The Honest Truth About Making Money With Your Blog: I Make A Lot Less Than You Might Think

One comment (and, perhaps, misconception) I've received from a couple of readers is something along the lines of:


I guess the underlying assumption there is that I'm able to make a living from this blog of mine? I wish that were true.

Because I do truly love blogging. I've always been a writer but when I wrote professionally, there was little about it that I found fulfilling. This little blog—where I can share anything and everything—has revived that love in me once again. (You can read more about why I started this blog here.)

So much so that it would be my dream job to be able to blog full-time.

Right now, having blogged for more than two years, I’m not at that point though. While I do make some money off this blog, I'll be frank and tell you that I make around $100 to $150 a month from blogging revenue. When you factor in the amount of time I spend working on this blog—hours and hours each week, writing posts, sourcing photos, editing graphics, etc.—that makes for way, way less than minimum wage.

But, like I said, I love doing it. So while I would love to make more money from it, that is not the sole reason why I have this blog. If it were, I would have given up long ago. (Honestly, I don't think I even started making any money at all until I'd been blogging for a year and a half!)

I know there are many other bloggers out there who truly can make a decent income off their blog, but I think that's more the exception than the rule and it takes a lot of time and a lot of effort to get to that point.

I could definitely try harder to make more money off my blog. There are lots of avenues that other bloggers have used to monetize their blog, whether it's writing e-books, selling ad space to vendors directly, creating products for sale or offering e-courses.

I have thought about doing some of them (maybe an e-book someday?!), but for now I've chosen to stick with two simple avenues: sharing some affiliate links to places like Amazon (which you can read more about here) and having ads (served through ad networks) displayed on my blog. The second is where most of my blogging income is generated. It's really simple and pretty effortless once you're signed up and have the code in place, and I really like it for that reason. Because then I can spend more time writing my blog.

(Read more about my experiences working with two advertising networks on blog: Here's my review of working with ContextWeb to feature ads on my blog, and here's my experience using BlogHer Ads to monetize my blog. You can read all about what I like about each as well as find links to sign up!)

Even with multiple ads running on my blog, though, I still make a lot more money through my freelance writing than I do through my blog. I hope that over time, as more and more people discover my blog, that those roles will change and that this blog can contribute more and more to our income.

I’m fortunate that my husband is able to bring in enough from his job to support us, while we keep all our other costs down. (Read more about how we're doing that and living frugally here.) This has allowed me freedom to devote much of my free time to cultivating this blog, despite the fact that it isn’t really all that profitable. 

But for now, I’m happy making even a little bit of income from this hobby of mine! And who knows what the future might hold?!

This post is part of my Better Blogging series, where I respond to some of the most common questions that I receive about blogging. Feel free to read all of the posts in this series here.

Related Posts 
My Experience Having Ads on My Blog and Using ContextWeb's Advertising Network
3 Easy Ways We've Learned to Stretch Our Finances 


  1. Thanks for your honesty. I just started my blog in January and I think between ads and amazon I am up to $3 in revenue, I was trying not to be discouraged thinking "surely others start out this slow" so to know they do, gives me courage to continue on.

  2. It's refreshing to see transparency about the "real business side" of blogging. Thanks for your honesty!

  3. Thanks, ladies; I'm so glad that you enjoyed this post! I, too, have appreciated when other bloggers have been honest about where they are, so I'm happy to share my experience, as well!

    For awhile it was difficult for me to not compare my blog with other 'successful' ones until I started realizing that most of the ones I was looking at had been around for four, five years. Mine? Still at two years. So that helped put things in a lot of perspective for me!

  4. It's refreshing to see transparency about the "real business side" of blogging. Thanks sharing....

  5. I turned on Google adsense and so far have made about $11 :o) And I'm a writer too, so I enjoyed your insights. Thanks!

  6. Yep. Blogging sure can be glamorous, huh?! ;)

  7. Hi! I just found your site and love it! Esp these monetizing posts. Thanks for your honesty :)

  8. I do feel like it is funny that you need to devote full time hours to make a blog successful, yet you can't support yourself on blogging until you do it for free. {At least for people who are coming into blogging green and haven't had any blog experience.}

    My blog was private for almost two years and I really wrote for myself and a handful of friends/family. It wasn't until I took it public that I ever even considered making money from my blog. Now it's finally generating income, but not 'making a living' by any means. BlogHer has been fantastic for me, I like the ease and if you start adding in reviews from time to time I think you'll see an increase from where you are now.

    Keep at it!

  9. Just found your blog earlier today. I have enjoyed reading through old posts. It seems like every blog I read is a part of the Blogher Ad Network. :) I have applied a few times and have been rejected every time, so I have decided to give up on it. :) I'm definitely not a gifted writer; in fact I would go so far as to say that most of what I write is garbage. I would love to devote full time hours to blogging. I think it would be fun. My husband probably wouldn't find it fun though!


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