“Get Rich Quick” by Blogging

It’s inevitable.

Every time I teach a social media workshop, I get this question:

How can I make money blogging?

I feel like there’s this idea out there in the world that making money blogging is the latest and greatest get-rich-quick scheme. Get a blog, put some Google PPC ads on it and voila! Watch the cash roll in while you sleep!

Like most get-rich-quick schemes, this is a lot of hype, and not much truth. Like anything, blogging is work and it takes time and persistence to really make it pay off.

Certainly, there are examples of folks who make a living blogging: John Chow is the first one that comes to mind. He makes a $40,000/month income from blogging, but he also has 122,000 readers per month.

Guys like John are by far the exception rather than the rule. I asked Rebecca Bolwitt, Miss 604, who is Vancouver’s #1 blogger, about how she makes a living from her blog.

I think blogging more than anything gives me the visibility that leads to paid opportunities such as speaking engagements, consulting, or even building websites. My Google Ads and private ads have generated some revenue but it took me 7 years to get to this point because making money was never my focus.
People know the brand I have built up and that leads to business opportunities for my company, sixty4media, which is my main source of income. I’m certain I could dive in further with advertising or paid content on my site, but it’s still a blog to me – something that I created because I love to write and share information. If I wanted it to be a business, I bet it even wouldn’t be as popular.
Here’s the bottom line: if you want to make money as a blogger, you have to diversify. Yes, you can certainly sell ads on your blog: PPC, Affiliate programs, the works. But if creating an income from your blog is part of your plan, here are some other ways you can do so:
  • Sell things off of your blog: an e-book or courses or some other product (ie: your artwork)
  • Use your blog to drive traffic to your primary business (your blog establishes you as an expert in your field, which gives you credibility, and makes people want to hire you)
  • Offer workshops or seek out teaching opportunities
  • Hire yourself out to live blog events (you have to have good numbers to do this and to make it work)
  • Create a membership site

Again, there’s no overnight get-rich-quick solution. The truth is, you need to put in the work and build up your numbers and your following.

For more information, check out this post by Darren Rowse over at Problogger (who makes a living from his blogging work).

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Rebecca Coleman

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Blogger, Author, Teacher, Trainer. Passionate foodie, mom to Michael, fueled by Americanos. I love my bike. Soon-to-be cookbook author. Localvore with a wanderlust.

Comments 8

  1. Great post Rebecca! I have been having this conversation lately about putting ads Google/PPC on my site, people telling me I should show that I can `monetize` but I just don’t see how it can generate that much income. Then there is this tax issue that you have to deal with as it`s a US thing…maybe someone can enlighten me on that. I think the tips and points you make here are so right on and valuable. Thanks for confirming what I`ve learned the hard way! 🙂

  2. Right on Rebecca. Work, work and hustle is what it takes.

    Tina, ads seem to only be worth it if you have lots of traffic. If you have a smaller audience it what appears to be working for many at the moment is creating or recommending products specifically for them.


  3. I make a living from “blogging”… sort of. I do make the money, but it’s not exactly the blogging part of what I do that brings in the cash (almost: it’s the ebooks). Qualifications to comment established.

    Rebecca, you basically gave this idea the spanking it deserves, but I want to suggest a tweak. You wrote that there is “not much truth” in it, and I gotta say, there’s really none at all! There’s barely even “get rich slow” in blogging. Just as it has ever been, it’s hard to make a living from writing. It’s possible, but takes an absolute crapload of work and dedication and luck.

    What I really want to contribute though is that BLOGGING IS WRITING. It’s writing, it’s writing, it’s writing! Somehow this seems to escape the notice of many bloggers. When we’re talking about blogging to make money we’re talking about WRITING to make money. If you’re not a writer, if you don’t write good stuff that adds value to people’s lives, if you don’t create something made of words that they really, genuinely want to read … well, you don’t have a prayer of making money blogging. 🙂

  4. Thanks for all your comments, guys. All really good and well appreciated.
    Tina, the whole American thing is very complex–I’ve looked into it and decided not to go down that road (I was going to try to sell my book on the Ibookstore).

  5. What? Why was I not told about this sooner? 🙂

    Seriously, this is a great post, Rebecca. You perhaps come in contact with more people who ask you the “how can I make money from my blog” than I do. Many people in the non-profit arts don’t even really know what a blog is so the biggest thing is to motivate them to see the value of one for all the reasons you laid out in your post about it building your reputation, platform etc.

    Thanks for this.

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