As a blogger, I sometimes feel cold, probably because I’m surrounded by so many drafts. 😀 One draft I’ve been meaning to publish is today’s post, which is about my blogging income. I like to be upfront about the money I make from side hustles. Regular readers will know I earn about $10K a year from rent, $6K from dividends, etc. Recently my online income has grown to the point where I feel like I should address it. So in the interest of transparency I’d like to share a bit about my online income. The tl;dr version is that I make about $500 a year blogging. Details below.
I started monetizing Freedom 35 about 3 years ago. Prior to that the blog didn’t make any money. I usually spend around 5 hours a week blogging, generally writing 2 posts per week. So in terms of hourly rate it appears my writing efforts make a jaw-dropping $1.92 per hour, haha. 🙂 Just to be clear this post is not about how to make money online, or how to monetize a website. There’s no shortage of experts out there who claim to have the secret sauce to build a successful online empire. But the main purpose of this post is to provide disclosure to readers.
My blog’s main source of revenue comes from Google Adsense. It allows me to place ads like the ones on the right side of this page. These ads earn about $20 to $25 a month. 🙂 Due to the Terms of Service agreement with Adsense I can’t show all the details of my earnings. But here’s a quick peek at my performance from a screenshot I took last month.
I had to hide some numbers with black bars for legal purposes, but the summary gives a good overview of what I’ve earned over the last 2 quarters. The minimum balance for a payout with Adsense is $100. This means my earnings accumulate every month until $100 is reached, and then the entire balance is paid out. As we can see the last payment on record was back in January 2015, lol. But after I took this screenshot last month I was paid $121. 🙂 Basically it takes several months for me to reach the $100 threshold so I only receive 2 or 3 payments a year from Google Adsense.
I also make some money from other blogging sources such as affiliate marketing and direct ads. Usually they make about $20 a month on average. If anyone signs up with bluehost or grouplend using the links on my blog then I would get a small commission. Again, advertising partners don’t allow publishers to share details, but I can say that so far I’ve had 3 successful sales across all my affiliate programs, so big thanks to whoever you 3 people are. 🙂
In summary, this blog generates on average about $40 a month, or $500 a year total. But it varies widely from month to month. Subtract the cost of running a website like hosting and security software and the net income looks more like $300 a year, lol.
I started blogging 5 years ago as a hobby. My goal was to track my finances, and share my debt, lifestyle, and investing experiences with other folks. 🙂 I’m lucky that I was able to find a way to generate some income from my blog along the way but further monetization isn’t a priority for me right now. My purpose for the blog hasn’t changed since the beginning. And I’d rather focus on other ways to make money like the stock market. 🙂
I don’t include my blogging income in my regular monthly updates because I want to keep my financial statements on the blog simple and concise on. I doubt $40 of extra income a month will have any meaningful impact when my other income sources are thousands of dollars and my net worth is nearly at $400,000. However I do include my blog earnings in the “other” category of my annual income/expenses breakdown at the end of each year.
The blogging experience is very individual. There are blogs that are more popular than mine but earn less than $100 a year. There are also newer blogs that’s only been around for 1 or 2 years but are already generating thousands of dollars a month. A lot of it depends on marketing, SEO, and connecting with the right people.
In the end, it’s all about goals and priorities. Some people blog just for the fun of it. They want their family and friends to read their stories. If they accomplish that then they are successful. 🙂 Other people start blogs with the intent of making money. I have blogging friends who have started successful websites and are showing others how to make money doing it as well. Some of them earn more than $10,000 a year from their sites so I know it’s possible to legitimately earn serious money online, as long as you dedicate enough time and effort. Like most things in life you get what you put in. 🙂
Random Useless Fact
Donuts have holes in the middle so the insides of the cakes would cook as evenly as the outsides.
I’m always so curious about other blog’s AdSense income. I’m lucky to make 10 cents a day with mine, even on the days I get “above average” traffic (for me). Maybe I need to look into better placements and whatnot to see if that can bump me up to the coveted $1 a day. 🙂
$1 a day would be awesome from AdSense. I’m pretty sure we can both reach that milestone some day. 🙂
Have you considered placing the AdSense block below the title of your post? You can use a plugin like Quick AdSense to place the ad there and just have it display only for search engine visitors. Give it a try and I guarantee you’ll at least double, if not triple, your AdSense earnings. Search engine visitors are the ones who click, and eye-tracking research says people click on the top and left-most ad placement. It’s not intrusive for your regular readers and it’s worth an experiment to see if it increases earnings.
Thanks for the great idea, Robb. That’s one of the best suggestions I’ve ever heard. 🙂 It sounds really promising, I’ll certainly give that a try.
If I was blogging for income, I would have fired myself years ago 🙂
I make a few bucks per day but my hourly rate is horrible.
Do it for fun and have fun doing it.
A few bucks per day is really good. I bet that puts you in the top 10% of all bloggers out there. 🙂 Yeah, blogging for us should be enjoyable, not feel pressured to meet some kind of earnings expectation lol.
Nice that the site doesn’t cost you any money! Your hourly rate is great tho, want to write for me? I’ll pay you $2/hr! haha
Thanks for the offer. You drive a hard bargain but I think I’ll pass. Actually, it doesn’t sound like much but $2/hr is the minimum wage in Brazil right now and there’s almost 6 times as many people living there than in Canada. Maybe I should quit my day job and move to Brazil to become a full time blogger, lol.
I’ll pay $3/hour! 🙂
Haha, sure. 🙂 I’d be happy to write a guest post on your blog for $3/hour.
Congrats on your blogging income, but always thought it be more than that. You are always keeping it real! Always surprised at how some other bloggers make $1k a month or more through blogging… I guess they have a lot of traffic to their site.
When I had my own domain I actually generated $20 for the year through AdSense, but I didn’t feel like I was generating enough income consistently to make it viable to renew for a second year. I do not have a following like you do haha. Now I just blog to keep myself accountable and for fun.
$20 isn’t bad for a blog’s first year running. Yeah, $1K a month would be a dream for me at this point, lol.
One of the reasons why I really like your blog (and read it way before I even started my little corner) is the fact that you don’t sell products or whore your blog out for affiliate links on the scale other people do. In fact, I despise any blogs that do that. They ramp up the traffic, start plugging credit card products while talking about “being financially responsible” or any other products that will pay them two dimes a head. Their whole existence is about raising traffic and coming up with “products”. Blogging became a job for them.
I much rather prefer your approach. Your biggest financial gains will come from investing and taking risks with your money, not selling your own written products about life insurance with affiliate links to life insurance companies. Internet has way too much selling, and a huge deficit of personalities who publicly share their experiences, their fears, their risks, and their rewards. You, my friend, found a great balance between a personality blog and a personal finance blog. And hey, if it makes few dollars – even better.
Keep up the good job!
Hey Financial Underdog, thanks for the kind words. I’ve noticed some bloggers get readers to sign up for email newsletters and then put all sorts of ads in there. I suppose that’s another way to make money online for those writers but I’m happy just writing posts for the blog for now. If any reader wants to sign up for email delivery they have that option as well but I don’t see a lot of value in producing a dedicated newsletter once a week.
Up to $500 a month ain’t too shabby at all for a hobby!
Sam, he’s saying he makes $500/year, not month. $500/mo with blogging, we’d all be celebrating 🙂
With the amount of traffic financialsamurai.com is getting I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s generating over $3,000 a month lol.
At the very least, you have paid for the hosting and domain requirements for this space with the Adsense, not to mention maybe some extra cash to take care of your computer if something fails/needs repair. That’s all one can ask for, just a little something back in return so that you can keep on going doing what you love. Congrats on making it this far.
And 5 years in blogging is a long time as far as I’m concerned. I feel like thousands of blogs stop and start each day.
I’ve also noticed quite a few new personal finance blogs pop up this year. Not sure how long they will be around. It’s difficult to make any real money in the first year but the longer and more content a blog has the better it will do usually. Thanks for stopping by.
Your blog makes about 50 times more than mine so you you are doing pretty good 🙂
Thanks. I guess everything is relative. I have a few extra years of blogging history than you though.
I’m with Financial Underdog, liking the fact you’re writing because you like it, not because you’re trying to make an income. That’s my approach with my blog as well.
You are doing much better than me when I first started. I’m sure the priority you put on your content quality will pay off later on.
DANG… totally misread that! Well, $40/month is better than a poke in the eye or a slap in the face!
Now that would be impressive! I’d be rich! 🙂
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Nice post Liquid. I agree with the rest of the bloggers on here that it’s about the love of writing and sharing our experiences that drives us to publish our material. I hardly make anything from Adsense, but it would be nice to make at least enough to cover the expense of owning a blog!
Happy long weekend and all the best my friend!
I like how long weekends also mean short work weeks. 🙂