TOP bloggers reveal how to make MONEY blogging: 21 Bloggers Income reports
So do you want to know where you should aim? Learn how TOP bloggers reveal how to make MONEY blogging.
Realistically only 1% make it to these hallowed grounds so don’t go thinking you might be next!
You can still make a comfortable living from blogging.
(If this post contains affiliate links please see our full disclosure policy although I have to say I tried really hard to make it interesting and even I struggled to write it so if you really must read it you can find it here)
Prepare to be inspired -you can achieve income levels to allow you to leave your job it just depends on what you want in terms of monthly income.
Some people would be happy with $1000 dollars per month others would prefer $3000 a month everyone is individual.
So of these income reports are old as the bloggers no longer publish their results so bear that in mind they could very well be surpassing this amount now! These are amounts for different times of the year so some blogs will increase some will decrease depending on the topics. Its a guide only!
Also, bear in mind that these numbers are excluding all expenses and taxes!
( These are my own opinions from my own blog reading apart from the answer to my all important question and if you have anyone else you want to include feel free to comment!)
I will not put exact figures on these income reports as I am not sure how relevant they really are I think its more relevant to talk about how these bloggers got here not how much they made.
Just remember your first dollar is the hardest to earn and I am still waiting for this 6 months in so you are not alone! And if you want to find out about bloggers starting out then check out this post
I asked each of these bloggers to answer this one question and was amazed and surprised at just how many of them found the time to reply to me and I want to say how thankful I am that they took the time out to do it and I hope that I have done them justice in this blog post!
TOP bloggers reveal how to make MONEY blogging-
Looking back knowing what you now know – what is the ONE thing you wished you had done differently to grow and monetize your blog?
PS Once I send them the link they may never contact me again! – hopefully, I am only joking!!!
Incomes over 100,000 per month – this is the Top Bloggers and they have been at this blogging thing for awhile.
Sarah’s income is little different to most bloggers
Since September 2017 she has managed to make more than $100,000 selling her own products through her own shopify store.
If you want to see her Income reports in detail month by month then check them out here
However, she does make money from her blog as well but that isn’t included in these reports
- Her latest report in April 2018 showed a dip in income due to focusing on producing smaller priced items to add to her store- top takeaway she is looking at the long game with her store what will produce substantial income in the long term, not short term goals so producing small priced products will increase her returns in the long-term
- Her traffic to her store was 17,074 so it’s very engaged traffic
- Every time she has a new binder of products she will let it go for free for a few weeks – this is great to get reviews up there for new products to help once you add the price to it caveat on this is that not everything gets released free – takeaway consider if there is something you can release free initially to get reviews or testimonials for the products
- Promotion includes – to her email list and via blog posts on her website
- She also upsells in each of her printables with related items for sale as well- don’t forget if you have a series to include this step
- Become an authority on a topic- Sarah is doing this through her Shopify 30 day series- she is the go-to for information on setting up and running a shopfiy store. If or is that when I decide to do this series of posts will be my go-to resource on how to do it! If you want to find out more then look HERE.
- Because of the popularity of her posts on shopify she plans to do more of the same- top takeaway have a look at your most popular blog posts and think about what you can add to them – more blog posts, opt-ins, courses, ebooks.
Ok the moment you have been waiting for I asked Sarah THE question and here is her response
“My answer will be very much the same as many other bloggers and that just goes to show that it’s so incredibly vital to growing your platform.
Build your email list. A thousand times. Build it. I just started building it last year and I’m sitting here at “only” 50,000 subscribers and looking around at others, 1-2 years ahead of me already at 100,000 and 300,000. I’ve been blogging 5 years now and if I would have started building my email list first thing and really took it as seriously as I should have, I would have a lot more success than I do now. I would have a lot more people to serve than I do now.
So, I am greatly kicking myself for not taking it seriously sooner. Don’t put it off. It may seem like you’re talking to nobody right now, but if you’re in blogging for the long haul, which you should be, your list is your most important asset, even more important than your blog itself!!! “
-So how many of you haven’t started your list then? I know I haven’t been as proactive as I should have been and I am currently creating more opt-ins – You need those email subscribers!
- Melyssa has income reports till the end of 2016 and there are no more that I can see after this and at this time she was making over $100,000 per month mostly from her own blogging courses
- Again the majority of her income was from her own product in December 2016 only a tiny bit was from affiliate sales – create your own product if you want to make decent money and don’t have to really on the ups and downs of affiliate income!
- Melyssa has some courses that she does not have on evergreen and only launches twice a year and this income report reflects her relaunch of one of her courses and changing to a tiered payment system- pros and cons of this approach are its time consuming to get the launch ready and answer time-sensitive questions add to the stress. Tiered payments rely on you chasing the money as well making sure people pay when they are supposed to.
- She even admits that she may not do tiers again as this gives people too many options to choose from and most of her sales were from the lower tier- top takeaway should you really have tiers on your products – people would naturally go for the lowest tier- I know I would.
- Make sure you have testimonials for people that have used your products – consider video ones!
- Also pick some students to interview as case studies show what can be achieved by using your product – this sounds like a great tip! You can use it a promotion on all types of areas for your products- social media, blog posts.
- She also mentioned that she has not go her affiliates promoting her course as much as she should- top tip if you have affiliates promoting any of your products make sure that they are out there promoting for you too.
- Income report from December 2017 over $100,000 per month Pat makes money mostly from his affiliate marketing and with his own products
- Make sure that you have more of your own products created to help with income and reduce your reliance on affiliate income
- Top tip from Pat is if there is a big launch of a product that you are an affiliate for and lots of different influencers are promoting the same thing in order to stand out add in a bonus to help people for instance set up a facebook group to help people for instance live streaming through the course with folks or not depending on how you feel about that but some kind of additional bonus that will help your customers. It gets you more signups plus you get a group of folks with the same goals to help out.
- Ok so if you go with the strategy above then you need to know the product inside out!
- Youtube – Pat has been doing more videos as part of his goals and one of the top tips he highlights is that search option in Youtube doesn’t account for most of the views its the video recommendations down the side and right enough when I look at Youtube that’s exactly what I do when I look for more content. Optimise your thumbnails as well! So people click on it.
- Each of his courses did not have funnels and Pat has decided that he will earn more money if he has open courses but has funnels set up for each of them to drive traffic toward so it is automated and not so time-consuming!
- Most recent reports were from May 2018 over $100,000 per month John Lee makes money via his podcasts and other products he interviews different entrepreneurs
- JLD has two physical products already and has a third one in the pipeline this is a departure from the norm of making digital products although he does have the journals available digitally
- They have also downshifted on their team from 6 to 5 as EOfire is now down to twice weekly as opposed to daily podcasts. – top tip reassess your business to make sure it’s working as a whole look at the big picture.
- Again unlike some other bloggers and podcasters, JLD has a community site for podcasters with a three-tier payment system to join if you want to learn more about podcasting this made up a large chunk of income for May
- Most of his other income comes from sponsorship for his podcast, affiliate income
- Top takeaway from his latest income report is to focus on one thing at a time.
- Michelle makes over $100,000 per month with her financial blog and making money via side hustles her most recent report is for May along with tips on how to deal with summer blogging slump this is with 400,000 page views for the month.
- Michelle is trying to implement a better work-life balance this is also important as in the beginning, you are working every spare second on your blog
- Each income report has a featured question and she has also slotted in a bit about her next project cleverly having a sign up box to be on the waiting list – top tip this is great if you want to find out if your proposed product would be worth investing time creating especially for newbie bloggers but clarifying that you are thinking of starting a product and not just a waiting list
- Again having your own course can be the bulk of your income as with Michelle her income is from her MAKINGSENSEOFAFFILIATEMARKETING course than her affiliate marketing.
- This report gives you an insight in how to deal with a blogging slump – ie. not as many readers as normal – Michelle advises that this is normal and to use the time constructively to finish projects you have been putting off! Again the top tip is to diversify diversify diversify your income! Create your own products to sell-side note in order to do this efficiently you need an email list if you haven’t started one yet I recommend MAILERLITE as they are easy to use and free up to 1000 subscribers yeh!
- Michelle has blogging goals and we all should my tend to be really short term – this is what I need to work on having bigger goals and getting stuff that’s going to affect my bottom line done – like having great opt-ins – look out for mine they are getting done as we speak! Get ahead with your content – I just can’t seem to do this! Increase in page views don’t we all want that one! And this next one increase the number of email subscribers!
Ok, Michelle very kindly replied with:
“The one thing I definitely would have done differently is that I would have been on WordPress from the very beginning. I started my blog entirely as a hobby, and due to that I didn’t look into or care about what platform I was on. So, I started on Blogger and didn’t even have no own domain. That was just so unprofessional, but looking back I had no idea what I was doing, haha!”
- I found Darren via Pat Flynn’s podcast and also now listen to his podcast
- I have added Darren into this tier as it was so difficult to get some accurate guide to his income and I reckon it must be in this range
- He uses affiliate programs to generate income as well as his own ebooks and courses
- He also has sponsorships and a jobs board on ProBlogger- which has been a passive income earner allowing people to place ads for jobs to do with blogging
- He also runs the Problogger event
- His income report is just that a report on how he makes his income so there weren’t any nuggets of info in them as such
One thing you can see is that he definitely has a diverse income stream!
Incomes over 10,000 per month
- Paul has an amazing revenue stream he runs multiple blogs to earn his keep and also has the DaretoConquer course not because I am biased or anything but it is fab it has everything you need to run your blog in one place there really is no reason to buy another course. This is the one if you are not sure what to spend your money on. Ok, I digressed!
- He runs so many blogs different topic blogs because he wants to prove to people there is a method to the madness that as long as you pick the right topic you can make money!
- So he tests out different niches!
- What I like about his income report is the reality of it – how each monthly revenue number at the end of the day will be different for each blogger and what might be a life-changing amount for one blogger may not be for another
- The great thing about this report is you can see how much you can make for each different website – what the potential is especially as he puts the date of when he established the blog on there too
- So his blog Thrivestrive.co – health and diet blog raked in around the $3,700 per month number with only ads and affiliates making this income level
- My personal favourite is Bogoten established in 2017 with nearly 8000 page views without touching the blog this is amazing.
- His top revenue earner was his Billionaireblogclub – of which I am a member and have been since February 2018 – he made a huge jump in profit solely through members chatting to non-members in facebook groups and talking about the course.
- A top takeaway from this income report is that you are never done with your course you can always make it better so from version 1 the sky is the limit!
- Income report for January 2017 Rosemary puts her in this bracket but I am sure that by now she is the bracket above.
- So interestingly Rosemary focuses not on page views but income!- but she does list her pageviews for this month at 500,000.
- And again we have a winner – her own products are the bulk of her earns IF YOU DON’T TAKE ANYTHING AWAY FROM THIS POST TAKE THIS CREATE YOUR OWN PRODUCTS!
- Rosemary focuses on Facebook ads to make them profitable and scalable
- Sponsored posts were also one other income stream that Rosemary used then but have stopped doing these but she does recommend reaching out to brands you use and a lower rate than the standard to write posts and guarantee income.
- She also uses Adthrive as an income but you need pageviews of more than 100,000
- Rosemary has used Board booster for her Pinterest marketing strategy so I am not sure what she will be doing now if you want to find out about how other bloggers use Tailwindapp then be sure to check my new post
- Abby hasn’t published income reports since December 2016
- From her December report, she has helpfully some takeaways – and she kind of answered my question almost in this report
“If you had to go back and start your blog all over again, what would you do differently?”
Although my question is includes grow and monetize
- Back to her report ok what would she have done – this is an oldy but goody START your email list sooner! Like now folks! So guys focus on creating your opt-ins now and add them to your site it’s THAT important
- Overcome your FEARS and just do it – create products, reach out to influencers – you only have to look at how many wonderful people replied to my email to see that it is possible!
- Chosen a different blog name- ok so this is new- make sure your name is easy to spell and relates to what you want to write about
- Take time to find your niche – write about a few different topics see what you enjoy before deciding on a narrower focus
- So Abby’s last report shows that she made money with her own products and also affiliates which were double her own products.
- She topped nearly 90,000 subscribers as well which is one metric you want to look at
- Allan ( aka Lan) has combined his latest income reports for February and January for his personal finance niche blog
- What does he wish he had done differently in this income report?- STARTED blogging earlier
- Allan has income from affiliates and his own products
- One thing he has done is hire on experts to help with tasks to help him save time
- One of the big ones he has looked at is his SEO and starting implementing good SEO has resulted in a jump in traffic for him- top takeaway invest in SEO either DIY or hire at the end of the day if your site has good SEO and you get steady traffic from Google who needs social media especially at the moment with all the Pinterest Broohaa!
- One of the wonderful things about Allan is that he will help you for FREE if you are struggling – I have to say he replied to my question super quick like in 3 minutes!
Ok, start that blog NOW no procrastinating!
If you are struggling to decide on a host and wanting to know what to do before you even buy hosting check out my super cool post
Looking back knowing what you now know – what is the ONE thing you wished you had done differently to grow and monetize your blog?
“If there’s one thing I wish I had done differently it is that I wish I was more open minded with the topics of my posts. If you go back to my earlier posts, most of them were focused on debts (i.e., paying debts and getting out of debts) even though my niche is personal finance.
How I wish I listened to a couple of bloggers who told me that I should branch out my ideas or topics early on. Because I was a little bit hard-headed :-), I decided to stick to what I was comfortable of and just focused on debt-related topics.
I was able to make to make a few hundred dollars in the few first few months, but it was during the time when I opened my blog to more that just debt-related topics that my site and my revenue started to rocket.
After that, my blog and revenue never looked back. Things just got better and better. Even now when I’m only putting 5 hours per months (due to daddy duties, work, and other family responsibilities), I am still making way more than when I started.”
- Jeff and Ben together run two blogs – Dollarsprout.com and breakingthetenpercent.com and it took them a good 18 months before they started making money!- top takeaway its not instant success guys it takes time and determination.
- I love that they don’t copy and paste their income reports and go into providing value for their readers – with a Q&A
- So not to put a downer on things but Jeff feels like Pinterest is getting harder and harder to drive traffic to your website and these guy’s know Pinterest they have a great post on using Tailwindapp.
If you want to watch and read the full shebang then here is the link otherwise I have a new post which summaries their strategies along with other bloggers
- Again these guys are focusing on free traffic via their SEO efforts – yep its SEO again folks you just have to do it!
- Ben and Jeff wanted to increase their email list and one of the ways they have done this is via weekly giveaways for courses and ebooks
- They have also been focusing on Facebook Ads -now I know nothing about this so using the ads they have had super focused sign-ups for their facebook page resulting in lots of engagement- his Q&A helps you understand the purpose of Ads a bit better because they are managing to recoup some of their costs via sign-ups it means their Facebook ads aren’t too expensive to check it out on their page if want more info
- Top takeaway from this quote from the income report directly “to understand your average revenue per page view on a specific article”
- One good thing they pointed out as well as ‘ buyer intent’ if people are coming via google it usually means that they are intentionally looking for the information you have provided in your post – and with affiliate links too.
- At the moment the majority of their income has been through affiliate sales
- Moment of truth top takeaways – try small ticket affiliate items first and have your own products for sale
- Here is another top tip – blog post around a topic with different affiliates in their experience do better as people can shop around a bit more
- Changing topic they also get hefty traffic from Pinterest but the direct and organic search is a close second
“If I were to start completely over, I would put a lot more focus on finding out what is working for the leaders in my niche… and then seeing how I can apply that to my own blogs. I think that, too often, new bloggers try to reinvent the wheel. Instead, study the best wheels on the market and see how you can make something even better J”
- Sharon from Digitalnomadwannabe is an Ozzy blogger running a travel site and her last income report from the end of 2016 she has published reports
- Her report focuses on her travel blog wheressharon.com rather than digitalnomadwannabe site but is published on this site
- It’s great to see a different niche blogger and how they earn money, rather than blogging about blogging
- Ok Sharon’s message is that you don’t need to be super popular blogging superstar know all over the blogging world to make decent cash
- A lot of travel bloggers will take up the sponsored trips but Sharon feels that it takes away from the experience and is not a good return for her time
- All her money for her travel blog is centered around affiliate income- with a small portion on advertising and freelance work
TOP tips include making solid goals for your blog – for each goal write out tasks you would need to achieve them and if you aren’t doing these tasks stop what you are doing and do them instead – its like thebusybudgeter.com advise ( don’t’ think it was in her income report) but she focuses on her ROI ie return on investment specifically her time.
“The ONE thing I wish I had done differently was to not chase traffic. When I first decided to grow an online business via my travel blog, I got caught in the trap of thinking it was all about page views. Like they would magically bring me money at some point. This lead to a lot of wasted effort and a lot of frustration. If your goal is to have a financially successful blog then make sure the strategies you are working on lead to this. Otherwise, they are the wrong strategies. There is no magician out there turning page views into income.”
- Kirstin’s income report from March also includes January and February round up too
- Most of Kirstin’s income now comes from affiliates and her own courses rather than VA work or Pinterest management
- She gradually updated her affiliates and recommended more items she had tried to her readers gradually especially big-ticket items
- Have goals outside your blog for your income like what you would do with the extra income you have earned as a reward for all your hard work
- Suzi explains why she features her income reports to inspire and help bloggers when they are just beginning especially when you are working all the time on the blogging thing with nothing to show for it
- Consistency is the key to this blogging thing and I heartily agree with Suzi if you work it in a part of your life it’s just something you do like exercise- well better fun that exercise
- Guest blogging can help if you need the time out from your blog and have some guest post lined up can really help with that
- Schedule your email list emails as well for a period of time so that you also don’t have to worry about that either
- Create an archive of old posts that answer specific questions in an organized manner so people can find them easily and don’t need to email for answers if you need the timeout
- Make sure you know your affiliate product inside out and are genuinely interested in the good and bad also make sure you check any tutorials out for the products you use and promote as well!
- Suzi’s income is mostly her own courses and books more than half and the rest is affiliate income
- As she says blogging gives you a Residual income if you have to stop it still gives you an income
Suzi fab replied to the question
“I wish I understood funnels better in the beginning. Now that I have a few products, traffic and trust – my funnels work well. But when I just started blogging, I fumbled around aimlessly and worked on tasks that had no ROI. It was only due to putting in the time and understanding my audience, that allowed me to grow.”
- Carly only lists her income reports via her emails now if you subscribe to her list and she is only including her mommy blog income, not her income from blogging her latest one from May 2018
- Her pageviews are around 260,000 and this is with her not doing very much with her blog as she is on maternity leave
- She does get income from Ads on her website -getting $14 dollars per 1000 pageviews which is a good month
- One of her old posts had a surge in traffic and she had not updated it so lots revenue from it – a top tip from Carly is don’t discount your old posts they can still have earning potential
- Her Amazon income increased especially with her Amazon heavy posts – she recommends if you have posts that drive great traffic to Amazon affiliates then you should write more posts of the same topics
- If you have affiliate links that do well include them in other posts if possible
- Top tip- Pinterest Pinners tend to want actionable advice
- Adding fresh content will help with traffic to your blog
- Content that you add should be good quality not just to have a post
- Optimise your blog posts for SEO and also make your pins SEO friendly too using keywords
- Guest post and see if you can get on podcasts too this will help to gain traffic too
- Add posts with reviews for your affiliates and make sure they have great pin worth pins
- Add content upgrades to your great traffic posts
- Ensure you collect email subscribers
- Lena last published her incomes in April 2016
- Her income comes from sponsored posts, ad income, and affiliate sales
- Make sure you focus on your affiliate posts to increase your income when your pageviews go up- but make sure you have a plan
- Consider creating landing pages for similar topics
- Chart your income during the month to chart your progress and brainstorm possible ways to increase your income
Incomes under 10,000 per month
- Francesca published her first income report six months into her blogging journey
- She talks about how other bloggers reports have inspired her to start her blog
- Learning is a continual journey so don’t get hung up on it
- She has income from Affiliates, Ads and income from a lodger and dog boarding and other side hustles
Francesca response was( also my middle name! we had a bit of chit chat around that one on the emails)
“Make sure there are affiliate links throughout each blog post. When I was writing a blog post that wasn’t centered around an affiliate, I would just leave it as it was. I think our assumption as bloggers (although I may be speaking for myself here) is that the person reading the page will click through onto other pages, but chances are they might not – you can, of course, find this out from your google analytics and bounce rate.
Using affiliate links throughout the post increases your chances of the person clicking through and purchasing what you recommend. Even if you are not mentioning anything that you can link to in your post, you can do a little roundup at the bottom of affiliate heavy posts/ones that you want to point them towards, as well as within your post too.”
- Latasha has been blogging for a year and this is her first income report
- She has made an income and doubled her pageviews
- She has been writing her social media Ecourse and has implemented her strategies to test her results and this is what doubled her traffic
- She focused on three areas- longer posts with tonnes of value this resulted in them being more shareable include lots of DETAILS like charts and numbers – note to self-update some old posts, SEO again, she also participated in facebook promo threads
- She has also been increasing her Twitter and Instagram followers- out of interest I have an Instagram account and have not posted anything click on the Instagram link and see yet I have 40 followers!
- And of course, she is creating her first course
- She also has her own facebook group
- My top tip – test different strategies see what works for you as everyone is different – certainly for me since I started using TAILWINDI have gained more than 50,000 Pinterest views in less than two weeks coincidence still not sure yet- that will be my next post!
Latasha very kindly responded to my question:
Looking back knowing what you now know – what is the ONE thing you wished you had done differently to grow and monetize your blog?
One thing I wished I would have done differently, in the beginning, was to identify my audience and get an understanding of their needs first.
Identifying your audience, in the beginning, is super important for your blog + biz. Before you think about monetizing your blog, make sure that you know who your target audience is because it will make it easier to create products for them.
If you aren’t sure who your audience is, think about the type of people you want to attract to your blog. Are you a mom blogger and want to attract moms that are looking to make extra money? Are you a personal finance blogger and want to connect with others that want to learn how to save money and get out of debt?
After you identify your target audience create products such as Ebooks and Ecourses geared towards helping them find solutions to their problems.
I recently saw a post from Nicole Walter that said,
” If you get 1,000 people to spend $100 a YEAR in your business- that’s $100,000. Not chump change.
You don’t need everyone. Serve the heck out of the people that show up, and be authentic to who you are.”
- Clare makes money via sponsored posts, affiliates and ads
- Have a plan for your blog!- her income report features what she puts in her plan if you are stuck
- If you want a top tip for Instagram she suggests using have2haveit
- Again write great helpful shareable content
- Continue blogging education
- Emma’s last income report is from the end of 2016
- Her plan is to increase her affiliate income as this is a major chunk of how she earns in this income report also included are sponsored posts and ad revenue she attributes her increase in earns to her purchase of courses and increasing her passive income from her book sales and affiliate marketing
and last but not least Emma’s response
“I wish I had started my mailing list from day one. I only started about 3 years ago, which was 5 years into my blogging journey. If I had started it from day one then my mailing list would be so much bigger, and I believe that I would have supercharged my blogging income much earlier on.”
- J, as she likes to be called, has managed to massive amounts of debts via her online business – she has a podcast and blog and Etsy shop- selling digital downloads
- Printables are great to sell as once you have created them that’s it!
- J feels like for Etsy drop shipping is the way to go so if you are thinking of a physical product this might be worth looking into
- Interesting she doesn’t blog very often but finds that her income is consistent from this side of things- affiliate sales
Just a quick note – It was just by chance that the UK bloggers feature in incomes under 10,000 if you want to be added for future updates and your income is above that let me know!
So what have we all learned from -TOP bloggers reveal how to make MONEY blogging -this is in no particular order by the way!
- Make your own products -Consider printables if you are creative sell these on places like Etsy or Shopify
- Write an ebook or design a course and know that you will never be done improving it!
- Get an EMAIL list going
- Continually test different strategies on your blog for all sorts of things email opt-ins, social media
- Long value-packed posts can increase your traffic
- SEO! Blog posts and Pinterest
- You never stop learning
- Focus on long-term plans for your blog and monetization strategy and try to focus
- Master your chosen niche- be THE authority
- Follow what the big guys are doing don’t try to reinvent the wheel
- Chart your progress understand how and where you are making money
- Make sure you start as a business, not a hobby and start with your own domain
- Have a diverse income stream
- Don’t be too narrow with your niche when you first start out and make sure you write about a few different things to see what works for you
- Don’t chase vanity metrics make sure your goals focus on making money with your blog – email list and your own products IF that’s your goal of course
- Understanding your audience and what they need help with will help you grown
- Continue to recreate what is doing well on your blog
- Link to your best posts and ones with affiliate links