How I Make More Money Blogging than My Full-time Job

When I tell people that I’m a blogger, they give me some weird looks. It really depends on whom I’m speaking with, but the looks will vary. Some are intrigued and others think I’m just some lazy guy who plays on his computer all day. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

I know when I first started making money with blogging, even my wife and parents were giving me some looks. How can you make money blogging? How does a blog make money? These were all good questions I had to answer, but as this blog and my other ones grew bigger, the thought of earning a full-time income from them became very real.

Related: Start a blog today. Here’s a free guide to show you every step!

Can You Make Money Blogging?

Debt Roundup is still a toddler (3 years old), but in blogger years, it can be considered an adult. While this blog is not that old, I’ve been blogging for 11 years now. I’ve had blogs about consumer electronics, business, and many other topics. Personal finance was a topic that was very close to my heart. After paying off a lot of debt, I wanted to share my story. I didn’t think about making money from a finance blog, but it happened and happened quickly. This blog and it’s counterparts made money from the first week (only Adsense income). It’s just grown from there as I diversified how I earn money from this site and all my other online ventures.

What most don’t know about me is I also work full time. I work at a SAS company, where I’m on the computer all day sitting at a desk. It’s one of the reasons why I built a standing desk in my home office. Over the past three years, I’ve worked during the day, come home and spen time with my wife and son, then got back to work. I’ve built my blogs up to a good level (always can be better!) and also built a thriving blog management and technical VA business.

UPDATE: I know longer have a full-time job. I quite in November 2015 to pursue my business and blogging. Starting a blog definitely helped me achieve this dream of mine. I’d recommend you check out this quick, 5-step guide to starting a blog, and try it yourself!

The candle has been burning at both ends for sure and I’m working on making a change to leave my job and go full-time at my business and these blogs. I’m excited about this change, but also very nervous. As a planner, it’s hard to grasp going to self-employed. It hurts my brain! Because of this change, I want to help those wondering if a blog can make money and show you how it’s done.

Today, I’m going to show you how I make more money blogging than I do at my full-time job! Yes, I do make money blogging and I make more than what I earn working at a structured, full-time job. It’s not easy, but it’s very rewarding.

Very few people make money online, let alone blogging. I feel blessed to be one who does! Click To Tweet

How I Make More Money Blogging Than My Full-time Job

It’s very possible to earn good money blogging. Just look at people like Pat Flynn at Smart Passive Income or Michelle at Making Sense of Cents. They both make good money blogging and I know them well. Heck, both are people I look up to. They’ve proved you can earn a good living online if you put your mind to it and hustle your butt off.

Working online is not an “easy” career path. There are a lot of moving parts and it takes a lot of work. It’s not a set it and forget it type of proposition! If you think you’re going to start a blog, write one post, and then bring in a ton of cash, you’re sorely mistaken. That’s not how it works.

If you want to earn money blogging and supplant your full-time job, then you need to follow these steps. It can take months or years to do this, but it can be done. You have to be very dedicated and willing to learn. You can’t just set it and forget it. You’re not Ron Popeil!

Get Started with a Blog (Self-hosted)

Obviously if you want to make money blogging, you need to have a blog. There are a lot of options for blogs, but I always recommend WordPress. Since I’ve been on this platform for 11 years, I have experience with it and that’s what my business is built on. I’m a fan of WordPress and will recommend it until the cows come home.

There are two flavors of WordPress. There is the version, which is free, but you get a domain like You can pay a little more and get your own domain there, like that still hosted on

The other site is This is the self-hosted version, which is downloadable and you install it on a web server. With the self-hosted version, you get the ultimate control. You can do what you want, when you want on your blog. You can install any plugin you wish and put any type of advertising on you site. For this reason, I recommend everyone go self-hosted from the start.

In order to do this, you need to purchase a domain and web hosting. These two words might confuse you, but it’s not difficult. If you want to make it easy, you can purchase your domain at your web host, but I choose to go a different route.

I purchase all my domains at either GoDaddy or Namecheap. They are called registrars. After I purchase them, I point them to my web host.

A web host is where your site is actually at. WordPress gets installed on your web host and they control if your site is up or down. The two biggest hosts you will find are Bluehost and Hostgator (sign up with coupon code CJSAVE25 to get 25% off!). If you want to get started with blogging, you can go there, but I actually recommend Siteground. They have excellent support and their prices are very good. They offer large discounts. While these are the biggest and cheapest route, I would recommend also checking out places like BigScoots. These companies have good records and excellent support.

Related: Free Beginner’s Guide to Start a Blog

I could talk about starting a blog all day long, but I already wrote a very detailed guide on how to start a success blog. It’s a step by step guide to help you get set up on a host, installing WordPress, and then finding a template (design) for your site.

Network with Other Bloggers

In order to make money from a blog, you need to get traffic to your site. Always remember, it’s true with blogging as everything else, you can’t build it and they will come. Traffic doesn’t just come after your publish your first post. You have to work hard for traffic. There are millions of blogs out there and probably a lot in any niche you choose.

In order to start getting traffic to your site, you need to network with other blogger. You need to reach out to them on Twitter and Facebook. You need to go to their sites and comment on their posts. You need to make yourself known to the blogging community. You need to follow those bloggers in your niche.

If you blog about personal finance, then you reach out to other personal finance bloggers. Find an applicable group in Facebook and join.

Network, network, and network more.

Blogs only become successful when they build a reputation for themselves. As you reach out to more bloggers, you can start guest posting on their sites and building value. It’s a hard thing to do, but it can be done. I’ve done it with every blog I’ve ever owned.

Monetize Your Site Accordingly

Depending on who you ask, some will say to build up your traffic before you start implementing ads on your site. I’m not in that camp. I put up ads the first day my site is live. Really, the only way you can do this is by setting up a Google Adsense account.

The reason I’m in this camp is because I don’t want to gain a following on the blog that is without ads, then introduce them after I have a loyal following. That’s an easy way to throw them off and keep them from coming back. If they are there when they first stop by, then they can become used to the idea. Most people are numb to ads these days anyway.

When you want to monetize your site, you need to focus first on your niche. If you talk about money, then you need to find advertisers that are focused in the money niche. Investment companies, banking services, credit cards, debt relief, and much more. These companies want to get in front of your audience.

The easiest way to do this is with affiliate advertising. You become an affiliate of a company and they pay you when someone from your site signs up or buys something. It can be a beneficial thing for your readers, you, and the company. This is true if you promote things you believe in or use yourself. You have to build trust with your readers, then provide them with constant value. That’s the only way to earn money!

Related: Check out affiliate networks like CJ and Rakuten Marketing (formally Linkshare) for a lot of possible affiliate advertisers.

Diversify Your Income Sources

One thing you will learn quickly is don’t keep all your eggs in one basket. This is often harped when you talk about retirement planning, but it goes along with blogging as well.

If you have just one blog and you start making money, don’t just sit there and enjoy the cash flow. Always, and I mean ALWAYS, work to diversify your income sources. This should done in two ways.

  1. Diversify Internally – This means if you’re making money on your site, you need to work hard to find ways to make money from different parts of your site. For me, I work hard to make money from affiliate offers, ads, and private advertising. I don’t want to just sit around earning income from just one place. I want to make money from every source on my site. Look for different offers, different ads, and find companies that want to advertise on your site.
  2. Diversify Externally – This is essential. External diversification is all about finding ways outside of your blog to make money. Some (like myself) add others blogs to my portfolio. They can be in the same niche or live outside of that. I also found ways with to earn money by freelance writing and building a thriving business based on what I know from blogging. Freelancing is a great way to earn more money and providing you with much needed diversification.

Always Keep Your Eye Out for Opportunities

When you’re working online, you need to make sure you follow trends and keep your eye out for opportunities to grow your income and your business. Many of these opportunities come from your network, but others can be found just by searching on the social networks. Always keep an open mind and don’t shrug off things you don’t fully understand. Think about partnerships with other bloggers and business owners. See how you can help others grow their sites.

You really never know where you can find opportunities online. They come each and every day in front of you. You might get a ton of emails (like me) about different collaborations and partnerships. Some don’t make sense and others could take time to build. Just be very open minded about the process.

How Much Money Can You Make Blogging?

I get this question each and every week. It’s a very hard question to answer because most people don’t make any money blogging. I think I read something where only 1% – 2% of bloggers make a living doing so. Considering blogs make up so much of the internet, the number making money is very small. WordPress powers around 60 millions sites and Tumblr has 256 million. Those are just two blog platforms.

To make money blogging, you get back what you put in! Click To Tweet

I can’t tell you how much money you will make if/when you start a blog. That’s nearly impossible, but if you follow these directions, work hard, and keep an open mind, you can succeed. Find a niche where your knowledgeable and that has an audience. You can only make money if you have an audience and get that audience to interact with you. That’s the secret sauce!

I know many bloggers who make six figures ($100,000 +) each year. I know others who make seven figures. I make a full-time income from my blog and my business in my spare time. I can live comfortably with my income and when I start working on it full time, I want to blow my income up. That’s the plan anyway.

This article is to show you that you can certainly make money blogging. It shows you how to start, what to do, and how to be successful. While this is not a very detailed post in each and every way to do it, just ask me and I will be happy to provide you with more information.

I will never tell anyone they can quit their job and become a blogger. Based on the numbers, very few will do it. What I will say is surround yourself with those who have done it and live that life every day. Join a mastermind group and use it to your advantage. You can’t succeed by yourself and working by yourself. You have to connect to others doing the same, at any level. It’s incredibly important. You won’t make money on your own. You need help from others.

They main key to success is just taking action. Once your done reading this, go start a blog. Just do it. Find something your passionate in, find a domain, buy hosting, and then start blogging. That’s the only way you can make money blogging!

Your homework today is to start your blog. Do it right now! If you want help, find me over at iMark Interactive. I will even install and setup your WordPress blog for you!


Do you make money blogging? If so, how did you do it?

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  1. Great read! I so want to make money, but am very new to blogging. I would love some advice! If I have a but switch to a, what happens to my current material, all links out there with my followers, etc? Should I just stay I will definitely study and see how I can improve my site. Thank you in advance!

    1. Hello Neville,

      Moving from to .org is my specialty. It doesn’t take too much work and all your material comes with you (minus the theme). After that’s done, we just have to do the proper redirects to get readers to the new domain. You can bring your followers with you inside Jetpack. Do you have a domain on or is your site just

  2. I am trying to diversify my income sources majorly right now. Too much of my blog income comes from freelance writing and not enough comes from affiliates. That’s this month’s project… 🙂

  3. Diversifying income sources is HUGE. There are so many directions you can go! I know we’ve discussed that my blog isn’t a huge revenue generator, but the platform it’s given me has diversified my income streams such that I have been able to triple my income in the last year alone.

  4. Hi Grayson – I get the same weird looks from people when I tell them I’m a blogger. It’s like blogging is off their radar screens, and the mention of it doesn’t compute.

    I’ll bet your employer would just LOVE reading that you make more money blogging than you do on their payroll. Are you ever worried about them finding out?

    A lot of employers don’t like it when their employees have “options” outside the job. Dependence makes for more loyal employees.

  5. A great primer Grayson, and I to now get some interesting looks when I tell people I ‘write’ for a living from home. I can’t wait to start telling people I blog for a living see the looks as well!

    Your always full of great information, thanks for sharing.

  6. Telling people I work online/ from home, I get strange looks. Majority think I do nothing and its the easiest job in the world. Unfortunately it is not and that is on top of my full-time position that is 7-6 everyday. Blogging and running websites is not easy and is time consuming. Yes money can be made but one cannot do it for the money. They have to have the deeper why.

    Best of luck Grayson on making the transition.

    1. You’re right there. You can’t just jump in for the money, but money can be made in almost any niche. You just have to know how to get it from your readers.

  7. I’m a relative newbie to serious blogging. By serious, I mean with the intention of making a living from my blog(s) and generally writing online. If I’d known it was such a steep learning curve, I’d have started a long time ago!

    I think I’m getting there but it’s a process and skipping ahead seems to be more about luck than hard work. So, I’ll keep plodding along… It’s fun though, and satisfying, to learn and share and learn some more.

    My only regret is not starting years ago. A perfect illustration of that saying about the best time to plant a tree. Oh well, you live and you learn! 🙂

    1. Getting ahead in blogging is both luck and hard work. You don’t find the luck without looking for it. You don’t look for it without determination. Blogging takes time, dedication, and skill. Not everyone can make money from it. More people fail at blogging than those who make money.

  8. Great article Mr Bell!
    I too am fairly new to blogging and have yet to earn much. Of course I created my blog to help others with their own finances but it sure would be nice to recoup some of the cash needed to run the blog. I understand it takes time and knowledge to get there and for sure it’s not an easy way to earn a living.

    1. It’s not an easy way to earn a living, but that’s why most bloggers branch out into freelance services and other aspects the blog provides.

  9. What an awesome read, I am currently in the planning stage of starting my blog and this article is one I will save and come back to over and over again to get the information. I also listen/read everything Pat Flynn puts out on passive income and though I’m starting a blog soon my main goal is to,as you spoke about, diversify and create many online income sources.

    Thanks for the great article,

    1. Thanks Tyler! Best of luck with the blog and if you need anything, let me know. That’s what my business is (helping other bloggers get started), so I’m happy to assist. Pat Flynn is awesome and even better in person. He is a wealth of information and works hard to diversify his income.

  10. Thanks for the info! I am a new blogger – just a month in right now. The dream is to eventually be able to do it full time, but that is a long way off. I know it will be a lot of work, but I’m committed to seeing it succeed. I hope to be able to monetize soon!

    1. Congrats on starting. If you ever need any help or a blog coach, let me know. This is what I do for a living for many people over on My recommendation would be to start monetizing now. It’s always better to start before you get a lot of visitors. That way, they are used to the ads/monetization right from the start. You can easily start with Google Adsense or ads just as a way to get in the door. Then you can focus on affiliate, sponsored posts, brand ambassador work.

  11. Hmmm… Nice write-up.

    I’m a Nigerian. I’ve come across several posts about blogging. I’m dead interested. I want to ask, will my current location be a limitation on making money from blogging?

    My current niche is electrical/electronics articles/projects. Will I achieve good success with this niche?

    Pls reply asap!
    Thanks a million.

    Barry Ovb

    1. You can make money from any location. Blogging is location independent and you can earn money blogging about electronics. I used to do it years ago.

  12. This is indeed terrible. It seems like my post/question was moderated and did not get approval. I’m off this track. Looking elsewhere. Yop I am…

    1. You just need to be patient. We get hundreds of comments a day (mostly spam), so it takes time to filter through to get the real things. Your comment was approved and replied to. It’s only been one day!