Today we'll follow up on the post about the Use of Advertising by Bloggers with a post on how much people earn from their blogs and how satisfied they are with these earnings.


On a per month basis, 69% of our bloggers (those who previously indicated they participate in advertising programs) earn less than $20 per month from all income sources: advertising & sponsorship. It's rather a pity that so many bloggers, of whom we have identified as being experienced, are not seeing any return for their efforts.

You can see from the graph that there is a real hurdle between $50 a month and anything above. From general experience, I know that blogs tend to go through several earnings ranges. You can be stuck on one range for a long time then jump up to the next without really experiencing a gradual incline in that direction.

We can see, for example, that there is a big barrier between earning $50 per month an anything greater than that - it would appear the next gap starts at $200.


We asked our users if they were frustrated with what they make. In the open-ended comments, most bloggers indicated they wanted to make more; some didn't know how, and some felt they were just beginning.

All of these are valid points that can be made, but they all point to the fact that people just don't know how to make money from their blogs. I don't know how many blogs there are out there trying to teach bloggers all the tricks and modifications you can do to tweak your ads, get the right context, or so on. It's really an overwhelming amount of information. And can leave some feeling they are "just not there yet" - that you need to be very savvy to start making money.

I disagree. I think everyone has the ability to start making money right away, and think it should be simple. The tools we have right now are for techie geeks - even the integration of AdSense in to Blogger is not a solution - it still puts a lot of pressure on people to understand the nuances of ad programs to be able to get something back in return.


We asked some more questions of the full set of respondents about making money from blogging. When asked if they want to make more, a clear 59% of people say yes. A surprising 20% don't want to make more - these bloggers fall into the category of those who don't have advertising because they don't like it.

If we take the 20% who don't care as some who just don't think they have a chance at making money, we have an even stronger indication that people really do want to make more money. Who doesn't, after all?


Since we knew going into the survey that most people were going to want to make more money blogging than what they currently make, we put in a question asking them how much they wanted. Of course, these results have just a bit of bias because 'want' and 'reality' are not necessarily the same thing, even when reality is a good chunk of change.

Looking back, if I had answered this question, I would have said $1000+ too - partially because I do want to make a living from blogging and see myself there eventually, but partially because it would be funny to say.

So, it came as no surprise to see that 22% of our users also want to make more than $1000 per month from blogging. It's not a bad goal. Since most of our users are experienced bloggers, and have shown to stick it out by posting on more than one blog and for an extended period of time, we'll likely see a lot of them reach this goal.

I was surprised to see so many answers of below $20 - these bloggers don't earn much now, being new or not knowing how, so would be happy even with a small return for their efforts. Such a return would likely pay for the blog, and very little more.

I'd like to see more of our bloggers reaching for higher earnings goals. Blogging can be a career - Tris and I have proved that. Advertising is a part of how we make our living, and we think that we have a powerful message to spread about making money blogging. But what we can learn here is that it's just too hard to figure out right now. We need to make blog advertising easier.


Stay tuned for my next post on people's opinions of advertising in blogs and later for keyword vs. contextual advertising.