The Business of Blogging: What do you do with your earnings?

Over at College Startup I wrote an article this morning entitled Five Effective Ways To Re-Invest Your Profits. The basic point of that post is that the best way to become rich off the Internet is to slowly exchange roles with your money: put your money to do the work that you used to do.

Writing that article got me wondering what the average blogger does with his or her earnings. Do you keep 100% and use it for spending money? Do you reinvest 30% and keep 70% as salary? Or vice versa?

So let’s use the comment section to share our personal strategies for handling the money we get as (pro)bloggers. I think it will be helpful to all of us to get a picture of how other bloggers use their earnings and maybe “borrow” a few tips;-)

10 thoughts on “The Business of Blogging: What do you do with your earnings?

  1. Since 100% of my income comes from blogging, it’s safe to say most of my salary goes to helping support my family. Keep in mind however, that most of my blogs are owned by other people. With the blogs I own myself, especially Freelance Writing Jobs, I use the revenue to pay a Techie to help things run smooth and look pretty and to pay another writer to troll for job leads (I still write all the content). Every couple of months, I purchase another domain and start another blog or two. It’s a vicious, addicting cycle. I also have contests to encourage community and traffic and give away cash or gift certificates.

  2. After 999 posts, I had made a grand total of $75 off of my blog. I decided to give all the money back to my readers in my 1000th post in a series of games.

    Of course, by the next day I had received all of that back in donations.

    As of now, I’m making $300 a month. I will be giving some of it back to the readers every once in a while. The rest is replenishing my bank account after my last trip. If there’s anything left over, I’ll buy games.

    If anyone wants to help me figure out how to make enough money per month on my blog that I can seriously answer this question, I’m more than happy to speak to them.


  3. I must say that if you are not reinvesting your income from your blog you are probably working way too hard and preventing your blog income from growing.

    In the beginning, you can probably expect to be investing more than 100% of your blog income.

    Although, it is nice to spend some of your income of cool stuff. If your creative you can even find ways of making it a tax deduction 😛

  4. So far I’ve been using my earnings (this month will be just over $1000,) as spending money mostly, but I’m in the process of hiring a writer right now. After he gets up and going, I might hire another or start another blog. After I switch hosts and do a redesign, that is. I’d like to start a network.

  5. Ryan, my collective sites make in the low to mid 3 figures per month. The bulk of my earnings is as a freelancer (where I’ve learned a lot of my blogging tricks, but I can never find time to apply them to my sites).

    However, in the spirit of your question, here’s what I would do, were my own sites earning sufficient income:

    (1) hire junior bloggers and teach them what I know (with the expectation that they’ll leave some day)
    (2) hire intermediate bloggers to work on bigger writing projects
    (3) buy just a few quality sites – I’m no longer going to buy dozens of garbage sites hoping to get them running
    (4) take a darn vacation
    (5) invest in joint projects

  6. “But truly remarkable content is more valuable than ever.”

    Precisely. I should have made that distinction clear.

    “which is why I employ a joint venture model that brings together the best people”

    Finding quality people to work with is the only strategy that consistently works well over the longer term, IMHO.

    BTW, I like the projects that I’ve seen emerge from your partnership with CP 😉

  7. >>>Then, when content ceased being as valuable…

    I know what you mean by this, but of course you’re overstating.

    Most content is a commodity, true. But truly remarkable content is more valuable than ever.

    The problem with hiring remarkable writers is if they’re good enough, they won’t need you–it’s just as easy for them to start up their own blog. Unless you can offer them an established audience that helps them to achieve other goals, that is. Great writers who want to make money from blogging, but lack technical or social media marketing skills, will leave you as soon as they figure it out.

    Frustrating, which is why I employ a joint venture model that brings together the best people rather than looking for people willing to work for peanuts. The returns per project go way up.

  8. Ryan, when did you you start? What sum was the initial “120%”? After reading this post I just realized that my monthly blogging income is rather close to the average $100-$300 offeron the Performancing Jobs board. Unfortunately there are too little offers to see how relevant these numbers really are.

    Any idea on what is the minimal sum needed to hire someone on a rather specialized topic (e.g. software quality, mobile phones, football team)?

    This post was an eye-opening point for me, thank you

    Sorry for some off topic. I hope my issue is relevant enough for this thread

  9. When you are able…it pays huge dividends to pay yourself a salary. It really helps prevent against burn-out.

  10. I’ll kick things off: when I first started out I re-invested about 120% of my earnings (ha!) back into other writers. Then, when content ceased being as valuable as it was “back in the day”, I refocused and started acquiring quality blogs…still spending about 120%.

    Now that I’ve about exhausted my ability to manage the various properties that I own, and have surplus earnings, I’ve bitten the bullet and started hiring full time employees to handle blogging, site management and SEO. That’s one way to use earnings effectively for growth -> invest in people and infrastructure.

    Oh, and opposed to the first couple years, I now give myself a salary;-)

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