Making Money Blogging – A Fool’s Game?

Making Money BloggingI heard a strange beeping sound, so I got out of bed and looked out the window.

I saw a truck pulling up outside my house. It was a very large truck! And painted on the side was a big dollar sign with the word “Bloggers Bank” written on the side.

Slowly the truck was reversing up my driveway towards the house. Beep beep beep. That sound was the reverse warning beep. It had woken me up.

Suddenly I heard the brakes squeal, and the truck stopped.

The driver started to tip the back of the truck up and…some sacks of money started to fall out. Whoa…

Faster and faster the money started tumbling out, as the truck tipped more steeply!

My girlfriend was going to freak! These sacks were falling on her new flowers by the garage, and there were hundreds of them. So long roses!

They probably contained millions of dollars in total! It was a huge pile.

I was rich!!!

— Fast forward a few hours —

It took me hours to collect all the sacks and carry them inside where I knew they would be safe from my greedy neighbors.

Man, was it hard work. Money is heavy! They don’t show you that part in the movies.

But it was worth it. I was rich!

Did I say that already?

Then I woke up.

How much money are the people really making blogging?

I have asked a lot of bloggers who have been doing this for a while. They have significant traffic. They have lots of fans on social media. And you would expect that they make lots of money blogging.

Most of them don’t.

Well, that is not quite true. They just don’t make money doing the things you might expect.

Let’s take a look at what I am talking about…

What is “making money blogging” really about?

I guess part of the problem I had (and I think many newbie bloggers have) is:

the misunderstanding about making money blogging

There is a false belief that if you blog long enough, and hard enough, that someone will drive up to your house and dump a truckload of money on your lawn!

I know, I have that dream all the time too.

Back to reality.

What can you do to earn money blogging?

There are many ways to make money blogging.

Let’s take a look at a few you may (or may not) know already:

  • Advertising
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Niche sites for products
  • Selling your services
  • Selling your digital products
  • Flipping websites (no, websites are not pancakes!)
  • many more

You have to choose which of these is going to work for you and focus on just a few of them at a time.

It’s similar to social media. Too many choices. Don’t do them all at once. Trust me, it does not work.

Let’s take a look at a few of the Pros

We can all dream about being successful at blogging and indeed, some of the most famous bloggers are an inspiration to us all.

I want to take a look at two of them in particular. Not because they are making a lot of money (they are) but because of how they approach the subject.

Pat Flynn - Smart Passive Income

Pat does have a truck load of money delivered to his house every month. Ok, he keeps it in the “blogging bank” vault. So no truck is involved. But you get the point.

In fact in November 2013 he earned $55,202.74. Yes, the same kinda money presidents and CEOs make in a month.

Can you achieve this too? Maybe. But Pat has been at it for a while. So you have a few years to catch up to him.

Why I want to look at him in particular is because he has diverse sources of income. And that my friend is the key.

Start with one or two sources of income.

Get them going.

Then find some others. Don’t stop.

Remember: The internet is a fickle beast, and you don’t want to get caught with all your “income eggs” in one basket.

A basket that suddenly explodes into one messy omelette!

Pat has some of the following sources of income:

  • Speaking Gigs
  • Ebooks
  • Online Courses
  • Affiliate marketing (WordPress plugins, Hosting etc)
  • iPhone App
  • Amazon Affiliate

On top of this he has a huge range of content as well, which helps drive the traffic to his site and spread his expertise:

  • Books
  • Podcast
  • Videos
  • Blog content
  • Speaking gigs

In fact, one of his philosophies is -

be everywhere

You may not agree with this, but think about it this way: People who don’t like to read (there are a lot of them nowadays) watch videos or listen to things on their phone. This means YouTube, iTunes etc. Places you are probably not present.

Are you only blogging? Me (mostly) too. But we are missing out on an audience that doesn’t know a thing about you!

Let’s diversify in 2014. I am already making plans!

Darren Rowse – Pro Blogger

You all probably know Darren, as he is one of the most famous and successful bloggers around. And he is from my hometown too!

He actually has two main blogs that are responsible for his income. and Digital Photography School. Here is a rough breakdown of the things I believe he uses for his income:

Pro Blogger (over 300,000 readers)

  • Ebooks
  • Courses
  • Forum
  • Jobs Board

Digital Photography School (nearly 1.5 million subscribers)

  • Affiliate Marketing (obviously earning commissions on camera gear is great)
  • Books (lots and lots of his own school’s books)
  • Advertising

Darren has tried a whole bunch of things (I read his book where he details a lot of his trials, efforts and failures) in order to get where he is. He also does not rely on just one source of income (or even one site). And it took him years before he could leave his job to blog full-time.

You might have heard this one before:

it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen

What about the little people?

The Little PeopleYou might have heard about “the little people”? The Irish often talk about them – they are the Leprechauns. Imaginary creatures, you will probably never see (I hope). You can tell your kids stories about them at bedtime!

But what I am talking about is YOU and I.

The bloggers just starting out, or perhaps not just starting out, struggling to make a go of it.

I could talk to you about people I don’t know, and make wild assumptions about how they are going. But instead I will tell you about myself.

My story

So you are probably wondering how I make money blogging?

At the moment, I don’t really make that much.

But like you, I am trying.

  1. I do some affiliate marketing.
  2. I have tried Google Ads.
  3. My latest thing is to teach courses on Udemy, to try to pass on my experience and knowledge.

My latest course is called Learn to Use Twitter Like a Pro. In fact, I am offering Tim’s readers the course for 30% off.

In this course I am giving away all my Twitter knowledge. And I know a lot about Twitter. Ask Tim.

You can watch the first video in each section for free too. Go and take a look. (Sorry for the advertising. I love my course. It’s my baby and I love people to learn as much about Twitter as me.)

4. Last but not least. I am taking note of the pros and starting to sell my services – Web Design, Blog and Social Media Coaching.

I am even launching a stunning new website soon! Watch out for it.

So what can you do to make money?

I have finally realized that in order to make a real living blogging (in the short term), you have to sell your expertise.

Whatever that is, presumably you are blogging about it. You have to find a way to sell your skills and knowledge.

My course is part of that, and now I am also starting to do Web Design and Coaching.

I have been doing it for companies for 12 years. Now I want to go solo.

What are your dreams as a blogger? How do you make a living from it?

Header photo credit: Tax Credits via photopin cc
Leprechaun photo credit: Renee May via photopin cc

Ashley Faulkes

Ashley is a web designer, blogger and social media lover who can be found at Mad Lemmings. He loves to make websites that blow people's minds and help people achieve blogging success. If you need his help, try his services.

He also dabbles in magic and writes reviews on the latest magic tricks.

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  • Ashutosh Kasera

    Hi Tim,

    A very nice post showing the reality behind blogging. Making money from blogging is really tough, but many people are joining the blogging arena with a hope to attract a truck delivering money to their doorsteps. (Most of them get disappointed as it never happens.)

    It needs lots of efforts, time and a long term business vision. No doubt, some bloggers have made a fortune out of blogging, but the time is not same anymore. Competition has increased and everyone is getting smarter day by day.

    My blogging experience is still in its infancy stage. I take a couple of assignments to get the money needed to keep our life rolling (and also my blog). I am learning and evolving and your post has really helped me focussing on some important points. Diversifying the source of income is very important for bloggers.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Ashley

      Hi Ashutosh,
      Thanks for taking the time to comment.
      It is great that you know a little more about the reality at such an early stage blogging. Many or us dream a little too big and get disappointed.
      Then we either stop, or like me, learn and change.
      I wish you a lot of success with your blog and money make endeavors

    • Tim Bonner

      Ashley certainly did a great job, didn’t he Ashutosh?

      Making money blogging is all about diversifying our efforts.

      It’s very unlikely that we’re ever going to make money from just writing blog posts.

      Ashley’s detailed many of the routes people successfully take to make money from blogging.

      All of them related to having a blog but thinking outside the box.

  • I. C. Daniel

    I can say this article is among the best I’ve read so far on your blog Tim, thanks for sharing this with us Ashley.

    Guys mentioned has years and years of experience and because of this now they know how to make money online, they failed too but they learned how to master/market online.

    Sure thing I’m interested in your upcoming project. Bring it on :D

    Most money I make are from Adsense to be frank. And with my upcoming project (the forum) any affiliate marketing products related to money online should convert my traffic without problems, Adsense gives peanuts anyway.

    Kind regards, hope to see often here!

    • Ashley

      Hi I.C Daniel
      It seems you are also well on the way to success.
      At least you have your eyes open and know what to do to make the right choices.
      I wanted to write this article because there are so many myths out there, and I think it is wrong for people to believe it is so easy.
      Like anything in life, it takes time and effort to bring success!
      all the best

    • Tim Bonner

      I’m glad you enjoyed it I.C. Daniel.

      I don’t make too much from Adsense either to be honest.

      Selling products through affiliate marketing is where I’ve found a little bit of success.

      I wish you all the best with your forum. It sounds as though you’re on the right lines!

  • Enstine Muki

    Hey Ashley
    You fully hid your identify from the beginning of this post ;)
    BTW, some dreams come true but yours … no way LOL.

    John Chow in one of his latest posts said blogging in itself does not generate income. sort of, the action of blogging has no way to make money. It is monetizing blogging (with the ways you mentioned above) that make money. If we keep writing excellent articles without placing those ads, selling products, etc, no matter the traffic and number of subscribers, we may never get a cent.

    It does take time, hard work and trying many options (like we learn from the stories of these 2 guys). One thing I know will work is persistence on the right things.

    Now you can sell your knowledge on Udemy – that only comes after years of focus on Twitter. Without focus, hard work and time, you won’t be able to do Web Design and Coaching and be paid for it.

    Pat, Darren, John chow, etc were once “the little people” but today they are in the other camp ;) Just like them, we have to diversify and create an MSI.

    Yes, selling ones expertise seems to produce more money. The most handsome amount I have made online has been through selling my expertise, and that continues to pay.

    What I can reiterate here is that just blogging will never make us any good money. Blogging is just a business tool. In real life, you need to design a business before looking for tools to promote it. You don’t go for the tools first.

    so as bloggers, if we don’t lay out an effective monetizing strategy, despite the traffic, social media presence, list subscribers, etc, we will end up in the camp of “the little people”

    My dream as a blogger is to grow through smartness, hard work and learning of new things. I’ll have to create more products (books, apps, courses, etc). That’s the only way to bank big and switch camp

    Hey Tim, bringing Ashley here is right on spot. What an excellent reflection. Do have a wonderful week you both

    • Ashley

      Hey Enstine
      Of course years of wisdom will help anyone with their dreams and business!
      You seem to have certainly accumulated a lot!
      There will always be get rich quick schemes and other ideas out there to fool us, I just hope people learn earlier rather than later!
      thanks for dropping by

    • Tim Bonner

      Ashley did a great job Enstine, I agree!

      I completely agree with everything you’ve said.

      Just writing blog posts isn’t necessarily going to make you money unless you can get a sponsor for each and every post.

      I’ve been making money from niche sites and I’m going to build more of those.

      It’s always better to diversify in as many ways as you can though.

      So, like you, I’m always looking for other ways to make money from my blog.

      You’re definitely doing a great job Enstine.

      I need to put in more effort! :-)

  • Angela McCall

    Hi Ashley,

    Excellent article. I’m glad you guest posted on Tim’s blog. Awesome!!

    So, how long you’ve been doing web design?

    Btw, what is Mad Lemmings mean?

    Anyway, I couldn’t agree with you more. We need to diversify our income. You know when hummingbird was launch, a lot of people lost their income. And that’s because they have nothing but AdSense. While AdSense is nice, I think a person shouldn’t rely in just one income. Diversify is the key.

    Congratulations in launching your course in Udemy!!

    Do you know where they are located? I didn’t know that they are actually in San Francisco, CA…where I am now. Ya know my friend Rob Cubbon told me that I have the potential to do the same thing. Sell a course in Udemy. Rob is actually making $1000/month passive income from Udemy. Imagine you have 4-courses going in Udemy that’s making the same amount, that is $4000 a month.

    As far as affiliate marketing is concerned I have almost given up on this one. This is the hardest of all the money making tool out there, you have to have at least 30K of traffic in order to start making money on these. Best way to earn income for me are actually the prospect clients I meet both offline and online.

    Selling ebooks is in my future plan. Also, another graphic designer friend of mine in Australia is starting her business about PLR, and she suggested this one to me…another good one to make money with. Perhaps someday I could create a “membership” site too.

    Anyway, getting late on my end. See you around. Have a lovely week!!


    • Ashley

      Hi Angela
      Thanks for dropping by, hope you are doing well.
      Diversifying is the key, and looks like you have lots of plans for that! Plus you already do web design etc, so you are set!
      I am still working it all out, but once you get a solid foundation, it should work out well
      take care

    • Tim Bonner

      I’m glad you enjoyed Ashley’s article Angela. Me too! :-).

      On average, for my potty training niche site, I get between 750 to 1,100 visits a month.

      I’ve made just under $1,500 since the end of August 2013.

      So affiliate marketing can definitely be done without lots of traffic, Angela.

      Or maybe I’ve just been lucky on that one!

  • Tim Bonner

    Hey Ashley

    Thank you for creating such a top notch post here on my blog!

    I think a lot of people, me included, started out thinking that writing a blog would just bring in a passive income.

    That’s just not the reality though. The blog is just the front of house and branding aspect of things.

    You’ve hit the nail of the head with how most bloggers make their money – from other avenues relating to their blog.

    I think it’s still important to have a blog in the first place to make the connections, have a voice and to get people interested in what you do.

    From there though, as you say, we all need to think about how we can monetise and make the blog earn it’s keep!

    I actually make my money from niche sites. Not big bucks yet but enough to pay for the costs of blogging and some profit.

    It’s important not to keep all your eggs in one basket though so I will be looking at other ways to make money from my blog too.

    • Ashley

      Hey Tim
      Thanks for stopping by !! haha, you were here already.
      Blogging is indeed a marketing tool and not the point in itself.
      That is something that takes a long time for people to realise.
      I am actually on a webinar this afternoon on that very topic – why should you blog for your business. Which is the normal path for many people. Business first, blog second.
      But having done it backwards, I am easily ready to blog for my business!
      have a great day

  • Les Wallack

    I really enjoyed this post. Hats off to both Tim and Ashley. I (a newbie) feel this post has “hit the nail on the head” for sure! I follow both Tim and Ashley and appreciate the contributions that both of them make to the world of blogging! Looking forward to more.

    • Ashley

      Thanks Les
      Hopefully we can enlighten more people and lead everyone down the path to success!

    • Tim Bonner

      Thank you Les.

      Ashley did a great job, didn’t he? He can definitely come again :-).

      Hopefully we can all make a success of things online by diversifying operations as Ashley mentions.

  • The Guy

    Hi Ashley and Tim,

    Great article and very much in touch with reality. I’ve been blogging for 16 months and for that entire time my profits would not reach 4 figures. Yet I see others in my niche start a site and within a few months they publish income reports of thousands of dollars income per month. They do this by selling links from their site or sponsored guest posts. Whilst this is a fair portion of income for my site I do it very infrequently. Yet somehow these people do it many times in a month.

    At the moment I am hesitant to take such an approach. I don’t want to alienate my readers or upset Google.

    I agree these things can be a slow burn. I want to focus on my content and networking for now, let the site grow naturally. If income comes along in the future then great, but it is not the be all and end all for me at the moment.

    You’ve quoted some good roles models there. I’ve been following Pat Flyn for a while and am often listening to his podcasts.

    • Ashley

      Hey Guy
      We do have to be careful how we decide to make money and what impression we want to give on the web.
      Anyone can be watching and it is hard to go back and erase the mistakes of the past.
      I try to see what the successful people like Pat are doing and then do similar things, that work for me.
      Thanks for dropping by

    • Tim Bonner

      I’d be wary of doing too many sponsored posts as well.

      I’ve done one so far and whilst I’ve disclosed it and made all links nofollow, I’m not sure if other bloggers do the same.

      If they don’t then they’re going down a risky path, in my opinion.

      Google can’t tell if a post is sponsored or not but it only takes one person to shop a blogger and that will be it for their traffic!

      The same goes with the tax authorities…

      I think that you’re doing the right thing by focussing on content and networking.

  • Glenn Shepherd

    Hey guys,

    Wow, Tim and Ashley? That’s a winning combination right from the off! ;-)

    As usual, a fantastic post from you here, Ashley. I think the key point is to diversify. Of course, as you rightly mentioned, you need to be careful not to do too many things at once.

    While I think it’s true that some people may be able to make money from blogging, it’s going to take a lot of work, skill and refinement to do it from that alone. And even then, I believe that there are lots of other elements that go hand in hand with what they’re doing.

    Having said that, all the money I’ve made so far has actually been as a direct result of blogging. However, you do have to spread your wings and extend your reach so as to become visible in lots of different places.

    For me, I think that a blog should be more of a central hub that serves as a base for everything else you’re doing, rather than viewing it as an ‘eggs all in the one basket’ kind of thing. Ultimately, if you just create a blog, stick a few ads on it and wait for the money truck to arrive, well you could be waiting for a very long time. Even if your blog is the main part of your business, there still has to be a variety of other elements and activities that go along with it in order to monetise it. After all, it won’t monetise itself! And I think that’s where perhaps some people go wrong, thinking that somehow the money will almost magically appear.

    Thanks for an awesome post as always, Ashley. And thanks to Tim for featuring Ashley on your blog.

    I hope you’re both keeping well and having a good week.


    • Ashley

      Great comment as always Glenn
      I know you have been having lots of success with blogging, so it can happen.
      But for most of us we have to do lots of different things around the blog in order to make a living. And let’s face it, that is probably, ultimately, what the blog should be. The center of your marketing world – as you mentioned.
      And for established businesses too, it is a way to get their name out and get traffic!
      have a good one

    • Tim Bonner

      Thank you Glenn.

      I was only too pleased to give Ashley my blog for the day!

      I completely agree with you that your blog needs to be a central hub.

      Even though I’ve been making money from a niche blog I set up separately, I still consider this blog my base.

      It’s where I make connections, build a list of subscribers, build a reputation and brand and of course make friends!

      Eventually I’ll offer services from the blog but for now, I’m still deciding what they will be.

      I’ve been watching your blogging success with a keen eye too Glenn.

      After all, we can all learn from each other and there’s always something new to learn!

  • Craig McBreen

    Thanks, Tim … I mean, Ashley ;) Love the money bags analogy.

    Pat Flynn is the golden boy of blogging, but Pat is a pro, and an EXTREMELY hard worker … in fact I would venture to guess there is nothing passive about his working lifestyle. He’s very smart and focused and has quite the head start.

    “I have finally realized that in order to make a real living blogging (in the short term), you have to sell your expertise.”
    –Yeppo. To me this is the only way to really make it in the beginning. It really is a marathon (I’ve been blogging for two years and have a 2-5 year plan, but am operating like a tortoise, not a hare).

    My current blog is really attached to my business, but I have a second in the works that is more of a passion project (and niche focused) Almost ready with that one.

    Anyway, love the post AND the transparency … from you and Tim.

    • Ashley

      Hey Craig
      Unfortunately I think I came at it all the wrong way, but it is the journey as they say. And the places it has led me already are great. Even if I seem to have wasted time in the realisation.

      I am about to launch some services in the coming week, so things are about to change for sure!

      appreciate your comment Craig

    • Tim Bonner

      I had a feeling Pat Flynn might work a little bit harder than having a passive income might suggest, Craig :-).

      It would be nice to think that the money trucks do roll up to his house though and maybe mine one day!

      I’ve been building a couple of niche sites myself recently and am making good headway with one of them.

      It has actually been set it up and forget it in many ways.

      Hopefully I can build a few more like that and just keep them ticking over.

      I’m looking forward to seeing your new blog when you unveil it.

  • Susan Cooper

    I laughed at the bags of money dumped from a large truck. I think many a blogger have a similar dream.

    I agree with you about diversification. It’s key in any business to have more then one product or source of income. Heck, that same principle applies in financial investing.

    I had a plan and I’m on track. This is my year to start making money from my efforts. It’s already started. Getting to this point hasn’t been easy. There is a whole bunch more to do.

    I do believe making money blogging is possible. My thoughts are we just need to identify our strengths and expertise. Don’t try to be something we’re not. It can cost us dearly.

    Once we know what we’re good at, we can then have an opportunity to maximize that knowledge to make an income.

    • Ashley

      Hey Susan
      Great to hear from you and to read that you have some great things planned for 2014!
      I am also rolling out lots of new things this year and it feels great, right?
      Hopefully all the time we have invested in our websites will help us reach new heights
      have a great day

    • Tim Bonner

      I get the impression you’re a very clued-up and determined lady Susan!

      Great traits to have when it comes to making things happen so I’m sure your plans are going to come to fruition.

      I definitely agree that we need to identify our strengths and expertise.

      I’m still experimenting with exactly what they are at the minute when it comes to blogging.

      I’ve had some success with niche blogging but would also love to offer more consultancy-type services from this blog.

      One day I might decide what it is I actually want to do!

      • Susan Cooper

        Hi Ashley and Tim,

        Ashley, It’s good to see you here too! I loved your intro… It made me laugh. I do look forward to what you have in store for the future.

        Tim, Thank you for your kind words. I have been accused of that from time to time… LOL. One of the biggest problems we all face is what we want to be when “we grow up”. Somehow I think you’ll get there, and I’ll be there cheering you on. :-)

        • Tim Bonner

          Thank you Susan. I hope you’re right!

          I’m sure we’ll both get to where we want to be.

          It will just take some determination and hard work :-).

  • Sadek

    You have pointed the exact thing where most of the amateur blogger makes the mistake.
    They think of making tons of money from the very first day, which is similar to day dreaming.
    Instead they should focus only on content and SEO.
    It’s a fact that 70% – 80% of the blogger can’t break the barrier of $100/month because of they think of making money from the very first day.

    • Ashley

      Hi Sadek
      making money is tough for sure and we all need to focus on what works for us.
      Of course we have to deal with reality too!
      thanks for the comment

    • Tim Bonner

      I think many people starting out with blogging think that it’s easy to make money.

      In most cases it takes a lot of hard work and diversification away from just writing articles.

      I’m having some success with niche blog building and that’s the road I’m following at the moment!

  • Josh May

    As much of an inspiration Pat Flynn is for all bloggers out there, his earnings really do send a lot people astray. Making money from blogging really is tough.

    When Pat started his blog he was already earning over $7000 per month from his architectural training guide…

    That’s why you’re right that it’s important to seek out other avenues for generating revenue. I think a lot of people see Pat’s success and try to mimic it — then quitting once they have little success. I think the key is finding success elsewhere and then building up a readership on your blog because of that success. Then the blogging money should come.

    Loved the article though Ashley, and the story at the beginning was definitely captivating ;)

    • Ashley

      Indeed Josh
      Back in the day it was a little easier to make a name (although Pat just had a great idea) and now we are all scrambling for fame!
      I think if you work hard and smart then it is possible.
      You seem to have lots of creative ideas, so fear not my friend

    • Tim Bonner

      I agree Josh.

      It’s important to diversify our efforts into other avenues and then we can monetise our expertise.

      I think it’s important to maintain a blog like this for branding, making connections and relationships though.

      It’s not always easy but it builds up reputation and a community.

  • Adrienne

    Great to see you here Ashley and what an awesome share. The truth hurts right! We’re all lead to believe in the beginning of our journey blogging that the truck is on it’s way my friend. It will be dumping that mula any time now. Yeah right!

    Once I started learning about affiliate marketing I understood that it was about promoting products. I think though that when you have a reputation as a blogger that it’s easier to promote products that you use because people trust that since you use it it’s got to be good so I’ve found my affiliate products in that sense have been moving without me even having to do much.

    I’m oftentimes asked how I make money with my blog and like you, I do consulting and I also install people’s blogs for them. I’ll do some other things like add widgets, plugins, whatever they need because these are usually the people who had someone create their blogs for them and they don’t have a clue what to do nor do they even care. I wish they’d learn but that’s more money for me. :-)

    Getting to the point where you release your own product is when you can start to be known for more and I’m so excited that you have your course out about Twitter. I can only imagine how good that one is so I’ll have to check it out.

    You’ve really spelled this one out beautifully so thank you for that. So glad Tim invited you and I’m anxious for you to grace my blog with a post soon too!

    Thanks again and you two guys have a great Valentine’s Day.


    • Ashley

      Hi Adrienne
      You know you were one of the reality checkers I consulted some moons ago about the real story of blogging. So in a way, an inspiration for this story!
      I think we all come at blogging from different directions in the beginning but often settle on the same ideas for income at the end.
      I hope things are going better for you this week!

    • Tim Bonner

      I’ve been waiting forever for those trucks to arrive Adrienne!

      I’m making headway with my potty training site though and I plan to set up a couple more niche sites to see if I can replicate that.

      I think I’m also going to go down the route of blog set up and possibly help with CSS as a way to monetise this blog.

      I don’t feel ready to get a paid product out there myself yet or even consulting.

      Great that Ashley already has one under his belt and you’re well on the way to completing yours too Adrienne!

      Enjoy the Valentine’s dance!

  • Carolyn Nicander Mohr

    How great to see two of my favorite bloggers here! Ashley, you did a great job of illustrating how tough it is to make money blogging. It can be done, but if if were easy everyone would be doing it.

    Your upcoming projects sound very exciting. I wish you the best of luck with them. I know this will help may bloggers have a reality check and realize that living the dream is tough!

    • Tim Bonner

      Making money from blogging is definitely tough Carolyn.

      Ashley did a great job explaining how some big names make their money.

      Hard work is where it’s at and lots of long hours!

      I’m sure if the trucks do ever start to turn up then he’ll send them our way too :-).

    • Ashley

      Thanks Carolyn
      Favourite bloggers! how awesome!
      New projects are always fun. And success not guaranteed, but we try our hardest
      see you round

  • Luke Guy

    Blogging may not be the selling place, but it’s why people will buy from you.

    Why do we blog? For one reason, to gain the readers trust.

    Is trust that big a deal? Definitely.

    If you didn’t trust that chef behind the counter would you be buying his food? No. Would you give the banker your beloved money if you didn’t trust him? No. Blogging will bring this trust to your online buyers.

    But how?

    Your blog will give valuable information and when people apply it and it actually works, you’re gold mine in their eyes. You have their trust. So whatever you offer, they will buy. Because they know, you’er not ripping them off.

    • Tim Bonner

      Great point Luke and the what (I hope) we all come to realise in the end.

      My blog is like my online office. It’s where everything stems from.

      It’s where I can make connections, generate trust and build relationships.

      It’s also where I’m building a list of subscribers from, that I can provide even more valuable information to.

      And eventually they may trust me enough to act on my recommendations.

  • Nanda Rahmanius

    Hi Tim and Ashley,

    I just know that this is a post from Ashley when I finished reading this article. Nice article and very motivating, Ashley :)

    Yes, all takes time. Being a successful blogger must have patience, persistence and never give up.

    If you ask my dreams as a blogger, I want to make money from blogging beyond what I can afford. I want to go beyond myself. Indeed, at this time I do not get so much money, but I hope one day it will come true ;)

    Thanks for sharing this.
    Hoping you have a splendid weekend.


    • Tim Bonner

      Hi Nanda

      Ashley certainly gave us a reality check when it comes to making money from blogging.

      It’s all about diversifying and offering your readers things like products and services.

      And you’re right, it’s hard work and we all need to be patient and experiment to see what works for us.

      I wish you all the best in your money making endeavours! :-)

      • Nanda Rahmanius

        Hi Tim,

        Yes, you’re right. I can see it from his post.
        Making money from blogging is not easy, need to work hard and try a lot of things that really suitable for us, as you told me.

        Thank you for your support. I will struggle even harder :)


        • Tim Bonner

          Great stuff Nanda.

          It sounds like you’re on the right track!

    • Ashley

      Hi Nanda
      Interesting that you knew it was my post!
      I hope you can make your dreams come true.
      it is not impossible, just harder than some people tell us!
      we will certainly help where we can and offer tips that we learn

      • Nanda Rahmanius

        Hi Ashley,

        Thank you for your support.
        I like your words “it is not impossible, just harder than some people tell us!”

        I think is very motivating and I feel motivated :)
        Thank you for your sincerity in helping others.


        • Tim Bonner

          It’s great that we can all help each other Nanda.

          That’s what’s so great about being part of a blogging community :-).

  • Jack

    One of the most realistic posts about earning money blogging that I have ever read. It is nice to read something that doesn’t provide false hope and misinformation. It is not impossible to earn money from blogging but it is not handed out without significant effort and work.

    • Tim Bonner

      I completely agree Jack and I’m grateful to Ashley for giving us all a reality check!

    • Ashley

      Hey Jack
      That is why I wrote this post. There is too much mis-information out there, and I wanted to make it a little clearer that it is hard, but possible!
      \thanks for dropping by

  • Pawan Kumar

    Hey Ashley, the article here really motivated me to go for affiliate marketing rather than sticking only to blogging.
    I have been planning to become a ClickBank affiliate since 8+ months but my plans are still not that strong.
    Now after reading this article and knowing how people are making more in affiliate I feel motivated.
    Thanks for sharing this :) Each word is worth reading. :D

    • Tim Bonner

      ClickBank is where I make most of my affiliate earnings from Pawan so you’ve made a good choice.

      I wish you luck with your affiliate marketing endeavours.

    • Ashley

      Hey Pawan
      Thanks for the kind words, very motivating for me and appreciated.
      Glad you found the article useful, and if you need some more tips on Affiliate marketing there is a recent post on my blog with loads of tips and I will put the link below this reply in the comment luv link (it will be blue)

  • Jeevan Jacob John

    You are just about anywhere, aren’t ya, Ashley?

    I don’t have to tell you that I loved your post, right? I probably know that…so, let’s dive into the matter:

    I do plan to diversify my sources…I’ve selected a few and distributed them throughout the year:

    Amazon Affiliates (Reviewing the books I read – commission is small, but we have got to start small, right?).

    Product – eBook. Most likely something else, since I don’t want to do an eBook.

    Affiliate Marketing.

    Services – Writing and consultancy services, associated with blogging of course. I am still considering the consultancy part (studies are getting tougher, and I don’t want to be unfaithful towards my clients). I have plenty of time to think though, since services is the last things I do (Nov-Dec) this year.

    I have considered other sources too, not particularly related to blogging:

    Niche blogging (Well, this one is related).
    App and WP Plugin development – I do have a few ideas, based on the challenges I have faced as a blogger.
    Designing – designing services, mostly designing websites (using theme builders. I don’t have much coding knowledge!).

    That’s it! That’s all I have considered, at least for now :)

    Hopefully, these will go well. I don’t expect most of them to succeed…I will fail of course, but I will try again, with the lessons I have learned :D

    Anyways, thank you for the wonderful post, Ashley :)

    • Ashley

      Hi Jeevan
      It seems as always you have a well thought out plan!
      It is important to have ideas and goals, but also not to try to tackle them all at once – you would just make a mess :>
      You also need to know what you can offer people, and be honest with yourself – people often either think they have nothing to offer, when in fact you just need to know more than someone else to be of help!
      All the best with your blog/studies combination

    • Tim Bonner

      My word Jeevan, you are a man with a plan!

      I love it. I wish I were so organised.

      As Ashley mentions though. When it comes to offering services, you only need to know a little more than someone else to be able to help.

      I think you’ve got a very well thought out plan there.

      Just make sure you take your time and don’t do everything at once.

      Your studies should come first!

  • Sire

    The advantage that the likes of Darren Rowse have over the little people is they have a large, dedicated pile of worshipping followers. When Darren says he’s come across a great theme, paid plugin or course or whatever they fall over backwards to hand him their cash so they can get on the band wagon.

    The problem is he has to continually find stuff that he can sell or the money will dry up.

    Unfortunately it’s a lot harder for us to sell the same products that Darren sells because we don’t have that sort of pull.

    That’s why I’ve started to promote lottery sites as a lottery affiliate. Once anyone has signed up under me they become my customer for life. This means every single time they make a purchase online I get a cut, from 10-15% depending on the site they use. That’s so much better than Amazon offers.

    So, while you can make money blogging you just have to make sure you promote the right products and do all then right things to drive traffic to your blog.

    • Ashley

      Hi Sire
      Sure, the big guys do have an advantage – now. But they also had to start from zero at some point. So I wanted to show what kinds of income streams they have so we can get some ideas. Because many of those were the ones they used in the beginning and still use.
      And I also wanted to point out that it is hard to make a living from it, unless you sell your services or products.
      But it seems you are on the right track and are experimenting a bit, which is great!

      thanks for dropping by

      • Sire

        Hey Ashley, might I also add that when they started there wasn’t as much competition as there is these days. That must have made it a bit easier to get noticed. Now that there are so many bloggers out there, and more coming on every day, it’s just that much harder to stand out.

        I’m not trying to run the guys down or anything. They’ve made great inroads in their blogging career. Just trying to point out that we may have to work at it a little bit harder than they did.

    • Tim Bonner

      It’s true, Sire, that Darren Rowse has the online following and popularity that many people will buy on his recommendation.

      As Ashley mentioned though, Darren started from scratch too so it’s a case of building that reputation up and it’s not easy for sure!

      Five years ago we may have found things a little easier – now there is so much competition and millions of blogs.

      The key is to create our own reputation and brand ourselves as being the people to go to.

      I’m having some success with niche affiliate websites and it sounds as if your lottery ones are also paying off.

      We just have to think a little differently from how they did a few years ago I guess.

  • Atish Ranjan

    Good to read the whole stuff. My ultimate dream is also to work from home in my comfort chair. Working with companies has so many issues. I am also trying to work more to set it all up but after returning from day job its tough. and until I don’t start making passive income out of online stuffs, can’t leave day job. Lets see! I am trying!

    • Tim Bonner

      I wish you all the best with your online endeavours Atish.

      I only started making money towards the end of August 2013. It certainly takes the heat off a little!

  • Prateek

    Great article Tim, getting into blogging for heap loads of money is not justified if you don’t have passion for blogging. Instead for me affiliate marketing does the trick.

    • Tim Bonner

      Ashley did a great job, didn’t he Prateek?

      It sounds as though you’d doing well with the affiliate marketing. Do you use niche blogs?