The top earning blogs in the world are generating millions of dollars every month. However, blogging is not just about million dollar blogs… actually the majority of blogs on the internet don’t make more than $2,000 per year.
Understanding how these blogs make money, what the end goal for their sites are and how they turn their content into a business is what’s most important for bloggers of all niches and sizes to understand.
That is exactly what we are going to be covering in this post — and even more exciting, we have an infographic to break down the key points as well!
Breaking Down the Different Types of Bloggers in the Blogosphere
There are well over 100 million blogs in the world today and thousands of new content pieces and articles are going live every hour. This means you are up against a world of competition when you start a blog, so it’s extremely important for you to quickly discover what type of blogger you are going to be and where you would like to be six months to a year from now.
Which of these blogger types would you fall into?
- The Part-Time Professional
- The Hobbyist
- The Full-Time Professional
- The Corporate
- The Entrepreneur
Still not sure where you fit into the blogging mix? Be sure to check out our 15 Great Blogger Interviews that Will Blow Your Mind post to learn from some of the best blogging experts in the world today!
How Much Are Bloggers Earning with their Blogs?
As mentioned, most blogs simply don’t make enough money to be considered a full time job or a legitimate source of income. Stats show that only 14% of bloggers are actually earning any money through their blog at all. This could be for a number of reasons, such as blogs being for non-profit, a hobby or the blogger simply has no idea how to get started or isn’t getting enough traffic to their sites.
Let’s take a look at this breakdown of how much bloggers are actually earning with their blogs:
- $24,086 is the average annual earnings
- $33,557 average annual earnings for corporate bloggers
- $1,000/year is what the average blogger earns when they are getting paid to post content to their site.
However, for those blogs that are generating revenue off their content and traffic, there are many different methods for them to choose from.
The most popular blog monetization methods are through Google Adsense, direct banner advertising and affiliate marketing. The good news is that these monetization methods scale across all niches and platforms, which means anyone with a blog and a loyal audience can start generating revenue with their blog as long as they put in the time and effort.
A perfect example of a blog that went from nothing to making over a million dollars per year, is PerezHilton.com. If you take a look at the site you will notice that there is a lot of banner advertising on the site. Perez could be monetizing his traffic through various different methods such as trying to sell his own products or merchandise, but instead the focus is on paid banner advertising.
When visiting their site, be sure to scroll down and see how many different ad placements are located throughout the site. Banner ad sales for PerezHilton can easily top over $45,000 per month for a single ad campaign.
Bloggers are coming up with new and creative ways to monetize their content and traffic all the time. If you’d like to learn from over 50 different professional bloggers and how they are monetizing their audience, be sure to check out our Meet the Bloggers series.
Top Earning Blogs on the Internet
When you think of blogging, you probably don’t think of names like Huffington Post, Mashable and TechCrunch… but they are blogs and they are all running off the WordPress platform.
With that being said, not only are these legitimate blogs, but they are making millions of dollars per year through the use of their content and growing audience.
We all visit these sites on a daily basis. Now it’s time to discover how much some of them are making!
- Huffington Post $2,300,000
- Mashable $560,000
- Perez Hilton $450,000
- TechCrunch $400,000
- Smashing Magazine $190,000
- Timothy Sykes $150,000
- Gothamist $110,000
- Tuts Plus $110,000
- Car Advice $70,000
- Venture Beat $62,000
Of course this is just a small sampling of the many blogs out there that are making money. I could probably add another ten to the list that I know are generating over $100,000 a month easily! Just look at John Chow for example… his blog went from $0 to $40,000 per month in it’s first few years, to now generating over $1,000,000 a year now!
How to Start a Successful Blog & Make Money in the Process
Now that you’ve seen the money being made by some of the top bloggers in the world today, I’m sure you are now more excited than ever to get things moving in the right direction!
Here’s a quick breakdown of everything you will need to consider when getting started and planning for your longterm blogging success.
- Pick a great domain name for your blog. Stay away from numbers, hyphens and non-.com/.net/.org TLDs.
- Always go with a quality web hosting company. Web hosting is cheap, so there is no need to go with an unknown company.
- When you start to monetize your blog content, don’t sacrifice your user experience for a few dollars. It will hurt your blog in the long run.
- Affiliate programs are a great way to monetize your audience, as you will earn commission on products and services that you may actually be using.
- At the end of the day, the success of your blog comes down to your content, audience and brand. Niche down, create killer content and build a brand that people can trust.
For anyone who is looking to get started on the right path or bring their current blog, brand and business to a whole new level, I highly recommend you check out blogging.org, which is our premium online blog marketing training course.
Lastly, I want to give a shout out to ignitespot for creating this very high quality infographic, which has made the process of breaking down the blogconomy that much easier. You can view the full infographic below.
How to Sell Your Content and Create a Separate Source of Income
Bloggers produce tons of content on a weekly or even daily basis.
Is there any way to monetize that effort and create an additional source of income?
There are many ways to sell your content online, and I am listing some options here.
Implementation can still be tricky even if you have a strong vision of your requirements.
Offering your audience an ability to buy a premium content download for a one-time fee is the most common way to monetize your site. It is easy to set up and requires no development budget. You can simply use PayPal buttons to collect payments and offer a download link.
You will have to expand your content for it to be indepth enough to justify the fee. Text Optimizer is a great way to do that. It uses semantic analysis to extract related concepts from Google to prompt you to cover them in your content to achieve a higher score:
Text Optimizer should be used for both private and public content development as it does a great job helping you optimize for searcher’s intent and driving your content research.
With this model, users have free access to content until they reach a certain limit. This could be the amount of time spent on the site, or the number of articles or videos viewed. Newspapers have been trying this model for a while and it seems to be working well for them.
This is actually a good strategy as users have free access to low volumes, allowing them to consume some of your content before having to decide whether they want to pay for more or not.
Do keep in mind that if you try this method, Google will only be able to access and index part of your content, so your SEO may be at stake here. Plus, you really want to produce high-quality content for this method to work.
Leaky Paywall is a nice freemium plugin that helps you monetize your content creation efforts with the metered paywall method.
Paywalls can be presented at a certain part of an article, after a free trial, or may be metered and only appear after a specific number of pages have been browsed. Most newspapers use a metered paywall, allowing them to generate more revenue from ads, rather than preventing visitors from consuming their content.
This model allows users to subscribe to a membership site for a fee, typically billed monthly or annually. This gives them access to all content for the subscription period.
Suppliers using this model generally don’t use advertising. When members have paid their subscription fee, they’ll have full access to all content that falls within the membership level.
This model also allows for upselling repeat customers by for example offering VIP membership levels. The payment of a big, one-time fee could provide lifetime access to all content, past and future.
Using the subscription model to sell content is getting more difficult for newspapers, and publishers have to counter disruption from news aggregator apps like Flipboard, Zite and Pulse. Curated news is getting more popular, but it threatens individual publications’ subscription appeal while potentially drawing in new customers at the same time.
Memberful is a nice platform that allows publishers to set up subscription-based membership plans. It also has an easy integration through WordPress plugin.
This model was actually used before the Internet was commonly used, with examples being arcade and sports games, and pay-per-view movies.
The micro transaction model is being used by iTunes. Besides, books by the chapter have been offered by O’Reilly publishing for years. A more recent example is the micro-payments option for Wallet users recently launched by Google.
This model may not work for magazine articles and news as these are typically single reads, while music and video tracks can be used repeatedly. Here’s an easy way to set up a pay-per-view site with WordPress.
Content creation is incredibly time-consuming, so finding a way to monetize that effort makes total sense. You don’t have to choose a single method to sell your content and stick to it. You can experiment with and combine multiple ways. Good luck!
Landing Page Basics: Everything You Need to Know
A brief introduction about landing page basics
A landing page helps in converting the website visitors into buying customers. Its primary goal is to persuade your target audience to buy your products or services.
These pages are also ideal for promoting new offers and discounts to help prepare potential customers to make the purchase when they reach the page.
To be clear, a homepage is not a landing page. The homepage of your website provides only brief information about your site whereas landing pages exist for a specific campaign.
Also, landing pages do not have any other internal links that can take the visitors to other pages. They are rather more focused on encouraging the visitors to call for action.
In general, these pages are free from obstructions that distract customers from making your desired decision.
By removing sitelinks are other elements that take the attention away from the CTA, you can bring visitors down your sales funnel more effectively.
While I advocate the use of landing pages on your site, this does not mean that your homepage is ineffective. It is in fact the best way to showcase your brand and mention all the services or products you sell.
However, those pages do not call for action, which is why the users will have to go to landing pages to take the actions like, making a purchase, or subscribing for newsletters.
Above is an example of a landing page. It’s a landing page template from Landingi that you can customize to match the theme and design of your site. The template is one of over 200+ you can choose from their site.
The landing page above features a signup form. The goal is to get visitors to register and become members of the website.
To help achieve this goal, there are elements such as text and images to help persuade users to sign up.
The page’s ability to convert users into members depends on how you set up the elements to convince visitors to your call to action.
Types of landing pages
Landing pages are of different types, and you can design each one for different situations. If you know the details of each type, it becomes easier to know which one suits your needs.
Below are the most popular and effective pages you can use or your site:
- Lead capture – One of the most well-known and used landing pages across different sites, lead capture forms help you generate more leads and subscribers to your business. By filling out the form, they get access to your exclusive content and drip emails
- Viral pages – If you’re running a content or giveaway, viral pages are your ticket to increased online visibility. Since the goal is to get more people to join your sweepstakes, viral pages encourage people to share the page with others to increase their entries
- Infomercials – This type of landing pages are comprehensive, conversion-focused copy about a product or services. These pages span thousands of words complete with a walkthrough of the product/service, testimonials, features, and more
- Product pages – If you’re into the e-commerce game, then you should be aware of product pages. They not only describe the product, but also share everything users need to know about it to help them make an informed decision
- Coming soon – If you are planning to launch your business, then it’s best to create intrigue and interest about it before it even starts. A coming soon or a pre-launch page allows you to attract early adopters and generate buzz about your service or product
Landing page tips
Creating landing pages are easy in principle but difficult in practice. It’s not enough to build beautiful pages – you should know how to turn fairweather visitors into rabid followers of your brand.
Below are tips that will aid your journey of creating high-converting landing pages.
Write easy-to-read copy
As mentioned, beautiful landing pages are not enough to increase your revenue.
You need words to not only communicate how great your product is but to also show why they need it in their lives.
This means you need to have a firm grasp of who your buyer persona is and know how to appeal to their sensibilities.
At the same time, you need to spruce up your landing pages with dynamic content. Text is a great way to make your audience care about your business.
But to get there, you need to attract their attention first.
That’s where videos come into play.
If you are featured in the video, this content type helps put a face to your business. If not, explainer videos allow you to explain your business is a visual and striking way.
Display social proof
If you’re selling a product by yourself on your landing page, then you have your work cut out for you. It will be extremely difficult to convince people that your product is great because you are technically biased to it.
Therefore, you need words of an unbiased and objective third person to share their thoughts about your brand.
Social proof comes in different forms like testimonials, customer reviews, endorsements from influencers, Facebook/Instagram likes, and more.
So, if you have these lying around, make sure to integrate them into the page to help increase your conversions.
Monitor results and keep testing
Once you finished your landing page, the real fun’s just started!
At this point, you need to know how well your page is converting according to your goal. The first few weeks of your landing page set the benchmark of your entire campaign.
From here, you need to determine why the page is converting the way it does and how you can improve it.
Therefore, you need to tweak the elements – edit some, remove others, and add more. The goal is to keep improving your conversion rates to maximize your results!
Have you mastered the landing page basics?
This is a rhetorical question because you can’t really tame the process of landing pages.
It’s an ongoing struggle for achieving the highest conversions and continuously improving its performance.
Therefore, if you want to generate sales using landing pages, understand that they require commitment on your end. From there, growth is possible!
AdPushup Review: How AdPushup Helps Publishers Grow Their Ad Earnings
As a publisher, you produce content because you want it to be seen. Generating traffic for that is the first aspect here. At the same time, you also want to optimize the ads on your site in order to maximize your monetization potential. Hence, figuring out how to monetize the traffic becomes the second aspect.
You can’t just be tossing up random ads anywhere hoping for the best to happen. It takes the right tools with the right technology for the job. AdPushup, one of the fastest-growing revenue optimization tools out there, has been doing exactly that.
Upon trying and testing, I learnt the platform uses automated A/B testing and machine learning in order to create ad layouts that convert. In this post, I’d like to present my thoughts on how I think the platform helps publishers optimize their ad stack, while overcoming common challenges and growing the bottom line.
A Detailed AdPushup Review and How to Use Push Notifications
The objective of AdPushup is quite clear: optimize the ads on a website in a way that they drive the maximum revenue. To accomplish this, AdPushup offers technologies that have been known to ad tech for a while; and are now rapidly gaining traction amongst publishers.
Here’s a glimpse of the technology features that I’ll further discuss in this post:
Conversion Driven Ad Layouts
In my experience, one of AdPushup’s strongest USPs is the Ad Layout Optimization tool.
Being a publisher, you may have a sense of how to make your site look good. But do you have proven data to back your decisionsーwhere should your ads go, what type/format should you choose, and what next after the ads are in place?
If you’re anything like me, you’d want to interact with an easy-to-understand visual interface, than bury yourself elbow-deep in HTML, PHP, or CSS. The Ad Layout Optimization tool offers a point-and-click interface to help laymen like us create new ad units and layouts by ourselves.
Beyond that, the algorithm leverages machine learning to optimize the ad layout through ongoing A/B testing. As a publisher, the more work you can automate, the more time you invest in creating great content!
The Need for Demand
As much as advertisers seek premium, targeted inventory for their ad campaigns, publishers also want their inventory in the right hands. Moreover, header bidding helps garner better value for the inventory. As a result, a lot of inventory-owners are getting started with header bidding.
Upon researching, I came across the demand partnerships AdPushup has to offer to its publishersーindustry-names like IndexExchange, Media.Net, Rubicon, Sovrn, DistrictM, Pubmatic among others. As a publisher, it helps me develop some faith in investing in this practice knowing that my inventory is in safe hands.
Counter to Ad Blockers
In a report by Statista, as of 2019, 25.8% of the Internet users in the US are using ad blockers. That’s like 1/4th of my traffic not being able to see my ads. In my view, this is pretty much enough to cause some serious FOMO around ad impressions to any publisher.
The adblock recovery solution by AdPushup acts as a remedy here. The solution first detects the users who might be using AdBlock. Next, adhering to Acceptable Ads, only shows user-friendly and non-obstructive ads. The best part is, users get to have a last say about whether they want to see the re-inserted ads or not.
But why would users agree to see ads again, when they had them blocked in the first place?
You see, users don’t hate ads. They just hate disrupting, annoying ads. The adblock recovery solution only shows ads that pass the Acceptable Ads Standards’ eligibility and qualify to be called ‘acceptable ads.’
With AdRecover, AdPushup helps publishers recover revenue that would have otherwise been lost, while adhering to high UX standards. The net result is more money in your pocket without having to look for new revenue channels.
Ads that Are Seen
Most of the Internet is flooded with display ads. In an environment where users take seconds to decide to either engage or disconnect with a site, poorly placed ads are very likely to go unnoticed. The industry calls this phenomena banner blindness.
AdPushup provides innovative ad formats as a solution for publishers. Their library includes formats like in-image ads, in-view ads, docked ads, and sticky ads, along with native. These ad formats are unique and help improve ad viewability and CTRs.
Managing Everything on Your Own
Along with the various ad optimization solutions offered by AdPushup, it also has a consolidated app manager. Meaning, you get an interactive interface where you can manage your inventory and take charge of your actions.
For example, if you’re using header bidding, you get to see the option to add/remove demand partners. Or, while using the ad layout editor, you can simply create layouts and see the A/B test results populating in the panel.
The best part is, you get constant guidance from AdPushup. Whether it is about creating layouts, or you need advice with header bidding, the support guys with their professional ad ops expertise lend you a hand at every step. Being a fully-managed platform, they also take on the complete legwork on your behalf.
This empowers publishers with more flexibility, making AdPushup more publisher-friendly. It’s a great fit especially for novice publisher who may otherwise be intimidated by the complex or technical requirements of ad optimization.
Do you use web apps on your computer? These are designed by keeping the end-user in mind, and the AdPushup platform works in much the same way.
In addition to the visual layout editor, you’ll find features like AdRecover—anti-ad-block solution which we just discussed.
Next, the AMP-conversion feature makes it easy to convert web pages to AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). The point is, it’s both easy and powerful for you regardless of your level of technical expertise.
In the case you are working with closed networks that don’t participate in header bidding, the Ad Mediation feature leverages machine learning to determine which network is likely to bid the highest.
Many publishers underutilize their ads. Hence, a feature you might enjoy using in the app manager is Innovative Ads. Through a simple step-by-step wizard, you are able to build ad units for high-value placements. The biggest key with AdPushup is to look for the big wins along with the improvements to maximize your earning potential.
What’s more? With AdPushup, you can manage multiple sites under one account. This saves time, making it much more accessible for you to dive deep into the intricacies, and understand what brings you dollars and cents in through the front door.
Seeing the Performance at a Glance
When you log into your account, you are presented with a clean and robust dashboard. What’s great is that you can not only look at your estimated earnings for each individual web property, but also for your account as a whole, right at the top.
This includes comparing yesterday’s earnings against the same day of the last week, comparing the last 7 days versus the previous period. I personally found this quite convenient and effortless.
Similarly, you can review a graph that compares your performance with AdPushup versus your original setup, paying specific attention to your page RPM. Again, this is true for your account as a whole and for individual websites. You can also choose between date settings like yesterday, the last 7 days, the last 30 days, or this month.
Below that, (not shown in the screenshot above) you’ll get to see a pie chart showing your revenue by networks, helping you decide where to focus and how to align your efforts.
The main navigation in the left sidebar is easy enough to understand, showing an interface packed with data in a tidy manner. Reviewing individual sites is straightforward, including viewing individual reports and managing individual sites—accessing AP head code and managing blocklist.
Getting into Detailed Reporting
What we discussed above was the dashboard. The reporting on AdPushup is further more detailed. You can choose reports based on the site, device, network, page group, page variation, and more. Furthermore, you can choose an interval, add filters, review page views, look over ad eCPM, and so much more in reporting data.
If you’d like to analyze the data even further, reports are easily exportable in Excel format. With this data, you can make informed decisions about which opportunities to pursue.
One approach that I find particularly appealing is being able to generate a report based on the revenue channel. This reveals how each channel performed on each date in terms of ad eCPM, impressions and net revenue. (Probably one of the most important things publishers are after.)
This kind of report should reveal your greatest areas of growth, as well as shed light on areas with the biggest potential upside. What are you overlooking? What revenue channels are improving or falling over time? Are you even on the right path of monetizing your ads?
As a robust monetization tool for publishers, AdPushup comes powered with an intuitive user interface, deep reporting options, and several features to elevate your monetization to a whole new level.
With quick integration, continuous optimization powered by machine learning, and a convenient payment schedule, I find that this is the kind of utility you want to have in your arsenal if you want to really raise your bottom line. If you’re not already using AdPushup, you’re leaving money on the table.
Have you really optimized your ads yet? I think it’s never too late to get started.
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