If I had to pick the question I get asked most as a blogger, it would be this – How long does it take to make money blogging?
Unfortunately, the answer isn’t very straightforward.
Because making money from your blog depends on multiple factors.
In this post, I want to delve into all of those factors that go into starting a blog and growing it to the point where you can make a decent amount of money each month from your blog.
I will also be covering different ways to speed up that process, especially if you’re a new blogger that’s started a blog recently.
So, let’s dive in!
If you don’t already have a blog, please check out my step-by-step guide on starting a blog from scratch. I even have a totally separate tutorial on starting an art blog.
Or you can take my free 7-day course on starting a blog that makes money from day 1!
This post includes affiliate links to products I truly (from the bottom of my heart) recommend, meaning at no extra cost to you, I may earn a small percentage which I will use to feed my sweet, adorable pooches.
How long does it take to make money blogging?
If I had to narrow it down to the main factors that go into making money with your blog, it would be:
- The blogging niche you decide to choose
- The time you decide to dedicate to your blog each day
- How much effort you pay to optimize your posts with SEO
- What monetizing strategies you choose to implement
Let’s get a little bit into that, shall we?
1. Choosing a profitable blogging niche or a certain target audience
I’ve said this before, time and time again, that your blogging niche is the most crucial decision you’ll ever make for your blog.
Some blog topics are extremely difficult to monetize, and if you are keen on making money fast with your blog, you should stay away from these niches entirely.
Because your time and energy are the most important resources you have and you cannot waste those on growing a blog niche with no potential to make money.
I’ve already covered what type of blogs make money quickly, but in short, you want to focus on a blogging niche that you know has the right kind of demand.
If the demand is too high, you will find it difficult to gain popularity quickly because you’ll have a lot of competition. This means you will have to do something extremely out of the box to stand out.
If the demand is too low, there is obviously not enough interest, and your blog won’t get traffic.
Zero traffic equals zero money.
I highly recommend taking your time with this and picking 1 niche.
Now, when it comes to choosing a niche, you need to account for 3 factors:
- Do you have a passion for the topic or a similar topic?
- Do you have the skills to teach this topic? If it’s a niche that can be learned with a little research and reading, this is easily rectified.
- Does it have money-making potential?
If you can find a blogging niche that satisfies all 3 factors, you’ve found your niche!
If you are having trouble deciding between multiple topics, then pick 1 target audience.
For instance, if you want to blog about just skincare, your blogging niche would be a skincare blog, and you might decide to blog about skincare for different skin types.
However, if you want to blog about self-care for millennials, your blogging topics could cover skincare, productivity, self-love, and so on.
So, it is okay to blog about multiple topics as long as you cater to 1 type of audience and the topics have some relation to each other.
Do you get my drift?
Choosing a profitable blogging niche or blogging for a certain type of audience will help Google see you as an expert, and you will start ranking for long-tail keywords pretty soon. This will help you gain backlinks which will increase your domain authority which in turn will again help you rank for more keywords, and thus this cycle repeats – which ends up snowballing your blog traffic!
If you are looking for ways to gain backlinks easily without blogger outreach, I highly recommend this eBook. It’s solid gold even for intermediate bloggers!
You can also grab my free niche workbook to help you come up with a profitable niche idea!
2. The time you decide to dedicate to your blog
Starting a blog takes ten minutes.
But blogging consistently is really hard.
If you can dedicate at least 3-5 hours (minimum 3 hours) to your blog daily, you will find it easy to monetize it sooner than most others.
To be consistent, it is important to continue to blog in blind faith for a while before you start seeing your efforts pay off.
This is very hard to ask from anyone because most people want quick results.
You need to remember why you started your blog. And motivate yourself to push forward no matter how bleak it looks.
Making money online is easy, provided you are persistent and consistent.
To be more organized with your blog, I highly recommend:
- Creating a blog content plan 3 months in advance so that you never run out of topics to blog about
- Paying attention to common mistakes that most bloggers make and learning from them
- Paying more attention to high-value tasks
What do I mean by that last point?
Let me explain.
I’m not too fond of social media. It is a total waste of my time because I’d rather create blog content than write tweets. So I use Smarterqueue to do it for me. I add a few posts to it every month, and it continues to post on my behalf and even recycles all my posts.
It costs $19 a month, but I can focus all those hours on creating more content or products that make me more money! So, I see that as an investment rather than a saving.
Here are a few posts you may enjoy:
- How to blog when you feel overwhelmed and are on the verge of quitting
- 27 hacks to become a more productive blogger
- 7 things I did differently when starting my second blog
3. Paying attention to SEO
SEO is the foundation of your blog.
You cannot ignore it. Because even if you feel it’s not important, Google is watching you like a newborn baby.
It’s already watching how you write your blog posts and is putting you in a box according to its algorithm.
And SEO will make or break your traffic.
Your social media algorithms aren’t extremely reliable because they can crash and burn any day. But Google isn’t like that.
They do change their algorithms, but it’s based on logic. They want to provide the best experience for their users.
Social Media wants to make money.
That is why you should focus 75% of your effort on SEO and 25% on Social media.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Learn how to pick extremely low-competition long-tail keywords. Don’t go for the short-tail keywords that everyone else goes for. These are super hard to rank for.
Practice writing blog posts that are extremely SEO optimized.
And your blog traffic will automatically grow.
For instance, I wrote a post on how to draw cartoon hair and targeted the keyword “How to draw cartoon hair for beginners,” and it’s ranking on the front page of Google for that keyword within 6 days of writing the post!
This post is highly SEO optimized and will soon start to rank for shorter tail keywords as well.
I have written a detailed guide that includes all the methods I used to rank this post on the front page for this keyword.
Here are a few posts that will help you in this area:
- 33 ways to double your blog traffic
- 11 deadly SEO mistakes that are hurting your blog
- 13 mistakes most newbie bloggers make
- How to stand out as a blogger when everyone is doing the same thing
- Pinterest for bloggers: What is currently working and what isn’t this year!
4. What monetizing strategies you decide to implement
This step becomes somewhat easy if you do the first three really well.
If you wait for a few months before you start monetizing your blog, you will actually find it easier to make money blogging.
Let me explain:
- By taking the time to build brand loyalty and grow a readership, you will build trust with your readers. Your readers will love your blog, and they will actually start supporting you when you decide to monetize your blog.
- Your blog’s speed will be really fast in the beginning, so Google will put a green light on your blog. If you decide to monetize too early with ads, it will slow down and provide a bad experience to users. This might affect your Google rankings.
- If you wait for a few months to monetize your blog, you will know your strengths and weaknesses and have a better idea of which monetizing strategy is best suited for you.
Before you pick a type of blog to start, see the money-making potential of the blogging niche. Not all blog niches can be monetized the same way.
But some of the most common methods of monetization are:
Ads slow down your website a bit, so I always suggest that my readers work on their blogs for 6 months and have at least 30 posts before applying to an ad network. Otherwise, people will leave your website if they see 2 blog posts and a website full of ads!
Here are a few ad networks I recommend:
- Ezoic – They don’t have a cut-off; you can apply as soon as you finish 6 months of blogging.
- Monumetric – You need to have 10K page views a month before you apply.
- Mediavine – You need to have 50K sessions a month before you apply.
Please do not apply to Google Ads, they don’t pay well, and they slow down your website heavily!
2. Affiliate marketing
This is one of the best monetization strategies that work with almost any type of blog. Because there are companies that you can tie up with in pretty much any niche and start promoting straight away. Tracie Fobes has a good guide on all the affiliate companies you can join for any niche. It’s free; please check it out!
The only factors that you need to consider are:
- Is the affiliate product/service in your niche?
- Do you actually enjoy using this product/service?
- Can you see yourself promoting this product/service to your readers?
Please be careful when picking affiliate companies.
You want to be very picky initially because you are building trust with your readers, and you cannot jeopardize this over a few measly bucks. So do not promote products you don’t use or don’t like.
Promote something that you are comfortable promoting and know will work for your audience.
Here are some affiliate marketing hacks you may enjoy!
3. Selling your own services/products
Once you’ve established yourself as an expert in your niche with at least 40-50 posts and have a decent email list of at least 2-5K subscribers, you can start promoting your own products and services.
Because by then, you will have built a loyal following of readers who are super interested in the topics you’re blogging about.
Why is this important? Because when you understand who your readers are and what they want from you, it’s easier to create a product tailored for them! You don’t need to break your head marketing that product for them.
For instance, most of my readers are beginner bloggers who require help starting their blogs and driving traffic to them, so I create more products for them than I do for my readers, who are intermediate bloggers.
If you are still a blogging newbie but want to try your hand with product creation, I recommend writing an eBook because it’s a low-risk mini product. You can get my free 25-page ebook guide here.
I cover more monetization strategies here.
How to speed up the process of making money with your blog
1. Start and grow your email list
I cannot recommend this enough to bloggers.
It works for any niche bloggers and is one of the best ways to get regular traffic and build a loyal readership. Your email list is your most precious asset as a blogger because you own your list.
I’ve tried far too many email marketing software, but not one of them has come close to ConvertKit. Their deliverability rate and segmentation are so easy to understand, and they even have a free plan.
You can read my post on easy hacks to grow your email list.
2. Be extremely consistent
I’ve mentioned it before, but posting contently will help you grow your blog much faster.
I’m going to tell your right now – in the beginning; you’ll feel like you’re doing all this work for nothing.
Because you’ll get close to zero traction. Especially if you choose a high-competition niche, but this is okay.
It’s totally fine because your SEO is building in the background slowly.
You’re climbing up rankings slowly, and Search Engines are slowly indexing you.
Your SEO-optimized content on your blog is going to be the backbone of your traffic. So, please focus on creating content and be extremely patient because the results will come eventually.
Carly started a blog in early 2020 and grew her blog in 1 year with nothing but Pinterest. She’s released a detailed video training explaining what she did and what pins she pinned when. It’s super helpful, you can check it out here.
3. Create your own products/ sell your own services
The fastest way to monetize your website is to use your website to sell your own products and services.
I was initially using Stray Curls to get clients to hire me for my illustration services. That’s why I was making over $3K even in my 6th-month blogging.
However, shifting from active income to passive income and depending on affiliate marketing and my product sales alone took a lot of time – close to 1.5 years.
4. Write more content
Yup, this one is a given.
If you have the time and are super motivated to make sure that your blog earns you $500 by the end of the year, write extremely high-quality posts as frequently as you can. I looked at AntiMaximalist’s Blog and noticed that the blog’s author was pumping out blog posts once every 2 days for 2 whole years before he started slowing down.
This has helped him grow his blog so much faster.
You can also do a blog series – where you publish a series of related blog posts very quickly close to each other to promote your traffic.
Elna Cain tried this experiment of writing multiple blog posts all related to each other in 1 month, and she was able to triple her blog traffic using this method.
Basically, at the start of the month, you decide to write 10-15 blog posts and, if possible; sit and outline them so that writing them becomes easy.
Once you finish writing each one, remember to internal link all of them together so that it’s easier for people to find them. This helps boost traffic.
You can maximize the results by ensuring they’re all about the same topic, like how Elna did.
5. Shorten the learning curve
Before I move to the frequently asked questions, I want to talk about my experience with this blog.
I started Stray Curls in 2018 and was blogging about art, creativity, and blogging. My target audience is women between 18-45 who want to start a creative business online and make money doing it. My audience is mostly beginners, and I do write a few posts for intermediate bloggers as well.
Most of my income from Stray Curls comes from my eBooks and eCourses, which you can find in my shop here.
But I do a little bit of affiliate marketing as well.
In late 2020, I started a new blog – Mind Space Cafe, which is a self-care blog for women.
I’m still building traffic to that website, and I will soon monetize it via ads and light affiliate marketing.
Frequently asked questions:
Okay, so now that I’ve explained pretty much everything that goes into making money with your blog, here are a few more answers to questions that are frequently asked.
How to go about making money blogging?
My advice to newbie bloggers is to set reasonable goals and break those goals down into mini-goals.
If your goal is to make $1K a month blogging, aim for $50 first.
Once you hit $50 a month for 2 months, increase it to $100. Then $500 and then move to $1K.
You may find this silly, but I can honestly tell you that this is the realistic way to make money blogging. You don’t have that much pressure, and you’re very calm and collected when you make goals you know you can reach.
You also get a huge motivational boost when you hit your target, and you know you can do better next month!
That’s the trick – to make realistic goals.
How long will it take me to earn $500 per month from my blog?
If you had asked me this question a few years ago, I’d have easily answered 6 months. I’m sorry, but this is no longer the case.
It will take you 9 months to 1.5 years to start seeing this kind of income.
It also depends heavily on how you decide to monetize your blog.
If you offer a service like writing, drawing, graphic designing, or making websites, you can hit this figure within 3-4 months because your blog is getting you, clients.
However, if you are hoping to monetize via ads and affiliate marketing, it will easily take you a year, especially if you haven’t blogged before.
Most people get discouraged when they blog for 4 months and see 2 cents in their amazon affiliate account.
Please don’t be discouraged. Times have changed. It takes a long time for Google to notice your website and start ranking you for keywords.
To get to that stage where you’re making $500 a month consistently depends on these factors:
- You’ve started a blog in a profitable niche and are sure that this type of blog makes money.
- You’re writing high-quality blog posts every single week that are related to your niche.
- You are using a healthy ratio of SEO and Pinterest to get blog traffic that sticks.
- You monetize your blog after 6-9 months except for affiliate marketing (that can be done almost immediately)
If you follow these steps, you can get to this stage easily in 1-2 years.
Please don’t read income reports where bloggers say they’ve made $1K blogging in 2-3 months.
It’s not practical unless:
- They’ve had 1-3 blogs prior and have had experience blogging
- They’re using their blog to gain clients for their freelance writing/graphic designing, etc.
Is it realistic to make money blogging?
Yes. You have to put in the hours and write content that is highly SEO-optimized consistently.
Once you start gaining traffic and ranking for multiple long-tail keywords, you start gaining traffic, and it will snowball if you do it correctly – sort of like the compound effect.
And if you keep updating the blog posts that are gaining you the most traffic frequently (every quarter), your traffic will improve.
Once you get sufficient traffic, you can monetize your blog in the methods mentioned here, and yes, you will make money blogging.
How do I start blogging?
If you’ve finished reading this post and are super motivated to start your blog, then you can read my super easy step-by-step guide on starting a blog from absolute scratch.
Okay, it’s your turn.
What is your income target, and when do you expect to hit that goal?
Let me know in the comments below!
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Such amazing tips in this post thank you! I wish I had focused on SEO right from the start with my blog. I’m now trying to up my affiliate marketing game.
I’m so happy you found the post useful. It’s never too late to start working on SEO. And you can do affiliate marketing at any time! It’s the easiest way to monetize your blog. I love your blog’s aesthetic, it’s so clean and minimal! I wish you nothing but the best!
Angela, thank you so much for this post! This has helped me identify my mistakes and unrealistic goals that I’ve set for my blog. Your posts have helped me learn a lot about blogging, and I’m actually starting to see good changes in ranking and traffic. Keep up the good work and stay safe! ?
No problem! And that’s amazing news! I’m so happy that your blog is picking up and is gaining traffic! I really like that you’re focusing on MBBS and you’re nailing down that niche. Good job! Let me know how it’s going!
Hi Angela! Thanks for this fantastic post! I’m not joking, I really needed to read this. I’ve been blogging for about a year, and I want to reach out to a few companies about sponsorship posts… In fact, I already have, but nobody has replied back to my emails. Any tips on getting a conversation started with possible companies? Hopefully that makes sense. Thank you so much!
I’m so happy you love the post. Unfortunately, I don’t have experience on reaching out for sponsorships. This is something I don’t have much knowledge on. I highly recommend joining Blogging Like You Mean It facebook group and asking this question there – you’ll get lots of help!
Lots of love,