Short answer? No. Very few bloggers actually make a living from their blogs anymore. Did it happen in the past? Sure, around 2009 or so, blogs were big business. Advertisers were paying a ton of money. But with the advent of ad blocking software (which I don’t use because they keep websites free) and other forms of advertising, the money just isn’t there anymore.
Can you make money blogging? Sure. But it’s not going to be a ton. My goal is always to bring in enough income to keep my blog free.
Yes, that’s right. My blog is not free for me to write. What do I pay for?
- domain name
- various plugin services
It’s not expensive. It probably comes to about $15 a month or so, but that adds up over the year. Could I blog for free? Absolutely. There are some great blogging sites out there (Blogger, WordPress, even Tumblr) that let you blog for free. But when you pay for your site, you get a lot more control.
How do I make money from my blog? Well, there’s a banner ad off to the side, but that brings in pennies a day. Most of the money comes from sponsored posts and product reviews. You can tell those from the disclosure. Sometimes I just do reviews of products I like, in which case I let you know.
But I’m picky about my paid posts. I don’t want to be one of those bloggers who just shills for anything. So I really try to only support products and companies that I like and use and would use regardless of my affiliation with them. I’ve used Diet-to-Go meals on and off for years when my life gets crazy and I find myself eating frozen meals for every meal, for example.
Did I cover my costs for this blog last year? Yes. Not by a huge margin, but I did. And the extra money I earned? Went straight to my Team Fight fundraising. I’m not in this for the money. I write a blog because I want to. It’s a great way for me to track my training and my life, and it’s fun. I’ve met a lot of cool people through blogging and I’ve made a number of new friends. It still shocks me when people recognize me through my blog, but I guess my hair does make me stand out a bit.
Either way, blogging is awesome. Don’t get into it just because you want to make money. Blog because you want to write. I see so many new bloggers saying “Okay, how do I make money from this?” That’s not the point. And I think you will notice when a blogger tries to make a good chunk of money from their blog, one of two things happen. The quality of their writing suffers and you stop reading or the blogger gets burned out and quits. Neither of those is a path I want to follow.
photo by 401(K) 2012