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How Much Money Do Bloggers Make Blogging?

Posted By Darren Rowse 2nd of January 2009 Blogging for Dollars 0 Comments

Over the last two months I’ve had a sidebar poll running here at ProBlogger that asked readers to tell us how much their blog earned in October of 2008.

This is an annual poll that we’ve run for a number of years now so it is always interesting to see the results.

As usual – the poll revealed that most bloggers either don’t try to make money blogging or earn very little from their blogs but also that a smaller (but still significant) number of bloggers are making at least a part time living from the medium and a few bloggers beyond what most of us would consider ‘full time’.

Of course this is not a scientific poll and it relies upon people interpreting the question correctly and voting honestly – I’m certain that there are inaccuracies in it (particularly with some voting in the top category just for ‘fun’) but the results are actually quite similar to previous years which does make me think that there is at least some level of truth to them.

Take it or leave it – here are the results of this year’s earning poll:

  • 37% of those who voted said that they do not make money from their blogs. This category would include both those who don’t want to make money blogging, those who didn’t realize that it was possible, those who don’t have a blog and those who have tried but failed to make money blogging.

While this is a significant and important result I’ve removed category from the charts below so that we can concentrate just on those who make at least some money from their blog.

  • 1162 people said that they make under $10 a month. This is a total of 29% of those who make money blogging. This category was 26% in 2007 and 30% in 2006.
  • 477 people made between $10-$29 in the month (12%)
  • 505 people made between $30-$99 (12%)
  • 686 made $100 – $499 over the month (17%)

So to this point we can say 70% of those who make money from their blogs make less than $500 a month and 30% make $500 or more.

  • 262 made $500 – $999 (6%)
  • 150 made $1,000 – $1,499 (4%)
  • 128 made $1,500 – $2,499 (3%)
  • 130 made $2,500 – $4,999 (3%)
  • 95 made $5,000 – $9,999 (2%)
  • 45 made $10,000 – $14,999 (1%)
  • 35 made $15,000 – $19,999 (1)
  • 373 made $20,000 or more (9%).

The top category probably has some skewing but has always been in this vicinity (9% in 2007 and 7% in 2006 – although in these years the top category was $15,000+). While I’m sure there is some skewing here it is an open ended category so we could expect it to have people earning not only $20,000 a month but also those earning quite a bit more (of which I’m aware of quite a few).

Here’s another chart with the same information:

Once again these figures hammer home to anyone wanting to get into blogging for money that it is not a foregone conclusion that you’ll make a lot of money from the medium. It is possible to make at least a part time income from blogging and for some to make quite a bit of money from it – but over half are earning less than $3 a day (or $100 a month).

For those interested in the comparisons to previous years – let me finish with charts from 2006 and 2007. First here are the 2006 results:

And now the 2007 results:

As you’ll see the results are remarkably similar from year to year although each year we’ve done it the sample size has grown.

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.
Comments
  1. Interesting results indeed. Thanks for conducting this little poll.

  2. I’ve started bloggng several month ago , but still i’ve got nothing, Actualy I need more money from adsense to day to day life. I thing it’s because i use Free stuff to do blogging, please give me sugestion.

    http://blogfm1.blogspot.com

  3. Darren,

    Blog earning is following the Pareto principle (80/20). 20% of bloggers make 80% of the money. So does it mean there are 20% of blogger who have a good content website.

    Let’s hope the things change from year 2009. Happy New Year.

    Regards,

    Santosh Puthran

    TwitDiscount – Tweeting Discounts and Deals for Shoppers in the UK

  4. Interesting results! Good idea to earn something in your spare time.

  5. I made over a $100 in October 2008, I thought it would the start of earning from blogging for me. But November & December wasn’t as good, I barely made it to $50 in November and $35 in December.

    And I’m just talking about paid reviews, I have yet to reach my first payout in Adsense. I wish I can fully earn from my blogging someday too.

  6. wow very great presentation daren……most new blogger still getting low income…

  7. That’s really interesting information :) So the 1%-2% people who said they make more than $10000 per month from their blogs make it only from ‘one’ blog?

    More often than not I have seen people claiming to make a lot of money from blogging but their actual source of income is a network of sites or services and blog is just a facade to their business.

    Happy New Year !

  8. bellow $10 have many reasons like lack of knowledge, still young blogs and many more. I would like to advice the people who started blogs just few months back, don’t worry about this pool. Just remember one thing “Rome was Not Build in a day”, i don’t know where it works exactly but here it works exactly. We can be Build Rome in one day if we have that much of knowledge and Skill. It takes considerable long span of time to acquire such knowledge. So learn well and apply what you learned so far.

    All the best.

  9. Many people who starting a blog, want to make money with, using ppc program like google, referall program and sometime membership program.

    But they think they would make 1 000$ a month at the beginning, that’s the reason why so many new blog appears each day, but the majority didn’t last, because the blog owner lose interest when then don’t make as money as they expect.

  10. Glad to find out that I’m at the top 15% (though the earning is not much) but it’s much nicer for me to be in the top 5%

  11. I agree with Marky. Sad to say but it is not really easy to be rich just in 1 month or even a year just blogging. Experiment, experiment, experiment. Try, Try Again, Try Harder…

    Happy New Year! ^_^

  12. It seems that those who get to $1000 make a big jump in a relatively small amount of time to the $20,000 and up. I’m shocked at the 9% for $20,000 and up.

    Don’t forget that the 2007 figures were capped at $15K.

    Thanks for the stats. You’re one of the best people to do the job of collecting the data.

  13. I have been following your blog for quite awhile, and although the source may not be that scientific, I believe the result is realistic.

    This is because in reality, making money online is NOT the priority of most bloggers. They enjoy more in socializing, blog commenting even if the blogs they leave comments in not within their niche, and other activities that does not directly relate to serious money making schemes.

    While it is true that there may be some social bloggers (like you, Darren) who are making good here, and you are only among the few who are “lucky” enough I should say. This is because you have mastered the art of social networking, and has a unique charm.

    For a more serious approach on making money online, I believe that one should focus in selling and advertising their products or services rather than creating useful posts but not attracting customers, ad clickers and online buyers. Furthermore, we must admit that “making money online from a blog” is now overcrowded.

    While there are those who will honestly admit that they NOT are earning good money from their blogs, there are tons of bloggers are claiming on their blogs that they are earning but actually they are not. They are just saying this to attract visitors which they are using to make money.

    Reality bites but here’s the kicker – Bloggers don’t make money, Internet marketers do.

  14. Your charts have really blossomed over the past few years. This year they look great, very crisp and easy on the eye.

    You should do a followup poll on who had the biggest accomplishments last year. The ones that started with barely anything but still made it happen.

  15. Thanks Darren for the information and analysis. I’m interested to see that a fair number of people earn $100-499 per month. That would be a great goal for me.

    What would also be interesting is knowing how long various categories of earners have been blogging, what type of audience their blog appeals to, and whether there is a commonality with the way they are earning. They say the devil is in the details! I wonder if the money is being made from products they are marketing or from advertising. I do suspect that there are only a few significant earners in each niche.

    Thanks again for what you do. This is the place those who do earn from blogging have told me to come to :-)

  16. Probably most of the people earning a lot have had the blog a few years. A lot of people give up long before then. You have to stick with it for many years to see the rewards I think.

  17. Very interesting. I am surprised that 9% of folks are making 20K or more every month. I also think that a lot of folks combine what they make from blogging and what they earn because of blogging, there is a distinction. I wonder what the top earner for folks is? Can’t be Adsense, can it? :)

  18. Its good news for those who wants to make some money even on part time basis by bloggigng. Wish you all a very happy new year.

  19. Darren, imo your poll should at least distinguish those who cannot manage to make money from their blog by those who are not interested in making money from it and include the first in the chart. Thanks for the results, though, very highlighting.

  20. I’d like it broken down into topics – seems a whole lot of the industry is blogging about blogging and problogging. Obviously there are successes doing other topics – but many of the pros seem to be surviving on the backs of the would-be pros.

  21. I have blogging for 4 month and i just earn about $ 0,3 ! Ohh… How pathetic I’m !
    Please visit my site !

  22. Although these stats are interesting, the fact that they cannot be verified means they aren’t worth the pixels printed on my screen. I don’t believe for a second that 9% of bloggers are making 20K a month.. I would probably peg that at less than one percent. I think what you discovrered is that 8% of the bloggers are hoping to make 20K a month.

    Jon
    http://WoodMarvels.com – Create Unique Memories

  23. Doing Over $20,000 a Month Using Multiple Blogs With ViralWordpress Plugin

  24. I’m at the 70%’ile.

    I am going to try hard to take my Aim for Awesome blog to the next level but I wish I had a better feel for what is needed. I have done a wide-range of posts about everything from What is the Point of Life? to SEO to computer tips, to life tips, to meditation posts…

    Is there room for another Steve Pavlina type blogger in my own style? It seems like there are thousands of those people out there… are there 10% that are making bank?

    Or, should I focus at a more niche level on some specific area?

    Maybe if we had a graph of what those bloggers making over $500 per month were focusing on with their blogs I’d have a better time of choosing a focus. Recently I got a PR 4 and that is enough motivation to keep going and try to make this work. Just need to know which way to go!

    Any suggestions Darren?

  25. Interesting stuff, thanks for this Darren. I’ve just scored my first advertising deal so I’m off and running quite nicely for 2009. Hopefully I’ll be in the $20,000 per month category by the end of the year!

  26. I’m just in it for the fun and social aspect, and although I do have a couple of ads running, I am not expecting a payout of any significance. But if I wound up with a check in my hot little hands, so much the better. :o)

  27. Hi Darren:

    I wanted to get your opinion on affiliate networks as a way to increase the income from my blog. I use it and have found it to be very profitable, but don’t recall you mentioning it.

    If you haven’t and would like someone to blog on it, I would be happy to. My blog is The Political and Financial Markets Commentator at http://politicsandfinance.blogspot.com, and I use Hydra at http://www.lynxtrack.com/afclick.php?o=5831&b=y301cm4r&p=14&s=33099.

    I would appreciate your thoughts.

    Mike Haltman

  28. We have not monetized our blogs yet, but am hopeful to make some money on them in 2009! Thanks for the great overview.

  29. This is a good poll. However, is the result based on a single blog or a group of blogs? One should be able to make money if they work over a period of time.

  30. I find this a very interesting result – I’ve recently begun writing for BrightHub and seen my blogging income rocket compared to what I was making when I voted in October – although thanks to the Christmas rush I made the most I’ve made on Amazon yet on one of my regular blogs.

    With regards to the Blogging Bubble point – I’m surprised it hasn’t happened sooner. With autoblogs and content thieves slowly getting factored out of Google results, only the real, content-rich sites will and should succeed.

  31. for someone who is trying to make some money blogging I think that those numbers evidence to support that you can make good, part time or full time, money at blogging, and about 30% of the people do.

  32. Hi, Darren,

    It was lovely to see you reach 2009 before us Yanks :) Reminded me of when I lived in Sydney, and my daughter was at uni in the States. It was a mental challenge to figure the 16 hour time difference, and led to some humorous convos at 5 a.m. Lent a whole new meaning to the old phrase “It’s ten o’clock–do you know where your children are?”

    Writing, let alone blogging is hard work. No shortcuts that I’ve found. The time commitment is formidable, especially if one is still working an 8-5 job, especially to write your best at all times and then try to monetize on top of that.

    ProBlogger is still the best for consistent, useful information. Thanks for your dedication–hope you’ll attend SXSWi this March, maybe our paths will finally cross.

    Best,
    Claudia
    Fried Okra Productions
    http://friedokraproductions.blogspot.com

  33. after reading the comments it reminds me of the book “dip” those who do real well……DO REAL WELL

  34. I am new to blog publishing, but I think if your primary goal is to make money with the blog, and the primary thing on the blog is ads to make the money, it would be difficult to build a following. The blog needs to have content. And updated information. This takes time and I hope I can have the patience. I don’t need to make money with my blog, but it will be nice to get to that point. I come here because there is great info. I read the stories and then maybe click on an ad that catches my eye. I don’t come here first for the ads, I know where to find those. It is more difficult to find a good blog. Once I do, then I may start sampling the ads.
    I hope to use my own advice with my blog.

    Rhett
    blogger.garagesalefever.com

  35. I’m in the $10-$29 category for 2008, and my goal is to be in the more than $20,000 category by the end of 2009. The numbers show it’s possible. I have learned that shifting the way I operate is what gets me access to those kinds of results.

  36. shobha says: 01/03/2009 at 10:45 am

    Now a days it has become so common to make money by blogging. This is one of the best ways to make money online.

    cheers
    tennis camps

  37. I belong to the red group but hopefully be in the team violet next year

  38. I guess I’m in the red group, I made about $100 for 2008, but spent more than that on promotion,hosting. etc.

  39. With some of the figures people appear to be earning i can imagine a lot more people will try to achieve the same in 2009 as it is certainly one way to try to beat the credit crunch.

  40. wow. Thats a good chart.

    The good thing, i able to make money. Thats a happy moment to me.

  41. Very Good, Interesting and Helpful Information, Thank you for collecting and sharing this information with us all, Darren! :)

    We would Love to see a break-down by Industry or Niche orientation/Subject Matter, particularly for the Top Earning Blogs! :)

    How about anyone else?

    Thank you again, Darren, for all of this Very Good, Interesting and Helpful Information! :) and Everyone Have a Great Day! :)

  42. We must assume that most people do it for love and not money

  43. I am amazad at the figures , i am in the 0 to 0 bucks group , i didnt realize the sums of money people could make from blogging , must learn how to do it,as i find it quite good and i really enjoy it .

  44. Being relatively new in to the game, I obviously don’t make anything off bloggin. But then again I experimented not long ago and made like $50 with EASE. I find it hard to believe that if you TRY to make money, 70% of people make jack Sh*t

    My goal is to make myself famous, rather than sell my site out to ads, which I personally think is quire annoying.

  45. At least my category is at $100-$499 but amazed about 373 made $20,000 or more. I wonder if some of them are just doing it part-time?

  46. Hi Darren,

    Really interesting statistics and good to get a more balanced perspective on what is actually happening.

    Would be really interested to know a breakdown of what people are making by niche – for example, how many are making money from internet marketing blogs, blogs about blogging, and niches outside of these seemingly popular and ‘big’ areas!

    Any chance of incorporating that into next years stats?

    Cheers,

    Derrick
    (one month Blogging Newbie)
    http://www.TheNetExperiment.com

  47. I wonder about the amounts that people are stating they make. The amounts over 500 a month are suspect. Blogs are cool and i’m sure do make money – but nothing makes money or garners respect more than an actual web application that the public finds useful. There are many users of our Free Chat that blog and do make money.

  48. Thanks for the statistical pie charts, it is interesting how similar the income this year is to last years income. Thanks, I’ve made sofar $6.30 with my site :).

  49. Same here German Romance ^_^

  50. Darren, was any proof provided by your voters at all? I doubt it. It’s a crock, and it’s misleading to your readers.

    There is no way in heaven or hell that 1/10 bloggers make $20,000 or more per *month* from their blogs. I’d be surprised if the number is more than 1/1000. It may be one in every million.

    This isn’t an example of the ‘long tail’ – this is an example of how people lie in polls. How can anyone accept that pretty much as many bloggers (9%) make the same or more ($20,000+) as those bloggers earning between $1,500 and $19,999/month *combined* (10%)!? That only 1% of bloggers earn $15,000-$19,999/month but 9% earn more than that?

    Come on.

    The telling statistic is 37% of people were honest enough to say they make nothing. If one considers a second the average salaries of actors, in a range from zero to $20 million/picture, I’d imagine probably 37% make zero from that, too: now, do you really think 9% of actors make $20m/movie?

    I didn’t think so. Probably 0.001% do. The difference is that this data is accountable. The poll herein is not.

    Guess what: MY blog makes $20,000/month? Add me to that number! ;)

    Darren, this has always been a great site – and I realise you’ve added a modest disclaimer in your opening above – but I think this is slightly irresponsible. Very few of your commentators above seem to have taken this as anything other than literally and it’s going to give people false hope. I’m all for people giving everything 100% but unless there’s some numbers backing up these kinds of polls, they’re inherently worthless, subject as they are to that good old-fashioned bit of human whimsy: lying. :)

    Isn’t it possible for someone to do a poll like this and actually have the people involved provide some level of proof?

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