How to earn passive income from your blogs

It feels weird making a new blog post after almost three weeks of resting. Yes, it’s been almost three weeks since I made my last post (see Free magazines for Filipinos posted on November 15).

This posting hiatus happened for two reasons. One, I went to Singapore and Indonesia from November 17 to 23 and didn’t have time to make any new blog post while I was away.

The second and more important reason is that the posting break was actually an experiment of mine. I was trying to check if blogging can indeed give passive income, and this I did by comparing my Google Adsense income before and after my last blog post.

Here are the results of this experiment.

Online income and posting frequency

I already noticed last year that there is no direct correlation between the frequency of posting and online income. In the article How blogging provides passive income, I explained that my Adsense income did not change significantly even if I only made 11 blog posts in one month as opposed to my usual rate of 25-30 per month.

This observation became more obvious in this recent experiment.

We checked our Google Analytics data to compare the number of ads clicked and the level of Adsense income on this website before and after my last blog post on November 15. Prior to this last post, the income level and number of ads clicked have been pretty much stable.

The surprise here is that after the last blog post on November 15, revenue and ad clicks did not decline day after day even for the next three weeks!

In fact, the average income is even higher during the three weeks with no blog post compared to the weeks when I was making posts. There were days too (on November 26 and 29) that income peaked during the month.

What does this mean?

Blogging as source of passive income

This experiment showed that I don’t have to make frequent blog updates just to maintain a certain level of Adsense earnings. As seen in the graph, even if there were no new posts — for three weeks, that is! — online income never declined.

Of course, I’m not sure until when this level can be sustained given no new posts. However, this is some proof that blogging can provide some sort of passive income. Why is it passive? Because there are no new efforts anymore, yet income has been consistent.

Lessons learned

What then does it mean to you as a blogger? Three things, assuming you want to make blogging a source of your passive income.

Continue building your article pool. I won’t be able to reach this feat if not for the more than 1,000 blog posts I have published since 2005. You should do the same. Continue making fresh, unique and relevant posts that readers will find useful. Sooner or later, this pool of articles will start giving you passive income.

Enhance your SEO. Repeat visitors usually return when you have new posts. What if you don’t make new ones? Your traffic will certainly decline. In that case, you need to rely on visitors coming from search engines. Which means you need to improve your site’s SEO (search engine optimization) in order to be on top of the search results.

Don’t just write “one-time, big-time” posts. These are posts high in traffic but only last for a few weeks or months. Examples of these are posts related to the Manny Pacquiao – Miguel Cotto fight or even the supposedly upcoming Manny Pacquiao – Floyd Mayweather fight. I’m not saying you don’t write about them at all — you will certainly lose big income associated with these high-traffic keywords if you don’t. What I’m saying, though, is that if passive income is your goal, you should not simply write posts that are high-traffic for some time. The reason is that these posts may be popular for weeks, even months, but one or two years later, not a lot will search for them anymore. In that case, you will have to constantly make new “one-time, big-time posts” to continuously earn from high-traffic keywords. And that’s not passive.

I still have a long way to go before blogging can give me a consistent inflow of passive income. I’ll continue my experiments but, don’t worry, I’ll share here whatever things I discover about blogging as a source of passive income. Subscribe to us to receive updates by submitting your email address in the sidebar on the right.

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45 thoughts on “How to earn passive income from your blogs”

  1. Very interesting. Back when I was just starting off as a blogger, I really thought the more you post the better ranking you’ll get from SEPs. I was dragging myself to post at least once a day. Then later on I learned that if you have already built your blog well, meaning you consistently get high traffic and good keyword rankings on google pages, frequency of posts doesn’t really matter anymore. Just keep up with a regular frequency of postings that suits you (once a week, once a month, etc.) and you’ll still maintain a decent income from your blog.

  2. @Graphire, very true. I think most of us bloggers were taught that the more posts we have, the better. Well, that’s true if one is just starting. Our goal, however, should not just be to post often but to build a huge user base and to have content that will be relevant to most visitors regardless of the time period. Thanks for dropping by, by the way πŸ™‚

  3. Nice to see you back James, with such an interesting post! I had an idea how adsense can become a source of passive income when Ondoy struck and I wasn’t able to go online for days. It was the search engine traffic that somewhat sustained the income although it was definitely lower than usual. I’m still quite far from 1000 posts but I really look forward to it, especially with these valuable insights from your experiment. Thanks a lot for sharing!

  4. @Dinah, welcome back too. Nice seeing you commenting here again πŸ™‚

    @Jay, that experience of yours is an example of how blogging can provide passive income. Even if we’re not online and not making any posts, we continue to earn! The challenge for us now is to find ways to sustain that income (and probably even increase it) even if we’re not making any blog updates.

  5. This is great news indeed! 1,000 posts – Wow! I hope Rich Money Habits will reach that level some day…may be years from now. πŸ™‚ If it takes 10 hours to create each post…that makes 10,000 hours of posting great articles! You would now be an “Outlier” as described by Malcolm Gladwell! πŸ™‚

  6. Nice experiment, however, I would say that frequency of posting is directly related to your adsense income. It is important especially for newbie bloggers to post several relevant and quality articles to get traffic. Regarding your income vs adsense clicks, this proved that your audience/traffic remains “constant”. How to verify? Look at your Alexa “reach” graph, it’s at constant level for several months. The reach shows how many new people see your blog or website at a period. I don’t entirely trust alexa but it’s a good reference point for comparison.
    Return visitors are good to have stable traffic but they are “accustomed” to the layout of your blog thereby most of them will not click on your ads. There’s a longer explanation, but I hope you’re getting the point.

  7. Very very nice article indeed. I was also thinking of writing articles about short-term high-traffic topics such as pacquiao-cotto but I’m hesitating because, these type of articles really do not last long.

  8. I totally agree with this post. After almost two years of blogging, I just recently discovered that frequency does not equate to a higher volume of traffic. Keywords and pagerank are my best bets right now.

  9. Bro. James,
    It’s a great opportunity of learning. I will start this also, I always read about the articles in here, They are all interesting since I am still a beginner. Thanks alot mayyour dreams come true.
    Bro. willy

  10. Hmm, depends on your blog of course. You may also want to post more to create more chances for your blog to appear on Google searches. Who knows what keywords you may catch by posting more frequently. You may miss your chance to grow site traffic by infrequent postings instead of more frequent postings.

    Also it helps that your blog has a forum sharing the same url. Some blogs may lose their search rankings simply because they’ve been static.

    Right now you’re getting traffic I think on a certain keywords (I checked your Alexa), which I think are good, solid keywords. I think this is exactly why you’re confident about leaving your blog alone for many days and weeks.

  11. I like your findings about the number of posts per month being not important as a factor in your adsense earnings. This is because I am not a very prolific writer. I can’t write like most bloggers do, like outputting 3 or more posts a day. But I suppose this passive income state can only be achieved when, as you say, you have already invested by having written a thousand or more articles in your blog archive. In that case, I still have a long way to go. Whew, this is gonna be hard work. But it’s fun though. πŸ™‚
    .-= James M.Β΄s latest blog ..Photo Fun =-.

  12. @Pinoyentr3preneur, a primary assumption of my article is that a blog already has a good number of articles. Of course, if you only have a couple of dozen, that’s not enough to attract visitors. The goal of the experiment is to check if a blog with a good number of content can be a source of passive income. My experiment showed it was enough to give me a stable income, albeit only for 3 weeks. I could continue not posting anything just to see how long that stable income will continue. However, right now, I’m not yet ready to make that gamble πŸ™‚

    @Renz, that’s correct but you can also write those articles just to exploit the income potential of a high-traffic, short-term keyword. I know several bloggers earning a daily average of $10 able to reach $100-150 per day just because of a high-trafic keyword. But then again, it lasts only for 1 or 2 or 3 days.

    @Brian_B, I agree, the blog niche matters a lot of course. But again, my experiment is about determining whether one can stop blogging and yet continue to earn a sustained level of online income. If the goal is to increase traffic and increase income, I agree that more postings are necessary. But I do believe that strategic posting or making infrequent but highly relevant and searchable post is better than making frequent but so-so posts. From the perspective of income vs. blogging effort, I find that rather inefficient.

    @James M., yup a good collection of articles is a main assumption of my experiment. True, it’s gonna be hard work but if you enjoy what you’re writing, that won’t really be a problem! πŸ™‚

  13. There are very few sources of credible, useful and practical information in the ever expanding cyber world. And I’m very thankful I found this site. Before, I was skeptical about blogging but when I read your articles, my mind change 180 degrees. Thanks for this wonderful site. Keep inspiring people like you always do. Your success is truly deserved.

  14. Semi-Passive i’d say.

    It won’t sustain for too long w/o blogging as readers may not be visiting your site knowing you don’t update that often.

  15. Sosyal pa Singapore singapore ka lang ha. haha samanatalang itong blog mo ay walang sawa naming binibisita! Bakit nagpainterview ka din ba sa Yahoo! para maging online community manager nila? Sayang si Jonas delos Reyes na nakuha..tsk tsk..loko lang. I know siempre make money online nanaman yan. Well good observation, yun eh kapag established kana. Kapag marami ka ng posts, mas maraming chance na mag appear sa search results.

  16. @Abs, thanks for the compliment. Blogging is easy but making money from it is not. But success comes to those who strive. Good luck!

    @JDB, agree but content is not the only thing one needs to find success online. Building a community around the site and proper search engine optimization are also necessary.

    @ferdie, actually if your goal is simply to earn money from blogging, you’d wish you don’t have a lot of repeat visitors. That’s because research shows that first-time visitors to a site, and not the regular visitors, are the ones who usually click on the ads. That’s why I think SEO is really necessary and not just content.

    @jonharules, haha kung magwowork din lang ako for an online company, Google na lang kesa Yahoo πŸ™‚ Tama yun, para maging passive earner ang isang blog, kelangan talaga buo na ang user base at marami na talaga articles sa blog. It won’t work kung konti lang ang articles.

  17. Thanks for advising us not to worry about not making frequent blog updates. It takes away our notion of losing a score – It makes us relax. The lesson I learned from you is not to worry too much. Also, If we have that passion to write (just like you), that is even better because even though we post frequently, we love doing it. That is another reason why it becomes passive income. More power!

  18. Thanks for this post! I’m trying to make my posts as timeless as possible. It’s good that I realized this early, althouhg I still wonder how this is all gonna pay off. I’m thinking of my topics thoroughly and make sure I don’t regret writing them after a few days. Somehow, writing blog posts out of your own interest (just to generate traffic) kills the motivation…

  19. Hi, thanks for this post, I learned from this post a lot how to post my articles properly, and when and what to post, to gain more traffics in my blog. I home i will be earn as much as i have now after a year. Thanks and Godspeed…

  20. I love visiting your blog because it contains useful and helpful post about how to make money online. For this reason, I might be one of those repeated visitors that you have mentioned on you post.

  21. I think the main reason for having the same income level is your search engine traffic didn’t change. usually its the search engine traffic that leads to Adsense clicks. It is important to focus on search engines while building your articles if you want to truly have a significant passive income.

  22. Wow..This is it. I was looking for this article regarding passive income and very thankful i visited PMT because I experienced this one-time-big-time post LOL. Yeah! that’s true that if you focus on the trend search, the possibility of losing traffic is very quick and truly not a passive income anymore.

    Another lesson learned from PMT.

    Thank you.

  23. Thanks for this great article.Β  I’ll be trying all 3 tips for my blog.Β  I’m hoping it would soon be as successful as yours.

  24. After reading this article, I realized that I still have a long way to go in order for me to earn a passive income on my blogs. Although I am still from your 1000 posts, your post has inspired me to continue keep on posting.


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