How Long Does it Take to Make Money Blogging?
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.
“Good things come to those who wait.” as the saying goes.
But do they?
Trying to understand how much time it takes before you start making money from blogging depends on many factors. From your initial investment and experience to your chosen niche, monetization method, and marketing efforts, earning your first blog revenue can take anywhere from a week to a year or more.
But, thanks to the trials and errors of other bloggers, we’re now able to pinpoint the factors, steps, and tactics that can speed things up and get your blog profitable sooner.
Every blogger looks forward to cash flow. Whether it’s ad revenues coming into your account, affiliate marketing commissions, or a long-awaited sponsorship bonus, blog revenues are key to success.
But blogging income can sometimes be inconsistent and irregular, not to mention the time it takes to earn that first dollar. And that’s why so many new bloggers are asking the same question:
“How long does it take to make money blogging?”
In this article, we’ll unpack how different monetization methods affect your initial earning period, the factors that affect the time needed to make money blogging, the tools you can use to boost blogging income velocity, and how to speed things up.
Dams Aren’t Built in a Day…And Neither Will Your Blog
Here’s a great analogy that will help you to understand why it sometimes takes a while to see that first return. Think of a brand new blog as a river dam project.
Engineers (bloggers) have identified a need to build a dam for a nearby city (niche). To do this, they must first construct a dam wall (blog website) and develop the area around it (starting a new blog and promoting it).
But, once the wall is built, the dam still needs to be filled with water (content) – and this takes time. So, before the local residents can turn on their taps and start racking up utility bills, they’ll have to wait for the dam to fill up first. Like the dam, you can always build your blog, but it’ll take time to fill up with “water” – like traffic, blog content, followers, and, yes, money.
Blogging is a game of patience, effort, skill, and sometimes straight-up luck. But the more time, effort, energy, and faith you invest in your blog, the more likely you are to enjoy better ‘water pressure’ (in case you missed it, we’re referring to revenue here) later on.
How Bloggers Make Money (& How Long It Takes to Get There)
Bloggers employ a variety of methods to earn their income. While some can be set up fast and start earning almost immediately, other techniques will take time before you begin to see a return. And while it may seem like a good idea to pursue the monetization options that pay out sooner, it’s usually the methods that take time that pay out much, much more.
Depending on your niche, the type of blog you’re building, and how much time and effort you’re prepared to invest, making money blogging can be done sustainably and quickly by using one or more of these popular monetization methods.
How? Bloggers can earn revenue by displaying ads on their blogs. Visitors can see these ads and click on them, providing a monetized space for brands to advertise their goods to niche markets they otherwise couldn’t reach.
Who? Ad networks like Google’s AdSense, Mediavine, and AdThrive act as middlemen working with brands to place their content on the most relevant blogs. Bloggers get paid by these ad networks based on how many people see these ads. Check out this article on the best ad networks for bloggers.
Expected time before earning: With AdSense, you can expect to start earning almost immediately, but be prepared for very low revenues. To partner with more premium networks, you’ll need to qualify first by demonstrating that your blog earns high pageview traffic (starting at anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 pageviews per month) and that your audience fits the right target niche – and this can take a lot of time.
How? Bloggers can also monetize their blogs through a method called affiliate marketing. Here, they can include affiliate links in their content and get paid by their partners whenever someone uses the link to visit a brand’s site to buy something or sign up. You can also offer affiliate promo codes to visitors who can use them for discounts when making a purchase.
Who? There are many different brands and companies out there offering exciting affiliate programs to bloggers in return for access to their niche audiences. Canva’s Pro affiliate program, Amazon’s Affiliates, and sites like Coursera all offer content creators boasting audiences that fit their target markets great commissions and revenue opportunities.
Expected time before earning: Many affiliate programs use a 30-day cookie retention policy and pre-defined clearance periods before paying out commissions. While some affiliate programs may pay intermittently for the odd sale, if you’re looking to earn sustainably, it could take you at least 2 to 6 months or longer to get the ball rolling and build up some momentum.
Sponsored Posts and Paid Partnerships
How? Bloggers with solid followings or niche experts who are seen as among the top in their fields can partner with big brands and companies by creating posts for them. This involves writing full posts dedicated to the brand, mentioning the brand in other content, writing detailed reviews, or including them in their social media feeds. Brands, in turn, pay the blogger for giving them exposure to their niche market.
Who? While sponsorships were once reserved only for top influencers, brands have realized the value many less-prominent bloggers can bring to the table and are actively looking for content creators to collaborate with. Bloggers can join sponsor networks or reach out directly to brands. Click here to learn more about how to get sponsors for your blog.
Expected time before earning: While sponsored posts and paid partnerships can be the most lucrative blog revenue option, getting it right can also take the most time of all. Some bloggers wait years before landing a sponsorship, while others search extensively with little success. Don’t give up if you struggle initially; it can take up to a year or more before your strike it rich.
Subscriptions and Paid Memberships
How? Bloggers are increasingly turning to offering their readers subscriptions to premium content and memberships for access to periodical content like subscription newsletters, guides, and more. Followers and fans can register and pay once off or monthly, presenting an exciting long-term revenue opportunity.
Who? Various tools and platforms make setting up a paid newsletter, coaching course, or paid access option easy. Sites like ConvertKit unlock the power behind email lists and the paid newsletter, while online course platforms like Coursera allow creators to craft engaging courses and charge people to take them.
Expected time before earning: Initial revenue velocity will depend on how long it takes to build your email lists and create premium content for your subscribers. However, once you’ve got everything ready, earning is easy, requiring minimal effort. Give it a good 3 months to build those email lists and another 3 to 6 to create your paid content.
How? eCommerce is a great way to level up your blogging income and is very easy to execute successfully. All you need is something to sell, whether physical goods, print-on-demand offerings, digital products, or even coaching sessions. Register with an eCommerce platform, launch an online store, integrate it with your blog, and sell!
Who? There are many sites and platforms that make eCommerce for bloggers easy. Some, like Shopify, are even designed for you to blog directly on the platform with your own dedicated website, while others let you add a shopping module to your existing blog. Gumroad is perfect for bloggers selling digital goods, Etsy is ideal for creators offering arts, crafts, and vintage goods, and BigCommerce lets you sell, well, pretty much anything.
Expected time before earning: eCommerce is usually pretty quick in turning over sales, but it may take some time to set up and market your goods, and you’ll need to rely on good blog traffic before revenue starts flowing. Budget for a few weeks before you see anything sustainable on the revenue front.
Factors That Determine How Long it Takes to Make Money as a Blogger
Once you’ve got a blog up and running and have started to monetize it, you be hoping to see a little revenue very soon. But while we hear about some bloggers who start making crazy money straight out of the gate, in reality, it will take some time before the money starts flowing for most of us. The question is, how much time?
Dams need rainfall to fill up and rivers to supply water to them. Less rain and empty rivers mean it’ll take longer for the reservoir to reach capacity. There are dozens of factors that can influence these elements – drought, upstream water extraction, pollution, etc., to name a few. The same goes for factors influencing the time needed to make money blogging.
Many aspects will affect your blog’s initial revenue potential, and each one will either help you to fast-track your earnings or delay them. How you react to changes in these factors will play an important role in how fast you can get started and monetize your blog.
Number of Posts
Your posting frequency is important. Regular, consistent posting brings visitors back to your blog and keeps you on those SERP rankings. While building up your content pipeline can take time before a blog starts making money, once you’ve found a rhythm, you can produce decent quantities of content that will earn you more as you create more.
- Time per blog: 6 – 8 hours for research and writing and up to 1 hour for publishing.
- Frequency: Try to aim for between 1 to 5 posts per week, depending on your niche’s expectations.
- Tip: Outsource your blog writing to ensure you can keep up. Here’s how to do it.
Traffic is one of the most important factors for determining how much you can make and how fast you can do it. More traffic equals more income – simple. But building your pageviews can add to the time needed to make money blogging, and ensuring they stay high is an ongoing challenge.
- Time to hit 1k pageviews per month: Anywhere up to 3 months. Here are some great tips on reaching your first 1,000 pageviews.
- Targets: Most bloggers aim for at least 20,000 to 30,000 page views per month to ensure they make enough to sustain their blogging.
- Tip: Focus on your blog’s SEO as an early priority from the start. This way, you can ensure good rankings, which leads to organic traffic.
Marketing and Promotions
Giving your blog exposure and market reach is critical to making money. You can use social media, paid advertising, and guest posting to boost your blog’s presence. Here’s a great post on how to market your blog.
- Time to build good social media following: 2-3 months
- Objectives: Engage constantly, consider allowing people to comment on your posts, and don’t be afraid to invest in paid options.
- Tip: Post regularly on social media and engage with your audience. Look at posting across multiple platforms and pitch your blog to your niche.
Bloggers should spend a lot of time and effort researching their niches before even thinking about their first blog post. Depending on your chosen niches, you could start earning straight away or wait until your DA is high enough for their needs.
- Time: At least 1 month to research your niche, 1 month to choose a niche, and another 2 to 3 months to monetize your blog for them
- Requirements: Dedicate time every week to stay up to date with your niche’s trends, demands, and needs, or you’ll have to go back to the drawing board.
- Tip: Start with more than one niche. It may take more effort and time, but you can eliminate the non-starters and stick with the profitable ones.
While seasonality has less of an effect on blogging than it used to, it does still play a role in your initial revenue velocity. Early in the year is often when many people are starting blogs, so competition is a little higher.
- Time: You may have to wait up to six months (or even a year if you’ve just missed your window)
- Best seasons: Aim to post money-making blogs at the beginning of the month or towards the end of the year, when people have cash.
- Tip: Don’t let seasonality stop or slow you. Prepare and cash in when the season arrives. You can leverage seasonality to fast-track earnings, like launching season-related blogs over Christmas or during the summer.
Tools for Bloggers to Make Money Faster
Every blogger must follow the basic route to kicking off a monetized blog. From picking a good website builder or blogging platform to choosing a hosting service, designing an appealing, working blog, and then creating engaging content, these things take time before a blog starts making money.
Thankfully, the internet has provided us with tools to speed things up. Like dam-building techniques have improved over the years, with better equipment and quick-setting concrete cutting down on construction times, new, innovative resources have emerged online that make blogging fast and efficient.
Bloggers can turn to a multitude of tools, platforms, and resources that make learning how to start a blog fast, easy, and efficient. Here are some of our top recommendations:
Setting Everything Up
- For building your blog website: WordPress, Wix, or Weebly
- For hosting solutions: Bluehost or Hostinger
- For pre-made WordPress themes: Divi
Blogging and Building up Your Content Stockpile
- For faster project management: Notion
- For faster writing: Grammarly
- For blog imagery and design: Canva
Marketing and Promotions
- For sharing your blog with other platforms: Medium
- For social media exposure: Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn
- For freelancing opportunities: Fiverr or Upwork
Monetizing Your Blogging
- For Ads: AdSense, Mediavine or AdThrive
- For Affiliate marketing: Squarespace
- For eCommerce: Shopify or BigCommerce
How to Speed Up Your Blog Income
Once your blog is up and running, has reasonable traffic, is stocked with good content, and is well monetized, you should see at least some revenue coming in – great. But, like a dam with less water going into it than is being extracted, a blog that’s making pennies is going to need some help increasing that revenue flow.
So, like asking residents to cut back on their H2O consumption to help the reservoir recover, bloggers can give their blog the support it needs to increase their blog income.
Here are some tried and tested methods for increasing your blog’s income potential and giving it the momentum it needs to keep earning.
1. Buy an Existing Domain Name
This allows you to purchase a domain from somebody else or to find and re-register an expired one. Existing domains bring with them existing traffic, domain authority, and even valuable backlinks – all perfect for fast-tracking your blog income.
2. Focus on SEO From the Beginning
While we all know about SEO and its importance for your blog’s success, you can always do more. Good SEO boosts search rankings, improves traffic, and speeds up your chances of getting accepted into a premium ad network. This SEO for bloggers guide will tell you everything you need to know.
3. Choose Correct Monetization Method
Choose a monetization method that is proven to earn you money sooner. Some methods are far easier to integrate with your blog, and depending on your niche market, some are more efficient than others.
4. Invest in Your Blog Earlier
Don’t be afraid to invest in tools, partnerships, and collaborations that will help you to increase your earnings velocity. Pay for premium analytics tools, paid ads and spend a little to make a little – faster. Investing in your blog early in the process will lead to a much higher ROI, long term.
5. Think About Passive Income and Evergreen Content
Passive income and evergreen content. These are key to making money that keeps flowing. Passive revenue streams will always provide a safety net, while evergreen content can be the gift that keeps on giving.
Making money blogging is easy. Understanding the answer to how long does it take to make money blogging is another challenge altogether. While many new bloggers dream of striking it rich on day 1, in reality, it can take months, even years, to reach sustainable revenue levels.
Always remember, while earning your first blogging dollar is important, it’s how much and for how long you can grow and sustain your revenue that counts. Be patient, invest in yourself, and with a little hard work and luck, you’ll be on the road to blogging wealth in no time!