Can blogging be profitable? Many bloggers ask themselves this after a few months of blogging, because they want their work to be profitable.
First of all I want to say that blogging is my passion. I love to research new topics and I love writing new posts.
I wouldn’t mind earning a living as a blogger, and that’s why I learned about search engine optimization and how to promote my blog on social media, because the more visitors my blog has, the more opportunities I have to monetize it.
Before I go deeper in this post, I want to say that these tips aren’t ‘get rich quick’ schemes. If you are looking for a way to get rich quickly by making money online, then you’re in the wrong place.
Ahrefs gathered some interesting statistics about blogging:
- Long-form content gets an average of 77.2% more links than short articles (Backlinko).
- There are more than 600 million blogs out of 1.9 billion websites in the world (Hosting Tribunal).
- The number of bloggers in the U.S. was estimated at 31.7 million in 2020 (Statista).
- 77% of internet users read blogs (Social Media Today).
- There is a strong positive correlation between word count and backlinks, but only up to 1,000 words. For posts longer than 1,000 words, there is a strong negative correlation between word count and backlinks (Ahrefs).
- There is a moderate positive correlation between content length and organic traffic, but only up to 2,000 words. For posts longer than 2,000 words, there is a moderate negative correlation between word count and organic traffic (Ahrefs).
- 77% of bloggers report that blogging drives results (Orbit Media).
- Bloggers who publish more often are more likely to report “strong results” (Orbit Media).
- Bloggers who include 10+ images per post are the most likely to report “strong results” (Orbit Media).
- Internet users in the U.S. spend 3X more time on blogs than they do on email (Social Media Today).
- Tumblr hosts over 518 million blogs, while WordPress hosts over 60 million blogs (Hosting Tribunal).
- WordPress powers over 42.8% of the internet (W3 Tech).
- Roughly 70 million new posts are published on WordPress each month (WordPress).
- On average, 77 million new comments are added to WordPress posts per month (WordPress).
- From 2021 to 2025, the global content marketing industry is expected to grow by $417.85 billion (ReportLinker).
- 44% of buyers say they typically consume three to five pieces of content before engaging with a vendor (Demand Gen Report).
- More than half of consumers will stop what they are doing if they encounter issues when viewing content (Adobe).
- 89% of marketers used blogs in their content strategy in 2020 (Content Marketing Institute).
- 33% of bloggers don’t earn any money at all (TechJury).
- The most popular monetization method for bloggers is Google AdSense, followed by affiliate marketing. However, for high-income bloggers, AdSense ranks third; bloggers are 2.5 times more likely to sell their own product or service than use AdSense (GrowthBadger).
- Bloggers make the vast majority of their income from ads, affiliate products, sponsored product reviews, their own products, and online courses (RankIQ).
- 45% of bloggers who earn over $50,000 per year sell their own product or service, while only 8% of lower-income bloggers do that (GrowthBadger).
- 72% of bloggers making $2,000+/month use either Mediavine or Adthrive as their ad management company (RankIQ).
- Blogs are responsible for around 40% of all publisher commissions in the U.S. (Awin).
- The most profitable niche is the food blog niche. Food bloggers have the highest median monthly income ($9,169) as compared to bloggers from all major niches (RankIQ).
- The niches that have the highest percentage of blogs with over 50,000 monthly sessions are food (42.8%), lifestyle (13.3%), and travel (10%) (RankIQ).
You can make money blogging if you pick the right niche and produce the best content that you can.
For example, one of these statistics says that long-form content gets an average of 77.2% more links than short articles.
You could ask: Why do I have to write more than 2,000 words per post?
The reality is that Google loves long-form content.
In this article from Search Engine Land the author says:
“Long-form content is variously defined throughout the Interweb. However, the consensus is pretty clear on one point: If you’re just looking to get past a 500-word mark so that the search engines take notice of your content, then you’re not publishing long-form content.
My personal rule of thumb is that anything less than 1,200 words isn’t long-form content. I’d advise aiming for over 1,500 words, since 1,200 is (in my opinion) the minimum. That way, you’ll have a competitive advantage with the extra cushion.
But why not go all in? Set a goal of 2,000 words for your long-form content. I haven’t published a post of less than 1,000 words for some time. I am generally going for 1,500 to 7,000 words now.”
Ok, I haven’t been writing 2,500 words per post and my posts haven’t been ranking on Google.
I thought that my writing wasn’t good enough or that I chose bad keywords that were too competitive.
But the reality is that 2,500 words per post sometimes isn’t good enough to rank high on Google.
Two weeks ago I wrote a 5,000-word post and it immediately ranked on Google—not as high as I’d like—but it is ranking.
What I want to say is that you need to research to write high-quality long content.
You shouldn’t just write because you want to rank on Google; your content needs to provide value for your audience.
For example, when I wrote 5,000 words I researched for three days and then I wrote the post over two weeks.
But I made sure to check that all the content has a correlation, and that it isn’t just idea after idea.
Another important static is that 77% of internet users read blogs (Social Media Today).
That is very important because blogs are not dead.
Lately you hear that people aren’t reading anymore, but that is false.
Trust me, if people didn’t read anymore Google’s whole business would be dead and the whole algorithm would have to change.
People still read and still search for articles with answers to their questions on Google.
So if you are thinking of starting a blog and writing about your experience in a niche, this is still the time to start, and in the long run your blog can be profitable.
Nea Schaffers says in his blog:
Do people still read blogs?
People undeniably still read blogs. As a matter of fact, 77% of internet users worldwide like reading them. People in the United States alone read blogs 3X more than emails. Consequently, the number of bloggers in the US is presumed to rise to 31.7 million this year from 31.2 million last year.
The fact that people still read blogs makes more people want to start a blog, so the competition will be harder than ever.
The reason is that starting a blog is cheap and the reward is high.
Another blogger, Ryan Robison, asks the same question:
Do people still read blogs?
Yes, people still read blogs today (in record numbers) and will almost certainly continue reading blogs for many years to come. In fact, an overwhelming 77% of Internet users report regularly reading blog posts according to the latest blogging statistics. However, despite a consistent increase in the number of people reading blogs, how we read them is changing quite a lot. The average reader only spends 37 seconds reading a blog post today, which makes clear that most people are unlikely to read an entire blog post from start to finish—and instead scan for the information they’re looking for.
There is one important takeaway from his answer: The average reader only spends 37 seconds reading a blog post.
That is because people now have more content at their disposal; there is content everywhere.
This leads us to writing better content that engages with the audience and makes the reader spend more time within the blog.
“People read blogs to learn something new.
By far, the most common reason that people will read a blog post is to learn something new. This result doesn’t surprise me at all.
Why? Posts that include guides, step-by-step processes, tutorial videos, or fast facts often gain a large amount of search traffic. This is because people are looking up instructions for how to do things on Google every day.
Even when posts aren’t informing people of how to do something on a granular level, blogs that discuss complex topics such as studies, trends, or topics people are less familiar with, can pique a person’s curiosity.
Psychologically, researchers have reported that humans crave valuable information similarly to how they crave food and financial wealth. As a blogger, you can harness this to create content that both piques curiosity, while discussing topics related to your brand, service, or products.”
Another important point is: Bloggers who publish more often are more likely to report “strong results”.
Ok, you will find a lot of bloggers saying that you have to post constantly. That means, for example, if you publish something on Monday, then the next Monday you have to publish another post.
I have been doing that with almost no success. Like I told you before, my average post has 2,500 words, but my posts were not ranking at all.
So I changed my strategy, and instead of writing one post per week, I am now writing posts with 5,000 words, and the result is that the posts I now publish rank on Google.
A post with 5,000 words takes me two weeks.
Now you might ask whether posting every two weeks is good? That Google likes it?
Honestly, I was thinking the same thing so I did a little research.
If you are like me and you manage your own blog without a team to create content, it takes time.
“A few years back, Brian Dean boasted that he had managed to get 1 million unique visits over the last year.
As per Brian a major reason for his success is his low blog content posting frequency.
In fact, he has only published 32 posts to date. These content production numbers are far from astounding.
The likes of Mark Manson, Wait But Why, James Clear and Boost Blog Traffic also average only about 1 blog post/week or even per month. Even though they have great content of high quality, they aren’t exactly pushing the boat out with their content turnover.
All of these blogs are mostly run by a single person and so they have a low posting frequency.
Yet, they get hundreds of thousands or even millions of visitors every month. They are huge on the social media channels and score high with search engine optimization.”
As you can see, writing regularly means something different for every blogger.
What I think now is that you have to write at least once per month to keep your blog alive for Google, but that post has to be meaningful, and it needs to be the best content you’ve ever made.
Like I told you before, right now I am writing two posts per month that have better content to rank in Google, and I am also updating older posts to make them rank in Google.
Right now Google is looking for two things:
- Amazing, long content
- Regularity (to show that your blog is still alive)
With that in mind, let’s talk about the topic of this post.
Yes, bloggers can make money by blogging.
There are several ways to monetize a blog, but all of them require some time investment to get started. Those success stories about bloggers getting rich overnight? Not true. You’ll need to start a blog, find an audience, and drive traffic regularly before you can start blogging for money. The good news is that if you’re willing to put in the effort, you’ll reap the rewards.
According to fitsmallbusiness:
“Blog salaries vary a lot and depend on how bloggers earn their money. Writers who blog full-time for businesses earn an average of $40,000 to $80,000 per year, which is on par with the $63,200 annual median pay for writers and authors in the United States. Experienced freelance bloggers who write for others’ blogs earn between 10 cents to $1 per word—beginners may earn less. Freelance bloggers are paid directly from clients or through the freelancing network they use.
Independent bloggers—those who start their own blogs—don’t earn a traditional blogger salary. Instead, they make their money through various monetization techniques, including affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, advertising, memberships, services, online courses, and product sales”.
Ok, as you can see there are two types of bloggers: the ones who write for other blogs and the bloggers who have their own blogs.
In this post we will talk about the bloggers who have their own blogs and see how they make money.
Also, fitsmallbusiness answer this question:
How Much Do Bloggers Make?
“If you’re wondering how much money bloggers make, you may be in for a surprise. Many blog owners earn a modest $200 to $2,500 a month in their first year of blogging. Established bloggers who implement strong monetization strategies earn $3,500 to $15,000 monthly. Top bloggers can earn seven-figure incomes from their blogs. There are different types of roles and streams of income for bloggers. Let’s explore what they are and how much they make.”
As you can see, bloggers make money. You can have a money-making blog too, but I want to remind you that this is not a ‘make-money-online’ post.
One last thing to close this section: I found a post by financialsamurai and he says the following:
“Here’s what’s possible for ~60% of the blogger population who is willing to publish 3X a week of strategic content without fail:
Year 1: $1,000 – $10,000
Year 2: $10,000 – $30,0000
Year 3: $30,000 – $50,000
Year 4: $50,000 – $100,000
Year 5: $100,000 – $250,000
Year 6: $150,000 – $350,000
Year 7: $200,000 – $500,000
Year 8: $300,000 – $600,000
Year 9: $400,000 – $800,000
Year 10: $500,000 – $1,000,000+”
Like I said before, there are many opinions about how many posts you have to upload weekly to your blog.
The reality is that you can write quality content every week, but the first thing to do to make money blogging is to rank your articles on Google.
You need to understand search engine optimization (SEO) because, even though you can write excellent posts, they might not rank on Google. That can be devastating; all your effort and time won’t be rewarded.
I say you need to understand SEO because it always changes. Google always updates its algorithm, so one day you could rank really high and then in a couple of days you might not rank for any keywords.
For that reason it’s important for you to read about SEO and understand it so you can know what to do to rank your blog on the search engines.
To learn about SEO you first need to understand these basic concepts:
- You need to understand the goal of SEO
Search engine optimization exists because of search engines like Google, Bing, Yandex, or DuckDuckGo, and there are many more to come.
What these search engines want is great content to index and show to their users.
If you understand this concept, you can align your goals with what the search engines want: great content.
You need to create great content for your readers or potential customers. In that way, you will get leads or sales that will translate into more revenue.
If you want to understand how a search engine works, you can read this post: Search Engine Optimization Tutorial for Beginners.
Once you understand the goal of SEO, the next step is to understand keywords.
You will find a lot of tools that say they can help you find the best keywords for your website or blog.
Why is that?
It’s because keywords are a very important part of an SEO strategy.
Let’s say that you want to buy a new car, so you go to Google and write: new tesla models 2022.
The words you just wrote into Google are keywords.
Keywords are the words that people use to make a search on the search engines.
Finding the right keywords for your business is very important because they are what people are searching for.
- On-page SEO
You have to know the difference between on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
On-page SEO is all about your web page or blog. You have total control in this area, because you buy your hosting solution, you decide if your blog will be on WordPress or in Drupal, and you choose the plugins you will use.
On-page SEO also includes the content you will use, like text, photos or videos, and the way you structure your website (user experience).
Like I said before, in this part you have total control over your website or blog.
How to do SEO by yourself? Understand that on-page SEO is key because all the responsibilities are yours and only yours.
- Off-page SEO
In off-page SEO you don’t have control because you rely on other people’s opinions.
For example, you can promote your website or blog on social media, but it will be other people’s decision to click on the link and go to your website or blog.
Off-page SEO is all about getting traffic to your website or blog, but remember to only use white-hat tactics to get traffic.
The best way to learn SEO
The best way to learn SEO is by practicing. To do that you can start a blog and rank your post on the search engines.
That is the best way to learn because you need to submit your post to Google Search Console, for example. You will need to learn Google Tag Manager to tag your blog and include the Google Analytics code. You will also need to search for the best keywords for your blog and so on.
Affiliate marketing is where a blogger establishes a connection with a company and then promotes that company’s products and/or service. Each blogger is given a unique URL to the company’s website. When a viewer clicks that unique link and then purchases from the company, the blogger receives a commission.
Now you have to find the right products to promote on your blog.
If you are in the technology niche like myself, my recommendation is that you start writing reviews of hosting companies.
Almost every hosting company has an affiliate program and it is not complicated to sign up.
Hosting companies are the ones with big commissions, so writing a good review is very important.
A tip that I can give you for writing hosting reviews is to pay the hosting service for just one month, write the review, which can take you a week, and then just ask for a refund.
Remember that the best blogging topics are:
To find products related to these topics, you can search in:
I think ClickBank is the most popular one. This site has a lot of categories you can choose from and is trusted by many affiliate marketers.
This is another popular site. Most affiliate coaches recommend this site too.
If you don’t find the products you’re looking for in ClickBank, you will find them here.
This is a good alternative and has some great products to promote. It’s trusted by many affiliates.
An important thing about affiliate marketing for bloggers is to choose the right products to promote.
So, affiliate marketing is not easy. The competition is generally high to promote products.
If you want to do affiliate marketing for hosting companies then the competition to rank on the first page of Google is tough.
But if you see this through in the long run you will have more opportunities to rank on the first page.
You can make money blogging by doing affiliate marketing. All you need to do is have a WordPress blog and choose the right products to promote.
One of the best things you can do to make money blogging is to create an email list.
An email list will let you directly stay in touch with your readers. That’s why bloggers often offer something for free, like an ebook or a discount coupon, but in return you have to give the blogger your email address.
“Starting and building your email list is one of the most important things you can do when starting your blog. Your email subscribers will be the loyal followers that will share your blog posts, show up for your webinars, and buy your programs and services. The best thing you can do for your blog is start an email list. The next best thing you can do is actually send emails to your list. Don’t just gather email subscribers, get to know them! Send them emails that will help them. Send them emails from your heart. Don’t ignore your subscribers or get scared to email them. Spend time nurturing your list, getting to know them, and build your relationships.” – Jen from Women Winning Online.
So, how can you build an email list?
Here are some tips that can help you create an email list:
- Enticing content upgrades
- Exit intent pop-ups
- Fully or partially gated content
- Squeeze pages
- Loyalty and referral programs
- Discounts and deals
- Exclusive notifications
- Social media
My recommendation for you is to write an ebook, something that is attractive for your audience, and give it away for free.
You can put a pop-up plugin on your blog so that every time a new reader comes to your blog an ad will appear, showing that the reader can download the ebook in return for an email.
If the ebook fulfills the need of the reader you can grow an email list quickly.
Don’t purchase an email list. A purchased email list is not only a guaranteed way to have your emails end up in a spam folder, but it is also illegal.
There are serious ramifications involving both the European Data Privacy Act, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the United States 2003 CAN-SPAM act. All of these laws place restrictions on the collection of users’ personal information as well as monitoring email opt-in sequences. If businesses are found to be in breach of these restrictions, there are substantial financial penalties.
Also, send a welcome email or series. Nobody likes to feel as though they’re just a number. Once you have subscribers’ email addresses, you must work to retain them. Plus, if you don’t nurture your lead, your previous acquisition efforts become useless. Make sure you have a welcome series set up to introduce new users to your brand.
And use social proof. Showing that many people have already subscribed to your email list builds trust, instills FOMO, and tempts new people to sign up. Use copy like “Join over 100,000 subscribers” and “Join a community of 100K fans”.
You can place ads on your blog. The more common provider is Google AdSense, and it’s the one I have on my blog.
Five to six years ago it was easy to place Google AdSense on any blog, but recently it has become difficult to be accepted in the program.
Here is the new account approval process:
- Ensure your website is compatible with AdSense
- Sign up for an AdSense account
- Login to your AdSense account
- Add the AdSense code
- Wait for 1–2 weeks for final review and approval
To be honest I had problems getting AdSense approval, and after investigating I found that these are what you need to get the approval.
Add some important pages:
- About us
- Terms and conditions
You need to have sufficient content or posts on every page and category. In total, you should have 15–30 blog posts on your whole blog. You should have at least 3–4 posts in every category, tag and page. Google AdSense recommends that a blog must have sufficient content on every single web page.
You need to make sure that all your images and videos are not copyrighted.
Add a “contact us” page as well, and it should contain a contact form.
I made all these changes and waited for two weeks, then I requested the approval again and I was accepted.
Make Money Blogging. Step 5: Sell Sponsored Blog Posts
Some bloggers aren’t interested in displaying ads to their audience and wonder how to monetize a blog without ads.
With ad networks, you lose some control over the content displayed on your site. Some readers will get annoyed or offended by ads, and more and more people are using ad blockers which affects your earning potential.
An alternative way to monetize a blog is through sponsorships.
A sponsorship works just like it does in sports, TV shows, or other industries. Basically, a company pays you to represent their product, talk about it, and promote it to your readers.
To get started, it’s a good idea to put together a one-page media kit that details your traffic stats, social media following, audience demographics, and any other data that will make your site more appealing to advertisers. Then, you can approach companies to negotiate a sponsorship deal.
When publishing sponsored posts, it’s crucial to know the laws in your area about disclosure.
For example, in the United States, a blogger who publishes a sponsored post must comply with the FTC’s Endorsement Guides. This includes disclosing whenever a post is sponsored. You can do that by adding a sponsored post prefix to your post title in WordPress.
Finally, I recommend having a WordPress blog.
1. WordPress is free
2. WordPress features easy customization in regard to themes and plugins
3. WordPress goes along with SEO
4. WordPress management is a smoother affair
5. WordPress is safe for use
6. Managing different media types is easy with WordPress
No, blogging is not easy if you want to have a profitable blog. For me blogging is a pleasure, but researching SEO and learning what keywords to use for a new post takes time—it is not easy.
Some bloggers make their blog profitable within a year, and for others it can be two years.
Yes, bloggers can have blogs within different niches and make all of them profitable.
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