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How I Make Money Blogging – Top Income Streams Update

How I Make Money BloggingOnce every 3 months I update my Make Money Blogging page here at ProBlogger with my top income earners for that last quarter. Today I made the update for the last three months (March to May 2008).

My top income earners for the last quarter were:

  1. AdSense (previously #1)
  2. Chitika (previously #2)
  3. Private Ad Sales (previously #4)
  4. Amazon Associates (previously #3)
  5. Miscellaneous Affiliate Programs (previously #7)
  6. Shopzilla (previously not in the list)
  7. ProBlogger Job Board (previously #6)
  8. WidgetBucks (previously not in the list)
  9. Miscellaneous Ad Networks (previously #8)

I’ve included where it was previously ranked in my income streams so you can see how things have changed (and where they have not. AdSense and Chitika continue to dominate although Private Ad Sales have been making a move, as have affiliate programs.

You can read a complete description of each one and how I’ve used it in the Make Money Blogging post.

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. Curious to know where your book sales are on that list? Any thoughts?



  2. Pras – no, never heard of it.

    Moise Levi – those stats are pretty similar to mine with Commission Junction, however I do know so bloggers who do ok with it – I guess it depends upon the products you promote.

    Rick – it’s an ongoing thing that I’m constantly assessing and experimenting with. In terms of reader numbers – for AdSense and Chitika you can definitely start earning something almost straight away as long as you have some readers – the traffic just multiplies the earnings.

    Mark – the issue with Chitika is getting into the program. They do have traffic requirements so while they will earn you something on a small blog you probably need to have quite a few small blogs to get enough traffic for them to let you in. I hope they change this and let more publishers in because there’s a lot of great small sites out there that could do well from them.

    Rita – please read the article that I’m linking to in my post above. These stats are for ALL of my blogs not just ProBlogger.

    Lewis – book sales are not on the list mainly because I only really include direct income from my blogs on this update (ie I don’t include book sales, speaking payments, six figure blogging course earnings, my salary from b5media etc). Having said that – the book is only a month old so even if I did include it it wouldn’t yet feature as I’m yet to be paid anything more than an advance on it as royalties are not paid that regularly. It’s worth noting though, you don’t earn much from writing a book unless it’s a massive seller :-)

  3. Hi Darren,

    I have a mixture of a arcade/blog will chitika work for me.?

  4. Darren,

    God grief! That’s a lot ;)

    About your job board, do you use custom scripts?

  5. My income on my financial blog

    1. Clickbank Afiliate Sales
    2. Adbrite Advertising

  6. Darren how can you possibly not having heard about ProjectWonderfull? *Grins*

    ProjectWonderful is not wonderful at all..

    – Wakish –

  7. Yeah, nothing can beat Google AdSense and I’ve tried almost everything out there :)

  8. Thanks for sharing Darren…seems Adsense truly is the way to go.

  9. i still don’t understand how people can make money with something which doesn not have to do with adsense. my only income comes from adsense and it is the only one which offers me a fair amount of money based on the amount of people and click i get. other solutions? too cheap or very unfair, without speaking about the google ranking issue. i would like to have something like problogger on my website but i fear i may not be taken into account from the company. and what about the nofollow issue? does the company policy allow you to put a nofollow on those links? i dont want to be penalised by google as far as my google rank is concerned just because i can not put nofollow on certain links i dont have any control over. can you explain this darren pls? giving a list of great companies is not sufficent sometimes. just warn the average blogger about the risk they can get if they decide not to stay with google adsense

  10. I am surprised your private ad sales are on thart position.
    Good work!

  11. Thanks for sharing Darren…seems Adsense truly is the way to go.

  12. thanks for the information it’s very interesting to know what are the best ways to earn some money.

  13. I’m glad to hear that AdSense tops the list – it’s all I have at the moment!

    Thanks for writing such an interesting and informative blog – it’s definitely one of my favourites.

  14. Hi,
    Nice posts. It seems like AdSense is the best way to make money. :)

  15. Thank you so much for sharing Darren. Your transparency is inspiring to me. quick question, Private Ads, what do you mean?

  16. Great list! Adsense always be my money machine in earning!

  17. is there any chance we could get an idea of *how much* can be made directly from these ad services? I like the list and the ranking, but I’d really like to see some ballpark figures of how much is possible.

  18. It’s been my experience that a lot of it has to do with your niche. I have quite a few sites that cover a variety niches (from Self Help to fashion and from cats to cooking). Overall, my best performers are adsense, CJ, All Posters, Shopping Ads, and Linkshare. I’ve also been impressed with Kontera.

    A lot of people have had a lot of success with Chitika but I actually took my chitika units down because they didn’t do well for me. I was disappointed because they’re so good looking!

  19. This is I guess rise of adsense again. People are starting to lose faith in adsense earnings because of the late changes made my the google i guess. but on part of google they have to ensure that they take care of the advertisers too. So I guess in a way things are working well.
    And here its nice to see that your blog is making the most out of that….

    Nice brief little post Daren.


  20. I’d say my biggest Ad rev comes from #1 Adsense to and then looking for Affiliate Programs off the grid with low, low completion. It pays to be on the top of the search.

    1) Get SEO Adsense theme. Location, Location, Location and Color. Gets people clicking.

    2) Find Affiliate Programs that people aren’t taping into. Products with no, or low competion are great. Search for yourself. CJ,Clickbank,Linkshare are great for new sources. Just do your homework search for low numbers in searches. You’ll be at the top of searches in no time.

    3)Stay at it. Learn more. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Content is King. Backlinks in your articles. Include keywords where ever you can.

    4)Post on other’s blogs. Don’t just expect people just come if you don’t contribute to others. Big Brother AKA Google will reward you deeply for this. Blogs are Karm-o-matic.

    5)*** DON’t GIVE UP**** Make Blogging like taking a shower everyday. Stay Proactive and clean and you’ll figure it out. There’s so much information out there and resources. Read all you can!


  21. I am surprised to note that Amazon associates is your fourth biggest source of revenue. I made a few sales for them and earned less than $5.

    I am interested to know the the breakdown of this earnings, you must be in the top-tier commission level and doing five-five product sales monthly, right?


  22. It is gratifying to see somebody actually making money off the web, as most of us are trying to still find the way! Awesome website, with insights to how the pros do it. Love it!

  23. Thank you Darren to list down your income from.
    Anyway, adsense still number#1.

  24. Thanks for posting your top money maker list. It’s interesting to see how the different forms of monetizing a site work for you and how their rankings change (or don’t change) over time.

  25. Hi Darren,
    Thanks for the summary… I am surprised at Amazon going down and even more surprised at WidgetBucks still figuring there ;) Mind sharing how much WidgetBucks is returning?


  26. hi darren, I’d started blogging a year ago, just for the heck of it. I experimented with adsense et al, just from a curiosity perspective. my experience so far here – http://sampathmenon.com/blog/gonna-write-for-tonna-money. BTW, your site is terrific!

  27. i know that adsence is the best for earn money

  28. well for me i am more concerned with giving my visitors a link on how to get a job of their dream and not really the money. But if the money comes along with the adsense, i will smile .

  29. Thanks for providing some valuable information regarding your earning. For me Adsense, Chitika , Bidadvertiser

  30. Darren, how many blogs do you have? I write on three sites but I just realized that i dont write enough.

  31. First traffic , then monetizing. My biggest earners so far are selling private ads , around 50$ a month , for a one month old blog , I think it`s ok , covers all the expenses , and also remaining 30$.

  32. Hi Darren,

    I have been using Chitika since Feb 2006 and have noticed that their Linx ad unit has dropped the per click payout rate by over 50%. Do you use the Chitika Linx ad unit at all? How do you think this could be explained? Chitika Linx has the highest CTR and now the lowest payout. Doesn’t make sense. Does anyone else use Chitika Linx? Thanks!

  33. Adsense, does top my list too. But I am also testing other income streams as well.

  34. Darren – I just got approved for Google Adsense! The only bummer is I did not know that the free version of wordpress does not allow Adsense coding. I am getting hosting through Blue Host and starting all over again. I am also waiting to here back from Widget Bucks. Thanks !

  35. Very few people manage to reap the profits they want from their blog. Most people who attempt to make money with their blogs don’t succeed for three reasons: Unrealistic Expectations, poor Planning and no Marketing.

  36. Great site. And even better insight as to improving sales.

  37. I find adsense is still my best income producer, but I’m younger in the game.


  38. Thanks for this post. In my case, adsense seems to come up with rather irrelevant ads for my readers, but I suppose it comes with the stereotypes of my niche area.


  39. Great information Darren, thank you for sharing this information with us. WidgetBucks is one of my favorite and performed more than Adsense.

    I get my niche ideas at http://www.prosngurus.com/dir/senuke.html


  40. Thanks for this post Darren, very useful! ;)
    Have a nice day

  41. I like seeing how diversified most online professionals are it is a good reminder not to put all the eggs in one basket.

  42. Keep sharing these experiences and insights. The lessons learned and hard core examples are really helpful.

    I appreciate you posting this data and information. It’s very valuable to so many of us.

  43. I’ve always been a fan of private sold links/ads. I like the funds upfront instead of hoping you get a certain amount of clicks/page views every month…Oh how I love cash.

  44. Thanks Darren, Adsense works for me too.

  45. Nice list of income streams. I’ll definitely make use of some while on my journey to become RICH!

    Follow my progress at http://becomingrichwithadsense.blogspot.com/

    Will keep track of your blog for sure!

  46. Adsense is still the winner! Not a surprise. Blogging and adsense just work well. Thanks for the update.

  47. Darren,
    Great post. I think it’s important for folks to know that MSI’s come when desire, discipline, and determination are combined!

    Seth Daley

  48. Darren … so far Adsense has worked well for us. Looking into Chitika now.

  49. I have seen a decrease in my Google Adsense lately so looking forward to exploring more of your blog for info.

    I just ordered to ProBlogger book on Amazon
    Should be here in a few days

  50. I have started using Chitika Premium this week, but just realized something of concern…

    I just wrote a 3000-word review on a camera, with links to Amazon Associates, but Chitika Premium is producing a very tempting link to the camera in my header.

    I would hate to lose my Amazon commissions to a low-paying ad, and I guess this would happen with AdWords, but I never really worried about it with them for some reason.

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