I want to be completely honest about how long it takes to make money with your blog. I think some people are under the impression that you can start a blog and within a few months, be able to quit your full-time job. Sure, that DOES happen, but I honestly don’t think it’s the norm. If you’re working full-time, you’re already strapped for time. Add kids into that mix and you’ve got very little time.
Here’s a realistic look at how long it takes to make money with your blog, plus how to earn an income from your blog.
I’m a mom to three little girls. I started my blog in September 2014 when my two oldest girls were just two and one. I was freelancing at the time, not a full-time employee. My blog, however, launched me into the awesome world of personal finance freelance writing. So while my blog itself may not have made much money, I actually made quite a bit my first year of blogging thanks to freelancing.
From September 2014 when I started my blog to August 2015, I made $18,066.44.
You can view all of these earning on my income reports page.
How Blogging Lead to Freelance Jobs
I started my blog with the intent of turning it into a small business. But with two little girls and tons of freelancing work rolling in, I knew it was going to take some time. Let’s face it, we’re all busy. I want this post to help you paint an accurate picture of how long it takes to make money with your blog. If you’re debating starting a blog, I want to this to be a resource for you.
I made my first $100 blogging within the first five months of starting it. I did it through ads, and you can read more about that here. However, the money didn’t just start increasing at that point. It wasn’t for another 2-3 months that I made another $100 through ads. It takes time. Now, almost three years in, I’m making ~$300/month in ads. Slowwww growth, but I’ll take it!
I’m also making over $1,000/month in affiliate sales. You can view my latest income report here.
If you’re interested in freelance writing, becoming a VA, or landing any online work from home, though, I highly highly highly recommend starting a blog. Before starting my blog, I was freelancing for two main companies. The first was a women’s website which I enjoyed, but I mostly wrote about health, relationships and food. Personal finance was my passion, and while I did get a few personal finance assignments within that site, it definitely wasn’t my “niche.”
The other company was a content mill. That’s right – I was writing tons of articles on a bajillion different subjects for a whopping $25/article. While yes, we all have to start somewhere, why not create your own platform (ie your blog) in the niche of your choice to showcase your work? My blog was now my portfolio of personal finance writing samples, and it landed me tons of clients.
Interested in starting a blog? Check out my tutorial on how to start a profitable blog here! Use my link and receive my book on blogging – The Beginner’s Guide to Blogging – for free! You’ll also receive a special discount on Bluehost for using my link! Win, win!
While you can make a living writing for content mills and other low-paying sites, you’re going to work more than full-time. I don’t know about you, but my goal has always been to maximize my income while minimizing my time 🙂 Having a niche allowed me to portray myself as an expert, and the companies that hired me paid significantly better than the sites I wrote for without having a niche.
A few months after starting my blog, I was working less yet making more. I got emails frequently regarding freelance assignments and had a much easier time applying for freelance jobs and hearing back. Again, I made over $18,000 the first year of starting my blog through freelancing. You can, too!
How Long It Takes to Make Money with Your Blog
Now, almost three years in, I am so happy to say that it’s my blog that is making me the most amount of money (not freelancing!). In fact, for the most part, I don’t freelance anymore unless it’s an awesome company for an awesome rate.
This month, my blog will take in close to $3,000. Want to know how much time I spent blogging? Oh, about 10 hours.
But, let’s please not forget that I’ve been blogging for almost three years now. If you start a blog now, you’re not doing it so you can make thousands within a few months, but rather so you can create a better future for you and your family (and pick up some awesome freelancing jobs in the interim!).
To help my blog grow, I’ve been using Tailwind to schedule my pins on Pinterest. You guys, Tailwind is a game-changer. I pin 100+ times per day, and there is just no way I could do that manually. Use my link to get started for free!
I think it can be deceiving (perhaps that’s not the right word…) to see blogging income reports where the blogger is making five figures per month. It makes it seem “too easy,” if that makes sense. The thing that most people don’t think about, though, is that these high-earning bloggers have been at it for years (most likely 4-5 years, minimum). They’ve learned so much along the way and made tons of mistakes, but the reason they got to where they are today is simply because they didn’t give up.
How to Make Money Blogging
I recommend installing ads on your site and focusing on growing your traffic. That’s step number one. Then, as you get a feel for your audience and learn more about what they want, create a product and dive into the world of affiliate sales. Affiliate sales is my favorite way to make money. Basically, if I recommend a product and someone purchases it, I make a commission at no extra cost to the buyer. It’s almost too good to be true!
I quit my job one month ago to focus on my blog! I’m making what I consider to be a part-time income (about $2,500 per month), but I also only work part-time hours. (TBH, I really only work about five hours per week on my blog.) I will consider myself making a full-time income blogging once I hit $5,000 per month.
To sum up, I would say (and I think most bloggers would agree) that it takes a good 1-2 years to start seeing an income, and a good 4-5 years to start seeing substantial income (I’ll make sure to update when I get there, haha!).
Does this help?! Are you a new blogger or thinking of starting a blog? What are some of your goals? I’d love to hear from you!!