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Earning a Six Figure Income from Blogging?

Posted By Darren Rowse 25th of February 2005 Pro Blogging News 0 Comments

There has been quite a bit of flow on interest from the Interview that I did a few days back with Susannah Gardner. Interestingly, despite the fact that I wrote thousands of words of wisdom (I like to think so) it was a line buried way down at the bottom of the first part of the interview that seems to have gotten everyone talking and emailing me. In response to the question of ‘how much do you earn’ I wrote:

‘This is the big question, isn’t it? Some of the systems I use don’t allow disclosure of actual figures so I won’t break it down or give specifics. It is actually difficult to put a figure on it because each month is different and overall my earnings are still on the rise from month to month. However based on how things are currently going I expect that this year my blogging (across all blogs and income streams) will generate a six figure income ($US).

To be honest I grappled with whether to include that detail in this interview. As I’ve said here before, I was brought up not to discuss money and to do so to me feels a little awkward – but i did it for a couple of reasons:

1. It is the question i get asked more than any other question. People are fascinated with a blogger earning money from their blogging. I thought I’d answer it once and for all so we could get past it and start talking about more important things.

2. I partly did it because people constantly write off the idea of Pro Blogging to me.They see what I and a growing list of other Pro Bloggers as a hobby and write it off as just a stage we’re going through. I want to legitimate what we do and show it is a significant earner and something worth putting some serious time into. Pro Blogging is here to stay.

3. I wanted to encourage my fellow Professional Bloggers(and those aspiring to be them) with a figure that would give them a bit of hope. If I can earn that kind of money then I know others can (and already are). Yes I’m working very hard on this (and have done so for a couple of years) but I’m just an ordinary guy following some hunches and dreams.

A couple of people have told me I shouldn’t have revealed how much I earn because it breaks confidentiality clauses with the ad programs that I use. Thanks for your concern but please don’t worry. In saying I earn a six figure income (in excess of $100,000 $US) I have not said how much over and I have made it clear that the figure is calculated on a number of income sources including private advertising deals, affiliate programs, impression based ad programs, Adsense, BlogAds, text ads and blog consulting revenues etc.

Lastly I’ve had a number of people write to me in the last 24 hours via email and I’m quite amazed by the diversity of responses that I’ve had. They range from utter rage and anger that I earn money from blogging through to people asking for lessons and consulting.

To those that are angry – I am sorry that you are offended by me earning money from blogging. A guy has to support his family somehow and I figure it might as well be by helping people on the net by providing them with the information that they are searching for.

To those that want help to do what I do– sure thing – I’d love to help. I’d suggest the first port of call is to take a few hours to wander through the archives of this site. Virtually everything I’ve learnt is here for free. Yes I am open to doing some consulting work to help people but I’d recommend you start with the free stuff that I offer here on this blog. If after you’ve had a read you would still like to engage me for some coaching or consultation I’d be more than happy to do that. I do charge for this service.

update: Since writing this post I’ve had many requests for help from people wanting to know more about how to blog for money. The requests are so many that I’m unable to respond to all individually or to give everyone the attention that they want. As a result I suggest two things for those wanting to know how to make money blogging.

Firstly I encourage you to read the archives of this blog. Everything I know about blogging professionally is on this blog. There are thousands of posts on the topic and I encourage you to put some time aside one day to have a read.

Secondly if you don’t have the time or patience to wade through my archives (there are a lot) I’ve developed a course in conjunction with Andy Wibbels to introduce people to the ways to make money from blogging. The course was inspired by this post and is called Six Figure Blogging. The course is made up of six one hour recordings of Andy and myself looking at different aspects of making money from blogs and includes over 200 pages of transcripts from the recordings. The course is not free but we believe it contains information that has the potential to earn bloggers money from blogging through hard work, putting in time and following some of the ideas we include in the course.

I hope that between the course and my archives you find the information you’re looking for on making money from blogging.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • Tim

    Don’t feel guilty about blogging for profits. The people that complain to you probably complain about banner ads and ppc advertising etc. in general.

    Well done on your success.

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  • Anonymous

    You don’t need no steenkin’ permission to do what you do, and neither do you need to apologise for it.

  • Jerry Roberts

    Darren provides outstanding value in Pro Blogger, and I would guess he does that all across his repertoire of blogs. He’s a living testament that it CAN be profitable from the little guy’s perspective. One day Darren may not be a little guy any longer and instead be a bloggonaire, but he’ll be that with the knowledge that he has helped to create a lot of people who could make a good living while doing something they’re passionate about. Having a lot of money is wonderful, but helping others get further and do better is priceless. Good on you, Darren.

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  • We are just starting out, but we get inspired and keep going forward when we read about folks like you that can make a living doing what you like! Excellent!

  • Blog on… You are an inspiration.

  • Paul

    for the past to years I having been making 6figures from blogging

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  • Ken

    It amazes me how anyone can get angry over you earning a living over blogging? For petes sakes, we allow athletes and movie stars to make obscene amounts of money for practically doing nothing. I find bloggers to be infinitely more useful than some of these morons who make scads of money.

    At least what you do is INTERESTING and USEFUL.

    Thank you for this site. It’s given me some great ideas to pursue.

  • I am a newbie to blogging. I must say I do really like your style and the “opensource-ish” approach!
    Your money are well earned and people saying otherwise should probably focus on personal growth rather than making money.

    Fredrik

  • Great site. Hope I can absorb enough from here to start earning something from my efforts

  • Its great to hear that you are making such a good amount from blogging. its very encouraging to other bloggers and webmaster. Google has update their policies to now allow people to reveal their earning from the AdSense program. I have set up a website at http://www.admoolah.com to allow people to share and compare their earnings.

  • Wow! Well done man! It just goes to show anything is possible!
    Alvin Narsey

  • It is a great inspiration I must say :)

  • Darren, I am interested in starting a small business through blogging. Please keep me in mind as a group participant in reference to:

    “I am currently thinking through a way of teaching a small group of people what I know and helping them to start up entrepreneurial blogs. It will include some teaching, group learning, individual coaching and me promoting your work. If you’re interested shoot me an email and I’ll put you onto the list of those interested.”

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  • Doesn’t surprise me. We are getting there too! However, do not think that just anyone can do it. Like any other job that pays this much, you have to work for it.

  • I really wish I can make a portion of the revenue you get… But my site lack traffic… and lack enough good content…. >.

  • I once was very much anti pro-blogging, but as it slowly starts to consume more of my life, I’m starting to wonder why I shouldn’t make a few dollars from something I enjoy, even if it’s enough to cover even half my hosting costs it would be something.

    Six figures is a way off, but it’s something to aspire to!

  • question: – have you ever looked into the profitability of just having literally hundreds of pages with adsense on – each with a different static subject that never changes?

    reason i ask this is that i kjnow of someone who’s just started doing this – he’s started with 25 blogs using blogger.com and just replaces the template with a static page – it takes him less than 10 minutes to make a blog and he links them all together.

    each blog has niche content on it and the adsense does react well to the content.

    My question is this: in the aim of making the most money possible with the least possible work, would it be better just to spend a year creating say 2000 blogs all with static content and then just let the adsense take care of itsself, or is it actually more worthwhile just building up a handful of sites that have to be updated regularly?

  • sorry, i did try to post the above question in the q&a section but the input form doesnt work

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  • I wouldnt worry about the negative responses. I have been contributing freely to the web for many years in the dhtml, graphics, and javascript areas, which tends to cost a deal of money in terms of server costs and time outlayed. I dont see anything wrong at all from making money on a per click basis to cover costs,software and put some food on the table. After all its still the user choice to click through or not.

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  • There’s nothing wrong with being open about your income, but what would be perhaps more interesting and usefully illustrative would be a break-down of income according to different criteria, ie, contextual advertising, affiliate schemes, indirect consultation fees, etc.

    I fear too many people are looking for easy money and will expect blogs to be a substitute for hard work. If it were shown that the main income streams come not simply from maintaining a blog, but from maintaining an information-rich and authoritative blog, working on multiple income stream, then perhaps that would be helpfully educational?

    Simply 2c.

  • Wow, that’s really fantastic! Don’t worry about other people’s bitchin’ at you for bloggin. I love your blog. Have a great day!

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  • Thanks for sharing that information. You deserver to have a decent income from all of the hard work and time you put into your blogs and the service you do to the blogging community.

    Derrick

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  • Lawrence

    I think the question fascinates people because the idea of making a living off it (blogging) is one of great freedom. And if you’re making money off it, then there must be thousands of readers out there – so an odd sort of fame.

    But like most things, it’s no more accessible than any of the other ways of making money in a creative free-thinking job. If you happen to be good enough to have that many people reading your stuff, then you’ve got what it takes to write, so you could be a writer in another form anyway.

    What it does do is remove the prerequisites to publish. There’s no rules. You can just do it. Where-as if I wanted to start of a job as a journalist for a local paper I’d need a degree and they’d be an interview process.

    This anyone-can-do-it is good, but it doesn’t read, everyone can make money off it.

    In short the people who are successful are actually top writers, with maybe a little bit of their success owing to the blog form: in that, maybe if the blog phenomenon was not here, they wouldn’t have chosen, or found the way to, writiting.

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  • I just wanted to applaud you for what you have done/are doing. I think your site looks incredibly professional and very cool … making me real jealous as my (experimental) one is a total dog’s dinner. I live in hope!

    Keep up the great work.

  • You spoke of teaching a small group of people what I know and helping them to start up entrepreneurial blogs. Just wanted to let you know that I am interested.

  • Linda

    Hi,

    I don’t have a website right now…but i was reading you file, and i would like to know a litle more about you. I want to be a business owner as well, but i really don’t know how to start. Any help or tips…

  • I just wanted to say what a great site you have here. Very informational!
    Keep it up

  • You earn how much!? How dare you… That’s almost as much as I paid my plumber to unblock the toilet…

    *blink*

    Computer consultants, decent web designers, and others can easily earn thousand of dollars a day, most don’t, but some do. Personally I say good on you. I’ve wondered around serveral of your blogs recently as it’s all good solid content and information.

    No one is forcing people to click the banners etc Anyone taling offense are you earning a living this way should be ignored for the petty individuals there are. Sadly, there are always those who find it easier to destroy than make the effort to be creative.

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  • I’ve been blogging for fun since High School and I’m glad I found your site. I’ve always believed in blogging and I really think you can make a living off of it if you dedicate yourself to it. Thanks for the site!

  • Jenn

    Doing the math, that’s at least $5,000 per blog… per year. Not bad — like most jobs — if you’re really into it and not “just doing it for the money”. It’s time-consuming too, so if a person’s willing to use time to blog instead of doing the 40-hr-workweek thing, it’s still a risk. A risk you took.

    I commend you. You’re an inspiration to us all. :)

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  • Jen

    Thanks for being open about how the fact that it’s possible to make money with blogging. I’m already doing nicely with Google Adsense on some content sites, but am now considering developing my Blogs to include Adsense too. Think I’ll take a look at your course too – might as well learn from the business experts!

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  • Great thing fou you. I am not upset that you do make a 6 figure income from the blogs. I find many sites do not give enough information,and if you do sell there products, many testomonials are far fetch.
    We are new to marketing on the net and going into more of it. I have found that blogs give you more info, and you are able to say yes or no.
    Yes a person is able to make a living from blogging. It does take work and time. Took our blog down to do major up grades to it. Made some money, and misakes with it.
    Now some forums do not allow you to put affiliate links in your sig files, only your own site. We need to do things differently now.

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  • jof

    This is the post that inspired me to setup my blog. It’s great you so generously share your knowledge with others Darren.