Can You Earn Money From a Blog?: An Experiment

I’ve wondered sometimes how repeatable it is to turn a blog into a reliable side income stream. It seems like there are plenty of bloggers out there earning a decent chunk of money blogging. But there are also a lot who never earn anything. Why is that? Is it because they quit? Had bad content? Something else?

It certainly may have been easier five or ten years ago, when the blogging space was much less crowded. But could someone starting today build up a blog into a revenue stream?

When I have a question like this, I feel a bit compelled to test it, so… let’s see, shall we?

Ali and I want to write this blog as a hobby, but we might as well monetize it in the meantime. And, in doing so, we’ll be able to answer this question. As noted on our income disclaimer page, any money we do make from this blog will be donated to charity.

Some Things Working Against Us

1) There is already a good amount of blogs in this arena. Hundreds of personal finance blogs. Hundreds of early retirement blogs. Hundreds of travel blogs.

Heck, there are even plenty of blogs that overlap all three. GoCurryCracker, Freedom with Bruno, and Bumfuzzle are a few of our favorites, and these are just a few of the bloggers who early retired and travel the world. So we don’t even have a particularly unique niche.

2) Being retired, and not looking to turn this into a full-time–or even part-time–gig, we’re not going to put effort into marketing. We’re not going to put effort into monetizing. We’re not going to put effort into SEO (search engine optimization–trying to make our blog easily discoverable by Google and other search engines). We’re not going to put effort into social media.

We’ll put our efforts, when we choose to, into writing quality content.

But even that may be sparse. Someone “hungrier” than us, unemployed, or looking to make big side-gig money to quit their terrible job, or someone just wanting to switch careers, or whatever, would be putting in a lot more effort than we are. We don’t plan to put a whole lot of effort in at all.

Despite that, however, I actually am confident that the blog will make money, given time. If we keep it up, that is. That is the biggest risk to it not working, in my opinion: us having to stop living in order to to write blog posts about living. We’ll see how long we keep that up. As long as it’s enjoyable, I suppose.

I hope you follow along with us as we document this journey.

What do you think? Can a new blog starting out today become profitable at a respectable level?

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