Monetization Tips from Savvy Blogging – Part 1 (Lessons from a Maybe-Six Figure Blogger)

After a whirlwind weekend in Colorado at Savvy Blogging, it’s hard to really sit down and thoroughly digest exactly everything I learned at Savvy Blogging about monetization, but there are a few gems to start with.

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Not surprisingly, the monetization session held by JD Roth’s Get Rich Slowly was one of the most packed sessions there – and the last session as well! Not only do many bloggers like me love JD, but everyone was dying to learn more about monetization and to get good info from a blogger who has turned his blog into a full time living. In my ongoing quest for information about what is possible in the blogging world, I was eager for some real numbers!

As Carrie from Springs Bargains joked with me after his keynote, “Are you going to ask him what he makes?!??” Not exactly, Carrie, but I will be trying to figure it out on my own;)

So, first things first, what do we know about the person teaching us about monetization? Is JD Roth of Get Rich Slowly a – gasp – Six-Figure Blogger?

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What do we know about Get Rich Slowly as a monetized blog?

  • JD made about $1 his first day on adsense many years ago.
  • JD now has staff writers to help him out with his blog (It wasn’t clear to me if these individuals were paid or not).
  • JD mentioned traffic in the range of 20,000 hits per day.
  • JD has about 80,000 RSS subscribers.
  • In JD’s keynote, he mentioned it took about 2 years to be able to quit his other full time job (at the family business) and start blogging full time.
  • JD now blogs mostly from his nearby office – which he pays $325 to rent and says is well worth the rent given the fact that he can better separate his work and his personal life. [Note this point for any of you bloggers struggling with work and home balances;)]
  • JD was once offered $20,000 to do a series of credit card posts he was not happy about. Rightfully, he turned down this offer. Money isn’t worth your integrity!
  • In the monetization session, when JD mentioned that he believed Chris Guillebeau of The Art of Non-Confirmity made an income off his site, The Happy Housewife raised her hand to ask what he meant — “A full time, middle-class income?” I remembered a post I had read on Chris Guillebeau’s blog a while back about his stats, and I answered that he made around $30,000 – $40,000 a year (it turns out Chris said he made $48,000 here). JD thought that was small potatoes, saying: “I bet it’s more than that!”

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  • JD has paid off his debts with his blog, and now lives – as he put it – a very comfortable life.

So what do all these tidbits add up to?

All this leads me to believe that JD probably makes around six figures – say, $100,000 – with his blog.

Although I don’t get the sense he is nearing Pro-Blogger’s seven figure a year claims, I do believe JD is probably doing quite well with his quality, regular, content. He is clearly a successful blogger who has paved the way for other personal finance bloggers in the niche.

What do you think? Do you think JD is a Six Figure Blogger?

Next up in the series: In the next part of this series, I’ll do a breakdown of where I believe his income comes from and what his income model looks like;)

IMPORTANT: Remember, trying to ascertain the incomes of a blogger like JD isn’t about comparison as much as it is about learning. By evaluating what he can do, you can perhaps set your goals more powerfully, and more realistically, to achieve your own success in blogging.


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