Blogging is a term that became popular in the early 2000s. In 2006, according to technorati, there were around 50 million blogs online. Bloggers started to make great deal of money from blogging , and many of those bloggers became full time bloggers. I've been blogging for 9 years (started my first blog in 2006 which was a celebrity/movie blog) and I should say the whole journey has been incredible. Read my detailed article about six best methods to make $5,000 a month from your blog.
The advantage of blogging is that once you have built an established blog, you can consider it as an asset/ recurring source of income. You have the flexibility to blog in your preferred time schedule. You can take long vacations,have a day job,invest in other business etc. Yes, blogging gives you the freedom to do the things you love.
As I said, lots of full time bloggers out there make money from their blogs,
- How much ?
- Is that sufficient for you to quit your job ?
- Can I rely on this income ?
- What are their income sources ?
This post is not about the top money making blogs around the world. There are many super popular blogs whose income are not disclosed anywhere. For example, HuffingtonPost is said to have an income of $2,500,000 per month!! In this post, I am featuring the top 10 earning bloggers who publish their monthly income reports(detailing income sources). These figures are not just speculations, but based on real income reports which these bloggers publish regularly in their blogs.
Infographic - Top 10 money making bloggers(Based on real income reports).
We've created this infographic based on income reports and other data published by these bloggers. Only the major summary has been included in this infographic, read below to know
- How did they start blogging ?
- How much do they earn?
- What are their major revenue sources?
Embed this infographic in your website.
Feel free to share the infographic with the world, let everyone know the potential of blogging and about these kickass bloggers(Click to select all).
Lets have a detailed look at the infographic data,
#1: John Lee Dumas - $433,252 (Februay 2015)
Country : USA
Started on : September 2012
Monthly Income(Feb 2015) : $433,252 - Check John's Income report for February 2015
John Lee Dumas publishes podcasts of entrepreneurs through his website eofire.com, he also have a blog section through which he publishes his income reports.
How much money does he make?
His income for February 2015 was $433,252 ! Astonishing figures right? How does John make this much money? Lets have a look at John's income sources.
- Podcasters Paradise - 75 % of his income is from Podcasters paradise, where people can submit their podcast and make money from it.
- WebinaronFire- 5% of his revenue is from WebinaronFire. Users conduct webinars here, which converts into business and profit.
- Affiliates - He uses many affiliates (like Bluehost and all) in his websites and these affiliates contribute around 5-8% of his revenue. His revenue from Bluehost affiliates in january 2015 was around $5,200.
Brief History of John Lee Dumas and Entrepreneur On Fire(eofire)
John Dumas was never a technical person. After his graduation, he began to work with the US Army. He worked there for 7 years , after all he decided to find a job. John worked with Corporates, but gave up later on and started working in real estate in 2009. It was that time he started listening to entrepreneurial podcasts from the internet. He fall in love with these pocasts, he also realized that there were no single platform over the internet that publishes podcasts in a regular fashion. And that's how Entrepreneur On Fire was born in 2012 September. After all, he never had to look back. Now, after 2.5 years after the launch, John Lee Dumas stands as one of the most successful internet entrepreneur.
#2: Patt Flynn - $153,397.47(March 2015)
In position 2, it is Patt Flynn from SmartPassiveIncome.com. Patt is one of the most popular name when it comes to blogging.
Blogger Since: February 2008
Monthly Income(March 2015):$153,397.47 - Check Patt's income report for March 2015
Patt blogs mainly about niche blog development, Patt has shared his experiences and experiments in niche website development. He has written lots of articles about
- Discovering a niche.
- Starting a blog/website.
- Podcasts with internet entrepreneurs.
- Starting a niche website.
- Back link building strategies(old and new).
How did he start blogging?
Patt started blogging in 2008. At that time, he was working full time as an architect . He attended a course for LEED AP exam, and came to know that there were no sources/guides/tutorials in the internet for LEED AP exam. This resulted in the formation of GreeExamAcademy(which was his first niche website/blog). Being a low competitive niche, the traffic as well as revenue began to rise immediately.
How much does Patt Flynn earn through blogging(Main Income Sources)?
In March 2015, Patt Flynn made an 153,397.47 online! The revenue Patt does makes through his blog is superficial.
Checkout his month by month earnings in the year 2015.
His revenue graph has been increasing consistent year by year. Other major revenue sources of Patt are affiliates and Google adsense. Patt uses affiliate programs of Bluehost,shareasale,Commision Junction etc. Last month's earning from Bluehost affiliates alone was $40,800. Patt is like a superstar celebrity in between bloggers, he has built his own brand and trust in niche blogging. Now he is continuing his experiments and adventures in the other niches.
Interested in starting and making money from your own blog ?
Making money from blogging is very much possible for you as well. You dont need to have any technical background, most of these bloggers I mentioned in this blogpost doesn't have any technical background. Patt Flynn was an architect and John Lee Dumas was an Army man.
Which is that one area in which you have expertise or interest? Share your passion with the world as blog posts. Lindsay Ostrom, a teacher(mentioned below, number 5) had a passion for cooking , she started a cooking blog and is now earning more than $30,000 a month. You just need to find out your area of interest, whether it be cooking, sewing,singing,movies, dancing, fashion or whatever. Utilize this opportunity , start your own blog , build a brand and start earning money from your blog.
You might also be interested in reading - 21 sure bet blogging ideas of 2017 to make money online.
So what are the major 3 steps in starting your own blog?
- Registering a domain (example.com)
- Signup for a hosting
- Installing WordPress
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#3: Dale Patridge - $49,738.71 (Sep 2014)
Country : USA
Monthly Income(September 2015) : $49,738.71 - Check Dale's income report for September 2014.
Dale Patridge owns different online businesses, he is the founder of sevenly and another 6 other companies . He brand himself through dalepatridge.com and publishes his income reports over there . Dale basically blogs on positive living tips through his blog, he has written lots of articles in his blog which have helped many people to improvise their lives.
About Dale and his Entrepreneurship.
Dale is an expert in brand building through internet. He started his first company when he was a teenager. He is a massive speaker and you can hire him to speak at an event. He charges nearly $10,000 for a speak. Till 2014, he have launched 7 companies . Sevenly is the most popular one, it is an e-commerce website. Dale donates $7 to charity for every item purchased through sevenly. He did also launch another company recently which helps start up entrepreneurs to build and develop their own company.
How much does Dale Earn?
Dale has a traffic of around 25,000 unique visitors a day. He hasn't disclosed his earnings from sevenly and other companies. In September 2014 , his overall earnings was $49,738.71 The majority of the earnings came from,
- Google Adsense - $3,924.89
- Speaking Engagements - $26,413.00
- Corporate Business Consulting - $15,200.00
#4: Jeff and Mandy Rose - $29,572(March 2014)
Country : USA
Monthly Income(March 2014) :$29,572 - Check Jeff and Mandy's income report for March 2014
They are a married couple with 3 kids, both husband and wife are kick ass bloggers and has established their own brands in blogging. Jeff blogs in Good Financial Cents - a finance management blog and Mandy through her House Of Rose Blog through which she blogs about motherhood and home decor.
Brief history about Jeff and Mandy
Jeff was an army man . The couple got married and Jeff spend first 17 months of their marriage in Baghdad serving his country. Later on , Jeff, being a certified financial planner, started blogging in Good Financial cents and Mandy in House of Rose Blog.
How much does this couple earn through blogging?
This is an old income report , they are not publishing their recent income reports . Anyhow, I am pretty confident that the revenue graph will be much higher right now . This income report is of March 2014. In march 2014, this couple earned $29,572 online. They are currently active in many other new online business ventures also.
What all contributed to this income
Jeff's Blog Goodfinancialcents earned $9,389.58 (Majority of the revenue was from adsense,Adspeed and commission junction) Mandy's Houseofroseblog brought in a total revenue of $1,821.57 They do have Niche websites(like Patt Flynn) and they all brought together a revenue of $14,552.91. Majority of the revenue came from Affiliates.
#5: Lindsay Ostrom - $26,245.58
Number 5 is Lindsay Ostrom from USA who is a food blogger.
Blogger Since: July 2010
Monthly Income(Feb 2015) : $26,245.58(Feb 2015) - Check Lindsay's income report for February 2015.
Pinchofyum is a food blog. Lindsay is a food enthusiast , she has a passion for cooking. Well, she is not a trained cook and doesn't have any special expertise. She loves to cook and share the recipe with the world through her blog. As per Lindsay's Google analytics reports, pinchofyum has more than 2 million unique visits a month .
How did Lindsay start blogging?
She was a teacher in elementary schools. She spent 5 years teaching during day time and blogging about food in night. But later on in June 2014, she turned into full time blogging. The first post in pinchofyum was on July 22, 2010 or lets assume that she has been blogging for 5 years.
How much money does Lindsay make?
Her income report(in February 2015) states that she earned $26,245.58. Lets have a look at the income breakdown.
- $7,475.00 came from Bluehost Affiliates - She helps and motivates her readers to start their own food blog,they do sign up for Bluehost through her affiliate link and she gets the commission.
- $6,600.00 from sponsored posts and speaking - Well, she have established her brand very much so that people do invite her to speak and requests for sponsored posts in her website.
- $4,357.00 came from her e-book tasty food photography which she sells through her blog. This e-book helps people to take better food photos. Price of the e-book is $29 , which means around 140 -150 people bought the book in February 2015.
Apart from this, she along with her husband Bjork has started FoodBloggerPro which helps food enthusiasts all around the world to start a better food website/blog.
#6: Michelle - $23,758(Feb 2015)
Our number 6 is Michelle. Michelle blog on money management,savings and part time income through Making Sense Of Cents.
Country : USA
Monthly Income(Feb 2015) : $23,758 - Check Michelle's Income report for February 2015.
Blogger Since : August 2011
Michelle blogs in personal finance and lifestyle Niche. She started blogging 4 years ago. Her first post in makinguseofcents is seen on August 10, 2011. Some of her popular articles includes saving money, making extra income,list of part time jobs one can try etc. She has been featured in different finance blogs like Yahoo Finance Blog,Mint etc.
How did she start blogging?
As like most of these succesful bloggers , she also started blogging in late 2011 for part time income, but it went top of all of her expectations. She made her first 100$ after 6 months of launch. After completing her double degrees in business(including masters) , she was in debt of $38,000 as student loans which she was able to pay off completely (all by herself).
How is her revenue model?
Michelle depends on various sources to achieve this income . Lets have a look at them,
- Staff writing- She staff writes for various organizations, and a good share of the income came from staff writing.
- Affiliates ($1,630)- As likes every one mentioned above, she also use the Bluehost affiliates and encourage her visitors to start their own website.
- Social media management and Blog coaching($5,150) - She manages the social media of her clients and makes good income from it. Michelle also give blog coaching for various users/clients.
- From other websites($5,428) - She has some other websites and earns from it too, mainly through adsense and advertising.
#7: Matthew Woodward - $20,963(Jan 2015)
Matthew Woodward blogs on matthewoodward.co.uk , he uses his own name as the domain name. This is a perfect example of branding himself through his blog. Everyone getting into his blog come to know about him(even without visiting the about us page). This helps to improve his reach and build his brand among the visitors.
Monthly Income(Jan 2015) : $20,963 - Matthew's Income report for January 2015
Matthew blogs on traffic building, seo and SMO techniques. His link building strategies and conversion rate optimizations have attracted lots of readers and followers. The blog did win a number of awards. As far as the visitors are concerned, Matthew doesn't have that huge traffic , but the conversion rate is really high . His traffic for January was around 54K or around 1800 visitors per day.
How did Mathew start blogging?
Matthew is a 28 year old guy from North West UK. Being a game enthusiast, he started his online career at the age of 13, writing game reviews for a website. Later on he changed his passion into SEO and internet marketing and started sharing his experiments and experience with the world through his own blog.
How much does Matthew earn through his blog?
Matthew has published income reports from 2012, if you go and check his income report archives , you can find that by the end of 2012 he was earning around $6K -$7K which multiplied and reached $20,963 in January 2015. Mathew uses number of affiliates and the majority of earnings comes through affiliates. As per the January 2015 income report, he used around 53 affiliates and earned $14,601.72 from all of them collectively.
#8: Deby Coles - $18,376.70(Jan 2015)
Rank number 8 goes to Deby Coles, another lady blogger from UK. Well, Deby's story is very interesting! ,read below.
Monthly Income(Jan 2015) : $18,376.70 - Deby's Income report in January 2015.
Blogger Since : November 2012
How did Deby get into blogging?
Deby is a British born now living in Cayman Islands. She had a brain injury in June 2012 and surprisingly after the injury, she got an urge to sew! She borrowed a sewing machine, started sewing and began sharing her sewing experiences with the world. That was how her blog so-sew-easy was born. In this sewing blog, she posted an article about blogging and monetizing a blog and it received immense responses. Owing this response, she started her second blog moms make money where she writes blogging and make money online tips.
How much money and what are the income sources?
The earning for January 2015 was $18,376.70 . Majority of the income came from affiliates and Adsense.
- Share a sale affiliate- Deby earned $11,541.73 through shareasale affiliates.
- Google adsense- The google adsense earnings was around $1,075.39 .
- Selling sewing patterns - She sells sewing patterns through craftsy and this earned $2,452.80 in total.
Her income in December 2014 was $15,544.80, this steady growth in income makes Deby another popular blogger in the blogosphere.
As per her reports, the sewing blog does have around 20K visits per day, the second blog does have around 300-400 a day. Deby's growth in traffic was really remarkable, her traffic increased to three times compared 1 year back. In December 2013, she was only having around 6,000 unique visits a day.
#9: Regina Anaejionu - $16,000(Feb 2015)
Regina is a British Blogger who blogs in byregina.com. She is a blogger who create contents for creative business people and other bloggers. Her articles are basically about business developments. She makes money writing content.
Are you interested in making money writing content( like Regina)? check- Market Places for content writers to make money online
She has written a bunch of articles in different reputed platforms like Entrepreneur, Chron, USAToday etc. This strong content writing background attracted visitors to her blog .
Monthly Income(Feb 2015) : $16,000 - Regina's Income report for February 2015
Blogger Since: November 2012
Her posts are mainly about starting a business, blogging, building traffic to your blog or business etc. Her posts help her readers in marketing a business, getting clients etc.
Major income sources
- Writing and Selling ebooks - She has written some ebooks, one of her popular e-book is Traffic generation through social media. A good percent of her revenue comes selling this ebook. She also has setup a store in etsy to sell her ebooks.
- Affiliates - She uses affiliates like bluehost, Amazon associates etc. She has set a page to showcase different online tools in order to promote or develop a website/business/blog. Many of the links are affiliate links through which she earns commissions on sign ups.
- Online classes and consultation - This sums up to $1,000 + every month.
Her Google Analytics record for January 2015 shows that the traffic is about 3,500 unique visits per day.
#10: Harsh Agrawal - $15,000(March 2015)
Harsh Agrawal is an Indian blogger based in Delhi. He launched his blog shoutmeloud as a tech blog in December 2008.
Country : India
Monthly Income(March 2015) : $15,000 - Harsh's Income report for March 2015
Blogger Since: December 2008
Harsh blogs mainly about online marketing,make money online, blogging tips,seo tips niche. He do have a readership of 453,000+ all around the world.
Traffic of shoutmeloud
According to google analytics , shoutmeloud receives a traffic of around 13,000 unique visits and 21,000 page views a day.
How did Harsh start blogging?
Harsh is an Engineer by profession and blogger by passion. After his engineering, he was placed in MNC's like Accenture , but decided to follow his passion to become a professional blogger. As said before, Harsh started blogging through ShoutmeLoud in December 2008. He started it as a tech blog to make income from Google Adsense. After 6 years of blogging, shoutmeloud stands as one of the most popular blogs in India(Indian Alexa traffic rank of 203). Harsh is a real inspiration for Indian bloggers. Read - Most favorite make money online methods in India
Earnings and Income breakdown
Harsh's earnings in March 2015 was $15,000 of which the main contributions were from services,consultations,affiliates and sponsored posts. Lets have a look at his major revenue sources.
- Services - He offers services(WordPress theme development and customization) as well as consultations. He earned $716 from theme customization and $1,147 from blog consultation.
- Sponsored posts - Sponsored posts in shotmeloud added a $2006 to the total revenue.
- Affiliate marketing - Affiliate marketing contributed $5886.93 to the total revenue, Harsh uses affiliates like Siteground,hostgator,elegant themes etc.
- Adsense - The earnings from adsense was just around $593 (3-4%) and it was mainly from his other niche sites. He doesn't use adsense in shoutmeloud anymore . Depending on adsense alone is risky, the good thing here is that Harsh still have 97% percent of his income even if he gets banned from adsense .
Conclusions(9 Lessons learned from income reports of these 10 bloggers)
Lesson 1 - Major share of the income comes from affiliates
Patt Flynn earned $75,750.00 from Bluehost affiliates(in march 2015) this constituted 50% of his overall revenue. Like wise for Jeff and Mandy, more than $15,000 came from affiliates, which also would be more than 50% of the total revenue.
Lesson 2 - Adsense's share of the total revenue is less
Did you assume that adsense is the only monetization method possible for your blog? Did you think that other monetization methods apart from adsense wont work? I am asking this because I had similar thoughts when I started blogging in 2006. For Patt Flynn, of the total revenue earned in March (153,397.47), adsense's share was just 3,300$ . Well, how much is that? JUST 2 PERCENT!! Let's have a look at the ADSENSE's SHARE of the total revenue(in percent) for some of these bloggers
Patt Flynn(SmartPassiveIncome) - 2%
Jeff and Mandy - 5%
Dale Patridge - 7.8%
Lindsay Ostrom(PinchOfYum) -4.5%
Matthew Woodward- 0% Deby Coles(So-Sew-Easy) - 5.8%
Harsh Agrawal(ShoutMeLoud)- 3.8%
Lesson 3 - Blogging success takes time
Most of the bloggers listed here are being blogging at least for 3-4 years. Patt Flynn is being blogging for 8 years while Deby Coles started her blog on September 2012(3+years). Or in other words, all these bloggers have a minimum blogging experience of 3+ years. Yes, time is a big factor but it is also about implementing things properly.
Why time is a big factor?
- You need to get backlinks - Getting natural backlinks takes time. It is an accumulation process. Assume that some person linked to you, all his readers will see your link and they might also link to you. The whole process takes time and like wine it get better with age.
- You need to build your brand.
- You need to prove the authority of your website - According to the latest studies, Google likes authority sites(sites that have standards and trust of users), and age is a factor through which Google determine authority
Lesson 4 - Building your brand
All these bloggers have built their brand . Adsense is the easiest method to monetize your website , you don't need to worry much about the conversion rate and signups. You just need to place the ads properly and you'll be rewarded with clicks and money. As per the Adsense earning data I showed you above, it is clear that you can't touch this exciting figures depending on adsense alone(0-7%). You need to depend on affiliates and own products, and with out building your brand this wont work. Your users buy your e-book if they find you trusty and identify you as a brand. Right?
Lesson 5 - 7 out of these 10 people were not techies(or where working in other areas(not related to internet))
This is a motivating factor for non technical persons over here looking to earn money from internet. John Lee Dumas and Jeff Rose were Army men. Patt Flynn was an Architect. Lindsay was an elementary school teacher. In fact, starting a website/blog can't be that hard or expensive as many people think.
Check out my detailed post about Cheapest ways to start a website/blog .
All these bloggers started the right thing at the right time and approached their blogs professionally or in other words, they were the best in their niche. So, that's how a newbie blogger can succeed. Pick the right niche that suits you (somewhere you have interest/passion and not much competition) and be the best in that niche.
Lesson 6 - All these bloggers had steady income growth
In other words, their latest income report would(might) be their record high. Check out Patt Flynn's earning summary since hes started blogging ,
- October 2008 - $7,906.55
- October 2009 - $8,661.78
- October 2010 - $17,905.88
- October 2011 - $38,612.90
- October 2012 - $47,848.18
- October 2013 - $53,774.47
- October 2014 - $77,885.54
- March 2015 - $152,397.47
Check out the earning graphs plotted for Patt Flynn and Lindsay(pinchofyum).
Patt Flynn(Smart Passive Income)
Lindsay Ostrom (Pinch Of Yum)
All these bloggers's income graphs are very much similar to this . The monthly income improves steadily (mainly because of the time factor which we discussed above).
What can we summarize from these earning graphs?
Income from a blog is like wine which gets better with age.
You may have to struggle in the beginning , but ultimately if your content is worthy; you will be rewarded for it. Blogging is no gambling, you can trust this revenue .
Lesson 7 - Unleash your identity
During 2005 -2006 when I started blogging, there were lots of bloggers who used to keep a low profile about themselves in their blog. They didn't use to write a detailed about page, put their photos, some bloggers didn't even want to disclose their name! These bloggers were earning from their blog too. Keeping low profile didn't matter much during that time, but it is not like that now. All these successful bloggers has clearly exposed their identities . There are many reasons,
- Google Authorship - Google started giving good rankings to blogs that used Google Authorship. Google Authorship is the method of linking your blog with your Google Plus Account. Check how to claim your content with Google Authorship in your Blog. Google authorship forced(motivated) bloggers to reveal their social profile.
- Non adsense revenue sources - In 2005,6,7 , 70-90 percent of a bloggers income was from Google adsense alone. Many bloggers were not worried about selling digital products or using affiliates. Things changed drastically now, many bloggers are thinking about what product they can sell through their blog even before they start the blog! Well, who will buy a book(e-book) if authors identity is not revealed.
- Importance of building an email list - Email list of readers is really important in brand building and getting more direct traffic. People who are willing to give you their email must be users who found you worthy. According to data, bloggers who disclosed their identity got good sign ups to their email list.
All these factors prompted bloggers to write a detailed about us page and to get more personal with the readers.
Be transparent to your readers. Disclose your story, background, interests and experiences with your readers. This is really important in building the TRUST FACTOR in between your readers.
Lesson 8 - Build your email list
It is really important to build your email list, most of these bloggers use popups, sidebar widgets, banners, sliders, page takeovers etc to collect the emails of readers. Most of them gives a free e-book on signup and this motivates the reader to signup in the list. Once you launch your own product(ebook or whatever) , email marketing will be the most effective strategy. Collecting emails will also help you to get direct traffic to your blog.
Lesson 9 - Launch your own product
At some point, think about launching your own product(better if from the beginning). For instance, if you are a food blogger, write and sell an ebook about food.
If you are a tech/seo blogger, launch some premium tech/seo tools . That is how you can take your blog into another level and improve your earnings.
Hope you enjoyed the infographic, data about the top 10 money making bloggers and the 9 lessons which we need to follow from their income reports to be successful in blogging.
Did I miss something?
What do you think about these income figures?
How much do you earn from your blog?
Post your opinions as comments.