Wake up late in the morning, bang a few sentences out on your laptop or tablet, post your blog entry, and wait for lots of readers to comment (and check out your blog's ads). Then watch the dollars roll in to your bank account. Sound too good to be true? It is. True, some talented folks have turned this dream into a reality, thanks to the popularity of their online blogs. But they work darn hard at it.
There are millions of blogs (short for web logs) out there, the vast majority of which never make a cent, but a hardworking (and lucky) few earn six figure incomes for their owners with little more than a laptop, a digital camera and some snappy writing.
A great example is Ree Drummond, an Oklahoma homeschooling mom living on a working cattle ranch with her husband and four kids. Drummond started her blog The Pioneer Woman in 2006 out of boredom, but diligently posted daily on the mundane pleasures of country life. She quickly gained fans with her quirky, confessional writing and beautifully photographed down-home recipes. By 2012, she was getting more than 23 million page views a month, had published two cookbooks and a memoir, and launched a new cooking show on the Food Network [source: Fortini]. Another cookbook came out in 2013.
Of course, runaway blogging successes like The Pioneer Woman are not typical. According to a 2013 survey by the technology Web site Technorati, more than 80 percent of bloggers earned less than $10,000 per year. Indeed, 52 percent made less than $1,000, while a select 4 percent made more than $100,000 [source: Technorati]. In today's social media landscape, it isn't enough to make occasional blog posts. Most successful professional bloggers grow their "brand" and drive traffic to their blog by actively posting on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest and Instagram.
Making money blogging is a challenge, but it can be a little easier if you know what you're getting into. Click over to the next page to see where you might fit in with the four types of bloggers.