Starting a blog is relatively easy.

Making money off it… well, not so much.

To start your own blog, all you have to do is get a domain, a good hosting, and create your blog on premium blogging platforms like WordPress.org.

I have discussed this in detail in my post How to Start a WordPress Blog. You can follow the easy tutorial given there and even buy the hosting with Bluehost through our link at discounted prices.

So let’s get on to the more difficult part…

Making money.

Or, to be more specific: Making ENOUGH money so that you can finally say goodbye to your day job and earn a full-time income online.

Sounds too good to be true?

Well, most people think that way.

And the result: They never give blogging a proper chance of becoming a full-time career.

They do not commit for long enough or put in enough effort.

And to worsen their case: Many articles on the internet only talk about how lucrative this career is WITHOUT actually talking about the kind of effort, long-term commitment, proper planning, and patience that is required.

Let me put this straight…

If you invest the right amount of time and effort, if you are committed and dedicated, AND if you’re smart enough – you too can make the dream of earning millions through blogging a reality.

So:

To prove it to you, I am today going to present a list of 21 bloggers who are making thousands of dollars every month through their blog.

I’ll introduce you to these superstars of blogging and tell you about the amount of money they make, their websites and niches, the monetization techniques they use, products they promote, and other important details.

Together, we’ll try to learn the secrets of their success so that you too can begin your own journey of creating a money-making blog.

Spoiler: The secret is that they are SMART (no, I don’t mean high-IQ-smart!). We will talk about the definition of smart and how you too can be a smart blogger later in this post.

Things that you will learn in this article:

  • Who makes the most amount of money in the blogging world and how much they make per month
  • The monetization methods these 21 bloggers use and their niches
  • How they make profit from their blogs
  • The products these top bloggers promote
  • Lessons you can learn from these profitable bloggers

Table of Contents

Top Earning Blogs

1. John Lee Dumas

Websiteeofire.com
Site Age5 years
NicheEntrepreneurship, online business & podcasting
Total Income - December 2017 $210,291
Expenses - December 2017 $66,798
Net Income - December 2017 $143,493

Eofire.com has been earning money since October 2012. John’s blog, Entrepreneurs On Fire, made a revenue of $69,879 with a net profit of $26,143 in its first year. Eofire.com has grossed over 12.5 million dollars at the time of this post. John made a whopping revenue of $595,936 in Feb 2016.

John started with making podcasts for inspiring new entrepreneurs and now sells his own products, mostly online courses and ebooks. John has produced over 1900 episodes of podcasts where he interviews aspiring and successful entrepreneurs. You can learn a lot about running your own online business in the podcasts.

The main source of income for John is his podcasts and books.

The major sources of traffic on John’s blog

John’s Revenue Graph Over a Period of Time

MonthRevenue
December 2017$210,291
November 2017$208,971
October 2017$218,762
September 2017$207,349
August 2017$237,193
July 2017$197,911
June 2017$178,750
May 2017$196,304
April 2017$195,482
March 2017$490,641
February 2017$247,651
January 2017$182,662

Blog Stats

  • Alexa Rank: 39,159
  • Twitter Followers: 59.3k
  • Linking Domains:4.63k

Monetization Strategies

Product/Service Income: $154,111

His books, courses, and podcasts membership account for his main income.

Affiliate Income: $56,180

John earns commission for promoting products.

Advertising: $64,250

All of the advertisement income comes from Podcast Sponsors

Major Expenses

His major expenses are advertising costs for his products and hiring virtual assistants. He spent $11.5k on sponsorships and $9k on virtual assistants.

Takeaways – What We Learned From John

Podcasting is great!

John is the pioneer of podcasting among entrepreneurs. If you can talk, podcasts can be a fun way to make money online. The advertisement money on podcasts is really good. You can also learn a great deal from the interviews. It’s a win-win tactic. You create your content while you learn from the experts.

Become a brand

If you visit Eofire.com, you will notice that the whole tone and theme of the website is unanimous. John focuses on maintaining his brand. Branding your website can help you gain the trust of the sponsors. You can land plenty of sponsors if you focus on branding.

2. Pat Flynn

Websitesmartpassiveincome.com
Site Age8 years
NicheEntrepreneurship, online business & podcasting
Total Income - December 2017 $167,553.31
Expenses - December 2017 $39,647.21
Net Income - December 2017 $127,906.10

Pat Flynn is renowned among many aspiring bloggers. He has been an example of continuous dedication. He has been blogging for more than 8 years now and he shares all of his journey on his blog smartpassiveincome.com.

The main theme of Pat Flynn’s blog is to teach people easy-to-use techniques for running an online business for passive income. He is truly inspiring. If you want to run a successful passive income blog, Pat can teach you proven strategies.

Besides smartpassiveincome.com, Pat also runs Podcast, where you can ask any questions you have, a YouTube channel, and other blogs like GreenExamAcademy.com FoodTruckr.com, and SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com

He has also created a Podcast player if you are interested in podcasting.

Major sources of traffic on Pat’s blog

Pat’s Revenue Graph Over a Period of Time

MonthRevenue
December 2017$167,553.31
November 2017$213,212.64
October 2017$145,511.70
September 2017$220,158.54
August 2017$140,866.38
July 2017$321,642.86
June 2017$184,094.67
May 2017$111,820.46
April 2017$102,915.99
March 2017$258,737.45
February 2017$148,006.60
January 2017$157,131.95

Blog Stats

Alexa Rank: 47,543

Twitter Followers: 154k

Linking Domains: 9.67K

Monetization Strategies

Affiliate Marketing: $106,554.17

Pat primarily earned from Bluehost affiliate, Convertkit, and other email marketing tools. He also earned around $22.2k with a referral link to a book called Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt.

Advertising: $4288.61

Pat’s main source of advertising income came from the podcast sponsorship and some from Google ads.

Products/Services: $56,710.53

About $41.8k of the product sales revenue was from his course Power-Up Podcasting.

Major Expenses

Pat spends most of his revenue for professional services like developers, writers, and assistants.

Takeaways – What We Learned from Pat

Be consistent

If we look at the income report of Pat, we can see ups and downs but he never stopped. He has been consistently blogging for more than 7 years. It is because of his dedication, he earned more than 2 million dollars in 2017.

Turn yourself into a brand

Like John, Pat also posts pictures of himself on his blog. You can get your own fan following if you build your personal branding. He once even wrote about how a reader recognized him on a flight. He felt like a celebrity which only entrepreneurs who focus on personal branding achieve.

Create multiple sources of income

Pat has always diversified his income source to multiple platforms. From his blog to Podcast to YouTube channel, he has turned them into his income source. The benefit is that you can receive a huge amount of traffic and revenue, and you will also build your personal brand.

You can learn more in detail about how you can create multiple sources of income in my previous post How to Make Money Blogging.

3. Michelle Gardner

WebsiteMakingSenseOfCents.com
Site Age5.5 years
NicheFrugal lifestyle, savings
Total Income - December 2017 $126,260
Expenses - December 2017 $7,983.85
Net Income - December 2017 $113,276.66

Michelle Gardner is known for her blog Making Sense of Cents. The blog is about being frugal and learning to save for a better life. She teaches her readers that saving money and managing your finances can change your life.

Michelle started the blog because she wanted to improve her finances and keep track of her progress so that she can teach her readers how to improve their finances. She managed to pay off her $38000 student loan in 7 months through online business.

She writes in-depth articles about earning extra income with side hustle and controlling emotional spending.

Major sources of income on Michelle’s blog

Michelle Gardner’s Revenue Graph Over a Period of Time

MonthRevenue
December 2017$126,260
November 2017$110,656
October 2017$136,829.30
September 2017$113,267.08
August 2017$135,110
July 2017$110,897.33
June 2017$121,861.28
May 2017$120,104.93
April 2017$131,448.35
March 2017$130,856.35
February 2017$160,211.27
January 2017$139,233

Blog Stats

Alexa Rank: 88,769

Twitter Followers: 18.6k

Linking Domains: 2.55k

Monetization Strategies

Affiliate Marketing: $64,828.51

Bluehost web hosting was her major affiliate income source.

Advertising: $13,716.00

Michelle posts sponsored contents and places adverts on her blog for extra income.

Products/Services: $47,716.00

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course brought her nearly $50k dollars in December 2017.

Major Expenses

Being a blog about saving money, Michelle’s expenses are very low. She spent only $7,983.85  in virtual assistants, technical assistance, and other maintenance fees.

Takeaways – What We Learned from Michelle

Post useful stuff in layman language

Many people struggle with debt reduction, credit cards, and income management because they are complex topics. But, Michelle was able to explain the solution to the financial misery in simple language. She was able to target a large audience in a short period of time by helping them manage their finance.

Start by focusing on one demographic

Michelle identified her audience – millennials that were struggling with student loans – and wrote content to help them reduce debt and earn income with side hustles. She focused on small group and wrote relatable articles.

If you want to know more about finding your target niche, I have discussed about this in detail in Point #7 of my post 7 Blogging Mistakes to Avoid in 2018.

4. Lindsay Ostrom

WebsitePinchofYum.com
Site Age7 years
NicheFood Photography, Cooking
Total Income - November 2016$95,197.34
Expenses - November 2016$28,505.29
Net Income - November 2016$66,693.05

PinchofYum.com is a giant food blog that talks about recipes. Lindsay Ostrom prepares delicious food, takes pictures of them, and writes recipes along with the pictures.

She has managed to make six figures by doing food photography. It was something that no one before her thought could be such a high earning niche. She has been an inspirational blogger for food lovers.

She gets tons of traffic from Pinterest and Instagram and has over 550k Instagram followers.

Major sources of traffic on Lindsay’s blog.

Lindsay Ostrom’s Revenue Graph Over a Period of Time

N/A

Blog Stats

Alexa Rank: 20,961

Twitter Followers: 14.2k

Linking Domains: 11.2k

Monetization Strategies

Affiliate Marketing: $10,257.52

Lindsay gets most of her affiliate income from Bluehost and Amazon.

Advertising: $82,483.02

Advertising is the major revenue source of pinchofyum. She earns about $22.5k from sponsored content.

Products/Services: $2,456.8

Lindsay has a book called Tasty Food Photography where she teaches readers about taking good food photos.

Major Expenses

About $19.5k is used as salaries for staffs and contractors. Besides salary, studio-related costs are Lindsay’s major expenses.

Takeaways – What We Learned from Lindsay

Make use of social media

Lindsay brings over half a million traffic from Pinterest. And, because of her Instagram followers, she also gets a lot of direct traffic. So, you shouldn’t miss social media if you want tons of traffic. If you have image focused blog, it’s better to use image-focused social media.

Visuals matters

Lindsay’s life changed when she started taking better photos. She even sells her own course about taking good food pictures. So, if your niche is related to images, you better take a photography lesson ASAP. There are also several other mistakes regarding the use of visuals in your blog post, which I discussed in detail in 7 Blogging Mistakes to Avoid in 2018.

It’s a long-term game!

Lindsay’s blog has been going strong for over 6 years. The number of years matter. She has had so many posts with so many pictures that every time she creates a new post, it multiplies her traffic and income potential.

5. Justin Weinger

WebsiteSoOverThis.com
Site Age6.5 years
NicheInternet marketing
Total Income - October 2017 $86,474
Expenses - October 2017 $5,939
Net Income - October 2017 $80,535

Justin Weinger bought SoOverThis in 2013 from Andrea who wanted everyone to get “so over” the rate race, debt, and financial irresponsibility.

The blog doesn’t claim to be a guru for financial advice. Actually, the blog believes in learning from the mistakes and correcting them, not only financially but in other areas of life as well.

Justin shares his own journey from when he worked a full-time day job to gaining financial freedom by being as transparent as possible.

Major sources of traffic on Justin’s blog.

Justin Weinger’s Revenue Graph Over a Period of Time

MonthRevenue
October 2017$80,535
September 2017$139,210
August 2017$87,880
July 2017$84,087
June 2017$14,895
May 2017$84,350
April 2017$97,864
March 2017$53,910
February 2017$24,318
January 2017$29,953

Blog Stats

Alexa Rank: 2,052,415

Twitter Followers: 0

Linking Domains: 987

Monetization Strategies

Affiliate Marketing: $0

Justin doesn’t earn from affiliate marketing.

Advertising: $55,481

Ads are the main source of revenue for Justin.

Products/Services: $0

Justin doesn’t sell any products.

  • Private Ad Sales

Major Expenses

His major expense is share split between his partners, writers, and technical services.

Takeaways – What We Learned From Justin

Advertisements work!

Advertising is the oldest legit money making method that exists. So it’s time you stop fixating yourself only on affiliate marketing and make thousands of dollars every month using ad sales through your high-traffic, authoritative website.

Private ad sales are much better

What AdSense makes up in being easy, it gives up by not being lucrative. When advertising, make the most use of display ads (e.g. banner ads) and private ad revenues; AdSense can stay to help you fill up unsold inventory on your website.

6. Jennifer

WebsiteShowMeTheYummy.com
Site Age4 years
NicheFood and recipes
Total Income - December 2016 $46,367
Expenses - December 2016 $2,185
Net Income - December 2016 $44,181

ShowMeTheYummy is a food photography website run by a couple, Jennifer and Trevor. Trevor is a professional photographer who now works on websites, marketing, and videography. Jennifer started food blogging while Trevor was working full-time job. It was later Trevor worked on the blog full time.

The site has been really impressive. The site was making only $28 in Nov 2014 and have been growing ever since.

Jennifer shows her pageviews and RPM on her income reports, which is really admirable. You can learn all about how to properly monetize your website from ShowMeTheYummy.

Major sources of traffic on Jennifer’s blog.

Jennifer’s Revenue Graph Over a Period of Time

MonthRevenue
December 2016$46,367
November 2016$29,107
October 2016$21,206
September 2016$8,218
August 2016$13,925
July 2016$7,205
June 2016$4,782
May 2016$7,793
April 2016$5,302
March 2016$5,040
February 2016$3,177
January 2016$3,497

Blog Stats

Alexa Rank: 127,356

Twitter Followers: 1.2k

Linking Domains: 1.51k

Monetization Strategies

Affiliate Marketing: $432

Jennifer earns a tiny amount of her total revenue from Amazon Affiliates.

Advertising: $26,574

Ads and sponsored content are the main source of revenue for Jennifer. She makes $14,311 just from AdThrive ads.

Products/Services: $19,360

She earned a significant amount of money from her video workshop.

Major Expenses

Jennifer’s expenses aren’t much since her husband helps her in technical aspects. Most of the expense was for the equipment she used for videography and photography.

Takeaways – What We Learned from Jennifer

Watch your monetization

Increasing her RPMs from $3 to a whopping $65, Jennifer managed to earn $46,000 instead of $2,000 had her RPMs been the same.

Don’t be afraid to try new things

Jennifer goes a little bit outside her niche to extend her services and earn more profits. She talks about food photography and food videography on her blog instead of just food recipes.

7. Abby

WebsiteJustAGirlAndHerBlog.com
Site Age3 years
NicheHome organization, DIY, and home decor
Total Income - December 2016 $41,700
Expenses - December 2016 $6,340
Net Income - December 2016 $35,360

Abby blogs about DIY, home organization, and home decor. She focuses on small things that we miss when we organize our home. She has been teaching her readers how to make their home look beautiful while also enjoying DIY projects.

Abby has been able to make whooping $35k per month in just 3 years of starting her blog. When she first released her income report in Feb 2014, she was making around $2k. She then shared a goal of making 10k next month and surprisingly managed to make $13,887.

New posts are updated multiple times a week in JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com. She writes about simple things but in great detail. Abby has her husband help her full time. So, according to her, the blog isn’t just a girl and a blog.

Major sources of traffic on Abby’s blog.

Abby’s Revenue Graph Over a Period of Time

MonthRevenue
December 2016$41,700
November 2016$40,124
October 2016$51,803
September 2016$33,659
August 2016$44,940
July 2016$34,721
June 2016$32,913
May 2016$37,967
April 2016$48,900
March 2016$40,358
February 2016$36,234
January 2016$34,662

Blog Stats

Alexa Rank: 130,671

Twitter Followers: 8.5k

Linking Domains: 3.65k

Monetization Strategies

Affiliate Marketing: $27,507

She earns money through multiple affiliate programs like Bluehost, Siteground, and Flywheel for Hosting, ConvertKit for internet marketing, and other web services.

Advertising: $0

Abby doesn’t list any income from ads or sponsored content on her blog.

Products/Services: $14,193

Abby has a fan base so she earns a great deal by selling eBooks and courses.

Major Expenses

Abby pays around $1.7k as affiliate payouts which is her largest expense. Besides that, her major expenses include virtual assistants, accounting, and consulting fees.

Takeaways – What We Learned from Abby

Become a brand that your niche loves

Abby writes about home decor and DIY and her major audiences are moms. And, she has maintained a feminine theme on her blog. This works great for her audience. So, when you consider branding your website, think about your readers.

Readers love pictures

Instead of simply writing long posts, Abby uses a lot of pictures to create visual DIY guides. These are easier to follow and bring in additional traffic through social shares. Again, if you want to avoid some of the most common errors that people make while posting images, please read my previous post 7 Blogging Mistakes to Avoid in 2018.

Try a mix of styles for your content

Abby writes in-depth posts on DIY topics and follows them up with listicles and roundups from across the internet. By writing a mix of authoritative and link bait content, she is able to get the best of both worlds: rankings and social media traffic.

8. Harsh Agarwal

WebsiteShoutMeLoud.com
Site Age9 years
NicheTech Tips, Blogging and making money online
Total Income - February 2018 $40,055
Expenses - February 2018 $40,055
Net Income - February 2018 $40,055

Harsh started Shout Me Loud in 2008 and has been posting his income report since Feb 2009 when he earned $434. He started blogging as an interest but when he found out he could make money, he started posting aggressively. The result is, he makes $39k per month.

Harsh is one of those bloggers who gets a huge amount of traffic. He reports all his traffic stats in his income report. The blog receives more than 1.5 million pageviews.

Shout Me Loud has blog posts ranging from tech tips to creating blogs. He is one of the few survivors of Google’s algorithm change. He also has a YouTube channel where he creates video guides about creating blogs.

Major sources of traffic on Harsh’s blog.

Harsh Agarwal’s Revenue Graph Over a Period of Time

MonthRevenue
February 2018$40055
July 2017$52,434
June 2017$32,480
December 2016$34390
October 2016$34,339
September 2016$31,890
June 2016$29,659
May 2016 $28,640
March 2016$21,952
January 2016$21,472
September 2015$16,877
August 2015$12,120

Blog Stats

Alexa Rank:8,460

Twitter Followers: 46.7k

Linking Domains:10.2k

Monetization Strategies

Affiliate Marketing: $41, 607.21

Harsh doesn’t list the major affiliate programs that he earns from. But, he surely earns a lot from affiliates.

Advertising: 9,973

Harsh earns mainly from direct ad sales.

Products/Services: $853

He creates ebooks and sells them on his own store, Amazon, and InstaMojo.

Major Expenses

He reports about $8.3k as team expenses. Other expenses include consultation and technical fees.

Takeaways – What We Learned from Harsh

Long tail keywords

Harsh has been focusing on long tail keywords, which has allowed him to get tons of traffic from search engines. Long tail keyword is a full-proof method of getting more traffic from Google.

Try multiple income sources

Harsh has multiple blogs for different affiliate programs. For example, he has a separate hosting discount blog where he talks about web hosting. Harsh has been able to create a ShoutMeLoud brand by providing most of the commodity needed to start a blog through his different websites. It is best not to stick to just one or two method as there are so many ways you can monetize your blog.

9. Matthew Woodward

WebsiteMatthewWoodward.co.uk
Site Age5 years
NicheSEO / Internet Marketing
Total Income - December 2017 $28,429
Expenses - December 2017 $2,711.57
Net Income - December 2017 $25, 718

Matthew writes about Internet marketing, link building, traffic generation, and SEO. He publishes fresh high-quality articles and case studies.

Matthew is regarded as one of the pioneers of Internet marketing. He has been writing about Internet Marketing and SEO since 2012. When he first published his income report in August 2012, he just earned around 600 dollars. The revenue has now increased to over $25.5k with total lifetime earning of over million dollars in just 5 years.

Affiliate marketing is his major source of income while he also does consultation session now and then.

Major sources of traffic on Matthew’s blog.

Matthew Woodward’s Revenue Graph Over a Period of Time

MonthRevenue
December 2017 $25,718.28
November 2017$28,340.31
October 2017$21,278.58
September 2017 $24,039.88
August 2017$23,409.06
July 2017$22,409.01
June 2017 $22,650.50
May 2017$23,519.26
April 2017$27,371.68
March 2017$21,992.83
February 2017$21,191.52
January 2017$24,627.94

Blog Stats

Alexa Rank: 74,553

Twitter Followers: 17.5k

Linking Domains: 3.47k

Monetization Strategies

Affiliate Marketing: $27,967

Matthew makes all his revenue from affiliate marketing. He sells SEO tools and other

Advertising: $461.84

He earns a tiny bit of his income from his blog ads.

Products/Services: $0

Matthew sometimes sells consulting services but he hasn’t taken any clients since last years.

Major Expenses

Matthew spent about 1.8k dollars in Facebook advertising which was used for developing a case study about the Facebook lead generation.

Takeaways – What We Learned from Matthew

Affiliate is great

Unlike our other top bloggers, Matthew doesn’t earn through his own products or even ads. He is an example of how effective affiliate marketing can be for making money online.

Diversify affiliate products

Although he only writes about SEO and Internet Marketing, he promotes as many good products that are suitable for the readers. The advantage? Even if the audience doesn’t like one product, they will another.

Build authority

Matthew only writes about SEO and Internet Marketing. He has been doing so for a long time now. So, he has established himself as the leading authority in the niche.

10. Jon Dykstra

Websitefatstacksblog.com
Site Age1.5 years
NicheUndisclosed
Total Income - April 2017$26,241.35
Expenses - April 2017Undisclosed
Net Income - April 2017Undisclosed

FatStacksBlog talks about making “fat stacks” through niche sites. Jon shares his lesson about creating successful niche websites.

As reported as Jon, he made 28k dollars in his first income report of June 2016 and has been making similar figure ever since. Jon doesn’t disclose his income sources neither does he talk about his monetization methods. However, he is mainly engaged in B2C and B2B affiliate marketing.

John does give a vague idea about his monetization method, his traffic, content volume, revenue pattern, and his audience. But, nothing much can be concluded from those.

Major sources of traffic on John’s blog.

Jon Dykstra’s Revenue Graph Over a Period of Time

MonthRevenue
April 2017$26,241.35
March 2017$23,958.65
February 2017$22,356
January 2017$17,811
December 2016$15128
November 2016$26,148
October 2016$26,455
September 2016$30,095
August 2016$28153
July 2016$24,969
June 2016$28,458

Blog Stats

Alexa Rank: 212,255

Twitter Followers: 151

Linking Domains: 488

Monetization Strategies

Affiliate Marketing:

Jon’s sites bring in affiliate revenue from different sources.

Advertising:

Jon monetizes his B2C site with AdSense & Media.net

Products/Services:

Jon sells a course but does not include that revenue in income reports.

Major Expenses

Jon doesn’t reveal his expenses. Though, he invests a lot in bringing paid traffic.

Takeaways – What Learned from John

Bucks for bucks

According to sources, Jon was spending a huge sum of money to bring in traffic. He then converted the paid traffic while also increasing his organic traffic. Spending money to bring in more money has been a model that has worked successfully for Jon.

Build a proven system

Jon’s content was so good that he made a profit even after bringing paid traffic. He is an expert on making proven systems and then boosting it with paid promotions.

11. Gina Horkey

Websitehorkeyhandbook.com
Site Age3 years
NicheFreelance Writing
Total Income - 2017$127,496
Expenses - 2017$70,218
Net Income - 2017$57,278

Gina Horkey sells services. She is a freelance writer. She is a living proof that if you are good at something, you can make money, even if you don’t have much experience.

Horkey Handbook is about becoming or hiring a virtual assistants. VA is the main source of revenue for Gina. She also writes for some well-known publishers. She was able to earn $6.5k/month in her first year of freelancing career.

Major sources of traffic on Gina’s blog.

Gina Horkey’s Revenue Graph Over a Period of Time

MonthRevenue
December 2016$20,492
November 2016$31,820
October 2016$17,546
September 2016$19,241
August 2016$22,982
July 2016$20,025
June 2016$15,641
May 2016$20,426
April 2016$24,490
March 2016 $24,893
February 2016 $18,654
January 2016$18,381

Blog Stats

Alexa Rank: 347,322

Twitter Followers: 7.5k

Linking Domains: 557

Monetization Strategies

Affiliate Marketing:

Gena earns about 5% of the revenue from selling affiliate products.

Advertising:$0

Gena’s ads income is nil.

Products/Services:

Gena earns 95% of her income from her freelancing services and products.

Major Expenses

She pays 22% of her income to affiliates of her own products.

Takeaways – What We Learned from Gina

Freelancing might work

A shot at freelancing can change your life. Gina was able to grow from $0 to $6k per month within few months just by doing freelancing works.

Add services and diversify

Although Gina was making good money from just freelancing, she decided to launch her own products. That decision helped her make 3 times more money than she used to make while freelancing.

12. Kristen

Websitebelieveinabudget.com
Site Age2 years
NicheBudgeting, finance, making money online
Total Income - December 2017 $18,336
Expenses - December 2017 $1,965.22
Net Income - December 2017 $16, 371

Kristen started Believe In a Budget in 2015 as a side hustle while also working a day job. She worked as a  designer before giving all her time to blog. Believe In a Budget, as the name suggests, started as a budgeting and financing blog but Kristen later turned it to a online money making guide so that like her readers could also do some side hustles to manage their finances.

Kristen made $66 when she posted her first income report. But, now is able to earn around 16k dollars per month.

Major sources of traffic on Kristen’s blog.

Kristen’s Revenue Graph Over a Period of Time

MonthRevenue
December 2017$18,336.00
October 2017 $29,954.89
September 2017$68,856.02
June 2017$29,268.78
February 2017$15,170.31
January 2017$26,288.57
November 2016$10,736.55
September 2016$6,682.24
June 2016$9,700.11
April 2016$5,920.52
January 2016$11,195.28

Blog Stats

Alexa Rank: 487,701

Twitter Followers: 2.5k

Linking Domains: 312

Monetization Methods

Affiliate Marketing: $5,409.90

Affiliate products are her second largest revenue source.

Advertising: $868.93

She has reduced ads on her website so advertising revenue getting lower for her.

Products/Services: $12,062.17

Kristen makes most of her money from her courses and products. She mostly has courses on Pinterest for blogging.

Major Expenses

Most of her expenses is paying her affiliates. Besides, that VA works and professional services ($1,665) also burdens her income.

Takeaways – What We Learned from Kristen

Use affiliates to sell more

Like Kristen, you can also use affiliate programs to promote your own courses. Even if it is a small course, you can still use affiliates to reach out to more people and make good money.

13. Rose Atwater

Websiteroseatwater.com
Site Age4 years
NicheFinance, family, and food
Total Income - December 2016 $9,416
Expenses - December 2016 $1,112
Net Income - December 2016 $8,304

Rose promotes her personal brand with sites like roseatwater.com and rosebakes.com. She primarily writes about managing finance, family, and faith in one site, and food and cakes in other. She engages the user with her personal life and shares her experiences and experiments with budgeting. She has been able to get a good revenue by covering different niches.

Major sources of traffic on Rose’s blog.

Rose Atwater’s Revenue Graph Over a Period of Time

MonthRevenue
December 2016$8304.39
November 2016$9113.09
October 2016$5757.79
September 2016$4088.47
August 2016$5028.55
July 2016$3878.32
June 2016$4321.78
May 2016$3286.01
April 2016$4068.26
March 2016 $4257.42
February 2016 $3223.67
January 2016$2019.68

Blog Stats

Alexa Rank: 4,502,602

Twitter Followers: 3k

Linking Domains: 108

Monetisation Methods

Affiliate Marketing: $2,190

Rose earns quite a bit from affiliate links.

Advertising:  $7,225

Ads are the major revenue source for Rose.

Products/Services: $0

Rose doesn’t earn from products or services. She does sell Wedding Cakes at rosebakes.com

Major Expenses

Being a blog about frugal lifestyle, Rose tries to lower her expenses as much as possible. However, Virtual Assistants make up most of her expenditure.

Takeaways – What We Learned from Rose

Become a personal brand

Rose uses a similar theme on all her blog across multiple niches. This type of personal branding has helped her get regular readers.

Optimize your ads as per the content

Although Rose doesn’t have as much traffic as other bloggers who make revenue from ads, she has been able to generate impressive RPMs using ad optimization platform.

14. Alexa

Websitesinglemomsincome.com
Site Age5 years
NicheFinancial management and freelance
Total Income - 2017$64,719.32
Expenses - 2017 $11,919.77
Net Income - 2017$52,871.55

Alexa started the blog as a way of recording her journey as a single mother trying to beat the cycle of paycheck-to-paycheck living. She started the site in 2012 after she got divorced. Now, she has over 150k monthly visitors.

In her blog, Single Mom’s Income, Alexa shares her experiences and talks about how to make money with side jobs and freelance gigs. She also shares her income from freelance gigs on her income reports so as to inspire her readers. She covers topics about financial management and believes in a frugal lifestyle.

Major sources of traffic on Alexa’s blog.

Blog Stats

Alexa Rank: 239,635

Twitter Followers: 3.1k

Linking Domains: 966

Monetization Strategies

Affiliate Marketing: $4,871

Most of Alexa’s income comes from affiliate commissions

Advertising: $2,500

She makes some revenue from sponsored post and ads from ad networks.

Products/Services: $1,500

Alexa provides freelancing services to her clients.

Takeaways – What We Can Learn from Alexa

Try freelancing gigs

If your little freelancing gig can contribute to your revenue, why not do it? Alexa works as Virtual Assistant to supplement her income.

Honesty is the best policy

Alexa practices what she preaches in her blog. When she talks about saving and budgeting, she talks from her experience. She tells her readers how she has managed to get away from debt by just spending less.

15. Dave Child

WebsiteGetPostCookie.com
Site Age1 year
NicheVarious app-driven sites
Total Income $8,416
Expenses$2,324
Net Income$6,091

Dave runs freemium services and apps in his multiple sites. His approach of making money online is quite different than other bloggers. He makes money by selling SaaS in these websites:

  • readable.io
  • cheatography.com
  • apollopad.com
  • crosswordcheats.com

Major sources of traffic on Dave’s blog.

Blog Stats

Alexa Rank: 5,655,717

Twitter Followers: 440

Linking Domains: 366

Monetisation Methods

Affiliate Marketing: $0

Dave reports no affiliate income.

Advertising: $0

Dave doesn’t place ads or sponsored content on his sites.

Products/Services:  $8,416

All of Dave’s revenue comes from this products.

  • His own products

Major Expenses

Social Media Marketing and Writers are Dave’s major overhead.

Takeaways – What We Learned from Dave

Freemium model

Give basic things for free and people will pay for advanced features if they like the free one. This model works for Dave and has been working for big corporate giants that sell SaaS.

Always improvise

Dave managed to earn much more when he changed the design of this readability website.

16. Dusty Porter

Websiteonlinebusinessrealm.com
Site Age1 year
NicheMaking Money Online
Total Income - April 2017$6,206
Expenses - April 2017$476
Net Income - April 2017$5,730

Dusty Porter is an online content creator and voice actor. He has a YouTube channel called TechnologyGuru with over 200k subscribers. He mostly makes money from YouTube channel, affiliate links, and podcast sponsorship.

Dusty started looking for making money online after he was laid off from his 9-5 job in 2011. Since then, he has done everything from selling on eBay to selling voiceovers on Fiverr.

In the blog, Online Business Realm, Dusty produces podcasts where he interviews entrepreneurs and basically talks about creating and managing a profitable website.

Major sources of traffic on Dusty’s blog

Blog Stats

Alexa Rank: 3,352,316

Twitter Followers: 5

Linking Domains: 42

Monetisation Methods

Affiliate Marketing: $1,249

He promotes services like Bluehost and earns a fourth a revenue from affiliate products.

Advertising: $2,085

His major form of income from ads are display ads and sponsored posts.

Products/Services: $2,972

Dusty sells his own courses and does Freelancing Gigs on Fiverr.

Major Expenses

He pays fees for Upwork Virtual Assistant and other technical services. Dusty’s expenses are quite low compared to other bloggers.

Takeaways – What We Learned from Dusty

Diversify your sources and platforms

Dusty has his hands in diverse areas from YouTube to Fiverr. So, he not only diversifies his traffic, but also his platforms.

Monetize everything

All of Dusty’s gigs bring in money. If you think you can monetize things, do it immediately.

17. Spencer Haws

WebsiteNichePursuits.com
Site Age5 years
NicheNiche websites, internet marketing
Total Income - July 2017 $13,656
Expenses - July 2017 Undisclosed
Net Income - July 2017 Undisclosed

Spencer Haws is pretty famous among internet marketers. He is an online entrepreneur who has made multiple six-figure-earning websites on his own. One of the most popular sites of his is Long Tail Pro. He also has Amazon FBA business.

However, this income study is about nichepursuits.com, where he is trying to build a niche website from scratch while also sharing the results with the readers. You can find many case studies and advice on building, buying, and monetizing website on the website.

There’s no graph because Spencer doesn’t have enough income reports of NichePursuits.com as he only just started keeping the income records.

Major sources of traffic on Spencer’s blog.

Spencer Haws’s Revenue Graph Over a Period of Time

MonthRevenue
July 2017 $13,656
June 2017$11,165
May 2017$3286.01
April 2017$7,664
March2017$5,167
February 2017 $3,945

Blog Stats

Alexa Rank: 110,520

Twitter Followers: 6.8k

Linking Domains: 1.64k

Monetization Strategies:

Affiliate Marketing: $13,656

Spencer makes all of his money on NichePursuits.com through affiliate products.

Advertising: $0

Spencer doesn’t report any advertising revenue.

Products/Services: $0

Spender’s other products and services are not included in nichepursuits.

Major Expenses

Spencer doesn’t reveal his expenses in the income report. However, his major overhead would be Virtual Assistants and technical services.

Takeaways – What We Learned from Spencer

Use outsourcing to go bigger

Spencer has a lots of websites and projects so he found outsourcing a good way to grow his overall business. He gives the responsibility of content creation to others so that he can lead and do marketing.

18. Matthew

WebsiteTrueValhalla.com
Site Age3 years
NicheHTML5 video games
Total Income - December Quarter 2017 $17,005
ExpensesUndisclosed
Net IncomeUndisclosed

Matthew makes HTML5 games and sells them through his website TrueValhalla.com. He designs the games from scratch and sells the rights to gaming portals for royalties.

Matthew is an example that there are multiple ways to make money online. You just have to do what you like and are good at and people shall find you. When people find you, money finds you.

The earnings from Matthew’s website is a rollercoaster, sometimes they are as high as $30,000 in a month and sometimes it’s as low as $3,000. But, despite these fluctuations, Matthew is happy that, at least, he has the financial freedom.

Major sources of traffic on Matthew’s blog.

Matthew’s Revenue Graph Over a Period of Time

MonthRevenue
December Quarter 2017 $17,005
September Quarter 2017$8,132
June Quarter 2017$10,563
March Quarter 2017$8,095

Blog Stats

Alexa Rank: 983,598

Twitter Followers: 21.7k

Linking Domains: 221

Monetization Strategies:

Affiliate Marketing: $0

Matthew doesn’t report any advertising revenue

Advertising: $65

Matthew earns a little from website ads.

Products/Services: $8067

Matthew sells his own products and consulting services.

  • His own products
  • HTML5 Games and Mobility Engine

Takeaways – What We Learned from Matthew

Narrow down your niche, maximize profits

Making HTML5 games and selling them to gaming websites is a fresh and nice little niche so it has less competition. This has helped Matthew easily earn big bucks with less marketing efforts. So, if you have fresh ideas, go ahead and try them.

Own the niche

Become the authority figure in your niche. Narrow niches creates more chances of becoming the authority in competitive markets.

19. Paula Dennholdt

WebsiteEasybabylife.com
Site Age11 years
NicheBabies and parenting
Total Income - April 2017$4,310
Expenses - April 2017 $676
Net Income - April 2017$3,634

With the mission to provide free, evidence-based information and parent-approved tips on everything related to baby care and pregnancy, Paula created Easy Baby Life in 2006. With a continuous dedication of more than 11 years, the site has become an authority in the niche. The website receives more than 500k pageviews per month.

Paula, being a mother of two, shares her experiences as a mother and gives tips and medical advice (from real doctors she has listed on her website) to new mothers about parenting.

Major sources of traffics for Paula’s blog.

Paula Dennholdt’s Revenue Graph Over a Period of Time

MonthRevenue
April 2017$4,310
March 2017 $4,882
February 2017$3,984
January 2017$4,821
December 2016$7,076
November 2016$5,246
October 2016$4,016
September 2016$2,309
August 2016$2,045
July 2016$1,473
June 2016$1,708

Blog Stats

Alexa Rank: 293,750

Twitter Followers: 2k

Linking Domains: 624

Monetization Strategies:

Affiliate Marketing: $509

Amazon affiliate is the major source of her affiliate income.

Advertising: $3,801

Most of Paula’s revenue is through ads from Mediavine Ad Network

Products/Services: $0

Paula does not sell any products or services.

Top Expenses

Her expenses are the cost associated with managing and maintaining the website.

Takeaways – What We Learned from Paula

Consistency

Paula has dedicated over 11 years on the single website. She truly has a passion for what she blogs about. Because of her passion, she has become the authority of the niche and get tons of search traffic which bring her whooping ad revenue.

Try other stuff when one thing is working

Paula has started learning about Social traffic and Affiliate marketing. She already gets a lot of organic traffic. Now that search traffic is working, she is looking at other methods of monetization.

20. Nathan

WebsiteIncomeBully.com
Site Age1 year
NicheSEO, Internet marketing
Total Income - November 2016 $2,222
Expenses - November 2016 Undisclosed
Net Income - November 2016 Undisclosed

Nathan started Income Bully to track his own progress with the whole make money blogging things and affiliate marketing. In this process, Nathan has been able to create some extraordinary posts on blogging, entrepreneurship, and local SEO.

Nathan’s biggest motivation for creating the blog was the fact that big players in the industry were screwing people just for selling their courses. So, he wanted to create a blog that shares information for free.

Income Bully is Nathan’s journey to creating a passive income source. He runs an offline web agency business. So, if you are planning to create a blog for a passive source of revenue, you should definitely read his posts.

Major sources of traffic on Nathan’s blog.

Nathan’s Revenue Graph Over a Period of Time

MonthRevenue
November 2016$2,222.62
October 2016$3,292.50
September 2016$8,316.19
August 2016$3,457.23
July 2016$8,226.24
June 2016 $5,472.66
May 2016$2,585.29
April 2016 $2,821.57
March 2016$2,239.77
February 2016$3,219.95
January 2016 $2,411.09

Blog Stats

Alexa Rank: 1,489,076

Twitter Followers: 2.9k

Linking Domains: 218

Monetization Strategies

Affiliate Marketing: $128

A slight amount of revenue comes from the referral links.

Advertising: $0

Nathan doesn’t report any advertising revenue

Products/Services: $2,094

Nathan earned $550 from two coaching sessions and $1,544 from his course about running an offline agency.

Takeaways – What We Learned from Nathan

Selling your own products gives higher returns

With only 4600 visitors, Nathan was able to pull off $2200. How? He sold his own products. The benefit of selling your own product is that you can set your price and you only need to get targeted traffic.

21. Will Tang

WebsiteTravelBlogBreakthrough.com
Site Age2 years
NicheInternet Marketing, Travel Blogging
Total Income$2,271.29
Expenses$587.55
Net Income$1,683.74

Will is a new player in the travel blogging who has been posting his income report since Nov 2014. Travel Blog Breakthrough is a website dedicated to readers who want to become a digital nomad themselves.

In the one of the most competitive niche, Will has been able to see some huge profits in short amount of time. Besides normal posts about travel blogs, he also produces podcasts.

Major sources of traffic on Will’s blog.

Blog Stats

Alexa Rank: 1,660,057

Twitter Followers: 2.1k

Linking Domains: 170

Monetisation Methods:

Affiliate Marketing: $275

Will earns a decent amount of money with affiliate links.

Advertising: $1948

Sponsored Posts and campaign is the major revenue source for Will.

Products/Services: $48

Will does some freelancing writing gigs.

Top Products John Promotes

Elegant Themes

Major Expenses

Cost of marketing tools like BoardBooster and Aweber are Will’s main expenses.

Takeaways – What We Learned from John

Monetize from the very start

Will has been monetizing his blog right from the first day. He tried freelance gigs, sponsored contents, and affiliate programs without waiting first to get some solid traffic. Not monetizing the blog right from the start is one of the most common mistakes that beginning bloggers make. So, think and plan about the finances early on.

One Common Thing Between These 21 Bloggers

The bloggers I listed above are from diverse niche, but they are all making a really impressive amount of money.

So is there some common ground among the things that these bloggers have been doing?

I think yes. And their (not so) secret is that… all of them are SMART.

As I mentioned in the beginning of my post, I don’t mean to say a high-IQ-smart – but that these bloggers are doing the basics right and thinking creatively.

What that means is:

  • They know almost everything about their niche. If there’s something they don’t, they have it in their reading queue.
  • They can take complex ideas and talk about it in a simple language everyone can understand.
  • They captivate you on their posts.
  • You will keep their article as a reference for future – you will bookmark it.

Now, like any other skill or expertise, developing these kinds of blogging abilities also requires dedication, consistency, hard work, and patience.

Are you ready for that?

Then you too can become a smart blogger.

How to Be a Smart Blogger

Sacrifice Your Old Habits and Friends

If you want to grow, you need to always look for people smarter than you. You will learn more when you change your friend circle.

It will also be easier to lose your old habits when you go away from your old friends.

No. We are not saying to ditch your pals.

What we are trying to say is that if you spend 3 days a week with your friends, make it once a week and use that extra time to invest in yourself.

Create new effective habits. Become proactive and set goals.

Start Learning about Everything

Read. Read. Read. Become a know-it-all.

Watch random YouTube videos and tutorials.

The benefit of knowing it all is that you can relate one subject to another and will be able to better explain to other people.

When you read a lot, you will have access to a vast content and a power to explain things in layman terms.

This learning habit will make you ready for exploring deep into your niche. You will be able to create original posts and ideas.

Learn to Think More

Popular blog posts don’t just happen.

Smart bloggers spend a lot of time thinking about it before they actually write the post.

The pre-writing brainstorm is what makes a masterpiece.

So, start to think about your writings.

Have an article that you want to write? Think about it for hours before you open the Word Processor.

If you plan to write for 10 minutes, think about what you will write for one hour.

Try it.

It will take your content to the next level.

Conclusion

I began my post by telling you that making money online through your blog is not that easy.

But the fact of the matter is… nothing ever really is!

Well, not in the beginning at least.

You have now seen it for yourself how so many bloggers are earning thousands of dollars online every month.

But here’s the catch: I have no doubt that it was just as difficult for them when they first started out.

You, on the other hand, have an advantage. You can now pick valuable lessons from their success and use it to build your own.

Let’s be honest, it will be a while before you start making six or seven figure income with your blog. But if you do the basics right and keep doing it for a longer period of time, it WILL happen sooner than you think.

It’s like what they say about great journeys beginning with a single step…

Take that first step toward your blogging success by starting your own WordPress blog today.

It’s a long way to go, so the sooner you get started, the better.

Right?

Published by Blossom Themes