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Ever wondered how much bloggers REALLY earn? Which are the best ways to earn money with a blog? And how long it takes to make a full-time income blogging? Here are the results from the Blogging Income Survey 2022…
Ever wondered how much bloggers REALLY earn? Which are the most lucrative blogging niches? How long it takes, on average, to start earning a full-time income from blogging? How much other bloggers charge for sponsored posts? Which is the best paying ad company for bloggers? If bloggers with more revenue streams earn more? Or if there is a correlation between the number of posts on a blog and income?
I have the answers to all these questions and more!
But these are not airy-fairy numbers picked out of the sky by me, this is real data from real bloggers who completed the Blogging Income Survey in January and February 2022.
I’ve taken the raw data and compiled it into helpful graphs, provided analysis AND – most importantly – pulled out key takeaways, including concrete action steps you can implement now so you earn more money with your blog in 2022 and beyond!
Note: RPM stands for Rate Per Mille, that is, earnings per thousand pageviews. All income data is given in USD, except where specified.
Do bloggers who have been blogging longer earn more?
The first thing I wanted to understand was whether there is a correlation between earnings and the age of a blog. The results are very interesting…
Average monthly income based on age of blog
Average monthly pageviews based on age of blog
Average RPM based on age of blog
Up to 10 years, it seems there is a strong correlation between length of time blogging and income.
So why are those in the 10+ year bracket earning less, despite having more pageviews? I can’t say with 100% certainty, but my educated guess would be that bloggers who have been blogging for over 10 years may have a lot of poor quality, out of date and/or unoptimized content on their sites, which is dragging down their overall search engine rankings and RPMs. (Google has repeatedly said that overall site quality is an important ranking factor.)
The other thing to note here is that bloggers who have been blogging for less than 1 year, are hardly earning anything and have very few pageviews… This very much supports the notion that the first year of blogging is a little like a ghost town! But, if that’s you right now, just take a look at the 1-3 year numbers for encouragement. Many bloggers give up too soon. But these figures show that, if you stick at it long enough, you are likely to reap the rewards!
The final thing to point out here is that these are just averages. At all levels, there were bloggers over-performing… it’s possible to do much better than these averages!
If you have not been blogging for a long time and are feeling a little depressed by your numbers, don’t be! It’s totally normal for bloggers to have very low pageviews and very low earnings in the first year. The good news is, if you persevere, it is very likely your earnings and pageviews will increase more and more each year. So, whatever you do, don’t give up too soon!
If you have been blogging for a long time, it’s likely you have poor quality content dragging down your overall search engine rankings and earnings. If you take time to clean up and optimize your older blog posts, it’s likely to pay dividends in terms of higher traffic, higher RPMs and, ultimately more income!
Do blogs with more blog posts earn more?
The next thing I wanted to test was whether there was a correlation between the number of blog posts on a blog and income…
Average monthly income based on number of blog posts
Average monthly income per blog post
Average monthly pageviews based on number of blog posts
This data shows that there is a strong correlation between earnings and the number of posts on a blog, up to around 500 blog posts. Broadly speaking, the more blog posts you write, the more you will earn.
However, after the 500 blog posts mark, there is a clear drop off. Again, it is impossible to know with 100% certainty why, but the most likely reason is that bloggers who have over 500 blog posts are not able to keep all of them up to date. As a result, the presence of so much poor-quality blog content is hurting overall quality, which is, in turn, hurting search engine rankings and overall earnings.
The big jump from $2.92 for 50-99 blog posts to $10.77 for 100-299 blog posts is quite likely be due to the fact that it is usually somewhere between 100 and 299 blog posts that bloggers achieve sufficient pageviews to qualify for Mediavine.
This data is great news! It shows that one of the best ways to increase pageviews and earnings is to write more blog posts. While the age of your blog is not something you can do very much about (other than being patient), the number of blog posts on your website is something you have direct control over.
However, there is a big caveat… Just creating more blog posts will not guarantee more revenue. In order to increase your income, you must write high-quality content and you must ensure that all the content on your website is high quality.
If you have a lot of old, poor quality, unoptimized content on your blog, you are likely to reap dividends from updating and optimizing that content.
Do blogs with more pageviews earn more?
The next thing I wanted to look at was whether there was a correlation between earnings and pageviews…
Average monthly income based on number of pageviews
Average RPM based on number of pageviews
There seems to be a very strong correlation between number of pageviews and blog income. This data would suggest that, as a general rule, the more pageviews you have, the more money you will earn. Although, interestingly, there were outliers at all levels.
There also seems to be a rough correlation between pageviews and RPMs. In other words, the more pageviews you have, the more you will earn PER PAGEVIEW.
You will notice, however, there is something of an anomaly at the very top, with bloggers achieving over 500,000 monthly pageviews getting a lower RPM than those achieving 100,000 to 499,999. I’m not 100% sure why this is… but it could be to do with the fact that bloggers in this group are earning a comfortable monthly income and are therefore not putting as much work into maximising their RPMs as bloggers who have fewer pageviews.
I looked into each blogger’s record for these 500,000+ pageview bloggers and all of them relied on ads as their main revenue source and none of them sold their own products, which may also be a factor. (And very much chimes with the data on revenue streams, below.)
There is a strong correlation between pageviews and blog income, so working on your SEO to increase pageviews is a smart move if you want to maximize your blogging revenue.
If your blog is getting less than the average RPM for your level of pageviews, it may be that you are leaving money on the table, and you could get more income by diversifying your revenue streams. (See below for more information about the most lucrative revenue streams and the correlation between number of revenue streams and income.)
If your blog is getting an RPM of less than $36, but you are achieving over 500,000 pageviews per month, you are almost certainly leaving money on the table, and you could get more income by diversifying your revenue streams.
Do bloggers with more revenue streams earn more?
Next, I wanted to find out if there was a relationship between number of revenue streams and average earnings. I also wanted to understand which were the most lucrative revenue streams.
(It’s important to point out here that for these graphs I removed anyone who was not earning any from their blog.)
Average RPM based on number of revenue streams
It appears there’s a strong correlation between the number of revenue streams and average RPM. This isn’t exactly surprising, but what is quite surprising is by quite how much this increases. Blogs with only 1 revenue stream are getting an average RPM of $17.75 whereas blogs with 4 or more revenue streams are getting an average RPM of $105.44!
The key takeaway here is fairly obvious… If you want to earn more from your blog, add more revenue streams!
Average RPM based on main revenue stream
I have to point out with these results that some of the data sets were quite small. In fact, I was tempted to leave this graph out altogether. However, I decided to keep it in here, simply because so many bloggers focus on ads and affiliates, and this shows that RPMs of the other revenue streams can often be considerably higher. It also very much correlates with what I have seen in my own blogging business, where my RPMs from digital products are considerably higher than my RPMs from ads.
If you are dependent on mainly ads/affiliates for revenue, you may find you can get much better RPMs from products, services or sponsored posts.
One caveat I would add to this, though, is that services and sponsored posts are not passive revenue streams – meaning they can be hard to scale and only earn you money when you are actually doing them. Digital products are a much more passive form of income and so may be your best option if you want to increase your passive income and have a revenue stream that can easily grow as your blog grows!
Put together with the previous section, showing that there is a strong correlation between number of revenue streams and RPMs, this data offers further encouragement to diversify your revenue streams!
This data is also good news for smaller bloggers. Achieving a good income from ads/affiliates when you don’t have a lot of pageviews is hard, but if you focus on the revenue streams with higher RPMs, you may still be able to make a very good income, even with a small blog.
Which is the best paying blogging niche?
I really wanted to share with you the most lucrative niche… Unfortunately, due to the large number of niches represented in the survey data, there were relatively few bloggers within each niche, making the individual data sets just too small to draw any kind of reliable conclusions.
However, looking across the data, I can make three important observations…
The first is that there does not appear to be any one niche which is far outperforming any of the others.
The second is that in almost every niche there are outliers who are vastly outperforming the rest of the bloggers in that niche.
And thirdly, although the data sets are too small to say which niches are the best paying, it is worth noting that the highest earning bloggers all seem to be concentrated in just a few niches. These are the only niches represented in the survey that included bloggers earning $1000 or more per month
- Arts / Crafts
- Food / Recipes
- Health / Fitness
- Home décor
- Lifestyle / Multi Topic
It’s probably possible to make money in almost any niche, however if you want to make more than $1000 per month, you will probably stand the best chance if you blog in the Arts / Crafts, Food / Recipes, Health / Fitness, Home décor, Gardening, Lifestyle / Multi Topic, Parenting, Productivity or Travel niches.
The data in this survey suggests that your financial success in blogging is less related to niche and more related to other factors such as length of time blogging, number of blog posts and number of revenue streams.
Does location impact blog earnings?
The next thing I wanted to understand was whether there was a correlation between location and earnings: both the location of the blogger AND the location of their readers.
Two important things to mention… Firstly, I removed anyone who was not earning any money from their blog from this analysis. And secondly, the data below reflects the countries represented in the survey. My respondents were mainly from the USA, the UK and other English-speaking countries. Therefore, I am only able to show individual country data where I had sufficient respondents.
Average RPM based on the country the blogger lives in
Average RPM based on the country the majority of the blogger’s readers live in
There are no great surprises here. RPMs are highest in the USA and Canada, followed by the UK and Australia. This very much correlates with the information I see in my own Mediavine dashboard. (For the benefit of those not in Mediavine, Mediavine gives RPM information broken down by country. In my Mediavine dashboard the highest RPMs are always from the USA, followed by Canada, the UK, Australia and all other countries are lower.)
The only interesting outlier here is that bloggers located in Canada seemed to have higher RPMs than bloggers located in the USA. Looking at the data more closely, this seems to be down to two factors… Firstly, almost all of the Canadian bloggers represented in the survey selected the USA as where the majority of their readers lived. And secondly this was quite a small data set, so may not be fully representative of Canadian bloggers’ RPMs more widely.
The first key takeaway is that where you as a blogger lives matters less than where your readers live, when it comes to RPMs. I think this will come as no great surprise to most bloggers.
There is of course still something of a correlation between a blogger’s location and income, and that is likely to be because bloggers often target (either intentionally or inadvertently) readers from their own country. Again, this will be of no great surprise to most bloggers.
There is another obvious takeaway here, and that is that if you want to maximize your revenue, you should target readers from the USA. I would like to put a big caveat on that, though. It doesn’t always make sense to do that…
If you are from a country outside of the USA and you want to target US readers, you will need to really understand what readers from the USA actually want, write in US English and use products, measures etc. that people from the US would use. This can be hard to do and requires a lot more effort than many bloggers realise. If you are not careful, you can create a horrible halfway house that neither appeals to US readers nor readers from your own country!
It is also worth pointing out that you are essentially an expert on your own country’s way of doing things, so you will most likely be able to produce better quality content if you target your own country, than if you target another country. This could result in higher pageviews and therefore higher income, even though your RPMs might be lower.
Ultimately, you will have to make a judgement call based on your own situation. But it’s important to note that chasing after US RPMs will not be the right strategy for everyone.
How long does it take to make money from a blog?
The next thing I wanted to look at is how long it takes to make money from a blog. In the survey I asked this in two different ways… firstly how long it took for bloggers to make their first Dollar (or Pound or Euro) and secondly, how long it took for bloggers to make a full-time income from blogging. The results are very interesting…
How long does it take to make SOME money from a blog?
According to the data, it takes bloggers an average of 24 months to earn their first dollar (or euro, or pound) from their blog. But the good news is that many bloggers start earning from their blogs much sooner.
In fact, 24 months is the ‘mean’ figure (adding all the data and dividing by the number of bloggers). But the median figure (the one in the middle when the data is ordered from smallest to largest) was much less than this, at 15 months, and just under one third of bloggers started earning some income from their blogs within 6 months of starting.
Anecdotally, there were many bloggers who commented that they didn’t start blogging with the intention of making money, so this would almost certainly have skewed the data somewhat.
How long does it take to make a full-time income from a blog?
According to the data, it takes bloggers an average of 4 years and 5 months (53 months) to earn a full-time income from blogging. But again, the good news is many bloggers in the survey started earning a full-time income much sooner. The median was 48 months (4 years) and almost one third of bloggers surveyed were achieving a full-time income within 2 years of starting their blogs.
Again, the average may be skewed slightly higher than reality, because many bloggers didn’t start blogging with the intention of making money.
The key takeaway here is that blogging is not a ‘get rich quick’ scheme! However, it also shows that it is possible to start making money from a blog within the first 6 months and to earn a full-time income from blogging within 2 years.
If you are a brand-new blogger, worried about the fact that you are still not earning much/any money, take heart from these figures… It is unlikely that you will earn anything in your first 6 months and you are unlikely to be earning a full-time income until you have been blogging for around 2 years.
That said, there were bloggers in the survey who started earning their first dollar within just a couple of months blogging and started achieving a full-time income much earlier than 2 years, so it can be done.
While I can’t say exactly why it took some bloggers more time than others to start earning from their blogs, it’s not much of a stretch of the imagination to suggest that bloggers who focus on earning money from the get-go are much more likely to start earning from their blogs sooner than those who don’t.
It is also obvious that many of the other factors in this survey come into play. For example, bloggers who create lots of blog posts, pursue multiple revenue streams and work hard on their SEO (to increase their pageviews as fast as possible) are likely to be earning a full-time income far quicker than those who produce content more slowly, pursue only one or two revenue streams and don’t put much effort into SEO.
Which is the best paying ad company for bloggers?
Here I wanted to look at a question that I know many bloggers would love to know the answer to… Which is the best paying ad company? And the results are very interesting…
Average RPM based on ad company
The data suggests that by far the best paying ad companies for bloggers are AdThrive and Mediavine. It also suggests that there is no significant difference between the RPMs of these two ad companies. (The data sets are too small to read anything at all into a 9 cent difference!)
The data suggests then that Ezoic is the ‘best of the rest’, followed by SHE Media.
The data also seems to confirm that the lowest RPMs are to be found with Google Adsense.
None of this will come as a huge surprise to most bloggers. All of this very much chimes with my own experiences and almost everything else I have read anecdotally.
It is also worth pointing out that there were outliers with every ad company, showing it is possible to get much higher RPMs with these ad companies.
This data would seem to suggest that, if you are currently with Mediavine, there is probably not much of an advantage to switching to AdThrive and vice versa.
These results also underline that it’s really worth doubling down on your SEO efforts in order to get into Mediavine / AdThrive as the RPMs are, the data suggests, considerably better.
(Current requirements are a minimum of 50,000 sessions for new sites joining Mediavine and a minimum of 100,000 monthly pageviews for new sites joining AdThrive.)
If you don’t have the pageviews yet to qualify for Mediavine (or AdThrive), it looks like your best bet is probably Ezoic, which doesn’t have a minimum pageview limit.
However, I must caveat this by saying that, as all ads will have something of a negative effect on User Experience, and therefore SEO, putting ads on a smaller site may slow your progress towards getting the minimum pageview requirements for a higher paying ad company. You may decide it’s a better option to focus on getting up to 50,000 pageviews as fast as possible, before putting ads on your site.
Finally, as I mentioned above, there were outliers, earning well above the average RPMs, with all ad companies. So, no matter which ad company you are with, it will almost certainly be worth talking to your ad company to find out how you might be able to increase your ad revenue. If you are with Mediavine, you might like to check out my post on 12 easy ways to grow your Mediavine income.
How much do bloggers charge for sponsored posts?
Finally, I wanted to look at how much bloggers charge for sponsored posts. This is something that most bloggers would love to know, but is not often shared as few bloggers are willing to publicly divulge their sponsored post rates. However, the beauty of an anonymous survey is that bloggers are much more willing to share their rates!
In the survey, bloggers were asked how much they charged for a standard sponsored post. I have shown the averages, based on monthly pageviews, for all countries represented in the survey.
I have also broken this down to show the averages for US & Canadian bloggers, and for UK bloggers.
Finally, I have also shown the HIGHEST sponsored post rates from the survey – so you can see what it’s possible to charge at all levels.
(Unfortunately, it was not possible to show data from any other countries as there was not sufficient data from other countries. I put the US and Canada together as almost all the Canadian bloggers represented in the survey stated that the majority of their READERS were from the USA. Anecdotally I understand that many of their sponsored post opportunities also come from the USA and putting these two countries together meant I had a bigger data set to work with, and so I could give more meaningful data.)
Average sponsored post rate based on pageviews (all countries)
Average sponsored post rate based on pageviews (US & Canadian bloggers only)
Average sponsored post rate based on pageviews (UK bloggers only)
Highest sponsored post rate based on pageviews (US & Canadian bloggers only)
Highest sponsored post rate based on pageviews (UK bloggers only)
Firstly, it’s important to point out that there was a HUGE amount of variation within each group.
Secondly, it’s quite obvious that, in general, the more pageviews you have, the more you can charge for sponsored posts.
There was however a slightly weird phenomenon where, in all categories, bloggers with 10,000 – 24,999 pageviews seemed to charge more than blogger with 25,000 – 49,999 pageviews.
To be perfectly honest, I don’t know why this is. However, one possible reason could be that many bloggers in the 25,000 – 49,999 pageviews category would have qualified for Mediavine under the old rules. (The old minimum threshold for Mediavine was 25,000 sessions – roughly 30,000 pageviews.) If these bloggers are earning good ad income from Mediavine ads, they are not so reliant on sponsored post income and so it’s possible they are more relaxed about their sponsored post rates. This is very much just a theory, though – it may well be down to something else entirely!
Another observation is that in most cases, US/Canadian bloggers are charging more than UK bloggers at the same level of pageviews. This is likely to be down to two factors: firstly, US brands may be more willing to pay higher rates and secondly US/Canadian bloggers may be more confident about charging higher rates. This is certainly something that seems to be true from anecdotal evidence.
Finally, it’s worth pointing out that at every level of pageviews, the highest charging blogger was NOT the blogger with the most pageviews in that group. In fact, the highest charging blogger was almost always somewhere in the middle.
The first, and most obvious takeaway is that, if you are charging less than the average for your level of pageviews / in your country, you are undercharging! And you may want to seriously consider increasing your fees.
It’s also worth taking a look at the highest sponsored post rate for your country / level of pageviews. There is someone who has a similar number of pageviews as you (possibly less if you are at the upper end of your pageview level) charging this rate! Again, in light of this, you may want to consider increasing your fees.
And if you are working for free (or ‘free product’), you should definitely start charging! (For more on this see my post on 21 reasons why bloggers should stop working for free.) Even bloggers with fewer than 10,000 pageviews are able to charge a fee for sponsored work, according to this survey data.
And next time a PR/brand tells you that you are charging too much – show them this post!
As you may be able to tell, I feel quite strongly about this! We as bloggers are offering brands something that is becoming increasingly difficult with traditional advertising routes – access to a highly targeted group of potential customers.
As privacy laws are becoming more strict and it is becoming harder for advertisers to use third party data to target their target market, what we as bloggers have to offer is going to become even more valuable. But if bloggers undercharge… or worse, if bloggers are willing to work ‘for free’, this doesn’t just hurt that one blogger… it hurts all bloggers.
If brands and PRs can get bloggers to work for free, there is no incentive for them to find marketing budget to pay bloggers. Consequently, they will spend the marketing budget they do have on different forms of advertising. But if bloggers start charging higher fees, brands and PRs will find and allocate more money to sponsored post campaigns, in order to access their target market.
Conclusion – how can bloggers increase their income in 2022?
From the results of the Blogging Income Survey 2022, it is possible to draw a number of conclusions about how bloggers can increase their income in 2022.
- Write more high-quality blog posts
- Focus on overall quality and update/delete out of date and poor-quality content
- Work hard on Search Engine Optimization to grow your pageviews
- Diversify your revenue streams and focus more effort on higher earning revenue streams – especially digital products
- If you are not based in the US, it may make sense to target a US audience – but not always. (And only if you are willing to go ‘all in’ – a halfway house is likely to appeal to no one!)
- If you are not with Mediavine/AdThrive, but have reached the minimum monthly pageview requirements, definitely look to move to one of them. (Find out more about Mediavine here.)
- If you are not with Mediavine/Adthrive and have not reached the minimum monthly pageview requirements, Ezoic looks like your best option. (Though you may want to keep ads off your site so you can get into Mediavine sooner.)
- Review your current sponsored post rate and consider charging more if you are currently charging less than the average rate / highest rate for your country and level of pageviews.
- If you do not currently charge for sponsored posts, start charging!
- And finally, if you are not yet earning money from your blog – don’t give up! Blogging is not a get rich quick scheme, but the results from this survey show that it is totally possible to make a good full-time income from blogging – if you are willing to put the work in! And – if you are serious about earning a full-time income from your blog – this survey gives you lots of concrete steps you can take to make that happen.
Over to you!
I’d love to hear your reaction to this data, and what you plan to do differently as a result. Let me know in the comments below.
Methodology and data
This is a survey of individual bloggers, not companies or brands which happen to have a blog on their website.
The respondents to this survey are a combination of subscribers to my Productive Blogging email list, students on one of my blogging courses and members of my Productive Blogging Community Facebook Group.
As a result of this, the data skews towards bloggers from English speaking countries (in particular the UK, the USA, Canada and Australia) and also bloggers who are focused on earning money from their blogs and blogging more productively.
Data was captured using a simple Typeform survey of 14 questions.
Data was given anonymously.
No one was incentivized to take the survey in any way
Responses were gathered between 21st January and 14th February 2022
There were 146 responses. While not a huge dataset, it is sufficient to give statistically significant results, which seem to correlate well with other reliable blogging data/advice and anecdotal evidence.
I did not take part and data from my blogs are not included in the results.
All income data is in USD, except where specified.
I converted income data given to me in other currencies, based on Google’s stated exchange rate for the day I analysed the data (15th February 2022), which were:
- GBP: 1.356
- EUR: 1.135
- AUD: 0.717
Thank you to everyone who took part!
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