Who is actually making a living blogging?
Short and sweet; very few bloggers are making a living blogging.
The longer story is that when folks read posts and articles about people such as Darren at Problogger, our own Deb Ng, and the bloggers on Paula’s top earning blogger list, it can make some people think that anyone can make a living blogging, but it’s not true. All of these bloggers work smart, work hard, and have put in long hours to get where they are.
There’s not great research on bloggers who do make an actual living, and of course an actual living depends on who you are and how you live, but what the research we do have points to is that only 2% of bloggers actually make a living blogging. Problogger runs an annual poll about blogging income and the last one had more favorable numbers (sort of) showing that about 9% of bloggers reported an income of $20,000+.
That said, $20,000+ is pretty vague. I for sure couldn’t live on $20,000 a year. I have a son to support so for me that’s not even close to a living wage, especially not after you consider taxes. It doesn’t really matter though, 2%, 9%; both are small figures. All those “Make a million dollar” and “Anyone can blog for a great living” posts you read are stories, not the truth.
I absolutely have friends who make a living blogging. I have many friends who make a good living blogging. That said, I know many more bloggers who make nothing blogging, almost nothing blogging, very little blogging, or who make enough for maybe half the bills but if something happened to their partner (or whatever other source of income they have) they’d be sunk.
Should you give up now? No but you should be realistic. I get frustrated when I read comments or emails from people who want to quit their current job so they can blog FT with no back-up plan. Some of the reasons why people don’t make a living blogging are based on issues you can change such as only taking gigs that pay a livable wage or learning how to query job ads better. Some of it though, is based on luck, the right attitude and perseverance which I really believe some people have in them as related to blogging and some don’t.
The point. There are benefits to blogging as your career and you can make decent money blogging, but just don’t jump into it because you read a get rick quick article about it. Blogging is hard work. It’s time consuming and you will put in long hours before reaping the cash rewards.