If you had told me five years ago that I’d be a travel blogger, I would have thought you were a bit nuts.
But when my sister called me to ask if I wanted to partner with her on a travel site about tourist towns in the Smoky Mountains where we grew up, I said, “Sure, why not?”
How long until a blog is profitable?
The short answer is, it depends! But with dedication and commitment, many bloggers will see some form of income within about six months to one year. For others, it could take over a year.
In fact, I recently polled a Facebook group of bloggers and asked how long it took them to monetize their first blog. Here are the results:
- Less than one month: 3%
- 2-3 months: 6%
- 3-6 months: 22%
- 6-12 months: 29%
- More than one year: 40%
I think how much time you put into it can also affect how fast you see results.
Overall, I can tell you that making money from a blog is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time and commitment to make it successful.
Anecdotally, I soft-launched a regional travel blog in the fall of 2019 with two other business partners. We ramped up our blog’s content in April 2020, and the next month, it made its very first $6.
I remember my team and I practically jumping up and down because of that $6. That first little trickle of income meant that we had a viable way to make money. From there, we just had to grow.
And it did. Two years later, that blog earned $250,000 in a year. Interested in starting a blog? Here’s how to start one in 7 easy-to-follow steps:
1. Choose a blog niche
If you haven’t already, you’ll want to choose a niche. Many people choose to write about hobbies or interests they already have.
And overall, that’s a good strategy. It’s best to write about what you know.
But before you go much further, you want to make sure that a blog in that niche can make sense or be profitable, assuming that is your goal.
You do that with tools like SEMRush. SEMRush has a monthly plan that starts at $129.95 per month, but they also have a free version that will let you poke around a little.
Use the “Keyword Overview” tool to type in words related to your niche and make sure your niche is getting monthly traffic.
Also, look at the “Domain Overview” tool and look up blogs that are in your niche of interest and are currently ranking for those terms. How much traffic are those blogs receiving?
If they are getting traffic, then odds are, so can you.
2. Buy a domain name and hosting plan
Once you have decided on your niche, it’s time to purchase a domain name and a host.
A guide to web hosting could be its very own article, but I’ll keep this section brief and just say that I usually look for domain names on GoDaddy and recommend BigScoots for hosting. Be sure to check out this article for more information on hosting.
3. Build a website in WordPress
WordPress is considered the industry standard in the blogging world.
There are also several easy tutorials on YouTube. Overall, you want to pick a lightweight, simple and fast theme.
4. Start writing high-quality content
Now that you have the groundwork, it’s time for the fun part – writing content!
The blog content should be related to your niche and based on information you’ve gathered from keyword research tools like SEMRush. You want to start by targeting keywords that will be easy to rank for or have a low keyword difficulty rating.
Rank IQ is another great tool, especially for beginners. It can help give you data-based knowledge on how easy or difficult it can be for your blog posts to rank for certain keywords along with optimizer tools.
Alternatively, LowFruits.io ($.0125/credit) can be another great option for beginners.
This strategy focuses on search engine optimization (or SEO), which is a long-term strategy that will be vital to your blogging success.
5. Start or grow your social media presence
After you have a few articles written, you can start looking at your social media presence.
Depending on your niche, you may want to make an Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or maybe even a YouTube channel to help promote and drive traffic to your blog.
In my experience, Facebook and Pinterest are the main platforms that bloggers use. However, the best tool for you may depend on your niche.
Also, on your website, make sure you have a place where people can sign up for a newsletter as well so you can start to grow an email list.
6. Explore monetization methods
After you start to see blog traffic form on your website, you can start thinking about monetization.
Also, as you enter this step, it’s important to remember to keep writing content. Write as much content as you possibly can. Before you can effectively monetize your website, you need page views. And page views mean lots of content.
First, you can start applying to affiliate programs. Different programs may have different requirements, but note that some (like Amazon Associates) can remove you from the program if you aren’t getting any sales. That is why it’s important to wait until you have some traffic before you apply for a program.
And once you grow a little more, you can start applying to ad networks. Raptive and Mediavine are the big players in this category, and they traditionally have the highest RPMs in the industry.
So what is an RPM? It stands for “revenue per mille”, Latin for thousand. It is the amount of money you will make per 1,000 page views on your site.
You will need 50,000 sessions per month to be considered for Mediavine and 100,000 to be considered for Raptive.
In the meantime, you can apply for an ad program like Google Adsense, which does not have such high requirements. However, they will have lower RPMs.
7. Focus on growth
Keep focusing on content to grow your blog. The more you write, the better. Start tracking your progress. Which articles are ranking for you? What can you be doing that will drive more traffic to your site?
Also, are there other ways to bring in more money to your site?
For example, you can also grow your monthly blog income by selling ebooks, digital downloads, products or online courses. The answer for growth may depend on your unique niche.
How often do you need to blog to make money?
Again, it depends. But if you want your blog to produce a full-time income, you want to treat it like a full-time job. Essentially, that means blogging nearly every day.
The more you put into it, the more you will get out of it.
That being said, you could probably manage a small blog and work on it about once or twice a week. Some progress is better than nothing, but it would likely take you longer to see traction from it.
Some people consider blogging to be passive income, and I think that it “kind of” can be.
For example, I might spend five hours working on my blog one day and zero hours on it the next. It will likely make about the same amount of money on both days.
But you have to think of it like tending to a garden. It will take upkeep and maintenance to keep it growing and healthy. Therefore, I consider blog work to be a semi-passive income stream.
How long does it take to make $500 per month blogging?
It will likely take at least 3-6 months to earn your first $500 blogging, but there are many factors that play into this.
But let’s say you are on an ad network (probably Adsense) with an average RPM of about $10. You would need about 1,600 page views per day to make $500 per month, not including any affiliate income.
Most of the start-up time will be spent trying to build traffic, which can take several months. So the real question is, how long will it take you to see about 1,600 page views per day, and how many articles do you need to get there?
Can you make $1,000 a month blogging?
Absolutely! In fact, during one of our best months, our single regional travel blog made more than $30,000 in one month on ad revenue alone.
But your earnings will be dependent on many factors – the main factor being the amount of traffic you’re getting.
While our blog makes most of its money from ad revenue, I’ve talked to other bloggers who primarily focus on affiliate marketing, and those bloggers can also do quite well. But put simply, yes, it’s very possible to earn $1,000 and much more as a blogger.
Do beginner blogs make money?
A new blog that is not getting any traffic is probably not making any money. New bloggers will need patience and time to build up enough web traffic to see a steady income stream.
Can I earn from blogging in 1 month?
Anything is possible, but it likely takes longer than one month to create a profitable blog. Honestly, one month would feel ambitious for even a seasoned blogger.
Beginners will likely need more time for a blog to make money, so patience and consistency are key.
How much money is 1,000 views on a blog?
It depends. Your RPMs will vary depending on your advertising platform. On average, 1,000 views on a blog can translate to about $5-$10 on the lower end or about $50 or more on the higher end.
Factors like page duration, tax quarter and content type also affect your RPM.
Have you started a blog? How long did it take you to monetize it? Tell me about your experience in the comments.
And don’t forget to connect with us on social media.