How Top Bloggers Earn Money

Written by Zac Johnson
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How Top Bloggers Make MoneyBusiness Week just released a new article on their site profiling 13 Top Bloggers and how much money their blogs make. Some of the well known names on the list include Jeremy Schoemaker (Shoemoney), Darren Rowse, Perez Hilton and a few others. Apparently some of the bloggers were not even aware of the article, as Shoemoney made a post on his blog saying he was getting emails congratulating him on the article, but didn’t know what they were talking about till he looked over his traffic referral logs.

Here are a few key points and earnings numbers from the list:
BoingBoing.net cashing in over $1 million a year in earnings. Four authors, posting up to 20-40 times per day.
icanhascheezburger.com brings in an estimated $5600 a month from on site ads and Google Adsense / AdBrite
ShoeMoney.com attracts 20,000+ unique visitors daily, while pulling in over $12,000 in revenue monthly.
Kottke.org features only 1 advertisement slot on the site, but still generated over $5,000+ a month.
PerezHilton.com posts up to 40 times per day and earns an insane $110,000 per month.
TechCrunch.com, 5 million page views a month, with earnings around $200,000 a month.
ProBlogger.net, run by Darren Rowse, earns over $100,000 per year.

John Chow of JohnChow.comThere were a few bloggers on the list I’ve never even heard of… but where is the almighty and highly controversial John Chow? With so much secrecy on how much bloggers make, sometimes it’s a complete guessing game… why not feature John Chow, who gives a full revenue statement each month on much his blogging is generating. It could just be the writers of Business Week never heard of him, or his blog. It’s all too common that the people working in the industry (like myself) know a lot more than the people writing these articles… which is why bloggers are making a ton more than writers for these main stream magazines.

I know for a fact a good portion of the bloggers listed in this article are cashing in BIG TIME on side projects and their main (secret) web sites. Not pointing any fingers, but the article itself states that Shoemoney.com‘s revenue only accounts for 3% of his company’s revenue. (Jeremy also runs the AuctionAds network, which I heavily recommend and report on) The article also pointed out that Darren Rowse "doesn’t disclose the details, but across the many blogs he writes, he clears six figures a year from a mix of private ads, affiliate deals, and ads sold through platforms such as Chitika, Google AdSense, Text Link Ads, and Amazon Associates". It’s likely he is also cashing in on a lot more earnings than disclosed on the site.

Shoemoney.com and ProBlogger.net
Big Earners like Jeremy Shoemoney & Darren Rowse make the footsteps for other bloggers to follow.

Making money through blogging is awesome and these are all super success stories to hear. More than anything else, you should take these examples as major motivational boosts and push yourself to make even more online. We are working in the greatest industry every created. More millionaires are being made every day… are you next?

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17 Replies to “How Top Bloggers Earn Money”

  1. I am not aware of the list also..

    By the way, John Chow should be on the blog as his income is increasing every month even after the $10,000 mark!

  2. Gross != Net. People who tend to brag about their income tend to do it as a link baiting excercise and rarely clarify if they are mentioning gross or net figures. Probably because it is most often a meaningless gross figure they mention. For instance someone could be doing $50,000 in revenue monthy promoting affiliate programs via PPC but with thin competition driven margins only take home $2,000 a month in real income, which in the end is equivalent to a typical low end clerical job and not really something to be celebrated.

    I for one tire of people playing this game, if you're going to talk up your income you should provide full disclosure.

    1. I can't remember, but I thought some of the programs bar you from showing or displaying what you earn? Can anyone confirm this?

  3. Darren and Shoemoney's sites are much larger than Johns. Even though he makes a lot each month, I'm guessing that's why they didn't feature him.

  4. Another thing journalists, and others, never seem to talk about is the indirect value/monetization of blogging.

    Personally, I can attribute hundreds of thousands of dollars in earnings over the years to my blogging efforts.

    It's just not as sexy as throwing a picture of a giant check of earnings from Google. 🙂

    But… indirect blogging income can make you as much, or more than direct publisher type blogs can, if done right.

    Remember, it's not about how many people you reach with indirect blog monetization, it's about reaching the right people, even if that only means a few.

  5. i still find their earning crazy but its a good motiviation to push us to be the next blogger to earn that much!

  6. Hi Zac,

    Yeah, it's funny that Jhon Chow is not mentioned, especially considering his blog is Technorati top 50, actually ranked higher than Shoemoney's blog!

    Perhaps because he has a bit of a notorious reputation! LOL

  7. Like Jim was saying, looking at your superficial earnings from contextual advertising, affiliate marketing is just scratching the surface of it.

    If you know what you're doing, like a Robert Scoble, you can monetize the heck out of your blog through speaking gigs, consulting, joint ventures, establishing your brand, and a whole lot more unspeakable ways.

    It's like asking Steve Jobs, how much he earns per year and hearing $1.

    [While willfully neglecting the hundreds of millions of Apple stock linked to his performance package he's entitled to]

    Simplifying an issue definitely makes something like "blogging" accessible to the "every man". Does it purport to be accurate or comprehensive?

    It's be like going to MacDonalds' and expecting to get a gourmet meal.

    You'd get a piece of the puzzle, but hardly get a grasp of the entire picture.

  8. "Kottke.org features only 1 advertisement slot on the site, but still generated over $5,000+ a month." Wow, thats cool. only 1 could make a such different?

  9. thanks for this article, I actually just saw perezhilton on the kathy griffin d list show.

    what is almost as crazy of how much he makes per month, is his traffic. 4 million uniques a day! holy… xxxxxxxx

    i was surprised there wasnt a john chow citing (spelling?) as well

  10. perez hilton is a new breed, but with his keyword celebrities, tons of people will flock to his dot com, guys are usually…you know

  11. The ones who earn the most through blogging are really the undercover ones, not people like John Chow who brag about every penny he's made.

    Zach, what about you. I didn't see you on that list… yet *wink

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