How Much Can You Make by Blogging? Google AdSense?

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

writing blogs take tremendous time. I write 5 or so blogs. Emacs, programing, web dev, literature/linguistics/letters, and a few others. See: .

The Emacs blog and Programing blog are the major ones, usually with 1 article per day. They have corresponding accounts for Google Plus and twitter.

Manage Comments = 2 Hours Per Day

Each day, first i spend a hour or 2 on comments and feedbacks in all places. Comment on my website, on my blogger site, and my Google Plus, twitter, facebook….

Also private emails need to be replied. Usually i can't keep up there. The most time consuming are lengthy comments or deep comments that need to be responded. Such comment can easily take 5 to 10 minutes each. Comment replies are ephemeral in nature, like tech support. It easily takes all your time but adds nothing to your blogging effort.

Manage Spam = 1 Hour Per Day

On various site's comment systems, spam that escaped filter need to be removed. Spam basket needs to be checked regularly. Some spam takes a while to discern. It's a bad karma if you deleted innocent reader comment assuming it as spam, and spammer's jobs are exactly to make them appear innocent. Other comments need to be replied or positively marked (thumbs up) or deleted (For example, “troll”). Really useful comments need to be incorporated back into main text with proper credit.

SEO = 1 Hour Per Day

You have to manage new posts thru-out the day, especially for Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. Each of these have slightly different culture, style, audience, length of post allowed, time to post, repeatability. Broadcast one post to all doesn't work. For example, if you want to be read on twitter as a pro blogger, you have to consider best time to post, and better articles should be repeated 2 or 3 times while fresh. Else, many of your readers will miss it. Also, you can't just simply post a link and title. Nobody will click it that way. You have to craft the title considerably — a art of sorts. It makes a major difference whether people will click.

Past posts may need to be repeated in the future (depending on your subject area). For example, i write programing tutorial a lot, which are mostly not sensitive to time. Most articles written 2 years ago will be still informative 2 years later. So, you'll need to manage posting older articles. You have to balance the article repetition schedule, so that new readers will discover your old articles, and long-time subscribers won't be annoyed by it. If you have been blogging for a while, then you have lots older articles. Let's say you have 500. Choosing which to repeat, when, isn't easy.

I Write Whatever and Whenever = Monologue

If you simply write whatever you want, like a personal blog, and post whenever, that doesn't work. It'll end up just yourself reading it. To write for a audience, you'll need to take considerable time to write in a particular way. The style of writing needs to be focused on reader's perspective.

For example, let's say you just discovered a cool programing trick. You can't say “holy, i just discovered this fantastic programing trick: loop xyz 3.”.

You will need to elaborate and add context, remove your personal issues and wild emotions. For example, you might start this way: “Here's a great way to do xyz. This is useful in abc situations…”. You'll need to add examples, test your code, cite references, add screenshots, mention or workout different operating systems, and often spend several hours more to actually research into the issue because maybe the trick you discovered is already known by most, or it only work in particular situations. If so, you need to make that info available in your blog, else it'd be lame. Sometimes even abandon a article, because the usefulness of your discovery might turn out to be relevant to just yourself.

Also, for marketing purposes, you need to change your writing style to one of cultivating a community. You need to address your audience, chose a appropriate title to be attractive and relevant to generic readers. Ask reader what they think. The style of writing will be vastly different than just writing a essay, even if the informational content remains the same. For example, i started to write this post spontaneously on my Google Plus, to let out a few steam of the dreariness of blogging this morn. Originally, i finished writing it in 15 minutes. But now i've already spent a hour at this point. (after another half hour, it became “work”, no longer fun. I end up stop writing it, only continued on several hours later. Many of my blog articles, perhaps 1/5, have a creation history like this.)

New articles take anywhere from 1 to 6 hours to write (some, few days, or more). Half of the time spent is research. This is already assuming you are proficient in writing, fast typer, and expert in your subject area.

How Much Money Can I Make?

What about money?

What about it?

You want to make money by blogging? If you have a large audience, then you might get a buck or two a month.

From my own experience and research, 1k page views gets you about $2. And if it's a one-time jackpot from sites like Reddit or HackerNews, then sorry, 10k ≈ $2, because people on these sites never click ads. You can roughly assume 10k normal page views gets you $20. Vast majority of bloggers don't have 10k visits in a month!

But even so, if you want to run ads, that means you need to add a few hours per week to managing the ads. You'll have to spend time finding a ad sponsor, put code on your site, fix things, check ad stats, tweak ad placements, seek and experiment new ad formats. All the bookkeeping drudgery. No, it's not exactly a one-time process. Once you have ads on your site, that also means your audience may decrease somewhat, because ads make your site slightly slower, and people don't like ads.

What About Asking Donations?

What about asking donations? Good question! Unless you are one of the rare lucky ones, loved by all, like the Oatmeal, humble and pleasant, who can summon donation like a wizard for the purposes of donating it elsewhere, then don't think about it. Asking for donations got me less than 5% of my ads. [The Oatmeal's Tesla Campaign Raises Over $450,000 In 24 Hours By Greg Voakes. At , accessed on 2012-10-19 ]

The Conclusion

So, you want to write a blog? EASY. You want to build a audience? WORK. Want to make money? Try LOTTERY.

O, There's Just One More Thing

O, there's just one more thing. One of the key element in building a audience is inspiration. You can't have a blog that's often ranty, pessimistic, unpleasant, or with negative altitude. Because people won't be pleased. When readers are not pleased, they won't recommend it. Like this one!

But, you speakth the truth and research in depth? Well, people go to dead authors like Plato or Shakespeare for that.

Lastly, don't forget to take the time to squeeze in photos of attractive girls in your blog, as much as possible. People like pictures. Picture increases your page view by 5-fold or more. That's why, every internet article has a picture that's basically irrelevant.

attractive girl helps writing
attractive girl help writers, indeed.