How Much Can Bloggers Make Per Month?

Posted on April 19, 2006

The Wall Street Journal has posted a conversation between Alan Meckler, the CEO of Jupitermedia Inc., and Jason Calacanis, the CEO and founder of Weblogs, Inc. The conversation will be of interest to professional bloggers. In the discussion Calacanis is more optimistic about how much bloggers will be able to make than Meckler.
Jason Calacanis writes: OK, I think we've reached entrepreneurial stasis on this one: The majority will not make a living off blogging, some will. Time will tell how big the some market is, hundreds or hundreds of thousands. I'm going with the latter.

Alan Meckler writes: Blogs are really diaries or microcosms of what is happening in millions of ways in daily life -- ranging from special interests to business specialties to whatever. Obviously there is money to be made with blogs, but very, very few will bring in more than a few hundred dollars per year.
As to the amount of money bloggers can make Jason said, "Today you can start a blog, build an audience, and give the advertising slots to AdBrite or Google AdSense. With three or four ad slots you're gonna do a $3 to $10 RPM (revenue per 1,000 pages viewed) with these automated tools on average. So, if you can do 500,000 pages a month -- which isn't easy -- you can make $1,500 to $5,000 a month. That's today and without a sales person."

Alan Meckler then gave this very cynical response:
Jason, good stuff as usual for one so sharp and original! But look at the number you have in your reply --- 500,000 per month (page views) is virtually unattainable for 99.999% of all bloggers.

My blog only gets about 300,000 per month -- so with your model I might make enough money per month to buy a candy bar. And I have the advantage of getting promotion through the Internet.com home page as well as many links to other bloggers.

Your concepts are good, but once again only for a selected few.
Blogging should eventually make good money for some bloggers. And some bloggers may be happy to have an extra $1,500+ a month in income from a blog that is primarily just a hobby. However, Meckler is right that 500,000 pageviews is very difficult to achieve and not all blogs are going to be able to hit that $3 to $10 RPM Calacanis was talking about. Some bloggers just aren't going to make much more than the cost of that candy bar Meckler mentioned. This won't bother most bloggers but some of the blogging for money bloggers might eventually cease publication of their blog if it isn't making them enough money. Obviously, this conversation excludes other indirect financial benefits of blogging like promoting a book, getting a job or branding oneself as an expert in a field.