A few months ago I wrote a post about the benefits of owning blogs vs. staff writing. In the post, I came to the conclusion that my strategy is going to be owning multiple blogs. I do staff write for one site, but I am starting to think it isn't worth my time. The truth is that when you start earning hundreds and then thousands of dollars from a single blog each month, the extra $40 for about 3 hours of work (to write 2 staff posts) hardly seems worth it. Over the past 3-4 months, I have been writing for my two blogs (as well as others I have been developing) and my income is starting to take off like never before. (Stay tuned for my income report on Saturday)
Why Multiple Blogs is More Profitable
My primary reason for taking this approach is that if I can get two or three sites that are as profitable as my first blog, I should be able to generate enough income to replace my day job. The potential earnings for staff writing just isn't there. In other words, I think it is very reasonable for an established blog to earn $1,000 per month. To replace this income with staff writing, I would have to write 50 posts at $20 per article. That is a lot of writing! That's like a full-time job for not very much money in return. If I were to take the same energy and time that it would take to write 50 staff posts, I could maintain 2-3 (if not more) blogs (and earn at least twice as much).
An established blog however, takes only 10-15 posts per month. On this blog, I average 10 per month. There is a little more time managing the site, but it's not that much more. I comment on 5-10 blogs per week, monitor comments, publish posts, review my SEO efforts, and handle some advertising deals. This sounds like a lot, but it's really not that much, especially when you consider the potential earning of the site. It's nowhere near earning $1,000 per month, but I wouldn't be surprised if it starts earning $500-700 per month.
Proof that It has Been More Profitable
In the past 3-4 months, I have published approximately 40 articles on this site total. I had an aggressive guest posting campaign, where I did 20 guest posts for this blog. I figured it would help give me quality backlinks and give me a high pagerank (which is good for getting advertising deals). After the most recent pagerank update, I got a PR 2 (pagerank). This is still pretty good considering it was only about 3 months old.
In the past month, I have brought in about $400 in advertising on my site (by the time I am writing this). This was the first time I opened it up to advertising deals. As I mentioned above, I expect this to increase.
Considering that I can write a post for my own blogs much faster than when I do a staff post, I would estimate that I could have written about 40 staff posts in exchange for the 60 posts that I have already written. This would mean that if I was earning $20 per article, it would be $800. This is almost double the income that I have received so far. Yet, while this is true – it fails to take in the future income that I expect to earn.
I decided to do some more analysis and actually figure out when owning a blog would become more profitable. In order to figure out how long I expect it to take me to make more than what I would make if I were just writing staff posts, I made this fancy chart below. It is based on a couple of assumptions. The first is following the pattern of this blog (making guesses for what I will earn months 5-9): If I were to make $0 for a blog for the first 3 months, make $400 for month 4, and then $600 from month 5-9. For the staff writing estimates, I estimated writing 10 staff posts at $20 for the first three months. After 3 months, I'm guessing that you can increase your price to $25 per article following that, but it is hard to get more than $25 per post so it says at that fee for the rest of the time period covered in this data.
There are two things that I would like to point out:
- Owning a blog finally beats out staff writing at month 5-6.
- Staff writing, while the potential income is limited, is a steady income and is more guaranteed.
There you have it. Proof that owning a blog is a better long-term approach. While some may argue that you can't consistently earn $600 from a blog, I would suggest that these are conservative numbers. More importantly, I could hire out 8 of the 10 posts that I have to post to keep the blog up to date and still keep approximately $400 profit for each blog that I own. Talk about passive income!
Shawn Manaher is a former financial advisor, has founded 5 online businesses, and is a coach, speaker, podcast host, and author. He's been featured on The Consults Corner on TAE Radio, The Writing Biz, What's Your Story, and more.