How I Earn A Six Figure Income As A Full-Time Blogger

Last updated on July 11, 2019  ∙ by Edwin Contreras7 comments
How to earn a six figure income blogging

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My journey as a blogger has taken me from failure (after failure) all the way to a six figure income as a full time blogger. Here's my story.


Since way back in 1999 I had dabbled in making money online. Back then, I made a few bucks with some pay-per-click and pay-per-email companies. I also built a bunch of small websites and wrote a weight loss ebook.

By 2004 I knew that if I wanted to earn a living online, I had to figure out this whole "making money online" thing.

I researched for how to earn a living online and discovered a new type of website called a "blog". Blogs had just begun to take off, as just a year earlier WordPress had launched.

I kept reading about all these people earning six figures online and I was hooked.

I looked at studied the blogs of people claiming to make a lot of money blogging and frankly, I wasn't impressed.

I saw exactly what they were doing and said to myself: I can do this wayyy better.

From then, it was game on.


Backup? I never had one. I don't believe in backup plans. When you have something to fall back on, you won't give it your all.

When you give yourself multiple choices you are programming in the variable of failure.

Since I had no backup plan, I had to make it work. In other words, I was going to make it work.

There wasn't even a thought that I would not make it. The beauty of this is that fear never entered my mind, not one time. I was that convinced I would succeed.


I started with no blogging experience and only a vision of my future self. And in that vision, I was rich. That vision of my future self was my motivating factor.

So I put my head down and got to work, publishing multiple articles per week. I was a content-generation machine.

I also put up a bunch of ads and affiliate links and waited for the money to roll in!

The result? I made a grand total of $0 my first year blogging.

My first year of blogging was an absolute disaster. I made NOTHING for a whole year and just lived off the savings I had (which was quickly running out).

In short, I did the exact opposite of what you're supposed to do.


I started with a personal finance blog because of the many different ways I could monetize it. I got that part right. Everything else? Not so much. I made mistake after mistake (after mistake).

  • My content quality sucked.

I thought I had to keep up with a blogging schedule so I wrote lots of short blog posts at the expense of quality.

  • My content lacked emotion.

My content was beyond basic. I never mentioned the pain and the struggle of money issues. I just spit out facts like a robot. Because of that, I wasn't able to build up an audience.

  • I wrote content nobody wanted.

Rather than listen to specific questions my ideal reader was having, I wrote whatever I wanted to write. Including personal updates on my finances. Cringe!

  • I outsourced additional content.

This was an even worse idea. I went to and purchased content at $5 a pop. Boy I thought I was bad, this content was barely readable.

  • I didn't grow an email list.

I never built an audience so I didn't have any way to reach someone after they landed on my blog. When I finally did start an email list, it was a box that just said "subscribe for updates".

  • I didn't email my list.

Once I had a list of poor unfortunate souls who somehow signed up, I only emailed them my new articles as I published them, you know, so they wouldn't have to come to my blog to read them.

  • I filled up my blog with ads.

I wasn't interested in building an audience. I just wanted to make a quick buck so I plastered ads all over my blog. But with little traffic, that was beyond pointless.

  • I kept redesigning my blog.

I can't tell you the number of wasted hours (weeks!) as I kept "upgrading" the look of my blog. What a waste of time that was.

  • I thought I didn't need help.

I thought I could make it work on my own. It wasn't until I had clearly failed that I realized I didn't know wtf I was doing.

  • I used "free" everything.

If it was free, I was using it. My blog theme was free (now I use Thrive Theme Builder). I didn't use a social media scheduler because there were no free ones (I use Tailwind now). I used Mailchimp to send emails for free (now I use ConvertKit). My opt-in form was a generic one in the sidebar (now I use Thrive Leads).

  • I didn't invest in myself.

I learned about blogging from anyone and everyone, as long as it was free. Most of the stuff I was learning was outdated or just plain didn't work (I should have invested in a blogging course).


While my first year blogging was an absolute disaster, year 2 started off on the right foot.

I got an email out of the blue from a company wanting to pay me $125 to place an article on my blog.

I was like, uh, you want to pay me AND give me free content? Sure why not!

It felt so good to make my first dollar blogging. This was the proof I needed that blogging wasn't dead and I can make money with this.

I didn't know then, but this would be the first sponsored post opportunity of many more to come.

Seizing on this, I quickly put up a contact page (mentioning that I accept sponsored posts). This let advertisers find me on Google.

To get more exposure to that page, I also linked to it from the main menu so other advertisers could easily get in touch with me.

After that, I listed my blog in advertiser marketplaces so other companies could also contact me. You can read my guide on how to get sponsored posts here.

What I had unknowingly built was a blog that wasn't popular with readers, but was a hit with advertisers instead. It had all the metrics advertisers wanted: an aged domain, good pagerank/domain authority, plenty of content and some good traffic.

By the end of year 2 I was making a consistent $3,000 per month with just one blog using only sponsored posts.


So I did this once and it was great. But I thought - why not do it again (and again)?

I took everything I learned on my first blog and did it again (minus all the mistakes).

This time I was able to get a consistent $2,000 per month income on a second blog in just 6 months.

While I don't recommend you do this now (because it doesn't work as good as it used to), I ended up creating 20+ blogs all running on auto-pilot.

This has been a principle I have always followed: Find something that works and 10X it.

I later took this to another level though. Instead of building a blog from scratch, I would buy abandoned blogs on With just a few tweaks of the design and content (plus adding some more backlinks), I was able to make money with these sites too.

Without knowing it then, what I had actually done was scale my business into a six figure blogging empire.


Do Six Figures screenshot

Blogging has totally changed my life. But I didn't feel like I was actually making a difference in anybody else's life.

As a result of this blogging mid-life crisis, I started It's aim? To help people start a blog, escape the 9-5 rat race and make serious money online - just like I did.

This blog is my passion project that has been 15 years in the making.

By now you might be wondering whether you can replicate my success and make money blogging. And if so, how do you do it.

I created a quick 4 day blogging bootcamp where you can see step by step the process of starting a profitable blog. Even if you're already making money blogging, there are some nuggets in there that will help you grow your blog.

I also have a blogging course where I. deep dive into exactly how I make money with my blogs. You can check it out here: Six Figure Bloggers Blueprint.


There are countless ways to earn money online.

  • You can fill out surveys for a few bucks at SurveyJunkie.
  • You can earn cash back on your purchases with Swagbucks and ibotta.
  • You can teach an online course at Udemy.
  • You can become a freelancer on Fiverr.
  • Reselling items on eBay.

You can try them all. But what is it going to get you? Lots of hard work and not too much money.

But a blog can turn into a vehicle that generates passive income while you sleep.

I'm confident in saying that there is no better way of making money online right now than by starting a blog.

But don't get it twisted, I don't really mean creating an online diary where you share your thoughts. No, the goal here is to create a business that makes money - not just your typical personal blog.


Here's the process of making money with a blog.

  • Choose a profitable niche. What are you going to write about? Check my guide on how to choose a niche that makes money.
  • Get a domain name and hosting. Use this link to see the incredible sale Bluehost is hosting right now. A free domain name is included with your hosting purchase.
  • Install WordPress and design your blog. I recommend using the Divi theme or Thrive Theme Builder to build your blog.
  • Add content to your blog. Start with keyword research to write about content people are actively searching for. I recommend Grammarly to help you write your content.
  • Get free traffic to see your content. Pinterest is the best traffic source for new bloggers. I use and recommend using the Pinterest scheduler Tailwind.
  • Offer a freebie to get email subscribers. I create my freebies in Canva and all of my email signup forms using Thrive Leads.
  • Send a series of automated emails. You can do this using ConvertKit. Bonus: they now offer free accounts.
  • Turn that subscriber into a paying customer. You can create a digital product like an ebook in Canva and let SendOwl handle the checkout/delivery experience.

This is a proven formula that has worked for not only me, but countless others who earn a six figure income blogging.

Lessons From a SIX FIGURE blogger

What you can learn from my journey to a 100k blogging income.

Here are the key takeaways from my journey to a six figure income online.

  • 1. Evolve.

You must evolve your strategies through the years. When I started, Facebook pages were hot and Pinterest was nothing more than recipes and gardening. Nothing lasts forever.

Keep changing and adapting with the times. You don't want to be the last person at the video rental store turning off the lights.

  • 2. There are no shortcuts.

There is no elevator to success, just a ladder. I don't believe in "marketing hacks" or any gimmicks to making money online. If you want to see results, you have to put in the time.

  • 3. It's not too late.

No, it is never too late to start a blog. A blog is just a website that has updated content. If your content helps people, your blog will always be useful and profitable.

I'm still building blogs too. I started my latest one in 2020.

  • 4. Hard work beats talent.

Perseverance is a pretty cool thing in my opinion. Because even if you're not that talented as others, you can win if you just keep working hard.

  • 5. Failing doesn't make you a loser, quitting does.

I've lost a lot. In fact, I'm fairly certain I'll lose again! But you've got to go head-first anyway and believe in yourself.​

Failing, after all, isn't really failing. It's just learning the wrong way to do things.

If you haven't started a blog yet, see the newbies guide to starting a blog here.

How I Earn A Six Figure Income As A Full-Time Blogger

Until next time,

just a little > about me

About edwin

Edwin Contreras is the professional blogger behind Cash The Checks and Do Six Figures. Over the last 17 years, he has started over 100 profitable blogs on his way to a six-figure income as a full-time blogger. He is now obsessed with helping people just like you escape the 9 to 5 and make serious money online. You in?

learn more > earn more

let's continue > the conversation

  • Thank you for writing such an honest post. My friend owns a social media company and wrote down my to-do list when I started blogging just a few months ago. He said plan on not making a dime for one year. I have made income on my writing (hired guest post) from a company I used to work for and I’m focusing on learning my audience.


    • Yeah I agree that making income directly from a blog is hard. Offering services is a bit of a shortcut to making money online.

      You can offer services via a Services link in the main menu and by posting your writing gigs on Fiverr & UpWork.


  • Winnie Xu says:

    I never realized flipping blogs existed but that was so interesting to read about. It sounds like you learned a ton from your first year so thanks for sharing your tips. Hopefully it can help prevent other beginner bloggers from making the same mistakes.


  • You have a nice blog. I started blogging in 2006 but did things the wrong way. I was blinded by the “adsense gold rush” way back then and did BAD SEO to rank my sites. I raked a lot of adsense coins but everything was short-lived.

    My sites were all wiped out during the penguin update and gave up blogging. But recently I started blogging again and here I am surfing the web for useful information.
    Great article by the way, thanks.


  • Besana Motha says:

    Is true nothing last forever, I started my blogging journey in 2012 then went hidding for sometime, but now I’m back I want to make this work


    • I wish you the best of luck! Let me know if you need any help in your blogging journey, I’m always here to help.


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