Facebook Pixel
Join our Facebook Community

How I Make Money from Blogs – My Top Earners

Posted By Darren Rowse 8th of February 2007 ProBlogger Site News 0 Comments

Top-Income-StreamsUpdate – I have updated the list of my top income earners from blogging.

It’s been a fair while since I talked specifically about my blogging earnings. I decided a year or so ago that I wasn’t going to put specific dollar figures to my income any more in public – however as I get a lot of questions from readers asking for updates I thought I’d share where my blogging income has been coming from lately.

All I will say in terms of dollar figures is that I am still well and truly earning over six figures per year from the following income streams.

The following is a ranking of my top 9 income streams for the fourth Quarter of 2006. It is a summary of the income from my own personal blogs – ie income from b5media (where I am an employee as well as a shareholder) is not included – either is income from Six Figure Blogging (which continues to sell at a reasonable rate) or any speaking or consulting work that I do (very little these days anyway).

I’ve also included a little information on how I use each of these income streams and which products that they offer work best for me which I hope is helpful for others looking to monetize their blogs or websites. Note – Some of the following links are affiliate links.

1. Chitika

While they don’t work on every blog (for example I don’t use them here at ProBlogger) and there is a traffic minimum to be accepted by them Chitika continue to be my highest earner. They offer a variety of ad units and income streams – the top three for me are eMiniMalls, Related Product Units and Shoplincs. They continue to work best on product related sites. Place RPU units at the end of posts (they give a good option for people to click on when they finish reading and experiment with linking directly to products in your shoplinc from product reviews (of the same products) on your blogs. I’ve written plenty of Chitika Optimization tips here and here.

2. AdSense

The most popular form of advertising on blogs is AdSense (according to a few studies that I’ve seen) and for me it’s a reliable earner that brings in a significant level of income (just under what Chitika pulls in each month). While I use referrals and their search product on some of my sites I find that normal ad units are producing the best income for me – particularly rectangle (250 x 300 pixels) ones placed close to content with a blended design. For tips on optimizing AdSense on your blog check out this 8 part series.

3. Text Link Ads

Perhaps the biggest mover for me over the last 12 months in terms of my earnings has come from TLA. While they have a ceiling in what they earn per site they are another good solid earner for me – particularly now that they’ve added feedvertising (RSS ads) which out performs any other type of RSS ad that I’ve tried. I’m hearing from many bloggers that TLA is their biggest earner now. It works best on sites that have been around for a while – you don’t need big traffic to be accepted – but having a page rank and some search engine presence helps.

4. Amazon Associates

The forth Quarter of each year tends to be a good one for me when it comes to commissions from Amazon. The last quarter is a time that people are in a buying mood in the lead up to Christmas – smart placement (deep linking inside posts) can bring great conversions. The key is picking relevant products to promote. Read more tips on affiliate programs for blogs for a few other tips on optimizing Amazon.

5. Private Ad Deals

I don’t do a lot of private ad deals (it’s something I should focus upon more but there are only so many hours in the day) but when they come in they can be significant (if you have decent traffic). I’ve just signed two deals on my digital photography blog with Apple and Adobe for the next couple of months so I suspect this one will leap up next quarter.

6. Miscellaneous Affiliate Programs

My blogs have a variety of smaller affiliate programs running from them. I try to find quality products that relate to my topics that I can genuinely recommend – often via reviews. Some of the better converting products that I’ve recommended this last quarter included – Digital Photography Secrets (a camera technique series), Pro Photo Secrets (a photoshop product) and SEO Book (Aaron’s legendary resource).

7. ProBlogger Job Boards

Not spectacular earnings but growing. I see this more as a service to readers than an income stream at this point – however it does pay for itself and bring in a few hundred dollars each month.

8.Performancing’s Partners Network

The now defunct ad network did bring in a few hundred dollars last quarter. I was sad to see this close as it offered an interesting alternative.

9. BlogAds

I don’t use them much these days but they do bring in a little each month. I noticed BlogAds decrease in performance for me around the time they went to the new version. I’m not sure if it’s my problem or theirs but apart from one blog I rarely see any sales these days.

How Much Do I Spend?

A question that I’m regularly asked when I do such posts is ‘how much do you spend’ to earn what you earn?

The answer is ‘very little’.

I do experiment occasionally with using AdWords to promote my blogs – but don’t have the time or patience to get into it heavily (the biggest month I’ve had with AdWords ever is $100 – just over $3 a day). Other than that I don’t do any paid promotional activities and my costs are really just hosting related and the normal ISP and office costs.

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. Hi Maddox – thanks for the tips – I’m sure my readers will appreciate them. In fact if you take a surf around this blog and read more than just this one post you’ll see we share similar philosophies.

    It’s pretty easy to take one post and make assumptions about a whole site – but I’d encourage you to surf around and see that this whole site is actually about encouraging people to build quality sites with useful and unique content.

  2. Darren Rowse,

    I would like to apologize and let everybody reading this know that what I stated earlier about this site in my previous post was wrong, and based on a very limited observations which I made. These include the way this particular article was written, and generally the high density of links, referrals and ads etc appearing on all pages of this site. As you may know, the kind of sites which I was referring to in my previous post, usually do contain so many links and ads in a similar fashion, and articles which do nothing but forward people to a bunch of other such sites, which do the same — forward them to other sites, which in turn forward them to other such sites. It’s a bad, endless cycle. I found this particular article through a Google search, and I was obviously very annoyed after reading this article and looking at the way the site is — with all those links and ads etc. This is what I hate the most in sites — especially blogs — so many links, and ads, and some blogs also have every other word as a link — and what do they provide the visitor in return? Nothing but bullshit, useless information.

    I’d like to conclude that after reading a few other articles on this site, I’ve found that it actually does have original and helpful content, which helps people, and that the ads etc are fair enough. Darren Rowse, you have done a great job, finally, I actually found an adsense tips website which actually makes an honest effort at helping people, and earns what it really deserves.

    Heh, Maddox has been proven wrong for the very first time.

    Wishing you continued success.

  3. Wow – thanks Maddox – I appreciate you taking a second look.

    I do know how it can look though – one of the weaknesses of blogs that rank well in SE’s is that posts can get taken out of context of the rest of the blog.

    Anyway – I do appreciate your comments.

  4. […] Questo reddito è il frutto di diversi blog (sembra che ne gestisca oltre 20) e diverse forme di remunerazione pubblicità (Google AdSense ma anche tramite vendita diretta degli spazi), programmi affiliazione (es. Amazon), Text Link Ads, Chitika (shopping on line) eccetera. […]

  5. Maddox

    Is that eye patch you wear, for real or do you think of yourself as a potty-mouthed pirate? Just curious.

    Talk about making assumptions …


  6. Great post and the only difference between you and I is I use a place called “Linkworth” instead of “Chitika”. I actually had not heard of them before, but will check them out.

    I make the most from Linkworth & Text link ads (very similar). AdSense, Blogads, Amazon do ok, but not as good as the link brokers.

  7. […] Перечень ссылок на источники которые позволяют заработать блоггерам. […]

  8. hi Darren i just had a great read. “how to make money from blogs” the info is good the comments bril. however one comment that grabed my eye more than any other was from The Reviewer I have copyed it here for the benefit of others in my posision…..”If your traffic is so low, then optimising your income sources is not the most productive use of your time. You could spend hours fiddling around with Adsense colours, placement, sizes, etc, and even if you found the absolute best combination you might only take your income from $1/week to $3/week.”…..you see this is me, and i am sure most of the blogging world out there. no traffic, no clicks, no nothing. I am new to the whole blogging thing, and i’m getting a bit fed up, finding it hard to see where i fit in or if i ever will, there must be millions of me’s out there. i started bloging because i’m 47years old, can’t work because of back probs, and i spend most of my time on the Internet trying to find out if there is some way i can make a few pounds. up to now my earnings are $1.99, some hope of getting past the big “$100” mark. I have only being blogging for about a month maybe two. I would be thankful if you would take a wee look at my site and maybe drop me an email with some advice. I also have another blog on computers that i only just started its. http://pcblogblog.blogspot.com/ I know your a busy man but your advice would be most welcome. ps keep up the good work and thanks. yours truly. gurnygob. by the way, in Belfast, thats where i am from, a gurnygob is a person who yaps a lot, if you yap loud enough someone is bound to here, and come to your help. so please I’m a big gurnygob “help me”

  9. Thanks for sharing Darren Rowse

  10. Thanks for this post so informative and detailed. I have seen few professional bloggers like you that go into details when explaining the revenue sources they have along the year.
    Your post is simply cristal clear and 100% educational (in a blogger sense).
    I will follow your wise advices.

  11. […] How Bloggers Make Money from Blogs: Of course who can forget Darren Rowse at Problogger.net, he is an expert in this art and has lot of helpful articles for bloggers. In this post he covers 12 different techniques for making money from your blog. He also has a post on top income earning streams for his own blog. […]

  12. Thank you very much for sharing your tips. It seems I still have some way to go before I can join Text-ad-links. My traffic isn’t high enough yet, guess I’ll have to read a few more posts here :-)

  13. These are all, I suppose, excellent tips. However, you have missed the easiest and most profitable way to earn money from your blog: Demand a cover charge from every visitor.

    On my FranWorst.com site, I charge $1.00 per day cover charge. Of course, my visitors get access to wealth-building secrets that put them on the road to unthinkable wealth. Many are millionaires within six weeks. No one has ever complained or asked for their $1.00 back.

    How much do I make? Check my daily counter on the bottom right sidebar.

    Of course, few sites command the kind of traffic or provide the value that my site does, but even if you charge a nickel you’ll make a lot more than you’re making now.

    See you on the veranda!

    Richard Quick, Esq.

  14. […] Pese a que en inglés (sea o no USA) hay otras soluciones como las de Darren Rose esa sigue siendo la primer preocupación en los bloggers o en los webmasters que ven, hoy en día, su principal fuente de ingresos en AdSense. […]

  15. Thanks so much for this article, it was exactly what I was looking for.

  16. hy,
    this article was useful as i`m a new user . i wanted to know that from where i can get most ads for my blog.

  17. Hey Darren! You really have provided very good information about how to make money for free. You always have provided very useful information and this information is also quit more impressible. Your work is really appreciable for the effort and time you have consumed to provide your visitor with very good information to make money for free of charge, hope you will continue same efforts in future providing with very good information to your visitor to make money. Thank you

  18. I’m just starting a blog too. Wish me luck. My goal is just to earn $10/day.

  19. Hi Darren,

    Which method of income would you reccomend for the site http://www.buy-webkinz.net ? I am in the process of creating a blog for buying webkinz toys. Would Chikita convert well?


  20. […] Paula’s List Source […]

  21. sounds good. I just bookmark your blog and want to learn more from you.

  22. Great post, your website is very comprehensive, I am bookmarking also!


  23. Hi Darren,

    I really liked your website and your tips. I just started my blog a week back and getting around 100 hits per day. I dont know much about how to get traffic etc.
    I am just adding tips for electronics engineers.
    Hope some one will give me feedback on my blog.


  24. […] majority of bloggers don’t seem to target it. For example to quote Problogger Darren Rowse from one of his recent articles: I don’t do a lot of private ad deals (it’s something I should focus upon more but there are […]

  25. […] Paula’s List Source […]

  26. I have a Heroes Blog site, which is one of the biggest heroes blogs, great with Alexa (60,000 and moving up quickly), PR5 and will be updated to PR6, however i cannot manage to sell any text-link spot with Text-Link Ads or myself.. How can you promote these spots?

  27. My blog is slowly growing and gaining popularity. Glad to see many of the ad choices our site has made are listed as your top earners. We use Chitaka, Amazon, & Google primarily.

  28. Wow, only $100 with Adsense? What’s your average then?

    What kind of returns do you see when you spend a little on advertising? Does it make a huge difference?

    Thanks for these anyway, I’ll make sure to sign up with Chitaka when I hit the required traffic. How much do they pay you to add their sites to your lists :)

  29. Hey Darren — Six figure blogging!!! You’re my hero. Also want to thank you for the interview with Tim Ferriss. Bought his book and am ready to quit my job — oh yeah, just as soon as I start earning a six figure income on the internet.

    Question for you and your readers: Do you feel like your AdSense advertising campaign is worth the money it cost? Did you see a significant increase in traffic?

    All the best,


  30. […] as an example of how you might like to comments – see my post on how I make money from blogs. If you enjoyed this post Subscribe to the Free ProBlogger […]

  31. That is a fantastic rundown – I just found this site and look forward to reading future articles – yes, the domain is easy to remember!


  32. Amazing info for a starter like me. I didnt even knew about text links ads. I look forward for more.


  33. Love this… Best thing I have read in my short time on blogs. I have documented your thoughts and ideas and will implement them on my own blog. Thanks again

  34. […] at Darren Rowse, his number one money maker is Chitika, AdSense is #2 on the list. And he lists six other revenue […]

  35. Hi, by sharing your informations your have done a great job.thank you for that. also i have just launch a site with “google adsense” &U now i am planning to host one of domain called ” logtoblog.com” & intend to make some money through bloging? so please give me your valuable feed back. with this name(logtoblog)in which way i can enter in to this ? what would be your oppinion about this name???
    Can i also do something like, the great “problogger.net”


    Ashique Mohammad

  36. Darren i am waiting for your reply for my previous blog/


    Ashique Mohammad

  37. Fabulous resource! It’s good to know we have options in advertising. I’m currently playing around with a few on your list, but will definitely check out even more!

    Susan Payton
    Egg Marketing’s Small Business Marketing Blog

  38. Wow 6 figures for a blog,
    that’s awesome, I wish I had so much to say ;)

    Does it take long to get to that kind of money ?

    Thanks and keep on the good work

  39. Nice information Daren! After earning money we have to transfer to our account! So you can write some post regarding that. Anyway its very helpful for me.

  40. Umesh Bhatia says: 07/23/2007 at 11:56 pm

    Found very much informative.I have been reading for few days on Googlecash.com.Mr Chris Carpentor has written a book on earning through Adwords.
    Yet to implement.Quite excited to know.
    Looking forward to make it happen.

    Shall like to interact more with you to understand and start earning.

    Umesh Bhatia

  41. Very good resource you have here Darren. Thanks for sharing all your knowledge with me. I’ve started my own technology, tips, tutorials blog type of web two weeks ago and i am trying to at least do 1 article every two days. My articles are longs since i love writing and specially teaching others in a simple way. My page haven’t received any comment yet, but that doesn’t worries me for now. This i have done so far in two weeks: some Digg, Technorati, Tweak robots file, sitemap, and wrote about 10 articles (1,200 word count). Any advise anyone can share my site is http://www.clueq.com Hey Darren thanks! Keep it going buddy.

  42. Great post Darren, i find that there are many great alternatives to adsense, but am yet to get approved for chitika to try it out. Do you know what their traffic minimum is?

    Annie B.

  43. using adsense for a year now, haven’t tried any other programs.

    Jose Gil

  44. Great post. I just launched another blog-style site that will have dozens of contributors. It’s good to see what others are doing to help raise the profitability of their sites. I hope I will learn and apply these well.


    Dave Weinberg

  45. Sundaram says: 09/16/2007 at 4:15 am

    Hi Darren,

    That’s a wealth of information which you shared with the world. It shows that you are genuine, generous and sincerely hope to see others succeed.

    I am a begginner to the world of blogging. Could you share with us how to edit the templates provided by free blog sites?
    Could we create our own blog page and upload it to the sites?


  46. Nice post! I’m a beginner, i’ll use some of those!

    You’ve just helped a lot of bloggers.


    Life, Health and Power

  47. Thanks for the info!

A Practical Podcast… to Help You Build a Better Blog

The ProBlogger Podcast

A Practical Podcast…