One of the common critiques that I’ve seen about sites/books/information product/blogs/courses/e-book about making money online is that its only those teaching how to make money online who actually make money online.
‘He only has a six figure income because he charges people to learn how to make a six figure income!’
This was one comment that someone made about another blogger recently. It sparked a chorus of other similar comments – people like to use that argument.
I understand this critique on some levels – there are quite a few bloggers out there who do only make money from make money online blogs and have not really had success in any other niche. While there’s nothing wrong with this – it obviously raises the eyebrows of some and makes them wonder if it’s possible to do it any other way.
There are also a lot of make money online bloggers making big claims and hyping up their own success – trying to get credibility in what is a competitive niche. This can distort the prominence and success of this type of blog and make it seem like it’s the only type of blog that can make money.
Can you only make money online by starting a make money online site and charging for the information?
I think it’s pretty evident that this isn’t true. While there are a few prominent examples of success stories in the make money online niche there are more many more people making a great living from blogs in other niches.
However many times these stories go untold because:
- the blogger behind the site doesn’t have an avenue to talk about their success
- they don’t want to talk about it – for fear of competition
- they simply don’t want to be seen to be boasting or ‘tooting their own horns’
I hear from many bloggers in a wide variety of niches who are making a good living from their blogs who for one reason or another have not talked publicly about their stories.
Side note: On the flip side I also hear from a lot of ‘make money online’ bloggers who struggle to make any money from their blogs (it is nowhere near as easy as it might seem).
My Own Experience
I first started making money from blogging on a blog that had nothing to do with blogging or making money from blogs. In fact the first blog I experimented with making money on was a personal blog that talked about a multitude of topics. In time that blog did start to talk about blogging but it was far from solely a ‘make money online’ blog.
I then started a photography blog that aggregated camera reviews from around the web (no longer active) on that original personal blog’s domain. That blog became the biggest source of my full time income in the next year or two (it was around this time I hit the ‘six figure income’ level).
Out of my experience with that blog (and others) I started ProBlogger.net to talk about what I was learning and share tips on how to make money blogging (in 2004). ProBlogger did end up growing to earn more than that original photography blog but it wasn’t for a year or so that it got established.
The original photography blog wasn’t a very satisfying blog to run and I ended up letting it die before starting my new Digital Photography School in 2006. DPS took a couple of years to really grow to a significant level – but today it is my main source of income. Traffic wise it does 5-6 times the traffic of ProBlogger on an average day and income wise it’s making significantly more than this site (I’d estimate that it’s 3-4 times as profitable as ProBlogger most months).
I share this story in an attempt to dispel the myth that to make money online you have to talk about making money online. Yes you can make money in this niche – but there are plenty of other niches where bloggers are making as much, if not more.
Do You Make a Secret Full Time Income from Your Blogs?
My story is not unique – there are many bloggers ‘out there’ who have built successful blogs that now sustain them full time financially. By no means are these bloggers in the majority (most bloggers make very little) but they are out there!
If you’re making a full time living from your blog I’d like to connect with you. In fact – I’d like to interview you.
I know for some full time bloggers the idea of sharing your story is something you’d rather not do (due to reasons I outlined above) – but if you are interested in sharing your story and have done so simply because you didn’t have an avenue to do it I’d really be interested to touch base with you to explore whether you’d be interested in being interviewed here on ProBlogger.
If you’re interested – please contact me through the ProBlogger contact form. Please include the word ‘interview’ in the first line of your email to help me make sure it gets my attention. It would also be helpful to have a link to your blog and a short description of it and your business model. I will keep these details private unless we mutually decide to do an interview.
I can’t guarantee to interview everyone who emails – but I hope to do as many as I can to highlight how blogs have become profitable in a variety of niches.