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Six Figure Blogging – How Long?

One of the most common questions I get asked when people hear about my blogging earnings is ‘how long has it taken’ to get as far as I have?

The short answer is that it’s taken a considerable amount of time. I’ve been blogging since November 2002 and started to experiment with Adsense in September of 2003 – two years ago.

You can see from the following graph (of my monthly Adsense earnings since September 2003) that the growth has been pretty steady with a couple of blips along the way. The first ten or so months were very slow going but the growth since then become quite exponential as I’ve been able to dedicate more and more time to blogging and have learned more about how to get the most out of Adsense.

The motto of the story is that it takes time. As I often say – if you’re not in it for the long haul you’ll probably never see significant earnings.

Earnings-Graph

PS: every time I use a graph like this people ask how I made it – the answer is Keynote – an Apple Presentation tool like Powerpoint.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Thomas says:

    Seems like you were also hit by the bourbon update in December/January. But the growth between January and May is simply spectacular.

    You more than tripled your earnings during those five months, can you give me some more details how you achieved it? Was it primarily caused by optimizing AdSense colours, formats, … or by a significant traffic boost? Or was it a combination of both?

    By the way, I’m now a bit above your Feb 2005 level.

  2. Rob Barac says:

    I think it does help to have an extremely focused blog.

    My personal blog only achieves very ordinaty adsense figures, however my cafegeek public blog does marginally better. Though the figures are still miniscule.

    Another obvious factor is the amount of traffic through your blog.

  3. Jon says:

    I’d be interested to see an indicator on the graph of the date that you went “pro” and became a full time blogger.

  4. “…it’s taken a considerable amount of time. I’ve been blogging since November 2002…”

    That’s a long time? I’ve been blogging since 1997, and I guess I’m currently a “Three Figure Blogger.” Of course I also don’t have AdSense links all over my site. Sigh…

  5. Andy Merrett says:

    As far as I can tell, my main AdSense revenues come on the niche blogs from search engine (SE) visitors (mainly Google, not surprisingly).

    Therefore, I do expect AdSense revenue to increase the more articles each blog has archived, as people come to my site through SEs and then often click on ads.

    My best earners are niche blogs:

    1. because they have more targeted ads, that often pay better.
    2. they have a higher click-thru rate

    I suspect that Darren’s earnings will continue to increase because of this factor, as visitors come to many pages (not just the newest ones) on his niche sites. And the beauty of AdSense is that it’s always targeted no matter how old the article is.

  6. Peter says:

    How many blogs has it taken for you to hit this 16k target?
    Should we focus on one topic alone or diversify into say 10 blogs?

  7. Dennis says:

    Darren, you’re an inspiration to us all. I wish I would have found this blog long before I did, but it’s at the top of my MyYahoo page where I can’t miss it. Nice graph, I hope you have to add a level to it soon.

  8. yuga says:

    The graph does not show when you started each of the 20 blogs you have now.

    How about doing an average earning for all blogs or maybe the top 3 revenue-generating blog. That would I think be more representative of the growth of all blogs over time.

  9. Darren Rowse says:

    Thomas – yep I was hit badly by the Google update in December. The improvement from Jan – May was due to a number of things including a recovery after the update (things went back to what they were before it) starting new blogs, building traffic levels on my current blogs, optimising better etc. There was no one factor.

    Jon – there was no moment when I went pro as its been such a gradual thing. I guess I started going really seriously at it in July 2004 though.

    Peter – I have about 20 blogs – 15 of which are pretty active – the other five are not.

    Yuga – yep that information would be useful – but I’m not going to do all the work for you :-) As I’ve written here before I don’t talk specific figures of my individual blogs. A guy has to keep some ‘secrets’ :-)

  10. LcF says:

    I too created my one year adsense graph, and I see a similar trend in the graph compare with yours. Of course, I am earning far more lower than you. It really “take times”. :-)

  11. J Wynia says:

    Do you also have a matching graph of your CPM curve (probably needs to be without legend to avoid breaking the Google TOS)? That would answer the question Thomas asked about traffic vs other optimizations. That’s because if the traffic was the source of the increase in monthly revenue, the CPM wouldn’t have changed. If, on the other hand, the increase was due to optimizations, the CPM would have gone up more sharply than the revenue and traffic curves.

    Obviously being able to increase both CPM *and* traffic is going to add up more quickly than either one alone, but it would still be interesting to compare the curves.

  12. ps2 mod says:

    Amazing. I have been working with about 5-8 blogs (5 are very active, the other 3 are so – so. But I just can not seem to reach these figures even remotely. I guess I will just keep trying.

    What excites me about blogging is that I simply do NOT have to pick pack or ship anything. Just get paid to get people to come to my site(s) and have them read the story/blog of the day and voila, earnings come in.

  13. Thanks for sharing.

    What I would really love to see is your intra-week earnings, just the relative scale.

  14. dynn says:

    thanks for sharing this info…

  15. It’s crazy to think that in just under a years time you were making $5000 a month on Adsense alone. Do you find now that you’re so established that you have to work more or less than you did in the beginning?

  16. Darren Rowse says:

    similar amount of work Aaron – that is similar in terms of blogging work – but more work in terms of admin (ie emails associated with readers etc).

  17. Jim says:

    Darren, that was a great article.

    How much time do you spend on your blogs every week? I’ll bet this is a lot more fun for you than an office job would be.

  18. Pall Stanley says:

    I can imagine with the passion for blogging first and foremost, a passion fueled by learning and practicing with incorporated discipline to blogging would prove to be lucrative. Everyone these days ones to make money doing almost anything that is especially legal, I must add, but few might have the discipline to join the one to five percent of bloggers using Adsense to build or generate a six figure income.

    Hypothetically, if one were to count the top one percent of Google Adsense publishers, there are many earning seven figures and some earning monthly six figures. But they probably spend considerable amounts of money bidding on search names also. Google Adsense certainly offers plenty of bloggers the opportunity to earn, and learn how to maximize Google Adsense via blogs and increase traffic to the blogs. Being able to make the decision based upon thorough research whether or not to use your own domain verses one like blogspot, it is imperative to learn about search engines, ways traffic to be generated to your website, keeping the traffic returning day after day, week after week, month after month…..

    There are tons of strategies to employ via the Internet in order to generate traffic depending upon your budget. The low or no budget strategies require lots of time and dedication to employ and can produce the results desire overtime. Be that as it may, specializing in a subject area might be a start. It is better to develop or follow your passions than the economics in the long. — Pall Stanley

  19. 5 year, nice, a wish you 100 years of blogging :)

  20. Pall Stanley says:

    Today, I have decided to commit to the commitment of becoming one of the top !% of all the bloggers in the world. What I really mean is just being the best blogger within my brain power to become. As the US Army says, “Be all that you can be.” That is what I mean, not the arrogance of things.

    Thanks to ProBlogger, I am inspired to maximize my abilities to reach as many people possible around the world with positive words. Now is the time to get fully loaded with the knowledge ProBlogger has to offer and apply it immediately. Thanks again for this blog! — Pall Stanley

  21. dev says:

    hope i can be like U ,but i think i cant coz i want to be a pro web programmer,web design,sofware programmer,flash master ,mobile applictaion programmer

  22. Short Quotes says:

    I like that you said you have 15 blogs that are being updated. What would be the optimum level, do you think, for one person to do? Would you like more, or less?

    I’m torn between focusing on just one and doing it really well, or casting the net wide – and i’d be interested in your thoughts

    thanks for the graph

  23. Nancy says:

    Who pays one for blogging. I can’t see why one gets paid for putting blogs on a web site.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Darren puts up a graph showing how long it took him to achieve the stunning blogging income levels he now enjoys. The lesson here is simple – be consistent and be patient. [...]

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