How I Monetize and Make Money Blogging (and How Much I Make Per Year)

I’ve been asked this question a few hundred times already since starting this blog exactly 2 months ago, especially since it doesn’t appear that I advertise explicitly on TentBlogger:

John, how exactly do you make money blogging? Where? tweet

And, of course this one:

John, how much do you make per year? tweet

Great questions!

So how does that work? How exactly can I claim the title of a Full Time Blogger and how in the world do I manage to pay my bills and fulfill my role as something one step above a dead-beat daddy blogger with a 4 year old and a pregnant wife?

I HONESTLY can't believe I get to make a living this way... INSANE!

Simple! I’ve already shared the ways in which I get a paycheck here in the Make Money Blogging Series, but I’ll go a bit further and share some specifics.

Here’s a list of the ones that I use actively today ( stars ***) and the ones that I’ve tried historically (plus signs +++):

  1. Advertising Networks ***
  2. Affiliate Marketing ***
  3. Paid Reviews, Sponsored Posts ***
  4. Blog Networks, Guest and Paid Posting +++
  5. Selling Products, Merchandise, and Expertise ***
  6. Big Business and Corporate Blogging +++
  7. Services and Business Development ***
  8. Premium Content, Auxiliary Sites, Donations, and More ***
  9. The Art and Science of Diversification ***

As you can see I’m actively engaged with 8 of the 10 strategies listed which is perfectly in line with one of the baseline strategies that you’ll want to consider long-term, Diversification.

Here are a couple of clarifying thoughts from the above list as it relates to my current global monetization strategy:

  • I have tried every single strategy and have found very mixed results. You’ll want to choose the best ones for your content and audience.
  • There is a lot of research, time, and study that’s necessary to execute well on them. Trust me on this.
  • Experimentation done wisely is your best bet. But experiments have a “Start Date” and an “End Date” so make sure that your “experiment” doesn’t become a year long “Whoops, I forgot because I’m too lazy to report, analyze, and stop that experiment” type of deals.
  • I use Strategic Partnerships in #9 specifically. I do not have Premium Content or Donations.

Remember that you should tackle one at a time and don’t over do it!

Wait… Where?

If you’re new to TentBlogger then you must be thinking something to this affect:

Wait, where are you doing all of this? tweet

That’s an easy question to answer too! I manage a successful and growing startup that builds products and serves content on some very large blogs. The name? 8BIT, after my and my partner’s love for retro video games!

One of the most successful product is Standard Theme, which is a premium WordPress Theme:

TentBlogger is a personal project and is how I market my startup, my products, and how I get advertising and other channels of revenue. You’ll be able to see all of the aforementioned active monetization strategies being executed throughout those properties.

[***Side Note: It's no secret that I'm a Christian (I believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God who died on a cross for our sins and rose again from the dead 3 days later) and that I blog primarily in the are of ministry, church, and not-for-profit organizations. I know that much of the traffic and visitors here do not necessarily agree with that perspective and that's completely fine! I hope that me being explicit doesn't take away from the content that I'm attempting to cover here on TentBlogger and my hope is that the content is so good that you don't mind the context from which it comes! I appreciate you!]

So, How Much Money Do You Make Per Year?

I haven’t gotten this question as much, which is understandable since you probably don’t go asking your friends, co-workers, or colleagues how much they make a year in their current jobs and professions, right?

For one, I actually don’t mind people knowing what I make per year since it’s one way in which I can keep myself financially accountable to my business partners, family, and the organizations that I support.

And, I believe that by sharing some of those figures it’ll ultimately help you in your blogging efforts and that it’ll increase the level of transparency that I hope to cultivate here. If this makes you feel uneasy you can, of course, skip over these parts!

Here’s a look at the percent breakdown of the total earnings by active type:

Net earnings from all blogs.

This is very much an estimate of the coming year, 2011, since I only started blogging official “Full Time” in September of this year.

Please note that I’ve taken out the Services and Business Development entirely since I wanted to take a snapshot of the earnings from a “pure” blog perspective. In other words, money that is earned as directly as possible from the blogs themselves.

What is this exact dollar figure? Approximately $44,000 per year.

Holy Smokes Batman! $44,000 Per Year?!

I love Batman!

Pretty neat, right? This figure is after expenses but before taxes. What does this practically mean for me? It means a few of the following:

  • I need to continue to grow all of the business, from all angles and all channels.
  • I need to continue to take on contracts and consulting (Services and Business Development) to help make a bit more green.
  • I need to continue to work hard, knowing that the last 10 years have been preparation for all of this and that I’m not “there” yet!
  • I need to strategically plan for monetizing!

I think it’s the last part that people oftentimes miss or forget about my current situation – I’ve been doing this for a long time and experience accounts for a lot of my success. Have others been able to achieve even more success, faster? Yes. Absolutely.

I’ll spend some time going into more specifics of why this is but I’ll save that for another post. In short, the niche and target that I (and my team) serve is a bit different than the rest of the market.

The bottom line is this: I hope that by sharing this information it is both informative and encouraging for you! You can definitely be a success but it takes hard work, time, and a bit of luck, and some of you are primed, pumped, and ready to execute!

What are your thoughts? Any questions? Is this something you’d like me to continue to blog about?

Let’s hear it in the comments!

  • Adam

    Thanks for sharing. This is more great information and motivation. Keep it coming.
    Are there any guidlines that you would suggest on pricing ad space on a blog? Based on traffic?

    Thanks John

    • John Saddington

      definitely. I’ll be writing about that soon enough!

      • Adam

        Great thanks.

        • John Saddington


  • Ron Smith

    This is another great post. Enjoy reading what you write and your suggestions are right on.


    • John Saddington

      sure thing ron!

  • J.C.

    You are a brave soul! Thanks for all you do…

    This is very helpful, it makes me think about how crazy skilled you are and the time and effort you put into your craft.

    • John Saddington

      brave? how so?

      • Green

        Because it’s hard to put yourself out there like that, especially for some people!

        • John Saddington

          eh. it is what it is!

  • Travis Robertson


    Thank you so much for sharing this! It’s motivating and informative. I also appreciated your series on the different methods for generating income through blogging as I’m experimenting with (and planning to experiment with) each of the various methods.

    Keep up the great work!


    • John Saddington

      sure thing travis!

  • Randy Kinnick

    Caught your post just before heading out for a run, but the Tweet caught my eye. lol Encouraging, although I don’t anticipate becoming a full-time blogger, I do expect to monetize and make supplementary income eventually. Thanks for the transparency. I actually have written about that and a response to your post about success in growing a blog.

    Thanks for sharing your expertise!

    • John Saddington

      of course randy.

      • Randy Kinnick


  • Chris Huff

    Thanks for sharing specifics on this. Would you be able to show how your revenue has increased to this over time? I’d love to see a graph that either shows steady growth or a sudden boom at some point (and at what point it came), etc.

    • John Saddington


      I could definitely do that. it’ll take a bit more time to drum it up.

  • Brian Notess

    Wow man, this is very cool and transparent.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

    • John Saddington

      sure thing brian.

  • Blane Young

    Love the transparency.

    I do have a few questions:

    - The breakdown chart is for all your properties, right? (I saw the heading and was confused)

    - Are StandardTheme and LiveTheme included in “Products”?

    - And can you give us a few hints at what auxiliary is, since it is such a big piece of the pie?

    • Daniel Decker

      I had the same questions. Headline in chart graphic said 2011 so if the $44k what you project for just Tentblogger or across all properties combined?

      • John Saddington

        all properties combined. This is not the gross figure as that is far north.

    • John Saddington

      yes. all the properties, as per the “Wait, Where?” section.

      yes. we gross WAY above this figure but i’d have to explain compensation models for my team, which is outside this post.

      i already shared that parterships is the big one in this post. read again.

      • Blane Young

        Thanks for replying.

        I just re-read that post – doh!
        I gotcha, my bad!

        • John Saddington

          ;) where have you been?

  • Ramona

    Amazing information. Thank you for sharing all these tips. Will spend some time reading all the articles linked from here and try some of these “tricks” myself ;)

    • John Saddington

      sure thing! make sure to subscribe via RSS and others!

  • Sean Sabourin

    I would definitely agree with Brian. John, thanks for being so real and transparent. Great post.

    • John Saddington

      sure thing sean!

  • bryan allain

    appreciate the honesty John, having that context helps put weight to your words even more.

    since you’re getting personal, are you someone who takes care of your own taxes or do you have an accountant to handle all the different blog income sources and write-offs from being self-employed?

    • John Saddington

      i do my own taxes… imagine that!

  • Agile Scout


    • John Saddington

      sho nuff.

  • Brandon Cox

    You’re on the way, bro! Keep climbin’!

    • John Saddington

      :) good times.

  • …adam

    Thank you so much for being willing to post this. Super helpful, and thank you so much for being willing to be so honest and open with us!

    • John Saddington

      sure thing adam!

  • Brandon Cox

    Um… are you John Chow? ;)

    • John Saddington

      nope! ;)

      but my name is John.

  • Brett

    Teaches me two things:
    1. It’s possible to make a living solely from Blogging.
    2. It takes a lot of work and I can’t expect to download an ebook, buy a URL, get a hosting plan, and make mad jack quickly.

    Doing what I do, my blogging goals are a little different. I want to develop a library of content for current and future clients in my normal job as an insurance man. My main goal is to be known as an industry expert in my particular niche: customizing insurance for nonprofit and for profit social service organizations.

    • John Saddington


      definitely! i love your honesty here. i think the library idea is wonderful and love to see how you build that out!

  • anointed

    I’m guessing that you probably started out somewhere around where I am at now, full time ministry on the internet. I’ve spent the past number of years doing small projects and building websites for church’s and ministries. Everyone in my family is either a pastor or is in the ministry.

    What I am really curious, is how you would turn from straight ministry work, to actually paying the bills, while still focusing on the ministry.

    I’m a ‘decent’ designer/coder with a lot of wp knowledge, but have never actually been really successful when it comes to making a living at this online.

    Any advice?

    • John Saddington

      honestly it depends on what your goals are. where are you right now? full time ministry/vocational ministry?

    • Allrural

      A lot of people start a business as a hobby and continue it as a hobby long after they should be charging for their work. If you’re as good as you say at WP and site building, you should be valuing yourself and your work by putting a price on it commensurate with your abilities and the value that you bring to your customer.

      If you don’t charge you’re cheating your customer out of knowing that they have something of value, you’re cheating your customer out of benefiting you in return for you benefiting them, you’re cheating your competitors out of business that they would be getting if you weren’t giving it away for free or too cheaply, you’re cheating your family out of a cashflow that they should be benefiting from, you’re cheating your Lord out of showing you that you have a gift of value, you’re cheating your Lord out of paying you for a gift that has been bestowed on you, you’re cheating other Christ based organizations out of realizing that the Lord has provided them with the ability to pay someone who is like minded.

      Something to think about.

      • John Saddington

        some good thoughts here. not sure i agree with all of them but like it!

  • Jeff Goins

    Pretty cool. Thanks for sharing, John.

    • John Saddington

      sure thing jeff!

  • Rachel

    I’d also be very interested in Adam’s suggestion for a topic on pricing ads. One thing I’m also wondering is this: when do you have enough traffic that advertising becomes interesting? How much traffic is ‘enough’, I guess is what I’m asking. And thanks again for all the info and your honesty here, I keep learning!

  • Jam

    I think I understand how to make money at blogging. You are very good at consistently and predictably generating new content. How do you do that? I would love to hear your thoughts and practices on that question. Thanks.

    • John Saddington

      that’s a great question. I am literally inspired by nearly everything in life and since my content is pretty focused i know how to bucket those inspirations well.

      the more focused you are the better you find content to create!

  • Steven Hughes

    You mean I’m not going to $14,617 my first month like all the affiliate programs say…Darn, cancel the BMW order…Great stuff John, you have a new reader…Keep it up!!!

    • John Saddington

      thanks dude!

  • Keiki Hendrix

    Great post, mega info, processing now …

    • John Saddington

      sure thing keiki!

  • Laura@Life Overseas

    Hi there,

    So glad to have found you via Michael Hyatt. I will be subscribing and reading in the future, for sure. I currently have a personal/family/ministry blog about our life in Thailand, but am looking at starting another one to help bring in some income. I’ve loved blogging and writing for fun/connection, but as a stay-at-home mom, it would be great to help the family finances. It’s a bit overwhelming when I start to read all of your practical advice, but, I can’t imagine how clueless I would be without it. Thanks for starting this community . . .

    Great site.

    • John Saddington


      sure thing! i hope to keep it very practical… and very doable!

  • Vivek Parmar

    well that’s a third month in problogging and able to make $500 per month looking forward to come across near to your figures pretty soon

    • John Saddington

      that’s awesome! nice!

  • Brenda

    Great to learn you are a Christian. The way you announce that and qualify it is wonderful. Were that all Christians as bold. I believe also and I am glad to have you as a Christian Brother. I’ll be praying for you. I just stumbled over this while searching for agents for a couple of novels I have. God let me to your blog site for a reason, now, I’ve got to figure out why?
    God bless.

    • John Saddington


      thanks for stopping by! my hope is that despite the fact that I’m a believer people will be able to see the value that I create!

  • Nneka

    Hello John!

    Wow! I am literally blown away by this site and all that you do! Chris provided me with this site as a way to learn if the live theme will suit my needs. I am so inspired to do more because of what I’ve seen you do!

    Can you please provide me with some advice on becoming a good web developer (PHP, programming, etc)? I’d really love to hear your feedback!

    Also, I’m an aspiring vlogger and will be using the live theme for my live sessions. I’m so excited that I found this site and will definitely be tuning in from now on!

    Remain blessed!

    • John Saddington

      sweet! thanks so much! there are a lot of resources out there on the web that can help you to start learning web development. google is your friend here!

      let me know how i can serve you!

  • Edwin

    Wow it’s really inspiring to see people making money online. Thank you for the info.

    • John Saddington

      sure thing edwin! it’s definitely possible!

  • David

    In order to make the amount you listed — how many blogs per month (on average) would you say you post? Obviously I realize quality is more important than quantity. So a better question might be – how many hours per week do you tend to spend on your blog?

    • John Saddington

      david, i posted this a while back:

      now, that was last year, and that’s honestly a lot, but it all depends on the context and your content/niche.

      how many hours per week…? it’s a full time job! i spend a lot… i’ll have to think about it though for exact hours…

  • Sharon @ HikingTowardHome

    I saw the cross on the wall of the photo and rejoiced while reading your testimony later in the article. Glad to have you as a brother!

    • John Saddington

      thanks sharon! i’m loving what i’m doing!

    • Neil @ Looking Towards Home

      Great blog name Sharon (and excellent photos!). But now you make me feel lazy – I should stop looking so much and get moving!

      • John Saddington

        jump on it!

  • Aracely- Daytrippingmom

    You have a fantastic site! Thanks for this great post. I sell a bit of ad space and it supplements my income and this post inspires me that hopefully one day it can become my main source of income. Keep up the great work!

    • John Saddington

      thanks so much! i’m trying my best!

  • Amanda

    John -
    Can I just say that I’m really glad you and your site exist? I’m new to the blogosphere and interested in taking my participation to the next level. I’m pretty clueless, but I already feel more equipped having discovered you (through my friend Lindsey Nobles). So thank you for what you do! (Also, your family is gorgeous.) :)

    • John Saddington

      thanks so much for stopping by…! and i agree… my family is gorgeous.


      thanks for the encouragement!

  • Mel @ Trailing After God

    I just found your blog today! It’s awesome. I love that you give great details, are funny, and a Christian. Congrats on your income. If I could make a quarter of that, I’d be happy :) I’m not really sure how to do it yet so I will keep writing. I’m looking forward to really digging in here and reading more.

    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

    • John Saddington

      sure thing mel! glad you stopped by!

  • Paul

    Very interesting how you put how much you make. You’re probably the only blog I came across that provided very detailed information. Now, when your reaching these numbers, does it take a massive amount of effort to increase it?

    Would it be possible to know how many unique hits you get per day/page views per day?
    I know some blogs can generate 40-50k unique hits a day. I feel your blog is on that level possibly?

    I became a blogger myself a few months ago. I did it mostly for the purpose of writing, but of course I agree with you, that we can actually make $ out of this. Why not? I took up journalism courses and now I am going to major in Print Journalism to exceed my blogging/writing skills.

    Great blog by the way, excellent work and a master at your craft!

    • John Saddington

      wow. i’m not even close to 40k per day… i’m about 20k uniques per month (or so) on this blog!

      thanks paul for the encouragement… also, do you have a gravatar?

  • Dawn King

    Hi John!

    I just found the site while looking up information on JetPack. Your series on making money from blogging gives me hope (plus Jon Acuff’s success-another very funny guy) that I will be able to stay home with my 7 children again. :-)

    • John Saddington


      awesome! jon acuff is a great guy… is that too many “jons/johns” for you in one day?


  • bodynsoil

    I need to sit down with pen and paper in hand to reread and take a lot of notes on this post, plus the linked sister post. Hats off to you for becoming successful in your blogging journey.

    • John Saddington

      thanks bodynsoil! i love what i do!

  • Pranjal

    That’s truly awesome,keep up the good work John!

    • John Saddington

      thanks! i love it.

  • Traylor Lovvorn

    Great post John! Thanks for breaking this down for those of us who don’t know where to start when it comes to monetizing our blogs.

    A quick question…

    You mention the long list of blogs that are a part of the 8bit Network. Do you run all of those blogs yourself or do you have people who assist with each one? If you have a part in each, I’d love to see a post about your organization and time-management strategy that keeps you focused on the content you are creating.

    :: How far out do you plan your posts/content?
    :: Do you ever post content on different sites when appropriate?
    :: Can you let us know how much time you spend on each activity?

    Thanks in advance!

    Reflections of a Ragamuffin

    • John Saddington


      thanks for this!

      we’ve now consolidated most of them into one blog so management is now easier than it was previously. also, i have editorial staff that i help manage that do a killer job!

      i plan out content about 10-15 days in advance, if I can.

      of course i post content on different sites…! but i try to focus fire my content as much as i can.

  • abhishek

    awesome dude.. i am also a blogger but on a small scale… i just have 100,000 page views in a month on my blog and i am not making even $100 a month… do you have any idea to monetize these visitors.

    If you think I have enough page views to start can we have link exchange.

    • John Saddington

      sweet! keep rockin’ it!

  • Yan Susanto

    Good numbers, John. I guess at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much you’ve made, doing something you love is far more ‘accomplishing’ than anything else. Agree?

    Love your blog. Love your personality. And yes, Roenne is so ‘very much’ cute!


    • John Saddington

      thanks man!!!!!!!

  • Dale

    Hi John,

    I’ve just recently started reading your blogs and find them quite fascinating. I’m also following you on Twitter which helps also. I cannot say that I am a professional blogger or even a part time blogger for that matter, however, having said that, I have been wanting to do exactly what you are doing primarily because I am slowly gaining a love for it. The only resistance I have is exactly what to write about.

    Any suggestions as to how one can get to that place?

    Keep up the great work John.

    • Dale

      Ooop, I guess I put my email address in the URL field instead of my blog’s address:

    • John Saddington

      what do you love? what are you passionate about?

      this is the post for you:

  • Daquan Wright

    It’s refreshing to see someone put out a number like that! hehe

    Congrats to you and continue your hard work. :) Your journey has been fruitful, it’s well worth the effort.

    • John Saddington

      thanks daquan…! i’ll be sharing even more about my finances here:

  • rika agustini

    I love your blog and thanks for sharing the tips, I have a blog and there is up and down side. need some suggestion and tips .. I would be appreciate it. Thank you so much

    • John Saddington

      sure thing rika!

  • Shane Garrison

    I’m so glad I found this website John, You are writing about the exact content that I need. I’m subscribing.


    • John Saddington

      sure thing shane! appreciate it!

  • Renji

    Wow John.. that’s a really inspiring figure.

    I see that most of the above mentioned sites are now re-directed to, so how many websites are you running at the moment?

    • John Saddington

      currently about 6-7… most of them are smaller projects that i’m building. ;)

  • Dianne

    How inspiring! Many bloggers tend to hide where they gain their income, so I appreciate your honesty. If I made one third the amount your earn, I would satisfied, lol.
    Your other linking posts are helpful too. I made sure to share :)

    • John Saddington

      this is the idea of becoming a link architect master!

  • Geoff Ward

    I love this post! It gives me hope, knowledge and goals. Thanks John I’ll be sure to keep checking back for more great information.

    • John Saddington

      sure thing geoff! we all start from square one, so don’t be discouraged.!

  • Lina

    I love your blog! It is so refreshing to hear someone talk honestly about how much money they make online!

    It inspires me to take even more action, as I am a newbie. I have started learning *everything* about blogging and affiliate marketing only 4 months ago, so building traffic is my next step.

    I was searching for ways to check for broken links and I found your blog. Very useful.

    Thanks for the great info, I have subscribed to your special newsletter, can’t wait to read it.

    • John Saddington

      awesome! thanks so much!

  • Faizan Elahi

    Very informative post. I aspire to become make a decent income from blogging too !

    • John Saddington

      sweet! go for it!

  • Aman

    Really, you earn a whole lot of money. Just from blogging!

    • John Saddington

      it’s a good deal…!

  • Greg Holden

    Thanks for being so open and honest, John. As I write this it’s early 2012. You projected $44,000 in income for 2011 but that was more than a year ago. Now that 2011 is gone, how did you actually do? Did you beat (or meet) that projection?

    • John Saddington

      good point…! i need to come back and update this. I actually made more.

      • Sam

        When you have time to pull an update together John, I’m sure many of us would be interested. Again, thanks for the contributions you’ve made to the tentblogger community and being so transparent through the good and bad experiences. It really encourages those of us either already in the pipeline or thinking about jumping in!

        • John Saddington

          sure thing sam.

  • Binu George

    Great statistics John!

    • John Saddington

      sure thing!

  • min noh

    nice write up, man. i appreciate the fact that you don’t try to be politically correct and hide THE TRUTH!

    • John Saddington

      ah. sure thing. ;)

  • Tom Wigginton

    Just stumbled on this blog – glad I did. Thanks for being so transparent.

  • Rix Banga

    Mate, you’re awesome! Love your transparency and heart to help other bloggers.

    Rix Banga
    t: @rixbanga

  • Rix Banga

    Oh and love the sidenote too :o)

    Rix Banga
    t: @rixbanga

  • Adam

    Hi John, if you’re into retro games, this might be something for you!

  • malds

    Nice! I need to start earning $44K too lol. That’d be a pretty good income already here in my country. Sadly though I’m still at a very small fraction of that. But I am new to the whole IM scene so I guess this just means that I still have a lot of growth to do :).

  • juliawan

    nice to met u all :D

  • Anokina S.

    Hi there… I had a question about what plugin to use on my WordPress site so that my Twitter feed can show up on the sidebar? Thanks!

  • danny green

    brilliant, funny and straight to the point! love all your sites

    but how you managed to build all of this while finding a hot wife and managing your beautiful children is mystery….are you sure you only have 10 fingers?

    look forward to reading your book when you retire!

  • Josue Molina

    John, I am sure you are reaping the benefits from all your giving. And I am pretty sure you are making a lot more than what was mentioned above. Ten times more at least. Which is good. I wish I could of remained consistent with your series since you first launched it in 2010. But any how, just dropping by to say thanks for helping everyone. Now time to catch up.