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How to Make Money from Your Blog: 11 Powerful Case Studies

In 2005 a Greek American woman started a political blog. As the traffic grew more funding was required. This meant that in August 2006 the venture fund SoftBank Capital was called upon to invest $5 million into the site to hire more staff and to provide the resources needed to make the updates to feed the news cycle 24/7 as the site grew in popularity.How to Make Money from Your Blog Eleven Powerful Case Studies

Two years later in November 2008, another $15 million was raised to maintain the momentum as the blog added more journalism resources and local reporting was ramped up across the USA.

The power of celebrity was embraced with politicians, academics and famous power brokers in all areas of business and industry contributing articles to the blog.

It was in June 2011 that the blog’s website traffic passed the doyen of traditional media, the “New York Times” for the first time.

In just six years new media had disrupted 100 years of traditional media

Seven years after the first post was published, it was sold to AOL for $315 million to add to its other online blog assets including Engadget, TechCrunch and MovieFone.

Today it’s website traffic is measured at over 77 million visitors per month.

That  blog is Huffington Post.

Tipping point

In the blogging world this was a watershed moment. Never before had so much money been paid for a blog.

New media is replacing and disrupting old media.

The old business model that made many media moguls billionaires and king makers was based upon the rivers of gold which were generated from classified ads. Today it is the website traffic that is creating the cash and the influence is moving online.

Huffington Post was purchased by AOL because of three key elements.

  1. Its online and global influence
  2. Advertising revenue
  3.  Traffic

In one sense this new media is just a variation of old media except that it is online. It is still traffic, eyeballs and advertising.

It just happens to be digital.

The new media models

The new models are not so simple but multifaceted and convoluted. Making money from new media is not a singular approach but often a matrix of multiple opportunities and tactics.

Blogging has evolved rapidly because of the social web and in the past was driven by building email lists which took a lot of time. With the advent of social media their marketing and growth have been supercharged.

Global reach and influence at the speed of a tweet, a Facebook share or a viral video.

To make money from a blog in 2013 you do not have to be a Huffington Post. There are many ways to make a living out of blogging that can enhance your current business and lifestyle that are within everyone’s reach.

Let’s have a look at some of them.

1. Advertising

Just to show that the Huffington Post is not a one off, there are many blogs that generate significant revenue in then millions. One of those is Mashable.

Mashable Making money from Blogging Case Study Advertising

Mashable’s model is based almost exclusively on building huge amounts of traffic that makes it an attractive platform for advertising. Current page views per month total approximately 50 million.  This also means producing a lot of content. To put that in perspective Mashable publishes dozens of articles a day to feed the content beast.

They work hard at optimizing their advertising and  have developed technology for:

  • Infinite ad scrolling
  • Story telling ads unit
  • Content velocity algorithm

This blogging business model is becoming harder as advertising rates fall. But the rewards can be great with some reports that Peter Cashmore is worth nearly $100 Million US and the blog has been valued at over $200 million.

2. Sponsorship

Suzi Dafnis is the clever business brain behind a very successful blog that targets business women in Australia. It is called the Australian Business Women’s Network.  She must be doing something right! It has just won “Best Australian Blogs Competition” in the business Category.

Australian Womens Business network blog case study monetizing sponsorship

Sponsorship is the main revenue source with sponsors including American Express, Optus and GoToWebinar.

3. Webinars and Seminars

Social Media Examiner was only started 4 years ago by Mike Stelzner and made its first million dollars within 12 months through paid online webinars. Mike (who by the way is one of the true gentlemen of the blogging world) has used his attention to detail, process and savvy business acumen to create a blog that is now ranked in the top 60 blogs in the world in just 48 months.

Mike knows how to shine the spotlight on others and hence they have returned the favour.

Social Media Examiner Blog Monetising Case Study Webinars and Seminars

Prior to starting the Social Media Examiner blog Mike had run other blogs and businesses including one on how to “Write White Papers”. Mike has moved into producing conferences, with the recent success of the inaugural “Social Media Marketing World” in  San Diego.

If you want an insight into how he made his blog such a success I would recommend you read his book “Launch – How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition

4. Speaking

Blogs can be the platform that makes you visible. This includes being invited to speak at conferences, workshops and seminars. Guy Kawasaki uses his blog as an online platform to promote his speaking and his books. 

Guy Kawasaki Monetising your Blog with Speaking Case Study

Guy understands the importance of an online platform for building credibility and marketing his personal brand. He also understands the power of social media and has nearly 1.3 million Twitter followers

5. Books

Tim Ferriss is the author of  the New York Times best seller “The Four Hour Work Week”, which was about creating a success lifestyle in a web world. He has used his blog to launch not just one but three books after the huge success of his first book.

Tim Ferriss Blog Case Study in Monetising as an author

Tim uses his blog as his promotion platform for his books and for engaging and sharing his inspiration for experiments in lifestyle design.

6. Affiliate

Affiliate marketing  is the art of either selling other people’s products on your blog or getting affiliates to sell your products.  Brendon Burchard is one of many who have perfected this art and science.

Brendon Burchard Affiliate Case Study

One of the the key secrets to succeeding in this is building promotional partnerships with powerful online influencers and other bloggers who have significant followings online. Some of the pioneers in this space include Frank Kerns and Jeff Walker.

It can supercharge your revenue. For a further insight into how Brendon achieved success his book “Millionaire Messenger” is worth a read.

Another blogger and podcaster that understands how to use affiliate marketing to create revenue and is worth checking out is Pat Flynn, who is the force behind the blog “Smart Passive Income

7. Consulting

Mark Schaefer is the force behind the awesome blog “Grow“. He uses his blog as his front door and shingle to his consulting, educating and training business that helps businesses grow by tapping into the marketing power of social media.

Mark Schaefer Blog for consulting and training

He is also the author of  several books including  “Return on Influence” and “The Tao of Twitter

8. Online Courses

Amy Porterfield is a blogger and a professional Facebook expert who has created and developed online training which is her main revenue stream. Her flagship course is Facebook  Training 101 – FB Influence. 

Amy Porterfield Blog Online courses

She understood the importance of her blog as the online portal to her online courses.

9. eBooks

Darren Rowse is the genius behind Problogger. Not only has he made that blog a business success but also started a Photography Blog called “Digital Photography School” with over 1 million subscribers . His eBooks on “blogging” and “photography” have become his main source of income

Darren Rowse Problogger ebooks case study making money from your blog

Darren makes money from his blog in 12 different ways. So making money from your blog is not just limited to one revenue stream. The challenge is working out how you can monetize with multiple channel sources.

10. Premium content – Paid Membership

Timothy Sykes blog is about how to make money on the stock market and his main source of revenue is by selling premium content which is accessed through paying to be a member on his site.

Timothy Sykes Blog Case Study

Premium content that is only accessible via monthly membership is a proven model and another one worth checking out is Psd.Tutsplus.com which is a resource and learning site for those who want to learn photoshop.

11. Sell Products

Tucker Max is a blog and brand that is memorable but maybe for all the wrong reasons. If hedonism is your thing then Tucker Max is is your man. He makes money from the blog in a variety of ways. The main source of income is selling his products on Amazon.

Tucker Max Blog case study how to make money

It highlights that even a bad image can be monetised. The creativity is up to you!

What about you?

As we have seen, blogging can  be both a business and an online portal to to express yourself. The challenge is deciding what you want it to be and how can you make it into a business and lifestyle that works for you.

So how do you make money from your blog? What types of revenue models attract you?

Look forward to hearing your stories in the comments below.

Want to learn how to create and market a successful global blog?

My book – “Blogging the Smart Way – How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media” – will show you how.

It is now available to download. I show you how to create and build a blog that rocks and grow tribes, fans and followers on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It also includes dozens of tips to create contagious content that begs to be shared and tempts people to link to your website and blog.

I also reveal the tactics I used to grow my Twitter followers to over 149,000.

Download and read it now.


Image by Shutterstock

Jeffbullas's Blog


  • Thanks Alex.
    Yes Mashable and Huffington Post are not your average bloggers.
    Ariana Huffington had some powerful friends that she had after she married her Senator husband.
    On the flip side, I have tried to include a whole range of people and different monetisation models in this post that are within reach for people who have some commitment and passion to have a go.
    I tried to be both aspirational, inspirational with a dose of reality. 🙂

  • Thanks for the shout-out and the comprehensive article Jeff!

  • venkyiyer58

    The case of Huffington Post is most striking. It is almost as Arianna and her co-founders were prescient about the vital role curation would one day play in blogging.

    • It was indeed like looking into the future!

  • Very good info for inspiration to start blog

  • Hi Jeff,

    Super inspiration here! To know that the HP reached such levels in a manner of years is quite mind boggling. When you dream big and act intelligently you can create astounding things in this world.

    Thanks for sharing!


  • Launch is a great book. I read it and actually used it to map out my “vision”. Great article Jeff. You are always my favorite read!

    • Thanks Kim and great to have you drop in. For me the key element behind “Launch” was the revelation about the promotional partnerships Mike Stelzner built as a his rocket fuel to supercharge his blog.

  • This post has a very unique style of writing. You provided information as promised in the Title with links to people who already succeeded on a particular part of advertising. So, no way of failing your list. Awesome! Nice post Jeff!.

  • Nice article with lots of great info & motivational too! Thanks Jeff….

  • Hi Kimberly It is great to hear that the “content” component resonated with you. It is an important part of his strategy. 🙂

  • Thanks much Jeff for mentioning Social Media Examiner

    • You are welcome Mike. The Social Media Examiner Blog sets a very high bar!

  • Thanks for the comment Brian. I think that you need to take some of the key elements and adapt them to what works for you. I like SM Examiner’s model and also the Brendon Burchard products and affiliate model with a dose of Pat Flynn.

  • Thanks Maraya for dropping in. Multiple streams are certainly a good way to move forward .

  • Anila Syed

    This is an amazing article (and blog) with a lot of advice. I think I will have to come back here often and go into each section in detail. Thanks Jeff!
    My problem is that I can’t seem to engage my readers. I blog often and although I can get 200 readers a month, no-one seems to want to say anything about what I write.

    • Thanks Anila for your comment. You will need to get more readers than that to make it hum. So keep building your traffic and maybe write something that is a bit controversial or makes people think!

  • Elliott Garber

    Thanks for sharing these case studies, Jeff. My blog and website are now about six months old, and I’m beginning to think more seriously about what the best ways to monetize might be. I’m working within a pretty small niche (veterinarians working in non-traditional fields) but I still think the potential is there!

  • Finding that niche is sometimes a challenge. I started with social media marketing because it was a synergy of several of my passions. Marketing, people and technology. I would select the niche that you are most passionate about and has a large enough audience to attract readers and viewers.

  • Vivienne McDonald

    Thanks for this great article. I have been on the fence with one blog and one existing business, because I couldn’t see how to monetise them. But this article has given me some inspiration – this weekend I’m going to begin the blog. Thanks so much!

    • Thanks Vivienne, Glad to provide some inspiration.:)

  • kaushiki-iqecommerce

    This is an amazing article which explains how to utilize your blog to the fullest…I specially like the segregation of the topics …such skillful explanations at the same time short and descriptive..

  • Sam

    Great Post!
    Thank you man!

  • Hi Jeff, in Corbett Barr (think traffic) ‘s phrase, this article is EPIC! As I am just venturing the blogsphere and researching “business side” of it for my blog, I find the number of top bloggers you listed is valuable for new comers. Thanks for publishing this info

    • Glad to hear it provided some perspective and value.

  • nice sharing sir!

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  • Lars Steves

    Thank you so much Jeff. I really enjoyed reading this post. Your key points would definitely helpful to Bloggers.
    I have posted some related articles on my blog.

  • abulahm

    this was very helpful and you can read more in >> http://workonthenetwork.blogspot.com/

  • Liz Mugo-Akuku

    Thank you Jeff. Everyday I learn something from you.

  • AmeerBaloch

    Thank you sir for writing such a wonderfull article..

    I am also working on same topic.

  • Niki Bullas

    Hi Jeff, I tried to download your book “Blogging the smart way …” but Amazon says “This title is not currently available for purchase”. Are you aware that this is not available from Amazon? Can you let me know how I can get a copy please?

  • Niki Bullas

    Thanks Jeff. Purchased and next on my list to be read. Looking forward to learning something new. Cheers

  • Taimur Ahmed

    This article is really amazing and accurate ..i liked this article because it is very informative ..nice effort ..must say … i was reading an article about almost the same topic..it was quite relevant and well written … a newbie like me just need these kind of informations .here is the link http://techedium.blogspot.com/2013/08/making-money-through-blog.html ..you awl must visit and thanks to you guyz who make our work far more easier . thank you .i suggest you all to visit this article

  • Naren

    A successful and well-written blog can be a cash-cow. If you are able to build a high-quality blog that attracts lots of readers and followers, you can monetize your blog and earn money. thanks for this post

  • Amelia

    Great Post Thanks ! Amelia | Chai a cup of life.com

  • Amelia

    Great post ! Learnt a lot…Amelia | chaiacupoflife.com

  • Excellent article, thanks for the wonderful information Jeff! blog.rareaffiliate.com

  • James Riddle

    Fantastic job on researching these cases! Great info. Thanks for sharing!

    Get a head start with your money-making blog!

  • I currently use Adsense to monetize my blog but eventually I plan on selling T-Shirts, coffee mugs and note pads to name a few. Although people are reluctant to admit it, there are more people with bad credit than good in today’s economy. My goal is to reach those people and let them know that it’s okay to admit that you’re behind in your bills if you have no choice in the matter. Sometimes good people make bad choices. It doesn’t make you a bad person…It just makes you human!

  • Charles Trimm

    You have some great Ideas. Can you look over my 1 blogs and give me some sound advice or make some recommendatins . http://www.obamacare911.blogspot.com

  • thanks for sharing some of the best studies here really helpful to learn a lot

  • vinma

    An in-depth study! I am sure to bookmark this for reference! Thank you 🙂

  • Facebook User

    Great list.

    I think that if you focus on blogging on what you truly love and believe and you have a good niche, you can definitely make a decent living online.


  • Great collection of case studies! It’s always helpful to read a bunch of valuable
    information in one article. Thank you for sharing.

  • A great article. I’m more familiar with the affiliate model. Have joined a very good community that teaches and give support on that. Might go into other area when I can think of what to share with others

  • Oniel Vin

    This is great, but it really requires a lot of effort. http://www.shoutitall.com

  • Jai

    This is a great way to make money for promoting someone else’s products or services without having to carry any inventory. Affiliate advertisements are usually incorporated into your website/blog/page via linked articles .great when your content is strong and compelling, but must be done carefully to avoid looking .

  • Jai

    Great blog, Earn money online is the not a easy task, we have to know every thing that helps us to increase our earn money online .We should also follow these steps which helps us to make update like
    2.Paid Writing
    4.Buying/Selling domains

  • Patrico Ovacomaz Tyrell

    Very informative. Check out my blog where am talking about how to make money online http://patricotyrell.blogspot.com/2013/10/odesk.html

  • Moses Olatunji

    please can you check out mine blog and give me advice on what to do http://www.boston212.blogspot.co.uk

  • Bottom line here obviously: it takes money to make money blogging, unless you happen to be Xiaxue.

  • Raven28

    Thanks for the case study regarding blog. Thanks for sharing.

  • I have a blog which does make money but I make more money writing articles on a site called Bubblews. I’ve made $67 in 19 days so far. Not too bad!

  • I currently do sponsored posts on my blog and monetize via ads. Sponsorships definitely pay a LOT more than ads though. I did put out an eBook but I really wanna focus on more this year – creating a course and selling more than I did before with affiliate sales. (great option too)

  • Sindu Esync

    Nice blog…

  • Felix Brown

    I think that this is a great post especially for newbie bloggers or anyone else who may be under the impression that making money online by blogging will be easy. I myself am new to blogging, but I am already well aware of the fact that it will take hard work to become a successful blogger.

  • I am agree with you. Blog content will be needful, effective and positive.

  • DisqusFan

    Good read. Good resourceful content is of the utmost importance. Content will be the deciding factor of a good following or not. http://www.frankholder.com/

  • Md.Abdullah

    This is very nice and useful post. I am interest about Blogging that make money online and I think this is very exciting matter and I am really impressed to you.

  • Thanks for the great post Jeff. I’d like also to share my strategy on how I make money in blogging. I usually talk about products, and sell them using affiliate links. I also use forms as an email grabber so that I can do email marketing.
    Here’s my site look like with their Form and affiliate links : http://realinternetmarketingtips.com/l

  • seaadams

    Nice post Sunil,

    I would like to know what if the knowledge of the particular subject you know a lot about if freely available online? What I mean is, is it still worthwhile publishing an eBook when all of the information I can write about is available for Free online?

    Is there a way around it or a different angle you can approach to writing the Ebook that would make someone want to pay money for it?

    cat mario online

  • Nice to read this blog about on-line earning. I struggle a lot to
    earn on-liine. The real time experience i am sharing here…

  • Charles Epp

    There are lots of ways of making money online but you have to see whether the organization which is providing you an online work paid money after the submission of complete work or not.
    making money from home

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  • Thank you for sharing a wonderful and interesting article about How to Make Money of Facebook.

  • Fantastic post Jeff!

  • I feel skeptical writing blogs again as i never had a good experience
    earlier. Had some blogs and no traffic. Going by your narrative and very
    useful blog,


  • I am a new blogger looking for more guidance on how to monetize my blog, that’s the reason I came across to your article, thanks a lot for sharing you knowledge. Here is my bog that I wanted to make more money effectively… http://alrenpages.com

  • Shariful Islam Joy

    Thanks for the
    post.I enjoyed a lot to read your article. This is an outstanding work. Here
    is my link http://goo.gl/n0USKO. Hope you like it.

  • Laurence Burris

    Excellent advice. This will help me in trying to earn extra income from blogging.

  • Dany Andy

    This article sounds encouraging for all of us that want to make money blogging.I am glad I found your article.

    Best Regards,



  • Really I am highly impressed to learn about Blogging online by reading your blog! I pray to almighty that you can grow up more and more and share your
    knowledge among us. By the way do you have anything special on your blog
    about oDesk Tests? looking forward to your reply

  • John Allred

    Very informative information. Thanks for sharing with us such a nice blog. It helps most the people who involved in SEO.

  • Bul Men

    Amazing post !!
    I am in favor of make money onlinesince there are many obvious advantages for people who make money online instead of working offline .
    Keep writing on such great topics.

  • nice post for making money online

  • These are nice and long list of tasks, Very important for proper process.

  • Online blogging is a work of intellectual

  • Annamma Philip Vergh

    Oh My what an in-depth analytical study!
    I really missed it! indeed an informative piece!
    Need to read and follow it thoroughly, A long on indeed!
    I just bookmarked it.
    Thank you so much for sharing it again through your twitter handle.
    Have a wonderful and profitable month of March 2016
    ~ Ann

  • Thank you Jeff for this piece.

  • I haven’t monetized my blog yet, because I don’t feel the need to. I enjoy writing about dslr photography and sharing my journey. It motivates me to go out and take more photos. I will think about monetization may be 1-2 years down the line.

  • Great article that you have posted on how to make money with blogging. Lots of informative concepts which a lot of other blogs would have over complicated but you have made it so simple that I find it so easy to read and take notes. I like it how you have broken it down to steps to follow which is great for the first time blogger just getting started in what appears to be an Internet jungle.