Blogging is a term that became popular in the early 2000s. In 2006, according to technorati, there were around 50 million blogs online. Bloggers started to make great deal of money from blogging , and many of those bloggers became full time bloggers. I’ve been blogging for 9 years (started my first blog in 2006 which was a celebrity/movie blog) and I should say the whole journey has been incredible.  Read my detailed article about six best methods to make $5,000 a month from your blog.

The advantage of blogging is that once you have built an established blog, you can consider it as an asset/ recurring source of income. You have the flexibility to blog in your preferred time schedule. You can take long vacations, have a day job, invest in other business etc. Yes, blogging gives you the freedom to do the things you love.

As I said, lots of full time bloggers out there make money from their blogs,

but,

  • How much ?
  • Is that sufficient for you to quit your job ?
  • Can I rely on this income ?
  • What are their income sources ?

This post is not about the top money making blogs around the world. There are many super popular blogs whose income are not disclosed  anywhere. For example, HuffingtonPost is said to have an income of  $2,500,000 per month!! In this post, I am featuring the top 10 earning bloggers who publish their monthly income reports(detailing income sources). These figures are not just speculations, but based on real income reports which these bloggers publish regularly in their blogs.

Top 10 Money Making Bloggers(Based on Real Income Reports)

We’ve created this post based on income reports and other data published  by these bloggers. Only the major summary has been included in this, read below to know

  • How did they start blogging ?
  • How much do they earn?
  • What are their major revenue sources?

Feel free to share this with the world, let everyone know the potential of blogging and  about these kickass bloggers (Click to select all).

Lets have a detailed look at the data,

1: John Lee Dumas – $433,252

2: Patt Flynn – $153,397.47

3: Dale Patridge – $49,738.71

4: Jeff and Mandy Rose – $29,572

5: Lindsay Ostrom – $26,245.58

6: Michelle – $23,758

7: Matthew Woodward – $20,963

8: Deby Coles – $18,376.70

9: Regina Anaejionu – $16,000

10: Harsh Agrawal – $15,000

Conclusions (9 Lessons Learned from Income Reports of These 10 Bloggers)

Lesson 1 – Major share of the income comes from affiliates

Patt Flynn earned $75,750.00 from Bluehost affiliates(in march 2015) this constituted 50% of his overall revenue. Like wise for Jeff and Mandy, more than $15,000 came from affiliates, which also would be more than 50% of the total revenue.

Lesson 2 – Adsense’s share of the total revenue is less

Did you assume that adsense is the only monetization method possible for your blog? Did you think that other monetization methods apart from adsense wont work? I am asking this because I had similar thoughts when I started blogging in 2006. For Patt Flynn, of the total revenue earned in March (153,397.47), adsense’s share was just 3,300$ . Well, how much is that? JUST 2 PERCENT!! Let’s have a look at the ADSENSE’s SHARE of the total revenue(in percent) for some of these bloggers

Patt Flynn(SmartPassiveIncome) – 2%

Jeff and Mandy – 5%

Dale Patridge – 7.8%

Lindsay Ostrom(PinchOfYum) -4.5%

Michelle(MakingSenseOfCents)- 5-7%

Matthew Woodward- 0% Deby Coles(So-Sew-Easy) – 5.8%

Harsh Agrawal(ShoutMeLoud)- 3.8%

Lesson 3 – Blogging success takes time

Most of the bloggers listed here are being blogging at least for 3-4 years. Patt Flynn is being blogging for 8 years while Deby Coles started her blog on September 2012(3+years). Or in other words, all these bloggers have a minimum blogging experience of 3+ years. Yes, time is a big factor but it is also about implementing things properly.

Why time is a big factor?

  • You need to get backlinks – Getting natural backlinks takes time. It is an accumulation process. Assume that some person linked to you, all his readers will see your link and they might also link to you. The whole process takes time and like wine it get better with age.
  • You need to build your brand.
  • You need to prove the authority of your website – According to the latest studies, Google likes authority sites(sites that have standards and trust of users), and age is a factor through which Google determine authority

Lesson 4 – Building your brand

All these bloggers have built their brand . Adsense is the easiest method to monetize your website , you don’t need to worry much about the conversion rate and signups. You just need to place the ads properly and you’ll be rewarded with clicks and money. As per the Adsense earning data I showed you above, it is clear that you can’t touch this exciting figures depending on adsense alone(0-7%). You need to depend on affiliates and own products, and with out building your brand this wont work. Your users buy your e-book if they find you trusty and identify you as a brand. Right?

Lesson 5 –  7 out of these 10 people were not techies(or where working in other areas(not related to internet))

This is a motivating factor for non technical persons over here looking to earn money from internet. John Lee Dumas and Jeff Rose were Army men. Patt Flynn was an Architect. Lindsay was an elementary school teacher. In fact, starting a website/blog can’t be that hard or expensive as many people think.

All these bloggers started the right thing at the right time and approached their blogs professionally or in other words, they were the best in their niche. So, that’s how a newbie blogger can succeed. Pick the right niche that suits you (somewhere you have interest/passion and not much competition) and be the best in that niche.

Lesson 6 – All these bloggers had steady income growth 

In other words, their latest income report would(might) be their record high. Check out Patt Flynn’s earning summary since hes started blogging ,

  • October 2008 – $7,906.55
  • October 2009 – $8,661.78
  • October 2010 – $17,905.88
  • October 2011 – $38,612.90
  • October 2012 – $47,848.18
  • October 2013 – $53,774.47
  • October 2014 – $77,885.54
  • March 2015 – $152,397.47

Check out the earning graphs plotted for Patt Flynn and Lindsay(pinchofyum).

Patt Flynn(Smart Passive Income)

Lindsay Ostrom (Pinch Of Yum)

All these bloggers’s income graphs are very much similar to this . The monthly income improves steadily (mainly because of the time factor which we discussed above).

What can we summarize from these earning graphs?

Income from a blog is like wine which gets better with age.

You may have to struggle in the beginning , but ultimately if your content is worthy; you will be rewarded for it. Blogging is no gambling, you can trust this revenue .

Lesson 7 – Unleash your identity

During 2005 -2006 when I started blogging, there were lots of bloggers who used to keep a low profile about themselves in their blog. They didn’t use to write a detailed about page, put their photos, some bloggers didn’t even want to disclose their name! These bloggers were earning from their blog too. Keeping low profile didn’t matter much during that time, but it is not like that now. All these successful bloggers has clearly exposed their identities . There are many reasons,

  1. Google Authorship – Google started giving good rankings to blogs that used Google Authorship. Google Authorship is the method of linking your blog with your Google Plus Account.
  2.  Non adsense revenue sources – In 2005,6,7 , 70-90 percent of a bloggers income was from Google adsense alone. Many bloggers were not worried about selling digital products or using affiliates. Things changed drastically now, many bloggers are thinking about what product they can sell through their blog even before they start the blog!  Well, who will buy a book(e-book) if authors identity is not revealed.
  3.  Importance of building an email list – Email list of readers is really important in brand building and getting more direct traffic. People who are willing to give you their email must be users who found you worthy. According to data, bloggers who disclosed their identity got good sign ups to their email list.

All these factors prompted bloggers to write a detailed about us page and to get more personal with the readers.
Be transparent to your readers. Disclose your story, background, interests and experiences with your readers. This is really important in building the TRUST FACTOR in between your readers.

Lesson 8 – Build your email list

It is really important to build your email list, most of these bloggers use popups, sidebar widgets, banners, sliders, page takeovers etc to collect the emails of readers. Most of them gives a free e-book on signup and this motivates the reader to signup in the list. Once you launch your own product(ebook or whatever) , email marketing will be the most effective strategy. Collecting emails will also help you to get direct traffic to your blog.

Lesson 9 – Launch your own product

At some point, think about launching your own product(better if from the beginning). For instance, if you are a food blogger, write and sell an ebook about food.

If you are a tech/SEO blogger, launch some premium tech/SEO tools . That is how you can take your blog into another level and improve your earnings.

Hope you enjoyed the infographic, data about the top 10 money making bloggers and the 9 lessons which we need to follow from their income reports to be successful in blogging.

Did I miss something?

What do you think about these income figures?

How much do you earn from your blog?

Post your opinions as comments.

Written by 

Rahul Yadav is Digital Marketing consultant and Expert in Delhi, India. He provides SEO, Social Media Marketing & PPC Consulting Services worldwide. Follow Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin

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