A lot and none.
I’ve been blogging since early 2007 and have made money and gotten recognition from it, but not in the way that most aspirants think of it. The fact of the matter is that making money directly from blogging is nearly impossible. I’ve run AdSense, participated in affiliate campaigns, been paid for my writing, and more, and the money I can attribute to directly to my blogging is easily less than $200 per year on average.
At the same time, my income has quadrupled, I’ve spoken at conferences and events like the DMA and Social Slam, and I’ve secured a position as a knowledgable and dependable marketer and analyst. Those results easily outweigh the direct financial benefits of blogging, but I would never have realized them if all I had been focused on was making money from blogging.
How can you make money blogging?
As trite as it sounds, don’t focus on the money. The thing is that you can afford to not focus on the money is you don’t delude yourself into thinking that your blog is your business. It’s not. It is a vehicle for you and your business.
Do great work. Create a great product. Make your customers so happy that they blog about you.
Then and only then, when your business is so good that you can afford to spend time on blogging, write about what you know best. If you’re a web startup CEO, don’t blog about marketing and social media unless that’s where you really add value. Stick to leadership, company building, or leadership. If you’re a market analyst, stick to that. How do you add value by blogging about tools, or engagement, or management?
Yeah, I don’t know either.
Stick to what you know, and don’t focus on the money.
The best bloggers create crap content now and then, and they’re writing about their areas of expertise, so how can you or I compete if we don’t stick to what we know best?
Simple answer – we can’t, and it gets even worse if trying to market yourself or your company or, worse, make money from blogging comes at the expense of actually doing great work.