Why You Can’t Make Money Blogging

Fake Steve Jobs

I was a little surprised this morning when, after I’d given a talk on business blogging, a seminar attendee asked if I’d seen the Newsweek article this week on why it’s impossible to make money with blogs.

“Guess I’ll give it all back, then,” was my off-the-cuff answer.

But out of curiosity, I picked the mag up on the way back to my room. If you haven’t seen it, Daniel Lyons, a talented blogger known for two years as “Fake Steve Jobs,” has an editorial that explains why none of us can make money blogging.

Big traffic, no money

Fake Steve Jobs’ best month came with a traffic spike. His actual identity was revealed in the New York Times, sending more than a half-million people to his site in a single day.

His payout? For that half-million-visitor day, about a hundred dollars in AdSense earnings. For the entire month, he made $1,039.81.

Not quite what he was hoping for when he became a celebrity blogger and earned an impressive amount of attention and notoriety.

So if Fake Steve Jobs can’t monetize a blog, the rest of us are doomed, right? He worked hard, he created quality content, he had a terrific angle that went nicely viral. He was at the pinnacle, and he’s broke. So we will be too.

It must be true, he said it in Newsweek.

I learned the hard way: while blogs can do many wonderful things, making huge amounts of money isn’t one of them.

The expert weighs in

The article then tapped another source for a little expert credibility, Paul Verna, an analyst with eMarketer.

Verna’s take was that the real issue was “the lack of a clear business model that can generate substantial revenues.”

Verna’s on the right track, but we’re still a long way from the core problem.

If your business model is “I want to make money on the Internet,” you’re not going to get very far. The Internet is profoundly indifferent to your desire to make money with it.

Please notice that this does not mean that “there is no possible viable business model for any blog, other than a few fortunate exceptions that prove the rule,” which was the conclusion Lyons reached.

It just means that Fake Steve Jobs didn’t come up with a working business model, so he didn’t make any money.

Blogs are not television

I’ll confess, I have no idea how to monetize Fake Steve Jobs. His readers aren’t coming to his site to solve any kind of real-world problem, other than “how can I kill 10 minutes before my boss gets back from lunch?”

Television networks produce entertainment. They either make money from advertising or, for premium cable channels, from subscriptions.

If you want to watch Lost, you have to watch ads. Tivo dented that model considerably, but it still works well enough for now.

Advertising can work on some content web sites, but it usually works best when the reader is coming to the site to figure out a solution to a problem. If an ad presents a relevant solution to that problem, the ad can be effective.

For a complex bunch of reasons, advertising isn’t especially effective on most blogs. Unless there’s a terrific message-to-market match, ads on blogs tend to underperform wildly.

If you want to make money in the real world, solve real problems

Too bad Lyons wasn’t a Copyblogger reader. He might have seen Brian’s post about the smartest monetization strategies for blogs and content sites, and why advertising is no longer on that list.

It’s not about trends in advertising or trends in the blogosphere. It’s about returning to a fundamental marketing truth.

If you don’t offer customers something they dearly want, whether it’s to gain some great pleasure or escape some great pain, you’re not going to make any money.

People do want entertainment and relief from boredom, but selling pure entertainment online is tricky. Right now the expectation on the web is that entertainment is free. You’ll have to get creative to escape that context, the same way musicians had to get creative to make a living when free music sharing became the norm.

It’s time for online business to grow up

For a long time, we believed that “online was different,” and that we didn’t need to accept any of the normal rules of business. We’d put something on the web and Magic Internet Dust would come along and make up for our total absence of business knowledge.

“Leap, and the net will appear,” was the mantra.

That sort of worked for awhile, but it doesn’t work now. If you don’t have a solid understanding of who your market is, how they’ll find you, and what problems you solve for them, it’s now “Leap, and the floor will appear.”

So focus on what does work now, and has always worked.

Provide value. Solve actual problems. Uncover what’s bugging people and fix it for them.

The real Steve Jobs sells beautiful, easy-to-use, loveable tools that make his customers’ lives better. If Fake Steve Jobs wanted to make money, he would have had to do some work to figure out how he could do the same.

About the Author: Sonia Simone is Senior Editor of Copyblogger and the founder of Remarkable Communication.

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Comments

  1. Very interesting insight. I can speak as a consumer and say the sites that I am most likely to come back to on a consistent basis solve problems. In the process of solving problems they create credibility. Build enough credibility and I will buy from you.

    • Credibility is key. I wont buy from anyone who has no respect.
      I agree with what you said.

      P.S. Great post Sonia!

  2. Solve a problem – make some money, seems simple enough, but better still, help others – feel good about yourself:)

  3. Couldn’t agree more, Elliot! But we don’t have to starve to do it. :)

  4. Find out what people want… and are willing to pay for… and serve them just that in your blog.

  5. Sonia,

    Thank you for bringing the article to our attention. I completely agree with your thought that applying a solution to common problems is the way to go in any business including blogging but one of the elements that blogging guru’s really leave out of the equation is the requisite talent required to pull together all the necessary pieces to be a financially successful blogger (writing skills, creative skills, marketing skills, experience, etc.).

    Because pro blogging, like any other business venture, requires a mix of skills; I believe people are more likely to be successful if they employ a team approach with exerpts seated in key areas.

    John
    http://www.customerflypaper.com/about

  6. Hey, just because one guy failed doesn’t mean the entire business model doesn’t work! The correct conclusion should have been: you cannot make a full-time income from Google Adsense with one blog. (Even that conclusion might be wrong; just read the Adsense success stories)

    You hit it right, Sonia, when you said you have to solve a problem to monetize a blog successfully. And it better be a problem that keeps your readers up at night and that they’ll gladly spend money for to solve.

  7. Hi Sonia.

    I totally agree…offer something that changes lives, that people will be ready to pay for. Of course, people won’t pay for even highly valuable content if you offer it for free on your blog. So how to monetize a blog that offers valuable content for free? I think adsense is not the solution for such blogs. You need independent advertisers who can pay either variable amount according to impressions generated or a fixed amount according to the kind of traffic in blog receives.

  8. I agree that if you don’t have a strong business model, you’re not going to make money and just being popular doesn’t mean that you make money.

    In my current venture, I’m not blogging for money. I’m blogging for other reasons and if a bit of cash comes in, that’s great too.

    But if I wanted to make money on-line, I wouldn’t depend on AdSense ads or other similar things to make money.

  9. @John, I’m inclined to agree with you. There are a few bloggers who combine the business expertise with great writing chops (cough Brian cough cough sucking up cough), but it’s a rare combo.

    One of the things I focused on with my talk, in fact, was how useful a partnership between a great content person and a great businessperson can be.

  10. Sonia,

    You are right a good marriage of skills is rare…this is why the business (and blog) failure rate is so high. Keep doing what you and Brian are doing…

    John

  11. This is outstanding truth and it ought to be required reading for all prospective purchasers of info-products offering the promise to help one make money online. One could read this post and easily assemble a list of purchase decision-making questions that would serve them well. Thank you.

  12. Sonia -

    Thanks so much for this post and review of the Fake Steve Jobs. When I first saw the article in Newsweek I was extremely disappointed that this one example was making a statement for all of the blogging world. Obviously by offering something unique and compelling there is money to be made….and you might impact some people along the way as well.

  13. And that my friends, is why I’ve been on quite a hiatus for about a month (actually since Jan, except for that odd 2 posts for some entertainment value during a new year season). :)

    There’s a need for a strong business model to get that first valued dollar – or even that last dollar to make that cash out from Adsense.

    I too didn’t know that the Fake Steve Jobs only managed to hit $1k at it’s peak month till reading this article. Thanks too for sharing it! :D

  14. this is exactly what i did – set out to solve problems and provide information. visitors came, and so did advertisers. now, i make my primary income from my blogs and have for the last several years. and i am by no means one of the “big fish” in my niche in terms of traffic, but i am in terms of quality of information.

    making money blogging comes down to your ability to provide lots of high-quality, relevant, easy to find information to as many people as possible, answer questions, & solve problems. you also have to run it like a business, etc., etc., but that is the cornerstone.

    all this is of course, based on the premise that you are doing what you LOVE & believe in :)

  15. Valuable advice. Running a blog for profit is a business. Businesses without marketing plans fail. If you want your blog to be successful and earn a profit you have to plan how that is going to happen.

    Great insight, with some common sense on the side.

  16. The thing is, even the real Steve Jobs would have trouble monetizing a blog, unless he just made it an Apple store, which isn’t the same thing at all. We’re told content is king, and it’s true – Copyblogger is a solid example of that – but if we’ve learned one thing from the influx of celebrities on to Twitter, it’s that getting yourself known, or being already famous, goes a long way.

    There was a recent piece on Problogger that showed survey results that declared that 10 per cent of bloggers make more than $20,000/month. It was clearly nonsense, and it’s that kind of ‘gold at the end of the rainbow’ approach that gives false hope to a lot of folk, who quickly become disillusioned when the hits and the dollars don’t come flooding through.

    The reality, I think, is that no, in all probability you aren’t likely to make any money blogging – most of those that do are well-established and were fortunate enough to be right on the curve before everybody and their mother thought a blog sounded like a good idea. Technorati tracks over 100 million blogs. How many of these make decent money? How many of those make enough money for the owners to do nothing but blog, i.e., salary-level income? It’s not one per cent – there’s no way a million blogs out there make salary-level money. I think a closer estimate would be one-hundredth of one per cent.

    The truth in these things is typically somewhere near the middle – statements such as ‘all blogs can make money’ or ‘no blogs make any money’ are equally false – but I think this is an example where the actual answer lies a lot closer to Newsweek’s report, and the example of Fake Steve Jobs, than it does the other way around.

  17. Nice one here, Sonia. I think this topic is rarely being covered on other blogs, as they are more focus on telling bloggers how to create attractive blogs rather than to have helpful blogs.

    In fact, some self-acclaimed top bloggers are not really helping new bloggers. They are making money because they have a lot of followers which gives them opportunity to sell ad space on their blogs.

    And yes, popularity is not always equivalent to making money. Sometimes, it can even be a burden since many might envy you and destroy you.

  18. That is an excellent article – really bring to light what I’ve been struggling with, and give me a new goal to gear my blog to. Thanks!

  19. Here’s a blog that works: Trendhunter.com. 70+ posts a day, seven days a week. Posts are crowdsourced and crowd gets paid 100% of AdSense revenue from their posts.

  20. Nice post, I saw that article earlier and wasn’t quite sure what to say. So 1 person couldn’t make it, oh well, there are plenty of stories where 1 person couldn’t make it in an industry.

    Without solving problems people won’t have any reason to continue to visit and interact. Also, monetizing your traffic is certainly alot more than just putting up adsense. Offering products, training, etc are certainly ways to monetize traffic if you are bringing the right audience.

  21. I said this on Twitter this morning, but I make money on my blog by having readers take me to their parents houses and then I ask for money.

  22. Newspapers are the original “bloggers”.

    How are they doing these days? Their business model was to make money off of their ads. Now the web has taken the same basic model but spread it out from the few to the many. Thus diluting the entire pool!

    Additionally, we have gone from seasoned professional writers to people who fancy themselves writers. But realistically there is only so much one can write about “How to make money blogging”.

  23. @Sheamus, I agree that most bloggers will never make significant money. I disagree that is has anything to do with being lucky or early to the game.

    If you approach blogging as a business, you can learn to make money with it. If you simply refuse to quit until you make money, and you accept that you may need to try different approaches until you get it right, you’ll make it work. If you approach it as a way to get famous, or you fall in love with any one topic/persona/approach, your odds start to get worse.

  24. @Brian, bonus points for going lateral with the business model there.

    @WebsiteDesignOrangeCounty, if I had to pick the absolute worst topic to make any money with, “how to make money blogging” would probably tie with “raising naked mole rats for fun and profit.” Just one person’s opinion. :)

  25. I love what C.S. Lewis said about being original, and it carries a great lesson for bloggers:

    “Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.”

    I think remarkable, original blogs (and writing) will win an audience. Then we just have to understand what needs our blogs are meeting and who their audiences are if we want to monetize them.

  26. This line, “The Internet is profoundly indifferent to your desire to make money with it,” nails it.

    Great post.

  27. There are quite a few ways fake Steve Jobs can leverage his blog:

    1) As a speaker.
    2) As a celebrity writer.
    3) As a PR expert.

    When you get half a million people to your blog, you have done something that most people only dream of. The point isn’t that he made $1000 from adsense. That adsense is only a tiny chunk of what’s possible.

    Every author knows this.

    Why would you spend a year or more writing a book (most first time authors spend even more) only to have it sold at $16 at Amazon.com. And what’s your profit on that? $1?

    No you can’t make a lot of buckeroos that way, and hey, you don’t need me to tell you that an author who depends on the royalty cheque (aka adsense) doesn’t really understand the point at all.

    Jim Collins spent five years (I think) researching ‘Good to Great.’ Think about it. Five chunky years of your life. And then it sells for $16-20. But where’s the revenue? Of course, Jim’s books have sold over 2 million copies, so yeah, even at a buck a book, he’s ok.

    But the real revenue is the speaking fee: $50,000 per hour.
    And consulting with CEOs (on his fees and terms and location).

    Ah, Fake Steve Jobs has a business plan. He just has to dust it off, and roll it out.

  28. The problem with FSJ was AdSense. I don’t call slapping AdSense on “monetizing properly.”

    FSJ could have had 125×125 banners, either sold by the author himself or through a marketplace like BuySellAds. That would have been much more profitable.

    Even a decent CPM-based banner from one of the big networks would have paid better than AdSense.

    T-Shirts are also a decent way to make money if you’re big enough. XKCD makes most of their money on merchandise.

  29. Excellent post. Solve a problem, fill a need. Saying “you can’t make money blogging” is like saying “you can’t make money driving a car”. If you only drive where you want to, not many folks will pay for the ride. If on the other hand you offer a taxi service, or a delivery service…that’s different.

    The internet (and blogging) is just another tool in your business toolbox.

  30. You have to remember that blogging is just a medium.

    Books are a medium.
    Newspapers are a medium.
    Rocks were a medium.

    Nothing pays until you understand the concept: Give the ideas, sell the system. That’s when the penny drops.

    Give the ideas.
    Sell the system.

    And everyone has a system, no matter if they make delicious chicken curries or get half a million people to their website.

  31. @Sean You made the very point I was going to make – a blog is a means to an end not the end itself. There may be a few exceptions, like Tech Crunch, Gizmodo, Engadget etc. that generate enough ad revenue from their blogs that really are about industry intelligence or product bulletin boards where the old media model might still apply. Of course, even with the model you describe, and with which I agree, there are only a minority who are in the league of a Jim Collins, be it as consultant, writer or blogger.

  32. Here is my 2c;

    My ? is who actually clicks on ads? I never do, ever. Is it that everyone wants to use AdSense and knows about it, so they do not click. I think it is the older people clicking on ads, you know the ones who still use IE and have MSN as the home page.

    So I think that we will have to be very creative to get “US” to click on an ad. I haven’t figured it out yet.

  33. Many interesting points brought up here. These comments are also great pointing “Fake Steve Jobs” at solid ways to monetize. I’m curious, while ProBlogger was mentioned before, how he would weigh in on this debate.

  34. Just goes to show that good writing and good business/marketing are not joined at the hip. It’s jaw-dropping to think that if he couldn’t make more than a $1k a day with that kind of traffic, somehow the model itself must be busted. It just means he didn’t know what he was doing.

    I don’t even consider myself much of a “problogger” in the advertising model sense, and I made nearly $500/ month with a tiny fraction of that traffic at one point a few years ago.

  35. I read Lyons’ article in Newsweek and my thought was, “He had no marketing plan.” He doesn’t understand that content contributes only about 10% to the revenue. And he should know because I bet he only gets 10% of the cover price when he sells a book. The rest is marketing.

  36. I think you offer a overly simplistic view of making money online. Unfortunately, it is not the whole story.

    What about johnchow.com, icanhascheezburger.com and other sites with substantial traffic but not exactly “solving a problem”?

    Creating a site to address a specific problem/need is one way to attract targeted audience and monetize content. But, it’s not the only way.

    As demonstrated by johnchow.com and icanhasscheezburger, you could also generate a lot of traffic, and monetize a hack out of it — as long as the traffic numbers are there, you will see some conversion. The conversion might not be as high as vertically focused site. But, if you’ve huge traffic, you’ll still make good money.

    Regarding Fake Steve Job’s complaints, I think he is good at generating traffic, but he is terrible at monetization. Any seasoned online marketer will tell you that Google Ad Sense is not the best way to monetize. What about email list? what about using Kontera, Text-Link, content ad network, Chitika, etc.? Fake Steve Job should only blame himself for the poor monetization job he has done.

  37. @Jim Gaudet many many people. our CTR’s at BuySellAds.com are insane. But, the reason why they are insane is because (like the article here says) they are on blogs and websites that are solving a problem and the targeting is dead on.

    The problem with these huge sites that don’t fit into a specific niche is targeting. Targeting on any large ad network still sucks. Advertisers who are lucky enough to have a niche network for the users they are looking to target definitely see results from display ads.

  38. Terrific post. Right on the money like most copyblogger posts are. It’s all about the value you provide.

  39. @ todd g
    Thanks for the info. I feel better knowing this. My problem, I think, is that I use the Internet differently than most. I think I need a good analytics package to help me understand the way people browse through my site.

  40. If you run your own blog, it’s impossible to make money from it. The only way to actually make money blogging it to be paid to write for someone else.
    Bloggers who make any kind of money are just building trust and credibility with their readers. In other words, it’s not blogging that makes you money, it’s the relationship you build with your readers.
    Blog to build a relationship. Use the relationship to discover a need. Solve a need to make money… oh wait. That sounds like a business model.

  41. @Henry Bingaman too bad you’re wrong. Plenty of bloggers make good money from their blogs.

  42. @ todd g So how does it work? People have to pay to read the posts? I’ve never seen it.
    Even to get advertising revenue you have to build a relationship that will keep readers coming back. Unless you know a Jedi mind-trick that proves me wrong…

  43. @Sonia – thanks for the post, very interesting…

    @GeekMBA360 – also very good points. Sometimes the value is purely light-hearted entertainment (but nonetheless, valuable to some during a much-needed break!). :-)

    @Sean D’Souza – I can almost hear fake Stevie’s publicist furiously typing up a pitch for him to speak at random conferences now, after seeing this pop up in her google alert. Ha.

  44. Ah, it sounds so simple! Thanks for the reminder. It’s all too easy to get caught up in fancy tricks and add-ons instead of focusing on what you’re there for

  45. @Sean De Souza – you hit it right on the head – that is exactly what I would have done if I was Danial Lyons – he already had a Tribe all he needed to do was bank on it…it was a shame he gave it up. I’m surprised he didn’t make any money from that book, or maybe he did and didn’t mention that because he is married to the corporate teet.

    He should have plugged into twitter and killed it. I thought about this, while he was doing it…you could tell when he was trying to monetize it, and I thought about how he could make an information product from it. If I was him I would have hired an Industrial Designer to make a bunch of 3D designs of future projects that Apple would allegedly release and call it “The Secret Secret Moleskin Idea Diary of Steve Jobs” Market it as products ideas that Steve Jobs has been thinking about producing, but it is just a bunch of goofy ideas that go along with Danial’s crazy offbeat commentary.

    Most bloggers would kill for that type and size audience, he should have just sold the site at it’s peak for all its eyeballs and PR rating, he could have made some fat bank then.

    Getting and keeping the common base of eyeballs is the toughest part, if you have an entrepreneural mind then making or finding related products/services is easy. It’s a great place to test new ideas. The key is working them into the story he was crafting the whole time.

    This is that same story from Think and Grow Rich where Napolean Hill talks about a man who went out west to strike it rich by digging in a gold mine. He didn’t understand geology and how gold veins work so ended up selling the mine to someone else who was smart enough to bring in a geologist to help him. The first guy sold the mine for pennies on the dollar and the new guy cashed in hard core because the geologist showed him which direction to dig.

  46. Sonia,

    You’re singing my song!!!

    Think GDP – Goals, Desires and Problems when you want to make money doing ANYTHING – blogging included.

    People have goals they want to accomplish – or desires they want satisfied – or problems they want solved. Tap in to one (or better yet, two or more) and you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.

  47. I knew you guys would have about a zillion excellent ideas for how this could have been done. I think “The Secret Moleskine of Fake Steve Jobs” is a completely brilliant idea.

  48. I’m singing along with Kathy/Virtual Impax, especially with the desire thinking.

    Most of all, give to people through your blog. It’s not all monetary rewards that make the world go around.

  49. I read that article in Newsweek. I wanted to “comment” on it and say “Pwnt.” I am a bad person. =(

  50. I look forward to your articles, Sonia & this one doesn’t disappoint. You even got me clicking your Solve Actual Problems link. Thanks for the learning & keep up the ace work! P. :)

  51. This was an excellent post and great insight. I’m going to bookmark this page and come back and check out the links.

    It’s true. Solving a problem for people is what sells.

  52. @ Kathy / Virtual Impax

    I have seen your comments before on other blogs, but this comment is perfect! GDP is an acronym I will not forget, thanks…

  53. Sean @ 12:31 has the important point.
    “Blogging” is just a medium.
    Or, as our refrain goes, “blog” is just a publishing format. Like “newspaper.” We really need to stop calling ourselves “bloggers” (newspaperers?) and stop saying we are “blogging” (newspapering?). We are writing. We are producing. We are publishing.

    And some of us are generating revenue. We don’t even use AdSense (too much clutter) … we sell all local DISPLAY ads, and they work, and they generate enough revenue to support a family of 3 (co-publisher husband and I, and our teenage son) plus pay business expenses, including freelance reporting and technical help as needed.

    The problem our site solves? A quest for information on what’s happening in our neighborhood NOW.

  54. Sonia,

    Excellent job framing the Newsweek article with an objectivity the article itself doesn’t possess. Though the Newsweek article successfully gets you to read by being provocative, it doesn’t succeed on the facts. The lack of imagination and defeatist attitude amount to “it can’t be done because I didn’t do it right.”

    Thank you for putting up a much more logical, realistic view of the situation.

  55. I definitely agree with your assessment: attention only works when you have the right monetization model.

    One thing that irks me about the Newsweek editorial is how far behind the media is in reporting the central issues facing us bloggers. I mean, it’s a tricky subject even for those of us creating content.

    I think Darren Rowse has his finger near two issues that are hugely central:

    1. How can we get more diverse voices on the blogosphere to make a sustainable amount of money? This is obviously not as easy as it looks, because beyond monetization, there’s a huge monster lurking, which is…

    2. How do we get quality, diverse content in the first place, given that “influence” – the one thing a blogger needs in order to feel like the enterprise is going somewhere – is in increasingly short supply?

    The Internet has brought to our attention a ton of voices, but for every voice that ‘makes it,’ we can see the huge number of voices that are drowned out. Most of the diversity in content we see isn’t from proper market incentives, but from the fact tons of people are just trying anything to see how the Web will respond.

    To me, those central issues both hearken back to a prior question: How sustainable is much of what we see on the Web? What exactly, when all is said and done, are all of us providing for people, and how are we shaping them?

  56. Terribly late to the party, and even worse, I have nothing better to say than, “I agree.” But it was worth saying.

  57. Sonia,

    Thanks for an excellent post with some really good points.

    My blog carries zero advertising, yet has been the biggest revenue generator my business has used – and we’ve been going for 13 years.

  58. The revenue isn’t from traffic numbers, for blogs or anything else. It’s from getting the right people to the right place to solve their problem (whether that problem is how to make a cheesecake to how to generate accounts payable reports).

    In other words, driving 1,000 people who own 100 foot luxury yachts to a site that sells small helicopters (for landing on the yacht) will get more sales than driving 100,000 chicken farmers to the same Web site.

  59. Oops, that should say …how to make a cheesecake OR how to generate accounts payable reports.

  60. You guys are making a great point, that I touched on a couple of times in the talk I mentioned. There’s nothing magic about any one tool. It’s about the underlying stuff–the content, the relationships, the marketing message, the way you serve your market–not the fact that it’s a blog vs. Twitter vs. email vs. whatever the next thing will be.

    A blog is a handy tool for publishing content. What you do with that content is the important bit.

  61. Sonia, thanks for your insights. I’m new to this game and just the other day I had that “aha” moment that I should write what my readers want to LEARN about and let the advertisers (or affiliates) help SOLVE the problem, rather than just be there cluttering up my blog.

  62. Great post, and I especially liked what Jim Connolly had to say. I wanted to comment on his comment. The only way I could see to do that was to click on his name – that was good thing, since his site is terrific, but I also want to know how to respond to a comment on CB & keep it on this page….help.

  63. @The Story Woman, we don’t have nested comments, but you can preface your remark with @Jim Connolly. That seems to work nicely to let everyone follow who’s addressing whom.

  64. Hi,

    I really don’t know why many people stop thinking when publishing on the Internet. If I would tell them that the article they’re writing is going in a printed magazine they immediate would think about how to create a better title or a better first paragraph or how to provide better information – basically they would concentrate on how to develop the best copy they could. Why is this not happening on the Internet ?

    It’s true that many think that the Internet will make you rich in no time with minimum effort from your part, while you stay at home playing on PS3.

    You need a business model. You need a niche market that people are interested and that can offer decent organic traffic. The fact that people are searching the Internet in order to find solutions to their problems is no longer a secret. See what the problems are in your niche market and offer as much free advices and content as you can.

    But … in the end it’s more easy to talk about building a business then actually build it.

    Thanks,
    @TomaBonciu

  65. This gives me a lot to think about, which is one of the things I look for in an article. Give me info and let me ponder it.

    I pretty much wrote off trying to earn money with my blogs because that’s not why I started blogging. I wanted to connect with people and share my knowledge. Trying to sell something to them felt “cheap.” But isn’t that a silly idea, since my main blog is about running my small press where I write about the books I sell?

  66. I agree, making money with blogging can be very difficult. You have to set up the blog and generate traffic to it and then convert that traffic into money through ads or affiliate products to earn any money.

    But then again anyone can start a blog, with little start up costs (except a computer and internet connection), so the ROI is big.

  67. You can always just talk about what you do, why you do it, what makes you different, what you put into your press and how you feel about writing and books. Then let people know when you have new books available.

    No one will feel like it’s selling, including you. It’s about developing those “true fans” who will support you and promote you in the world, and who just make your business more enjoyable.

  68. @Sonia Simone – Well said…exactly what I think and what I believe I’m doing. Thank you for confirming it.

  69. Great post. I haven’t bothered with a blog as to date I’ve been spending my time building businesses offline that use online marketing to gain customers. But I can see that blogs will be hugely beneficial if, as you said, you solve actual prblems rather than waste people’s time…

  70. Great post… I was actually thinking about how i could monetize my blog better! I was thinking of several different ways… I think the best way is to have your own products or services or both! I plan on making my first product within the next 2 months! I’m excited… blogging is fun! thanks for the post!

  71. I would be happy with over $1000 in Adsense earnings per month. After all once the blog is working for you, the passive income keeps rolling in. One thing about making money with PPC it’s a win win situation. I always say it’s a better investment than putting money in the stock market.

    After I read a book about monetizing for PPC my earnings tripled.

    I would say that the blog was very poorly set up for making money if they had a half million visitors a day and only made a little over a thousand in a month.

  72. This one slumped my hope down that there really is big money when you blog online. But then after reading this I was staring blankly at the monitor for a moment. Then reality snapped me out of the ideals. Nicely written article.

  73. Blogging is not, however, passive income. You have to keep writing posts for the darned ungrateful things or they quit getting readers.

    No argument from me on that last point. And I hope everyone is picking something up here. A bunch of Copyblogger readers who *don’t* (yet) have a half million readers and who *aren’t* (yet) blog superstars have the piece that FSJ couldn’t muster. You guys are smart and creative and you know more than you think you do. So go forth and conquer. :)

  74. @Homestead Users. Can you give me the name of the monetizing book? Thank you!

  75. There is always truth in both sides. I suspect that his site did not have appropriate ‘trick landing pages’ , ‘hidden affiliate links’ , ‘deceptive affiliate store fronts’ , and lack of targeting hurt him alot. Part of it too may be that traffic spikes are alot different than real readers, and just being famous does not mean expert online money person.

  76. You nailed it Sonia and @Sheamus completely misses the point. (not trying to pick on you Sheamus).

    Maybe your reply to his comment should have been included in your original post but this is a perfect opportunity to jump on my soapbox.

    All media is now like music. There are hundreds of millions of wanna be Rock Stars out there. That doesn’t mean any of them will ever make a dime. Most of them suck. They either lack talent, or the discipline, practice and determination needed to make it.

    That doesn’t make them bad people.

    There are millions of amazingly talented musicians who never make a dime for all sorts of various reasons. They may just be bad business people, or not want it bad enough.

    In the end most musicians have to succeed on so many levels to make money that it weeds out the undetermined and untalented. That’s why the super successful are Rock Stars. They have made extraordinary music with an unusually high number of fans.

    But what The Fake Steve Jobs and Shaemus are both missing is that there are millions of musicians who make a living; some a very good one playing music and are not and never will be famous. It is an industry.

    All media is just starting to become exactly like that industry. There will be Rock Stars who have meteoric rises and crash and burn. Then there will be the little known working away day after day.

    We all now have the tools to create any form of media we want and make a living doing it. The question is are we/you talented enough, determined enough, and patient enough to make it happen.

  77. @ Rick Calvert Good analogy. Just think of all the very successful, but largely unknown session musicians that appear practically on any stars records and who are essential to their success.

    One thing I miss anyone mention is luck. We all know that is a factor in many success stories. It doesn’t compensate for lack of effort, skills or all the stuff mentioned but often it’s a matter of being in the right place at the right time, hear of an opportunity or have someone find you.

    In my own long business career, I never applied for a job in the traditional way with a resume. It was always hearing of an opportunity or being contacted. Call it what you will, it’s at least partly luck.

  78. There is always opportunity, and having a blog with a good following is a huge opportunity. Time to figure out who that market is, marketing-strategy-partnership and analyze. Look to spread your wings and take advantage of your SOI and networking skills.

    If you don’t find a way to make a go of a popular media platform with a good following you probably aren’t interested in doing more than the “day to day experience”. There is always an angle to monetize on, or a means to contribute to a monetization strategy… always.

  79. Thanks Joe. You are absolutely right. There is an element of luck. Again I think the music analogy applies. Some no talent hacks do get lucky and get rich and famous while more deserving artists toil for years never getting their break.

    In the end the folks that have the most talent, and work the hardest improve their odds greatly of “getting lucky”

  80. There’s a saying in book publishing: you need talent, luck, and persistence to get published, but you only need two of the three. In my observation, that holds true.

  81. Blogs offer the unique opportunity for anyone and everyone to build a readership. Blogging is not a means to an end but more of a launching pad.

    Thanks for the insightful observation!

  82. thanks for this article. I’m making so much mistakes and this really clears it up as I’m pretty new to this.

  83. I wonder why people keep going to gossip sites then. Times listed PerezHilton as an overrated blog. What problem does he solve? In fairness, I must admit he almost started a whole niche of gossip blogs.

  84. Well, wanting to know celebrity gossip is sort of a stupid problem, but nonetheless it’s a good one to solve if you want lots of traffic.

    Entertainment sites do solve a problem (boredom), but they can be tricky to monetize. You’ll notice Perez Hilton has a much more robust collection of strategies to make money, including more relevant ads, t-shirts, and speaking fees.

  85. Sonia,

    You are right. Perez Hilton solves “boredom” much like many of these gossip celebrity magazines. People like to see celebrities being bashed because it makes them feel better about themselves. Insecurity helps these gossip sites live on.

  86. Daniel Lyons is a perfect example of why large corporate businesses in America are struggling through these so-called “tough economic times.” The guy is clearly creative in one area, but he’s also shown that he’s incapable of adapting to a different, more sustainable path.

    These days, both individuals and corporations need to realize that adaptability is their most important asset. Furthermore, they need to accept the fact that “what works” is changing rapidly as we continue to rush headfirst into a more consumer-driven marketplace. Cést la vie, people—these are the facts.

  87. Re: Perez – 2 things:

    1. Celebrity traffic is unbelievably massive… makes Dan Lyons’ numbers look tiny. People crave that crap.

    2. Advertisers understand the celebrity niche, thanks to its longstanding presence offline w/ the tabloids. The “humorous imitation of a CEO” market… not so developed.

  88. I think another problem which limits the ability of people to make money from their blogs is the media. The media jumped on the blogging bandwagon, and because media sources already have an audience, blogs created by the media are going to receive publicity soon after launch that blogs created by members of the public cannot get.

  89. That’s the real truth Elliot, it couldn’t get better than that at all. The ideas is to find a starving prospects who are looking for solution to their problem and help them solve those problem.

    That’s what we need to make real cash online…

  90. I have to say you’ve raised some good point in this article. I’m new to online marketing but find it not much different to offline marketing. There are a lot of people out there that have forgotten or just don’t know the basic principles to running a business and the fundamental keys for success; it is to provide value and a good solution to your customer’s problems.

  91. It is interesting to see the variety of responses to this post.

    Making money from blogging is clearly not easy. But it’s not just about making money. It’s also about providing useful, helpful, entertaining information that is valuable and improves peoples experience in some way.

    If you have something of value to offer, you provide answers to problems, a proportion of your visitors will become buyers at some point. Especially so if you can engage them and build a relationship with them.

  92. Insightful!

  93. I think the big trouble for bloggers is the whole “clickthrough” payout, versus “impressions” ad model.

    We really need to dump google here, and focus on advertisers who are willing to put something shiny/animated on the blog, and pay for impressions, not clickthrough.

    I often catch a glimpse of things on blogs, and don’t click through. But it enters my mind and may affect my decisions later, or I may even do another google search on that area or even visit their site, later in a day or next day!

  94. Nice share, Thanks it’s very useful

  95. Most people (including myself) are wondering generalities. They don’t have a solution to offer, they only “get lured” into the next idea (like blogging for money.)
    As your post mentions, “making money” as a goal on the internet is not a great place to start.
    Start with a solution (product or service,) then start learning psychology and how to market your product or service.
    And be persistent!

  96. To make a good living from Adsense, you’ll need more than one website.

  97. I write only on what it is really important for people : health , wealth and saving both. I believe too, that you can’t make money with a blog, no matter what.. I never made any money with it ..I give up..

  98. “Provide value”. What more really needs to be said? This is why I keep visiting copyblogger! Thanks

  99. I have just stumbled across this site simply because I just actually paid $47 to find out how to add google adsense and try to promote other people’s buisness’ on my blog while relating to real problems. I really think I should try to get my money back!!

  100. Everybody has a problem, so they say. Funny thing is why does it become difficult to identify what the problem actually is? Actually, writing a blog is not about solving other people’s problem of making money online…..yet, now so many blogs are about making money.

  101. Why do you took my comment out ?
    How people can judge if I am doing the right thing if they see don’t see my site, Genius ? and you pretend helping bloggers..
    Take this one out to MR the censor..

  102. I concur with an earlier commenter: i’d kill for $1039 in AdSense earnings.

    Still, fake Steve Jobs could of made more and more than likely is making more now.

  103. This is the key to why advertising works, period. Well put. ‘Advertising can work on some content web sites, but it usually works best when the reader is coming to the site to figure out a solution to a problem.’

  104. Great Post.

    I personally think that ADSense isn’t the right option for the beginner’s..

    There must be some other ways invented for the new blogger’s.

    Your info was quite great.. It surely did made me aware of some universal facts.. :)

  105. Research Before Blogging :

    Fake Steve Jobs made several classic mistakes common to many beginning bloggers (I’m a beginner, too, but I’ve done enough research and learned enough that I can recognize some of the inherent flaws.)

    1. He didn’t research his niche, or how to monetize it, adequately BEFORE starting his blog. Starting a humor or entertainment site is fine, but as the article author pointed out, some light entertainment isn’t as compelling a draw as a blog that meets a need or want. Dan Kennedy is a computer-phobe, but he’s an excellent marketer and copy writer, he knows how to SELL things, I heartily recommend you try any of his books or multimedia offerings, and he says when contemplating a niche, think about their needs and wants, what do they truly yearn for, what are they truly afraid of, and try to meet those needs and fears. Those are the most fertile areas to mine for money.

    2. He tried adsense on a blog manifestly unsuited to it. Adsense works best in tightly targetted niches, blogs that are targetted towards a specific category of products or services, not on personal or humor blogs. What product or service matches up well with a Fake Steve Jobs website? iPods? My guess is most people coming to a FSJ site already have an ipod, but even if they don’t, how is the adsense program going to automatically figure out that iPods are the appropriate ads to show? Whereas if you have a mountain biking blog, its going to be much easier for adsense to correctly target your audience with the appropriate ads.

    3. He tried adsense, and adsense alone. I agree, his peak of $1 G from adsense revenue would be highly desirable for most people, but its chump change compared to what he could have made with that kind of publicity and that kind of traffic had he actually done some affiliate marketing, and put some AM banners and links sprinkled throughout his blog. Its not as easy as if you had a well targeted niche, but he could have flogged web hosting services or blog related products (like this blog? make your own!), any time he mentioned an Apple product he could have inserted an affiliate link to amazon.com or buy.com, heck, he would have to be more creative, but he could have provided affiliate links to books or movies he found amusing or funny, since presumably his audience would share a similar sense of humor, if they appreciate HIS.

    4. He made the classic erroneous conclusion, “I couldn’t make money doing X, therefore nobody can.” Nonsense. There are lots of people who try to make money on eBay and fail, and there are a much smaller number who succeed. The difference? Most people don’t do their research beforehand, they don’t know what they are doing (or worse, think they know it all), they make a minimal effort and then lose interest when they don’t go beyond a certain point. The SMART sellers who make money on eBay do their research, learn from their mistakes, constantly strive to improve their results, put a lot of work into it, and think about their back end, upgrading sales, continuing a relationship with the buyer, even outside of ebay).

    Throwing up your hands and saying “it can’t be done” is a lot easier to do, and a lot more palatable psychologically, than admitting well, I didn’t do it, there’s something I don’t know, and deciding to learn what you need to so the story is different the next time.

  106. Pain killers generally make more money than vitamins. Either way, both of them serve a purpose. I see several bloggers in my industry who are still trying to figure out who their blog serves – themselves or their readers.

  107. So focus on what does work now, and has always worked.

    Provide value. Solve actual problems. Uncover what’s bugging people and fix it for them.

    yes i agree, good articles

  108. Find out what people want… and are willing to pay for… and serve them just that in your blog.

  109. thanks. I’m making a lot of mistakes and this really clears it up.

  110. See that the quote “You are not going to make money if you dont solve anybodys problem” As an owner of a gaming and entertainment website which brings me decent traffic a day brings me little money. The only good thing about this is I enjoy what I do. So I guess my next venture is to find something I enjoy doing again and how it solve someones problem so I can make some green!!! $$$$

  111. Thank you for this insightful post. I remember reading the article written by the Fake Steve Jobs and was frustrated by his response. Just because he didn’t succeed doesn’t mean nobody can. I looked over his blog and could see straight away why he didn’t succeed (and I’m only a beginner blogger).
    I do thank the Fake Steve Jobs though, he taught me one thing – not to do what he did.

  112. Excellent. I may one day be motivated to get familiar with this money making stuff via blogging, but this post was well worth the stop-over.
    Well done you lot.

  113. Your post reminds me of the dot com meltdown.

  114. Many great points raised in the article and the comments. I also think, now nearly three months after the original post, that it is important to point out that newspapers and magazines are an industry clearly on the ropes, as newspapers are folding by the day and magazines are seeing subscribers evaporate along with ad revenues.

    Keep in mind THEIR business model is taking on water and about to go under water…primarily because of YOU (the collective community online).

    So, personally, I discount whatever they say about the people putting t hem out of business. It’s biased.

    Sometimes, when someone is struggling, it is easier for them to see YOUR problems (“you cannot make money blogging”), than it is to see THEIR own problems (“we are getting killed because of the internet has destroyed our model and we remain inflexible, and resistant to change”).

    Great article and excellent comments.

  115. Fake Steve Jobs is being disingenuous. He is making plenty of money right here

    http://www.amazon.com/Options-Secret-Life-Steve-Parody/dp/0306815842

    Does anyone think the book would do as well if he hadn’t started with a successful blog? Really?

    Sort of surprised nobody mentioned this crashingly obvious monetization strategy

  116. Its about credibility isn’t it?

    In the wider world, there is still this general perception that blogs are nothing more than ego trips and political ranters … when in fact that is an unfair representation of the blogosphere. Some of us out there (like copyblogger for example) is using the blogging platform to sell something of value.

    You are right when you say online needs to grow up and I suppose grow into the systems, checks and balances which are already in place for real businesses.

    I think that once there is some sort of standardisation of the blogosphere, and codes of conduct which blogs can adhere to (I’m thinking like the ones journalists have) and thus hold bloggers responsible for their words; then taht would effectively legitimised blogs and bring it out from online to mainline.

  117. Good story.

    I think you should not just blog for the money, but because you want to. (just like an hobby) Any (extra) income welcom.

  118. The types of “bloggers” who make serious money from their blog ($5k+/mth) are those who have a true niche market and not entertainment. They blog about finance, or curing a disease, or how to fix motorcycles, or whatever, and then either have targeted ads, affiliate programs, or their own product.

    My brother runs a six-figure per month ecommerce site. I asked him what he thought about social networking traffic. He said that next time he gets “stumbled”, he’s going to send stembleupon a bill for wasted bandwidth.

    Targeted traffic that is looking to make a transaction (that old, crusty, “meatspace” concept of exchanging currency for a product/service) will make you money whether you have a yellow-highlighter scrolling salespage or a wordpress blog or a static HTML site.

  119. Thanks Sonia and CopyBlogger team for providing this informative article.

    I think the reason why most new bloggers can’t make any dime by blogging is that they try to enter niches they don’t really know anything about. They just want to earn some cash because they have seen other successful bloggers making tremendous amount of money.

    While it is not impossible to make a living online by blogging, it doesn’t happen overnight. You need to get involved in order to succeed.

    Why not create a blog or website around something you are passionate or nonchargeable about?!

    Why not try to solve many people’s problem in your niche instead of stealing other’ bloggers content?

    If you provide your readership with tons of unique and high quality content in your niche which you really enjoy, people would consider you as an authority and give you credit. It means high targeted traffic containing prospects that want to just take your recommendations more seriously and buy from you. The bottom line is huge profits.

    Yes, you too can make money blogging if you take this fact into account.

    Once again, thank you for this interesting article.

    Cheers!

    Hooshmand Moslemi

  120. Well, it is not bad to earn money out of blogging. But in my case, I blog because it is my passion and once you love what you are doing not just because you want to make money out of it, you will really succeed.

  121. I can’t understand people who say that making money with blogs is impossible. With the help of high quality affiliate programs there are many ways for quality content with the possibiliy to earn money. You just must be clever enough to hide to your readers that you are a “cheap” affiliate blogger.

  122. Thank you for saying how it is. It can be challenging for new bloggers because time is different now. I agree with what you said here.

  123. If you blog to make money you probably won’t make any.

    If you blog for content, for relationships, for audience, for your own learning and fun, maybe even for new opportunities, then chances are.. you might. But it won’t matter that much because it wasn’t the goal in the first place.

  124. “There’s a saying in book publishing: you need talent, luck, and persistence to get published, but you only need two of the three.” – Sonia Simone

    I like that, never heard it before. Talent and persistence, and a good profitable niche, is all you need.

    On Fake Steve Jobs, its also important that you have a long term goal for your blog. If you blog to teach people things, you can always think of a new angle to produce content about. But if your blog is a gimmick and its topic is imitating someone famous, that gets old and you won’t be keep producing high quality content and be able to build a lasting audience.

  125. So, it seems evident that making money is not my cuppa tea… but still there is still this sense (gut feeling) that I too can make money:)..
    This is a very nice post.

  126. Great post, and oh so true.

    If you are starting a blog just to make money, stop! You’re doing it for the wrong reasons, thus it will not work.

    Create a blog about something you love and are passionate about, it will show in your articles. Write articles regularly, and work on your SEO and building traffic first. One day, 6 months down the road when your website has more traffic than you can count, introduce a product / affiliate link that is RELEVANT to your blog theme (niche).

    Yes you can make money blogging. Is it worth all the time and effort it requires to be successful? …yes. But be prepared to do some hard work.

  127. Good stuff!

    If you think blogging for profit is a do nothing get rich quick job, you are really in for a surprise! This is real work and you have to think about what you plan to do to get traffic and how you can turn that into money. The game changes constantly and you have to change with it.

  128. I learned how hard it is to make money a couple of years ago. I set my blog up, post good content (IMHO), managed to get about 125 visitors a day and made about $8 a day. That’s with Adsense and affiliate links. I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t a Shoemoney and started posting to help others and not to monetize. Now I make $18 aday. LOL

  129. Seems simple enough, solve a problem…!

  130. I agree with you. Actually, if you want to generate an income, all you need to is SOLVE A PROBLEM.

    PROBLEM = SOLUTION = MAKE A CHANGE

    :)

  131. Blogging for money is not a straightforward process, people think that when they set up their website, tomorrow they’ll produce money. Not like that. You need to optimize your site, getting visitor and building your visitor trust before you can earn money from it

  132. I absolutely agree, making money by blogging is NOT easy.

  133. I think you should not just blog for the money, but because you want to. (just like an hobby) Any (extra) income welcom

  134. I think dont go for keywords and traffic, but it is essential to concentrate on making original good contents. Many bloggers focus on SEO work, instead of making good and bulk contents or posts, Just give justice to blog title. Dont go for money, then money will follow you

  135. I think you should start blogging as a hobby or passion and eventually once your blog gets good traffic and rankings you should take the step to monitize it and earn a nice side income.

    Making money blogging is for sure not easy. It can take years to start making a decent income, if your lucky even sooner.

  136. Seems like all the “how to blog” guru’s are focusing their audience on “niche blogging”. Chunking down the keywords to small groups that are less competitive. (of course, to be honest, they are making money off the rest of the tribe that wants to learn how to make money…always a good sell).

    Blogging is a complicated business, as others before me have noted. It is a huge learning curve for an absolute beginner. I know, I’m new. I created a beast by not following “guru’s” directions and started a review blog to write about whatever I thought was interesting, reliable, or scammy. It’s tough working the multiple keyword angle.

    But hey, my site is #1 on Google (without using the quotes). That really means nothing. Just wanted to see if I could do that.

    I really had to think about writing differently. Writing with keyword placement as opposed to keyword stuffing, was a new concept. I have to say, though my hair is a little thinner on one side of my head (I’m a girl Robin)…the whole process is fascinating. Like a puzzle, or a chess game.

    It’s a business, stupid, LOL. The real Steve Jobs gets it. The commenters here get it. There is a lot of professionalism and brainspeak.

    For anyone new, I say: jump right in the water is wonderful. Where can you get a free education and practice on marketing, sociology, psychology, SEO, and the many tech skills that are needed, for about 10 bucks a month?!

    So while my #1 Google “gab” is zero to…well…zero; its OK. I’m learning new skills, I’m learning about people, and most important point: I’m learning more about myself!

  137. I think this is probably one of the best tips for bloggers. Having massive traffic isn’t always the best way to make money, you want traffic that is targeted. I also do not know anyone that is still making money from adsense that doesn’t have a major website that gets thousands of unique visitors daily.

    I think this was a wake-up call for bloggers to take a look at different ways to make money whether it is with affiliate links or even providing a service that they can write about some on their blog.

  138. But my question is, why should readers click on ads on blog site when they get the content for free? Why should they go through all that trouble? For many readers, the ads are annoying. The come for the content.

  139. Forgetting the monetization for the moment, I think that articles that are informative and solve peoples’ problems are the best ways to generate quality traffic.

    If they’re already searching for something then it’s only natural that some will go on to take what’s on offer whether it’s a report or newsletter or something that solves their particular problem.

    What’s frightening is that people with perceived authority can sway the masses so easily even when they’re actually wrong.

  140. I run several WP-based websites where I offer product reviews, price comparisons, etc. I run these sites to both help prospective customers and, yes, to make money.

    I have some info-based sites where I get a little Adsense money, but nothing to get excited about. Yet, I’m doing pretty well as an online entrepeneur. I don’t treat my sites as “blogs” per se. I tried that. Ugh. You become a slave to the site.

    But by treating WordPress as a CMS and not focusing upon the temporal nature of my writing (i.e. it doesn’t have be updated every day), I’ve been able to do just fine. I focus on the quality of the content and solid SEO, not whether it’s updated twenty times a day.

    Why the comparison? He failed because he didn’t have a plan. If he had become a MacMall or even Apple Store affiliate and added a Popshops store to his site, I guarantee he would have made a heck of a lot more than a $1000 a month. I sure would have.

    I know that with 500,000 visitors I would have grown my Aweber list tremendously, and convinced half of the subscribers that a new MacBook Pro would have changed their lives forever. But then again, I have a plan.

    My reviews help people make decisions. As you say above, they have a problem (albeit minor), and I provide a solution. It’s not brain surgery, but it does require focus.

    It’s a shame he failed to monetize his site properly, but it doesn’t mean you can’t make money blogging. You just have to be smart about your business model.

  141. Stumbled on this today because it came up on my Google Alert for keywords “blogging for money” … imagine my surprise when I saw the original date of the comments! This has been going for some time! Read the article and the whole thread of comments! Very interesting.

    I am an aspiring problogger … right from the outset I am branding myself as a problogger as that is where I am heading, whether it takes me a year (OK… year one is almost up and that status has not been conferred yet) or two or three or more. Actually, it is an ongoing process no matter where in the blogosphere hierarchy you are.

    I have a stable of blogs and have made some coin on most — far from enough to call a livelihood income but here is what my feeling is, if I have made some dollars, then I just have to get better at what it is that delivered that dribble of an income and increase it.

    I’m on page with everyone here … if you want to earn $$$ blogging you have to treat it as a business, make a plan, constantly review and make adjustments, grow your traffic, learn more about conversions, build a list, etc. etc. etc. There are many who make serious incomes and to the person who earlier said that 20% of bloggers make 20K per month …. I believe that the real numbers are something along the lines of that of those that blog for money (less than 20%), 17% cite blogging as their primary source of income. Technorati CEO Richard Jalichandra’s recent address at the Blogworld Expo in Vegas is eye opening … and encouraging for those who are willing to take the time, make the effort, and learn and apply on how to make the money truck roll into your driveway … and it does not happen in a year, nor two!

    Wishing everyone success………..keep on trucking…er, ah, that would be keep on blogging!

    best…………valentina

  142. Very interesting article. It seems like everyone and their dog are starting blogs in the hopes of making money quickly.

  143. hey! Watch it! Woof!
    I’ll have you know that this dog has a decent blog … and were it not for other duties such as sitting adoringly at the feet of my mommie, postings would be more frequent. Now that the guantlet has been thrown methinks I’ll get myself off of this nice fluffy bed and prepare some posts … maybe I’ll even publish my newsletter which has been neglected for some time!

    Barkfully …………

    Boo Barkley
    Chief Barker – BooBoo Speaks!
    Top Dog (that would be CEO to you humans) Sit BooBoo Sit.

  144. Perhaps after blogging for days and weeks and months, the writer will forget the real reason why he/she is writing: it’s for the dough!

    Thanks for reminding us to have a clear vision of how important a business model is!

  145. I think it’s pretty easy to make $500-$1000/month from a blog. I did it in 3 months. What’s difficult is making a living off blogging and getting to the $10,000+/month field.

    It can be done but it takes probably 3 years of loyalty and sbscribers to get there!

    • It is definitely hard work, but for us, we could live off of $3k/month while I know others who would live off $1k/month. It all depends on what you value in life.. how much you are willing to spend or cut back on. For my wife and I, we could get by with blogging and making $3k month. Its easy to hit that $1k mark, but its hard work getting past that point.

  146. I totally enjoyed this post, I am “young Blogger” and the thing that stuck with me the most is the aspect of having a plan. I so often jump into these projects/business and under estimate thinking down the road and committing to making it successful…let’s see how is does first mentality. I have a plan now…Thanks!

  147. What a fantastic article. So true and to the point. Especially hit home for me, because I am at that point where I am considering monetizing my blog.

    I had no belief that I was going to get rich quick. I did realise that it was going to be hard work. My problem is, and still is, how to go about doing it.

    As @Scot said, its not about how much traffic you get to your site, it’s about how you use that traffic. Adsense might sound great, but it’s not a big money earner.

    Also just having on revenue stream is probably what killed him. Multiple smaller streams is what I am aiming for. Affiliates, private ads, give-aways, subscriptions, e-book sales, etc. If he had had a few apple or Amazon affiliates on his site, I am pretty sure he would have made more money.

    My though, what a waste of an opportunity. He did do one thing right though, he taught us how not to make money. If we can learn from this, it won;t be an entire waste
    What truly is the best monetizing model? If it was easy, there would be more millionaire bloggers than there are at the moment.

  148. You can make money from blogging, but you have to have patience when you are starting out. I think that’s what gets a lot of people down when the find out that they actually have to do some work to get traffic to their site. All you have to do is stay motivated and provide people with something that they want, so they will come back to you site.

  149. Well, this is my first foray into internet marketing and I am on a very steep learning curve. I’ll read so many articles that contradict each other…some say you need a fixed membership site, some say to make money you need opt ins using a plethora of articles and an email mini course. Some tout keywords, others say they’re not that important. And supposedly all these authors are making small fortunes.

    I’m not suggesting that any of these people are con artists..they just all have found ways, albeit different ways, to make money on the internet.

    Anyway, I’ve sort of combined a couple of ideas and we’ll see where it takes me.

    Really enjoyed reading the post and all the comments.

  150. Stephen,

    When I first started out , I did a lot of the grass roots type of marketing such as forum chats, posting on others blogs…..ect to build traffic. You will build up your traffic over time, as long as you are consistent. It does take some time and you might not see some real traffic until about 1 year of consistent marketing. That’s why their are so many people trying to SELL you on buying their traffic explosion kits?

  151. Love this part: The Internet is profoundly indifferent to your desire to make money with it.

    It is so true, so many people have complete fantasy ideas about how to make money online. They think they can setup a site or a blog and let out some cr** and then make millions with adsense or textlinks or a bunch of banners.

    The article should have been titled: Quit faking it and get real. Fake Steve will never be the real Steve :)

  152. Thanks Patrick for your encouragement. I guess the old adage “if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is” applies to internet marketing.

  153. Find it and first time reading really like the post. Blog is not television is really open my eyes. Creating and fresh idea are need.

  154. Excellent post… I’ve found that while funny/entertaining blogs are fun to make, they definitely don’t make as much money as a blog that solves a problem.

  155. It seems impossible to make money with blogging alone, i find the best way is to keep creating fresh content on your blog and developing long term backlinks into your blog and then link out to your own money sites.

  156. I really enjoy reading this posts! This list is quite complete. The resource links are valuable as well as the overall post!

  157. Im not a major blogger or anything but this was very interesting to me especially the part about the half a million views in a day and only making 100 dollars in adsense money? That seems a bit ridiculous but i understand what you mean when you are talking about-If your business model is “I want to make money on the Internet,” you’re not going to get very far.

    Very good posting

  158. I think you should blog because you enjoy it. It takes a lot of time to make an good blog with good content. Content is king!

  159. I blog because I enjoy it, whether it make me get money or not. But if we want to make our blog as permanent source of our income, we have to work hard.

  160. It’s all about content and keeping your blog up-to-date en interesting for an longer period of time. Twitter is also a little bit like blogging i guess?

  161. Long gone are the :”make millions with Adsense” days. Business is business, online or offline. Also, it is getting a bit more difficult breaking into the MMO niche for sure! Just like the business world I guess…

  162. It’s extremely difficult, but it can be done. Make sure you are well-informed about the topic you’re blogging about, or else people will stop reading. Also, enjoy the subject(s) you blog about, because if you can’t get excited, your readers won’t get excited to read your blog.

  163. Agree with much of what has been said, it’s extremely difficult to generate an income from blogging, passion for your subject is what should be a key motivator, then if an income is generated from that then that’s a bonus. If not, you’re writing about something you love so win win. As ever, quality content is absolutely key

  164. Wow, that was a seriously insightful article. You’re absolutely right – you have to solve a problem with your blog and offer a (monetized) solution. Otherwise, all the traffic in the world won’t make a difference – you’re still not going to make any money.

  165. Great… I Agree on this article you did easier for those who are doing this by this article many people will learn how to… such as me also… trafficking online business, online marketing etc.

    thank you for posting this article so much to learn

    Cynthia

  166. Yes. Honest and productive content is important if we plan on making big bucks from the internet. And i agree what you said about online business need to grow up. These are the times when competition are at its peak and we need to figure out a more effective way to stand out in the crowd.

  167. I totally agree! Great Article! For me, my main goal is to improve my writing skills. At the same time, I just put up some Ads for people to click.

  168. Nowadays people fails to make money blogging and end up they quit it. I believe that make money from blogging requires hard work and patience, we just provide value content to the readers, write what they really want and make them learn something new from your side, as long as you enjoy writing and interact with readers. If you can do that, with just simple monetization method, you can still make some money from blogging.

    Anyway, just enjoy blogging!

    Nice post Sonia Simone!

    Regards,
    Lee

  169. I totally agree with you. Most people especially those who are thinking of starting a blog but read this article carefully. Rather than posting articles for the sake of it, bloggers should think on how best to address their target audience needs.

    Keep it up and all the best

  170. As stated by other commenters, the thought that came to me is: advertisers want to advertise in a magazine that is read often enough and has high retention rates. So, if your copy for a magazine is crap, advertisers won’t pay you anymore. Advertising on a crappy website won’t pay as much if nobody visits it. Magazines offer a solution: information, knowledge, entertainment (gossip) etc. Offer something readers can’t find elsewhere and keep that up.

  171. I tried blogging for an while, but found it hard work to keep producing good content on an regular basis.
    Respect for al the pro-bloggers!

  172. I agree with you when you say…If you want to make money in the real world, solve real problems

  173. its really disappointing to know that half-million visitors hardly generate 100 dollars for steve. I am convinced that making money with bloging is pretty hard.

  174. Well, if I ever doubted that you could make money at blogging, those doubts are gone. I am a believer…there’s no money there unless you happen to fall into a niche you can plumb.

  175. This gives me a lot to think about, which is one of the things I look for in an article. Give me info and let me ponder it.

    I pretty much wrote off trying to earn money with my blogs because that’s not why I started blogging. I wanted to connect with people and share my knowledge. Trying to sell something to them felt “cheap.” But isn’t that a silly idea, since my main blog is about running my small press where I write about the books I sell?

  176. It seems that it is not a SEO problem but that’s something wrong with the products you promote. They might be of good quality and fairly priced as you say. But if the products are not in high demand and/or the sales pages are crappy, you won’t make good sales, no matter what SEO work you do.

    The only other explanation could be that you might not use BUYER keywords and attract too many freebie seekers/non buyers to your website.

    For how long do you have those 250 clicks you mentioned?

  177. Excellent post. It actually made me feel a bit more optimistic about monetizing my blog. I did feel that entertainment and viral bloggers tended to make more when it came to ad dollars. Great information..thank you

  178. I noticed the use of the terms “clear business model” and “working business model”. From your perspective, are they equivalent?

    What makes a business model “working”?

    On one hand, you write: “I have no idea how to monetize Fake Steve Jobs”. On the other hand, you later suggest to “solve real problems”.

    Does solving real problems on a blog necessarily translate to AdSense clicking?

  179. Well, I’d say that a clear business model is one where you can readily see where the income comes from. And a working model is one where you actually see income.

    It’s hard to monetize a blog with Adsense, and doubly so when it’s an entertainment blog, which FSJ basically is. A blog about something much more mundane (in other words, that solves a real problem), say a blog about how to get rid of garden pests, is much more likely to do well with Adsense. But they’re also in a much better position to be able to sell something of their own.

    Adsense is normally the last way I’d tell someone to make money blogging, because by the time you’ve built enough traffic to make Adsense work, there are usually much more profitable ways to make the site pay. Some people make it work, of course.

  180. Yes, I agree that bloggers who find solutions to problems have the potential to make money. It seems like very few are making a living at it, though.

    Good content is great but you need to have some business savvy so you can either tastefully promote related affiliate products or develop your own.

    Besides being just a regular blogger, it’s a good idea to study psychology, influence, and online marketing if you want to create / monetize a brand.

  181. Seems to a newbie like me that saying you cannot make money on a blog is like saying you can’t make money in retail. Or journalism. Or real estate. Or burglary.

    I’m in the process of schooling up on IM, after 30 years in PR/marketing and journalism. At present I am soaked and weary, having stood under the Niagara Falls of free ebooks etc. My gut tells me this is still a big opportunity, but gaining focus and then shipping, as Seth would say, is the deal. .. while avoiding the sharks.

    Not sure whether I will be able to turn my first humor/satire blog into a money-spinner. Regardless, it’s a baby step in the right direction. Just like reading all this stuff, and sorting out the diamonds from the dross. It’s part of the process. And it’s probably more like a marathon than a 100 metre dash, at least in terms of being a BEEG success at it.

    In some ways IM seems very much like real estate. If only I’d jumped in boots and all 10 years ago. Bugger. But here we are, and it seems way better than staying in the rat race and croaking out.

    And so it begins…

  182. “His payout? For that half-million-visitor day, about a hundred dollars in AdSense earnings. For the entire month, he made $1,039.81.”

    You know, making a thousand bucks a month from daily blogging isn’t half bad. Say it takes you a couple of hours to write a clever piece each day, five times a week. That’s around 40 hours a month. That’s some nice extra income.

  183. Yes, But. That was a one-time occurrence because he got a mention in the New York Times.

    $1000 for 40 hours of work is decent, but not fantastic. And I strongly suspect that it was quite a bit more than 40 hours of work a month for Lyons. That was the best month he had, by far. Every other month he ran the site, he made far less than that, for the same amount of work.

  184. “His payout? For that half-million-visitor day, about a hundred dollars in AdSense earnings. For the entire month, he made $1,039.81. ”

    Well, is well known, even by newbies like myself, that this type of traffic doesn’t convert at all or converts poorly. Someone smart like this guy should have expected that..

  185. Guess I won’t be quitting my day job after all.

    Actually, I believe blogging can offer a great opportunity to become an authoritative voice. Industry members may not see me that way, but potential customers do.

    With academic elitism, things are intentionally made to be more complicated and elaborate. Along the lines of “1000 Steps to Create that Perfect Cup of Coffee.”

    The knowledge becomes king instead of the customer.

    The public wants the opposite – to have things translated into easy, relevant terms. Being that translator can make you a respected authority and that can offer a huge boost to your offline business.

    In my field, few are bothering to blog because they’re all tied to the money-making yolk. I see an emptiness waiting to be filled and a glorious opportunity to differentiate.

  186. Excellent post. It actually made me feel a bit more optimistic about monetizing my blog. I did feel that entertainment and viral bloggers tended to make more when it came to ad dollars.

  187. Very good post, I think especially adsense isn’t a good way to monetize your traffic. Since I switched from displaying PPC ads to affiliate programs and direct ad sales, my blog income increased dramatically.

  188. Sonia, I love how you said “Uncover what’s bugging people and fix it for them.”

    That’s the crux of good business and great marketing. It’s surprising how far off businesses (and bloggers) can move away from that.

  189. Great post! I have a few thousand visitors per month and still don’t make a cent from my sponsors!

  190. best knowledge I’ve ever read.
    thanks for sharing this knowledge.
    great!!

  191. Hi Sonia,

    I agree that we must solve real problems if we want earn real money from it. Blogging can be your online business. A business needs planning. If you plan your works then you will have a chance to become successful in your business. That is the most important thing in starting a business. In blogging, we also determine the secrets on how to blog for profit. This would really help you a lot in your business.

    Thanks for this informative post.

    Good luck,

    Millie

  192. Amazes me that people go into blogging strictly to make a buck. I don’t fault them for that but, if there are over 50 million blogs, why would any one pay a penny in such a crowded field?

    How about just blogging for the love of blogging?

    Not judging, again. But there’s something rather nice about visiting a blog that has no ulterior motives. I dig the purity of it.

  193. Something makes me feel that blogging is too good to be true… although, soooo many people find it successful.

  194. Great article Sonia.I am glad I found your blog.You do follow your own advice……it really helped me.

  195. Wow you really opened my eyes to a whole new angle and approach to my blogging business. THank You

  196. Blogging is all about content, persistence, and professionalism. You clearly understand the process and formula to success. Thanks.

  197. Just found out about this blog post.

    Excellent critique, Sonia.

    Lack of true end-user value and vague business direction (aka business model) are probably the two biggest obstacles to making money with blogs.

  198. What Lyons forgot (or never knew) is that a blog in itself won’t necessarily bring in money. It is how you utilize that blog. Do you use it to market your products or services? If he decided to write a book, based on his Fake-Jobs shtick, he could easily market it to his readers or use his newfound popularity to up the sales. Moreover, blogs are excellent for networking. His next freelance job could be around the corner, waiting for him to utilize his shmoozing skills.

  199. “If you don’t offer customers something they dearly want, whether it’s to gain some great pleasure or escape some great pain, you’re not going to make any money.”

    It is often suggested by the marketing gurus that ‘selling’ the avoidance of pain, rather than the gaining of pleasure is the way to go. Personally, I have always had more success doing the exact opposite and really go for the pleasure buttons.

    Does anyone have a real life example of either principle being put to good use?

  200. Seem like we Fake Steve Jobs wasn’t really targeting anybody but just blogged for the sake of blogging. Tried targeting to everybody, you confuse and lose and never get your ideal targets.

  201. Firstly, the great majority of bloggers aren’t in it for the money. As Patty D says, a few comments up, “But there’s something rather nice about visiting a blog that has no ulterior motives. I dig the purity of it.”.
    I read blogs because they’re a window into other places, other lives, not because I’m seeking to buy products.
    If I were, I’d seek out the bloggers who make things and sell things themselves. But clicking on ad-links? no thank you. That’s not blogging.

    As for ads, well, in common with a lot of other people, I got fed up with ads slowing down page-loads, i got fed up with animated gifs and pop-ups, which I see as people invading my space and wasting my time, so now I used adblock plus with firefox, to filter all that crap out before I ever see it.
    I know it makes “probloggers” as they like to call themselves, or “shills” as they really are, get upset. They claim people using adblock are stealing if they read content without clicking ads. Get real. That’s no model for an internet business.

    You said it best in your article, when you said the most successful sites are those that offer solutions and click-throughs to those solutions. That would work for me, and it does. I go to a classic car site, and i’ll click links to stuff I need.
    Other blogs with random ads? No. Never.

  202. Totally agree with what soubriquet wrote.

  203. I’m on the fence about this article. Seems to me that it would be more accurate to state that Fake Steve Jobs did not make the amount of money he had hoped for or expected to blogging. He did make some money; it just was not what he wanted. To say that NO money can be made blogging is misleading and not necessarily the rule.

    What isn’t mentioned here is whether he targeted higher paying ad units with specific keywords peppered in his written content, and I am not talking about the spammy blogs with tag clouds and virtually no substantial written content.

    It takes a bit of creativity but I think it is possible (and doable) to write interesting, solid content while also plugging in occasional keywords that target good paying ads. Many people don’t understand—or conveniently forget– how Adsense actually works; it is driven largely by your written content.

    On the downside, due to click fraud Google has resorted to smart-pricing ads for new blogs. This means that Google automatically starts new publishers out with the lowest paying ads in order to protect the advertisers from owners clicking their site’s ads.

    In the interim, Google has to learn the blog so to speak to make sure the owner/site is legit before the tide turns and better ads surface and revenue increases. Understandably, that can take a bit of time but money can be made.

    Another detail is whether he had more than one blog with Adsense units. From what I understand, if only one blog’s CTR is underperforming it brings down the revenue earned by all the other blogs.

    The site owner has to be careful to sift out which blog (or blogs) has the lowest CTR and remove the ad units from the one blog in order to bring back order to the universe (I just wanted to say that).

    Of course intelligent, well-written content also generates good word-of-mouth and ultimately builds return visits and a solid following. I chose to blog about a subject I am completely interested in so that I felt passionate about what I wrote and so that I would write daily (I also enjoy writing). I also want to make money with the blog (and I am). Is it so wrong to have it both ways?

    I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of people who call themselves “bloggers” actually aren’t serious about what it takes to blog; you have to love writing and you have to be interested in your topic.

    If you are unable to communicate to readers a harrowing personal experience, your thoughts about a film you saw, or society’s fascination with celebrity that stirs their emotions, or intellect in some way where they feel their day isn’t quite the same if they haven’t read one of your posts, then maybe blogging isn’t an option.

    For all the people who do not use a blog to sell their own products, a blog automatically becomes a “conduit” between your readers and an online business related to your topic/content. In this light, I do agree to provide readers with good, useful information.

    Check to see what others are writing about on your chosen topic and bring a distinct, fresh voice to it. I think it is about setting yourself apart while also being you. That sort of thing can’t be faked. You either have a fresh take or you don’t. Readers will respond to that. All-in-all I think you just have to give it time.

  204. Hi,

    You put some valuable advice here. Blogging for money is running a blog for business. Because blogging is just a media to get to your potential client out there. So we should have a plan for getting the businesses.

    I believe – “If you want your blog to be successful and earn a profit you have to plan how that is going to happen.”

  205. It’s all in planning, passion, and persistence. Great article, very informative.

  206. “It’s all in planning, passion, and persistence” Right, and it’s in good content. Too many people focus on selling, but you don’t get too many readers this way. It’s a long way and I definitely wouldn’t recommend it to anyone needing fast cash.

  207. For my website I need to figure out what I can do to solve problems to increase traffic and sales.

  208. This article is rather discouraging for someone such as myself who is starting a website venture predicated on the advertising revenue (currently AdSense exclusively) business model. My present plan is to learn how to do this Internet marketing and promotional stuff (backlinks, SEO, etc) in an attempt to capture a following of new and returning visitors to my site. It is best to forge ahead and ignore discouraging aspects (focus on the positives without doubt). But I have an alternative plan that if I got visitors but with insufficient click-through-rate, then I will convert to another revenue model such as affiliate products/services. In the meantime, I also position myself as someone who can do web services (build websites, manage AdWords campaigns, write articles for backlinks, etc) using my website along with other marketing collateral to demonstrate my sufficiency. (I’ve tried other ventures in the past with a much tighter focus and narrower scope without succeeding so this time around, I am trying to broaden the scope by covering multiple topics on my site.)

  209. I won’t lie, two years of blogging and I am still trying to work on a valid business model for monetizing my site. We all know the money lies in “selling” products, but what products to sell and can I find any I am willing to stand behind 100% and stake reputation on. Or do I have time to create my own?

    • Your point on “stand behind 100%” resonates with me. I cannot see myself promoting a product that I don’t believe in. Furthermore, I would also need to have experience with using the product to be able to promote it.

    • Justin, I have visited your website. can say a lot of words but the most important thing which I have noticed is, your blog is a general blog, correctly speaking, its a news blog which is extremely hard to monetize unless you have tons of organic traffic! In my opinion, for the sake of serious earning, you’ll really need laser focused content and convergence instead of divergence! secondly, if it is possible, consider tweaking the design and overall layout, color scheme etc SPECIALLY logo…! Take the example of copyblogger, problogger.net, seobook.com etc. They all are tightly focused blogs that’s why they are extremely successful. Good Luck!

  210. My IT Consulting business in Boston is doing pretty well by blogging but we are still trying hard to get a bigger following. I encourage blogging because it did help my business with getting traffic but I can see why people may be disappointed with it. The product I am selling has seem to come across well to the customers I do have but getting more and new people is a little hard.

  211. So true. A Blog is no business model!

  212. Awesome post, Sonia. Business is business. Offer something of value, provide real solutions – that’s the place to start.

  213. Thank you for your helpful advice. I always love seeing all of the great marketers under comments too!

  214. I have to admit the headline is what really got me to click over to this post (doesn’t it always). I have to agree because in my case my blog is definitely solving a problem and although I don’t have great traffic yet I’m still making a good amount in comparison to the amount of traffic I get. I guess it also matters that I put my heart and soul in to providing quality content. Good post. Great Headline.

  215. Great post, thanks for the tips. I suppose the unfortunate problem is everybody thinking they have something worth reading – especially when they aren’t “solving a real-world problem” and are just providing “entertainment.” Still, for those entertainers out there (like myself), it’s nice to have the opportunity to try.

  216. Have to agree with this. I have read a couple of posts today about how you wont make money from blogging and this is the only one that has given valuable reasons as to why it is HARD to make money blogging not impossible which is much more useful to bloggers.

  217. Blogging is a tool you use to get traffic, but that traffic is useless if not targeted traffic, so writing blogs to a wide audience will not make you any money. You need some skills to attract the interested bloggers to your site and those skills come from experience and perhaps some guidance from an expert in the art of blogging. There are a lot of people out there making money from blogs done correctly.

  218. Enjoyed reading this post and it makes great sense.
    Thanks for sharing

  219. The way to make money blogging: Write well, prove that you can attract and maintain a large audience, get a job for a commercial outlet creating content for them. If you can bring 10,000 readers with you to a new gig, then you’re worth money. Bring 100,000 and you’re worth serious bank.

  220. When I first started blogging a few years ago, I was thinking about how to make money with my blog. Since I changed my attitude from “how can I make money from my blog” to “how can I help people with my blog” I found I enjoyed blogging a lot more and found it a lot more rewarding not only financially, but personally as well. =)

  221. Part of my problem is that I can’t find the right words for what I’m doing. I know what I’m doing, but I can’t find the words that ‘solve my problem’ words.

    Thank you for your post. It made me go back to what I already know, people buy things that save money, save time or solve a problem. they do not want you to waste their time on something that is just there to view.

    Tammy

  222. good advice. For me, traffic is everything. You got traffic, you handle it well, we can earn the money.

  223. Sweet post Sonia, (2 years later lol)

    There are some great blogs out there that just talk about stuff related to a certain niche, such as the BMW BLOG. They monetize with BMW banners and also BMW parts banners which I’m sure they may get some sales from. Other than that I’m not sure how they do it.

    As far as the make money online blogging niche goes, it’s tough to get into especially when you aren’t a seasoned veteran. It comes down to what problem are you going to solve for me, how can you better my day. If you aren’t providing any solution to solve anyone’s problems or fill a need then you really need to find a different niche.

    I follow a blog where the guy makes $30,000 per month, but I would say over $22,000 of his income comes from other ventures online he’s done. The blogging makes him the other $8,000 through affiliate sales which is dope, but again the vast majority of his income comes from outside of his blog, he just uses his blog to report the results and to show others how he does things. So he’s got a great business model going on.

    I’ve yet to find my true business model because I’ve only been blogging for about 2 months now, but when I do I’ll be sure not to make Fake Steve Job’s mistakes.

    Thanks again for the post! Cheers!

    -Chris Alta

  224. This is very true. A lot of people try to cut corners in the bloggig world, but what it boils down to is, what value are you giving to your readers i.e what problems of theirs are you solving for them. The internes has become one of the fastest ways to gather research or to figure out how to fix something. If your blog isn’t offering isight, advice, or valuable suggestions, then you’re right your blog will struggle.

  225. I still haven’t wrote any blogs on my site/publish my site yet as I’m still in the process of brainstorming in the meantime. Anyways, according to the article, the guy still made $1040 a month from his blogsite and for me as a student, I wouldn’t mind that at all since, that is actually my goal, to make around $1000 a month from my blogs eventually. I think you guys are overeacting, the guy still made some supplementary income that would be well suitable for a student, though it wouldn’t be good for an adult who wants to make a living. But, the fact is that he still made a little more money than a part time worker/barista at Starbucks (they make around $900-$1020 a month when paid minimum wage) would make in a month (well in Toronto, I’m a Torontonion). So, It would be more accurate to say that adults would hate making only that kind of money especially if they are unemployed and only rely on that blogsite for a living only but not college students, it would help us with fees and stuff plus it would be a good way to supplement your income if you have a full time job as well. “He made no money”, are you guys kidding me, oh pleaseeee!!!!!!!!!!!

  226. Andrea Peroni :

    ABC News’ Leslie Yeransian did a story on Amanda Congdon — one of the first bloggers to make buko bucks off blogging:
    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=2067433&page=1

  227. “If you want to make real money, solve real problems.” I love this! It’s so true in today’s blogging world. So many people try to make money by over-saturating a market with useless info. Then they wonder why they’re not making any money. Makes me chuckle a little.

  228. At the beginning I also had the “I want to make money on the Internet” mentality. Luckily, with time and hundreds of read articles, I’ve changed my perspective. If we don’t offer our visitors something they dearly want, whether it’s pleasure or an escape, we’re not going to make any money. I learned this the hard way…

  229. The very key to making money with a blog is to capture peoples attention to buy from you.

    Honesty, credibility always seems to be the correct mindset coupled with a squeeze page to capture the names and email address. Once you have the emails, you then send a free ebook as an example or free video lessons.

    When the potential buyer enjoys the quality content then the next step is the buying process.

  230. Interesting. Fail once and judge it all. It’s kind of a wrong mentality on this: ” I’ve tried, but I failed”.
    This is what he claims in his message.
    If someone out successfully achieve it, means it’s possible; but if there’s nobody achieve it before, doesn’t really means it’s impossible, perhaps it’s call potential.

  231. Fake Steve Jobs should write a book, like Damn You Autocorrect! did, or sell out to a big comedy blog network.

  232. Do you think Science, Technology, Politics, News and blog can be monetized as network business? I have an online media with these subjects. Thanks in advance! :)

  233. This is the case where people think that the -

    ‘best product’ = Big Money

    No….

    I bet everyone here can think of a product that has 2 versions of it, one that is Out-Of-This-World yet not making any money, and the other’s Almost-Like-Crap yet making tons of money.

    And anyway, declaring such claims as fact when there are thousands of people having exactly the opposite results (making money while blogging) is just plain ignorant to the point of arrogant.

  234. Entering the Blogosphere has been great fun for me, and I do have a plan in place to monetize. Right now, it’s all about getting into the flow of making sure I’m providing good, problem-solving content.

    In my blogging, I tend to write as if a good friend or family member has asked me for advice on a topic I know well.

    Those types of blog posts will eventually be used for ‘recommendations’ that I’m confident in and will affilate myself with.

    Being or having a ‘trusted advisor’ has always worked in the real world. I’ve followed trusted online advice myself, which is exactly why I’m here in this thread.

    The comments that enhance this article has really been a fantastic interchange of ideas, so thanks to everyone who contributed, especially Sonia.

  235. I blog and make good money. Just have to make sure i have plenty of backlinks. Steve must have forgotten that part.

  236. After going through information in this blog am fully convinced that one can earn a decent income blogging.

  237. Vitor Ramirez :

    Very interesting points. I just got an idea on how to make money blogging after have a look on this blog :D. I’m from a big country where only few people speaks english and we have so much potencial for internet business … This is the clue!! I apreciate if you guys who have succeful $ blogs send me your contacts to make a partnership$, beacuse in this ideia I will depend on you (your blog) to make money.

  238. When I first started blogging a few years ago, I was thinking about how to make money with my blog. Since I changed my attitude from “how can I make money from my blog” to “how can I help people with my blog” I found I enjoyed blogging a lot more and found it a lot more rewarding not only financially, but personally as well.

  239. I totally agree with the previous comment from Mona!

    I started out by wanting to make lots of money online with initially no avail.

    Having trained as a teacher, I changed me perspective to focus on creating quality content and by creating a blog which people could visit and take information form. I began to be rewarded financially from that point on.

    Creating in depth tutorials and hints and tips contributed to driving traffic to my blog, which ultimately helped towards making money.

    I think a lot of people have the impression that you simply just need to set up a blog and write a couple of posts to make money, this is certainly NOT the case.

    With that said however, you CAN make money blogging, but its hard work and will take time to be financially rewarding.

    Stick with it, and you will see!!

  240. This is a really great and informative post. It really helped me sort of some of the ideas I had about blogging. I think so many people saw that people were making tons of money by throwing up a blog regarding celebrities and all sorts of things that are not relevant and it seemed like a pet rock situation.
    You could put up any foolishness and it would succeed over night but it really is not like that. I think it was like this at first but now it is like you said either the blog is solving a problem or it is not going to make it.

    I have been avoiding starting a blog because I really didn’t know what direction I wanted to take my blog in. I am going to work on ironing out my audience and defining the problem I want to solve.

  241. I think quality of traffic is the most important thing, you don’t have just to bring huge number of visitors to your blog but look from where those people are coming, what are the keywords they are typing in search engines??! Just you have to target your visitors and keep in mind: are you giving something they really need?

  242. I agree. Most peoples kill their blogs with adsense and ads even if they don’t have traffic or just starting to blog. great article. thanks for the share :)

  243. This is probably the most helpful and insightful Blog post I’ve ever read – not only on how to make money Blogging, but (more important) how to make money doing ANYTHING.

    Great work and great reminders – especially about providing a good/service that helps solve a customer’s problem.

    David Meerman Scott says something very similar in his writing too – “For years, I’ve been saying that to create great Web content, you need to always be thinking: Nobody cares about my products and services except me and the others in my organization. What your buyers do care about are themselves and they care a great deal about solving their problems (and are always on the lookout for a company that can help them do so). The good news for smart marketers is that this knowledge has the potential to make you many times more successful with your marketing. It may quite literally transform your business (that’s not just my opinion; many people write me to tell me so). Don’t pitch your product. Most journalists don’t care about products. Instead: Tell us how your organization solves problems for customers.”

  244. I don’t know why I has always the feelings that monetizing a blog is something evil or not honest because I think adding ads make the honesty of your posts in question. Thanks for this post.

  245. It’s not that you can’t use a blog to make money. It’s that you can’t make money if you deliver little or no value to the world.

    Simple equation really.

  246. I started a blog a year ago and worked heavily for 6 months writing content and building backlinks for SEO along with leveraging social media for exposure. I previously wrote a comment here in Nov 16, 2010. I have learned a lot from the experience and have traffic coming to my site which is pulling in AdSense revenue. I know with increasing content and backlinks, my revenue will grow over time.

    However, after about 6 months, I went off to start a new project for a smartphone app to sell affiliate products. And I will be applying all the things that I learned from my blog development experiences for this new venture. I am also using the blog to advertise my new venture. This is akin to advertising my new venture on established sites with lots of traffic, except I don’t have to pay for the advertising in this case.

  247. This is precisely what is happening to my blog…traffic is increasing but with negligible revenue… Anyway, even if I don’t monetize my blog ‘That’ much, it sure has become a passion… so that’s any day better than monetization!! :)

  248. Couldn’t agree more, Elliot! But we don’t have to starve to do it.

  249. Blog advertising is a great way to earn a little extra consistent income, to be earning good amounts of revenue you really need to have a blog that is well established with a high amount of readers – this takes time and a lot of effort.

    I’d recommend anyone starting a blog to forget about advertising and just blog because your interested in the subject, the advertising and recognition will come along eventually.

    Thanks for posting this,

  250. If I am selling beef and all my visitors are vegetarians, I will earn near $0 (the odd visitor might buy beef for someone else). The problem with many of these Internet marketing schemes is the spectacular event that they generate often has very little relevance to the thing you are trying to sell. It has been shown recently with this “Fake Steve Jobs” and the “The Last Lollipop” that you can virally attract a huge audience in a very short time. But what are you selling to make money?

  251. I started a personal finance blog a few years ago and relate with a lot of what you’ve said. Very inspiring article on getting started making money blogging. There are so many mistakes beginners (and experienced bloggers) make and they often burn themselves out after a supposed “homerun article” doesn’t result in the success they had hoped for! There is certainly a lot of competition these days when it comes to blogging so I wouldn’t get your hopes up too much for overnight success, but if you’re passionate about a particular topic and stick with it, readers will come!

  252. Well spoken Benjamin, I have made a lot of mistakes, but I take them as learning curves, and I don’t get discouraged when I do a blog that fails, I just move forward look at why I wasn’t getting readers, try to better my work and hope for better results, I have learned a lot from my mistakes. I’m not gonna say I have a ton of readers, but I am progressing.

  253. Such a good point with this article…it’s taken me over 3 years to get my blog to generate income and it’s a real challenge to keep it growing but I’m hoping my ebook will do the trick.

  254. “If your business model is “I want to make money on the Internet,” you’re not going to get very far. The Internet is profoundly indifferent to your desire to make money with it. “<—most important thing, anyone wanting to make money online, can ever learn. It's not about products, it's about people; it's not about your company, or your product, but about how you go about giving, what you have to give, to the people that need it. Fulfill an intense enough desire and you'll be given millions.

  255. Great post.The points you have given are quite much important.It’s helping a lot with my work.Thanks.

  256. “The Internet is profoundly indifferent to your desire to make money with it.” After all these years, this quote still inspires more . . . or puts the fear of God in me. Either way, it keeps me working.

  257. A great way to track the sidetracked one’s. I am new to blogging, and i like this article.Why? because it take me on the right track and i have learn many real things from this.