How Long Does it Take to Make Money Blogging? An Accurate Timeline

By Spencer Haws |

Let's say you have an idea for a new website or blog and you start it today. How long does it take to make money blogging?

The answer to that question obviously depends on a ton of factors. However, I'm going to walk you through exactly what I did when I recently launched a new site (for Niche Site Project 4) and tell you exactly how long it took to start making money blogging.

I'll also share how long it took before it was indexed in Google, how long before I got my first visitor, how long before it started ranking in Google, and how long before I started to earn money.

If you are just starting a brand new site, these are all questions that you likely have. I've got answers to these exact questions because I literally just went through them.

Are you interested in starting your own blog? Read my free in-depth guide on how to start a blog.

Start a Blog Right Here

How Long Does It Take To Make Money From A Blog?

It took me 4 months before I made an income from my website. But once I started to make an income, the earnings took off pretty quick.

By month 7, I was earning $128.41 per month.

By month 10, I had crossed the $1,000 per month mark.

So in less than a year, I built myself a $1,000 per month cash flow and an asset worth about $30,000 (websites sell for 30-40x their monthly profit. Mine is less than a year old, so I'm calculating it's worth based on the low 30x).

Here's how I did it:

How To Make Money Blogging

As part of a new public case study I'm doing, called Niche Site Project 4, I recently started a niche site.  So, I'll share my exact scenario and blogging strategy, although the amount of time it takes you to make money could be different.

So, I created a WordPress site with these factors:

I should clarify that I'm targeting very specific keywords in all my articles, and I'm implementing best practices to help my site get noticed by Google. In other words, my site is very SEO friendly.

Also note, that I'm not doing a lot of “hustling”. I'm trying to build a business that over time (maybe a year to 2 years) is earning a healthy income month after month without my direct involvement.

I want the site to just rank well in Google and the traffic to keep pouring in each and every day.

So, I'm not daily “hustling” to try and earn money. I could be super active on Instagram, Twitter, Quora, forums, or other places where I know if I post enough daily, I'll get a trickle of traffic each day. By hustling, your site could start making some money on the first day!

But that is not sustainable. Sure, you might make $1 on your first day, but you might need to hustle just as hard tomorrow to make another $1.

The idea is to hustle smart so that in 1 or 2 years I'm not hustling at all and yet my site is making $1,000, $2,000, $5,000 or more each month with minimal involvement. I know this is totally doable since I've done it a few times.

So, now that I've laid out the criteria for my site… How long does it take a new niche site to make money?

In my case, it took almost exactly 3 months.

Here's the timeline (UPDATED):

Early Amazon Affiliate Earnings Screenshot

So, after 3 months of work, I finally got on the board with $14.09 in earnings. I don't know if that's encouraging or discouraging for you, but I think about 3 months is a safe bet for when a brand new site should start making money (if you are focused exclusively on Google organic traffic).

I actually could have started making money a little bit quicker if I had just thrown up some Google Adsense ads.  I'm sure I could get a few clicks.  But again, this is not my long-term vision.

Paid traffic to an affiliate income site generally isn't a winning strategy with new sites.

Display ads and affiliate products are a great way to monetize blogging traffic, but it takes time.

So, how long does it take to get traffic to your brand new website?

Well, just a couple of days. Visitors from social media, Pinterest, or even search engines can start quite quickly. 

However, ranking in search engines typically takes time for your site to age and these rankings to “stick.”

If you're looking for passive income that means you need a site Google loves and sends organic traffic to consistently. That takes time. Every successful person that's making money blogging will tell you that.

How long does it take a new website or blog to get indexed by Google?

Typically just a few days.  Especially if you post your site on social media, Pinterest, or even blog comments will help Google find your site faster.

Some people take the extra step of using Google indexing tools, but if you're producing great content and building up your site this step isn't necessary. Google is very good at finding new sites.

How To Make Money Fast With Your Blog

You can see that my new site took a little while to make money. 4 months is pretty quick in the world of entrepreneurship, but there are ways you can do it even faster.

Social traffic and paid traffic both allow you to get instant viewers and earnings. Let's take a look at each.

Social Traffic

Social traffic can be hit or miss. I think you might hit a home run if you share your site with people who already know and love you.

Get them to share it, ask for more shares, and see what happens. You probably won't go viral or anything. But there's a good chance that you'll get your message out to quite a few people.

And if you have ads, good affiliate recommendations, or sell good products, you can make an income.

The downside to this strategy is that it can be tough to sustain over the long run. It's impossible to keep up unless you're putting out new content.

And even when you are putting out new content, it can be easy for your circle to get tired of hearing about it. So you'll always need to be asking for shares, trying to get more people bookmarking your site, and creating repeat visitors.

You can use this blogging strategy as a sprint, but I recommend using it as a marathon. I think that networks like Facebook and Twitter can help with a sprint, but I think that Pinterest is best for a marathon.

A solid Pinterest affiliate marketing strategy is an important part of building a reliable passive income stream from your blogging work.

You can read my full guide to Pinterest Traffic.

Paid Traffic

Paid traffic is pay to win, but it works. The problem is that it can get expensive if you aren't 100% sure what you're doing.

You'll need to be profitable fast to continue with paid traffic. The fact of the matter is that as soon as you aren't paying, you aren't getting traffic.

I don't recommend paid traffic with display ads or with affiliate marketing websites. Your margins just end up being too low and you'll lose money.

But there is some serious money to be made with ads if you're selling a quality product. You'll have to keep track of your conversion rates, but you do have the opportunity to make a ton of money this way. 

The Fastest Way to Make Money Blogging: New Opportunities

Building a niche website is all about the long-term. Building organic blog traffic takes time, as well as an understanding of search engine optimization. Then you have to make sure you're monetized well to get as much affiliate revenue from your work as possible.

However, there is another way that a blog can help you make money fast: with other opportunities.

Use a good-looking and well-written blog to prove your digital marketing skills and get hired for a freelance writing gig. Write scripts for a small company building a YouTube channel.

These jobs can earn you online money now. So how long does it take to make money with a blog? It still takes time. But if you use the blog to showcase your skills as you're building a long-term source of affiliate revenue then you can speed up the timeline a bit.

My Longer Term Strategy

I tend to go for a longer term, make-money-slow strategy. I take the marathon approach to social media and to my content. I'm always trying to publish new content and pin new images to Pinterest.

Ads have worked well for me in the past, but they're a late-stage addition. I use my income from Google traffic and social traffic to fund the ads.

The Momentum Has Begun

Obviously, I'm not going to be able to retire early just yet on this income.  Although, I did quit my day job in 2011 (and have never looked back) because of my niche site income. However, the momentum has now begun for big things to happen over a longer period of time.

Are you interested in starting your own blog?  Read my free in-depth guide on how to start a blog.

Start a Blog Right Here

You can also read how to start a fashion blog, how to start a Christian blog, how to start a travel blog, or how to start a food blog.

I actually think it could take almost 12 months for any new site to even break $500 or $1,000 a month in earnings (UPDATE: it ended up being 10 months to hit the $500 mark). However, if you are someone that is able to stick with the process and actually put in consistent work for a period of 12 months, you should have a great site on your hands and the possibility of one day making a full time income.

Building a successful blog and earning money from it is a long-term project. You need to develop a great foundation, then add blog post after blog post to grow and expand. If you don't quit, you'll be amazed at just how far you can go.

The exciting things start to happen after the first year. Earnings can go up significantly as the site truly ages, gains authority, and rankings improve in Google. That's when you can really start to make money blogging.

So, is a niche amazon affiliate website going to make a killing after 3 months? No. But will the process have started where the site is started to get a trickle of traffic daily and money can be made? Yes.

Don't Give Up on Making Money Blogging Too Early

I think it's important to keep the life cycle of a site in perspective. I think most people give up way too early.

For example, when the Niche Site Project 4 started many people were interested in joining. In fact, I had over 800 beginning bloggers indicate interest in starting a new niche site and joining me for Niche Site Project 4. By the time the first monthly report came due, only about 139 people submitted a report.

I don't know if all those people had quit before the first report was due after 1 month, but I suspect many of them quit or just never got started. Then many others probably just failed to report their blogging income.

By the time the next report came due, only 77 reported. (Most bloggers, or almost half, dropped out from the previous month).

And in the most recent monthly report, only 45 people reported.

Quitters don't make money blogging

Now it could just be that 750 people aren't reporting. However, I think it's most likely that most bloggers are quitting after 1 or 2 months.

Once the excitement wears off, writing multiple blog posts, attracting blog traffic, building a profitable blog, and earning a full-time affiliate income is a ton of work. The majority of people out there are quitting way too early. Building your passive income stream takes time and effort.

In some niches, like if you're going with a travel blog, the competition is heavier and that means even more time and work. But it is possible!

So, if you are going to start a brand new website from scratch, just realize that it's going to take longer than a few months to start seeing much momentum. But that's really where the fun begins!

If you put in the blogging work early and refuse to give up you will build a profitable blog. The exact timeline can vary based on competition in your niche (travel blogger is great but it's a brutally competitive niche, for example), monetization, your keyword research, your search engine optimization skills, and how much work you really put in. 

But it is possible. Everyone's blogging journey is different but every new blogger can create a money making blog with enough work.

I wish you luck as you build your website and hope you have great success!

Blogging & Niche Websites | 64 comments

By Spencer Haws

Spencer Haws is the founder of After getting a degree in Business Finance from BYU (2002) and an MBA from ASU (2007) he worked for 8 years in Business Banking and Finance at both Merril Lynch and Wells Fargo Bank.

While consulting with other small business owners as a business banker, Spencer finally had the desire to start his own business. He successfully built a portfolio of niche sites using SEO and online marketing that allowed him to quit his job in 2011. Since then he's been involved in dozens of online business ventures including: creating and exiting Long Tail Pro, running an Amazon FBA business for over 3 years and selling that business, founding, and co-founding You can learn more about Spencer here.

Want to learn step-by-step how I built my Niche Site Empire up to a full-time income?

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Thanks for the update. I’m still in, but I didn’t report the last month because there was no progress. Anyway, the project is very interesting, I can’t wait to see how all of us are going to do in one year from now.

Spencer Haws

Thanks! Go ahead and report, even if there is no progress…it helps keep everyone honest and motivated.


Good write up Spencer.

My site is still getting only 1-2 visits a day whic is kind of frustrating, especially considering the amount of time I’ve put into the content.

However, I’m aware that SEO is quite often an exponential beast and things can take off all at once, even after months of no action.

So I’m still cranking out content for the tine being.

Spencer Haws

Sounds good. Stick with it! I’m starting more outreach and link building this month…so that is worth considering as well.

Theodore Nwangene

Great read as always Spencer,

The site is really off to a very good start, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Meanwhile, the domain you’re using for this site, is a freshly registered new domain or you bought an expired domain?

Thanks for sharing bro, and good luck.

Spencer Haws

Its a fresh domain.


Can you please check my site whats wrong with it. It have good backlinks and content. but no ranking


Hey Spencer. Another great and interesting read. My wife launched a blog of her own a year ago, Adsense was implemented around June. She gets fairly consistent traffic each month, nothing in the hundreds of thousands, but I’d say 15k consistently in the last 3 months, and growing. That said, she’s only pulling in a few dollars a month with Adsense. What is she doing wrong? I understand there are a lot of variables, but is there a specific something we’re missing??


Hi Will,

I am sure Spencer will also reply your comment, but since I am mainly working on Adsense sites – I thought I could give some input on your question:

For Adsense there are 2 really important points:

Ad locations and the ad types.

I suggest to test many combinations; link ads – banner ads – etc. And -especially for link ads-, test different color combinations. For some niches, the default adsense ads work great, for some other niches just playing with ad colors and blending them into your site / content works.

I hope this will give you some ideas…


Thanks Kutluay. Yeah, I keep seeing that. I’ve been having a hard time with do-you-or-don’t-you trust Auto Ads. I feel like you should not, and instead have control over that yourself. But, I find many ad manager plugins for WordPress to be rather cumbersome. Is there one that you’d recommend over another?


Hi Will, if she is getting 15K visits a month, she will qualify for Ezoic. I’ve implemented them a couple of months ago and I went from around $80/ month in Adsense to $450. You can read up on their offering, it’s free and fully automated.

I have no affiliation with them. This is my personal experience on one of my sites that receives 18K visits, so similar to your wife’s.

Spencer Haws

If she can get the site to 25,000 visitors a month, I’d recommend she then apply to Mediavine; her earnings should go up significantly. Some types of sites just don’t get many adsense clicks (like hers). But mediavine and Adthrive are display ads; so you get paid even if someone doesn’t click. I would also see if she can try to monetize with Amazon affiliate links her or there. But my guess is that display ads (once shes over 25,000 views) is going to work best.


Thanks for the heads-up! We’ll check it out.


That’s exciting that your site has started to make money! Mine has made a small amount, too. And I’m definitely in this for the long haul. I chose something I personally enjoy, which makes it easier, I think.

I am curious, though… I do you/did you know when Google ranked you? Do you just check? Is there a way to find out easily?

Thanks again for all you do!

With gratitude,

Spencer Haws

Good luck! I use Long Tail pro to track my rankings in Google:

Michael Pawlik

Hey Spencer, excellent stuff as always. You talk about hiring a team of people to help you pump out content etc. but how likely is it for someone just starting out to even get anywhere near this level of performance all by one’s self? Is it possible or even advisable to start a site by yourself without outsourcing ANYTHING at all?


Spencer Haws

Sure, if someone is dedicated, I don’t see why they couldn’t write 2 or 3 articles a week themself (or more). I’ve been at this for just over 12 weeks, so that would be 36+ articles. My site has 39; so it’s very doable.

avi lang


Great report questions can you explain your whole process how pin interest works how to upload and get traffic from it maybe you can make a video?

can you share how your setting up your articles or a template so we can follow along?

also can you layout your outreach and link building Technic?

thank you

Spencer Haws

Sure, in the future.

Quinton Hamp

I’m going to be super curious what this looks like in March. I’ve been suspicious that there is a 5 month “sandbox” in Google, and I think you might see some big jumps about then.

Spencer Haws

Right, there definitely seems to be a sandbox of sorts. maybe even more than in the past.

Frank Coy

Encouraging. I’ve been all over the planet, learning about online marketing by trial-n-error. I believe I’m ready to launch my online business on or around January 1, 2019. From what you’ve shared, I should begin getting a trickle of sales around April. Thank you!

Spencer Haws

No problem, good luck!


Hi Spencer – that is so super encouraging, thanks for the update. I’m at about month three and will definitely hang in there! I’m using LTPro and really like that tool. I’m doing an interesting aging study myself and when the data is complete would be happy to share it with you – Mike

Spencer Haws

Sounds great, good luck!

Abdul Majid

I am working on website for almost five months but it is not showing significant progress. Can you help me?

Brian Nash

What is your Niche site? I see your this site techin review but this is everything but a Niche a site. Target longtail keywords in your niche. i.e. if your website is on wifi routers you can go for
wifi router reviews 2019
best wifi routers under $100
best wifi router for small homes
This way you need to find longtail keywords in your Niche.
Remember, you can not compete with top sites like PCMag, Tomgsguide, Nymag that ranks for main keywords but you can always have your share in sale commissions by targeting longtail keywords and then gradually go for main keywords

Spencer Haws

I would review the keywords you are selecting:

Brian Nash

If everything goes in right direction and new sites focus on longtail keywords than I think first sale will come within 2-3 months. I myself got first sale in 4th month, I casually checked my Amazon associates dashboard and found some sales commission there. It was nice feeling to see my first ever earnings.


Hi Brian, Spencer,

I’m at about month 2.5 and no Amazon sales yet, they sent me the “warning” email that says I need to show sales within 90 days or they close my account. How does one go about getting to month 4 before a first sale? Do they have a grace period?
I know Spencer’s updates here also talk about many months before first sales… I’m concerned that I won’t have an Associates account before then 🙁



(Actually – I re-read their email after I posted that reply. They actually give you 6 months and warn you at 3, so I should be good)

Spencer Haws

You might consider going the “hustling” route to have people check out your site and buy things early on.


Excellent and valuable post. Special thanks for the post. I hope that your article will be helpful. Thank you for sharing with us.


Hi Spencer
how much did you spend till the first earning came out?

Spencer Haws

I have about 40 articles on the site. This is something someone could have written themself in a period of 3 months, I chose to outsource that content.


I find starting a new site much more fun when you have a good stream of passive income coming in from another site. 😉 It’s easier to be patient when earning nothing and build a solid site.

My most recent site has been doing very well for me in regards to income, largely because I do a lot of personal reviews on courses and products that not a lot of other people are reviewing, so I get ranked high quickly in the search engines and found by interested people. But, before I made reviews my focus, it would take me quite a while to get the traffic to make some good money.

Interestingly, I wrote reviews for clients for years and it never clicked to start my own review site on things that I’m using and doing in my own life until a few years ago.

Spencer Haws

I agree, starting a second site is easier if you already have one making money. Thanks for your comment.


Hi Spencer, i’d like to join this Project. I have this website Im revamping. Am i still good to join? Cheers.

Ivana Kinsley

Thanks for the newbie site guide. I index my niche site 4 months ago. I publish 21 content and 1 review post. My target Adsense and affiliate earn. But I never try to put ads or any affiliate site yet. At the beginning of the site, most of the traffic comes from social media like Facebook. But recent 2 months I got search traffic from search engine. Now my site rank 6 to 15 position on google. What about you say Is it the right time for site earnings or we need more time for earnings?

Spencer Haws

Yes, sounds like the right time.

Ashutosh Singh

I really like your writing style, excellent info, thank you for putting up

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Hi Spencer,

That’s actually a great start and it always feels amazing to see your first few sales before your site picks up and you see daily sales.

One of my niche sites took around 6 months to get the first sale (I was lazy in promoting it), but it was an awesome feeling when that happens.

Keep sharing your journey and inspiring others.

Btw, when can we expect a new update?

Spencer Haws

I’m starting to write it today 🙂

Nikola Roza

Hey Spencer.

I like your realistic approach to building niche sites. Yes, it can e done , by anyone. But it can not be done is just a few months time.
3 months is bare minimum one should wait before giving up, but as you said, the true fun begins after a year when site maturity kick in.

Thanks Spencer. for reminding me of that. My site has just turned one year and I had 15 keywords suddenly jump to first two pages of Google (according to Moz’s rank tracker).

Nikola Roza

Anil Agarwal

Hey Spencer,

Glad to know you’re sharing everything on how to build profitable niche sites. I’m also working on a couple of niche sites and it took me literally 8 months to start making decent income. Recently during the black Friday week, I made over $500 from Amazon on one of niche sites which was launched exactly an year ago.

Things are going slow but steadily. But the thing is, even after publishing detailed articles (with over 3000 words) and I published over 100 articles, I’m still getting only 100 visits a day which I think is a bad start. Is it common?

Did you use an expired domain or fresh domain? I went with a fresh domain and building links and authority for the site from the scratch using various tactics like email outreach, guest posting etc.

Sherisse Rogers

This is a great article. I recently started a brand new niche site and Ive been wondering how long, in general, it takes to start generating money. This at least gives me a general idea.

Good stuff. Thanx!


It all takes hard work and smart work. The wrong niche at wrong time can take up to 6 months to years of years, while right niche at right time may take week to a month to start earning.


Thank you for share a real experience! Develop a website demands time and make sales with free traffic is harder than a newcomer thinks.


Thanks for the update. I’m still in, but I didn’t report the last month because there was no progress. Anyway, the project is very interesting, I can’t wait to see how all of us are going to do in one year from now.

Spencer Haws

Sounds good.

Fassih Fayyaz

Hi Spencer,

This is amazing, looking forward to seeing a more relevant article like this. This at least gives me a general idea. It all takes hard work and smart work.

Phillip Murray

We’ve also seen jumps in activity and rankings around/after 3 months that correspond with this data unless the area is too heavily populated or inundated with businesses in the niche.

George LaRieviere

Disappointingly our business website hasn’t seen the activity we would have hoped after 3 months. We hope it picks up soon! This article is very insightful info

Spencer Haws

Good luck!


Hi Spencer!

I’m just a newbie to this internet marketing thing and found your website to be very informative. I hope I can learn a lot from your tactics to improve my niche site.


As per my experience, it takes – 2-3 months to start earning. Making money online is not easy, especially when it comes to ranking a website & driving traffic organically from search engines. I always advice my students to have patience as it takes atleast 6 months to see some good figures (as website/blog itself takes min 6 months to show up on top search pages).

Hardwork pays off! A blogger can start making money in 15 days, a month or even an year (it purely depends on marketing skills).

Spencer Haws

Thanks Saad!


I’m in the initial phase of the blog, I started shortly. I have few articles and visits … But I believe that in time I can make an excellent income.

Thanks for the information, for I’m new to the subject, it cleared up a lot.



I am following niche pursuits site and read many articles.

I also joined long tail pro univercity and niche site course.

I have used strategy to get organic traffic for 3 months and then stop working due to some reason.

I just checked my site before 15 days and I am amazed. I am getting good amount of targeted traffic for previous published posts and pages.

I just want to thank spencer to provide valuable resources to us and guide us to do low cost marketing.

Thanks a lot.



Good article. I’m literally going crazy to get out of a “sandbox” for a new website. I’m trying to get seo traffic, since a month, but no positions yet.

I go on with contents, backlinks, but nothing moves on.

any suggestion?

Stanley Robbins

Hi Spencer,

I am following niche pursuits site and loved this article as usual.

This post is amazing, looking forward to seeing a more relevant article like this.

It all takes hard work and smart work. Hardwork pays off! A blogger can start making money in a month or even a year (it purely depends on marketing skills and efforts).

For me, it took 1.5 years to make consistent 100$ per month. So we need patience here.


Spencer Haws

Thanks Stanley!

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