Do bloggers really make money from their blogs? According to Pinterest, they certainly do.
A quick Pinterest search for the terms “money” + “blog” and you are inundated with the ads.
- How I Make 15,000 per month on my blog!
- You can make $3000 a month as a Stay at Home Mom!
- How to Make Money your First Week as a Blogger
This post contains affiliate links. That’s one way bloggers make money. See disclosure.
Are these claims true? Is is a big marketing ploy to get you to buy products? How do you separate the truth from the people just trying to get you to buy something? This is a question I have been pondering over the past few weeks.
The Hustle Begins
I first began blogging in 2012 over on the free WordPress site. Pretty much the same kind of content as here because personal finance is my passion.
In my quest for more investment capital, I recently began looking for new ways to earn some money on the side. I had always heard there was money to be made in blogging. I have been an Amazon and eBay affiliate for years as I sold on both platforms. Because of that, I am vaguely familiar with affiliate marketing which many blogs tout as the secret sauce to profit building.
I decided if I was going to be writing the content anyway, I might as well be making some money from it. I switched over to a paid WordPress site which I hosted through Bluehost. (<<yep, affiliate link) This cost a nice little chunk of change because I paid for the 36-month rate upfront to get the best price. If I do something, I go all in. Plus, I figured forking over that kind of money would force me to get off my butt and write.
12/17/16 Update: While I did begin my blog using Bluehost as my hosting site, I quickly realized that they were not the service for me. The downtime of my site when hosted through Bluehost was lower than I wanted. I recently switched my hosting to Siteground and couldn’t be more please with the service. My website load speed increased as well as my view due to the load page increase.
Bluehost is a slightly cheaper option and may still be an option if you are just starting out and cost is a concern. I recommend checking out both and making your decision from there. For my site, I much prefer Siteground.
In all the research I have been doing on the correct way to get views, email subscribers, etc I have noticed a recurring theme. The main people who are yelling about all the money you can make are trying to sell you something to help you make that money. They have products to help you increase your email list. Products to help you grow your Pinterest followers. There are products to help increase your views. I’m being overrun with products!
I’m sick of everybody trying to sell me something! Let me tell you a secret. If I had a ton of disposable income, I wouldn’t be worried about making money!
Truthfully, I am all for entrepreneurs. I am thrilled that people have found a way to make money from their blogs. It is great that there are people who have figured out the key and are willing to share it. And there is nothing wrong with them getting paid for their expertise. I am not trying to down bloggers who sell products. But, it can be overwhelming when it feels like everybody is wanting money from you. And it becomes impossible to discern who is really offering a quality product that will really improve your business versus who is just out to take your money and run.
The problem is that it is not easy to figure out the honest folks from the crooks. You can’t look people in the eye and get a feel for their personality. The cute little graphics and fancy buzz words are the same. The scammers have just copied the work from the real bloggers who are selling quality products that really help people.
It not only hurts those of us who are looking for real information. It hurts the honest bloggers who are working hours creating quality presentations because they truly care about helping people.
Income Reports from Bloggers who Make Money
I have found that quite a few bloggers actually post their income reports for everyone to see. Many of those are folks who blog about blogging but not all. I found a very interesting post over at Monumetric entitled 10 Bloggers Who Publish Month Income Reports. These blogs run the gamete from food blogs to travel blogs to marketing blogs. The profits also have a dramatic range from $900 to $26,000 per month. This post is from 2015 so undoubtedly the amounts have probably changed.
Cash Flow Diaries offers a similar more comprehensive list of 40 bloggers who post income reports. Some of these names are the same while more have been added. Again, their number vary greatly. This post was updated in October 2016 so the numbers are probably pretty close.
While these posts did give me some hope that it’s not only people who blog about blogging that make money, it doesn’t answer other questions. Some reveal monthly views, how long they have been operating and what avenues generated the money while others do not.
What none really share (without paying) are the details of got from $0 to where they are currently.
The Experiment Begins
That brings us here. I have decided to conduct a little experiment using this very blog and myself as the guinea pig. Since I am starting at $0, it is the perfect place to begin. Well, I suppose I am actually in the hole about $150 with the cost of domain and hosting but we will calculate that at the end of the month.
I began this blog at the end of October with 0 views, nearly 0 Pinterest followers, and $0 dollars profit.
Can you really start a blog and start making a profit without spending money on marketing programs? Can you actually make a living working on a blog from the comfort of your own home? What strategies actually make the numbers start to move. I don’t know the answers to these questions yet. Heck, I may not find out the answers but I can promise that I will fill you in on the progress you every step of the way. If I make a few dollars, I will tell you how. If I fall on my face, at least you will all get to watch.
If you have been thinking about starting a blog and you want to know the real facts without the sales pitch, stay tuned. If I do come across products that actually do what they promise, I will be more than happy to tell you about those. I can report that I have seen a few free programs that offer genuine information that has been truly helpful to me. which I will be writing about later.
The first-month results are in. Check them out below.
No matter how this turns out, I will be here, providing the best content that I can. Hopefully, helping some of you learn to save some money. I’ll be sharing the best side hustles I can find to help you dig out of debt. I will also be sharing my personal journey of learning to invest.
If you would like to share your own experience with blogging, we would love to hear about it. Share with us in the comments. Tell it like it is. We can take it.