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Making Money From Blogging Takes Time

Posted By Darren Rowse 28th of October 2005 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

I’ve been reflecting today upon the long term nature of having a business that makes money from blogging.

I am regularly asked by bloggers in their start up phase why they are not earning enough money from their blogs to go full time.

While I usually can find a variety of reasons – in the majority of cases it tends to come back down to the length of time that they’ve been blogging.

Why is length of time in successful entrepreneurial blogging for money so important?

There are a few reasons that come to mind:

  • Quantity of content – I’ve been blogging for almost 3 years (in fact November will see me hit this mark) and in that time I’ve added over 11,000 pages of content. This is 11,000 possible entry points to my blogs in search engines. This quantity of content does not just appear.
  • Search Engine Optimization – It takes significant time to become an authoritative and highly ranked site in the eyes of search engines. While it might be possible to rank highly on lower paying topics – to rise to the top of a competitive area is rarely achieved quickly unless you have a high profile, a lot of cash or get very lucky (or know something I don’t about SEO).
  • Reputation – Building a reputation for yourself in real life takes significant time – the same is true for the online profile of you and/or your blogs. Good reputation builds incoming links, opportunities, bookmarks, RSS subscriptions, advertiser goodwill and loyal readership.
  • Network – Connected with a good reputation comes good relationships and a network of contacts. Two years ago if I had wanted to start a new blogging project with someone else I would have had little chance of convincing anyone to join me – but since that time I’ve worked hard at my relationships with fellow bloggers (and other online and offline contacts) to the point now where my problem is becoming too many opportunities to collaborate.
  • Web Smarts – I shudder when I look back at my first blogging efforts and how naive, ill-informed and poorly run they were. I have a long way to go when it comes to learning about the web, blogs, design, writing etc – but over time my own skills and knowledge in these areas have grown. You can read all the books, blogs and articles you want on blogging (and I’d encourage you to do so) – but so much of what you can learn about blogging for money has to come from on the job experience – which again only comes with time.

So if your goal is to grow a substantial online business – one of my main piece of advice is to take a long term view of it. While a very small percentage of successful online business people do seem to make it big overnight – the examples of this are increasingly becoming fewer and farer between. I believe you can still realistically expect to grow your business (at least to some extent) but think its worth reminding ourselves that like most things – successful blogging comes as a result of hard work, determination, smart decisions and time.

A few quotes to end with:

“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” – Napoleon Hill

“Someone has defined genius as intensity of purpose: the ability to do, the patience to wait… Put these together and you have genius, and you have achievement.” – Leo J. Muir

“Genius is eternal patience.” – Michelangelo

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. Good article Darren, the internet makes very few people very rich very quickly.

    I believe it takes time to nurture a site into something that can make some form of return for your time invested. Although reputation, contacts, and persaverance all play a major part, the biggest factor is time. If you do not have the time to invest (and I don’t mean hours in the day, I mean months in the year) making any return will be difficult at best, highly cyclical at worst.

    It may be possible to explode onto the web scene, make a quick buck, and fizzle out again in a matter of moments. Those people that build solid content over a number of years are more likely to see long term steady gains.

    I encourage anyone who has yet to see any great return from their website to look at it as a long term project, enjoy the writing/designing/updating and don’t concentrate on income until you are established enough to make it a viable finance method.

    If you are designing a site purely to bring in income, with no other motive, you will soon lose heart and motivation. Build a site for a reason, the love of a subject, to be part of a community, and it will give something back in the end.

    There is nothing wrong with running a site and wanting to make money from it, but if it is your only motivation, will you still be motivated three years down the line when you’ve finally built that reputation and readership?

  2. My website has actually just had its 1 year anniversary this month. So I can say first hand now that gaining readers and return visitors takes time and will not happen overnight.

    If you work hard every month sending out Press Releases to various sites and also keep active on a couple of forums website visitors will come.

    Just like the turtle and the hare. Slow and steady wins the race. And now after 1 year I am celebrating by having my highest revenue month!

  3. […] Darren Rowse has been blogging for 3 years and has published over 11,000 pages of content across his blogs.  Darren is a full-time blogger that makes a healthy income to boot.  In his latest, Darren shows just what it takes to make money from blogging.  Making Money From Blogging Takes Time: Blog Tips at ProBlogger […]

  4. […] Auf Problogger.net gibt es einen interessanten Artikel darüber, wovon es abhängt ob man mit Blogs Geld verdient oder nicht. Als wichtigstes Kriterium sieht Darren den Punkt Zeit. Wie lange und intensiv man bloggt hängt stark mit dem Erfolg (=Verdienst) eines Bloggers ab. Es folgt eine Liste die dies noch weiter erläutert: […]

  5. Whether you are blogging or making a simple site, you have to put your heart into it. Write the content with passion. Give useful information to your visitors and they will come. Yes, they will come repeatedly and make your site popular with word of mouth. This is the long term view.

    Darren has taken lot of efforts on his site. With the useful content, he is attracting the visitors to his site. He has written more than 11000 pages in 3 years. That is massive work. Hats of to Darren.

    Best regards


  6. Hi Darren, I’ve been reading your blog for some time now, and I’ve decided to drop a line and say “hi” and also I think this article is great – I think people who get into blogging because they “hear” it’s a great way to make lots of money.. really fast – need to know that it takes a lot of time, patience, learning the ropes, and MORE time and patience to see their hard work pay off.

    It’s so easy to get sucked into the “make money right away” schemes… because who doesn’t like money? But the reality is that it takes time – there’s no way around it. Thanks for this article :)

  7. This is very true. I have a couple of sites. My main site has been up for 7 months, and what I earn today is roughly 3 times what I earned just 3 months ago. If this trend continues, I might just be able to actually have a decent income…

  8. Nice piece Darren, I agree with you that it take’s patience, persistence and a long term view of things. conquently there is nothing wrong with wanting to build a site and at thesame time wantting to make money out of it. quite frankly, my view of things is that the bottom line is doing what one need’s to do rightly both for short and long term.
    where money is the motivation factor,as long as there is balance by a measure of the requirement that make this possible, which we all know ” hard work” , I dont see any problem or maybe am wrong.

  9. My advice to all is: Dont give up after a month or two of blogging and not earning a dime.

  10. There are a few-but very few- instant stars-but this is true in any business venture. The sheer number of new blogs coming online demands some time for people to find you, spread the word a bit. As Darren say, by producing pages over time, you build up your breadth and opportunity over time.

  11. […] Darren Rowse posted this a few short moments ago and if you’re serious about making money Blogging I would strongly suggest you consider it a “Must Read.” […]

  12. […] Darren has a nice write up on how it is in the best interest of bloggers that want to earn all of their income from blogging to take the long view, and not be discouraged in the short run. So if your goal is to grow a substantial online business – one of my main piece of advice is to take a long term view of it. While a very small percentage of successful online business people do seem to make it big overnight – the examples of this are increasingly becoming fewer and farer between. […]

  13. Well said, Darren!

    You’re a PLEASURE to watch and to learn from. That in itself is pure gold!

    Take care,

  14. 11,000 pages of content is a huge amount of content, but people don’t realize it takes a long time to write that much stuff. I always laugh when I see someone posting comments in forums about how they’re just about to setup a site with 10,000 pages of content and how can they best optimize things. Truly, your most precious resource is time. Only those who’ve never tried to write quality content themselves don’t understand this. Try it and you’ll see it’s not that easy!

  15. well,i can’t agree some of your points

  16. from my point of view,blog is used to post personal ideas and feelings .it shouldn’t be written for others ,just for himself

  17. 100% in agreement. My oldest site went live in November of 1997, and has almost 13,000 articles, and pays me a decent amount of money (not in your ballpark, but low five figures yearly).

    My other sites are new (less than 3 months) and have only a hundred or so articles each. They are starting to get some traffic, but it’s only a tiny percentage of what I get at the older site. Naturally the income is a tiny percentage too.

    Building takes time. Not just for you to build it, but time for other people to notice and create links to you, etc. There are things you can do to help speed it up, but no matter what, time adds to your pile.

  18. Hi Darren just subscribed to your RSS feed ( and reading heaps of good stuff here) and have been blogging with intensity for 14 days (hear people laughing ?) only and currently re-modeling my blog which has been floating for a year or so, intend to write 5 posts of some quality a day , so far starting from zilch getting currently 60 uniques a day and will try and double this every week , do you think this is realistic and what is your reco for amount of posts per day ( 11000 divided by 3 years per day= 11+ per day in your case ?) thanks

  19. I bet Darren will say something similar:

    If you can write 5 good posts per day and keep it, good for you. It’s hard for most people to do that – I manage four a day (one at each of four sites) and boy, sometimes I wonder if I can keep it up.. but somehow I manage :-)

    It’s better to write three good posts than five not so hot. “Not so hot” can cause someone never to come back. Of course tastes vary, so even something you think is good can drive someone else away, but better you think it’s good than you think it isn’t, right?

    I find my traffic doubles every nine months or so.. but in the early stages you might be able to do much better, especially if you are very interesting. I have had periods where it has fallen off slightly too, though never very much, and periods where it just doesn’t grow..

  20. Darren,

    This is a really great article. And thanks for sharing your precious knowledge.

  21. Problem is in this age of instant gratification – you want everything now!

    You make a good point though.

  22. […] Rebelbagwan left a comment on my last post asking about posting goals. He writes that he intends to: “write 5 posts of some quality a day , so far starting from zilch getting currently 60 uniques a day and will try and double this every week , do you think this is realistic and what is your reco for amount of posts per day ( 11000 divided by 3 years per day= 11+ per day in your case ?)” […]

  23. Great ArticleDarren. Too many people think that blogging is easy. Quality content takes time and building a strong voice takes experience. We appreciate you sharing what you have learned from both. Let me know if you ever come ot Steamboat Springs for a ski trip, I’ll hook you up. We attract quite a few Aussies here and I would be honored if you came this way.

  24. It takes time and it also takes a sense of what will work. Putting up a post is the beginning of the process. Who is linking to you, where are you sending information for people to find you. Are you wired to your community? Have you done everything you can to make your site user and SE friendly.

    I’ve been at my present blog a little over a year and see 6-8000 uniques. and this month 600000 PV. And in my niche that is a base. Finally getting PR was great. But getting out of the sandbox will be better. That all takes time.

  25. […] From ProBlogger, another great post: Making money from blogging takes time. […]

  26. […] I’m talking about self-employed people who rely on blogging for the majority, of not all, of their income. The most successful I can think of right now is Darren Rowse, who currently makes 6 figures a year (USD) from Google Adsense alone across his portfolio of 20 blogs. I was planning on sharing some of the advice that I’ve picked up over the last 12 months, but as it happens, today Darren posted the best bit of advice you could possibly hear: making money from blogging takes time. He says… So if your goal is to grow a substantial online business – one of my main piece of advice is to take a long term view of it. While a very small percentage of successful online business people do seem to make it big overnight – the examples of this are increasingly becoming fewer and farer between. […]

  27. Thanks Darren and all experienced bloggers for your advices. They are absolutely great for beginners like myself.

  28. Thanks Darren.
    Great article, very helpful and informative!
    I totally agree with you, it takes time and good content on your blog to get people there. If you write about something that you have knowledge in, the traffic will come!
    Thanks so much for sharing with us bloggers.

  29. Thanx for the info, it helps me as a newbie..

  30. oh man.. so much to do so little time
    got to be hurry if i want to be like darren

    Thanks for the tips ..

  31. Great points you list there. I think the difference between AdSense winners and losers is simply patience. Most people give up after a month or two of trying to make money with AdSense.. You just have to give it time!

  32. Great article, thanks Darren

    blogging for hobby, but ads are welcome..

  33. […] Convince Your Brain That You Are Already Successful (Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, Problogger.net) […]

  34. …..Your article is great….finally i know it takes time to be succesfull blogger

  35. Very inspiring article. Thanks! I just started my blog this this month, taking it slow but learning new stuff every single day.

  36. Hello, I am interested in blogginb for extra money. However, I am unsure how to go about it. I have typed a few bloggs on Blogger.com, but that is different than makeing money for blogging isn’t it? I am trying to pay off alot of debt incured from a bad divorce, and then, in time, go back to college. I am 40 and I feel as though I am outside looking in, as other people make money on the internet. I work 6 days a week as a milk truck driver. I see all sorts of opportunities to make money on the net. However , most of it seems like hype. What I’m trying to say is that I have no idea how to get my ideas out there on the net. Can anyone help?

  37. Nice article Darren. This is the truth, as with anything these days, patience is the key to making a project of yours perfect. I know in each of us we have our own little way of fine-tooth combing our projects making sure everything is perfect. The “blog” is one of those projects that you can actually do that with, it’s a continuous fine-tuning that will never stop as long as the blogging community keeps changing and adding new ways for bloggers to blog.

  38. Hi,

    I am coming to a year now after venturing into IM. While I have made very little money from Adsense but none from Affiliate Marketing yet, I have not given up yet as I believe in it.

    I am now relooking at my strategy and trying to identify other niche product or market to work on.

    I do enjoy what I am doing and I find it quite challenging but it definitely helps if the money can trickle in a bit faster else my family think that it is a hobby rahter than a business opportunity.


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