How Bloggers Make Money (And the secrets they don’t want you to know!)

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So you’ve been wondering how bloggers make money eh?  In this post, I’ll show you two secrets about how bloggers are making money that they don’t want you to know, and we’ll cover the traditional ways most bloggers earn their income at the end.

2 Ways Bloggers Are Making Money With Their Blogs That They Don’t Want You To Know!

There are a couple sneaky little ways some bloggers are making cash off of unsuspecting newbies that just aren’t right.  This might be a little bit of a rant, but I pride myself on good tutorials, helping people, earning extra income from my work in an ethical way, and overall improving the internet/blogging world with positive impact and helpful tutorials.

Others, not so much…

The First Way Bloggers Are Taking Advantage Of Newbies To Make Money

It’s fairly simple really, they prey on people who won’t take the time to follow through.  Now I know what you’re thinking…. “Matt, you can’t be responsible for people NOT taking action.”  While I would agree with you, purposely setting them up for failure, or knowing they won’t be able to follow along in some eBook a blogger created, but touts it as the best thing since sliced bread and how it’s going to solve all your problems… Well, that just doesn’t jive with me.

Many blogs have incomplete tutorials or a couple little screenshots that supposedly show you how to start a blog for example, but in reality these are bare-bones and just good for dropping their affiliate cookies. (meaning, many people create half-assed tutorials in order to make affiliate commissions when you sign up for products and services they use in the guides.  What they don’t tell you, is by not having step by step processes for you to follow, you’re going to get frustrated along the way and quit, simply because it’ll take hours for you to figure out the next steps since it’s not comprehensive all the way to the end.)  Seeing this for years has driven me to make COMPLETE tutorials for many different needs, which I hope will be more helpful than anything else out there.  (side note- if you’d like to see a tutorial on something specific, let me know in the comments or the QOTW page and I’ll make it next week!)

Disclaimer – Keep in mind, I’m by no means holier than thou by any means.  I make affiliate commissions too when you sign up for things I use and recommend, but I try to save you guys money by publishing my discount codes or attaching the coupon link code to my affiliate urls.  Not to mention, you’ll never be left high and dry from any of my tutorials!  I have step by steps for everything, that are easy enough to follow that I send my friends and family to them to use.  (that’s why I like to do videos for everything… you can just pause any tutorial, follow the steps yourself in another tab, and resume at your own pave… all the way to the end.)

My biggest gripe here is in the “start a blog” part of the industry.  Bloggers make a lot of money by showing people how to setup their own blog, but what they don’t show you is how you’ll be left with a vanilla default WordPress installation at the end of the “5 minute wordpress setup” tutorial.  This irks me to no end because when I got started online 8 years ago, I wanted to throw my computer out the window following some of this bullshit advice… seriously, it was very very frustrating to see someone’s awesome looking website, thinking mine would look like that too when I got done with their tutorial.  Google how to start a blog and take a look at some of the screenshot tutorials you’ll find, and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about!  Totally unprofessional looking blogs unless you learn the next steps following where most of these guides leave off!

“Make Passive Income From Your Blog Just Like Me! Buy My Stuff”! – How Bloggers Make Money By Making It Seem Effortless

That sub head is a little tongue in cheek btw 😉   I’m making fun of the people who only make money from their blogs by telling you how to make money from your blog.  (cough John Chow cough)  Some even lack desire or creativity to create a unique voice, platform, and message that will actually help people.

Another variation of this would be, saying one thing, but doing another is a classic scenario.  A good example of this is telling you how easy it is to make money online and live this passive income lifestyle like they do, but then they secretly work 80 hours a week on their own blogs.

Now, nothing wrong with working hard to build up your business and empire, but don’t sit there and tell everyone else looking for advice on how to get started that it takes a different amount of effort than what you put in.

That doesn’t mean you have to slave away to make extra money, or that you won’t be creative enough to make more money from your blog in less time because you executed better.  I believe that everyone has something to offer the world, and if you’re willing to get up and share it, constantly improve, and seek progress over perfection, you will succeed at whatever it is you want to do.

I don’t keep track of how much time I put in around here at Clever Leverage, but I enjoy it and it doesn’t matter right now… this is what I want to do and am passionate about it.  But I don’t routinely tell aspiring entrepreneurs, bloggers, and business folks that I don’t work hard so they buy some “easy to use” software that’s going to change their income overnight!

A little bit of hard work and creativity goes a long way.  You just set your goals for what you want to achieve with your blog, and start working toward them.  You will adjust and make shifts along the way, so the most important thing is to just get started.

The Second Most Common Way Bloggers Make Money By Selling Picks To Miners

You will see this time and time again with the internet marketing tools and software industry.  Everyone has the latest and greatest, and THAT SINGLE PIECE OF ***insert bullshit tool here*** is what’s stopping you from success!

“Oh my, you’re not mining these keywords and your current keyword tool is missing them!!!  Your blog won’t be successful unless you can find these keywords before you start creating content”!!!

Yea right.  You actually don’t need any keyword tools at all to start creating content for your blog.  Your brain works better than any tool ever could.  And to top that off, what works better than any software you could ever buy, is getting started creating your blog, get content up, and then monitor analytics and google webmaster tools to see what is sticking once you’re in the game.  You’ll get better insights on the areas you can improve your content, and new areas to target that people are actually interested in (not just keyword phrases with high monthly searches!).

“But Matt, what if it my tool makes it soooo much easier, and you could be MISSING OUT on valuable blog traffic without my new tool”?!?!

Haha, I call bullshit, they’re just preying on your hopes and dreams.  Truth is, it’s not that hard to make money with a blog, you just have to get creative and put in a little sweat equity.  If you need help with this, I have several 100% COMPLETE tutorials in the how to section. (sure I make money off of some of the affiliate products, but don’t buy anything you don’t need, and make sure you use my discount codes or discount links so you can save as much as possible for what you do need… don’t pay MSRP, almost everyone has coupon codes and I qualify for a lot of them so you use mine!)

This post ended up being more of a rant than most.  But it’s the truth, and the above scenarios are what happened to me when I first got started, so I feel compelled to shed some light on the BS.  Places where this type of unproductive ecosystem runs wild are:,, etc…  Rubbish, all of it.  Sure, if you can afford it some tools will make your life a hell of a lot easier.  But spending $997 for some software is NOT going to make you enough money to quit your day job next month.

The Traditional Ways Most Bloggers Are Making Money With Their Blogs

Of course I’m sure you’ll find tons of other authors with list posts of ways blogger make money with their blogs, the most common being banner ads, affiliate products, and product creation.

The most commonly recommend monetization methods are:

I personally do not use Google Adsense on most of my top tier sites, simply because I care about them so much that I don’t want anyone or any company to be able to run ads on my site that I don’t approve of.  In addition, I’m giving away valuable virtual real estate in those prominent visible locations, and it serves my readers better to have the highest quality helpful materials there instead.

I do however use some affiliate products on networks like Commission Junction, Shareasale, and Amazon.  (I buy a lot from amazon, and always include it in my product recommendations and reviews.)

It’s always wise to start creating your own products after you get some momentum going with your blog.  It gives you more purpose, and something you can put your name behind.  Doing so will also ensure you’re delivering the highest possible value to your readers, and really taking care of them. In return, you will start controlling your own destiny since you’re not relying on other companies to produce and deliver products you promote… you simply find the biggest need your blog fills, and solve the most prominent reoccurring problems people are having like you always have, but in a much more detailed manner. (if this is a foreign concept to you, I recommend you check out the book: The Millionaire Fastlane. You can also read more about my experiences with it here. And remember to turn to page 1, I’m at the bottom of the first page in the book! 😉

Examples Of How Bloggers Make Money Blogging About Their Passions (With Income Reports)

There are a few people that do income reports better than I do, so I’m going to list them below so you can get an idea what is possible. I don’t always agree with the teachings or opinions of some of them, but you can’t deny their successes! Respect. The below income reports will show you exactly how bloggers make money in their own unique way.

  1. Smart Passive Income – earning over $100k per month
  2. Business 2 Blogger – earning over $30k per month (via Your Modern Family)
  3. Careful Cents – earning over 20k per month
  4. Just A Girl & Her Blog – earning over 15k per month
  5. Bold & Determined – earning over 10k per month
  6. Danger & Play – earning over 4k per month
  7. Dumb Passive Income – earning over 2k per month
  8. Back To Her Roots – earning over $1500 per month

Most of those guys are doing very well, and some others I didn’t have time to get links for that are well on their way. (Note- if you have a new blog with well done income reports, send me a message and I’ll add you to the list if you think it provides good insights for aspiring bloggers, or other methods I missed of how other bloggers make money)

But Matt, Will I Really Be Able To Make Money Off Of My Own Blog?

I believe you can.  It really depends on you… do you have any unique experiences you could help others with?  Have you been through any hardships in your life?  Perhaps you could leverage those to kick start your blogging career like I did.  Many people are sitting on huge life experiences that can be utilized to help others.  The best way to reach a ton of people is to leverage the internet, and you can get started doing that today by setting up your own blog.

I talk more about leveraging your life experience to launch your blog in Why You Should Start A Blog If You Have Anxiety and What To Blog About When Just Starting Out.

One thing to keep in mind is,if most people can do it, so can you.  How bloggers make money in such a wide variety of industries surprised me still to this day… it’s almost as if anything can work if there is a small need for it and you’re willing to do the work consistently!  I know a lot of people get hung up on techie stuff, but there are plenty of youtube tutorials or even my own that can help you along the way.  Once you get going and gain some momentum, you’ll have a better idea of what you can accomplish. The key is to do it now while you have the inspiration, and not wait because analysis paralysis can take over. Beat it to the punch!

How Should I Start And Avoid These Common Blogger Pitfalls?

Well if you need help setting up a website or blog, I can help you with that.  Follow these tutorials here, and that’ll get you going with starting your blog, what to write about, how to leverage your own unique voice, and when to expect to make money.

Ultimately I want you to be able to quit your day job and work on your passion for a living like I am. But I won’t lie to you and say it’s going to happen overnight.  There are a lot of factors including, your time commitments, available energy to work on your projects, and your vision and level of commitment.  Sometimes people aren’t sure what their ideal lifestyle looks like, and it really helps to get it on paper and get clear.  I would then take that paper and turn some of it into blog content. (you must do the paper writing first… there is no substitute for your hand and a pen on a writing pad!)

Make sure you’re keeping your health in order.  Sharp thinking and better creativity will help you hone your unique message, and really give you an edge when connecting with those you want to help.

Stay focused on what you can contribute, even if it’s already been done.  You are your own unique person, with a unique voice (not literal, your message) and will connect with certain groups of people others fail to get through to.  Those people will really appreciate you, so hurry up and get going!

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