In an astounding feat of bits and bytes, the internet buzzes with activity, teeming with thousands of terabytes of digitized information flowing every minute. It is a spectacle of data whizzing around the globe, invisible to the naked eye, but conveyed in the digital algorithms and lossless-compression systems that allow us to instantly see, chat and discover the world and communicate with our friends in real-time.
It is a system of machines that stretches across from continent to continent, digitally snaking its way into our phones and lives through some magical ether that not many can digest. Yes, the internet is an enormous, buzzing behemoth filled with mind-boggling, vast amounts of free-flowing data. Amongst that data is information that many of us actively seek on a daily basis, looking to improve our lives by learning new skills or achieving outlandish goals.
Those answers are found amidst the websites that litter the internet, binding themselves to one another through hyperlinks that create a complex and convoluted web, digitally spun from the minds of billions of people across the planet. When you stop to think about it, the sheer amount of websites can also confuse and perplex us. The simple fact is that way back in September of 2014, one billion websites were actively humming on the web. That’s Billion with a capital, B.
Today, nearly 1000 websites are created every single minute of every single day. That’s a vast amount of data in the proverbial cloud. Yet with all of this content floating about the untethered net, the amount of quality-content sites, the type that many people visit on a daily basis, seem few and far between. Great content seems to be more of the exception rather than the norm.
That might be why, today at least, people are acutely aware that having incredible content is something that can’t be overlooked. High-quality content is one of the primary drivers of relevant search traffic, the kind that most digital marketers salivate over. And the simple truth and fact of the matter remains that no website, big or small, can succeed today without great content. Yet, people often overlook this one simple rule.
Blogs offer an avenue for delivering that value to a global audience. They provide a hub for tutorials and walk-throughs, and an avenue for crafting and constructing resources that help individuals that are looking for useful information. Everyone knows that. We are all experts at finding quality resources on the web that deliver real value, thanks in large part to Google.
While there are clearly an endless drove of blogs out there being started on a daily basis, most people who start a blog don’t actually follow through with it. Success in the blogging field requires consistency. And it requires the deliverance of real value constantly. Similar to a great magazine, a lauded newspaper or any other types of media outlet, you have to keep the content machine churning if you want to thrive.
Not everyone gets it. Most that decide to join the fray are enticed by the hype of internet marketers, promising them the sun, moon and the stars, with the ability to earn thousands of dollars per day, virtually overnight, on autopilot. Well, it doesn’t quite work that way. The harsh reality is that most blogs fail to generate even a few dollars in income let alone vast sums of money.
Yet, there are people out there that are making outlandish incomes from their blogs. Their monthly incomes far surpass the annual income of many executive-level employees, leaving most to wonder how they did it. This lucrative field is enticing for a reason, yet it involves an excruciatingly large amount of work for the average person looking to go it alone, so to speak.
However, those that have stuck to it, pursuing their dreams no matter what the costs, are reaping the benefits today. No matter where you look on the internet, no matter what niche you survey, you’ll find these wildly-successful blogs along with the bloggers behind them. We’re talking about windfalls of profits here. Not only do they make money online, but they quite literally rake it in.
So what’s considered an outlandish amount of income? We’re not just talking about a few thousand or even tens of thousands dollars per month here. What I was curious about were those that were soaring to astronomical heights. We’re talking the 7-figure annual earners, those that are pulling in more than $100,000 per month.
If you’ll sit and think about that number for a moment, you’ll realize that not only is this is an enormous figure to be earning on a monthly basis, but you’ll also realize that much of this is actually passive income. And while there are a number of great passive income ideas, blogging truly takes this to dizzying heights.
Why work once and get paid once when you can work once and get paid repeatedly by having a blog that individuals across the planet are constantly accessing? While it’s not easy, it is well worth it. Work hard now, reap the benefits years down the line. Sound good? Of course it does.
The following 10 wildly-successful blogs make the cut with at least $1 million dollars in annual revenue. Seem impossible to do? It’s not. All you need to do is stay persistent, deliver enormous amounts of value and build your audience slowly over time. Not overnight. Over time.
Please note that some of these figures are estimated numbers based on traffic and other publicly-available statistics. If you have audited financial information on any of the following sites, please contact me to update the proceeding figures.
#10 — Tuts+: $175,000 per month
As a software developer myself, I am incredibly impressed with websites like Tuts+ that can deliver such outstanding tutorials for people that are looking to learn coding. However, Envato’s Tuts+ isn’t some newly-formed site. Founded in 2006 by Collis Ta’eed, Cyan Claire, and Jun Rundelivering, it’s been delivering outstanding tutorials and content to designers and developers from across the entire planet for quite some time now.
Today, they offer a hub of useful content and a tremendous marketplace where 2,000,000 active buyers are searching for site templates and useful paid tutorials that they offer as part of their platform. They earn their income primarily through a membership area and commissions from sales of digital goods on their platform.
#9 — Smashing Magazine: $215,000 per month
Smashing Magazine AG is a company that was also formed in 2006 by Sven Lennartz and Vitaly Friedman, dedicated to educating those in the web design and web development fields by offering incredibly useful content to those that are looking to prosper and learn any of these lucrative skills.
The site also has begun hosting web development conferences since 2012, which take place in cities across the world and are sponsored by some of the biggest names in the tech industry. The site earns its income primarily from a membership area where users can sign up to consume a vast number of tutorials from its palette of educational content.
#8 — Gizmodo: $325,000 per month
Launched in 2002, Gizmodo is a blog focused on subjects like design and technology, while also paying tribute to numerous areas of science and even politics. Originally started by Peter Rojas, Gizmodo gained in popularity quickly. Through partnerships with a variety of international firms, the blog quickly launched translated versions of its content across Europe in languages like French, German, Spanish and even Portuguese.
Gizmodo makes the majority of its earnings through advertisements. On its home page, which is its most valuable digital real estate, you won’t find an abundance of ads, but you will find ads that often repeat. For example, a large ad on the top will be parlayed along with ads for the same company on the side as you scroll, often repeating with each scroll and capped off with a large ad on the bottom of the home page. Subsequent pages often feature a variety of differing ads, likely based on historical traffic.
#7 — Perez Hilton: $575,000 per month
PerezHilton is a controversial gossip website run by Mario Armando Lavanderia Jr. The site was formerly known as PageSixSixSix.com. Lavanderia graduated from NYU on a scholarship, and later had dreams to become an actor. Around the same time that he began his career in acting, he started his blog.
Lavanderia’s acting career didn’t flourish, but his blogging did. Today, he earns his income primarily through advertisements from a variety of sponsors that appear across the site and Lavanderia himself continues to make appearances on television as a celebrity gossip commentator and has reached a certain level of notoriety and fame on his own.
#6 — CopyBlogger: $1,000,000 per month
CopyBlogger was started by Brian Clark, who’s been immersed in the online marketing field since 1998. He was content marketing before the term content marketing was even coined. In 2006, with just $1,000 in seed cash, he launched CopyBlogger, a site that provides some of the most useful online marketing advice in the world.
Today, CopyBlogger’s parent company is known as Rainmaker Digital, with over 200,000 customers, the company is constantly releasing useful online tools for digital marketers and perpetually educating the public on ways they can expand their reach through things like social media, blogging and search engine optimization.
#5 — TechCrunch: $2,500,000 per month
TechCrunch is a massively successful blog that primarily covers news in the technology industry. Originally founded in 2005 by Michael Arrington and Keith Teare, the site was subsequently acquired by AOL in 2010. Today, many notable columnists for the blog feature heavyweights in the startup and venture capitalist fields.
Today, TechCrunch is also known for its Disrupt conferences that it has started hosting around the world in numerous locations with founders competing for a prize check to help get their companies off the ground. Its TechCrucnh Disrupt conference was also recently featured in the hit television series, Silicon Valley.
#4 — Mashable: $2,000,000 per month
Pete Cashmore started Mashable in 2005 from his home in Scotland. The site grew with Cashmore’s dedication to producing excellent content on a consistent basis. He wrote fortuitously in those early years, and in 2009, Time Magazine called Mashable one of the 25 best blogs in the world.
Since then, the blog has ballooned in size and reach, with a significant focus on social media, the company continues to reach droves of viewers through a variety of platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. It primarily garners its income through advertisements in various different formats.
#3 — Moz: $4,250,000 per month
Rand Fishkin is the purveyor of the world’s most successful blog about search engine optimization. The company, which originally started out as a family-run design business, eventually morphed into a search engine optimization shop. But it was the blog that helped gain them a massive audience and international appeal.
Today, Moz (formerly known as SEOMoz) generates an impressive amount of income and has been funded with several injections of venture capital. The site makes its money from a membership area that features professional tools and services for the avid search engine marketer looking to gain saturation, reach and visibility in the online space.
#2 — Engadget: $5,500,000 per month
Engadget is another wildly-popular blog with humble roots that was also founded, originally, by Peter Rojas of Gizmodo around the same time the other site was started. The site conveys advice and reviews on technology and consumer electronics. It was acquired and has been operated by AOL since 2005.
The company makes a vast fortune from advertising and employs a number of writers and editors that are constantly providing sound advice on every type of gadget possible.
#1 — Huffington Post: $14,000,000 per month
Arriana Huffington’s wildly popular Huffington Post is the stuff of legends. The site was launched way back in 2005 by Huffington, providing a very liberal view on life and politics. In 2011, Huffington, who is of Greek descent, sold the blog by her namesake to AOL for $315 million, while being kept on as Editor in Chief. She has since stepped down from that role.
HuffPost or HuffPo, as it is now referred to, makes it money from sponsored advertising revenue through banners and other digital ads across its variety of channels. It is by far the most successful blog of its kind, likely valued today at well over $1 billion, making it a clever investment for AOL.