How Long Does It Take to Make Money From Blogging? – An Affiliate’s Confession

On at least one occasion throughout your affiliate career, you will be asking yourself this very question:

“How long does it take to make money from blogging?”

Don’t worry, though. You’re far from alone.

I’ve asked myself this very question several times. When I first started out, I was curious and wanted to know what to expect to get out of my business.

And when I still hadn’t seen any income after my first 8 months of blogging I asked it again. “How long does it take?!”

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My answer is probably not what you’ll want to hear, but it’s the most honest one I can give you.

So, short answer? It depends.

In fact, it depends on a lot of things. Some of which you can control, and some of which you can’t.

I’ve seen people make money within 3 months of starting up a brand new blog, whilst others have had to wait a whole 2 years before seeing even the slightest revenue.

There are plenty of factors that come into play when it comes to earning that first dollar. Below I’ve listed some of the more important pieces of the “make money puzzle”. If you haven’t yet been able to make money with your blog, then perhaps you’re just missing one of these important ingredients.

So pour yourself a cup of coffee and have yourself a quick read-through to determine whether there’s anything you can do to increase your chances of seeing some green!


Do You Provide REAL Value?

Your audience most likely come to your blog because they think you can solve a specific problem they’re having. You simply need to give them what they want.

If somebody comes to your blog looking to learn how to brew coffee, you need to teach them exactly that. What is the process? Can it be done with just about any kind of bean? Which equipment work the best? How long does it take to master?

The more information you can provide around the process of brewing coffee, the better experience you’ll be giving your readers. People love to feel smart, so help them feel that way and educate them as much as you possibly can.

In the end, this is what makes your blog great – the ability to help people. If you can do that the money will eventually follow.


Do You Keep Comparing Yourself To Others?

Scale with apples on one side and oranges on the other
Comparing yourself to others is like comparing apples to oranges.

I often find myself comparing my blog to my mentor’s, and in some cases this can be a good thing. For example, in order to find inspiration for your own blog, you can definitely have a sneak peak at others to see what they’re doing.

However, when you start comparing your own successes to your competitors’… that’s when it becomes a problem!

Sure, your blog might not be as beautiful, lucrative or popular as the ones that always seem to keep popping up in Google – no matter what keyword you search for in your niche. However, what you may be forgetting is that most of these big bloggers have been small fish once.

Also, a well established blog may have a team of writers working on getting content published while you’re completely alone on yours. Naturally this will produce bigger results. You can’t expect yourself to beat a team on your own.

However, you can and should expect to beat yourself. Focus on being better than yourself, not others. If you earn $500 this year, set goals to double that next year. Did you publish 12 posts this month? Post 15 the next!

Do you see where I’m going with this? Focus on your own business, not others’.


Are You Blogging For Long Term Success?

This actually goes hand-in-hand with the previous point of not comparing yourself to others.

Why are you blogging? Are you doing it to make a quick buck? I’m sorry, but then running a blog might not be the best thing for you.

On the other hand, are you doing it to help people and ensure that your content keep earning you steady commissions even years after being created? Good! Then you’re definitely doing it for the right reasons.

Blogging is a long-term investment of your time and effort. It’s definitely worth it (the rewards can be insane), but if your mindset is to turn a profit overnight you’ll most likely set yourself up for disappointment.

In fact, to just start seeing organic visitors drop in from Google could take months, and earning the first dollar may take even longer.

But you need to remember why you are blogging.

Are you doing it to make some quick cash tomorrow? Or are you doing it to be able to live your dream life… for the rest of your life?


Are You Targeting A Competitive Niche?

Generally, the more competitive niche you’re in the longer it’ll take for you to see any results. However, the reason why a niche is competitive is usually because it’s profitable, so the wait may very well be worth it in the end.

The trick with these niches is to narrow down your targeting and steer away from the main keywords (because these are super-hard to rank for). Instead you’d want to dig into less popular keywords and find a sub-niche where you can actually establish yourself as an authority.

Kittens playing
A competitive niche is usually harder to tackle, but comes with greater rewards!

Some of the more competitive niches include:

  • Make money online
  • Weight loss
  • Dating
  • Loans
  • Personal injury lawyers

Personally, I recommend that you start out with a less competitive niche to increase your chances of succeeding. However, if your blog is already up and running in a competitive niche, try finding your way into it by coming at it from alternative angles.


Do You Publish Regularly?

Keeping a predictable posting schedule is important not only for your search engine rankings, but also to ensure that previous readers come back to your blog. If your readers know when new content will get published, chances that they’ll return to read it will greatly improve.

By keeping a regular posting schedule you’re also continuously growing the content on your blog, and depending on how well you stick to it you can predict how many posts your blog will contain at the end of the year. Thanks to this, you can set up a long-term goal to really hold yourself accountable and “force” yourself to keep writing, even during your down-days.


Are You Connecting With Your Readers?

So you spell check your article one last time, press the “Publish” button and you get a message that your post has been published.

Now what? Do you just move on to writing your next article? If yes, then you’re missing out on a lot of potential traffic.

You need to tell people about your new post! Let them know that there’s a really awesome piece of content out there for them to read.

Wall of social media icons
Make sure your content reaches more people with social media!

There are so many different channels you can utilize in order to get traffic right after posting. These are just some of them:

  • Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest)
  • Niche relevant forums
  • E-mail
  • Video (YouTube, TikTok)
  • Podcasting
  • Paid ads (PPC, PPV, Social, Classifieds)

I’d recommend that you start building a social following to promote your content to. Focus on two different networks and start connecting with your followers. Communicate with them and show them that there’s actually a real living person writing all that content on your blog.


Is Your SEO On Point?

Search engine traffic can be one of the most laser-targeted traffic your blog will ever get – if it’s done right.

In order to get traffic from search engines you need to target keywords that people actually look for. Keyword research is extremely important when figuring out your traffic strategy.

However, a blog with traffic is nothing unless that traffic converts. So you need to make sure that you’re building your content around buyer keywords (keywords with a buyer’s intent).

As an example, let’s say you run a blog about cellphones. These are some of the buyer keywords you could target:

  • Best iPhone for small businesses
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 review
  • Samsung S10 vs Apple iPhone XS review
  • Cheapest cellphones in Kansas
  • Cellphone chargers with free shipping

Even though I haven’t really checked the data for these keywords, they demonstrate what some buyer keywords might look like. These target people who are very near the buying stage in the buying process.

Finally, make sure that your both on-page and off-page SEO is up to date. (See The SEO Checklist)


Do You Monetize Correctly?

Different niches require different kinds of monetizing methods.

For example, narrow niche sites can be perfect candidates for very specific affiliate programs. On the flip-side, blogs that target a very broad audience may be better suited for utilizing ad display networks.

However, making assumptions about how your methods will perform is quite dangerous. It all boils down to testing what works and generates you the most revenue. Never rule something out before you’ve tested it out; it could very well end up being your most lucrative source of income.

Puzzle with dollar image
Are you using the right monetizing methods?

These are just some of the methods you could try:

  • Affiliate programs
  • Ad display networks
  • E-mail list
  • Sponsorship
  • Sell your own products or services (usually extremely lucrative)


Final Reflections – Are You Honestly Doing Your Best?

We humans have a tendency to take the easiest path available; the path of least resistance. It’s in our nature.

It often leads to us doing what’s fun rather than what’s necessary, and in the end it’s our results that suffer the consequences.

Running a blog is not an easy task because it requires perseverance and patience. The rewards are there for you to grab, but you may have to cross a bumpy road before you’re able to reach them.

You will encounter obstacles that test your patience. How you handle them directly defines how successful you’ll be. You can either go around them and divert from your path (give up)….

… or you’ll put your head down and charge through to overcome the obstacles standing in your way.

Finger Pointing at You
How quickly you find success depends a lot on you!

Ultimately, how willing you are to persevere with doing the right things is what leads to you making money with your blog. The more work you put into it, the quicker you’ll see those sweet commissions!

How do you tackle obstacles that you run into? Got any tips you’re willing to share? Please leave a comment and let me know!

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