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10 Reasons Why Many Blogs Don’t Make Much Money

Chris Garrett writes a good post on Can Anyone Make Money From Blogging? and says that the answer to the question is ‘yes’ – but then qualifies his answer with a number of factors.

My own answer to the question would be very similar.

I would also say that it is possible for anyone to make money from a blog (I’ve seen people from many countries, of most ages – from children to elderly people – male and female, able bodied to people with a variety of physical hardships and people of different education and social levels make a go of blogging for an income). It is possible but the reality is that most who try don’t make a lot of money.

The reasons for this include the list that Chris comes up with and more. The reasons why many who try don’t make much money blogging are many but here’s 10 reasons that come to mind:

  1. Not enough time – as Chris writes, it is hard work and takes time on an ongoing (daily ideally) basis
  2. Giving Up too quickly – most successful blogs don’t hit their strides til they are at least 12 months old
  3. Non commercial Topic – some topics are easier than others to find significant income streams for
  4. Lack of writing skills - like it or not, blogging is a written form and unless you are able to write you’ll almost always struggle
  5. Breaking the Rules - some bloggers get greedy and break the rules, either of the ad programs they use or the unwritten rules of blogging
  6. Distractions for the core functions of a blog – many get caught up in one of the many distractions that challenge bloggers and forget to concentrate on their actual writing of quality content
  7. Unluckiness – sometimes a blog’s success hinges on a lucky moment – miss it or fail to take the opportunities that come and you might miss significant rewards
  8. Taking Readers for Granted – I’ve seen a couple of blogs over the last year or so that fell over because the blogger became so self important that they forgot that a blog rises and falls upon whether it’s readers find the blog useful to them.
  9. Spreading self too thinly – many bloggers have the gift of being visionaries (a good thing) but fail to have the gift of realism. The result is that many start things that they have no way of seeing through or spread themselves across too many projects too quickly (to the detriment of all of them).
  10. Lack of Focus – hyperactive bloggers who flit from one unfinished project or idea to another without seeing anything through tend to fail to build sustainable blogs

Even as I wrote this list I realized that some of the above factors (and others that continue to come to mind even now) are within the blogger’s grasp and some are not. Like any business there are both internal and external threats and risks – blogging for money is no different.

Chris sums it up well with the last paragraph in his post:

“Anyone could make money from blogging but only a percentage of people actually go all the way and succeed. Critical to success is having staying power, not being defeated by minor setbacks, being willing to put yourself out there and put in the hard work. If you stick to it and can do all those things then yes, I am sure anyone can do it.”

I hope you found the list helpful – it might be worth bookmarking it an coming back to periodically to run through as a bit of a filter for one’s blogging efforts.

How to Sell Information Products

Wouldn’t you love to have your very own product to sell?

More and more bloggers are looking to diversify their income streams, rather than having all their eggs in the AdSense basket. Others are just now discovering blogging, and they recognize right away that it is an ideal platform for information sales business models.

For my very first guest article here at Problogger, I’d like to share a few tips about utilizing a blog to both create and sell information products. While it’s possible to sell information products created by others through affiliate programs, I’d like to encourage you to consider creating something yourself, as it puts you in the absolute best position in the online sales world.

The good news is, if you already have a blog, but no product, you’re on the right track. And if you have neither a blog nor an information product in development yet, you will definitely want to consider starting to blog first. I’ll explain why below.

So, without further ado, here are 7 tips for creating and selling information products with blogs:
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How Much Money Can a Blog Earn?

“If my blog has ((insert daily number of impressions or page views of your blog here)) how much should it be earning?”

This is one of the more common questions I get asked by bloggers just starting out with making money from their blogs.

On one level it’s a valid question to ask – after all if you’re going to put time and energy into building something it’d be great to know up front what rewards might be awaiting you.

On another level – it’s an almost impossible question to answer because there are so many factors to take into consideration.

As I look across the blogs that I am involved with (around 100 in number if you count b5media’s 80+ blogs) there is a massive variation in the earnings that blogs are pulling in. It is very difficult to make sense of it as it not just a matter of traffic levels.

For example – As I write this I’m looking at the earnings for January of three blogs that I have some involvement with (I don’t get into what specific blogs earn so don’t ask) and here’s what I see:

Blog A: For the month this blog had a total of around 20,000 page views from about half that number of visitors (ie they viewed 2 pages each. The Total earnings of this blog (all from contextual advertising) was $790.91 (USD).

Blog B: This blog had just over 40,000 page views over the month, this time from about 13,000 visitors. It’s total earnings from contextual advertising (same amount of ad units per pages as the other) was $99.08 (USD). it also earned around $35 from an affiliate program.

Blog C: Our last example is a blog that had around 160,000 page views over the month from around 80,000 visitors. It earned $515.12 from contextual ads and somewhere in the vicinity of $2,500 from affiliate programs.

Factors to Contribute to a Blog’s Earnings…

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Blog Auction In Progress – Unmatched Style

Another blog is up for auction at SitePoint Forums – this time the blog is Unmatched Style and the bids are at $12,500 so far. It’s a blog with $500 – $900 monthly revenue and 850,000 monthly page views.

I’ll be interested to see how high the bidding goes.

found via Blog Herald

Making Money Because of Your Blog – Indirect Methods


We now turn our attention to ways of making money from blogging that are more more ‘indirect’ in nature – or how to earn money because of your blog rather than from it.

Many of the following methods are the result of the profile and perceived expertise of the blogger themselves (whereas many of the direct methods mentioned previously are less reliant upon this).

Building a profile as a blogger doesn’t happen quickly and starting a blog with some of these hopes should be seen as a long term thing. My own experience in this area is that now after 18 months of blogging here at ProBlogger that it’s only been in the last few months that I’ve had opportunities open in most of these areas.

  • Consulting – when you are perceived as an expert on a topic you will find that people naturally come to you for advice – some of them willing to pay for it. Some niches are probably better positioned than others for their bloggers to get into paid consultancy work of course. I spoke with one blogger recently (blogging in a business/technology field) who was able to charge himself out at $600 per hour to give advice to a large company. Interestingly I’ve heard of a number of companies in the last 6 months who are developing VOIP services that bloggers will be able to add to their sidebars to enable them to be called by readers for consulting. The systems would have per minute rate on them to automate this consulting process.

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How to Make Money From Your Blog – Direct Methods


Having thought through whether you should blog for money it is now worth taking a look at some of the different models for doing so.

I tend to break the different models that bloggers are using to make money from blogging into two areas – Direct and Indirect methods.

Direct Income Earning Methods - these methods are where a blogger earns an income directly FROM their blog.

Indirect Income Earning Methods – these methods are where a blogger earns an income BECAUSE of their blog.

Most blogs tend to fall into one or the other of these methods – although there is nothing to stop bloggers experimenting with elements of both ( I’ve seen a few bloggers get into trouble with this (example: Scenario 1 in the previous post).

In this post I’ll look at 8 direct income earning methods and in the next post of this series I’ll explore indirect methods. Please note that on occasion in the following post there will be few affiliate links to services that I use and have had some success with. These will be marked with (aff) after them.

Direct Income Earning Methods for Bloggers

1. Advertising

There are many ways of selling advertising space on a blog (this could almost be a series of it’s own) but some of the different advertising options that I see bloggers experimenting with include:

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Should I Blog for Money?


I speak with bloggers every day who have heard the stories of blogs that make big dollars and who want to try to make an income from blogging also. One of the pieces of advice that I attempt to convey (and I’m afraid it doesn’t always get through) is that it’s worth pausing, before running out to slap ads on your blog, to ask yourself whether making money from your blog is right for you.

While this might seem to be a silly question to some (what’s wrong with earning money?) I think it’s worth at least asking the question.

Not every blog is suited to blogging for money.

Does it Fit with Your Blog’s Goals and Objectives – For me a lot of the advice that I’ve given in this series of blogging for beginners comes down to working out some goals, strategy and vision for your blog (I’ve written extensively on strategic blogging here so won’t unpack this now). There are many reasons why people blog and the motivation of money is just one of them. Here’s some of the responses I had when I asked why people blog:

  • ‘I blog for recreational purposes – to help me relax’
  • ‘I blog as part of my plan for world domination’
  • ‘I blog to help me promote my book/business’
  • ‘I blog to keep a record of the life and times of me’
  • ‘I blog because I want to help others’
  • ‘I blog to because I’m lonely and want to connect with others’
  • ‘I blog to pick up cute girls/guys’
  • ‘I blog because it’s fun’
  • ‘I blog because I want to build profile – I want to be known’
  • ‘I blog to make a living’

Now there is nothing wrong with blogging for more than one reason – but bloggers considering adding income streams to their blogs need to consider the possibility that there are implications of going in that direction that MIGHT impact their other goals.

Let me share some scenarios of real cases that I’ve come across (no names given) where putting ads on a blog wasn’t a good idea. If I were a betting man I’d say that they represent the story of many bloggers and that others could add more scenarios:

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Introduction to Making Money from Blogs


Blogging has undergone something of a revolution in the last 2 years on many fronts. The number of people blogging has exploded, the number of tools and services available for bloggers has risen (and their quality has been raised incredibly) and the profile of blogging in wider culture has increased also (I find I only have to explain what a blog is to 50% of people these days).

Along with these developments has been an increase in focus upon making money from blogging. This is a trend that is happening across all levels of blogging, from very prominent blogs (I found that 100% of the top 30 blogs had some sort of income stream from their blogging) right through to many hundreds of thousands (millions?) of smaller blogs.

I’m now going to turn the attention of this series onto making an income from blogging. The following posts will begin to introduce bloggers to making money from blogging and will examine the following questions:

  • Should I Blog for Money?
  • What Income Streams are available to be used by Bloggers?
  • How Much Can I Make?
  • How can I maximize the success of these income streams?

I’ll tackle each of these questions in turn over the coming days. In continuing the ‘beginner’ focus of the series these posts will be very introductory. For more extended learning on making money from blogs I’d recommend digging into this blog’s archives and/or checking out a Six Figure Blogging, a six session course on the topic.

It should be stressed at the beginning of this mini-series of posts that bloggers need to enter into an examination of this topic with realistic expectations. While millions of bloggers are experimenting with advertising and affiliate programs on their blogs, the vast majority of them are only supplementing their income by doing so. While some bloggers make a full time living from blogging – most are not and are at a level of paying for a daily (or a weekly for some) coffee or are using the income as a way to offset some of their Internet access costs. For more on getting a balanced view of blogging for money head over to my Public Service Announcement post which attempts to give some perspective.

PR Blogger Builds Profile and Lands Job

Popular PR Blogger, Steve Rubel, has just announced that he’s moving from CooperKatz to new employer at Edelman. While I’m sure there’s more to it than just his blog (a lot more), it’s been fascinating to see how Steve has used Micro Persuasion over the last 20 months since it’s beginnings to raise the profile not only of his company but also himself. In doing so he’s marketed himself as an expert in his field brilliantly and it’s no wonder that he’s in demand. Yet another way of making a living from blogging (more indirectly than running ads – but still well worth exploring). Congratulations Steve.