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How Long Does it Take to Make Money Blogging in 2021?

13 Mins read

Featured image courtesy of Unsplash.

If you’ve built a niche website – or you’re thinking about launching one soon – then you’re probably pretty focused on making a profit, as you should be! Blogging is an exciting and interesting endeavor for anyone to take on, and monetisation is a goal that most site owners have.

If you’re wondering how long it takes to make money from blogging, then take it from us. We’ve been there! After only two years of running a niche website, we’ve seen growth go from $0 to $217,522! So, suffice to say, we’re pretty passionate about monetisation.

This guide will answer the question, “How long does it take to make money blogging?” We’ll look at our own journey and more about what you can expect when starting to earn an income from blogging!

Our Blogging Results


Image via Unsplash.

Following a website valuation taking place two years after the start of our niche website, we received an incredible number: $217,522. This number was thrilling! It’s really validating to see such a big number after years of hard work and dedication. But it wasn’t an easy journey!

The process of building a niche website worth six figures began with initial investments and early targets. Our starting goal was to earn £500 per month through affiliate sales.

Starting a website can be expensive, and sometimes it takes a long time to earn back your original investment. To ensure that this was not a waste of money or time, we settled on £1000 as a number that we would be comfortable losing. After all, site ownership is a risk! Fortunately, for us, it paid off.

The next year was filled with finding high-quality content writers to supply content for the website, plenty of SEO research, and consistent site updates. Oh, and a brief hiatus! That’s right – nearly six months of the first year of the niche website was spent sitting back and forgetting about the site after instant gratification wasn’t reached. Though, after our first Amazon Affiliates payments, we decided to hop back on the train and shoot for that £500 per month goal once again.

Keyword targeting, building a content production system, and building a stronger team were the steps that followed. Now that the website was beginning to generate revenue, adding multiple streams felt like the natural next step. Monetisation routes now included affiliate links and advertisement revenue, boosting the potential for the site to make money.

Eager to learn the full story of how we built a niche website worth such a significant amount? You can read our full guide here.

Some people would be eager to sell their website when they see what a great valuation they get. But not us. Ultimately, it came down to a question of whether selling was worth it or not. Based on our incredible increase in worth over just two years, we decided to keep pushing forward and see what we can bring it to in the future.

Now that we’re on track to continue boosting revenue, it’s become important to keep up-to-date with all of the important numbers. This includes overviews of all income streams, which needs to include detailed information on everything from what pages traffic is coming from to what days we make (or lose) money.

Want to get the Amazon Associates Report that we use for this all-important data? Click here for more information!

How Long Does It Take To Make Money Blogging?


So, how long does it take to make money blogging? Our niche website took two years to start making money that we were happy with. But not everybody will have the same experience!

The amount of time it takes to start making money blogging will depend on various factors. This includes initial financial investments, the time dedicated to your website, the niche that you’re working in, and what sources of monetisation you’re looking at.

A hard truth about learning how to make money from blogging is that it can take quite some time. In fact, you’ll probably spend a number of months losing money before you can make it back. That’s why it’s important to look at creating a niche website as an investment, and know before you start just how much time you’ll have to put into things.

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Plenty of self-reports from bloggers have noted that it takes at least six months to start seeing money come from your website. This is pretty well aligned with our reports, too. It was after that first six months that we saw income coming from affiliate links.

Six months is a pretty common amount of time to see some return on your investments. But that doesn’t mean that you should quit your day job once you hit that marker. If you’re looking to make a full-time income from your blog, then you’re looking at closer to 18 months to 2 years of maintaining your site before things start looking really good!

One of the important reasons for this significant length of time relates back to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), which is one of the most important factors when it comes to creating a successful blog. You can find the most competitive keywords and create content with 100% SEO scores in a tool like Surfer SEO, but time is your enemy when you’re just starting out.

It can take up to a year for your SEO efforts to pay off. All of the complicated factors that come into play when calculating your potential to reach the #1 page of Google are somewhat related to the age of your website. Google will choose pages that are more trustworthy, and a 2-week old website is anything but.

Some writers refer to this as the “Google Sandbox.” This is an experience that new websites face, as Google essentially puts each new site on “probation.” While there is no official confirmation that Google holds new websites back, plenty of masters of SEO have confirmed that there is some truth to this unfortunate setback.

So, why the sandbox? As we mentioned, Google wants to feature pages that are trustworthy. With thousands of new websites popping up around the net every single day, it’s tough to determine which ones are of the highest quality. When it comes to Google, only time will tell.

Your niche will also be an important indicator when you’re looking to boost your SEO. If you’re entering an oversaturated niche, you’ll have a harder and longer process climbing to the top. But if you’re settling into a niche that has fewer competitors (but still a big need for information), then this process will be faster.

Now, how does the investment of time and money play into everything? You can create an amazing website for almost no money, but cash investments are still likely to pay off faster. Money means more access to incredible themes, valuable SEO tools, and better content from hiring contractors.

For example, consider TheHoth. This is one of our favourite blogging services, as it provides you with high-quality and insightful SEO and content creation. They offer full managed services and content creation. While their prices may sound steep to the beginner blogger, using this service is a surefire way to accelerate your earning potential.

Does TheHoth sound like something that might be worth your while? Click here to learn more!

Image courtesy of The Hoth.

Having more time to work on your website is also beneficial. The site owner who spends 20 hours a week working on their website will see a faster payoff than the person spending 2 hours per week – or the person who just works on it when they find some spare time here and there.

The first few months are going to be the hardest part when it comes to making money. But the good news? It’s (almost) all uphill from there! Once you begin to see an influx in traffic, it’s easier to make money. In addition to having more faithful visitors and more SEO potential, you’ll also be a more confident content creator!

Just as important, you will have the data to see what’s working for your followers (and what isn’t).

Making More Money from Your Blog


Well, now you know that there is money to be made within a timeframe that might just work for you! If you’re willing to wait the year or two that it takes to earn some serious affiliate commissions and ad revenue, then it’s important that you put the work in.

We’re going to highlight all of the best ways that you can make money from your blog to make sure that you don’t spend the next two years wasting your time.

Affiliate Marketing

how long does it take to make money blogging
Image courtesy of Amazon.

Affiliate marketing is one of the most common forms of blog monetisation out there, and that’s because it works.

Have you ever scrolled through a blog while reading a yummy-tasting cookie recipe and noticed that your favourite blogger continues to praise a specific baking sheet? Surely it can’t be that amazing, can it? Maybe you were so encouraged by her rave reviews to give it a shot, and it met your expectations (and then some.)

Odds are, that same food blogger earned a few dollars when you followed her link to the site that sold those baking sheets. And that, in a nutshell, is affiliate marketing!

Explained more thoroughly, affiliate marketing is when a content creator, or “affiliate,” earns commissions by marketing somebody else’s products. The baking sheet probably wasn’t the blogger’s product in the example above – rather, the writer was the affiliate pointing readers to make a purchase. And that money that you spent buying a product she promoted earns her a commission!

Affiliate marketing can sound like a slow process. After all, if the writer only got $1 for every baking sheet that somebody bought, it would take ages to earn a livable wage! Fortunately, the reality is a bit better than this.

Website owners and bloggers will typically be a part of an affiliate marketplace or program where they can pull products from a massive database. From there, they can include as many links per post as they’d like (as long as it’s not upsetting Google or your readers, of course!). At any given time, there could be hundreds of active affiliate links throughout all of their blog posts, emails, and social posts!

While that food blogger may have sold you a single baking sheet, you are but a single cog in their monetisation machine. She may have sold 50 baking sheets from that post alone, and a dozen more through Instagram posts. Additionally, all 100 of her last blog posts may have had a similar product or promotion to share, multiplying her revenue by a ton. And while she may have only made $1 from a baking sheet, her next post might feature a $500 kitchenware set that is used as an affiliate link. With an average commission rate of between 5% and 30%, she could make up to $15,000 if only 100 people bought from her link!

Plenty of bloggers have reported earning a modest income from affiliate marketing. One study found that the majority of bloggers earned up to 20% of their annual revenue through this stream!

We have gone into much more detail on affiliate marketing in our step by step affiliate marketing guide. But to summarise, here are some of our best tips for affiliate marketing success:

  • Write content in a niche that is filled with potential products to sell.
  • Push your site traffic to pages with valuable affiliate links.
  • Don’t over-link. If your readers think all you want is to push products for a commission, they won’t trust you.
  • Have a combination of low and high-cost affiliate products.
  • Continue to do SEO research on your posts and products.
  • Do competitor research.

There are so many products out there that can be seamlessly woven into your blog posts. This is certainly a method of monetisation that we think is worth your time.

Image via Google AdSense.

Earning money through advertisement revenue is one of the most obvious forms of monetisation that there is. We have all been bombarded with advertisements when visiting a website or while scrolling through social media, so it seems like a no-brainer that integrating it on your website could at least make you some money.

When you utilise advertisement revenue as a form of monetisation, you are accepting advertisements on your website in exchange for money. Companies will pay you directly to feature their advertisements. Of course, it’s important to note that you won’t get paid just for featuring a few ads. People need to click on them first!

Most ad revenue platforms, like Google AdSense, will pay you based on how many clicks you are getting. Commission rates will depend on where you are sourcing your advertisements from, and this can range from pennies to dollars per click.

One of the biggest draws to advertisement revenue is that it can easily become passive earnings. There are a few time-consuming activities to consider when you begin hosting advertisements on your site, but once you’re settled in, you can sit back and watch the commissions flow in.

The trick to best utilising this method of monetisation is to ensure that your ads are not overbearing. So many site visitors use AdBlock software that prevents them from even seeing ads. And if you have dozens of ads per page, there’s a great chance they won’t be willing to turn off their ad blocker.

Websites like Ezoic exist to help you ensure that your advertisers are hitting your visitors in the right way. They also help you analyse the trends going on with your revenue streams, including affiliate marketing. So, if you want to make money without making your site look like a Times Square billboard, then Ezoic is a great option for you. You can learn more and decide if it’ll help you out on your journey here.

Sponsorships

Sponsorships and sponsored content is another form of advertising on your website. Rather than throwing up links to a product that you may have never tried, sponsorships give you the best of both worlds: products or experiences to try and money for doing it publicly!

Have you ever wondered why athletes will cover their gear in stickers for brands? Consider the average competitive car racer. Their cars are often filled with advertisements for different brands, including everything from candy to software. That is because companies sponsor these racers to promote their content.

Image via Unsplash.

When it comes to blogging, sponsored content usually looks a little different. And depending on the niche, the forms of sponsorship can differ wildly.

Remember our example of the food blogger who sold you a baking sheet through affiliate marketing? If the post had been sponsored, rather than a part of affiliate marketing, the company selling the baking sheet may have sent her money to post about it. And while affiliate links are sometimes just links, sponsored content tends to go a little more in-depth.

Here are a few more examples of ways that bloggers could use sponsored content in their posts:

  • A travel blogger gets sponsored by a hotel company to stay in their hotel chain while travelling. The blogger will be sure to include reviews or mentions of the hotel in each related post.
  • A fashion blogger gets sponsored by a designer to wear their designs to fashion week events, posting photos of it to their blog and social media.
  • A food blogger gets sponsored by a kitchenware company to include at least one mention of their products in all of their future posts.

Some sponsorships span one post, while others may last for months. This will depend on the sponsor and the niche.

This sounds pretty great, right? Free stuff, free experiences, and some money, too! While it might sound too-good-to-be-true, this method of revenue isn’t as uncommon as you might think.

Companies recognize the importance of online marketing. This can often come in the form of social media influencers, vloggers, and bloggers like you! Companies often even have money invested solely for this purpose.

The best way to find someone to sponsor you is to ask. You won’t need a massive amount of followers and daily viewers, but you will need high engagement. If you have followers who comment on your posts, share them with their friends, and have proven that they trust your instinct, sellers will be more inclined to work with you.

Reach out to potential sponsors by proving to them why they should invest in you. Explain your ideas for posts (the more creative and original, the better) and explain why your engagement is right for your brand.

Another way to seek out sponsors is to look at which brands are sponsoring similar content. You don’t want to copy another blog and reach out to everyone who has ever sponsored them, but you will be able to get the names of companies who you know are willing to sponsor people in your niche!

Watch the video below to see more proven methods of engaging with sponsors.

Embrace Other Forms of Media

You might have started blogging because you love writing. Or perhaps you just wanted to make money. No matter what the reason, it’s important to remember that you can branch out from blogging.

With so many different forms of media consumption, creators have learned just how many routes to money there are!

It’s not uncommon to see bloggers branch out into YouTube channels, podcasts, and social media platforms to increase their earning potential.

The best part? The content doesn’t have to be so different!

Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of the previously mentioned food blogger. She is already making money through affiliate links and ad revenue on her blog. But imagine that she has the following…

  • A YouTube channel where she posts how-to cooking videos.
  • A podcast where she invites her foodie friends on the show to review local restaurants.
  • An Instagram where she posts beautiful photos of her food.

Think of all the earning potential!

YouTube will pay creators to post videos. All you need to do is allow advertisements to be shown throughout your video, or for ads to be placed beside your video. This is similar to the ads placed on your website.

Podcasts are a booming form of media. Podcasters can earn money by including sponsored clips throughout their video, or be paid by the hosting service. Places like Spotify will pay the poster for every stream of their show, which can add up over time.

Finally, social media like Instagram is a great place to find new forms of sponsorship. This will also boost your user engagement, bringing visitors to your blog and increasing your views on all platforms that you use.

How Long Does it Take to Make Money Blogging? Wrapping Up The Answers To All Your Questions


You want a profitable blog. We get it, so did we! While some people may say that blogging is dead or there is no money to be found in it these days, we think they’re wrong!

But how long does it take to make money blogging? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. You could make $5 tomorrow and then go six months without making anything. Or you could be patient, grow your website, and make $10,000 in one month after a year or two of hard work.

The keys to ensuring that you’re making the most out of your money-making blog are research, patience, dedication, and exploration. To summarise the question of how long does it take to make money blogging, you’ll want to remember the following:

  • It can take well over a year to start succeeding, but once you do, you might have just opened the floodgates!
  • Don’t give up if things go slow. SEO makes it tough to earn money at the start, but patience pays off.
  • Continue to research your competition and ensure that you’re staying at the top of your game.
  • Maximise your earning potential by exploring various routes of monetisation, from affiliate marketing to sponsorships.

We’re confident that with the right amount of perseverance, you’ll be able to say you’re making money with blogging in no time!

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