with money making blogs for a number of reasons. Promoting a brand for a remuneration eliminates any credibility as a promotion. Impartiality/objectivity is a rarity when payment is involved. Creating false drama is a good way to increase readership (and readership can eventually = remuneration), but I am not interested in Posts driven simply by a desire for many followers. Likewise, using headings and “hooks” that are specifically intended to generate a response from search engines are of no interest to me.
    So what do I like? Simply Posts that tell me a little about the writer. Things that are important in their life. Celebrations and disappointments. Personal trials, as well as achievements. The blogging fraternity is so rich with various cultures, beliefs, experiences and expectations that it is a shame to overlook such a source of education and pleasure. Conversely, a goal to make money from blogging is, at least from my perspective, a very shallow venture.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I was a bit surprised by the amount of “I don’t”/ “I don’t care”/ “I haven’t tried” answers.
    An interesting read. Thanks for sharing.
    It seems like you are always doing research behind the scenes, Milly.

    Like

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