Everybody recommends blogging as a great way to earn a side income, but how long does it take to make money blogging?
In this article, I’ll show you how long it should take to start earning money from your blog, along with some killer examples. I’ll also give you tips and tricks to earn faster.
If you want to see how long it actually takes to make money blogging, then keep reading.
How Long Does It Take to Make Money Blogging?
I’ll go into further detail in the examples below, but the rule of thumb is your blog should start to see revenue in the first year, make a profit in year two, and generate a full-time income in the third year.
Many factors affect this timeline, including your niche, your SEO, keyword research, and the quality of your blog content.
Here are a few more factors that affect how long it will take to make money from your blog:
How Are You Investing?
There are two types of investments for online businesses; time and money.
If you can’t put a lot of money into your site, you’ll need to spend more of your own time on things like content creation and publishing.
If you don’t have time or money to invest in your site, it will take a lot longer for your site to grow.
How Much Content Are You Publishing?
There is a direct correlation between how much content you publish and how long your site takes to get traffic and make money.
When you’re targeting organic traffic, you’re limited by the number of keywords each piece of content can rank for. The solution to that is to publish more content.
The more blog posts you publish, the faster your site will make money.
How Are Your Monetizing Your Blog?
Different monetization methods will pay out faster than others and with less investment.
Affiliate marketing is the best way to make money from your site as quickly as possible. In theory, if your first reader clicks a link and makes a purchase, you could make money on day one.
Affiliate programs like Amazon Associates have a ton of products to recommend, which makes them a great way for beginners to make a good amount of money.
Display ads are also a great way to earn revenue from your blog early. It won’t amount to much until you get more traffic, but something is better than nothing.
Monetization methods like dropshipping, ecommerce, selling courses, and Amazon FBA will take much longer to turn a profit, as well as more investment for things like ads and inventory.
How Long Did It Take Our Sites To Make Money (Three Examples with Income Reports)
Now that you know some of the factors that affect how long it takes to make money from a new blog, here are a few examples of how long it took for our sites.
TIP: You can see the spreadsheets for all of these sites in the episode of Seeking Profit embedded at the top of this post.
Example #1 – Emil Shour’s Sports Site (The Typical Niche Site)
In the recent episode of Seeking Profit, Emil showed Andrew the profit and loss (P&L) spreadsheet for his newest blog in the sports niche.
What this spreadsheet shows is a very typical trajectory for niche sites. Emil invested time and money in the site early but had to wait until search engines deemed his site worthy of ranking for his target keywords.
However, once his site started ranking, income quickly followed, enabling him to invest in new content.
- Significant traffic: 8 months
- First revenue: 9 months
- First profit: 1 year
It’s improbable that a new niche blog will make a profit in the first year.
Building a profitable niche site is a long game, and it usually takes a couple of years to make a sizeable profit, even if you know what you’re doing like Emil does.
Example #2 – Listen Money Matters (Building a Brand)
Listen Money Matters started as a finance blog and started earning revenue quickly. However, there were a lot of expenses, and it took a long time to make a sizeable profit.
- First revenue: 1 month
- First profit: 1 year
- Job-replacement income: 3 years
Launching the Listen Money Matters podcast was the real turning point in the business, and turned it from a blog into a brand.
Andrew was eventually able to turn LMM into a thriving business by optimizing monetization and learning to reliably create winning offers.
Example #3 – Giftlab (The Outlier)
Giftlab followed the trajectory most niche site builders dream of. And while there’s always a bit of luck involved in this business, it didn’t succeed by accident.
Andrew’s experience with LMM and other niche sites gave him a blueprint for building a profitable niche site faster. When he saw an opportunity in the gifting niche to rank for a bunch of keywords, he jumped on it.
- Year one profit: $9,700
- Year two profit: $102,700
Your first couple of sites will take much longer to be profitable. After you’ve done a couple, you’ll have an easier checklist to follow and get there faster.
TIP: Andrew talked about Giftlab on the podcast and linked to it from the show notes. If you own a successful niche site, or you know someone who does, use backlinks to drive authority to your new site.
How To Make Money From Your Blog Faster
1. Optimize Your Site For Conversions
Especially in the early days, your site won’t be able to make much money from display ads (like Google Adsense, Ezoic, Mediavine, and Adthrive) because you won’t have enough traffic.
However, you can make a decent blogging income from affiliate offers if you position them correctly.
Things like contrasting colors and product images will make your affiliate offers stand out, and your audience will click on them more.
A tool like Lasso makes this super easy. All you have to do is paste your affiliate link into the dashboard, adjust the Link Details, and insert the Display into your content.
With that simple process, you’ll increase your click through rate and make more affiliate income.
A WordPress plugin that lets you add, manage, and display your affiliate links from any program, including Amazon. Increase conversions. Find new affiliate link opportunities. Earn more revenue! Less than 5 minutes to set up.
2. Create a Content Calendar
Creating a content calendar and sticking to a schedule is the best way to drive steady growth for your blog.
If you take one day and plan out the next three months of content for your site, you’ll never need to wonder what you need to do each day. You can just look at the calendar and start checking off boxes.
Blogging businesses fail without a plan. So put a plan in place and stick to it.
3. Outsource Whatever You Can Afford
It’s a great idea to write the first few articles for your site so you can set the tone and quality expectations. But it’s not realistic to do it forever.
If you want to make as much money as possible in a short timeframe, you will need help.
Using a service like Upwork to hire writers is a great way to multiply your content output and grow your blog much faster.
4. Build an Email List
Many new bloggers assume email is dead, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Email marketing is still one of the best ways to make money from your WordPress blog.
Every reader who signs up for your newsletter is invested in what you have to say. They trust your recommendations.
Building a solid email series is one of the best ways to generate passive income from a small niche blog.
Blogging for Profit FAQs
How Long Does It Take to Make Money Blogging?
If you’re starting a site from scratch, expect to wait at least a year to see a profit. From there, try to keep growing your blog and reach a job replacement income in year two.
How Long Does it Take to Make $500 Per Month Blogging?
People always want a dollar amount on things like this, but it’s so dependent on things like the niche, positioning, content output, and luck.
I’d say you should be able to make $500 per month in a good niche by the end of the second year at the latest.
How Do Beginner Bloggers Make Money?
Bloggers make money from various sources, including advertising, affiliate marketing, and selling their own digital products, online courses, and services.
Is it Hard to Make Money From a Blog?
Getting page views to your content is the hardest part of making money from a blog. Once that happens, you can monetize with Amazon affiliate offers or display ads and optimize your offers to increase your earnings.
How to Make Money Blogging – Final Thoughts
Those are all my thoughts and predictions on how long you should expect it to take before you make money from your niche blog.
As you can tell from our examples, this is far from an exact science. Some sites make money in the first month, and some take years. You should look for signals from organic rankings and engagement from your readers to see if you’re on the right track.
Blogging has a form of natural selection when it comes to these timeframes. Many site owners quit right before they’d make their first dollar.
My final advice to you is to give it at least one year. Grind it out as best you can and put in the hard work. If your site still isn’t getting any traffic, feel free to blow it up and start a new one.
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