How tired are you of seeing headlines promising riches and wealth with blogging, only to find the same old tired platitudes and outdated information? How often have you heard lies by the blogging gurus who promise success but only offer fluff?
How disgusted are you by the cheesy online marketers using our desperation to trick us into reading their boilerplate content? These are the scam artists who prop up our hope and desire to make passive income from a blog when they know that, except for a few outliers, the only people making millions are the “authorities” teaching other people to make money by blogging about making money with a blog.
Phew! Sorry, I get a bit fired up. Sure, people are making some money, but there is nothing passive or easy about how they got there. The same old blogging formula that the blogging scammers are teaching isn’t going to get anyone to a point where they are making millions a month.
There are two ways to make millions blogging:
Blogging Success Tip # 1:
Cheat. Yes, this happened a lot more back in Google’s salad days, when scummy marketers figured out you could make a lot of quick money by tricking the system. They set up many “shell” blogs, populated with plagiarized content, keyword-stuffed, and sealed with black hat SEO magic to reach the number one SERP.
Then, when you arrived on one of their blogs, faced with weak content and a wall of ads, they made it difficult for you to leave.
This scam went on until Google nipped it, but people are and will always be looking for ways to cheat the system. There are still black hat SEO specialists who make money by showing you how to trick Google and a dark web full of advice on how to steal content and profit from other people’s hard work by sprinkling SPAM all over it.
It doesn’t happen as often, but it does happen because there is a lot of money made from SPAM and scam.
Blogging Success Tip # 2
I didn’t lie when I said five blogs make over $2 million per month in revenue. Courtesy of Forbes magazine and R.L. Adams:
(note: this information was released in 2017, and these numbers could either be much higher or much lower right now. The pandemic hurt everyone, but the big players are still out there earning. I will note the 2019 income numbers if I can source them)
- TechCrunch.com — $2.5 million per month — This blog was initially founded in 2005 by Michael Arrington and Keith Teare, but AOL acquired the site in 2010, and Verizon acquired AOL. They must still be going healthy and profitable if it is up and running.
- Mashable — $2 million per month — proving once again that clickbait pays the bills, Mashable continues to be on the list of the best blogs in the world. Owler still estimates their revenue at $30 million per year, so they bring in the cash. Interesting to see what the 2020 numbers will bring.
- MOZ — $4.25 million per month — SEO is a big business, and Rand Fishkin is a well-known authority. The blog and software are still going strong even though Rand left his company in 2018. MOZ still earned $70 million in revenue in 2019.
- Engadget — $5.5 Million per month — Another technology brand with humble roots continues to prove that people cannot get enough content about tech. Owler estimates yearly revenue to be between $25 and $100 million per year.
- Huffington Post (HuffPost) — $14 Million per month — The Pulitzer Prize-winning blog was another acquired by AOL, then gobbled up by Verizon Communications. They rebranded as HuffPost but still seem to have revenue between $500 Million and $1 Billion per year, so business is not bad. Again, I would like to see the 2020 numbers.
So, as you can see, it is possible to earn big, but it’s not likely. These blogs all started small before selling out to larger companies, so it is possible to create something that makes millions of dollars.
What do these blogs have in common, and how can you replicate their success, you ask?
Good Blogging Question — How Can I Make Millions?
You might think the first thing I say you must have is a lot of money, but that is bullshit. The item you need most is luck. In combination with a few other things, these bloggers happened to occupy the right space at the right time.
It’s not a cop-out to say these bloggers had luck because that is what it was. They may not have had overnight success, but their success did come from filling the right space at precisely the right time.
How many companies offering the same product and content never saw a dime? They were correctly positioned and happened to do the following at the right time:
- They filled an unmet need — There were ten other companies with the same content, but these blogs presented it so that they filled a massive demand in the blogosphere. They solved a problem or filled a niche, for lack of a better term.
- They provided the right viral content — They used headlines that worked (and may or may not have been clickbait) and put out content that people wanted, from massive SEO guides to the listicles that people love to read with their morning coffee. They didn’t listen to the people who told them they were selling out and published content that the audience wanted.
- They had the right people and resources — Ariana Huffington and Rand Fishkin were two of the names behind these blogs’ successes. And they went on to hire other people and visionaries that would help them climb to the top. They would get bought out by giant corporations with unlimited budgets to hire and market, and the rest is history.
- They didn’t quit — The most significant thing they had going for them was the drive to succeed despite hurdles and failures. They kept riding in the rodeo when everyone else hung up their spurs. If you look at all those companies, they had longevity, and that should tell you something.
It was a combination of a thousand big and little things that caused them to be a success, and when you sprinkle a lot of luck on top, it’s the icing on the cake. It’s not easy, and that is why so few people and companies make money blogging.
Blogging is a cutthroat world, and if you aren’t ready to swim with the sharks, you shouldn’t ever go swimming.
How Can You Be a Blogging Success?
Honestly, the chance you or I have to make millions every month is slim. But, there is a massive list of blogs and bloggers who make great money that no one would turn down, but I guarantee they all had the same recipe:
- Luck, and something more
- They filled an unmet need
- They provided the right viral content at the right time
- They had the right person or people and had some resources to help them along
- They didn’t quit
But, these people didn’t just rely on luck to get them there. They had the drive and determination, and they put in the hard work to get them to the top. They wanted it more than everyone else, and that is why they earn when others fail.
Who are they?
There is quite a big list of bloggers earning well, some even over $100k per year. Here are a few that stand out:
- Kat Kinsman of TastingTable — Kat used her passion and celebrity, along with the right kind of know-how, to fill a need as a hugely successful food blogger.
- Lindsay Ostrom of PinchofYum.com — Clearly, there was a need for content in the food industry, and Lindsey filled it with her superb visuals and engaging content.
- Abby of JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com — Abby combined her knowledge and passion for organizing, decorating, and helping others create online businesses to fill an unmet need with fantastic content.
- Michelle Gardner of MakingCentsofCents — Personal finance is a niche where people with experience and know-how, who can put out great content are doing very well. Michelle consistently delivers and has been helping people with their finances for over five years.
These are a few of the people who have proven that it is possible to be a successful blogger and earn from knowledge and expertise. Sure, they aren’t making millions, but they are earning.
Sadly, only a few outliers will ever make millions of dollars every month, but it is possible to make a living if you don’t quit.
Most don’t have what it takes to be a success, and those scam marketers are doing a disservice getting people’s hopes up with promises of easy, passive income.
I believe in blogging and continuing to learn every day, which will contribute to my success. If you do the same and follow the above recipe, you may earn your millions with blogging one day. Just don’t listen to the scam artists, and don’t be a cheater.