So, how long does it take to make money blogging? Well, I want to start by setting a very clear expectation: making money from a blog is not easy. In fact, it’s very hard. No matter the topic you choose to start a blog about, you’ll be competing against people who’ve been blogging for years.
There’s also no guarantee you’ll ever make money from your blog. The time it takes to make money from a blog will vary depending upon several factors (which we’ll explore below).
That said, making money from a blog isn’t impossible. I know a lot of successful blogger examples who’ve carved out a profitable business for themselves in a wide range of niches, despite high existing competition. And you can learn to do that too.
However, it’s extremely important to set realistic expectations for how long it’ll take to start earning from your blog—otherwise, you’ll almost certainly reach frustration and burnout in your first year if you’re not seeing the kinds of results you want.
How Long Does it Take to Make Money Blogging? (2023)
- How Long it Takes to Start Making Money from a Blog
- Factors that Affect How Long it Takes to Make Money from a Blog
- Smart Ways to Start Making Money from Your Blog
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission. Know that I only recommend products and services I’ve personally used and stand behind. When you use one of my affiliate links, the company compensates me, which helps me run this blog and keep my in-depth content free of charge for readers (like you).
Ready to Start Your Blog Today?
Check out my ultimate guide How to Start a Blog (on the Side) that’s been featured on Forbes, Inc and Entrepreneur.
Now without further delay, let’s dig right into this important question…
How Long Does it Take to Make Money from a Blog?
In most cases, you should expect it to take at least 6 to 12 months (minimum) of consistent blogging & promoting your content to start earning something from your blog. When it comes to making $1,000/mo in blog income, expect that to take 1 to 2 years of consistent effort for most people.
Beyond that timeframe, it gets pretty difficult to try and give estimates, but I’ll share based on my own experience. Most importantly though, there’s no single answer for everyone here and the best thing I can tell you is, it depends on a lot of factors.
Can you make money faster from a blog? Absolutely. I know a few bloggers who’ve reached $100,000+ in their first year of blogging. However, I know many more who’ve blogged for 2 to 3 years and are still struggling to reach a consistent $100/mo in blog income.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how I’d encourage setting expectations for the time to make money from a blog (from my own experience):
- Earning $100/mo blogging: 6 to 12 months
- Earning $1,000/mo blogging: 1 to 2 years
- Earning $10,000/mo blogging: 3 to 4 years
- Earning $25,000/mo blogging: 4 to 5 years
- Earning $50,000/mo blogging: 5 to 6 years
Again, I want to reiterate that making $50,000/mo from a blog is not typical. Getting to this level of income takes a lot of time and effort… and I’ve been fortunate to make friends with a lot of very successful bloggers who’ve helped me along the way.
The number of bloggers I know earning $50,000/mo (or more) isn’t huge—and by this point, we all have very diversified businesses that include income sources like books, courses, podcasting, advertising, sponsorships, freelancing or consulting, affiliate marketing, physical products, building my own blogging tools (like RightBlogger) and more. We’re exploring those in detail later on in this guide.
Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to, “how long does it take to make money blogging?” Blogging is a long-term investment—these income sources take time to build and grow.
How Much Money Can Bloggers Make?
On average, full-time bloggers make around $45,000—with most bloggers earning somewhere between $38,440 to $51,906. The amount of money bloggers make can vary widely, though. Factoring in part-time bloggers, most bloggers earn very little (less than $1,000 per year), especially in the first year of blogging.
As your traffic grows, you’ll have more opportunities to make money blogging and begin earning much more from it. Today, I make anywhere from $25,000/mo to $60,000/mo from my blog—which makes for a nice cushion of extra savings for me (a very meaningful amount of money).
Over the past several years, I’ve made between $250,000 and $500,000 per year as a blogger (part-time), which I personally feel is a lot of money and makes a major impact on my quality of life. My blog income can vary quite a bit depending upon how well certain posts are doing as far as traffic and affiliate income, the number of students joining my paid blogging courses, how many freelance clients I accept, and other variables.
Now, let’s talk about some of those factors that’ll impact how long it’ll take to make money from your blog.
7 Factors That Affect How Long it Takes to Make Money from a Blog
Your ability to start earning from your blog will be heavily dependent upon the amount of time, effort and resources you’re able to dedicate to several factors. Here are the most impactful factors to keep in mind:
1. Number of Blog Posts
Writing more blog posts (while maintaining high quality content) can increase your chances of making money faster from your blog. Anecdotally, most bloggers I know who publish more frequent blog posts… earn more money from their blogs.
While this isn’t an exact science, the odds are in favor of more blog posts translating into increasing your traffic—and thus giving you more opportunities to monetize your blog.
2. Monetization Methods
The number and type of blog monetization methods you choose to pursue will also affect how quickly you start making money from your blog. Some of the most common ways to monetize a blog include advertising, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and selling digital or physical products.
We’re exploring all of these monetization methods (and more) in-depth next, but the main takeaway is that experimenting with different monetization methods will help you find the ones that work best for both your blog and your audience.
3. Amount of Readers
The more targeted readers your blog gets, the more money you can potentially make. That’s because more readers translates into more page views—which in turn, leads to more ad revenue, more affiliate sales, and more opportunities for sponsored posts or partnerships.
Getting more traffic to your blog and boosting your page views can take time, but focusing on creating high-quality content, dialing in your SEO best practices and promoting your content through the right social media channels & guest blogging will help speed up your traffic acquisition dramatically.
4. Blog Post Quality
The quality of your blog posts will also affect how quickly you start making money. Creating high-quality, informative, and engaging content can help attract and retain readers, which will lead to more opportunities to monetize your blog.
With the boom in AI content creation, what should you do? While the best AI writing tools will certainly help you blog faster, they’re not a copy & paste solution—the bloggers who will be most successful in this new era are those who lean into their new superpowers of emotional intelligence and injecting real humanity into their content. Even though I co-founded RightBlogger and use the tools daily, I don’t recommend running with AI-generated content without adding in your own voice & tone.
5. Attitude & Mentality
I hope I’m not the first to tell you this… but blogging your way to $10,000/mo or more is going to be a long journey (for almost everyone). Your attitude towards blogging and the relationship you develop with your blog will play a pivotal role in how long it takes to make money.
Setting realistic expectations will help you develop a positive and persistent attitude that can help you overcome the inevitable challenges, setbacks and keep working the blogging strategies that’ll get you to your blogging goals.
6. Your Blog’s Niche
The blog niche you choose can also affect how quickly you start making money. Some niches are more profitable than others, and some may have more competition. Doing research and choosing a niche that aligns with your interests & expertise can help set you up for success. Check out my list of profitable blog niches for more inspiration.
Finally, it’s important to remember that making money from a blog takes time—and that there are no guarantees, ever.
If anyone ever promises you’ll make a certain amount of income from your blog by following their formula, run for the hills. What works for one person, may not be as directly applicable to another—and it can lead to disillusionment, frustration and giving up on your blog. I’m very careful not to ever make that promise in my course, Built to Blog.
Blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s the process of building a real online business, which requires consistent effort, patience, and dedication. However, with the right strategies and mindset, it is possible to start making money from your blog within a reasonable timeframe.
8 Smart Ways to Start Making Money from a Blog
You’re here because you want to know, how long does it take to make money blogging? Well, let’s zoom in and explore some of the most popular ways to make money blogging. From sponsored content to affiliate marketing, blog advertisements, online courses, books (and eBooks), physical products, freelancing, and podcast sponsorships, you’ll be more than set to get started on your monetization journey.
1. Sponsored Content
Sponsored content is a form of advertising where companies will pay you to create content that promotes their products or services. This can include blog posts, videos, social media posts, and more. Think of sponsored content as a partnership between you and a brand you’re excited about sharing with your audience. Here’s an example of a sponsored post I wrote for Slidebean a couple years ago.
When you create engaging, high-quality content that aligns with their brand, they’ll compensate you for your work. Just make sure the brands you choose to work with align with your readers interests. For example, if you’re a food blogger, promoting a new kitchen gadget from Williams Sonoma may be a natural fit.
Be transparent about your sponsored partnerships and let readers know that you received compensation for the post. Finally, don’t just regurgitate a company’s talking points—add your own voice and personality to the content you create. Sponsored content can be a great way to monetize your blog, but it’s important to do it right.
2. Affiliate Marketing
One of the best ways to monetize your blog is through affiliate marketing—which has been my largest source of blog income over the years. Simply put, affiliate marketing is when you promote products or services operated by other companies (or people) on your blog and earn a commission for each sale that’s made through your affiliate link. Here are all the best affiliate programs for bloggers today.
Think of it as being a spokesperson for a product or service you genuinely believe in. When your readers click on your affiliate link and make a purchase, you earn a percentage of the sale.
Get started with affiliate marketing in your industry by identifying products or services that align with your niche, your audience and your values. For example, if your blog is focused on healthy living, you could promote health supplements, meal delivery services, or fitness equipment. Then, sign up for affiliate programs related to those products or services you want to promote.
Amazon’s affiliate program is one of the most popular affiliate programs today, but there are literally hundreds of others out there. Once you start promoting to your audience, be careful not to come across as too salesy or promotional—trust is hard to earn and easily destroyed. Instead, focus on providing value to your readers and showcasing how the product or service can benefit them, too.
3. Blog Advertisements
Once your blog is attracting a decent readership (think 5,000+ monthly readers), hosting blog advertisements will become a good monetization option. However, not all ads are created equal, and simply slapping a few ads onto your site probably won’t yield the results you’re hoping for.
Here are a few recommendations to help you make the most out of blog advertisements once you open that door:
- Choose the Right Advertisements: It’s important to pick advertisements that are relevant to your blog’s content and your readers interests. For example, if your blog is all about cooking, hosting ads for cooking utensils or recipe books will be more effective than ads for electronics or fashion.
- Be Strategic with Ad Placement: The placement of your ads can significantly impact their effectiveness. Ads placed in the sidebar or header of your blog tend to perform better than those placed at the bottom of the page. Consider using blog ad networks like Google AdSense that automatically place ads in optimal locations.
- Don’t Overdo It: While advertisements can be a great way to earn money, too many ads can be overwhelming and turn off your readers. Plus, they’ll drag down your website performance and make it more difficult to rank in organic search results. Be selective with the number of ads you display on your site and avoid using intrusive pop-up ads.
Remember, blog advertisements should complement your blog’s content, not distract from it. By choosing the right ads (and blog ad networks), strategically placing them, avoiding overloading your site with ads, and tracking your results, you can unlock a higher earning potential and provide some value to your readers at the same time.
4. Online Courses
Online courses have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for a good reason. They’re a great way to share your knowledge with a broader audience and generate a steady stream of income—my own Built to Blog course has been a great example of this. Check out my picks for the top blogging courses and online business courses for more examples.
Creating an online course might seem daunting at first, but it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Whether you’re an expert in cooking, photography, or marketing, you can leverage your expertise to create a course that resonates with your audience.
Plus, there are several platforms you can use to host your online course and tap into an existing audience of students looking for great educational content. Some of the most popular ones include Teachable, Udemy, and Skillshare. These platforms provide all the tools you need to create and sell your courses, including course design templates, payment processing, and marketing tools. Just make sure you create high-quality course content that adds value to your audience.
5. Books (and eBooks)
Books have been a popular source of knowledge and entertainment for centuries, and with the advent of technology, eBooks have revolutionized the way we read. Writing a book or an eBook may seem daunting, but it can be broken down into very manageable steps.
First, choose a topic that aligns with your blog niche (that you have expertise in). Then, outline the structure of the book and create a writing schedule to keep yourself accountable. Consider also, that you can stitch together an eBook over time as you publish more content on your blog—and later compile those posts together with a more cohesive narrative throughout.
Self-publishing platforms like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and Barnes & Noble Press make it easy to publish your book or eBook and earn royalties. You can also explore traditional publishing options if you want to go down that route, though it’ll help a lot to build a sizable online audience first. Then once your book is published, you can promote it on your blog, to your email list and on your social media channels.
6. Physical Products
While digital products like courses and eBooks are popular options for bloggers to make money, physical products can also be a profitable avenue to consider. If your blog is an online storefront (just like a brick-and-mortar store), you can try stocking it with products your readers will benefit from.
The tough question is, what kinds of physical products should you sell on your blog? That depends on your niche and your audience. If you blog about cooking, for example, you could sell kitchen gadgets or cookbooks. If you blog about fashion, you could sell clothing, handmade jewelry (one of the most popular small business ideas today) or accessories.
Selling physical products does require more effort than selling digital products, in almost every situation. You’ll need to source or create the products (or work out resale distribution deals), handle shipping and fulfillment, and deal with customer service. However, there are many platforms and tools like Shopify to help you streamline this process.
7. Freelancing and Consulting
If you want to dramatically decrease the time it takes to make money blogging, consider freelancing. All you need to do is start reaching out to potential clients & pitching them on how you can help them, today. Selling your services as a freelancer also allows you to work remotely on a project-by-project basis, allowing you to work from anywhere in the world.
As a freelancer (or consultant), you get to set your own rates. You can charge based on your experience, expertise, and the value you can add to a client. This allows you to earn a more significant income than you might through traditional blog advertisements or affiliate marketing in the early days of your blog.
To get started with freelancing (or consulting), begin by identifying your niche and the services you can provide based on your skills & experience. Research your target market to determine how you can add value to their businesses. Consider creating a portfolio of your work, reaching out to your network to see if they need any help and sending cold emails to prospective clients. You can also use freelance job sites and other more niche job boards to find clients and opportunities.
8. Podcast Sponsorships
Did you know that podcast sponsorships are often more lucrative than traditional blog sponsorships? When someone is listening to a podcast, they’re a pretty captive audience, lending their full attention to the host. Starting a podcast alongside your blog just got a lot more appealing. Check out my guide to weighing a blog vs podcast to help make that decision.
Podcast sponsorships often come with higher rates than blog sponsorships, too. For example, Freshbooks sponsored the entire first season of my podcast for $5,000 (that ended up being $500/episode) before I’d even proven people would listen to the show. They placed a bet based on my blog readership reaching the 100,000 monthly reader mark.
To attract great podcast sponsors, you have to first build a strong podcast with a dedicated audience. Advertisers want to partner with podcasts that have a reliable listenership, so focus on creating high-quality content that keeps your audience coming back week after week. Once you have a solid podcast and a loyal fanbase, start reaching out to potential sponsors. Many companies are eager to partner with podcasters, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Podcast sponsorships can be highly profitable, so don’t sell yourself short. Know your worth and be willing to negotiate for fair compensation.
Like it or not, success in blogging requires a lot of dedication and hard work. By implementing these strategies & adding a healthy dose of your own experimentation along the way, you can expect to cut down that time to answering, how long does it take to make money blogging?
Final Thoughts on How Long Does it Take to Make Money Blogging? (Setting Realistic Expectations)
At the end of the day, blogging isn’t an easy way to start making money. In most cases it takes a good amount of time (6-12 months for most people to start earning something).
As you can see, how long it takes to start making money from a blog depends on many factors. While the average time to making $1,000/mo is in the 1 to 2 year range for most new bloggers, it’s possible to start making money within 6 months or less if you focus on creating high-quality content, experimenting with monetization methods, and promoting your blog effectively.
In my comprehensive online course, Built to Blog, I focus on guiding you through the paths that’ve worked for me to earn a substantial income from my blog over the years—all with a blog name based around my nickname 😂
It takes consistent effort & experimentation to get to making a meaningful amount of income from a blog—I always recommend newer bloggers to have another source of income like a full-time remote job with a little flexibility or freelance jobs, while you’re building up momentum with your blog.
Remember, blogging is a long-term game, and success requires consistent effort and dedication.
Here are a few more recommended guides to read when it comes to setting realistic expectations for growing (and profiting) from a blog:
Ready to Start Your Blog Today?
Check out my ultimate guide How to Start a Blog (on the Side) that’s been featured on Forbes, Inc and Entrepreneur.