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Six Figure Bloggers Becoming More Common

The latest Poll of the week has been up for 36 hours and has already had 549 responses (by the time this post goes live it’ll probably be closer to 600).

The question is ‘Last Month, how much did you make from AdSense?‘ and the results so far are causing a fair bit of comment around the wider blogging community. The graph below fits with my own personal experience in dealing with AdSense publishers.

I haven’t included those who responded with ‘I don’t use AdSense’ in this graph (there are 15% of responses at this point who responded this way) but I will include them in the final results in another 5 or so days.

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There are obviously a lot of bloggers at the bottom end making less than 34 cents per day with AdSense (27% of those who responded) with a further 10% making under the $1 per day mark. This is very important to keep in mind if you’re just getting into blogging with dollar signs in your eyes. Drink in these figures and give yourself a reality check if this is you. While there are some nice earnings in this mix the vast majority of respondents are not getting rich from blogging.

Having said this (I do like to create a realistic picture so please forgive me for putting a downer on this) what I’m fascinated by is the growing number of bloggers in the upper categories.

Previously when I’ve done this type of survey I’ve struggled to find many earning over six figures in a year, but this indicates that there are an increasing number of bloggers around who might just be in this category (assuming their November figures are representative of their yearly ones). 18 bloggers so far are on track for $120,000 years from AdSense if this is the case.

Keep in mind this is only AdSense figures and some bloggers these days have swapped to other income streams.

I’ll hold off on making too many comments too early on these results. If you haven’t voted yet please consider joining in. Participating is totally anonymous, I’m not tracking who is voting for what – rather I’m hoping this and the following polls will give us a snapshot of the pro blogging community. Spread the word among your blogging buddies and get them to stop by to add their own experience into the mix.

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. DavidC says:

    Great information, Darren, especially for folks like myself that are relatively new to blogging. I think it would be interesting to overlay a graph showing how long you have had your blog[s] running. I would suspect (hope) that those near the bottom of the income curve are also newer to the game?

  2. Dale Estes says:

    Ya there are many folks that think its a get rich quick thing but its not.You have to have good content and have something people are looking for,weather its information or a product.Also its helps if its unique and not saturated like so many of the blogs.

  3. Gary Miller says:

    As has been mentioned in previous posts, both here at Problogging and elsewhere, making $$$ as a blogger is a long-term committment. I would have to question the any “newbie” who claimed to be making big $$$ from blogging. Of course, like most things, there are exceptions. If someone is part of a highly popular network that drives massive numbers of visitors to their site, naturally their chances of earning larger sums would increase, but by and large, it’s the guy who has been in the trenches for a while who scores maximum dollars from ad clicks. Then again, some may never achieve the upper levels of income through blogging. Just the nature of the game, I suppose.

  4. izahan says:

    Great stats! I agree with DavidC that an overlay of blog age would be interesting. Maybe also the number of blogs that monetize?

  5. Jon Gales says:

    The bump for the $10K mark could just be people with wishful thinking–sort of like all the people with really high incomes on online dating sites.

  6. Steve says:

    Darren,
    The results of your survey is not complete since there is no context. The following information are critical, otherwise the information you are showing cannot be properly interpreted, i.e., # of blogs owned by each respondent, how long they have been blogging, and may be the subject matters they blog on (not absolutely necessary but helpful).

  7. Honestly I thought people are making a bit more with adsense on average.
    There are much more people who earn high on adsense, but most of them are too busy with adding content to their sites ;)

  8. Dave Starr says:

    A very interesting and inspiring stat, Darren. Like others, I would like to see the length of time the blogger has been working superimposed on the income figure … more than anything, to keep the ‘get rich quick’ folks moving on to find some other greener pasture.

    I haven’t had time yet to research the Poll of the Week plug-in .. does it allow the collection of more than one variable?

    I was waxing philosophic this morning thinking of how much today’s current monetized blog world resembles the world of outdoor advertising. The people who got rich in that business did it by envisioning a location for a billboard (not always a conventional roadside location, either), sold the space to an advertiser and moved on to increase the size of their network. I see a lot of parallels with multi-niche focused blogging.

    Best regards

  9. Bill Peschel says:

    Yes, the number of blogs and time spent with those sites would be an important addition to the next survey. Is it possible to include these three questions (income, # of blogs and time) into your current survey format, without having to, for example, have everyone go to a separate page? Keeping out that extra step will encourage the same number of responses and improve the credibility of the results.

  10. Jonathan Danylko says:

    Darren,

    It makes me wonder how many of the people who took the poll coincide with the people who purchased your Six Figure Blogging package.

    Just an observation. :-)

  11. Jon Mills says:

    I think there are a number of things that come into play as to why their are people even in the $3000 a month range

    I believe like with my regular sites its a long time committment, though I agree with thomas pierce in that blogs can certainly out perform any regular html for a number of reasons but to do so you have to stay on top of the daily tasks

    Currently I earn more from my html sites but im working on my blog sites and will give it a good 2 years effort of daily posts.

    Some days I wish i had an army working for me.

    Really good post thought darren. Getting a lot out of your blog

  12. Steve says:

    Darren,

    I hope I am not getting too personal by asking you this question. How much was your Adsense intake/ income last month, and how much did you make overall from all your contextual advertising – Chikita included? Do you care to share?

  13. Robert says:

    I’d also keep in mind that the survey asked about Adsense earnings in general. I’m relatively new to the blogging scene, so the majority of my Adsense earnings are from regular ole’ content sites.

    I say that because others commenting above mentioned factoring in # of blogs, years blogging, etc. Perhaps a more accurate representation would be # of sites and number of years publishing online, regardless if the site is a blog, forum, static content, etc.

  14. I purchased the Six Figure Blogging course and found the information useful, but have not noticed any difference in my AdSense numbers. I think it’s more applicable to the new blogger rather than someone who has been at it for a while. All of the informaiton hinges upon your chosen niche and the content you provide.

  15. I am near the bottom of the list. As I have brought more blogs online I have been ableto increase my adsense to about $30 per month.

    One of the things I did a couple months back is delete any extraneous links and made sure that the adsense was not competing with other affiliate programs on the page. This worked out pretty well but as we all know it is really more all about traffic

  16. Dan D says:

    Interesting results. I agree with DavidC that a 2 part survey of site age and income would help us newbies get an idea of how long it takes to get to the higher levels.

  17. brem says:

    That might enlighten some newcomers to keep their early hopes down. I personally blog for fun. While it’s certainly exciting to see traffic come up as months fly by, it’s not how I pay the mortgage on my house. Not that I would not love that to be the case, mind you.

    Sucessful bloggers I suspect spent a lot of time trying to find where their expertise or where their uniqueness could be best displayed. Of course, there are the occasional lucky ones who got famous almost overnight, but success takes time and dedication. You have to provide to your audience, and deliver content they will enjoy.

    I’d be interested to see a follow up from your survey from people who answered on the top figures as to what their roadmap has been to get towards there. Was it fast, or very long and hard work… This kind of stuff.

    brem

  18. Victor Tan says:

    Another way of breakdown besides how long they had been blogging would be how many blogs they run and the adsense revenue of the highest earning blog.

  19. brem says:

    Also where they placed their ads :-) LOL

    I mean… let’s get all the info possible :) I’m all for it!

    brem

  20. Leon says:

    I have adsense on my blog, but when I view it, the ads aren’t there! I started using adsense on Nov 16. I haven’t earned 1 cent! And there were only 4 clicks, 2 of them mine. HELP!

  21. Leon says:

    False alarm. I just needed to fill out some more information. But I still need Adsense help.

  22. gary says:

    I’m one of the people in the $10,000+ range, but the question asked how much I make on Adsense. It didn’t say anything about earning it through a blog. I don’t happend to run any blogs, but rather one high traffic site. So keep in mind that these figures may not necessarily reflect blog earnings, but rather simply adsense earnings. However, that being said, Problogger has still helped me tremondously even though I don’t run a blog.

  23. brem says:

    It’s obvious that traffic is one major factor in the amount earned. Which brings me to the question of what would be a nice Click thru ratio…

  24. Dave says:

    Another interesting post, and one I’ve commented on on my own blog.

    Like others have said, some form of context would be beneficial, especially length of time the blog has exisited, number/frequency of updates, income growth over time.

    As with all polls of this nature, I’m inclined to belive that 25% or so of the votes in the $10k+ category are hoaxes, or wishful thinking as someone politely put.

    Even so, distribute those stats across all adsense publishers worldwide and its alot of bloggers making alot of money, but an enormous number of bloggers making nothing.

  25. Victor says:

    Wow, sounds like the crowd is wanting a full-fledged research project, Darren. Have you work cut out for you.

    Here are some additional ideas to throw into the mix:

    - Length of time, in minutes, the site has been alive
    - Their site as compared to others in their niche
    - How many posts per per day and words per hour
    - A plot scale to determine how good their content really is
    - How much growth can be expected this year, and within the next 10 years, divided by the total number of people on the internet, giving an estimated cost per visitor
    - How often they eat their Wheaties?

    Alright, i’ll quit being a smart as*

    Good poll, Darren.

    Vic

    Vic

  26. Blogbooster says:

    Say it in other words Darren: 50% of all Problogger-readers earn less than 100 $ a month by AdSense. ;-)

    I started blogging in Germany 2.5 months ago and have a 40$ income on AdSense this month. Any other affiliate programs, also eBay Relevance Ads, seem only to waste space on the pages. I run two blogs with daily updates: The blogbooster and the gadget insider. So there’s a lot of improvement possible.

  27. Darren Rowse says:

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