Want To Make Money From A Blog? Dont Try.

by Jeremy Schoemaker on January 15, 2009 · 139 comments

One of the most frequent questions I get is, “How do you make money online from a blog?” My initial answer usually surprises them. I usually say, “Don’t try.” My blog existed for 2 years before I ever made any money what so ever. The blog was a hobby… something I liked doing but was never what I considered work. I wrote the blog before anyone read it and it made no money and will do it in the future someday when nobody reads it again.

Seth Godin gave me some incredible advice one time when I was struggling on what to do with my book and what would be more profitable.

Seth told me, “Publishing a book is like having a brochure, with credibility, in the world, that doesn’t cost you money. It only works if the book is generous and helpful and doesn’t make a sales pitch. The more generous it is, the more you will make from your other stuff.”

Such an amazing, great quote!

The more I think about this, the more I think this idea also applies to the blog. After almost 5 years of blogging I can tell you this has certainly been the case for me. Just look at my own conference (the Elite Retreat), my own advertising network (AuctionAds which was sold to MediaWhiz in the summer of 2007), my new tools system (ShoeMoney Tools) and the upcoming book… all of these projects have been spring boarded from this blog which started as a hobby.

Pretty much everything I have ever done that was successful started out as a passion project I was doing for free.

So honestly, even though this blog will make more than $500k in revenue this year, the real value is in launching our other products (which you barely have to mention).

So how do you make money from a blog? You don’t!

full disclosure

About the author...

– who has written 2895 posts on ShoeMoney.com.

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of the ShoeMoney Blog, Elite Retreat Internet Conference, & the PAR Program. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 Amazon Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. Jeremy currently lives in Lincoln Nebraska with his wife and 2 daughters.


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{ 123 comments }

1 Affiliate Blogger

This is a good point. I thought making money with a blog would be easy, but once I realized I could make money with sites and knowledge I came across READING blogs, the blog made less, but I made more overall. Keep on, keepin’ on!

2 Taris Janitens

I always say nothing worth doing is ever easy! :)

3 Zak Show

Yep, it’s not easy, but I make money blogging. 30% from my monthly online income is from my blog.

4 Make Money Online Tips

Well goes to show how important passion is with respect to your work.

5 Mark

Blogging is only meant to be a tool to make money, not the actually money making venture. Start a business whether it be an affiliate or one that sells your own product, then blog all over and create back links to your blog and website then put back links on your blog for your website. This is the only way to make money. If you dont understand this concept, I will help you for free, just go my site and click on the contact page to message me. I have been an affiliate marketer for almost 8 years now. I know what I am talking about.

6 melinda

Mark:
If I create a blog then I can direct traffic to my website from my blog correct? I am trying to make some extra income…

7 Lane

Very solid post Shoe.

By the way, the link to Seth Godin is broken. It goes to seth.typedpad.com instead of sethgodin.typepad.com

8 The Poker Jerk

There are so many crappy blogs out there that are all trying to “Make Money”. Instead of writing about stuff people actually want to read about. I think you should either write a blog just because you want to have a blog, or do something out of passion if you want to make money with it.

9 Taris Janitens

Agreed – thats what I do on my blog – I write about a wide variety of topics that interest me, and hopefully interest others as well :)

10 The Poker Jerk

By the looks of it, you spend more time commenting everywhere than blogging anyway ;)

11 The Poker Jerk

I think you prefer posting comments on blogs rather than write on your own blog anyway ;)

12 The Poker Jerk

Oops dupe post. I thought I accidentally hit cancel. Shoe must have a cache enabled or something.

13 Beysim

Amazing tips. Thank You.
btw. The url of Seth Godin’s blog is http://sethgodin.typepad.com/ not http://seth.typepad.com/

14 Jeremy Schoemaker

thanks man!

15 Dennis

Good post shoemoney! Everyday there are tons of blogs coming online. They start it in the intention of making money right away. That shouldn’t be the goal. They should work step by step. When I started my first blog, I didn’t make a single penny till 6 months down the road.

Dennis,

16 Internet Marketing Access

Sadly many people make a blog and assume the money will start flowing in. It takes dedication, patience, hard work and some hustle to make a blog truly work when starting out. Just wish people would realize it is not as easy as making a blog and watch the money role in.

When they see that doesn’t happen they give up, say how it doesn’t work and move on to something else that seems easy and a quick source of money. If they only gave it time they would see…

Steve

17 Phil Buckley

Amen brother! Stop thinking first about how to monetize, instead, think first about being useful.

18 Keith Cash

You are right, there is a 3-6 months period before they make a dime. Then you have to work very hard at it to maintain it.

19 Atniz

I don’t think so. If you said that in 2005 or ealier, I would have agreed. But, not now. There are tons of blogs and posts and articles available free to provide guide to make money within a few weeks or days. Only need continuous effort.

20 Bags

I felt the Holy Spirit testify that these things are true.

May selfish bloggers everywhere find humility in their hearts and realize that it is not for money or fame that we blog, but the pure pleasure of blogging. For this is the purpose of the blog. So it was written. So it shall be done.

21 Andrew Galasetti

Pursuing something to get rich and get rich quick hardly ever works. When you do, your focus is on quantity and not quality.

As a young entrepreneur it took me years to figure this out. But now that I know I must pursue passion and fulfillment, I’m more successful than ever.

Great post Jeremy!

-Andrew

22 Money Is Everywhere

I think the problem with people is that they want to “get rich quick.” So when they don’t make money fast with a blog, they just give up. I agree with you, it has to be a passion. You have to enjoy doing it and the more you give, the more you’ll get back. Great post!

23 rhodzy

I have been blogging for two years now, its something I enjoy and will continue to do. I think I have had one check for $100 from Google. Not really in it to make money, I just like getting feedback and just ranting about pointless and meaning full things. Just currently trying to get to grips with photoshop I think its about time I made myself a logo although not coming along too great :)

24 Atniz

Congratulations on your check from Google. I still remember my first western union transaction for adsense.

25 Chad

Great post and definitely info people need to hear… it doesn’t happen overnight. It just seems that so many people are jumping on this social media, blog for money bandwagon that if people don’t take a step back to understand why you do it in the first place, they’re gonna miss the whole point.

26 Ken Acton

Sound advice. I think that you should enjoy what you do for the doing of it’s sake. Obsession with the pursuit of money is a blind alley.

Ken

27 Jermaine

Took me about a year to figure this out, but now I feel that I am on the right track. It is quite interesting the impact one GREAT blog post can have over 100 I am blogging just to blog posts.

28 Cotton Rohrscheib

I agree with this completely. I have been blogging for years now and only added Adsense to it this past week as more of an experiment than anything else. I have been pleasantly surprised w/ what kind of revenue a few small ads can generate.

29 grechen

i totally agree – it took me three years of building my blog before i was able to quit my “day” job and earn full-time income from blogging/writing. i didn’t set out to make this my full-time job, i started doing something i loved and the money followed.

unfortunately with the prevalence of “make money blogging” blogs, more and more blogs are popping up based on affiliate marketing where the only intention is to make money, not to provide a service. not that making money is a bad thing..but i think you have to do both. and to REALLY make money from your blog, you have to “prove” yourself and be a valuable resource to your readers…

30 Dave McDowell

Hi Grechen,

Any chance of pointing me in the right direction on starting a blog for the purpose of fund raising for my work in Sudan? The web link attached goes to a bio for the non-profit I am working for but when you have a minute go to the link at that site for a professionally produced five minute video on our work in Africa.

The video is the key and the summary of what we would like to do to educate others through a blog and hopefully generate tax deductible contributions for the work. I am on Facebook and Linkedin and opened a blog through Google. However, I could not figure out yet how to link it to Linkedin. Before I started “writing” I would like to know a little more of what I am doing.

I saw your post after following a link on an article in WebPro News talking about Twitter. That went to some discussions on blogging and there you were.

Thanks Grechen…

Dave

31 Pheak Tol

Good message to those starting out with a blog that think it’s easy to do what you’ve been doing for years.

most of the people that’s on top usually start out as it being their hobby and in the end benefit from it financially (or other rewarding aspects)

32 Jean Ghalo

Your nice blog post….
well i do blog and i like blogging and i am dedicated to it now and my target to have 365 blog posts 1 per day till end of 2009. i cover most of the topics that interest me and that interest my readers….

i do make money out of it, but i dont live by that money because 90% of my income is my real business and 10% from online money making….

i agree and disagree than because if you blog for real and build a good blog readers database you can generate could money from it but you should know how :)

cheers!
Jean

33 hennyhartan

could you send to me your best revenue blog?I have no time to try myself.I want to learn from you.I love you.

34 Ruben Ricart

Jeremy, thank you for this post! It’s honest, and a true testament. I made the mistake when I started of believing that selling on my blog was the way to make money but after changing that approach and writing for the people and doing for the people things have been picking up…thanks again and I 100% agree with you and Seth.

35 Ruben Ricart

PS: Although you were blogging for passion, where you actively SEO’ing and Link Building your blog – or did it pick up on its own as the search engines started to rank you ..

36 Todd Mintz

You can substitute “Twitter” for “Blog” in your post and your advice would still be spot on.

37 AJ Kumra

I agree with you Schoemaker,

if you just launched a blog and have it filled up with ads, your looking for a big downfall. That immediately tells me this guy doesn’t care about anything but the money.

38 Articles Spinning

“Chase your passion” and it will lead you to the money, right, Jeremy? I agree with lots of what you said and your example shows that this “might” be true, but surely not in all cases. Nonetheless, thanks for sharing.

39 Zac Johnson

No doubt. I blogged for almost a year before I started to turn the site profitable, no revenue source, and just content for 9 months.

40 Mobiles

Good tips, but people should be making money from their blogs. We all have a worthwhile amount for our time, so why not use it on our blog postings.

Also you barely mention your other products, but I see big blue links on your posts which stand out!

41 Learn internet marketing strategy (required)

You are having unique content and thanks for sharing it.

42 Greg Ellison (required)

Good Tips but I think if you have traffic coming to your site then you should be monetizing it. You should be writing about what interests you on your blog. Greg Ellison

43 Jake

This is universal truth, Seth Godin is so wise. I will immediately switch to running in order to improve my bench pressing record.

44 how to make money

i too started blog not to make money but just for providing info to people about making money online but later i was pulling more than $200 using my free blogs at blogger.com

Jaya
http://www.dfunda.com

45 Aman@BullsBattleBears

you do make money from a blog, you are proof of that. Yes in the start it might not have been your quest, but 500K in revenue and you mention it because? from your blog you now sell shirts, memberships and all that..without the blog none of this could have come about? or could it? I’m trying to see the business without the blog? -I’m new to this site so still learning/reading older posts.

46 ways to make money online

I wonder if he knew he was going to make that much…

47 jake lawrence

hi

I am a person who likes to earn money through my blog. Right now I think I suck big time. But the best part is i m getting better in finding the truth about earning money through a blog. And I think this article helped me in big to switch to the right track….

plz check out
http://brilliantfoto.blogspot.com/

let me knw wht I am doing wrong thr..

regards,
JAKE

48 Gina

What about Bankaholic, Johns Wu’s blog? It sold for 15 mullion. Sounds like he made money blogging.

49 jim

He made money buying text links, getting good rankings, and having Bankrate buy it without realizing it was from text links.

50 Gina

Why blog if you are not going to make money or promote your business?

There are more fun things to do with your time then telling the world what you ate and what color shoes you have on today.

51 Gina

I Can Has Cheezburger, explain that blog that made the owner rich.

52 Sumter SC

Seth always has great ideas. Blogs are difficult sometimes because I think most people don’t have any focus

53 IsraeliElection

Since opening a twitter account IsraeliElection.com has been getting more than 100 followers a day.

54 Raja Kamil

What a heck?
By the way, yesterday I visited most of my old blogs that I threw it away, some of them had reach PR2.
Wow, no post for some years and yet got PR2.

The blog, is mfa blog.But, it is hosted at wordpress.com and you know that, adsense isnot allowed that, so I stopped blogging there.

55 Ron Hekier

Donny Deutsch and Gary Vaynerchuk, two guys that I admire say the same thing over and over again: “Do what you love.”

56 Earn Extra Money with Jeff (required) (required)

If you don’t do what you love, eventually you will fail. When that happens, you’ll look back and think to yourself, “Why in the heck did I waste my time?”

At that point it will be too late, so use everyone’s advice and don’t make the mistake in the first place.

Hindsight is 20/20, but learn to see clearly BEFORE you ever need to get glasses.

57 Y920

Initially me too started blogging for money, later on i have realised the right path.

58 Sky Xavier

Agreed! its kind of super market where if person get all the items he will not go to other store same with the blog. if a reader gets all the material of his interest then he will not try to look at others. solid post shoe.

59 Digital Photography Tips

Good point .. I have a new photography blog and although it is paying for itself from the start my actual profit will come later from the products I launch from it.

60 Ari Lestariono

Thanks for tips Shoe many of these advice came across and they say the same thing over again, yes your right do it with “passion” and the rest leave it to somebody else to appreciate your activity in providing resourceful and contribution products

61 Ari Lestariono

Additional info is ” Content is The King”

62 scale

$500k?!? Yikes! Congrats.

63 arshad

That was a great article.Thanks a lot :)

64 Atniz

500k a month? This is crazy number. Maybe 5 years ago, nobody cares about blogging. I just have a 9 months old blog and did make some money. How you manage to support your blog without any income from it for 2 years?

65 WOMWON

Agree. When you love you job, you’ll never work again.

66 MouthyGirl

This is sort of an ironic post, I started out hoping to make money but not really counting on it with SabrinasMoneyMatters.com but I realized my competition was pretty fierce so I started posting less, then I started making money, about $100 a month. It wasn’t a blog I loved though, and I ran out of steam – but I considered it a success because I accomplished what I set out to, and that was to make some money online, just so I could say I did it. I never wanted that to be full time.

Now I’ve been writing MouthyGirl for almost a full year and I’ve yet to make a dime from it. If it happens, great, if not, that’s fine too because that’s not why I write.

67 Asher

Hi Jeremy,

Honestly, I was taken a back slightly when I saw your title of the post… but when I read it, yeah, that’s a lot of good sense there. And if Seth Godin gives advice – I say, TAKE IT!

Asher

68 Ari Lestariono

I think the law of attraction apply, just making generous and sincere blog without expecting any favors and it turn out you make something.Congrats Shoe for $ 500K/year

69 Templates Blogger

I think if anyone can make money with blogs.

70 Stefan

Blogging is like a gift, it’s like i can’t control it.

71 pfincome

Thanks for the information. I have had my blog for about 9 months now and just see a little money trickling in from it.

72 Ben Pei

This is encouraging.. and yet alittle discouraging as well. I am confused.

73 Jonathan Browne

I think this is dishonest advice. A lot of people in the blog world try to claim they had no intentions of making money or gaining anything for themselves. Stop.

Money is the energy that drives value creation. You need to focus on both money and your passion. If you focus on just your passion, no one will ever know about it and you will bring far less value to the world. I make about $30 a day from my blog and I started it less than a month ago. I don’t feel there is anything wrong with that or I am destined to fail. I decided finally that I was going to make money from this blogging thing and picked a topic I was interested in writing about and I thought would provide the most value to people in these times.

Blogging is not sacred. It’s just a tool. Movie makers and actors are very passionate about what they do. However they need to make money so you don’t see every film they make being a sundance film festival style film that only appeals to a small group of people. They make hits and that’s what they are trying to do. Then they make their small, personal, passionate films with the money they make. The world needs its bad boys 2, men in black, remember the titans etc.

74 IronBlogger

Very good point Shoe, but I disagree with you on some levels. I love blogging and I love making money off of it. If blogs didn’t make money I wouldn’t still be doing it to this point.

75 Money Academy

the main reason which not allow the others to make money from them blogs that they think about ” how to make money ” first and them they think about making a blog !
first you must know that your blog is not for making money but it is the way you communicate with your visitors , if you do this you will go to second step automatically because this visitors will put you on the first step .
sorry if my English was bad

76 Indian movies, videos and songs

very true. Creating value for the readers is the essence. Once that happens, it makes room for money to come in.

77 Gerry From GerryWalter.com

This is just like business. It’s not about you but about others. Help others be successful and you will too.

Great post ! Now check out my blog…..( ;

78 updacuuro

Hi guys
Can I get some advice on teeth whitening kits??

I would be very happy if ya’ll could give any help.

79 Jonny Tokyo

This is sound advice – you have to change your perspective from making money to providing value for your readers.

80 Ubi the Cartoonist

You chase money then it will run away,
You chase your passion then the money will chase you!

Thanks for sharing!

81 David Risley

I make a six figure income every year as a blogger and – YES – I do it with my blog. So, Shoe, it would be correct to say it isn’t automatic. It isn’t easy. It isn’t a “set it and forget it” type of business. But, it is doable. You should know that, too.

82 MA

But at some point, you convert the passion into a money-making vehicle. Do that to early, and you lose.

83 Cheap iPods

I would have to disagree, those blogs without the focus of MMO, will not usually make money. Shoemoney is a totally different case, because the name is all ready there.

84 CA Results

If you have excellent marketing skills then its easy to make money from a blog.

85 CA Results

One more point is it totally depends on how you use the blog to make money..

86 Site O Rific

Create a product of real value and target your audience. use the blog as a tool for interaction.

87 CA Results

The quality does not matter.
It matters more how you market your product.

88 Fitted Hats

This is a great post…I love the way you put it nice and simple…

People tend to forget that content is one of the key elements to making any kind of money…If you dont stand out from the other sites in your niche what is there to keep people coming back to your site instead of the others?

Before anybody worries about making money they should worry about content…I tell people all the time, dont worry about money or traffic for awhile…Just build up your site and it will slowly come…

I hate to be corny but its like the “Field Of Dreams” movie…If you build something truly worth being seen people will eventually take notice to it and itll spread like a virus…

89 Fitted Hats

Sorry, i forgot to include the quote i was talking about from “Field Of Dreams”

“If you build it, they will come”

90 The Blogger Source

You should try to make a great blog first and that will be rewarded after.

91 Karri Flatla

Not to jump off the Content is King bandwagon here, but setting the intention to earn money from your blog is, um, totally okay in my books. You can write useful content for your readers AND strategize for monetization synchronously.

Just sayin’
Cheers!
Karri

92 Joshua Godinez

I thought I could make money on my blog, but I was wrong. I blog the way I want and my traffic sometimes goes up, but after six months I have to admit that I’m blogging because I like it, not because I think I’ll make anything. I wish it were otherwise, but I don’t think most people will make money on blogs no matter what they do. At least the $20 I’ve accrued with adsense makes me feel that way.

93 Advices to Make Money online for Real

Pretty much everything I have ever done that was successful started out as a passion project I was doing for free.
>> For sure it is always easier start with something we truly love rather than trying to make money desesparetely…

94 contentpig

Funny thing is I’m not trying and I’m not making any money :) I need some link building help and more traffic… I’ll concentrate on that for the time being

95 Chris

Excellent article and comments. But does blogging always have to be about making money?

96 Future of Blogging

If you Run for MOney, Money will run away from You…Right Jeremy ??

97 Flashes In The Dark

Blogs are a crucial networking tool if nothing else.

98 Bona Fide

Blogs are for loozers!

99 Dhimas

Amen brother! Stop thinking first about how to monetize, instead, think first about being useful.

I Agree with you brother..

100 Aggressive Dog Training

I think what you’re trying to say is that you won’t make money from a blog in and of itself; rather, the money will eventually come from your efforts (if you dedicate yourself to your blog and your target audience).

101 Busby Tester

i think it doesn’t matter to make money from blog. but we have to keep our blog good for reading.

102 Ali Hussain

I give people tutorials. No ads no nothing. I want to give :)

103 make money online philippines

Some people expect to immediately make money from blogging. Only to be disappointed in earning less than $1 a month. it really takes time.

104 ubumba

I`m involved there`s a lot of articles on casino gambling. There are different methods, tactics, strategies, algorithms of counting, calculations and so on.
But these items are only heap of ads and i don`t want to analyze them `cause i don`t have any basic knowledge. It`s useless. Estimation i think will be wrong.
Is there anyone here who is interested in such topic?
I`d appreciate someone`s explaining to me is there any systems or strategies, what are they (what approaches or concepts lay in basis) and in which casinos could they be applied to?
Thanx a lot.

105 Art Vandelay

amen brother, its a long road. I’ve made $1.50 in 2 months!

106 Marlou Jake

As for now i just started. I am dependent to blogs who knows if i got more clicks and supports to my blog i can get one domain someday. I was inspired to mr. shoe’s success and it gives me hope and faith that someday i will be also successfull. Thanks for the inspiration.

http://wordstoponderzone.blogspot.com

107 Damilik

I just blog to inform people and make friends.

108 Komicwords

Well.this is my second comment follow your step shoe.Yes I aggree with this,however your explanations make my passion of making money ‘Passionless”however,that make me open up again my “Play-vision-Book”to think my own next product without having has to put any “ads by Goooogle”inside my blog,and at the last,I wonder what make you away from the giant google after you have made almost 100k with them that is what I think wonderful mysterious think I really love to cover from you,that I think I was miss here

109 Ari Lestariono

Money is not everything, it’s helping people that’s what really counts.

110 Rich

I think it depends on the amount of money before you can call that real money. And yes, sometimes doing what we love don’t make us money.

On the other hand, we can love the things that are making us money.

111 LV Lizard

I dont do it for the money…….. I have been offerd reality tv show spots, even a chance for my own but I decline. I prefer to remain in the shadows but still share my life.

112 Mike Marinaro

I have several blogs and started blogging just for the fun of it. I do get a check from Google every month partly from my blogs and partly from websites. I have found that you first need to establish a steady readership for your blog before you try to monatize it. The money will come eventually. The key is to link your blogs to your websites, newsletters, other blogs etc.

113 China Travel Blog

Some one in some blog said ” it is easy to make money on blog but not easy to make a living” I totally agree with that.

114 Ari Lestariono

Yes it’s true. But take a look an article about plentyoffish.com on http://www.inc.com/magazine/20090101/and-the-money-comes-rolling-in.html

This guy is millionaire

115 Jack

I wish people told the truth in blogs. Write about what you want and forget selling something. Although having good keyword anchor texted posts has its merits.. ;)

116 Midowo

hmm interesting.
But there are too much people who gets money from bolds than I don’t agree with this!

117 Ari Lestariono

It’s not the money in blogging, it’s dedication to blog and provide useful information’s to readers and vice versa readers will appreciate and put quality comments in return, both sides benefit from educational habbits

118 Charlie

I think that blogging should be done because you have an honest interest in the subject you are blogging about. That way the readers will always get quality content – if they want to capitalise on this at a later date to pay for the blog and a bit on the side then why not? But don’t blog JUST to make money – it’ll never happen.

119 Ari Lestariono

Agreed to that.By all means original content will be more likely friendly search by google, that’s the point not doing re-engineering on content

120 LEPLOKPAILL

nice, really nice!

121 Paul @ HollywoodDJ

exactly! everyone keeps thinking you make money from a blog. its not the blog but the value you can give or gain from it. we don’t even have a blog!

122 scheng1

Like this post very much. It takes lots of effort to collect firewoods in order to have a fire burning in winter

123 Luther

I personally know many guys who make tonns of money from a blog. A person can always rely on his blog as a business and start working on it. This is the era of web 2.0 that has helped ordinary people like me to build a business with Blogs.

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