Do you need a bit of inspiration or motivation to either start or really get motoring on your online business? Well if reading about ordinary people like you and I making obscene amounts of money doesn't get your cogs turning I'm not sure what will.
I've gathered together the top earners, the cream of the crop, so you can meet the Top 10 Bloggers, World Class Marketers that you can learn from.
If you have a name in mind and you'd like to learn more about their story you can jump straight to them using the Quick Guide below, but believe me you want to read all of their stories they are simply inspirational.
No companies included
Huffington Post is the all time top earner raking in over $14 million a month, yep you read right $14m every month. Or what about Endgadget with a cool $5.5 miilion per month!
But in my book they don't count.
I wanted to bring you ordinary people, like you and I, not corporations with a gazillion staff to do their bidding (and write their content!) The entrepreneurs I feature below are all one man bands, or couples working together, to create a better life through blogging.
And they are certainly achieving that, not only financially but they have created a lifestyle, we all strive for also. Not to say they don't work, they do work and bloody hard too, but they schedule their own days, they take extended vacations or carry on a nomadic lifestyle while they blog away.
They have achieved what I consider to be the ultimate laptop lifestyle. They are their own bosses, they direct the course of their lives and they are making massive income to boot.
If you want to get started on your own blog right away and join the elite top bloggers click the button below and join me as we create the ultimate laptop lifestyle.
The Top 10 Bloggers
#10 Bobby Hoyt
- $50+ /month
Bobby started Millennial Money Man in 2015 and took a perhaps unorthodox route to generate traffic - he went straight into using Facebook ads.
Most online platforms concentrate on generating revenue through SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) this is considered the safest, and certainly the cheapest option, when starting a blog.
But it also takes longer to see results. The results are also considered to be more stable over the long term though.
As Bobby says he quit his full-time job after earning only $3 from his blog! That takes guts and commitment. He realised early on that he needed to generate massive traffic quickly if he wasn't to go broke.
And so by targeting Facebook adverts, which were and still are one of the cheapest forms of online advertising, he was able to grow his following quickly.
He has recently started a second site called Laptop Empires, with a partner, which concentrates on teaching people how to use Facebook ads to grow their businesses.
What You Can Learn
Facebook can be used to generate email subscribers and high quality traffic to your blog. But a word of caution you do need to know what you are doing and you do need a budget.
I know plenty of affiliate marketers who continue to throw money at Facebook adverts with little to no return. You do need training so that you build adverts that convert, but when they do work the rewards can be massive.
Bobby suggests you can get a start with Facebook advertising for as little as $1 per day.
His other top tip is to start growing your email list as soon as possible. You can read a more in depth article about this on our Money Is In The List blog. Bobby suggests reviewing your top traffic generating post and adding a content upgrade or lead magnet that requires an email to access. This will help grow your list faster.
#9 Paul Scrivens
I have included Paul Scrivens, or Scrivs as he is affectionately called because of his out of the box way of making money.
Paul is a long time blogger, starting in 2003, but really giving it a crack since 2011, so he definitely has the experience to be listened too.
The first 3 years he also held down full-time jobs while blogging, like many of us also do, and became a full-time blogger in 2014.
What I love about his style is that it is a take no prisoners, very direct, no BS way to blog.
He calls it like it is and I find it refreshing. His tag line of "The Business of No Bullshit Blogging" pretty much sums up this whole site and his philosophy.
Those who want a rose coloured version of blogging may not find his demeanor so refreshing! You will not be left in any doubt that blogging for money will not happen overnight or without hard work.
He currently runs 13 blogs! Yes 13, and while he doesn't recommend that he leverages the fact to show you that money can be made across any niche.
You don't need to be in the make money online niche to make money!
What You Can Learn
Be authentic. This is a theme you will see throughout all of the top 10 bloggers, they are all very much exposed. They do not hide behind personas, and they are front and centre in their blogs.
This creates real trust and Paul does this very well.
As he clearly says and I wish to reinforce if you are new to affiliate marketing or blogging for money, you do not need 13 blogs to make a fantastic living.
In fact he, and I, do not recommend this course of action. You only need one good blog to make money and especially while you are learning stick with building one.
While you are learning you will make mistakes, when you have 2 or 3 websites you are going to replicate those mistakes across all the sites you run.
Once you find out you are doing it wrong, and you will eventually, you will have to go back and fix your mistake everywhere it occurred. DOH!
Also blogging for money requires that you actually need to blog. Yes you need to write content and quite regularly.
It s far better to be pouring all your energy into one blog rather than doing a mediocre (read half assed) job across two or more websites.
#8 Jon Morrow
Jon Morrow was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy and not expected to live past the age of 2 years.
This in itself is a miracle but Jon's life and achievements are much more than the sum of his disease.
Jon writes eloquently and I think this is one of his greatest assets.
Take 5 minutes to read his story about how he overcomes people's disbelief that he can succeed, and how it is not a matter of persistence or strength or attitude that keeps him going, but pure shame at letting his Mother and his family down should he fail.
Unable to move from the neck down Jon still produces the most profound, well written articles of any blogger I have come across. You can feel his need to change the world, your world, by providing the very best advice he can.
His sincerity shines through every word on his blog, because it is not forced, it is truth.
I don't believe Jon gets any breaks for having a fatal illness from those who read his blogs. His website(s) stand by themselves for the sheer fact that they solve people's problems and they do so willingly and genuinely.
What You Can Learn
Jon firmly believes that anyone can make money and change their lives through blogging. He is perhaps the finest example of what can be achieved if you are willing to learn and apply yourself.
You can travel the world blogging about your passions.
You can quit your job and become a professional blogger.
You can buy a beautiful property and live where you want.
You do not have to settle for a mediocre life. Everything you want for yourself and your family can be achieved through blogging. Your decision is how badly do you want it and what are you prepared to give for the life you want?
The excerpt below is from Jon's guest blog on Problogger (another outstanding website you need to check out).
Read, be inspired, believe in yourself and then tell me again why you can't make it big as a blogger!
#7 Amit Agarwal
Amit claims the title of India's first and at that time only professional blogger.
He is an IT nerd (not self proclaimed I wrote that).
His background in computer science has stood him in good sted to build his own digital products including Google ad-ons and Apps as well as stand alone software to increase productivity.
He currently runs two intermingled websites Labnol and Digital Inspiration,
Both with the same purpose to expose you to digital tools and web technologies to make you more productive and decrease the time spend on tasks that can be automated either partially or fully.
Digital Inspiration was created in the early 2000's, so you can see the road to riches has not been overnight for Amit. His persistence and hard work are paying off now though with upwards of 3 million page views per month and being quoted in The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Forbes, Wired, Guardian and more.
What You Can Learn
Blogging is generally not an overnight rags to riches type deal. Amit's Digital Inspiration website was created in 2004 and has over 6000 articles! Now that's commitment for you.
How many times in the early days do you think he thought 'this just isn't working, I'm putting in so much effort and not seeing any rewards!' Now he's earning over $100,000 each and every month!
Outsourcing written content is an option for time poor bloggers.
Some bloggers avoid this like the plague, believing that their spirit and style is essential to the continued development of their blogs, Others find and train great writers and are more than happy to share the load of creating content.
This is a question you may want to consider early or perhaps later once your blog starts to bring in the money.
Michelle has been in more Top 10's, Top 20's and Top 50's to count. She is absolutely killing it with her now well established finance blog.
She started Making Sense of Cents to pay off her student loans, totalling $38,000 back some 7 years ago. Michelle is the quintessential blogger, she actually really seems to enjoy it.
Way back in 2011 when she started Michelle grew with her readers, she shared her successes in saving and making money, and she shared her failures too.
She was not an expert back then but her natural style endeared her to readers, who quickly became staunch followers of the blog.
Being frugal is probably not the easiest sell, but Michelle's engaging blogs crammed with tips kinda make it seem like fun to actually save money rather than spend it.
She is also what I consider to be a true affiliate marketer. The bulk of her income comes from affiliate marketing sources, with additional income received through sales of her own digital products.
What You Can Learn
Give yourself 1 - 2 years to start seeing real and sustainable income from your blog. Michelle left her job after only 2 years blogging, and she isn't the exception to the rule.
Not everyone is going to progress at the same rate, but even working full-time Michelle was able to bring her blogging income up to meet her full-time wage in 2 years so you know it can be done.
I can't say I have ever seen such transparent income reports as Michelle's. Each and every month she tells you exactly how much she made and how.
If sharing is caring then Michelle takes the cake. I believe this is a wonderful idea. Some people may see it as bragging, others like myself appreciate knowing just how she's doing it.
These income blogs have morphed into business blogs as of 2019, no more figures, but suffice to say she is still sharing a heck of a lot.
Michelle's top 4 tips that she put into effect in Dec 2018 and that you can use too - grow and enhance your email newsletter to increase your list, find ways to diversify your income, email your list with affiliate offers that have value, increase your sponsored post rate.
As Michelle says "You don't have to hate your job and hate your life. You can make changes to your life and make money in a way that allows you to truly enjoy the life you are living."
#5 Alex and Lauren
I just love these guys! I am currently taking their 4 day Pinterest course and love, love, loving it.
Their blog is chock full of great advice learnt through building their original blog Avocadu.com, which is in the health & fitness niche.
These guys prove that you do not need to be in the make money online niche to actually make money. Avocadu.com broke $10,000 per month within the first year. Not bad going in a fairly congested and tough niche.
Now only 3 years later and with two blogs active, it's become a his and hers show, with Lauren taking over Avocadu and Alex piloting Create and Go, combined they make over $160,000 per month.
Why do I love them? They are authentic, there is no sugar coating and they really have been there. They know the struggle is real for the rest of us and have true empathy for beginner bloggers.
He was a personal trainer and she was an accountant. OK so not college drop-outs but fairly run of the mill middle class workers, busting their chops working for anybody and everybody but themselves.
After 2 failures, and then just 3 months after starting their new site they took the plunge, threw in their jobs and started blogging full-time. I admire entrepreneurs who have the guts to back themselves all the way before seeing a single cent!
I am not one of them and need to keep my 9-5 job as added security until I am assure of a monthly income to keep me in the manner I am accustomed to. But they did and could throw 100% into their blog (well 200% actually with two people).
As an entrepreneur, it helps to have a selective memory of your failures.- Alex Nerney
What You Can Learn
There is more to life than what you currently have ... if you are prepared to work for it.
These guys knew they wanted to create, to build something great, that would launch them out of their mediocre lives - and they did.
If you are saying to yourself "Is this really IT?" Then know beyond a shadow of a doubt that your life as it is today doesn't need to be IT.
With one blog, working a passion that you have, in a niche you love, you can change your life. Yes there will be hard work, there will be setbacks, but imagine the rewards ... your rewards!
#4 Chiara Ferragni
I have included Chiara as an example of an Influencer achieving great things. And obviously at over $200,000 a month she well and truly deserves to be on this list.
In 2017, Chiara Ferragni was ranked #1 on the Forbes Most Powerful Fashion Influencers list. Now that takes some doing.
What started out as an outfit and fashion blog has grown and changed into an e-commerce store and doing quite nicely thank you very much.
Once again this is a fairly competitive niche, but a popular one. So you can see you can make it in any niche if you have the passion for it.
Fashion lends itself to promotion on Instagram and Chiara has smashed this platform. Being consistent on Instagram since 2012 Chiara now has a massive following, 15 million or thereabouts, that can be leveraged for sales.
What You Can Learn
Know your audience and learn where they hang out. You don't need to be the master of every social media platform, chose one that will highlight your niche the best and reach the people you need to be talking too.
Choose one you know your tribe are hanging out at and learn it inside and out. Don't just learn it, smash it. Social media requires consistency.
You can't just post your blog URL and walk away. Like others pins or posts or images. Comment on others and post engaging content regularly. Follow other Influencers as well as those who's work you enjoy.
How regularly depends on the social media you are using. Twitter can be multiple times a day. Facebook you might get away with once a day. It all depends!
Social media is important, especially in the early days to get eyes on your blogs. Don't wait around for SEO to catch up with you, utilise social media to your advantage.
The other area The Blonde Salad does extremely well in is the aesthetics of her site. It is tailored to suit her audience and while it doesn't appeal to me it is spot on for her target market.
Theme and the look and feel of your site are not nearly as important as quality content, but they do matter. It's worth putting some thought into not what you might like but what will appeal to your traffic.
They need to enjoy being on your site so they stay longer, and you have the time to build trust and engagement.
#3 Pat Flynn
Probably considered one of the forefathers of the "make money online" niche Pat Flynn has been killing it for years.
His site covers everything from affiliate marketing, to podcasts, Youtube, building and marketing physical products or creating your own conference ... and more.
It really is that extensive.
And none of this seems out of order because it is all based on Pat's growth as an entrepreneur. You can find just about anything you are interested in learning about within the make money niche on Pat's site.
He very much play 'the you can trust me' card because you actually can. He has been around long enough, publishing income reports to show real proof that he doesn't just talk the talk, it really does work.
I love the following excerpt from his About Me page and think it sums up exactly why we bloggers do what we do.
What You Can Learn
It can be easy to get sidetracked within your niche. You start out with a nice clear and narrow understanding of who you are talking too but as time goes on you branch out into areas that might interest you.
And that's fine just make sure those areas also interest your audience.
I have been guilty of this in the past and luckily was pulled up on it by one of my mentors before I threw the whole site into chaos.
Because of Pat's longevity in the biz he is seen as trustworthy. Once again this is not something you can speed up, but staying the course will get you there.
And before you know it you too have been around 10 years and have the blogs and experience to prove you know what your talking about.
This is the simple truth about blogging and authority. It takes time! Time to build trust with the search engines and time to build trust with your audience.
But time is going to pass anyway so you might as well be growing your online presence and experimenting with being an entrepreneur, so you are best positioned to take advantage of that longevity when the time comes.
#2 Melyssa Griffin
Melyssa started out teaching English in Tokyo and blogging on the side as a creative outlet.
Like many of us she felt stifled in her day job and yearned for something more.
Her original blog The Nectar Collective is no longer, neither is the graphic design site she started, but her self titled blog sure is hitting its straps.
Can you imagine what it's like to earn $280,000 every month! Me neither, but I am looking forward to finding out.
What You Can Learn
If at first you don't succeed, try again.
Melyssa didn't give up 5 minutes after starting her first blog, she adapted and grew it in a direction that would make the income she was seeking.
She didn't stop at being an online graphic designer with a blog, she set her sights even higher than a six figure income and again adapted as the opportunities presented themselves.
Most of the top bloggers featured in our list did not Make It Big on their first attempt. Many of their very first websites no longer exist, but this is what sets them apart from the rest of the wanna be's - they didn't just give up.
Melyssa shows the entrepreneurial spirit which runs through all these top bloggers. She was as adaptable as a chameleon and she hustled.
Now making a big splash with podcasts Melyssa continues to find changes and evolves as she grows her business.
There are so many avenues you can pursue once you have a blog, the mind just boggles. As I have said before you do not need to master everything, choose your direction and give it a red hot go.
If you then change your mind so harm done, you've learnt something, even if it's what doesn't work for you. And you move on.
Without experience and mistakes we never grow and neither will our business.
#1 Tim Sykes
– $1,500,000+ /per month
Tim Sykes is a penny trader turned blogger.
Must be a USA thing because I honestly had never heard of a penny stocks and had no idea what penny trading was until I came across Tim.
I'll give you a quick run down. Basically penny stocks are any stock worth less than $5 a share. So basically you are playing the stock market with very low priced shares 'penny stocks'.
These are quite volatile shares so they make big money quickly and go down to nothing just as quickly. Could be scary if you don't know what your doing!
And while this is how Tim made his money initially, reportedly turning $12,000 into $1 million by his freshman year at college, the $1.5m per month we are talking about here is JUST his blogging income.
How does he do that? By teaching others how to be penny traders and selling those courses both via DVD and electronically. Whilst he says he does still dabble in penny stocks these days he is more focused on teaching others how to replicate what he does, and obviously there is money in that too.
He has several spin off websites apart form the main one linked above, which all build community and business platforms for his students and are based around his teaching of trading penny stocks.
Tim has been featured on quite a few TV networks over the past few years, which would have been absolute gold for increasing his website traffic. He is also big on social networking, utilising Instagram heavily to promote his lifestyle (that of course you just want!)
What You Can Learn
If you have the experience and the numbers to back yourself you are most of the way there. Tim has the goods, he's been there, done that and has the T-Shirt to prove it!
No-one questions his authority in this niche, he is the guru, and if you wanted to learn penny stocks you would surely pay your money and learn from the best. Which is why he is killing it.
This is what being an authority in a niche does for you. So while your contemplating what you want your blog to be about think about what you are already good at? Is there a hobby, profession etc.. that you really excel at? Something you do already that you would say you are outstanding at?
You can save yourself a lot of time building authority if you go into a niche where you already have some.
The other reason Tim does so well, is that you are more likely to shell out some cash to learn something, if you think you are going to make that money back. It's not so much of a risk then is it? So you pay maybe a few hundred to a few thousand dollars for an online course but it is an investment because you expect/hope/pray that you will get that and much more in return.
As opposed to buying say a self-help life coaching course, where yes you get something for your money, but there is no possibility that money is coming back.
Want to Join the Ranks of the Elite Bloggers?
I know I do and I'm working towards it every day!
Like Alex and Lauren of Create and Go fame I also have a niche website which I am working on as well as the one your on now where I show you how we can escape the rat race and earn what we are worth.
If you are keen to start your own blog and build an empire which can bring you $50k or more each and every month click on the button below to get my guide on how to get started the right way,
Plus you get a link to free training and 2 free websites to start you off on the right foot.
Believe me when I say anyone can do this and be wildly successful, the guys above had no more skills or aptitude than you have right now and look what they are doing with their lives.
If you already have a blog but it's just not bringing in the money you'd like then click on the button also. Not only is there great information but you can start the training for free which will skyrocket your potential income.
What have you got to lose? It's free and with no strings attached so check it out.
This blog could have easily been the Top 20 Bloggers it was so hard to know where to stop. I know I have not included some pretty big names and maybe as time goes on I will include them or swap and change them around a little.
Do you think there is a blogger who absolutely should be added to the list? Let me know in the comments below. Or if you are in fact being mentored by any of the above bloggers I'd love to hear how your going and who you recommend.