Monetization Tips from Savvy Blogging: Part 2 (Income Breakdown of a Six Figure Blogger)

In the first part of this series, I was sharing some information about JD Roth’s keynote and monetization session at the wonderful Savvy Blogging conference in Colorado. {Note: If you’re interested in buying a transcript and recording of this monetization sessions, and others, you can do so here.}

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Let’s dive back into more lessons and thoughts from JD Roth of Get Rich Slowly. As I shared last time, I think we can safely say that JD Roth is a six-figure blogger.

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So how do I think his income breaks down, based on both the information he gave us, and what we can learn from evaluating his website? There are some important clues we can learn from looking at Get Rich Slowly that tell us about JD’s monetization practices:

  • JD appears to post less than twice a day on average. On average, we can say that he posts somewhere between 9-13 posts a week.
  • Not all of these posts are done by JD. Some are written by staff members, or done by contributing writers to Get Rich Slowly.
  • The bulk of the posts are information-rich, but affiliate-poor. JD does not use affiliates widely, and many (if not the majority) of his posts seem entirely free of any type of revenue share on his end.
  • Those affiliates he does use he does so sparsely.

If we add to these points his estimated traffic (he mentioned around 20,000 visitors a day while he was speaking at the Savvy Blogging conference) and other information we have available (like what different kinds of ads we see on his site),  we can put together a potential picture of JD’s monetization strategy.

I think we can say that the bulk of his income comes from the following three revenue sources:

  • Adsense
  • Private Sales
  • Occasional affiliate products (bank offers would be a good guess)

So what is the breakdown of these revenue sources?

Here’s my best guess:

  • Adsense – 55%
  • Private Sales – 20%
  • Occasional affiliate products (bank offers would be a good guess) – 25%

Does it seem high to say he makes more than half his income from one source? It may be a bold guess, but I think it just might be true;)


What we see in JD’s model is that he probably makes the bulk of his money simply from the fact that he has lots of daily readers. As opposed to many “deals bloggers” who post many times a day and have more opportunities to include small-revenue generating affiliate income in a larger number of posts, JD probably gets his volume simply because of his high traffic numbers.

When you have high traffic, and you are passionate about keeping your content free of affiliate mentions, this can be a great tactic.

Since I’ve just finished saying he doesn’t use affiliates widely, does it seem high to say he still might make 25% of his income from affiliates?

I don’t think so. If you are a blogger and you use affiliates only sparingly, you know that your readers are much more likely to listen to you when you do suggest something. For JD, using affiliates sparingly probably helps rocket the conversion rates on the affiliates he does use.

So what do you think? Does this seem like a correct diagnosis of the revenue breakdown on Get Rich Slowly?


  1. Well, I have no idea what J.D. makes but I wanted to comment on your statement,
    “If you are a blogger and you use affiliates only sparingly, you know that your readers are much more likely to listen to you when you do suggest something.”
    I really believe this is true. For many bloggers a well placed affiliate link in good content can be extremely effective. For me personally I have found that I make the same about of money if I post 8-10 affiliate links per month in less relevant content than if I post 1 or 2 affiliate links a month in a well written organic context. Of course I am not a deal blogger so my audience is quite different too. People don’t read my site for deals, they come for advice. I think J.D. has a similar model to my own, but 10x the readers. :)

    • admin says:

      It’s interesting too, Toni, that as a deals blogger (me) I definitely can’t even tell many of the affiliates that are being used. That’s so important, because it speaks for the quality of the recommendation at hand;)

  2. Interesting assessment, Claire! Your paragraph on using affiliates sparingly is dead on. I bet that’s a good strategy with a monetization success. Obviously it works because I see that with a lot of the larger blogs (not in our niche at least).

    • admin says:

      I know Andrea — I wonder how to use affiliates more sparingly in deal blogs, you know? I mean, if we are posting so many deals per day how do you make certain content posts really stand out?

  3. justpassingby says:

    Well done investigation, it’s nice to see how some ladies figuring out this thing and learning from their neighbors yard. Eventually you will if you’ll have enough patience……I’ll give you some light at the end of the tunnel:
    1. 2-3 years maybe more before you’ll see a significant revenue
    2. you will make 80-90% of your revenue from adsense (this is true for 90% blogs and getrichslowly as well)
    3. communicate with your readers all the time, know your regulars, live with them, eat with them, love them.
    4. Last hint for starters: work your full time job 8-5 and work on your blog 7pm-2am daily! – can’t handle this schedule? – don’t even start your blog, it’ll be a big failure and waste of time. If you can do it, good, in 1-2 years you’ll be able quit your full time job.

    How much you’ll be making from blog? No limits here

    Good luck, it’z not yet too late to jump into this wagon, we have plenty of space for everyone.


  1. [...] this point in my Monetization Lessons from Savvy Blogging series (see part 1 here and part 2 here), I’ve thrown out a bunch of [...]

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