Let me start by saying that I run a number of blogs and make money off them, with this particular one being the most successful thus far. You will see my numbers shortly (Six figures).
In this article, I want to clarify what expectations you should have if you decide to do this sort of work as well. But let me start with this:
When it comes to a typical job with a salary, you have a clear number laid out before you. You know what numbers to expect.
However, when it comes to business or freelance type of work like what I do (blogging), the story is very different because you can’t exactly predict what the business or person will make without proper research and even if you do research everything “correctly”, the situation can change so frequently that the numbers and predictions can bounce around constantly.
This is why I normally do not like writing about monetary expectations, specifically in regards to websites, but today I will attempt to do it because I very often run into people who ask me this question.
Let me just say that while I will give you exact numbers from my own experiences, these are numbers that:
Are subjectively based.
The type of blog you run and how intelligently and often you work on it is by far the biggest predictor. Remember this.
A blog which focuses on common, popular niche topics will generally, as a rule get bigger traffic than one which does not and naturally, these numbers impact the potential earnings.
There are “proper” ways to predict what you’ll make from doing this, but keep in mind these numbers will NEVER be 100% accurate.
Now because there are so many uncertainties…
I have created what is by far the most stable way to predict this stuff:
My rule is that if you can predict that a blog can bring in good traffic and most importantly do the work to actually make it happen, then the income will follow but the numbers that brings in will likely never be exact or close to the original prediction you made.
If nothing else, this one rule is the biggest point and thesis of this article and I want you to remember it.
Now this is both a good and bad thing and unfortunately this is the best way to look at it. Good because you can actually end up making far more than you predicted and bad because this uncertainty can lead people to not work as hard as they should when they are unsure about what their efforts will bring in.
How this works:
1) Research beforehand the type of blog you wish to make (it always has to be a niche based). Use that article I just linked you for great ideas that are very likely to work well!
2) Research the type of products/services you can sell on the site and how much you can earn from selling it.
3) Determine what your daily visitor count can look like via looking at the niche topics you’ll be talking about and researching keywords for each topic, then adding them up.
4) After doing that, estimate what would happen if out of the daily visitors, 1% purchased the product/service you’re selling and how much you’d make daily/weekly and yearly from this.
I start with 1% as the lowest expectation because it shows me what the worst case scenario can be. But even if it is 1%, I can always grow the sales more so in the future.
Let’s take my personal example/s:
1) Let’s use my most successful site (this one). The niche topic is how to make money online (and it just so happens to be done through…blogging). Here is how this blog did in 2018:
2) In terms of products and services I can sell, this is easy for me, I promote Wealthy Affiliate which is a great service that helps people blog for a living like I do. Let’s say for each person that I refer to that organization, I get paid $20 a month (ideally, seek out programs for your promotions that also pay monthly, there is more income stability in this).
3) Now I have to look at potential blogging topics. Since the niche is making money online, one very important thing to note is that I need to look at topics which get good searches on Google daily and have low competition so that my site can show up on the first page and get those visitors.
Note: Big topics like making money online are extremely competitive and get millions of searches a month. It is incorrect for me to use these millions of numbers in my predictions because there is a very SMALL likelihood that I’ll ever have my site rank for those BIG, competitive searches, so I have to find reasonable topics that I CAN rank high for and use those numbers as traffic predictions.
Thus far, I have been able to find and write on 100’s of topics for this, all of which are low competition and constantly searches for.
Originally when I estimated this stuff, I had about 50 different ideas, did keyword research on them all and estimated I’d get about 1,000-2,000 visitors a month.
Fortunately, after getting to 50 ideas, and writing about them, I found 50 more, then 100 more little by little, I grew my site to feature 100’s of articles that people find on Google every single day.
Now the original prediction of 1,000-2,000 visitors a month has turned into 20,000-30,000 visitors and as long as I keep the articles coming along, I’ll keep growing that number.
4) Now that I have some estimates, it’s time to connect the number I’d make per sale with the monthly traffic. All I do is divide 20,000 (visitors) and see what 1% of that is. It’s 200.
200 people buy the service I sell, which pays me $20 a month. That’s $4,000 a month.
If the estimate is closer to 30,000 visitors, then I would get 300 sales a month, which would equal to $6,000 a month.
How much did I really make promoting this company?
Over $200k (read the report here).
Does the estimate I showed here fit the reality?
Yes actually, but as I said, it’s NEVER precise. My page actually does make somewhere between $4,000-$6,000 a month given the current traffic it brings in and I was able to predict this using the steps above.
Now given all that I have learned about this stuff, I know that these numbers aren’t precise and they absolutely WILL fluctuate.
Some months, the site doesn’t make anywhere the range I just told you about, sometimes it goes over and it’s not actually because the blog is doing well or not, it’s because there’s events happening in the world that distract my niche audience from being interested in this stuff and searching for it.
Take weight loss sites for example.
Usually they will not get huge surges of traffic in the winter time, but come New Year’s, BOOM, people have resolutions to get healthier and start Google terms related to that, so blogs on weight loss get surges of traffic around that time, and naturally make more.
But whatever fluctuation that will always occur, the goal is to keep building the site, finding more and more topics to write about, to ensure that the profits do NOT fall. In this world of blogging, if you correctly start with picking a good niche topic, and properly work on growing it, rest assured, there is endless opportunity for whatever money you thought it would originally make, to actually end up making more.
See also evergreen niche topics as those are great to make blogs on and earn consistent income from.
My final thoughts:
Focus on the BIG rule I mentioned above to remember. Again, remember that the numbers you predict for your site will never be accurate. They can be close if you use my formula, but again, it’ll never be accurate.
Focus MORE SO on creating a niche blog you will enjoy working on and from there, work on it intelligently (keyword targeting, writing valuable info you love to share, ect…) and let that passion grow the site to become popular.
From there, you will see that this passion you have will be the force that makes it bring in money.
Again, I hope I made my main point/s clear in that you should NOT place to much value in the monetary predictions you make before you start your own blog because there are too many factors which will change your predictions.
In fact, placing too much value on the numbers MAY distract you from putting in the work to reach those numbers. Just know that if you follow the golden rules of picking the niche topic you love and working on it intelligently like I talked about, you will be very happy with the profits it brings in.
30 thoughts on “How Much Money Can You Make Blogging? My Numbers.”
Vitaliy, This is a very well laid out plan and it’s realistic. I’ve taken this advice from day one of Wealthy Affiliate and I can honestly say that it takes a lot of time and hard work.
It’s all about following a plan like yours and sticking to it from the beginning. I would advise anyone to follow this plan because it is the only way for it to work.
I can say this from experience. There are ups and downs but if you are writing every day about something you are passionate about, then it makes it so much easier and something you will want to do.
I do have a question? Do you think that people should just stick to one niche at a time?
Hi Rob, yes especially when the first start this business!
Yeah, I guess it’s hard for people who have really busy lives, because you can never really know how much you could be earning. The fear of failure might put people away from trying, because everyone hates putting a lot of time and effort into something, but get no results from it. In the online world, there are no guarantees. You have to do proper niche research to make sure if it’s even worth spending your time on it. You have to figure out the problems people have so you could give them the answers. And of course there’s much more that you have to take into consideration than just that.
But the point is, blogging takes time and effort, but it can definitely lead to thousands of dollars of passive income every month, but it can also be a complete waste of time if you do it incorrectly.
Indeed Donny and I would add that it is often a waste of time if people chase the quick riches and try to do it the easy way, because those 2 things ultimately lead to that failure.
You are right when you point out that this blogging business can be unpredictable, with the numbers and results bouncing around all over the place.
You’ve broken the possibilities of income earnings pretty well. It can be hard to predict, but the way you’ve laid it out it all makes logical sense.
Your blog is doing well at $4k to $6k per month. I’d love to be getting that kind of income. I’ll keep chipping away at it.
The blog fluctuates between $3-$5k monthly as of now Darren, but I was very slow on my content production last year, which ultimately slowed down my website in 2018, so I’m getting back into it now. Content production is what will lead to the gradual rise of your profits in this business.
Great article. One thing you said that caught my attention, and may be very relevant for those of us transitioning from full time jobs to blogging, is the reality that income will fluctuate. How do you recommend setting up a household budget to take into account and deal with those fluctuations so you can ride out the low traffic months?
This is a phenomenal question! The thing is many people do indeed transition from a job (or no job) to blogging WITHOUT asking this question and this messes them up financially because they aren’t prepared for the same things you mentioned. So here is my answer:
Blogging is something you “ease” into and by that I mean you first understand it, then work on it as a hobby, then if you make sales from the blog, it is important to give it time (while continuing to grow the site) and see how the sales figures go, whether or not they continue, grow, decrease, ect…
It is absolutely true that certain months will be bad, holidays will also be bad for most blogs and other events will affect traffic flow and sales. Lack of working on and growing the blog will also affect it.
But the most stable thing one can do is constantly grow their blog, and notice how the sales trends go, if after a year or so, you see growth, and a repeat of the same type of traffic fluctuation, yet there is an average profit being produced monthly, that will help you gauge your budget and decide if it’s better to move into full time blogging or continue doing it part time.
This absolutely varies across what type of site/blog you have and what you sell, but if you take my case for example, I didn’t venture into it full time until I had about a comfortable $3,000 a month generated and by then I already knew what would happen if I continued to grow it (that it would grow the profits too), so the risk was a safe one for me.
Before that my efforts were split between college and websites. But I was very passionate about this online stuff from the very beginning, so I basically went in completely, which is a risk that looking back on, was not smart, as most people would not be able to succeed in the same situation.
Thank you very much for your great insight. Not many people spell out the actual earning potential. I also note that you emphasize on putting in the writing work and continually work on your website. Instead of just hoping for the cash to fall, people need to provide good content on an ongoing basis. Do you also do a lot of social media promotions?
No, very little of what I do involves social media, at most, I occasionally share content on a FB page that I put up on this site, but you are right, profit expectations can only come from someone who does work on the site, otherwise, especially in this business, you simply cannot make a prediction about earnings.
Another fantastic post!
I’ve recently started a blog and after reading your article I realize that I have been thinking way too much about the money I could/should be making when I should purely be focusing on content.
I also never thought about the benefit of promoting things that pay on a monthly basis, but that is a great idea.
How often should I be posting to my blog each week?
Hi Jacob, I’m glad this article helped you put forward the real work that leads to money (content creation). Now as for your question, here is an article with the best answer for this 🙂
I remember as I was first starting out my site, the thought I had in mind was about money, however, as I continued to build my site, I thought less about money and more about writing about what I like.
I think looking at the commission rates and prices of the products is a great way to predict how much you could make with a certain amount of visitors.
My question is, would you recommend that I set goals in terms of how much I make on my site? And if so, would you recommend that I set them lower than what I may expect or higher with more effort?
You should only worry about that when you are already making money from your site, then at least you have a realistic prediction based on existing parameters Arie. What you should focus on with a site isn’t it’s monetary potential, it’s the size of the niche audience based on the keywords they write in the niche subject, then after that, look at potential affiliate offers, how much they pay and only after that, do a little math on how much potentially can be made if you have a so and so conversion rate.
Thinking about how much money you want to make, when the site hasn’t yet been made or isn’t big/popular enough to start making money is a waste of time. Work on what can be worked on at the time and that is the content and building of the page so it leads into the monetary part.
Thank you very much for the post, I also started writing a blog and I want to begin to attract readers.
The question is how long does it really take? The truth is that I started the process less than a month ago (also through wealthy affiliate) so I guess I still have time.
Do you recommend paying ads (Adwords) or wait for it to start earning and only then start investing money?
Since you are doing the Wealthy Affiliate training, I would not rush beyond their lessons yet Yana. You’re already doing the right things by following that program and your site is still very young. Maybe around 2-3 months, I would consider adwords or Bing ads, but ultimately, finish the training in WA at a steady pace, do not rush through their lessons and ensure you complete everything they recommend you do on your site.
I think that the money you make from a blog can definitely vary widely depending not only on your niche, but also how much effort you put into it. I agree with you that the traffic you can bring to your blog will be the ultimate determination of the money you can make.
That’s amazing that you have 20-30k visitors a month – I would love to see that on my site. However, I don’t have the same niche and I don’t think I consistently use keywords that rank high in google. However, I do love the topic I write about and since I’m very passionate about it, I have fun doing it too. If my ultimate goal was to make money, I would probably focus more on topics to bring more traffic.
I appreciate the steps you’ve laid out to understand how to calculate how much money can be made on a blog. It’s very simple and easy to understand. Congratulations on all the work you have done, and the success you will have. Great job!!
There’s really a simple way to solve this problem Jen. Keep writing the content you love, but at the very least, LINK the topic to a keyword people type in your niche so at least your content will get the traffic. You may also want to consider taking existing content and re-titling them with high traffic keywords you find that match the content.
Hello Vitaly! Very curious to know how long it took you to get started. It’s good to have a realistic idea of what we can expect and an idea of what we can strive towards. You actually show what it would take to turn this into a full time job.
Thank you for this article and it is one of the best ones that I have seen about making money online. Take care!
Hi Antonio, since I was engaged in different online marketing projects, my time frame for getting sales varied, some sites earned money within hours, but those were typically sites where I put up ads for right after I finished them.
It’s so interesting to see how much you earn through your most successful blog. I’l admit that I’m not earning anywhere near that much yet but my site is still relatively new, plus I’m in a totally different niche to you. It’s good to have a realistic idea of what we can expect and an idea of what we can work towards. Great post!
Thanks Hannah, it’s about following marketing principals and the passion that in the end is the biggest gauge of success.
I really like this post. It has a lot of information from your personal experience. I too am looking to make money from blogging. Very curious to know how long it took you to get started.
By get started, I mean it would be nice to know how long after starting Wealthy Affiliate did it take you for your first commission? There are TONS of people looking for this answer. Nobody within Wealthy Affiliate has been very specific about numbers and start time.
That’s because the numbers vary Jake. I’ve had different sites over the years and my first commission on EACH of them varied between an hour to several months. Let’s take this site, my first commission came about within a few months, but the further the site grew, the more frequently the commissions came about.
So the first one took months, but now, there’s several each day so like I said, it grows and if you can stick to growing the business, the commissions become daily and that creates the stability.
I would recommend you read about the topic I wrote up regarding your specific question here. Overall, this article will answer that question well.
Nice article! I like how you broke it down because most sites just fill your head up with random unrealistic expectations. You actually show what it would take to turn this into a full time job. Any tips on how to get more traffic to sites and how to get people to click affiliate links?
Hi Louis, other than the program I recommended above (which would ideally be best), you can also read this article I wrote. If you follow it’s tips, you will get the right kind of traffic (and more of it) to your site and in addition, more clicks on whatever affiliate links you place.
Thank you for this article. I am currently working towards getting the money that you are talking about here in this article. Sometimes I become pessimistic about the future of my websites, but getting advice and reading articles like this one really helps me push through.
Also I really enjoyed where you talk about only expecting 1% of people to buy your products. I have been expecting 10% like Wealthy Affiliate claims, and it gets me a little discouraged. So once again thanks for this article and it is one of the best ones that I have seen about making money online.
Hi Brenden, Wealthy Affiliate’s 10% prediction is actually quite accurate, but that’s in regards to people you get into their site, who UPGRADE. My experience has been that so they are right. Out of the people I get into WA, 10%+ convert.
However, of the people who land on my OVERALL website, about 3-4% of them sign up. Those are 2 different conversion numbers and you can’t compare them both. It is important to differentiate them, otherwise you will confuse yourself.
But you mentioned a few things vaguely here which I will attempt to fill in for other readers:
You mentioned the future of several websites. It sounds to me like you work/ed on several but not enough to have one reach a good level of income. If this is the case, focus on one.
I use the 1% converter as a “worst case” scenario. Even a 1% conversion rate is good and a starting point to grow it even bigger, but you have to see what 1% brings or if it even brings that much before you decide to grow it further. Sure, a lot of people see much higher conversions when they start, but those are typically people who understand conversion funnels and create websites which have high quality ones.
Hi, Vitaliy! I liked your post very much. I have been searching for general rules to predict what you can earn with a blog. And I must admit that this is a very subjective aspect of the blogging business, but you deal with it marvelously! Your insight into the business is priceless. I really appreciate the time you have put in to write this post and the experience to back it up. The analysis of traffic, sales and your simple rule of 1% have been very useful for me. Once again, thank you very much!
Hi Henry, thanks, hoping this post helped you out.