So you wanna start a blog? Welcome to the club.
It seems like every week, someone emails or asks me about launching a blog, since that’s how I began my writing career.
Blogging is fun, but it’s certainly not an easy way to make money — that’s why I focus on freelance writing instead.
There are bloggers who make tons of money — usually after a long time and a lot of work.
Many of the most successful bloggers earn the majority of their incomes teaching others to do what they do (which is a bizarre and cyclical system to me — kind of like life coaches coaching other people into becoming life coaches — but that’s beside the point).
To show you the wide range of incomes you can earn with blogging, I decided to pull income reports from bloggers in different niches. Before reading it, be sure you understand the basics of affiliate marketing.
Here are 12 blogger income reports — from negative all the way to very, very positive.
1. The Extra Income Project: $-115.21
This fairly new blog chronicles Lloyd Phillips’ journey out of debt.
He earned a decent amount of money through affiliate links and ads, but actually posted a net loss in July 2016, because he invested in a business course and subscription to a website management tool.
Though blog overhead costs can be very low, it often takes money to make money — and it looks like that’s the track Phillips is on.
2. Gluten Free With L.B.: $80.43
However, her costs meant she only netted around $80. It’s important to note Brazil has been blogging for two years. As I said before, blogging isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme!
3. Keep it Simple, DIY: $211.39
I’m impressed with how much money Kari Jonard earns with her blog Keep it Simple, DIY.
She only received around 1,000 unique visitors in July 2016, yet still managed to earn more than $200. She doesn’t reveal a lot about her income strategy, noting only the majority of it came from ads.
5. Freelance Doodle: $997.29
6. This Fairy Tale Life: $1,079.73
Who knew you could earn money blogging about Disney and weddings?
Mindy’s managed to do it; in her June 2016 income report, she details her first four-digit month ever. She earned the majority through ad networks and Etsy affiliate links.
7. Travel Blog Breakthrough: $1,874.59
As a former travel blogger, let me tell you: It’s a HARD way to make money.
So I’m impressed Will Tang earned more than $1,800 from writing and ads in June 2016. What might contribute to his success is the fact he has two separate blogs: one focused on his travels, and the other on the business of travel blogging.
8. Single Moms Income: $7,783.75
One thing I don’t like? In her income report, Mason didn’t outline her expenses, so we don’t know how much of her earnings was actual profit.
9. Just a Girl and Her Blog: $24,861
Wow! I’ve never heard of this girl (Abby Lawson) and her blog, but she’s apparently crushing it while writing about organization, decor and, well, blogging.
She works on the site with her husband, and they earned a whole lot of money in June 2016 — mostly through the sale of an ebook (about monetizing your blog) and affiliate links for her web host.
10. Pinch of Yum: $32,971.75
Pinch of Yum’s income report was one of the first I ever started following. I found the behind-the-scenes look at this popular food blog fascinating — and I couldn’t believe how much Lindsay Ostrom was making.
11. Smart Passive Income: $93,359.90
I’m pretty sure Pat Flynn was the first blogger to start doing income reports. And even if he wasn’t, he’s definitely the most famous.
12. Making Sense of Cents: $107,985
I was absolutely shocked to see Michelle Schroeder’s blog beat Smart Passive Income in July 2016. Go, girl!
She earned an absolutely ludicrous $112,594 — which, after expenses, came to nearly $108,000. In a single month.
She did it mostly through affiliate sales, and income from her affiliate marketing course, where she teaches others her tricks.
Your Turn: Did you have any idea you could earn so much money blogging?
Susan Shain, senior writer for The Penny Hoarder, is always seeking adventure on a budget. Visit her blog at susanshain.com, or say hi on Twitter @susan_shain.