How These 50 Entrepreneurs Make £1000 A Month Just By Blogging
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I have been working online now for the past 14 years and I have seen one thing that has continued to grow steadily month by month year by year and that is the blogging community. A lot of people don’t believe that money can be made from it and if so it must be a thin line between those who are highly successful and those who fail dramatically at it. So below you will find 50 successful bloggers and their platform who trail blazing the way for all you hopefuls and blogging newbies out there who really want to start a lucrative career change to blogging.
One misconception that forever bothers me is the belief that blogging doesn’t work unless it’s meta.
People don’t believe blogs can be successful unless they are about blogging, marketing, or social media.
What they don’t understand is that it’s only the marketing blogs that publish things like “income reports” and the like.
Regular blogs in traditional topics don’t do this, yet they are still out there killing it.
Today I’m going to bring you 50 successful blogs, often built solely through publishing great content + guest blogging, that span a huge variety of topics, to prove once and for all that blogging can be used to build an audience in nearly every topic imaginable.
What Are The Guidelines?
Any blog featured here cannot have any of the following characteristics:
Focus on blogging/marketing/social media
The blog cannot be tied to another popular site
Must have an involved community
No “mega” blogs or magazines
I’ve included data on the approximate (~) subscriber count (when available) and what the major income source seems to be (when applicable).
For sites that have no subscriber count available, I used the Google Reader browse feature, which shows the number of Google subscribers only, so keep in mind that those RSS counts are likely much higher.
The blog I’m responsible for! Help Scout is support software that is trusted by thousands of small businesses. We run the gamut over on the Help Scout blog, but our bread-and-butter will always be customer support.
Main income source: Advertisements, affiliate links, e-Book sales
Run by ‘the Problogger’ himself, Darren Rowse, this blog is actually his real money maker, not Problogger.net.
This thing is an absolute monster, a huge blog in a very profitable niche. Lots of people buy cameras, and they’re expensive.
All of the tips that Darren writes about on Problogger are put into action here, so if you want to watch the Problogger at work, follow the strategies that this blog utilizes, rather than reading the next Problogger post.
Main income source: Advertisements, affiliate links?
Let me first say that I love the design of this blog, and it’s a good thing to, as it focuses on design, but not the type you see on the web.
No, Freshome is an absolutely astounding architecture and interior design blog.
One of the writers, Ronique Gibson, revealed on Problogger that she has posted over 773 posts (and that was in 2011!), showing how a “curation” style blog, combined with lengthier posts, can create a real winner if it’s on a focused topic (and the content is top notch).
You can probably guess that this is one of my personal favorites, but it’s easy to see why any reader can enjoy this blog.
The author takes psychology studies that they come across (they happen to be a psychological researcher), and relates them to real world issues and in laymen’s terms, so that anyone can gain the information that they have to offer.
That’s the big emphasis I’d like to make on this blog: you should always be mindful of beginners, it’s not that you have to appeal only to beginners, but taking more complex information and boiling it down into something interesting that anyone can read is a formula for a winner, as long as the audience is there.
Steve Kamb is a guy well known in the marketing niche, but he doesn’t write about marketing.
That’s because his blog has served as a great example of how to build a successful site full of an endearing personality, outside of the blogging/marketing niche of course.
This is one of the great advantages of being someone knowledgeable in content marketing: you can offer up your success story to all sorts of marketing blogs if you create a popular site in a atypical topic.
Marketing blogs absolutely love case studies of this kind, and you’ll get attention and links just by telling your story. It’s a method Steve has used multiple times to appear on sites like Lifehacker and ThinkTraffic.
Approx. Subscribers: (Google Reader count: 1,766) [Likely much higher]
Main income source: Advertisements
What guy doesn’t love a sweet looking ride?
Autoblog fills a big need for a big audience of automobile fanatics.
I see so many bloggers who are against “news” sites, and while I’m also in favor of creating ‘evergreen’ content, when you are dominating a specific niche well, your blog is certainly capable of breaking news, even if those posts won’t generate lifetime traffic.
Main income source: Affiliate links, advertisements, product sales
A men’s lifestyle blog that as absolutely nailed the concept of a strong and memorable unique selling proposition.
In addition, this blog is the opposite of the autoblog above it (not in audience, those are similar!).
What I mean is, Brett focuses on almost entirely evergreen content, writing very long and in-depth articles that address topics that matter to men, and that won’t be changing anytime soon.
This kind of content ensures that people can find old articles and still be “wowed” by the information there, and it is a strategy that has paid off very well for Brett, as AoM is now a whole different beast with hundreds of thousands of readers.
I am actually a consistent reader of Cal Newport’s blog (known as StudyHacks), although recently he has moved on to “career hacks” in that he addresses career and job advice over studying in college.
One thing I love about Cal’s blog is that is isn’t afraid to speak out against the status quo, yet only does so when he has data and a strong argument to present.
He doesn’t stir up controversy just to do so, yet many of his posts are controversial because he cites evidence that goes against a lot of beliefs that we often hold. (For instance, he doesn’t believe in “Following your passion”, that definitely threw me for a loop!)
Approx. Subscribers: (Google Reader count: 770) [Focus is on the Facebook page, which sits at 425,000+]
Main income source: Product sales
Ugh… it pains me to write about this one, but I’ll try to remain unbiased.
This is one of those examples about becoming a “hub” for something extremely popular, in this case, FarmVille.
Being a source of FarmVille news and tips worked out well for this site, as it has for many in the past.
One word of caution: you have to take into consideration how long certain topics will remain in popularity.
If FarmVille is forgotten, this site will lose it’s purpose, not so with evergreen content.
Still, blogs that become a big part of a fanbase’s enjoyment for popular topics can live a long time, look at things like Pokemon (the kids game) or Madden NFL (another video game) which have been around for years and show no signs of slowing down.
Approx. Subscribers: (Google Reader count: 210) [Focus on social media pages, which are quite popular]
Main income source: Affiliate links, advertisements, WP services
A pretty popular site for WordPress newbies.
The big point to be made here is that creating a site for beginners is always a good idea if it’s done well, because there will always be new beginners, so your audience can only grow (as long as your topic stays popular, which WordPress has).
Smitten Kitchen is one of those blogs that might have actually greatly benefitted from Pinterest (whereas most don’t), because not only does Deb throw down some delicious recipes, her personal photos are well done and made to be shared.
This blog has gotten a lot of press, and one main thing the authors tout is their tiny kitchen.
This selling point related to a lot of folks: you can make great meals even in a small kitchen.
It made this blog more “real” than those cooking shows with giant kitchens and pre-chopped ingredients.
Approx. Subscribers: (Google Reader count: 675) [Tumblr blog, focuses on “followers” over RSS reader]
Main income source: Advertisements/paid promotion
I suck at drawing. Luckily, my brother was blessed with the ability, so I’ve been able to enjoy watching someone talented draw for most of my life, which I’ve enjoyed because I love “traditional” drawn art.
Eat, Sleep, Draw caters to people like me, and unsurprisingly, to actual artists as well.
Showcasing a clean, simple format, ESD focuses on reader submissions, another great example of using your platform to get exposure for others, and using their submissions as a crowdsource method for your content.
A blog on Lego! (Note: not “legos”, Lego aficionados will drill you for that on ;))
Wow, if this doesn’t prove that you can literally start a blog on any popular topic, I don’t know what does.
As your newly minted social media blog flounders among a million others, this Lego blog is showing you how to cater to an audience of Lego fans who have been looking for a hub to see new creations and products.
Main income source: Product sales, affiliate links
The recent pet project of Corbett & Caleb of ThinkTraffic, this blog showcases two very unique learning points.
The first is that launching a blog can be a process in and of itself. Corbett & Caleb took the launch very seriously, promoting it heavily with a big guest post on ZenHabits and a huge first post featuring a ton of folks (whom then shared the post they were featured in).
The other lesson is to listen to your audience, as initially they were going to start a new blog on “Blog Design”, but fans responded that another blog design blog was going to be boring.
The team listened, and came up with a much better concept (IMO).
36.) Money Saving Mom [Budgeting + Personal Finance]
Main income source: Premium access, affiliate links, ads, Envato marketplace
When you have a popular program as expansive as Photoshop, it’s only right that there should be a blog that uncovers awesome tricks of the trade to using it properly.
With over 165,000 RSS readers, it seems the PSD Tuts+ audience agrees with me.
The Envato team are a super smart group of folks, definitely follow along with what they’re up to, they know how to run a business.
Their content marketing efforts like this (which aims to get people to subscribe to a premium membership and buy things from their GraphicRiver design marketplace) are really effective and have helped them grow sales tremendously.
I had to add at least one totally strange blog up here!
Garfield Minus Garfield is the epitome of humor blogs in my opinion, because it creates nothing original, it actually just takes Garfield out of his own strip, revealing what seems to be a very delusion and nihilistic Jon Arbuckle!
This strange humor has to be seen to be believed, and if that’s not enough, Jim Davis has allowed the site to publish and sell a book of the comics! (I’m sure he gets a piece, but still, that’s just funny in itself)
If ever I should add a personal development blog (many of which I think are garbage), it would be the grandaddy of them all, ZenHabits.
Leo has done a lot of things different (or first), from the most minimal blog design ever to making all of his content copyright free, this site goes far beyond creating “great content” in terms of standing out.