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How Bloggers Make Money Online without Blogging [POLL RESULTS]

Last month I ran a poll here at ProBlogger which asked readers if they make money online from sources other than blogging.

The result was almost completely split with 1022 of the 2053 people who responded saying Yes and 1031 saying no.


Some of the comments on the launch post of this poll revealed some of the ways people are making money online from sources other than blogging. They include:

  • Website Design
  • Flipping (selling) Websites
  • Selling ebooks
  • Youtube Partnership program
  • Freelance writing, graphic design
  • Teaching and Consulting
  • Owning other types of websites (directories, forums etc)
  • Business Documentation site
  • Developing web applications
  • Online Surveys
  • Paid to Click Sites
  • Selling Products and Merchandise
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Writing on User Generated Content (Revenue Sharing) Sites
  • Make Online Games
  • Online Store – Selling Products
  • eBay
  • Selling Art
  • Business Referrals
  • Market Research
  • Software Development
  • Working as a Transcriptionist
  • Membership Sites
  • Generating Sales for Off-line Business from Websites

Lots of good ideas there and a nice reminder that there’s plenty to explore outside of blogging.

My own list of online money making sources that are not directly blogging include running a forum (advertising revenue), newsletter lists (affiliate marketing and some advertising), consulting (limited), selling a course, job boards, working at b5media (very part time)… and that’s about all I can think of.

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 and LinkedIn.
  1. Nice poll Darren, it’s very interesting to see this!

    Of the 50% who use a non-blogging resource for generating an income, I’d love to see a percentage breakdown of all of those methods.

    Next poll maybe?


  2. I have a couple of things on that list, and more on my ‘ToDo’ list, though I suspect I’ll probably add a few more to it now. Thanks for getting this list together.

  3. Wow! It’s amazing how many aren’t using blogs to make money online.

    Way to go everyone who is successfully realizing and achieving your dreams though the internet.

  4. Haha! I love the simple 2 toned pie-chart graphic – nice and simple, yes or no.

    I think many of your readers (such as myself) don’t see ourselves as “probloggers” in the sense of making our primary income through the actual blog

    I see my blog as a reflection of myself, and my reputation. The indirect benefits I’ve seen from it area increased visibility, possibility of partnership on other projects, and even a couple offers for jobs/interviews in software development. People read my blog, notice that it is intelligently written, and they are intrigued and click over to my LinkedIn.

    It’s not all about making money online with it – it’s more like what garyvee and Chris Brogan (and to some degree, ChrisG) discuss – personal branding, and authority.

  5. how about that, interesting numbers… Does more involvement translate into more money? Not necessarily my friends. Forums are significant because people just seem to gather, interact and just stick around. :)

  6. This is a great list. It’s always nice to see how other folks are making money. I have to get on my horse and try a few of those.

  7. I guess selling art covers selling stock photography, but stock photography is such a large industry I am surprised it is not on it’s own.

  8. You know, if you consider the many different ways to make money online, according to this, blogging accounts for near 50%. That is pretty powerful numbers. Or, am I misreading this?

  9. Great ideals…. I would select one or two from the list and concentrate.

  10. Blogging is probably the easier way than most of them though.

  11. Wow, very interesting. I just launched my blog and I’ve been trying to figure out how much fellow bloggers make from blogging. I wonder how long it takes to make a living solely from blogging.

  12. WOW! half! I thought it would have been more. :) Since many Problogger readers come here to learn about blogging as a business. Still good numbers though.

  13. Interesting results!!

  14. Amazing! An almost 50/50. I’ve never seen results like that before!

  15. I make absolutely zero dollars from my blog. I refuse (for now) to put ads on it since it is a personal blog and I enjoy just talking about what I am interested in, primarily affiliate marketing.

    I make most of my online income from affiliate marketing, actually I do it part-time (since I am a College Student) and make a full-time income, so it’s pretty nice.

  16. I always thought that I could make money blogging (i.e. a living) and was stuck in that mindset. Then things got tough financially, and I broke out of that, and realized I could use the authority that I built up in my blog to teach Japanese (which is what my blog is about). So, I started teaching on eduFire, ended up getting a job there doing other things (thanks to my blog once again) and now have financial security. I don’t know why I was trapped in that mindset of thinking I had to make money directly from the blog, when so many things go so nicely hand in hand :)

    Really interesting results! Thanks for sharing with us.

  17. Nice poll!!! It is always interesting to see what other people are doing. I may look into these other avenues.


  18. Interesting. More people make their money blogging alone than I expected!

  19. Christopher says: 10/29/2008 at 9:41 am

    most of my money comes from Youth Allowance from Centerlink (Australian Goverment) for going to school.

    But, online most of it comes from owning niche Digg-Clones based off SocialWebCMS.com. i make around $200 a month from Ads.

    im also working on a Social Network which should bring me a few extra dollars and im doing a course on site flipping.

    @mike, how much do you make from the blogspot blog your linking to? do you own any self-hosted blogs you make money from??

  20. Hm, thats a biggger percentage then I thought. That list also gives me some ideas on how to make some more cash. Thanks for the post and ideas Darren!

  21. The results are really interesting!
    Btw I also make money by programming,web design and consulting.

  22. Its best to diversify potential earnings than to just blog alone. Although from poll its 50/50, we see half are doing just that.

    Latest Video Tutorial: “How To Rock Out And Be Productive In The Office Or Work At Home Job”

  23. Well a nice list to look into outside blogging. But what about trading in the Forex and Stock markets. It’s also another avenue to make money. But it is kinda risky. u’know?

  24. It’s kind of ironic the “No” in the graph above is green.

    I sell items on E-Bay (not as much as used to). So, yes I do make money online outside of blogging.

  25. These lists are great for getting the creative juices flowing. I find that 33% of my income comes from blogging and 66% comes from consulting and training programs/products associated with these blogs. It is a constant balancing act to always focus on growing the goose which lays the eggs while also cultivating the business opportunities along the way. I would recommend to anyone starting out to really think in terms of revolving monthly income they can build up over dozens or hundreds/thousands of users..products and programs are almost always superior to one off consulting assignments although those do build your credibility.

    Hope this helps.

    – Richard
    Richard Wilson

    p.s. I am a problogger and have been for 4 months now because of Problogger.com. Love this site and I recommend it to everyone I know.

  26. Useful list.
    But adsense and other advertisement sources are there like Chitika Mall,Amazon Shopping,Ebay etc.

  27. Wow, the results ended up pretty close to each other! I’m not surprised that many people do (and don’t) make money from other than blogging.

    But that list sure will help me think up of some new ideas, thanks!

  28. There should be a third response…how many people loose money blogging?!

  29. Certainly, I earn my pay cheque mostly though non-blogging sources and private contracts. Though blogging is also one of my income sources as well.

    Thanks for the results. I will also check out the other sources of income other blogger use for online money making business.

  30. I would love to see the ways that non-blogging sources can generate money, thanks. T

  31. For those people who are making money without blogging, how are you driving sales to your other enterprises. I personally use a couple of blogs not only to make money directly, but to also drive sales offsite, such as image prints etc through a third party company.

    In this regard I’m still using blogging indirectly to point visitors to the relevant content.

    If you are not driving traffic to your ebook / affiliate program using a blog, what mechanisms are you using?

    I can understand some of the points in Darren’s list couple be driven from forums or static websites, but a few would appear to need blogging as a driver to get results.

    Be interested to see a break down of how that 49.78% market their products/knowledge to the masses.

  32. wow, that was amazing. I used to think that adsense is the only way for bloggers to make money online .. :)
    but I got new directions now.. thanks a bunch.

  33. Here people thinks that their blogs can be main source of money, but there are a lot of people who thinks that blog is good marketing tool and they can to market their new projects, web sites, wordpress themes, e-books and another products with blog.

  34. This is surprising to me. I would think more bloggers would be making money in one of those other sources.

  35. thanks darren for this info.It is very useful.

  36. i use only one source to generate income.

  37. Wow, that’s a lot of lists there, haven’t tried the other sources, but I’m hoping to try them soon. Thanks

  38. Good info
    Good to know that I am not the only one who has to count on ebay, ebooks and other ways to cash in other than blogging. :)

  39. I make money by building websites and I use craigslist to find clients when I’m running low on work. However I also have a full time job and this creates a problem finding time to blog and run a website while doing all these things.

  40. We make additional income by doing online surveys. And yes, there actually ARE legitimate online paid survey companies out there, that send real checks. (We have even posted some pictures of the checks received in the past!) There are links to some of our favorite online survey sites on our blog at http://engineeradebtfreelife.blogspot.com/ (it’s in the legit paid survey section)

    I also do some freelance writing on a national website.

  41. Thanks for sharing the results! Some interesting ideas here.

    One thing I’d be interested in is how much of people’s TOTAL income is made online versus “day jobs.” Your poll results could take on a different spin if say people only earned 10% of their income from online sources, versus those who earn 100% of their income online.

    Part-time onliners presumably wouldn’t have as much time to spend on multiple income streams, and a blog is pretty easy to set up and run. So that could skew your numbers.

  42. Market research is a big one for me, and can work as long as you are signed up with the right people.

  43. what ever might be the poll results, blogging is one of the source to make money online. But it is not every thing. There are many other ways to do it.

  44. There are several ways to earn money online, and while some may be more effective than others, each of the poll respondents seem to indicate a unique preference for blog monetization. This is very interesting! Thank you for posting the poll results!

  45. You forgot to write writing / selling a book

  46. I have been trying to make money for about 6 months now on my blog and seem to be failing miserably even though I have paid for training programs and followed them exactly. I do do however make money from one of my websites from students locally and if you would like to see it please go to Millionaireanonymous.com

  47. I just bought your book, and will see how i will make money.

    Let you know soon.

    Best Regards…

  48. You have a pretty nice list of online money making ideas. Although your chart shows that bloggers still slightly outnumber non-bloggers.

  49. I make money on and offline. It is best to use both. One is more passive than the other. It has more to do with your mindset. Great poll man.

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