There are over 150 million blogs out there, but only a vanishingly small percentage of them make any money. While such a statistic might sound extremely discouraging to the first-time blogger hoping to monetise their website and earn a respectable income, there’s a little more to meets the eye than the sheer number of blogs alone. After all, only a relatively small number of bloggers have ever even tried to monetise their websites.
Out of these, only a small percentage succeed, but that’s often down to avoiding some of the more common mistakes. Successful blogs all share a few important characteristics:
- They are the product of months or even years of regular posting and work.
- They are fiercely marketed, both for the search engines and social media.
- They offer a unique value proposition to a targeted audience.
- They offer an optimal browsing experience on all Internet-enabled devices.
- They make use of appropriate monetisation channels.
- They provide original, high-quality content that builds authority.
Any blog that is missing even just one of the above characteristics isn’t likely to make much money at all, even if it excels in all other areas. There are always exceptions, but the above simply outlines the basic requirements for operating a sustainable blog that will continue to generate revenue for the foreseeable future.
The Importance of Commitment
Those just starting out with blogging are often enthusiastic, regularly posting content and frantically sharing their posts on social media. This degree of enthusiasm is, of course, extremely important for anyone who hopes to set themselves up for success. Unsurprisingly, however, the enthusiasm usually wanes after a few weeks or months of no money coming in, and this is about the time when most people give up, leaving only a few cents in their Google AdSense accounts if anything at all. In fact, it’s precisely this lack of commitment and perseverance that ultimately spells the end of most blogs, including those that do provide plenty of quality content.
You Need to Wait for Organic Traffic
Anyone who tells you that blogging is easy money or presents the opportunity to get rich overnight is lying to you, and probably also trying to peddle a useless ‘guide’ or mentoring course. In reality, you need to be prepared to work for several months at least before you can expect to start seeing any significant returns. Again, there are a few exceptions, such as when certain content goes viral, but it’s important to remember that most Web traffic comes from the search engines. Assuming you’re paying attention to search engine optimisation (SEO), you can improve your search visibility, but it will still take a few months before you start appearing on page one.
How long it takes for you to start getting a steady flow of traffic from the search engines is, unsurprisingly, directly related to how much how can expect to start earning from your blog. After all, no traffic means no money. Of course, it’s also important to have the right sort of traffic, but that’s another matter that’s beyond the scope of this article. What is important to remember at this point is that it generally takes at least three months for your website to move to the top of the results pages, provided you’re doing everything right and your niche isn’t excessively competitive. It will also take you some months to build quality backlinks, thus boosting your SEO.
So, What’s the Ultimate Verdict?
Three to six months tends to be the figure that gets bandied around the most among successful bloggers and, while it’s only a vague guideline, it does give you something to go on. For the first three to six months, you shouldn’t expect to make a significant income from your blog. Numerous factors come into play, such as your goals, your audience and your niche, but few blogs start making anything more than around $100 per month until they’ve been around and regularly updated for at least half a year. After all, during this time, you’ll likely be experimenting a lot to find your place on the Web, but it’s often well worth the wait and the perseverance.
Blogging for a living can seem like a thankless task, particularly since you need to learn to accept that it will almost certainly be several months before you start seeing any revenue other than the occasional few dollars from affiliate programs or contextual advertising. Ultimately, you need to be prepared to work for free as you learn the ropes, and the whole thing takes a fair amount of time as well. At the same time, you won’t be in any position to quit your regular job, so you’ll need to sacrifice a significant amount of your free time to have any hope of success. Content creation takes a lot of time, particularly when quality is so important.
Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom. If your blog features enough quality content that people actually want to read, your few hundred visitors per month will eventually run into the thousands, at which point it’s likely to increase exponentially, provided you keep up the momentum. At the same time, and provided you’re using the right monetisation strategies, you can expect your income to skyrocket. As is the case with website traffic, a few tens of dollars in the first few months can quickly spiral into a few thousand after the first year, but it is highly dependent on your perseverance. Some bloggers publish income reports to give you a better idea of what to expect.