Many fledgling bloggers dream of earning a full-time income from their blog and making a living from something they’re passionate about. Some bloggers do eventually earn a respectable income from their blogs – perhaps even breaking that coveted six-figure mark – based on traditional blog monetization strategies like affiliate marketing, advertising, and sponsored posts. Others eventually branch out to other income streams by offering courses, selling digital products, selling merchandise, or even building side businesses that appeal to the audience they’ve built with their blog.
If you’re aiming to reach the ranks of six-figure bloggers, there are many lessons to be learned from experienced bloggers who have already reached this sought-after milestone. Ready to get inspired? To learn more about the digital strategies some of the leading six-figure bloggers have employed to grow their traffic and monetize their blogs, we reached out to a panel of blogging professionals and digital marketing experts and asked them to answer this question:
“What’s your favorite example of a six-figure (or higher) business built on blogging?”
Meet Our Panel of Blogging Pros & Digital Marketing Experts:
Hugo Guerreiro is the Founder of The Men Hero where he teaches men about fashion, grooming, and travel.
“My favorite example of a six-figure business built on blogging would be Create and Go. Alex and Lauren decided to sacrifice a traditional career path to pursue their online business dreams. They failed once and don’t have a problem telling people that. They are also authentic and connect with their readers and students. I look to them as an inspiration for sure. They went from nothing to over 100k every month.”
Patrick Moore is a Blogger and the Head of Content at Cryptowhat.
“As a blogger, I’d say that I admire Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest. Now I don’t know his revenue metrics, but any blogger worth their salt will tell you that his business rakes in six-figure numbers with ease. If anything, the traffic numbers are there as proof.
Why is Ubersuggest an admirable model?
First, the whole business revolves around Neil’s expertise: SEO blogging. He is so much of a big name in the SEO world, that starting an SEO tracking tool was an almost natural move for him. More importantly, his endearing and often simplified approach to SEO marketing makes Ubersuggest an easy choice for bloggers.
More importantly, Ubersuggest revolves around blogging great, actionable marketing insights to gain customers. Given the number of paying users, you simply have to admire Neil’s knowledge of how to package content for maximum conversion too.”
Petra Odak is a Chief Marketing Officer at Better Proposals, a simple yet incredibly powerful proposal software tool that helps you send high-converting, web-based business proposals in minutes. She’s a solution-oriented marketing enthusiast with more than 5 years of experience in various fields of marketing and project management.
“The first one that comes to mind is definitely HubSpot. They publish hundreds of posts every year and rank for millions of keywords. Every piece of content they publish has a purpose and a place in their content plan, and almost all of their pieces end up ranking. They’re a great example of content marketing that works, and not just for the SaaS industry.”
Heather Ritchie is the freelance writer and blogger behind Writer’s Life for You and Blogger’s Life for You. She helps women who want to leave their 9-5 jobs and work from home as freelance writers and helps new bloggers start successful blogs.
“I’m friends with and work for an amazing 7-figure blogger. She became popular quickly because she has a great unique product: customizable legal templates. Her name is Amira, and her blog is A Self Guru.
Amira has a great story. Her father had a small business and was sued for $90,000 by a contractor that worked for him. It ruined his business and impacted the family significantly. So, Amira became a business lawyer and made it her life’s mission to help as many entrepreneurs as possible with her affordable, customizable legal templates.
She continues to create new and even custom legal templates for all types of online businesses and has helped over 10,000 entrepreneurs.”
Toufik is a Digital Marketer and Co-Founder of Largou Rugs, a store that specializes in Moroccan Rugs.
“My favorite example of a six-figure business built on blogging is MatthewWoodward.co.uk. What I like about Matthew is that he was able to build a six-figure blog in a niche in which almost everyone knows about affiliate marketing and affiliate links, and he managed to stay a cool guy in the eyes of his followers.”
Emily is an advertising graduate who worked in email marketing for a price comparison website before becoming a blogger and Pinterest manager full-time. She has been blogging for the past 5 years, having started her first blog alongside studying for her degree.
“One of my favorite examples of a six-figure business built on blogging is MakingSenseofCents.com.
The founder Michelle started her blog in 2011 as a way to share her finance knowledge with the world, after paying off almost $40,000 of student loan debt by the age of 24.
By covering her own experience on topics such as money saving, side hustles, and debt payoff, she has built an authentic audience from her blog and has now amassed over 300,000 monthly readers.
After building her following, Michelle launched courses to help new bloggers. Her course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing teaches bloggers how to monetize their blogs with affiliate marketing and is well known in the blogging space.
This was one of the first blogging courses I took; not only did it help me monetize my own blog through affiliate sales, but it also introduced me to the idea that you can monetize your blog by offering your knowledge in an online course or ebook.
Through affiliate marketing, her online training, sponsorship and advertising, and display ads, Michelle makes over $1 million per year.”
Alex is the Founder of Roborefuge. He has worked at a startup and has years of experience trying to build an affiliate marketing business since 2017.
“My favorite example of a business built through blogging is 10Beasts.com. The reason it’s my favorite is due to its simplicity.
The website layout is simple, and they’re not doing anything special. It’s just good content and marketing. It shows me I can build a business doing the same.”
Devin Johnson is the CEO of Kennected.
“The Minimalists have done a fantastic job of selling themselves by selling nothing. Their anti-consumerist, or maybe better worded as ‘intentional consumerism’ message resonates with most of us and offers hope of a more contented life filled with fewer things.
On top of their resource-filled blog, they sell reasonably priced ebooks, release podcasts, and even created a Netflix film. The best part about their business is that financial success is last on the list of priorities and a natural by-product of offering free and inexpensive resources that people greatly value.”
Graeme is the founder and chief editor at Home Studio Labs.
“My favorite example of a six-figure business built on blogging is the Passive Income Geek. Morten Storgaard has been building blogs and monetizing them with ads and affiliate marketing since 2007. He is very open about the struggles and successes of affiliate marketing on his YouTube channel. He is so down to earth that every time I watch one of his videos I feel like I have a lot more confidence in my own business.
Morten has also built a course on affiliate marketing and creating niche sites. This, with his portfolio of niche sites, has enabled him to be among the six-figure and higher group of bloggers.
I think the thing that sets him apart from others is that he is constantly providing value for readers of his blogs and viewers of his videos. He is a great teacher and brings things down to a manageable level for people just getting started in blogging. Morten also keeps up to date with all things happening in the marketing realm and shares his insight in a way that manages fears and helps listeners in decision making.”
Brian Dechesare is the Founder of Breaking Into Wall Street.
“One of my favorite examples of success is J.D. Roth of Get Rich Slowly. He started his personal finance blog almost 20 years ago, and though it’s wildly successful, the website still has a very personal touch.
Though there are plenty of successful financial resource blogs out there, the ones that describe someone’s personal journey are the most interesting to connect with as you read. His resources are well thought-out, offering helpful financial planning tools to people at every stage of the personal finance journey.”
“I’ve always been a fan of Money Under 30. Not only does it provide insight on a multitude of topics, but it also shows how much many people can do from a very young age. Too many people are given a head start with money, but Money Under 30 comes from humble beginnings and acknowledges this by providing those in similar situations with the knowledge on how to better themselves financially. It’s a quite niche premise for a blog, but it is helpful for those of all ages as it shows you don’t need experience to start earning, and all of that info is in its name.”
Khris Steven of KhrisDigital.com is a sales funnel and content marketing expert who is passionate about helping people serve more and make an impact online.
“There are a ton of successful blogs out there earning six (and even seven) figures per year. I do have a lot of favorites. However, one nice example is FounderJar.com, a marketing blog founded and managed by two partners (Anastasia Belyh and Martin Luenendonk). FounderJar is dedicated to helping people turn their skills and passion into lucrative blogging businesses to start earning at least $10,000 per month. I’ve been an avid follower of their work for quite some time now and gained a ton of inspiration from this blog.”
Mehvish is the Outreach Coordinator at Zen Media, a digital marketing and PR Agency for technology brands. She’s worked in content creation, has a B.A. in English, and is currently writing marketing and tech news. When she is not writing she can usually be found with a good book.
“My favorite example of a six-figure business built on blogging is a fashion blog called Song of Style created by Aimee Song. Aimee began blogging her fashion opinions and outfits and moved her platform mainly to Instagram when the app first came out. She still blogs and has built an influencer brand and a clothing line, and she has become a regular in the fashion scene.”
Sharon van Donkelaar
Sharon van Donkelaar is the CMO at Expandi.
“Truth be told, making six figures from blogging is every blogger’s financial dream. Believe in a Budget is my very favorite high-income blog for many reasons.
The central topic of the blog is literally the pursuit of building a business through blogging. Kristin Larsen is a blogger herself who has slowly (but steadily!) built up her six-figure blog business over the last six years. Although there is a massive amount of blog posts on the internet on the topic, I find her approach unique and engaging.
Moreover, the knowledge she offers free of charge through this blog is fair enough, and so is the value delivered through her articles. As I am a blogger myself, I find her resources both inspirational and practical.
Overall, her blog is a success story broken down by steps and advice to follow. For any blogger looking for a detailed (although on point) guide to start working towards making six figures, Believe in a Budget is the place to be.”
Ahmed is the Founder & Editor of SetheRecordPlayer.com.
“Garage Gym Reviews is owned by Cooper Mitchel. I like the blog because, unlike other review blogs that primarily focus on links and SEO for ranking, Cooper’s success lies in the virality of his content. Besides creating good product reviews that successfully rank on Google and drive $100,000+ of monthly traffic, he also creates viral video reviews and has over 202,000 YouTube subscribers. Seeing someone kill it across a few different platforms successfully is rare among product review blogs, and that’s one of the main reason’s Garage Gym Reviews stands out for me.”
Nadiia Shevelieva is a chief marketing officer at Trust, a testimonial and rating platform. Inspired by principles and mechanisms of social proof, Nadiia is currently on her way to help businesses become trustworthy and thrive in the digital landscape.
“One business that stands out to me is G2. It’s a review website for SaaS applications that creates tons of content around different branded and general keywords. Their success lies in the fact that every piece of content leads to an affiliate page through which the visitor goes to buy a subscription, for example to HubSpot. G2 is so good that it managed to take a bunch of first pages on Google from the very brands that they are selling for. So, you might find that the first page result for your SaaS application has G2 ranked before your very own website. In a way, they are forcing brands to join their program, and while this is not very fair (especially to smaller companies), it’s a brilliant business model that you have to admire.”
Mike Nemeroff is the CEO & Co-Founder at Rush Order Tees.
“My favorite example of a massive, six-figure-plus company that was built from a simple blog was Ramit Sethi’s I Will Teach You To Be Rich. As someone business-minded who loves personal finance, I’m in love with Sethi’s work, and what I love even more is how he started his website and began blogging while he was still in college. The level of work ethic he must have had to get started so young is awe-inspiring, and the way he’s grown his business to where it is today is simply impressive. He took a blog all the way to a New York Times best-selling book, and he’s clearly just getting started on his climb towards success.”
Enrique Ambrocio is a self-taught SEO and Co-Founder of the business blog Constantly Striving. He’s also a big-time soccer fan and player and enjoys reading.
“My favorite example of a business built on blogging is Unbounce. If you haven’t heard of them before, Unbounce is a service that caters to a marketing team’s need for landing pages, sales, and so much more. The brand brings in approximately $7 million in revenue a year! How did they do it? According to Rick Perreault, the CEO and co-founder of the brand, they zigged when others decided to zag.
Instead of waiting to market their product once it was finished (like many others did) they focused on blogging, guest posting, and promoting from day one (six months before their actual product was released). They realized creating content would not only help customers find them but also would be key to becoming reliable thought leaders within this niche. And so once they finally did launch their product, they were already reputable in their space, which made it easy for customers to trust them with a purchasing decision.
Rick pays attributes a lot of their success to their blog. As he says, ‘I don’t think there would’ve been any other way to succeed..the blog did so much for us as a company, and it still does; it’s the foundation of all of our marketing today.’”
Miranda is the Founder of VinPit, a tech company dedicated to software development.
“Pete Cashmore, the founder and CEO of Mashable, is my favorite six-figure blogger who currently makes $600,000 each month right now. It is the largest independent website globally, which has earned several awards and covers almost everything under its one big roof. With blogs on topics ranging from technology, to businesses, entertainment, health and lifestyle, and much more, it is a one-stop show. Cashmore started young at 19 from his little bedroom in Scotland. Strange though it was back then, Mashable made Peter Cashmore the youngest millionaire from blogging alone.”
Matt Weidle is a Business Development Manager at Buyer’s Guide.
“Melyssa Griffin is my favorite blogger who built her seven-figure business on blogging. You’ll get easily caught up in Melyssa’s rags to riches story. She hated her job as a high school teacher, then she created a blog as a creative outlet. Three to four years later, she boomed with $2.8 million annual revenue by 2017 from her services and the blogs that she built. It might sound like a cliche Cinderella story, but every digital marketer and blogger aspires to this kind of success.
On Melyssa’s blog, she shares her success stories and how to help online entrepreneurs achieve the mindset that they need to be successful in the digital space. She also offers coaching services, online courses, podcast programs, and free online resources. These are all part of a holistic approach in providing a transformational mindset to her audience and readers. We all went through the ‘help me I’m lost phase,’ so if you need something or someone that will give you a little push through your passion and success, Melyssa Griffin’s blog is worth subscribing to.”
Stephen Light is the Co-Owner and Chief Marketing Officer at Nolah Mattress.
“The Believe in a Budget blog by Kirstin is my favorite six-figure blog of all time. The blog generates its income by selling digital products and affiliate commissions. The blog earned $290,000 in its second year, which is triple the amount of its first year’s earnings.
The blog is now in its sixth year, and it shows no signs of stopping. I admire the blog because it’s only selling low-priced digital items priced starting at as little as $2, but it can generate that much money for the owner.”
Gilad Rom is the Founder of Huan.
“Copyblogger is my favorite content marketing resource. It was started as a blog by Brian Clark, an attorney. Brian started with an initial investment of $1,000. He did not raise funds or take out venture capital.
Instead, he focused on building an audience, learning about their problems, and offering solutions. Today, Copyblogger is a multimillion-dollar company generating all its revenue from its affiliated domains selling WordPress software and online training.”
John Bertino is the Founder and CEO of The Agency Guy or TAG. TAG is a disruptive marketing consultancy and agency search firm representing 200+ agencies and consultants. TAG matches a brand’s unique needs with its vetted marketing partners based on scope, budget, industry, location, and other factors.
“A great six-figure business that started as a side hustle and blog is Career Sidekick. I don’t know Biron personally, but I came across his story a while ago and was so impressed with it. Since then, Career Sidekick keeps coming up in my everyday work, and I really find value in the content (even if I’m not actively seeking employment). The content is written from a place of passion and experience, which I really respect.
It’s great to see this blog become so popular after being created as a side hustle. Now it’s become a big-time company with (from what I’ve read) a large income. I think career enthusiasts, job seekers, and business owners can find real value from this website and what it has to offer.”
Martin Orefice is the Founder of Rent to Own Labs. As an optimist, he operates with a vision to induce positive changes in society. Likewise, it’s fair to say that he bases his life on values and commitment to sustainable changes.
“HuffPost won the Pulitzer Prize in 2012. This speaks volumes about the kind of influential impact it has had on the online community through its presence. Started by Arianna Huffington, HuffPost drove traction through the sheer quality of its blogs and relevance to the American audience.
For any business, cementing online success boils down to two basics: quality content and relevance. HuffPost banked on this and evolved as an online media powerhouse headlining key changes in the news industry. For me, HuffPost is an example of how great content can take you places if you do it right.”
Stephan Baldwin is the founder of AssistedLivingCenter.com, a company providing marketing services to over 19,000 senior communities across the U.S. He has over 17 years of experience in digital marketing and lead generation. He has used this experience to build a network of online businesses that are at the forefront of their industries.
“A good example that comes to mind of a six-figure business built on blogging is Bulletproof, the company founded by Dave Asprey. Bulletproof specializes in products that improve people’s performance. He started with writing a blog, BulletproofExec.com that shared his experiences and findings of his research and experimentation on improving his performance through the use of various supplements, methods, and biohacks.
That blog eventually gave birth to Bulletproof Coffee and a host of other products to optimize health and performance in everyday living. The blog itself has branched into two: Bulletproof.com, the business that offers bulletproof coffee, supplements, and information on the Bulletproof Diet, and DaveAsprey.com, which offers a deeper dive into biohacking and the latest developments in holistic health and nutrition as well as training and biohacking products. From a blog, Bulletproof has developed into a host of products, services, and companies that help people to live life optimally through biohacking.”
Max Harland is the CEO of Dentaly and a digital marketing expert. A business leader by day and a family man by night, Max believes in leading a balanced life anchored by health and happiness.
“Groupon started as a WordPress blog. What particularly surprises me is the fact that Groupon did not even have its own .com domain and was launched as a subdomain of ThePoint, which was a failed venture of Andrew Mason, the founder of Groupon. During its initial run, Groupon embedded discount vouchers in its blog posts and used the same to map the market demand for the coupons. I think what Groupon did works as a great strategy for marketers. It tested its market through its blogs and later capitalized on the opportunity to build a full-fledged business. It’s a brilliant approach that marketers should use to form well-informed strategies that work.”
Darren Litt is the Co-Founder of Hiya Health. They’re on a mission to reimagine children’s health and end our collective addiction to sugar by creating a sugar-free, junk-free multivitamin delivered on a pediatrician-approved schedule.
“Famous for her comfort food recipes, The Pioneer Woman (a.k.a. Ree Drummond) built an empire from just one cooking blog. Using humor and storytelling, readers got to know The Pioneer Woman with each new recipe. Because she shared her best kitchen creations with personality, she ended up with a cooking show and a line of consumer goods. It’s a prime example of how a blog’s success can gain momentum and build an entire brand.”
Karl Hughes is the Founder of Draft.dev.
“While Moz’s Whiteboard Fridays were in video format, their complementary long-form content was what bought the platform’s authority in the SEO space. SaaS companies are no strangers to generating demand via authoritative content, and Rand Fishkin and Moz were no different. As of 2020, Moz has an estimated at $70M annual recurring revenue (ARR), which is pretty solid results from content marketing!
Of course, Moz serves as an excellent technical tool for search engine optimization professionals, known as SEOs. But, in the tight-knit community that is SEO, the frequent displays of Moz’s niche expertise was as important as the tool’s functionality.
Blogging was so instrumental to Moz’s growth that when its founder Rand Fishkin left and handed over the CEO reins to his long-time COO, he made a four year transition, staying on in a marketing capacity. Fishkin’s new venture, SparkToro, launched with blog posts documenting the whole process (from his POV). SparkToro then continued the high ROI tradition of brand story and authority-building content.
The fact that $70M ARR can be achieved through blogging is inspiring to me and many others in the SaaS space. That Fishkin doubled down on content with the SparkToro’s launch doesn’t surprise me in the slightest!”
Edward Eugen is an aspiring writer from Romania. He is a Cisco Certified Network Engineer and recently finished his Master of Science in Networks. He is a Tech and Gadget Reviewer at 10Beasts.
“I immediately thought of Michael Hyatt, one of my favorite bloggers (no relation to the Hyatt Hotels). He was the CEO of Thomas Nelson, a publishing company, when he started blogging. He wrote mostly about leadership. That’s when I started reading his blog. What got my attention was the quality of the contents and their applicability – they were usually very practical articles, focused on helping readers be better leaders.
He began monetizing his blog mostly with affiliate links. I don’t remember seeing ads there, back then. As his blog grew, he published a book called Platform, which became a New York Times bestseller. After that, he launched courses, other books, coaching programs, and podcasts. At some point, he left Thomas Nelson to dedicate his time to his own company.
Fast forward a few years, and now Michael Hyatt & Co is an eight-figure company. His daughter is the CEO (she worked with him from the beginning). They have a number of excellent collaborators, too.
The last time I watched one of their free webinars, about a month ago, it wasn’t him who presented it; it was a collaborator. She was the CEO of an airplane company in Texas, and she was one of the coaches of Michael’s coaching program. She was amazing! He built such a respected company that now he doesn’t even need to be in the spotlight anymore.”
Simon Dwight Keller
Simon Dwight Keller is the Founder and CEO of SDK Marketing.
“My favorite blogger is Tim Sykes, a stock trader and also Instagrammer. I have been following him since 2013. He makes most of his money selling DVD lessons that teach people how to sell penny stocks and trading. He turned $12,415 into $ 1.65 million in his first four years from penny stock trading and has never looked back.
From my personal internet marketing experience, most of his income comes from his social media work. His Instagram has over 1.5 million subscribers, and he is fully active there. It is estimated that his personal blog earns him between $15 and $20 million per year.”
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