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How Much Money Do Bloggers Make Blogging?

Over the last two months I’ve had a sidebar poll running here at ProBlogger that asked readers to tell us how much their blog earned in October of 2008.

This is an annual poll that we’ve run for a number of years now so it is always interesting to see the results.

As usual – the poll revealed that most bloggers either don’t try to make money blogging or earn very little from their blogs but also that a smaller (but still significant) number of bloggers are making at least a part time living from the medium and a few bloggers beyond what most of us would consider ‘full time’.

Of course this is not a scientific poll and it relies upon people interpreting the question correctly and voting honestly – I’m certain that there are inaccuracies in it (particularly with some voting in the top category just for ‘fun’) but the results are actually quite similar to previous years which does make me think that there is at least some level of truth to them.

Take it or leave it – here are the results of this year’s earning poll:

  • 37% of those who voted said that they do not make money from their blogs. This category would include both those who don’t want to make money blogging, those who didn’t realize that it was possible, those who don’t have a blog and those who have tried but failed to make money blogging.

While this is a significant and important result I’ve removed category from the charts below so that we can concentrate just on those who make at least some money from their blog.

blog-earnings-October-2008.png

  • 1162 people said that they make under $10 a month. This is a total of 29% of those who make money blogging. This category was 26% in 2007 and 30% in 2006.
  • 477 people made between $10-$29 in the month (12%)
  • 505 people made between $30-$99 (12%)
  • 686 made $100 – $499 over the month (17%)

So to this point we can say 70% of those who make money from their blogs make less than $500 a month and 30% make $500 or more.

  • 262 made $500 – $999 (6%)
  • 150 made $1,000 – $1,499 (4%)
  • 128 made $1,500 – $2,499 (3%)
  • 130 made $2,500 – $4,999 (3%)
  • 95 made $5,000 – $9,999 (2%)
  • 45 made $10,000 – $14,999 (1%)
  • 35 made $15,000 – $19,999 (1)
  • 373 made $20,000 or more (9%).

The top category probably has some skewing but has always been in this vicinity (9% in 2007 and 7% in 2006 – although in these years the top category was $15,000+). While I’m sure there is some skewing here it is an open ended category so we could expect it to have people earning not only $20,000 a month but also those earning quite a bit more (of which I’m aware of quite a few).

Here’s another chart with the same information:

Oct-blog earnings-08.png

Once again these figures hammer home to anyone wanting to get into blogging for money that it is not a foregone conclusion that you’ll make a lot of money from the medium. It is possible to make at least a part time income from blogging and for some to make quite a bit of money from it – but over half are earning less than $3 a day (or $100 a month).

For those interested in the comparisons to previous years – let me finish with charts from 2006 and 2007. First here are the 2006 results:

2006-blog-earnings.jpg

And now the 2007 results:

blog-earnings.jpg

As you’ll see the results are remarkably similar from year to year although each year we’ve done it the sample size has grown.

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. forlan says:

    it is difficult to find money at blog but you say 9% could get $ 20,000. i suggest you give any niche or topic which give the blogger more money. thanks before

  2. Rose says:

    Wow 9% that’s fantastic!
    I just started out, but I have an awesome blog.

    Check out my book review blog at:
    http://anothergreatread.blogspot.com/

  3. Wink says:

    Bloggers who give away free stuff tend to earn more income than others, so I decided to host a contest giving away an iTunes Gift Card. Read about it here http://www.mightyaffiliate.com/2009/01/06/win-an-itunes-gift-card/

  4. @seamus it is a poll get over it. First and foremost it is a poll that only includes people who chose to answer it. I am pretty sure the high end is somewhat skewed, but not as much as you might think. I easily have a hundred personal friends in my email contacts who make over $5k a month and half make over $10 and probaly 20 make over $20K a month. I am sure darren’s list of associates who visit his blog regularly doing that much is quite a bit bigger than mine so this end of the poll isn’t as skewed as you might think. You should also figure in the number of people making nothing that didn’t answer it If you add a few more thousand to that category the 9% really drops.

    The second question to ask yourself is how many of these bloggers are making money and the answer is pretty simple, they belong to affiliate networks that not only pay out significantly higher than adsense, but they are making money on every affiliate they have signed up. If you look at some of my affiliates like motive I make 5.5% of what my affiliates make which today was just under $10 last I looked. Darren will make that percentage on the $40 I had made at that time. Since he is my go to guy when it comes to new affiliate programs I am sure he made a more than that off me. Now think about how long he and others have been doing this and how many people visit this blog alone.

    While $20k+ is hard to imagine especially for anyone not even making $2k a month, it isn’t unreasonable that a site like this wouldn’t attract readers making that much and more.

  5. Martin@TF says:

    Its encouraging to see that if you put in the work and become a popular blog, the results are out there.

    Martin

    http://www.talkingfuture.com

  6. Lizelle says:

    Now I don’t feel so bad after checking out these stats! There are a whole lot of people in the same boat as me!

  7. Jenean says:

    I’m within the 12% category. Last year I blogged pretty regularly, but also had a 4 month inconsistent blogging period. I’ve since redone/revamped my blog and would really like be in the 6% category – then maybe I wouldn’t have to work two jobs. My problem is I haven’t found any cohesive articles that give a step-by-step on HOW to make money blogging, but then again I may have been looking under the wrong rock.

    I enjoy the tips and resources that this blog provides – keep bringin’ it!!

  8. Simon says:

    Well, it would be nice to earn enough from bloggin to give up normal job and work from home… nice to dream about.

  9. Very interesting post – nice job again. I recommend this site to many people. I quit my full time to blog last year and have moved up through those percentages quickly – I think you just need one single niche with lots of profits in the industry and you blog on that one single niche 3,000 times… build links and the money finds you. All of my 27 advertisers came to me, all my products were built through advice and emails from blog readers.

    Buy Darren’s book!

    Richard
    http://HedgeFundBlogger.com

  10. I just started 2 blogs that I hope will attract enough traffic so that I can start to make some money with ads. It would be interesting to find out how long it would take to make decent money from ads, if for example, you post every day.

  11. Paulo says:

    I make about 30 dollars per month with my webpages and some blogs.

  12. Ginger says:

    Note: I have not read all the comments….

    I would love to know how long the bloggers have blogged at both ends of the spectrum. Seems to me that you have to stick with it to be successful (naturally). Seems the numbers in the various categories fall off tremendously before the good money is being made.

    I’ll have to come back and dig into this post, the stats and the comments. It is certainly food for thought. Thank goodness I am not a quitter. I do things for the long haul if at all possible.

    Life is good. Currently I have “enough”. Maybe if I were hungry I’d be more inspired to earn the big bucks!

    Thanks for the post!

    Ginger

  13. Sharaaz says:

    Thanks for sharing the graphs.

    I hope to make a small income from my blog in this year.

  14. Jake Brumble says:

    That’s an impressive number of respondents.

    A few Bloggers are revealing their income and sources and telling the story behind it, there’s a list of 60 of them here:

    http://workhomebusiness.org/blogs-reporting-income/

  15. Spencer says:

    This info is both motivational and demotivational. Most people do not earn much from their blog. yet some earn a significant amount.

  16. Hello, Darren and everyone else.

    I just started my blog and I’m just going to keep putting high quality content in it and when I’ve built up a relatively large audience and subscribers list I’ll add some ad stuff.

    I’m just starting but I can tell you fellow commenters that using proper English and grammar in your blogging is very important. At least pretend that you’re intelligent… :P

    The other really important thing is to be consistent. You don’t have to add a lot of content every day. Just keep consistently adding high quality content every once in a while. At least once a week. It’ll build up eventually and you’ll likely see a slow increase in your blogging profit.

    Your blogging should be a side thing until its earning you enough money to quit your job. You should never quit your job and then start working on your blog. Build up your blog and once you are earning a sizable income you can safely quit your job.

    By the way, my blog doesn’t have any content yet but I have a lot of know-how in martial arts and I plan to start adding stuff once I’m finished with my current freelance writing job.

    Oh right! I forgot to mention that. I’m a freelance writer. :)

    Anyway, if you know martial artist then please send along to my blog because pretty soon they’re going to see some quality content and information.

    The address is: http://wayofthepenandfoot.wordpress.com. I’ll register my own domain in the next few months. I’m not spending a dime until I’m ready to make a dollar. :)

    Good luck with all your blogging and my best wishes to you all.

    Patrick Smith
    http://wayofthepenandfoot.wordpress.com/
    patrick DOT post DOT 534 AT gmail.com

  17. Art Vandelay says:

    wooooow…9% earn over 20,000 a month! I’ve earned $1.05 in a little more than a month.

  18. In that case, keep adding more and more high quality content on your blog! Also make sure your blog is SEO. :)

    Patrick Smith
    http://wayofthepenandfoot.wordpress.com/
    patrick DOT post DOT 534 AT gmail.com

  19. tim says:

    Darren,

    Very interestesting info. I am a cynic however and a statistician at heart. I do not believe that the 9% is an accurate representation of those who actually made over $20k in October. These jerks are just clicking that category to be clowntards. If you really want to conduct a relative and meaningful poll then you need to throw out all the highest numbers. Make a phantom “top” category and watch how many say they are in it. Another bit of proof: look how the graphs gradually go down as the income levels go up. And then an unexpected spike at the very end. Not logical.

  20. Albert says:

    This comes to show how successful a blog can earn, if you are committed. This is a very inspiring post that will be idealized by millions of lone bloggers over the web, wishing to have the same out come as Darren. You deserve it, from the very start and I wish the income will grow even more.

  21. ipanks says:

    in october 2008, i earn about $ 35, and january 2009 i earn about $300.yess its really helps me to make a better than last month.

  22. These amounts are shocking and show that majority of the bloggers are failing. I would try my best not to come in the Under $10 category.
    ———————————————————
    Mohammad Afaq
    Free Blog Traffic

  23. Guitarguy says:

    wow! that’s very usefull information. My aim is to achieve 2000$/months

  24. craig says:

    Blimey, i just came accross this and although i don’t currently do a blog it really is food for thought and just goes to show that as with anything persistance and endevour can lead to great financial rewards. Sure it is very difficult to get to the top but well done to those who have and those who are still trying.

  25. romanzick says:

    now ijust do it, and waiting the big canal rise me up. until then, im not rather think about money firt

  26. Writing, let alone blogging is hard work. No shortcuts that I’ve found. The time commitment is formidable, especially if one is still working an 8-5 job, especially to write your best at all times and then try to monetize on top of that.Probably most of the people earning a lot have had the blog a few years. A lot of people give up long before then. You have to stick with it for many years to see the rewards I think

  27. I noticed that the money starts out very slowly, a couple cents per day.. but as time goes by and backlinks accumulate and more posts get indexed, it does start to add up. Soon people see their first dollar, then the payment threshold, then all of the sudden it hits… and they start making more in one day than they did in the entire first year of the blog. This is why we need to have plenty of blogs and let them age. Never delete a blog because even if it sucks, and I have plenty that suck, you can use it for linking site. You can replace blogs at any time, but you cannot replace the time it takes to age one.

  28. I even don’t come under 10 $ means I am unable to earn via blogging :(

    I want to make money with blogging .

    Check my blog if you have time and tell me how I can improve my earning !!!

    I am waiting for your reply :D
    Thank you

  29. I get money online from google adsense, it is easier to get money made from their own website compared to a free blog like blogspot. now I make a lot of focus on the web with various topics