What can ten of the most lucrative bloggers in 2020 teach us about how to make money for blogging and what their stories tell us about current trends in high-level blogging?
Since 2018, Target Internet has been subscribed to once a year on ten of the most profitable blogs in the world. Using a Forbes ranking of the world’s most profitable bloggers, we analyzed some factors that influence the success of every leading blogger.
Blogging has recently branched into many variations, ranging from traditional and proprietary blogging (like the ones you read), blogging on third-party platforms like Medium and LinkedIn Pulse, and microblogging with subtitles on social media. The blogging industry has had a further focus on bloggers and influencers on social media. Many people who have once become bloggers are looking for a career as an influencer.
These trends offer new commercial and creative opportunities for freelance creators to online content. The downside is that blogging has become harder to define and therefore harder to sign up as an industry. This effect is so pronounced that the use of the term ‘blogging’ appears to be. According to Google Trends, the global search volume of ‘blogs’ and related keywords reached its lowest level ever in June 2019 and has remained virtually unchanged since then.
One consequence of these trends is that it is no longer easy to get bloggers’ revenue estimates from a trusted source, as stocks like Forbes have once again focused on trending topics like Instagram users and YouTubers. We could use that as a sign to stop the performance of the best paid bloggers. However, we followed the careers of bloggers on last year’s list, we still think there is still a lot to be said for their high-income blogs. Let’s take a good look at the status of each major blog in 2020 and see what lessons we can learn about the status of the blog.
The earnings figures for each blogger are the best available estimates of Owlery’s annual earnings, expressed in US dollars.
Top 10 highest-earning bloggers
- HuffPost: $500 million per year
- Engadget: $47.5 million per year
- Moz: $44.9 million per year
- PerezHilton: $41.3 million per year
- Copyblogger: $33.1 million per year
- Mashable: $30 million per year
- TechCrunch: $22.5 million per year
- Envato Tuts+: $10 million per year
- Smashing Magazine: $5.2 million per year
- Gizmodo: $4.8 million per year
1. HuffPost (founded by Arianna Huffington): $143.1 million
Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post (renamed HuffPost in 2017), built her business from a current affairs blog to an entire media empire between 2005 and 2011, when The Huffington Post acquired AOL for $ 315 million.
Huffington continued to be the editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post until 2016 when she transitioned to her current job as CEO of Thrive Global, a blogging and training provider dedicated to corporate wellness. (He is also a member of the board of directors of brands like Uber and Onex.)
HuffPost has an estimated annual revenue of $ 500 million, which puts it in the top leagues by most newspaper standards, not to mention other blogs.
A key factor in HuffPost’s success has been the distribution approach to the production and distribution of digital content. The platform typically published 600 to 1,000 articles per day, of which 10 to 100 were viral.
Blogs have always lived or died for their ability to attract readers, and HuffPost excels in that moment with the right strategy at the right time. It is not clear if a similar strategy implemented in 2020 will allow a blog to grow to the same extent as HuffPost, as changes to search engine algorithms will improve the quality of content normally requested for a greater number of visits through organic search.
2. Engadget (founded by Peter Rojas; now edited by Dana Wollman): $47.5 million
Engadget covers a variety of technology topics, from robotics and smartphone games to search engines and phones. The blog was founded in 2004 by Peter Rojas, a former editor of Gizmodo. Rojas left Engadget in 2008 and has focused on venture capitalism ever since. Like the Huffington Post, Engadget was acquired by AOL in 2011 and is now owned by Verizon Media.
Engadget’s estimated annual revenue of $ 47.5 million places it at the top of the tech media rankings.
Affiliate links included in product reviews are a widely implemented option for Engadget. The links are included as a CTA button named “Buy Now”, contained in a static header.
Note the importance placed on Engadget’s core navigation, generating affiliate product reviews. This is a blog that has learned what works best for itself commercially and what it has really taken the approach. Regardless of whether your blog is all about affiliate commissions or other sources of revenue, a good lesson to learn from Engadget is that it can earn the rewards of prioritizing revenue-generating elements in your blog design.
3. Moz (founded by Rand Fishkin now edited by Morgan McMurray): $44.9m
Led by a very influential blog, Moz’s content isn’t just about content marketing, it’s one of the leading publications in search engine marketing.
Moz is an SEO community and service provider with an offering that includes SEO software, conferences, and major digital publishing operation.
Popular Moz blog features include case studies, industry reports, and ‘Whiteboard Friday’, a series of educational vlogs previously hosted by Rand Fishkin, the company’s founder. Fishkin, who still hosts Whiteboard Friday vlogs from time to time, switched to a new company in 2018, an auditory intelligence provider called SparkToro.
The blog is not Moz’s main product. However, we believe it is right to include Moz in our list of most profitable bloggers, as the brand blog is one of the most popular and influential posts in digital marketing. Additionally, Moz’s digital publication is a major lead generator for the company, which could increase its annual earnings by $ 44.9 million.
Moz has shown how a brand can sell products and services by making blogging an important part of its offering. Instead of blogging on your site and posting articles every now and then; This brand has created one of the best blogs in its industry. Thanks to his blogs, Moz has become a destination and focal point for the SEO community.
4. PerezHilton (Perez Hilton): $41.3m
Perez Hilton is a famous blogger and media personality. Hilton’s gossip blog PerezHilton is one of the great names in entertainment industry journalism.
Since 2005, Perez Hilton has been writing stories about stars like Lady Gaga, Johnny Depp, and Miley Cyrus, while being personally integrated into celebrity culture. Popular features of the PerezHilton blog include gossip stories, photo galleries, and contests. In general, the blog content is similar to that of a traditional celebrity magazine, such as Closer of Heat.
One of the biggest selling points of the PerezHilton blog is the effective use of celebrities driving engagement with the blog’s content. Famous names and well-known faces are in the spotlight, through category titles for specific celebrities and the widespread use of paparazzi and red carpet photos. It shows a clear understanding of what makes blogging attractive, something every blogger should discover on their blog.
5. Copyblogger (founded by Brian Clark; now edited by Stefanie Flaxman): $35.1m
Copyblogger is a blog about blogging (and other ways of writing content). It describes itself as “the most influential content marketing blog in the world.” The main features of the blog include writing tips, analysis of new developments in content marketing, and podcast deliveries.
Since Copyblogger is a blog about copywriting, it is very stressful to practice what you proclaim and produce good copies. Your articles tend to meet this requirement, with very clear formatting and engaging conversation writing.
6. Mashable: $30m (founded by Pete Cashmore; now edited by Jessica Coen)
The Mashable Technology and Media blog was founded in 2005 by Pete Cashmore, a 19-year-old web consultant from Aberdeen.
Mashable’s production covers a wide range of topics, including technology, science, and social well-being. One of the most striking features of the blog is Amplify, a series of content “dedicated to raising awareness, problems and action” on issues of racial equality.
Another interesting feature, this time from a monetary standpoint, is Mashable Deals, a section of the blog that features deals, reviews, product reviews, and other business content.
7. TechCrunch (created by Michael Arrington & Keith Tears; now edited by Matthew Panzarino): $22.5m
TechCrunch is recognized for its excellent coverage of startup news and advanced technology topics. The blog’s content is heavily focused on relationships with tech giants like Alphabet, Amazon, Uber, and all the other usual suspects.
In 2007 to 2015, TechCrunch ran the popular startup for database Crunchbase, which is now a separate entity.
8. Envato Tuts+ (founded by Collis Ta’eed): $10m
Envato Tuts + is a huge library of tutorials, courses, guides and e-books presented in a blog format. It covers disciplines including coding and web design, business, photography, music and graphic design. Some content on Envato Tuts + is accessible for free, while other items are available by subscription.
Envato, the company behind Tuts +, was founded in 2006 by Collis Ta’eed. The main office is in Melbourne, Australia.
9. Smashing Magazine (founded by Sven Lennartz and Vitaly Friedman): $5.2m
If you’re a web developer or designer, we’re willing to bet you’ve read an article published by Smashing Magazine. Founded in 2006, this blog has become a leading source of guidance and feedback on everything related to the Internet, from information architecture to website aesthetics.
A key ingredient in Smashing Magazine’s success is its subscriber offering, which encourages readers to pay between $ 3 and $ 7 per month for premium features. Interestingly, the blog has a live members counter on its home page, which is a smart way to help readers determine the value of their financial contribution to the blog.
10. Gizmodo: $4.8m (founded by Peter Rojas; now edited by Kelly Bourdet)
The second blog on our list, founded by Peter Rojas, Gizmodo, is a design, technology, science, and science fiction blog with numerous variations serving different parts of the world, including Brazil, Japan, and the UK. It’s an incredible chronicle of geek culture, from Huawei’s latest smartphone designs to wow theories about the original Star Wars trilogy. A particularly strong feature of Gizmodo US is the “Giz Ask” content series, which requires a lot of effort to respond to scientific discussions such as “Can teleportation work?” and “Do animals seek revenge?” Short code