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How I Make Money Blogging

Posted By Darren Rowse 15th of November 2007 Blogging for Dollars, Featured Posts 0 Comments

How I Make Money BloggingBelow you’ll find my latest update on how I make money blogging (this is something I post about every few months – although it’s been a over six months since I last did it ).

Also note – I go into a lot of detail on how I make money blogging in ProBlogger the Book.

How Much Money Do I Make from Blogging?

I get asked how much money my blogging makes me on a regular basis. These days I don’t go into specifics about it – all I will say is that it continues to be well over six figures per year (but less than seven figures). What you’ll find below are my top income streams – ranked from highest earnings to lowest.

Keep in mind that this is a summary of all of my blogs (not just ProBlogger). It does not include any income that I earn from b5media where I’m paid a salary as VP Training.

I hope you find it useful to see the mix and variety of ways that I earn a living from blogging.

1. AdSense

AdsenseDespite not using it here at ProBlogger any more I continue to use AdSense with real effect on my other blogs. While I do use AdSense Referrals and their search feature it is their normal ads that work best for me. I have them all set to show image and text based ads and find that 250×300 pixel ads work best (usually with a blended design).

2. Chitika

ChitikaLast time I did this sort of summary Chitika ranked #1. This time around it has been overtaken by AdSense – not because Chitika slipped in how much it earned but because AdSense went up and because I also replaced a few Chitika ad units with WidgetBucks ones. Chitika offers a range of ad units that I experiment with. I find their eMiniMalls work best and that Related Product Units are also good. Their Shoplincs product isn’t performing as well as it once did for me – mainly because I’ve been promoting it less and have driven less traffic to it. Over the time I’ve been using Chitika they’ve now earned me over a quarter of a million dollars!

3. Amazon Associates

This has been one of my big movers in the last 12 months. I used to make a few odd dollars from it – however in recent times it has become a significant earner for me (as I’ve shared previously). This quarter it overtook TLA as my third biggest earner – largely on the back of me directing traffic to Amazon from my product related sites – mainly digital cameras. While the commission on cameras is only 4% this adds up when those that you refer buy higher ticket items.

4. Private Ad Sales/Sponsorships

private-ad-salesThis includes ad sales of the 125 x 125 ads here at ProBlogger as well as a couple of private ad deals that I did with sponsors on my camera blog (including sponsorships with Canon, Kodak and Adobe). This area has jumped up since last time also as a result of the new design here at ProBlogger and our expanded sales team at b5 who now sell ProBlogger’s ads for me.

5. Text Link Ads

TlaThe income from TLA has dipped slightly over the last few months simply because I took the decision to stop selling them here at ProBlogger and most of my other blogs. This was because I wanted to focus more upon selling the 125 pixel ads instead and felt that the ads I was attracting were not as relevant to this site as they could have been. As it turns out this might have been a good move because it seems Google has been penalizing blogs that run them lately.

6. ProBlogger Job Boards

Jobboardheader The job boards here at ProBlogger continue to grow each month in the number of advertisements that are being bought. This enabled me to invest most of the money that they’d earned a while back into getting a new back end for the boards and to redesign them. It hit me today that the boards are now bringing in around $1000 a month in revenue which is pretty nice considering that they are now so low maintenance to run! I’ve just given a development team a new brief to expand the job boards in the coming month so stay tuned for some new features coming soon which could see this revenue increase and more importantly for it to become an even more useful resource to readers.

7. Miscellaneous Affiliate Programs

miscellaneous affiliate programsI run a variety of affiliate programs on my blogs – most of which bring in smaller amounts of money that don’t really justify a category of their own. These include – – Digital Photography Secrets (a camera technique series), Pro Photo Secrets (a great photoshop product) , Yaro’s Blog Mastermind Mentoring Program, SEO Book (Aaron’s legendary resource). This area is set to continue to grow in the current quarter with me having had reasonable conversions from the promotion of the excellent Teaching Sells course.

8. Miscellaneous Advertising Programs

miscellaneous ad networksI also play with a number of other ad networks. Some I run as tests to see if I should review them here – and some are just advertising that run in the background on some of my smaller blogs. These include AuctionAds, Feedburner RSS ads, Vizu (a poll advertising system), Kontera and Bidvertiser. Together these don’t add up to major earnings for me – not because they are not good, but because I don’t use them heavily (a blog can only run so many ads on it).

I think that that covers most of it. Since last quarter I’ve also been experimenting with WidgetBucks as well as one other ad system that is still in a closed beta test. I’m certain that WidgetBucks will feature in next quarter’s list because I am getting good returns on that so far. In fact at it’s current earnings it’ll debut at at least number 4 on the list and perhaps even at number 3.

How Much do I Spend?

As mentioned last time – I don’t spend a lot of money in order to bring in my income. I do have some basic blogging costs (hosting etc) and play around with a limited amount of advertising (AdWords and StumbleUpon) but rely more heavily upon word of mouth and organic ways of drawing income into my blogs. I also have some costs in paying writers on a couple of blogs – but these don’t make up a massive part of the overall earnings each quarter.

Want to Learn More about How to Make Money Blogging?

Check out these resources that have been written specifically for bloggers wanting to make money blogging.

  • ProBlogger the Book – where I and Chris Garrett sum up all of our basic tips about starting up a profitable blog.
  • Blog Mastermind Blog Mentoring Program – one of the best coaching and training course going around on blogging.
  • Blog Profits Blueprint – a free report on how to build profitable blogs.
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. Jopals,

    Let your personality shine brightly through your blog. Every popular blog has a distinct aura and ambiance. This usually results from respponses to the author’s personality that oozes through each post.

    Have a look at http://www.realmoneyshow.com. It might offer just the inspiration you need.

    Check out the site…and you can email me at [email protected].

    Do not worry it caters to the beginner. You hold the key to making your blog popular.

  2. Reginald, you provide sage advice and a talent not often reflected in most web sites. Blogs on the other hand tend to do this very naturally. Its TxT messaging via Blogging in a sense. Although with Blogs at least we get whole words!

  3. Because of you just being a beginner, make sure to research you approach and objectives carefully and stick to them.

  4. Hi,

    thanks for the insights into how you earn your dollars… it’s great…

    I was just wondering too about the ‘problogger sponsors’ ads that you run on your top right side of your site. Do you find many people actually clicking through to those?

    You also use a nice lot of colour on your blog, I like that, it feels fresh. Keep up the great work, and keep making a difference.


    Martin :)

  5. thank you. i really needed to read this article to get started

  6. Reginald,

    Thank you very much for the message, thank you man, my main blog has rank 2 in the Google PR. thanks for the advice, it really me help a lot.

  7. Is there any problem, if serving combination of ads with Adsense, Amazon, AuctionAds, Bidvertiser in single site?

  8. Thank you, Steve.

    I genuinely appreciate your comment.

  9. Any time jopals. I’m pleased my message made an impact.

  10. I am new to blogging and still experimenting with various revenue generating sites. Your article has introuced one new source and I will try out that as well. Thanks

  11. I actually started blogging to track my progress with my reseller account, with no intentions of earning money, until I realized it was possible. I have been working on my blog illiteratepoet.com for a few months and still get little traffic and $0.79 from adsense. I think you need to have an established blog, more then 3 months or you are just wasting time trying to earn money. How long were you blogging before you started making any real money or get decent traffic, if you don’t mind me asking. Thanks for the post and any feedback.

  12. prior to reading this post I had never heard of Amazon advertising programs or Chickita. I’ll definitely be looking that way if I ever try to go full on with my own hosted blog…I still think ads aren’t the way to go for blogging.

  13. Thanks for the info. I am still learning on how to make money from my own forum/ blog site: YouYap.com

  14. I don’t know, honestly, if there is a quick way to make money online, unless you actually do invest some money, in such programs as Google’s AdWords. I’ve read quite a few e-books on how to make decent money online, but only have made $5.39 by AdSense, thus far. Seen on my blog, http://moneymakersdatabase.blogspot.com I’ve tried, but I’ve only had it up for about 2 weeks now. What better free techniques exist that can be implemented to drive traffic to your blog?

  15. Thanks a lot Darren, i’m still new in blogging and i have no idea that we can actually make money from blogging. Your site is full of ideas and inspirations, and i have no doubt to subscribe to it…:)
    Anyway keep up all the good work and hope that you will continue putting up more useful and wonderful tips.

    p/s-i’m planning to quote your name as one of the best bloggers…hope that that is ok with you…

  16. Hey thnks for writing this blog…i am very greatful to u…as i am new to this business..i wanted to see hw it works…ur article will surely help me earning some bucks…

    i would like to learn about how to get traffic to my blog…


  17. Does Google hate TLA? is TLA caused PR down?, Thanks for the answer.

  18. Chakrit says: 04/03/2008 at 5:39 pm

    For me, the best way to make money blogging is to check out this web: http://www.cashbloggingnow.com; this guy makes over 30,000 thousand a month using this simple, yet effective system he uses.

  19. Chakrit…. he is making money by selling $47 product. The IntelliChat feature he has set up is ‘authorized to offer $20 discount to the next 10 people’. So we know how he is making money.

    I did not come across googleadsense or chitika advt in this website. Am I overlooking?

  20. William Love says: 04/06/2008 at 4:17 am

    I just wanted to send everyone who visits this site some positive energy,especially those writers that are just starting out. Don’t give up! I want to leave you with a qoute from a man that has done more for a mouse than any pharmacuetical company I know. ” All of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them”. Walt Disney

    Thank You,

    William Love

  21. great blog mate, really enjoy reading it, thanx for recommending text link ads they’ve been great

  22. This area has jumped up since last time also as a result of the new design here at ProBlogger and our expanded sales team at b5 who now sell ProBlogger’s ads for me.

  23. Maby, this text is very good but there is one important advertiser which is same as adwords and it is bidvertiser.Great money conversion.

  24. Orfej, what is the money conversion ratio?

  25. thank’s a lot for your summary.
    lot of good ‘desired stuff’ here, but may be u know most of us have less earn from your list above.
    we know no body tell the truth how to make money blogging.

    Will you give us general description based on your experience to drive ‘traffic/money’ to our blog/site.

    Seem now is more hard competitive to reach that.


  26. lowongankerja, why are you under the impression that no one tells the truth about how to make money blogging?

    I would be also be curious to know how many of the participants of this thread are of the same impression.

  27. fuzion says: 04/19/2008 at 9:28 am

    great article. i’m very interested in publishing some of my articles online and your website has been extremely helpful. keep it up!

  28. New day, new game. Thank you internet and people like you who a kind enough to share useful info to everyone. New players like me who didn’t mind to look the other means of making few $$ will definately use this advice. It something which I will try in the near future and see what is in store for me. Thank to all.

  29. I love the idea that you can make money blogging, because I love writing and I love blogging and I would love to make a decent income one day from blogging.

    I feel I have some real quality content to write about and I can be really helpful, just can’t wait till I start getting enough traffic to make enough money to work full time

  30. Blogging has great upside but it’s incredibly demanding work that you have to be prepared for if you are truly looking to monetize your site. Content must be updated regularly and a theme should be developed that you maintain a consistent approach and support path.

  31. That’s so nice! One day I would be like you. Until now I just got U$ 200 from Adsense and U$ 50 from SponsoredReviews, but it’s all. I have 700 readers and a pagerank 2. I hope my site (one day) will give me a lot of money like yours.
    Congratulations! I appreciate it!

  32. Thanks for sharing the different ways that you make money blogging, hopefully you will be in the 7 figures this year.
    I started my first eBay Blog today about my eBay experiences. I run a business in NYC selling items for people on eBay. I’m trying to find others ways to make some extra money and spread the word about my site http://www.ASAPsellsIT.com since I get all must customers from word of mouth because rent i just too high to open an actual storefront right now.
    I can’t wait to try a few of these programs besides AdSense.

  33. Great article Darren. Yea Adsense been one of the top earners for many. Really interested to explore on Amazon Associates.

    Thanks for sharing!

  34. Rakesh says: 05/18/2008 at 9:40 am

    Hi Darren,

    Thanks for sharing all this info with us, Im a newbie blogger and though the income seems mindblowing Im finding it a little difficult to make sense out of all this.
    Pardon me, but I might be asking you somethng too naive.
    What do I write about in order to get people to come read my blogs and more importantly what would bring them to my site.
    Would appreciate your advise.

  35. Question about Private Ad Sales and text link ads. How many unique visitors do you think a blog should have before advertizing space for private ads?

    Also looking forward to your book arriving on my doorstep

  36. Just out of curiosity, I wonder what exactly is an accurate average of the time frame a blogger should expect to start seeing enough income so that their full time employment can be a thing of the past.

    Should one examine this fact, will success story house a time frame that is distinctly different from every one else?

    Just wondering….

  37. Thank you so much for the list i’m saving your site as a fave, lots of great content!

  38. I am interested in the private ad sales. Currently I have the typical AdSense, but I’m becoming more and more interested in private ads. How do I go about getting these? I want to have all advertisers ready and place all ads in one day, I’ve seen people who have 1 private ad, and then 3 empty spots I’m trying to avoid that. How do I go about getting these advertisers to want to place their private ad on my site? And what’s a decent traffic rank to be even considered to have someone want to put a private ad on my site?

    Hope you can help me out Darren! Great post!

  39. Hey this is a great post. Thanks for the information. Lately I’ve been checking out your site because it’s a real inspiration to me. I’m just starting out with my blog and with making money online and it’s very helpful to get as much info as I can. I’ve subscribed to your feed and I plan on learning as much as I can on your site.

  40. This is one of the most informative posts I’ve read on monetizing your blog in a long while.

    One thing though, Have you used any blog marketing software that you might wanna share with us?


  41. I’m with Tebogo.

    I would be interested in finding some referrals for practical yet functional blog marketing software.

  42. Thanks alot, I take the auction ads and i like it so much…hope make dollar for my web

  43. Thanks for this imformative article and lots of useful links.

  44. Amazon can be very profitable in a few different ways. First, if you’re linking to your own products that are on Amazon, you make a bit of extra money.

    But, if you can get people to click through and buy expensive items, you really stand to make some cash. You can make a killing if your readers buy Kindles (Amazon’s ebook readers) through your site.

  45. I’m just putting this out there…. How many bloggers, whether veteran or new, actually become a success.

    Does anyone have the statistics on this? What is the ratio of successful bloggers online today?

  46. We have found good success with Adsense also. The 250×300 text/image ads work great for us below post.

    Although, most of our income comes from digital sells (downloadable info) we are trying a few different things.

    I like to do more with direct ad sales (trying to get the traffic up for that to make it worth while)


  47. Well for me, I’m just waiting effect of those ADSENSE, I can’t afford some other service in order to get more paid on the blog.


  48. I tell you thank you for having shared this information !

  49. Great info on ways to make money with a blog. I find that private link and ad sales are the most lucrative. With that being said, you need a steady flow of UV’s and a decent PR to get any customers to buy ads and links.

    …By the looks of your site, I don’t think you have any trouble finding buyers! Great job!

  50. Hi Darren,

    I find that Amazon only works well for me with my American sites, even though I am an Australian blogger.

    Its very rare that Australian’s buy off Amazon I have noticed.


    Alex from Savings Guide Australia.

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