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How to Make $30,000 a year Blogging

Last night I was chatting with a blogger who was feeling completely overwhelmed with their goal of making a living from blogging.

I asked them how much they wanted to make from blogging.

They responded that they wanted to be a full time blogger.

I pushed them for a figure – what does ‘full time’ mean for you?

They thought for a moment and said that they could live off $30,000 USD a year (note: they wouldn’t have minded earning more but would be able to quit their current job at this kind of rate).

$30,000 a year sounds like a lot to make from a blog – especially when you’re starting out and are yet to make a dollar. To this blogger it seemed so overwhelming that she had almost convinced herself that it was not possible.

Advice for Becoming a Full Time Blogger

My response was threefold:

1. Don’t Give Up Your Day Job…. Yet

It is possible to make $30,000 a year blogging, but it’s unlikely to happen over night. Keep your feet on the ground and your expectations reasonable. IF it happens (and there are no guarantees) it is almost certainly going to take some time.

2. Be Specific

Saying that you want to be full time as a blogger is a great goal – but it’s not really specific enough. This is why I wanted the blogger I was chatting with to name a figure. For her full time was $30,000 – for others it could be more or less – the amount is not the point, the point is that you need something more concrete to work towards so that you’re able to measure where you’re at.

For me when I decided I want to go full time as a blogger I decided that I wanted to aim for $50,000 (Aussie Dollars) in a year as the bench mark (at that time $50,000 was around 36,000 USD). That’s around what I would have been earning in my current main job if I had been doing that full time (I was actually working a number of part time jobs at the time as well as studying part time).

Knowing what I was aiming for helped me in a number of ways when it came to getting to that goal.

3. Break it down into something more Achievable

$30,000 USD still sounds big when you’re a new blogger – and in some ways it is. However there are different ways of thinking about that figure. Lets break it down in the way that I used to look at my target.

  • $30,000 a year = $576.92 per week
  • $30,000 a year = $82.19 a day
  • $30,000 a year = $3.42 an hour

We could break it down on a monthly or on a minute by minute basis if we wanted to (in fact I did do it by minute from time to time for fun) – but the exercise is really about helping you to see that perhaps your big goal is a little more achievable if you are to break it down. Making $82.19 somehow seems a little bit easier to me than making $30,000 (or is that just me?).

OK – the other way that I used to break down my goal that I found really helpful to me was to do it based upon what I need to achieve to meet that target. For me I would usually look at the daily figure – in this case $82.19.

What do I need to do to make $82.19 a day ($30,000 a year)?

Well there’s a number of ways that much. Lets look at a few:

  • CPC Ads – lets say we’re running mainly AdSense on our blog and that the average click is paying 5 cents. That equates to 1643 clicks on AdSense ads (note: AdSense also runs CPM ads so it’s not quite as simple as saying you need 1643 clicks… but to keep this simple lets just go with that).
  • CPM Ads – lets say that we’re running CPM ads on our blog and we’re being paid $2 CPM per ad unit and we had 3 ads on each page (which is effectively $6 CPM per page). This would mean we’d need 13,000 page impressions.
  • Monthly Sponsorships – one way to sell ads directly to advertisers is to sell ads on a month by month basis as a sponsorship. To make $30k in a year you need to sell $2500 a month in ads. You might have 6 ad spots on your blog so this is 6 advertisers at $416.66 per advertiser per month.
  • Low Commission Affiliate Products – Lets say we were promoting affiliate products from a site like Amazon and your commissions were on average about 40 cents per sale. To earn $82.19 you’d need to sell 205 products.
  • High Commission Affiliate Products – In this case you might be promoting ebooks and earning $8 a copy (that’s what you’d earn selling my 31DBBB ebook per commission). The math is simple on this one – you’d had to sell around 10 e-books a day.
  • Really Big Commission Affiliate Products – of course e-books are not the biggest product out there to promote – there are products like training courses where you can earn hundreds per sale. Lets take one that might pay out $300 for a yearly membership on a bigger product. In this case you need to sell 8 of these per month.
  • Selling Your Own E-book – got your own product, perhaps an e-book, to sell from your blog? At $19.95 a sale you need to sell just over 4 of these a day. You can do the sums on cheaper or more expensive products.

Of course there are many many other ways to make money from blogs. Subscriptions, donations, paid reviews, selling yourself as a consultant….. etc. You can do the sums for yourself on your own model.

I know that some of the above figures still sound out of reach for bloggers – 1643 clicks on your AdSense ads sounds massive to a new blogger…. and it is – but do keep in mind that you can combine some of the above (in fact I’d recommend you diversify your income).

You might run 2 ad networks on your site, promote Amazon affiliates, sell your own e-book and promote someone’s membership course.

Looking back on my own figures for around the time when I hit my $50,000 AUD (around $100 USD a day) goal and for me at that time my income mix looked a like this (going from memory here):

  • AdSense: $35
  • Chitika: $20
  • Private Ad Sales: $20
  • Amazon: $15
  • Other Affiliate Commissions: $10

Note: I didn’t achieve this milestone until I’d been blogging for over 2 years (I blogged for the first year without trying to make money).

This didn’t happen over night (let me emphasize this – blogging for money is neither quick nor is it easy money) but I really found that breaking things down into more bite sized pieces helped me to stay motivated but also helped me to identify what I needed to work on in order to reach my goals (and for me to quite my day job).

Again – don’t quit your day job yet (in fact you may not want to quit it even when you reach your goal – it can be good to have a back up plan) but do work hard at being specific about your blogging goals and attempt to break it down in a way that helps you move towards them.

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. It’s good calculation but you need to be a pro blogger to monetize blog on all this ways, even if do it need much work to get targeted traffic to be good conversation.

    Your blog looks very good, you give very good tips to people to get income online. Experience is everything P.S. i will look for other pages it will be useful for me.

  2. J&K Lowline says:

    It can be done, but it will require lots of hard work, talent & dedication. Great read. Thanks!

  3. Essay Help says:

    These are very useful tips for someone who is starting to blog for earning. I would suggest two things here

    1. Do what seems fun to you. If you think that you will have fun while doing blogging, the estimated two years (as mentioned by author) or even more than that will not be big deal for you.

    2. Never quite your regular job until you feel that it is hard to manage two jobs at a time, but that would after when achieve your goals. In the initial stage you have to work more harder and manage both of them simultaneously.

  4. Prav says:

    ITS simply Amazing the way you explained it. Iam also into blogging from the last 8 months and have only started making some bucks. Hope i will see some increment in coming months like you explained it here.

  5. I agree with a lot of your post, the biggest thing to stress though is to write about what you love. A lot of people go after markets just because it might have a little more money in it, but do not enjoy writing about the topic. Stick to what you love and you will be able to write more and actually enjoy doing it as well.

  6. Leonard says:

    This is a nice way to break it down. Many of us out here are just chomping at the bit at the thought of earning a full time jobs’ yearly wages doing something that for some, just comes naturally. Thank you, and keep up the great articles!

  7. I just got into website creation early last year and I’ve noticed that a lot of people just starting out seem to think it’s possible to get all your earnings from just one method. This train of thought is just such a huge limitation on yourself. There are so many different ways out there to make even a few dollars a day.

  8. Jay Neaves says:

    Excellent post with good, sound advice. I think some people thing blogging is an ‘easy job’ where they can earn unrealistic amounts of money without doing very much. If it was that easy, no one would stay in employment very long!

    Keeping it real, setting targets and old fashioned hard work are the way to blogging success.

  9. Thea Grace says:

    I like the organization of your thoughts. It helps a lot to all those who blogs. I am a new blogger (15days young). I was really intrigued of how big the incomes are. I hope someday i will be one of you earning that much. This site is really great. I like it so much. Thanks Darren. More power to you!

  10. Web SEO says:

    I really appreciate your concern to make good money from blogging. But its not so clear. Like just making from cpc, cpm and affiliate programs.

    I know people around the world do something to make money. But they need some more clarity on where they can get the resources from you. Try to put some examples for affiliate commissions for cj.com or something. So that they can get a good idea. Its my suggestion.

    Regards
    Mano

  11. 30,000 a year right now would be nice. Very hard right now to make money. Thanks problogger for the advice

  12. Amber says:

    I am just starting my blog, my goal is $200 a month and I would like to reach that in my first 3 months of blogging. But from what I am reading that seems unrealistic?

    I was reading posts of people who make $5 a month after a few months of blogging, or $100 a month after a year of blogging or $300 a month after 2 years.

    Yes breaking it down seems achievable but how many people actually make $200 or $500 a month in their first 6 months or year of blogging?

  13. seo software says:

    Great breakdown for full-time blogging. I need to look more into affiliate marketing because adsense just isnt cutting it.
    -Jack

  14. Breaking down 30,000 dollars a year really makes it hit home how hard you have to work daily.

  15. çiçekçi says:

    I really enjoyed reading your article. It is encouraging to read articles that tell it as it is. Thanks again!

  16. All your eggs in one basket or diversity to divide and conquer !
    Good advice, thanks a lot. 1643 clicks is rather scary though !

  17. Great blogging site. Specially for those who are making money through blogs.

  18. Yes,

    It is possible if you have some good knowledge over blogging, adsense and other revenue models. More over if have knowledge over affiliate programs that offer either cost per sale or lead, can make at least $12000 honestly. But you need a good concept like web hosting niche.

    I make $600 – $700 a month on affiliate programs with some niches. Profitable niches will have huge competition.

    From a blog, i am sure you can make at least $20 – $30 a minimum by promoting blog well.

    Thanks for a nice post to aware people can make good money from internet marketing and blogging.

    Regards
    Mano

  19. Praneesh says:

    Thanks a lot. i am making $5 daily from my blog. But not showing much, these days the ad revenue got down suddenly from google adsense.

    Hope we get good time soon again.

    Praneesh Jain

  20. don’t you think 5 cents per click is so low
    I thought the average is 10 cents so you need 821 clicks per day
    Actually it is still toooooooooooooooo difficult for a beginner

  21. Great Post, I really like the breakdown of the monetization options.

    Thanks

  22. I really appreciate you for a good post on making money online.

    making $5 or $10 per day is not an issue. people around the world already making. But there should a trick to make a good living income. For example, promoting CPA offers from blog. If your CPA offer $2 per signup and you have some solid traffic, you can make at least $30 – $40 per day, its all about 20 signups.

    Try this if you have any good traffic from your blog.

    Bets Regards
    Santhon

  23. I would be happy making $10,000 / year! The only problem with blogging vs static sites is having to constantly update and do work on it. It’s like a full-time job!
    -Jack

  24. angst jan says:

    By breaking it down you know what to do. I’ve been building a couple of sites. In the first 6 months you don’t make much (any) money. Now I do make most money by selling my own ebooks.

  25. 30,000 dollars a year!? I know this takes time and dedication.

  26. indir says:

    Saying that you want to be full time as a blogger is a great goal – but it’s not really specific enough. This is why I wanted the blogger I was chatting with to name a figure. For her full time was $30,000 – for others it could be more or less – the amount is not the point, the point is that you need something more concrete to work towards so that you’re able to measure where you’re at.

  27. Howdy How are you today? It’s just that i dig your website so much, and that i believe you could start getting alot of dinero from it. I run a couple of winning blogs that i started bringing in some money from recently. They are using something called a content blocker widget, that makes visitors fill out a small quiz inorder to view highly valued content or to download programs or tools that they need. And each time they do a easy quiz i make about two dollars. Pretty awsome eh? Been earning lots more from this than adsense. Feel free to contact me, or you can check it out through my refferal link. http://www.tinyurl.com/yevwfst, Kind Regards, Hennrik R. Hansen

  28. gaban says:

    “Work hard push your limits I worked many years in a truck and Blogging, Working a stages in Manhattan as a stage hand. tonight we are doing our third Workshop and after party sponsored. Consulting is going great and working for others is a thing of the past.”
    you are really kind of people who have much experience

    great post you did

    thanks for sharing

  29. nada says:

    What I find interesting is how many different types of blogs make money, they don’t all have to be about SEO or website marketing. What would also be interesting is the amount of working time difference between working full for someone else and making that money blogging.
    i aalso the same way

    cheers

  30. money income says:

    it’s really hard to make $82.19 a day…. we have so many blog / website to make $82.19 a day, i hope that day will come…

    thx