You probably have stumbled on a blog at some point in time, even if you are not entirely sure of it.

Or you know what it is, but don’t exactly understand why there are so many people trying so hard to create a fantastic blog. Is it merely because they enjoy doing it, or is it for something more?

This blog post (Yes! you are on a blog!) will explain everything you need to know about blogging, why it is such a popular subject, and how people actually make money from it in 2021.

What is a blog? – Blogs, Blogging, Blog Posts and Bloggers definition

“A blog is regular records of your thoughts, opinions, or experiences that you put on the internet for other people to read .”

Cambridge Dictionary

Blogs

A blog, in short, is an online journal. The content of a blog is varied, ranging from opinions, news, stories to tutorials.

Google blog
Google blog

In the past, most people wrote blogs solely for fun or for sharing and gathering opinions on a specific topic. Nowadays, many entrepreneurs use blogs as useful tools to market products or services, thus turning them into online businesses.

Blogging

Blogging is the activity of writing blogs. Because many websites provide excellent blogging-related tools and services, everyone can now start blogging anytime.

Like almost any job in the world, it takes time and effort to be good at blogging, especially for the purpose of marketing. The reason is that writing new and engaging content for advertising requires a lot of knowledge, not only about the products and services but also the skills necessary to write and maintain an excellent blog.

Additionally, as the popularity of blogging grows stronger each passing day, tons of new content is produced every day. People can easily find popular blogs by typing a few simple words in a search engine, making it even harder for a new blog to prevail.

Blog posts

google blog post

In a way, a blog post is like a Facebook post, and a blog can be seen as a Facebook homepage.

Similar to the relationship between the Facebook post and the Facebook homepage, a blog contains one or many posts organized in reverse chronological order. Thus, readers are informed of the latest news.

Google blog posts in reverse chronological order

Bloggers

A blogger means, as you might have guessed, someone who writes blogs.

There are probably millions of bloggers nowadays whose purpose is varied, from hobbies to marketing products to improving their public presence.

Because bloggers can be anyone, the information presented in blog posts is dependent on one’s knowledge or one’s wish. Therefore it is subjective. Everyone should see blog posts as opinions, not concrete evidence.

The differences between blogs and websites, blog posts and website pages

Plenty of people might be confused between a blog and a website, and there are good reasons for that. 

A blog, at its core, is a part of a website.

The confusion stems from the fact that many websites are devoted entirely to blogging, for instance, blog.google. The sole purpose of these websites is to update the latest news, stories, or opinions for readers. Therefore, when referring to these types of sites, people usually call them blogs.

Nowadays, websites often include a blog page as a means of updating the latest news on their products or services. Thus, when comparing a blog and a website, people are actually talking about the differences between a blog-devoted site and a traditional one.

Unlike a traditional website that updates content occasionally and focuses more on showcasing products or services, a blog informs readers with news or stories frequently. It also allows people to comment or share their thoughts or opinions, making it more dynamic than a traditional one.

It is important to note that a media website like Forbes or BBC cannot be considered a blog, although they update even more frequently than a blog-devoted one. As said earlier, a blog is dependent entirely on the owner’s knowledge or will, making it nowhere as objective as a media website.

So is this site a blog or a traditional website? Although this site has many static pages, such as the homepage or the about us page, the website’s primary focus is still to provide readers with additional knowledge as frequently as possible. Therefore it is a blog.

Congratulation! You now know the difference between blogs and traditional websites, but how about blog posts and website pages?

A blog post, at its core, is a part of a web page. Again, When comparing blog posts and web pages, people are talking about the differences between a blog-post-devoted page and a traditional one. The comparison for these two is pretty much the same as for blogs and websites. So there is no need to go over all of that again.

Why do people write blogs?

Numerous companies nowadays, especially big ones, equip themselves with a blog in one form or another.

One of the reasons is that they want to keep customers informed about their products and services. Updating news about their business frequently signals that they genuinely care about what they are doing. It significantly improves the companies’ public image, which in turn creates trust between them and their target audience.

Google updates on Chrome

Another key reason lies in the fact that search engines (like Google) love fresh content. Updating content regularly creates an opportunity for websites to be ranked higher, thus driving in more organic traffic.

For individual bloggers, aside from those who just want to write blogs for fun, the purpose might be a little bit different.

In the case of companies, their blog’s primary focus is more inclined to improve brand images. Individual bloggers, on the other hand, usually blog to indirectly (or sometimes directly) market one or more products or services. Of course, they have to offer valuable knowledge for readers first before thinking about the advertising part.

A blog post with advertising content

In either case, blogs are a powerful method to build a strong relationship with their target audience and a useful tool for marketing.

How do bloggers make money?

There are various ways for bloggers to make money. Let’s go into detail what they are and how much bloggers can make from them.

Displaying ads

Displaying ads is probably the most common way to make money for websites, not just for blogs. It’s perhaps the easiest way to start earning your first few dollars from blogging.

Ads banner in a blog post

The steps it takes to start displaying ads are also relatively simple. First, sign up for an ads network, for example, Google AdSense, Mediavine, or AdThrive. Then, choose a place on your website to show up the ads. Next, write content to attract people. Finally, when someone clicks on the ads on your blog, you make money.

Mediavine and AdThrive often pay more for ads than Google AdSense. However, they might need a website to have thousands of regular visitors before being able to join their network.

Sounds simple enough, right? The steps are that easy, except that making a substantial amount of money from displaying ads alone is hard. A blog probably needs hundreds of thousands of visitors per month to start making a real deal of money.

It is also crucial to note that many huge websites decide to annihilate ads entirely. Instead, they focus more on other creative methods to make money. One reason is that ads are not as nearly as profitable as other sources of income. Furthermore, they are usually a significant factor that interrupts the reader’s experience, which can hurt those other sources.

Sponsored posts are a type of advertisement, but they usually look just like typical articles.

Sponsored blog post example

Although the purpose is more or less the same, sponsored content is less intrusive than displaying ads since the writers ofter orchestrate them in a way that fits into the theme of their website.

How to find a sponsor for your website? You might ask. Unless you are a famous blogger, you might have to reach out to relevant brands by yourself via email. Then, ask them if they want to have a post featuring their products.

In general, sponsored posts are a good source of income that you should consider. Not only can you make a decent amount of money from the posts, but you can also make your website look less “advertising.”

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting a product or service and earning commissions when a person buys that product or uses that service.

At a glance, affiliate marketing appears at the same form as sponsored content, which is a blog post. The primary difference between the two is that bloggers usually get a one-time payment to write a featured article for sponsored content. In contrast, in the case of affiliate marketing, bloggers put referral links into their blog posts. Whenever someone buys products through those links, they get commissions.

In short, affiliate marketing is a combination of displaying ads and sponsored posts. Since it inherits strengths from both, it is considered one of the best choices to start making money and create passive income.

A blog post with affiliate marketing

One of the most established affiliate marketing programs is Amazon Associates. With millions of products to promote, anyone with relevant blogs can sign up for the program and earn money with every qualifying purchase through their affiliate links.

So, how does the affiliate link work?

The affiliate link contains codes that help keep track of all sorts of information, such as the name of the affiliates (people who join affiliate marketing programs), the products customers buy, etc.

In the case of Amazon’s affiliate marketing program, when a customer clicks through the affiliate link, if he/she purchases a product with the 1-Click feature, or adds the product to the shopping cart and buys it later (within 89 days), the affiliate earns commissions.

Membership exclusive content

If your website has useful, regularly updated, and unique blog posts, you can restrict people from being able to read them freely. Only when they join the membership program will they get unlimited access to all those exclusive content.

The membership model is probably one of the challenging ways to earn money from blogging. Since producing unique content is very, very time-consuming. Furthermore, few people are willing to pay to read online articles.

Having said that, if you somehow manage to create a successful membership program, it can be much more valuable than any other income source.

Medium membership program

Selling online courses

Online courses are another popular source of income for bloggers.

Blogs in this situation are often used to provide readers with some basic knowledge on specific topics. Then when people want to understand them at a deeper level, online courses come in to save the day.

Creating a quality online course requires a lot of advanced knowledge. Furthermore, bloggers might have to establish some sort of public image first before someone starting to care about their courses.

Others

There are many other sources of income that you could take into consideration, such as selling books, EBooks, couching, or selling freelance services.

Before deciding which methods are suitable for you, you should understand which content your website focuses on. Next, research similar blogs to figure out the best sources of income for your own need.

How much money can bloggers make?

Before answering this question, let’s take a look at some of the top bloggers.

The Savvy Couple

The website is founded by Kelan and Brittany Kline. In May 2019, they made $43,547 in that month alone, which is quite a significant number. You can check out the report here: The savvy couple income report in May 2019.

The savvy couple blog

In less than three years, they paid off their $25,000 in student loan debt, grow The Savvy Couple into an online business, and they were able to quit their jobs.

Two Wandering Soles

Two Wandering Soles is a travel blog that is founded by a couple named Katie and Ben. They focus on sharing their travel experience and giving practical tips and advice on saving money. In March 2019, they made $14,179 according to their report Two Wandering Soles income report in March 2019.

Two Wandering Soles blog

Let’s Reach Success

Let’s Reach Success is another successful blog that is founded by Lidiya. According to her June 2020 income report, she made $4000 from various sources, including Mediavine Ads, sponsored content, online courses, and affiliate marketing. Take a quick look at the report here: Let’s Reach Success income report in June 2020.

Let's Reach Success blog

DollarSprout

DollarSprout is a financial advice website founded five years ago by Jeff and Ben. They are among one of the most successful bloggers out there. In February 2019, they made a total revenue of $167,390. Crazy number, right? The interesting bit is that they made almost $0 from DollarSprout in their first year. And here they are now, making a six-figure revenue consistently from the blog every month.

You should check out their report. It is comprehensive and transparent in terms of expenses and earnings: Dollar Sprout income report in January and February 2019.

Dollar Sprout blog

As listed above, some bloggers make $4000 per month or much lower; others can make $167,390 or much higher. If you are a beginner, chances are you would earn little to no money in your first few months. However, with enough time, effort, and the right monetization methods, you can expect to make a decent amount of money out of blogging. It all depends on your niche, strategies, and your consistency.

How to start a blog

Now you understand what a blog is and the benefits that blogging can bring in. It’s time for you to take action!

Starting a blog has the potential to improve your life significantly. It doesn’t take much time to get into, and once you get the hang of it, it can become a passive source of income or even your main income stream.

If you are ready to start your own successful blog, click the link below to learn more.

Start a blog successfully in 2021: The most comprehensive guide.

blog icon information internet

Conclusion

Nowadays, blogging is an essential activity for any companies that want to improve their online presence and brand image.

From a simple hobby into a full-fledged business, blogging has changed a lot since the first time it appeared.

Starting a blog might seem a little bit daunting. Still, with the right guidance and tactic, you can start your own blog, turn in into a full-time business and start making money just like any other business in the world.

Useful Resources

  • BlueHost: One of the best web hosting services that can help bring your blog online in no time.
  • WordPress.org: The most popular CMS (Content Management System) to create and manage your blog.

FAQs

Is starting a blog hard?

Starting a blog is definitely not hard. In fact, if you follow the guideline we provided above, you can create your blog like any professional blogger. The trickiest thing about blogging is that it takes time and dedication to become successful. Many beginners start blogging for a couple of weeks, see no results, and think that blogging is not right for them. The fact is that blogging usually takes an average of 3 to 6 months to see a consistent result. It might even take longer for a complete beginner. So just be patient and persistent, your success will come.

What is the essential requirement to become a successful blogger?

A passion for blogging and a clear goal.
Your passion is the factor that will help keep you motivated on your blogging journey, and a clear goal will help keep you on the right track towards your success.

How much money do I need to start a blog?

Only around $100 to $200 a year, meaning that only around a couple of dollars a month. It might cost just a bit more when you become popular since you might have to pay more for hosting costs. However, in the beginning, with only $100 to $200, you can start a blog with all the necessary tools and become successful like any other top bloggers in the world.

Should I start a free blog?

Many services can help you start a blog for completely free. The thing is that with a free blog, you will not be able to have much control over your blog appearance and your blog domain name. If you want to stand out and are serious about making money, paying a little bit upfront to create a unique blog is your go-to destination.

Should I create a blog or a website with a blog page?

It totally depends on your need. If your purpose is to showcase your products or services, creating a website with a blog page is a good idea. Search engines prioritize fresh content, so if your website has a blog page, it will significantly help with site ranking. Thus, more people will discover your site. On the other hand, if your purpose is to share knowledge and make money on the way, creating a blog is your best choice.