Wondering how bloggers get paid?
How much can you earn as a full-time, professional blogger?
As a professional blogger of over 13 years, I had tons of experience with a variety of blog monetization strategies.
Here’s everything you need to know about blog monetization, the top strategies you should try, and your potential earnings.
How Do Bloggers Make Money?
Professional bloggers make money through various strategies, like affiliate marketing, content sponsorships, advertising, online selling, gated content, and other premium content offers. With a combination of these strategies, new bloggers can make around $500 to $2,500 per month.
Blogging Income Potential Explained
Here’s a quick breakdown of bloggers’ potential income sources based on industry:
|Niche||Ways they earn||Average income|
|$5,000 per month|
|$5,174 per month|
|$3,650 per month|
|$9,169 per month (median)|
|$2,500 per month|
|$9,1900 per month|
How Bloggers Make Money: 6 Time-Tested Strategies
1. Affiliate Marketing
Average income: 80% of affiliate marketers earn an average of $40,000 per year
This brings us to affiliate marketing—the most popular and accessible monetization strategy for bloggers. Basically, it allows you to earn commissions for promoting another company’s products.
Commissions are earned whenever customers use a blogger’s affiliate link to complete a sale.
For example, if a company offers a commission rate of 10% for the sale of a product that costs $100, bloggers can make $10 each time a customer uses their affiliate link and makes a purchase.
I personally had a ton of success promoting digital products, particularly writing assistants and SEO tools, as an affiliate. In fact, the majority of my profits from blogging come from affiliate marketing.
Although affiliate marketing has a huge potential income, the vast majority of bloggers struggle with the following challenges:
- Finding a profitable niche
- Looking for an affiliate program
- Producing standout content
- Generating monthly traffic
Here’s a quick look at the top affiliate marketing networks:
|ClickBank||Up to 75%||Supplements|
Diet & weight loss
Home and Garden
Health and wellness
To learn the nitty-gritty of affiliate marketing, read my complete guide here.
2. Sponsored Content
Average income: $50-$25,000 per post (higher if using social media)
Content sponsorships pay bloggers and social media influencers a good sum of money per post.
Naturally, the amount you make depends on your authority and reach. For your reference, the most expensive influencer blog post service on IZEA sits at $2,000 per post, while the rest ranges between $50 and $350 per post.
3. Selling Products
Average income: $63,000 per month (new eCommerce stores)
In the world of blogging, a product comes in two forms: physical and digital.
Amazon Associates affiliates technically sell physical products—but they only get a commission out of every sale. If you want to turn your blog into a full-fledged eCommerce store, your potential income can go from $63,000 within the first three months to a whopping $127,000 per month after one year.
Unfortunately, eCommerce requires a huge capital—not just for the costs of your website, but also the ongoing expenses of managing your store. eCommerce also requires specific professional skills like inventory management, product research, and accounting to be successful.
An alternative to eCommerce would be the sale of digital products, including eBooks and templates.
4. Freelance Writing
Average income: $68,767 per year
Bloggers can also make money by offering freelance writing services to other brands.
According to the International Association of Professional Writers & Editors, freelance writers in the United States make an average of $68,767 per year.
A blog will help establish your expertise, prove your writing skills, and attract higher-paying clients. However, freelance writing can be a full-time job that would take your time away from blogging.
5. Display Advertising
Average income: $0.10 to $1.00 per click
Display advertising is considered the least profitable monetization strategy for bloggers. But if your blog generates tons of traffic per month, it’s a reliable way to add a huge chunk to your monthly income.
Bloggers start display advertising by joining networks like Google AdSense. Just remember to learn about campaign models (PPC, CPM, etc.) and analyze the impact of ads on the user experience.
6. Selling Online Courses
Average income: $5,000 per month
Online course creators make an average of $1,000 to $10,000 per month.
While they offer a decent income potential, remember that building a high-quality online course and marketing to potential students involve lots of work. Managing your online course and keeping it updated also takes a ton of time, especially when it comes to addressing students’ needs.
I used to sell an in-depth blogging course through my website, and it served as an effective source of income for a long time. Due to the lack of time, I was no longer able to provide personal mentorship sessions to my students—let alone up-to-date course materials.
If you want to sell online courses, be sure you are ready to commit several hours per week to managing your students and updating your content. Your next step is to look for a suitable online course platform, like Teachable and Podia.
How Much Bloggers Make
With numerous earning opportunities, bloggers can build wealth online while focusing on topics they’re passionate about.
Travel blogger Matthew Kepnes, for example, made $750,000 in one year—while Michelle Schroeder-Gardner nets around $100,000 per month.
According to Glassdoor, the average income of bloggers in the United States is $75,225 per year.
Multiple survey results also reveal the following income ranges for full-time bloggers:
|$0 – $500 per month||$501 – $10,000 per month||$10,000+ per month|
|Digital Nomad Wannabe||60.7%||25.4%||13.9%|
|My Work From Home Money||38.9%||52.8%||8.3%|
Interested in starting a blog?
Of course, you’ll start at the $0-$500 per month bracket—possibly throughout your first year. But if you consistently overcome obstacles and stay focused on your goals, you’ll find your way in the $10,000 per month range eventually.
Start Your Blogging Business Today
Ready to start your blogging business and make money?
Remember, the first step is always the hardest.
Making your first dollar as a professional blogger comes with a ton of challenges. You need to work like your life depends on it—go big, or go home.
If you’re undertaking this journey, be sure to read my ultimate A to Z guide on how to start a blog.