How to Make Money Blogging

How to Make Money Blogging

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

Is it actually possible to make a living out of blogging? Or is it just a myth?

Here’s the good news: You CAN make money from blogging. You just have to do it right.

Take my blog as an example.

Blogging played a crucial role in my success. But reaching this point did have its fair share of obstacles, mistakes, and lessons.

Currently, my revenue is $381,772 for 30 days.

Now, that’s a LOT of money, especially for a blog.

But how am I able to pull this off?

I was completely dedicated and put in tons of hard work to create useful and detailed content and use relevant images to provide accurate and thorough information to my readers.

This helped me become an authoritative figure and thought leader in my niche.

And no, it doesn’t have to take you years to become a successful blogger.

Knowing the art of consistently churning out top-quality content, driving search engine traffic, leveraging social media, and generating leads is great. But you also need to know how to make money from your blog.

The process is certainly challenging, especially with the internet painted with a lot of bad advice.

But this isn’t one of those articles.

In this guide, I’ll show you the exact way to make money from blogging by avoiding the mistakes I’d made in my 10-year journey. So not only will your blogging success be easier, but it also is quicker.

Excited? Let’s begin.

Your 2-Minute Cheat Sheet

The very first thing you need to start making money is to come up with an idea and the name for your blog. Think through the topics you’d want to write about often.

After that, sign up for the Basic plan with Bluehost. Even if you don’t have much of a budget, this is practically a steal at just $2.95 per month.

Set up your account, taking care to skip all the add-ons except for domain privacy and protection. A few extra dollars for better privacy and security is an investment.

And with this, you’ll have your own blog domain. Hurrah!

The next steps will have you installing WordPress and then finally writing and publishing your first blog post.

Once you’ve posted a couple of blogs and have started to attract some traffic, you can work on monetizing it to make your first dollars.

For this, you’ll have to sign up for a Google AdSense and Amazon Associates account to make money through ads and affiliate marketing, respectively. You can also sell your own products and services after successfully driving high traffic to your site.

That was the basics. Let’s get into the details now.

Step 1: Figure Out Your Blog’s Niche

The first on the agenda is to decide what your blog is going to be about. Whether you want to talk about marketing, CBD, veganism, or just random life stories, figure it out.

Remember, your idea doesn’t have to be revolutionary, but you do need a unique voice.

Here are two tips for deciding on a blog niche:

Choose Something That You Enjoy

I know that this sounds like a cliche, but it makes no sense to blog about it if you don’t love the topic.

Never start blogging about something that you don’t love–it will show in your writing and your readers will know. Moreover, you won’t be able to consistently produce top-notch content to build your audience and later monetize from it.

Make a list of things that get you naturally curious and that you enjoy learning about. Or think about what your friends and family come to you when seeking advice.

Find Out Whether a Prospective Niche Has a Readership

The only way you can earn money through your blog is if you have enough site visitors.

Let’s assume you’ve already figured out your blog niche and want to write about arts and crafts.

You make a smart decision to niche down further and develop a blog exclusively dedicated to either paper art or scrapbooking. While you enjoy writing about both topics, you prefer to focus on one primarily.

But how do you choose between the two options?

Answer: Do a quick Google search.

As you can see, there are far more results related to paper art as opposed to scrapbooking. Therefore, it makes more sense to write about paper art, which is what audiences are searching for.

I would also like to add that it’s better to avoid broad or generic topics. Don’t be afraid to get specific as long as you have takers for it.

For instance, if you want to create a food blog, don’t use words like “food.” Instead, use “barbecue” or “vegan.”

Get my point?

Step 2: Name Your Blog

Once an idea is in place, you need to work on naming your blog.

Does the name Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta ring a bell? Thought so.

But I bet Lady Gaga does.

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta is Lady Gaga’s real name. She decided to go with a catchier and easier-to-remember alternative that aligns better with her music.

That’s the power of the right name.

Choosing a blog name is equal parts exciting and daunting. After all, this will be your brand name and dictate how people will remember you.

Don’t overthink it, and don’t name your blog something random or offensive.

Keep in mind the following questions when deciding on a name:

  • Does it reflect what your blog is going to be about?
  • Would your target audience like it?
  • Is the name easy to say and spell?
  • Is it short and concise?

I chose my own name as my domain ( simply because Neil Patel is who I am, and it’s also my brand. You could do what I did or come up with something entirely different.

Whatever name you come up with, make sure it’s available as website domains.

You can use Bluehost’s domain name checker for this purpose. Type in each potential name in the search bar, and click Check Availability to know.

I’d recommend opting for a .com whenever possible.

Don’t buy an available domain at this point. I have something up my sleeve to help you get it for free.

Step 3: Sign up With a Web Host Like Bluehost

You need to sign up for a web hosting service to get your blog live, along with a registered domain name that will serve as your blog’s address.

I recommend Bluehost as its hands down one of the best web hosting companies—not to mention affordable—that assures excellent service and a free domain.

And did I mention that as a reader, you get an additional discount?

You’re welcome.

Head over to, and click on the green Get Started Now button.

Next, sign up for the Basic plan. You can always upgrade later, but since you’re just starting a blog, it’s better to stick to the Basic plan.

Register the domain name you came up with without having to pay anything extra. Just make sure the drop-down is set to .com before you click Next.

Following this, you need to sign in using your Google account. You can also manually enter your personal credentials.

Scroll down to choose your registration term, which can either be a 36-month, a 24-month, or a 12-month agreement. To get the best deal ($2.95 per month), you’ll have to sign up for a three-year contract.

It still isn’t over yet.

You’ll find package options like Domain Privacy + Protection, Codeguard Basic, Bluehost SEO Tools, Microsoft 365 Mailbox Trial, and SiteLock Security Essentials.

In my opinion, you only need Domain Privacy + Protection to protect your contact information against scam callers and unsolicited emails. Ignore the others.

Finally, enter your payment information, read the terms and conditions, and hit submit.

This is the point where you’ll have your blog! 

Complete all the remaining instructions to set up your account, and then move onto the next step.

Step 4: Install WordPress CMS

You have your web host, next you need blogging software.

I trust WordPress to run all my blogs as it is user-friendly, feature-rich, and free. Plus, you can install thousands of free plugins to make your blog more functional and customize it however you want.

After signing up for Bluehost, you will have a free domain and hosting account. Log in by filling in your credentials and then click on Install WordPress.

Next, select Do it yourself (FREE) and hit Install, followed by Check Domain. Lastly, acknowledge WordPress’s terms of service and finalize your install.

Ta-Da! You now have a fully functional WordPress blog ready to roll.

Step 5: Design Your WordPress Blog

To design a blog, you need to select an attractive and affordable WordPress theme.

Why do you need this? Well, after signing up for WordPress, your blog will look something like this:

Not exactly what you’d call sleek and welcoming, right? The way your website looks can help drive more website traffic, which, in turn, will enable you to make more money.

Luckily, WordPress has thousands and thousands of themes for you to choose from. I’ve even done a roundup of some of the best ones. Here’s how you can select a WordPress theme:

  1. Log into your WordPress account.
  2. Click on Appearance in the sidebar menu on your dashboard.
  3. From the drop-down options, select Themes.
  1. Go to Add New, located at the very top of the screen, to gain access to thousands of fancy WordPress themes. You can also click on Feature Filter to filter your search to see options more suited to your tastes.

You should choose a theme that fits your personal style, but at the same time, it should also be in sync with your blog niche.

  1. Preview the theme to see what it will look like.
  2. If you like the sneak peek of a specific theme, click on Install and then Activate.

With a nice new theme, your website will get a much-needed upgrade that makes it look appealing to visitors.

Step 6: Come up With Interesting Blog Topics

If you want to increase your website traffic or encourage more email signups, you need to offer your readers interesting content.

My tip is to make a list of questions you get often. Trust me, within just 30 minutes, you’ll be able to come up with a bunch of potential blog topics. Your priority should be to look at things from your reader’s viewpoint.

You can also focus on higher-level questions.

Suppose you want to start a parenting blog for stay-at-home moms. Below, I’ve created a list of questions to ask yourself, along with a list of answers concerning the mom blog.

Q1) What could be an intriguing or exciting talking point for your readers?

For stay-at-home moms, topics related to sleep training, homeschooling, and budget-friendly meal ideas could be a great place to start.

Q2) What are your reader’s pain points and challenges?

Common household challenges for stay-at-home moms could be meal planning, understanding developmental milestones, and so on.

Q3) What are your readers’ character traits?

Moms are typically patient and caring and appreciate a sense of humor.

Q4) What niche topics would appeal the most to your readers?

A child’s mental, physical, and emotional development could be attractive talk points for stay-at-home moms.

Q5) What topics would your readers hate about my niche?

Stay-at-home moms don’t like to be looked down on by others. So, you could write blogs about how society views them and their impact.

Similarly, you can use the above questions to come up with ideas according to your niche. While you’re at it, don’t forget to work out a catchy headline that will make the reader instantly click on your blog.

Step 7: Optimize Your Blogs for the SERPs

Search engine optimization or SEO is a crucial step to earn money via blogging. Here, you will optimize your website to rank higher in search engines for specific keywords and phrases.

If you’ve been following me for a long time, you may already know how SEO is my trump card.

By incorporating particular keywords and phrases, I’ve successfully driven more than 30 million visitors to my website. Shocked?

That’s the power of SEO.

On WordPress, you can optimize your content and blog by downloading a plugin called Yoast SEO.

Go to the Plugins menu, and click on Add New. Search for Yoast SEO in the search bar, and then install the plugin.

Don’t forget to activate it to complete the installation process.

You’ll find that this plugin will give you all kinds of improvement tips and suggestions based on the keyword you select to help you optimize your content. I’d recommend incorporating as many suggestions as you can to improve SEO and content readability.

Step 8: Sign up for Google AdSense

Setting up ads is the best way to monetize your blog. But you need to be smart about it.

The biggest mistake people make is to bombard their sites with blinking ads. Avoid this at all costs.

Instead, focus on using targeted ads that appeal to your customers without annoying them.

To start earning money through ads, you need a Google AdSense account. Head over to the AdSense page, and click on Sign Up Now. If you don’t have an existing Google account, you have to set up a new one. If you already have a Google account, simply sign in.

Fill out all the relevant information before submitting your application. The AdSense team reviews every application, and if everything goes well, you’ll be in!

Next, follow the below steps to set up your account:

  1. Go to your AdSense dashboard and click on My Ads > New ad unit.
  2. Select the size of your ad and the type of ad. Once you’re done, select Save and get code.
  1. You’ll get a bit of code that you’ll then have to copy and paste between your page’s tags. Here’s how it’ll look.
  1. Once you’ve pasted the code, your ad will be live. Your AdSense dashboard will have all information about your earnings, so check it regularly.

While you can use ads on as many as you want, I would recommend starting with just one–maybe two max–to get an idea of how your audience responds to them.

If you see a higher bounce rate on your dashboard, you should consider repositioning your current ads for better results.

Step 9: Create an Amazon Associates Account

You might have already heard of affiliate marketing. If your goal is to earn passive income, leveraging the power of affiliates is your best bet.

You can start by signing up for Amazon Associates, which allows you to start earning right away through referral links, display ads, or Amazon-based shopping carts.

If your visitors decide to use your referral link or click on the display ads, you’ll get a small commission.

To sign up for Amazon Associates, all you need to do is visit the website and click on Join Now for Free.

This can be pretty effective. Just check out these earnings of Brendan Mace for definitive proof.

Amazon Associates isn’t the only affiliate program.

You’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of companies with their own affiliate programs, some of which pay higher commissions than Amazon. Just make sure to research before signing up to be an affiliate for a brand.

That said, I’d also like to emphasize the importance of advertising only those products or services that you’ve used yourself or genuinely believe can help your audience.

Step 10: Offer a Product or Service for Sale (Optional)

Many people think that advertisements are the only source of income for bloggers. This might be true for a few, but you’ll also find many bloggers make quite a bit of money by selling a product or service.

Of course, this will only work when you already have a loyal readership with steady website traffic like Nomadic Matt. Once you’re at this stage, you shouldn’t be afraid to take the leap.

Here are a few things that you can consider selling:

  • Training courses
  • Books
  • Video courses/webinars
  • Coaching services
  • Consulting services

Next, you have to figure out how you want to sell your product. Services like Shopify or WooCommerce plugins on WordPress, Amazon, or Etsy are great options for digital products. If you’re selling a physical product (like phone cases or clothes), you’ll have to set up a more comprehensive ecommerce store.

Finally, let your audience know about your product or service by sending them emails. You can also consider developing lead magnets like pre-recorded webinars, PDFs, and whitepapers to build your email list.


There’s a difference between simply having a blog and monetizing a blog. To make this transition successful, you’ll need to adopt a more proactive and focused approach.

You’ve got this!

Just remain focused and work consistently to keep improving your blog and build trust between you and your audience. And follow my steps above to get things started on the right track.

Remember to stick with what works, and you’ll have a successful formula.

Have you tried blogging yet? Let me know about your experience.

The Best Blogging Platforms (In-Depth Review)

The Best Blogging Platforms (In-Depth Review)

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

Do you want to skip the read and get right to my top pick? The best blogging platform for most people is Wix.

Whether you want to become a blogger for a big-time news publication, share your independent thoughts online, make millions as a blogger, or something in between, it all starts with a blogging platform.

And choosing the right one sets precedence for everything else you do.

But with so many options to choose from, picking the best blogging platform can feel overwhelming.

So to help you out, I created a list of considerations to think about as you go through the process and reviewed the top five blogging platforms on the market today.

By the end of this article, you’ll be well on your way to starting your own blog.

The top 6 options for blogging platforms:

  1. Wix – Best drag-and-drop blogging platform
  2. – Best open-source blogging platform
  3. Squarespace – Best for visual-based businesses
  4. Medium – Best traditional blogging platform
  5. Blogger – Best for personal blogs

How to choose the best blogging platform for you 

Choosing a blogging platform is an important decision. And the one you choose depends on what you hope to do with your new blog and how much control you want to have.

So, let’s walk through what to consider as you make your final decision.

Do you want to make money?

This is probably the most crucial question to ask yourself.

If you want to start a personal blog to share your thoughts and experiences, you’re completely fine going with a free blogging platform, like Medium or Blogger.

However, if you want to make money blogging, you have to be careful. Most free platforms don’t let you monetize your blog.

So, you need to choose a premium blogging platform that gives you more control, like Wix,, or Squarespace.

Do you already have a website?

If you want to add a blog to a website you already have, I highly recommend looking into your website platform’s blogging capabilities.

This is the easiest way to add a blog to a website that already exists.

Alternatively, you can look into migrating your website to Wix,, or Squarespace. However, I recommend staying with the platform you’re already using if you can.

Customization capabilities

Paid blogging platforms give you more control and design flexibility, allowing you to build a complete website and brand around your blog.

You can customize the look and feel of nearly every aspect of your website instead of having to color inside the lines someone else drew.

If you’re serious about blogging as a business, you a deeper level of control.

For complete flexibility and customization options, go with And if you want something easier than WordPress, yet still flexible, Wix and Squarespace are great drag-and-drop options.

Free blogging platforms don’t give you the ability to customize to that extent. You may be able to change the colors and pick between a few different layouts.

But, you can’t do much aside from that.

That said, if you’re interested in personal or hobby blogging, you don’t need anything fancy. Free blogging platforms offer everything you need to quickly write content and share it online in just a few clicks.

The different types of blogging platforms

There are several different types of blogging platforms.

And the right one for you depends on what you want to do with your blog.

So, before we dive into my top recommendations, let’s walk through the different types and what they’re used for.

Free blogging platforms

Free blogging platforms are perfect for anyone interested in personal or hobby blogging. It’s by far the easiest way to write and publish content online quickly.

However, free blogging platforms usually don’t let you make money with your content. You can’t make money with ads, use affiliate marketing, or sell your own products.

Furthermore, they’re very limited in design flexibility and customization capabilities.

You may even be stuck with random ads placed on your blog. And migrating your content from a free platform to another isn’t an easy process.

In the end, they’re not suitable for business bloggers or anyone interested in making money blogging at any point in the future.

Website builders

Website builders are all-inclusive, drag-and-drop design tools that let you quickly build an entire website without touching any code. They’re easy to set up, simple to use, and include a full suite of blogging tools.

However, they’re not free. Web hosting is included with your subscription, which is nice, and some even offer a free custom domain name for the first year.

You also get a significant level of flexibility and customization compared to free blogging platforms. That said, some areas may be limited depending on the which option you select.

This is a great place to start if you want to make money, but you’ve never built a website before. Just keep in mind that you sacrifice some flexibility in exchange for ease of use.

Open-source blogging platforms

Open-source blogging platforms are free to download and install. They’re completely customizable from the inside out, making them perfect for serious bloggers and business owners interested in building a full-fledged custom website.

However, there’s a steeper learning curve.

But once you get the hang of it, you’ll realize how flexible and customizable this type of blogging platform really is. You can create ecommerce stores, business websites, portfolios, service-based websites, interactive blogs, and more.

With that said, you have to buy web hosting before you can install an open-source software.

The good news is that most web hosts make this type of software easy to install with one-click installation.

#1 – Wix Review — The best drag-and-drop blogging platform

If you’re looking for the easiest premium blogging platform, you should go with Wix.

It’s an all-in-one website builder with more than 100 million users worldwide, making it one of the most popular options on the market.

Wix is excellent for beginners interested in creating a full-fledged website with a blog included. And the intuitive drag-and-drop builder makes creating engaging blog content a breeze.

Plus, it includes everything you need to make money with your new blog.

With Wix, you get premium blogging features, including:

  • 500 professional design templates
  • Industry-leading SEO tools
  • Rich-text editor
  • Embed HTML codes
  • Categories and hashtags
  • Advanced search capabilities
  • Writer and editor user roles
  • Easy image editing
  • Social media tools
  • Visitor analytics

Wix is arguably the easiest and fastest way to get your professional website and blog running.

You can also take advantage of their ADI (advanced design intelligence) tool, which creates everything you need to get started in a matter of minutes.

Simply answer a few questions, customize the design, add your website copy, update your images, and you’re ready to start blogging.

Wix offers a free plan, which is excellent for building your site and getting everything ready to go. However, I highly recommend upgrading to a paid plan so you can remove Wix ads and connect a custom domain name.

Paid plans start at $13/mo and increase depending on the features you need. Start for free.

#2 – Review — The best open-source blogging platform is an open-source blogging platform with complete design flexibility.

It also powers 38% of the entire internet, including the blog you’re reading right now, making it the most popular blogging platform on the market.

And the best part? It’s free to download and install.

However, you do need web hosting to be able to use it. This usually costs around $3 – $10 per month, so it’s the most affordable option on this list.

With that said, it’s not as easy as Wix. There are a few more steps to get started, but the extra work is well worth it if you’re looking for complete design control and flexibility.

With, you also get:

  • 55,000+ plugins to extend the functionality of your site
  • Thousands of free and premium themes
  • The Gutenburg block editor
  • Advanced user roles and permissions
  • Powerful media management
  • A massive community of experts
  • Infinite design control

The best part is that you have 100% control over your website and blog. Plus, you aren’t tied down by rules and regulations. You can decide what to display, what you don’t reveal, and how you make money.

There are countless ways to get started with But I highly recommend starting with Bluehost.

It’s the easiest way to get everything you need.

They also include a free domain name for the first year. So, all you have to do is pick a hosting plan, snag your free domain, and use their one-click WordPress installation feature.

#3 – Squarespace Review — The best blogging platform for visual-based businesses

Squarespace is an all-in-one website builder, like Wix. However, it’s famous for aesthetically pleasing templates, making it perfect for visual-based businesses like photographers, designers, and artists.

For as great as the your published work looks on Squarespace, it’s a relatively effortless platform to use. Plus, it includes web hosting services and a free domain for the first year (if you choose an annual premium plan).

It’s perfect for bloggers who want an easy, aesthetic way to share images, videos, and portfolio pieces, along with long-form and short-form blog posts.

And with Squarespace, you create blog posts the same way you create pages.

Once you learn how the drag-and-drop editor works, you know how to use the entire platform. You also get access to powerful blogging features, including:

  • Free blogging templates to help you get started
  • Five unique post layouts for your home and archive pages
  • Categories, tags, and featured posts
  • Built-in post scheduler
  • Contributor permissions
  • In-depth analytics
  • SEO and social media tools
  • Email marketing (additional fees)
  • Expert customer service
  • Mobile app

Squarespace isn’t as customizable as Wix or, but it’s perfect for creative bloggers and businesses who need to create captivating content quickly.

Paid plans start at $12 per month and increase depending on the features you need.  Try Squarespace for free.

#4 – Medium Review — The best traditional blogging platform

Medium is a platform that helps readers and writers find new ideas, knowledge, and perspectives. It’s unique because there are no ads present on the platform.

To date, they have over 120 million readers, making Medium an excellent way to get your content in front of more people. It’s great for sharing personal stories, perspectives, and getting your ideas out into the world.

However, it’s not a great platform for making money as a blogger.

Medium does have a partner program that rewards writers for the amount of time paying members spend reading their content. Making a decent amount of money this way is going to be tricky.

Another thing: you can’t include your own call-to-actions in partner posts. So, you have to choose between making money and growing your email list.

It’s still a great product, just not for revenue. I highly recommend treating Medium as an extension of your Wix, Squarespace, or blog.

To get started, you can create a profile or a publication. Publications look more aesthetically pleasing, and you get more organization and display features. With publications, you can also send newsletters to your followers.

Note: if you use Medium as an extension of your blog, make sure you use their import feature to add existing blog posts. This way, you can add content from your blog to Medium without creating duplicate content for SEO purposes.

#5 – Blogger Review – The best for personal blogs

Blogger is one of the original blogging platforms. It’s been around since 1999.

It’s completely free to use with no paid plans, upsells, or anything like that. And it’s incredibly easy to use. This makes it perfect for personal or hobby bloggers looking to share their thoughts and ideas with the world.

They have several free templates to choose from that govern how your blog looks. However, they’re not very customizable.

You can change the colors and the layout of a few things, but that’s about it.

The platform focuses solely on blogging, so that’s where the majority of their features lie. With Blogger, you get free access to essential features, including:

  • A free SSL certificate and free domain mapping
  • Google integrations
  • Image storage with Google Photos
  • Integrated ad campaigns
  • Simple text editor

And while those features are great, the platform is seriously lacking in other departments, including customization, custom post types, and overall design.

Essentially, it’s an old-school blogging platform. It works well for simple blogging, but you can’t create a full-fledged website, so I don’t recommend it if you want to build a brand and make money blogging.

However, since Google’s acquisition in 2003, you can display Google Ads on your blog to make a little extra money on the side.

But, it’s not a sustainable or long-term way to make a full-time income with your blog.


The best blogging platform for you depends on where you want to take your blog. For personal and hobby bloggers, a free platform like Blogger or Medium is the perfect place to start.

They’re easy to set up, incredibly simple, and the fastest way to start publishing online. Plus, you don’t have to pay anything to share your thoughts and ideas.

However, if you want to make money and turn your blog into a business, free platforms won’t cut it. The easiest premium blogging platforms are Wix and Squarespace, making them perfect for beginners.

However, if you want the ultimate level of control, go with hosted by Bluehost.

How to Make a $65k Per Month Living Blogging About Informational Content

How to Make a $65k Per Month Living Blogging About Informational Content

Interested in learning how to make a full-time income from blogging?  Today I’ve got some inspiration for you and perhaps someone that you can learn from.

Jon Dykstra is the founder of Fat Stacks, an online resource teaching others how to make a living blogging or building niche sites.

I’ve known Jon for a while now, and he is no stranger to us here at Niche Pursuits. Jon has been publishing niche sites as a professional blogger full time since 2012. 

As we all ride the Google wave, bracing ourselves for each new update, Jon has found ways to leverage other traffic sources with social media, Pinterest, paid advertising, and essentially no link building.

The best part? Jon is now making $65,000 a month from his blogging efforts!

So, I decided to ask Jon a few questions about how he got started, what strategies work well, and how others could follow in his foosteps as a full-time blogger.  You’ll find all his answers below.

Want to Learn from Jon?

Before I dive into the interview, I wanted to share that Jon actually does have a full collection of training material that teaches others how to make a living blogging.

Lucky for us, Jon is a fantastic teacher and better yet, has agreed to give the Niche Pursuits audience full access to ALL of his courses at a massive discount. 

This week only for you can get $200 off all of Jon’s courses for the one price. The courses are usually bundled together for $499, and you can only get the $200 off discount through my special link for this week only.

  1. Pinterest Magnate (Reg. $197): Learn precisely how Jon is driving massive (300,000 views +) with Pinterest each month!
  2. Long Tail Deep Dive (Reg. $97): How Jon makes a living blogging with long-tail keywords
  3. Content Site Autopilot (Reg. $147): A multi-module training program to show you how to create systems and processes for putting your content creation on autopilot.
  4. Natural Link Building Formula (Reg. $97): Learn how to attract links naturally with your blog post.
  5. Display Ads Deep Dive (Reg. $97): Your ultimate guide to monetizing niche sites and blogs with passive income display ads (i.e. AdSense and other ad networks).
  6. On-Site SEO Deep Dive (Reg. $147): Learn everything Jon does for on-site SEO (structure, schema, etc.) for ranking content. His search traffic isn’t an accident. It’s the result of setting up sites’ on-site SEO properly and publishing lots of killer content.
  7. Niche Exponential (Reg. $147): The ultimate guide to building specialty blogs such as recurring commission niche sites and others.

Get Access to the Fat Stacks Course Bundle Here

I recently caught up with Jon to find out what he is focused on, how his sites are performing, and some tips on making money blogging with niche sites. Here is what Jon had to say.

What are you working on right now with your sites?

Recently I streamlined my content publishing business by selling 6 sites with a 7th still on the chopping block with Motion Invest.  

That leaves me currently focusing on three sites. It’s looking like I’ll be scaling back even more and focus on only 3 sites. I’m once again merging content from one site to another.  

One of the three sites is Fat Stacks. Lately, I’ve been publishing quite a bit of long form content on that site to bolster search traffic.

My other two sites are run-of-the-mill content niche sites. They’re in different niches. One is quite large. The other is an up-and-comer recently hitting 150K monthly page views so it has real promise.

It’s been interesting expanding and then scaling back in a relatively short period of time. What I’ve learned is that I’m not a good fit for all niches.

I suspect that’s the case with many folks. My biggest niche site was an instant fit but other than Fat Stacks, finding another great fit took time. In fact, it tools launching a pile of sites to see what sticks.  

What makes a niche a good fit?

For me at this point a good niche is one where I can effortlessly find great topics to cover and then write killer content on those topics all the while enjoying the entire process. I’ve entered niches I thought would be fun but weren’t. They weren’t bad niches, just not quite as good of a fit as other niches.

How much are you currently making from your largest blog?

For the past three months (September, October and November) it’s been around $65,000 per month.

The lion’s share of that revenue is from display ads courtesy of AdThrive. Another $9,000 or so is from the video ad network And the $5K to $7K is from affiliate marketing, including Amazon and other merchants.

How much traffic does your largest blog currently get?

Traffic has grown to my biggest blog quite a bit over the last year. Over the last 30 days it topped 2 million sessions. About 1 million is from organic traffic. 336,000+/- is from Facebook. 218,000+/- is from Pinterest.

The rest is a smattering of sources.

Here’s a traffic screenshot for another niche site that I’m excited about:

And just so you know it’s not all fun and growth, here’s the traffic of one of my sites that took a beating from the very recent December 2020 Google algo update:

Why is informational content your go-to strategy to make money blogging?

I used to focus on affiliate marketing which requires focusing on a particular type of content that generates sales. It’s called pre-selling with buyer intent content. I still do some of this but it’s a very small percentage of my content strategy.

I love monetizing with ads because I can monetize any topic I want. I’m not stuck writing about products and commercial topics. I can write about how to find quartz crystals in North Vancouver and if that article gets traffic, I’ll make money.

A complementary benefit of that is I can seek out easy-to-rank keywords so that I can get decent traffic to content quickly without expensive or risky link building schemes.

Switching to focusing on display ads was a game-changer for my content publishing business.

Why are you focused on updating old content and what’s your strategy there?

When I first read about updating old content a couple years ago I scoffed. I was naive.

About 6 months after that I had the aha moment where I understood that updating old content, especially content with decent rankings but not number one rankings in Google could grow traffic considerably with little effort.

After all, if Google ranks an article in position 9, that means it’s not useless. Google kind of likes it which means it’s worthwhile to put more spit and polish into it to nudge it to the top.

In other words, updating content can be a very low cost, little time method to yield big traffic growth.

I also believe the stronger and better your content is overall, the better your site will do overall.

How do you choose what you’ll be writing about for your blogs?

My niche sites (other than are broad in that they cover quite a few related topics. I don’t restrict myself to just “basketball shoes” for example. I cover footwear or even broader yet, fashion or sports.

However, there is kind of a method to the madness.

When starting a niche site I’ll publish on many topics within the niche seeking out ridiculously low competition keywords. My aim is to get some content ranking in Google.

After 3 to 9 months I check to see which topics are ranking. I then hone in on those and publish more content on those already successful topics. This method takes the guesswork out of it. Google tells me what they like the site for so why not give Google more of it.

Since I monetize with display ads, I’m not so concerned about whether content will generate affiliate sales. I just need traffic.

Over time as a site attracts more links and gains authority, it can start ranking naturally for more competitive keywords. This is a great development because this is when traffic can grow considerably.

And then sometimes I just write about what I feel like writing about. Just today I wrote an article about jogging pants because I just bought some that I really like.

I also wrote an article on Fat Stacks today on whether incorporating a blogging business is worth doing and if so, when to do it. This topic arose as a result of my accountant calling me back about some questions I had.

When I dream up my own topics I always run them through Ahrefs to determine the best wording to match as closely as possible a decent keyword.

How do you choose when to monetize with affiliates vs display advertising?

If an article could effectively sell something with affiliate links, I’ll plug them in. However, it has to stand a reasonable chance of actually generating affiliate links. I don’t pepper in affiliate links in everything.

Usually, I restrict affiliate links to the obvious articles such as reviews and comparisons.

When starting a new site, how long until the blog makes money?

It takes a while to start making money. If you aggressively build links you could probably make money inside 6 months. If not, it’ll take longer… 12 months to see any decent revenue at all. It’s a long process.

Are you making money from other channels Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube?

I generate about 200,000 monthly visitors from Pinterest and a tad more than that from Facebook. That’s about it.  

If someone was starting from scratch today, what would you have them focus on to generate traffic to their blog?

Choose a niche that interests you that also has some commercial viability to it as in there are products being sold. Once chosen, focus on very low competition keywords and start ranking some articles. You won’t get much traffic but the thing is traffic gets traffic. With traffic comes links. With links come more traffic.  

So, focus on finding easy-to-rank keywords. There are billions of them.

How long does it realistically take for someone to become a full-time blogger?

This is impossible to answer.

If you’re single with a part-time job and need almost nothing to live on, you could conceivably be a full time online in 12 months with a big effort.

If you have a family and a demanding job you probably have very little time to devote to this so it’ll take quite a bit longer.

It also depends on how well you choose keywords, whether you take on more risk and build links, etc.  

There are many variables involved. However, I know folks who managed to get to $5,000 per month inside 18 to 24 months.

Do you have a strategy for managing your multiple websites? Do you find it better to focus on one or build multiple?

At this stage, I find it’s best to focus on a few sites.

I believe there’s merit in sticking with one site. I could easily devote my days to my biggest niche site. However, I really like the idea of being slightly diversified with another site or two performing well. None of us are immune to Google updates so I’d like to be in a position where I have more than one site pumping out a healthy revenue.

Do you ever get discouraged in blogging, and if so, what do you think or do to motivate yourself to continue?

I sure do.

Everything I do today won’t yield any results for a long time so sometimes it seems pointless. However, and I tell myself this often, consistency is critical. I can’t move the needle with one day of work but if I publish one to three articles every day for a year, that’s significant.

It’s amazing how fast a year goes by. You could sit and read about how to blog, or you could bang out one to three articles per day. I strongly encourage you to just write and publish. By the end of year one you could easily have 250 to 750 articles published. That could be a decent amount of traffic and revenue.

Whenever I procrastinate or am not sure what to do, I write an article. It’s my default activity because if I do nothing but publish one article per day, it’s a good day. If I spend the day looking at stats and reading about blogging, that’s not going to do me any good.

Can you give us a sneak peek of what someone may learn in your course bundle? 

My course, which is now a massive bundle of courses has grown like crazy over 18 months. It started with my course on how I find low competition keywords and grew from that to what it is now which is an A to Z program for growing fun niche sites on topics you love and earning good revenue from them with display ads.

You don’t have to chain yourself to writing product reviews. There’s a wide world of topics to cover that are fun to write about. Thanks to the mighty display ad, you can make money from any topic.

In addition to long tail keyword research, the course includes a huge module on writing, outlining and ordering content. I also cover everything I do for on-site SEO. I’m not an SEO tech but there are some things I’ve figured out over the years that’s made a big difference.

I also teach how to get decent traffic from Pinterest based on my getting more than 200,000 monthly visitors from Pinterest.

Finally, the course offers a unique approach to link building. I’m not anti-link building.

Instead, I’m all about publishing content that attracts links naturally. To date I’ve attracted links from over 10,000 referring domains. I did not do outreach or guest posts or anything. I just focused on publishing great content.

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FatStacks Course Bundle $200 OFF This Week Only

Includes All Courses!

  • Pinterest Magnate: Learn precisely how Jon is driving massive (300,000 views +) with Pinterest each month!
  • Long Tail Deep Dive: How Jon makes a living blogging with long-tail keywords
  • Content Site Autopilot: A multi-module training program to show you how to create systems and processes for putting your content creation on autopilot.
  • Natural Link Building Formula: Learn how to attract links naturally with your blog post.
  • Display Ads Deep Dive: Your ultimate guide to monetizing niche sites and blogs with passive income display ads (i.e. AdSense and other ad networks).
  • On-Site SEO Deep Dive: Learn everything Jon does for on-site SEO (structure, schema, etc.) for ranking content. His search traffic isn’t an accident. It’s the result of setting up sites’ on-site SEO properly and publishing lots of killer content.
  • Niche Exponential: The ultimate guide to building specialty blogs such as recurring commission niche sites and others.


What makes your courses different from other how to make a living blogging courses?

I’ve carved my own way in this business and my course explains in minute detail exactly what I do. For example, I don’t build links. I attract them. I don’t try to rank for big keywords. I look for those obscure gems other sites missed or won’t target.  

Most of my growth is a result of trying different things and then focusing on what works.  

You recently sold a few sites on Motion Invest. Why did you decide to sell? What was your experience with Motion Invest?

There were a number of reasons. Here they are:

  • Distracting: I find it distracting to effectively grow 12+ sites. These days sites need a lot of TLC, especially when it comes to content. I’m still at the helm of these sites issuing instructions, tracking results, etc. While this work doesn’t take up tons of time for one site, it adds up with many sites.
  • Sites end up better quality when I care and I only care when I’m involved: I’m at the stage in my content publishing business where I’m still involved. Here’s a weird psychological phenomenon I’ve noticed over the years. When I 100% delegate a site or let it sit untouched, I stop caring. As soon as I roll up my sleeves and get involved I start caring and want it to succeed. This caring and motivation to make it succeed makes all the difference in the world. It makes this work more fun. It’s like an artist enjoying the painting process. I enjoy digging into niche sites and making them great. But I can only do this with so many sites.
  • Interest: I’m now down to focusing on 4 sites. Fat Stacks is one of them. It’s a diverse set of sites. Two are general info sites monetized with ads (mostly). One is a pure product site (smartwatches and wearables). And then there’s fatstacks. These niche sites are my absolute favorite topics.
  • Costs: It used to be most software could be applied to unlimited sites. These days, with better software available, you have to pay for each site or on a per use basis. 2 examples include Nitropack and MarketMuse, both of which I’m using. They charge for each site. Costs go up instead of being able to dilute costs across as many sites as you want.
  • Fat Stacks: I have a lot of plans for the course bundle over this next year. I’ve received plenty of suggestions for new modules and details to fill in existing modules. I want to add it all plus more. I also want to add more video tutorials. This stuff takes time. Time permitting, I’ll do more YouTube vids and podcasts as well.
  • Investment: I have an investment opportunity independent of niche sites. I’m keen to pull the trigger in the new year. The proceeds will fund that.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to a beginner blogger who wants to earn a living blogging?

You have to enjoy the process. If you don’t there’s an easier way to make a living. But if you do like it, it’s a terrific lifestyle business.

What’s next in your professional blogger career?

I’ll stick to what I’m doing which is growing a few niche sites. They aren’t nearly as big as they could be so I’ll just keep hammering away.

As with every conversation I have with Jon, he truly knows what it takes to be a successful blogger, and the proof is in his monthly income reports. 

If you want to learn how to make a living blogging, Jon is a great resource, and I highly recommend his courses. Read more about how you can get Niche Pursuits Fat Stacks deal here

<imgsrc=”https:”” wp-content=”” uploads=”” 2020=”” 12=”” copy-of-fatstacks-280×255.png”=””></imgsrc=”https:>

FatStacks Course Bundle $200 OFF This Week Only

Includes All Courses!

  • Pinterest Magnate: Learn precisely how Jon is driving massive (300,000 views +) with Pinterest each month!
  • Long Tail Deep Dive: How Jon makes a living blogging with long-tail keywords
  • Content Site Autopilot: A multi-module training program to show you how to create systems and processes for putting your content creation on autopilot.
  • Natural Link Building Formula: Learn how to attract links naturally with your blog post.
  • Display Ads Deep Dive: Your ultimate guide to monetizing niche sites and blogs with passive income display ads (i.e. AdSense and other ad networks).
  • On-Site SEO Deep Dive: Learn everything Jon does for on-site SEO (structure, schema, etc.) for ranking content. His search traffic isn’t an accident. It’s the result of setting up sites’ on-site SEO properly and publishing lots of killer content.
  • Niche Exponential: The ultimate guide to building specialty blogs such as recurring commission niche sites and others.