I’m a Passive Income Blogger – What That Means and Why You Shouldn’t Be One

I'm A Passive Income Blogger - What That Means and Why You Shouldn't Be One | eastandblog.com

Today marks three years that I’ve been blogging. Three years! Here were my thoughts on my first blog birthday and here are thoughts on the second, including why I started blogging and why I continue to blog. Those thoughts are still very true.

The thing is, here we are at year three I still haven’t completely figured this blogging thing out. I’m constantly learning, reading, and hoping that one day I’ll do all the right things and poof! I’ll be blog famous (come on, if you’re a fellow blogger, don’t pretend like you don’t wish the same thing). But for now, not so much. I write, and I keep writing. I do it because most days, I enjoy it. But I’ve also come to a place of peace where if I don’t have anything to say, I just don’t.

Blogging as a career is a big question mark for most people. Blogging is not my career (and probably never will be) but this blog does contribute to my annual income.

When putting together my taxes, I had to add up what I’d made from blogging during 2014. You would think that I would have been tracking this throughout the year (Lisette even provided a template for bloggers to track their income and expenses) but NOPE. So I dug through my email, ran reports on Google Adsense, and poked through my Paypal account and came up with my total income earned from blogging in 2014. It was more than I thought it was but certainly less than many of my blogging peers are making. It accounted for about 13% of my income in 2014.

I’m a passive income blogger. I don’t seek out partnerships with brands. Hell, I don’t really have much of a “brand” myself. I don’t sell advertising in my sidebar to fellow bloggers (anymore). I rarely am chosen for sponsored posts (that’s the truth), though I don’t apply for many of them in the first place. My income is passive in that I mostly just stick and ad or two (or 5) on my site and call it a day. I let the income trickle in, cent by cent, dollar by dollar. I’m not making the big bucks.

Some of my blogging peers, are not being passive about their income. They’re branding themselves, pitching ideas and collaborations to brands, and churning out brilliant and interesting content. Bloggers who want more than passive income are working at it. They are making things happen for themselves. When the opportunities aren’t falling in their inboxes, they are seeking them out. When the blog world changes (example: the death of sidebar ads), they change with it and find new streams of income. They write e-books, create worksheets, workbooks, planners, and blog designs. They find alternatives streams of income. I respect those people, so very much.

I’m not doing that. Not today. I question my confidence and my ability. I hoped I wouldn’t feel this way three years in, but I do and I’ll be open about that.

Maybe one day I will feel differently but for now, I’m okay with being a passive income blogger. My income reflects my effort. I write but I don’t seek. I brainstorm but I never pitch. I’m focusing on my content and hoping those things will come organically or that I’ll feel more confident in seeking them out.

I’m a passive income blogger. But you don’t have to be one.

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  • It’s so funny that you posted this today because I was just thinking about it on my drive in to work. I see all of these loop giveaways & sponsored posts – and know that I could easily be a part of those things if I worked harder at seeking them out. I don’t do sponsorships anymore, mainly because I thought the change to PassionFruit was ridiculous. I’m going to try & do better, but I’m not making promises!

  • I’m a passive income blogger too. I’d love to do it full time, but I’m not sure that I have the guts to.

  • I’m OK with not making any money off my blog. Why? Because it’s not a niche blog on fashion or cooking or beauty and therefore reviews and giveaways aren’t really conducive to what I write about. My blog is personal essay/opinion style and I have a few banner ads on it, but it’s unlikely I’ll make any money that way.

    What’s more important to me is the content I produce and that people want to visit/read what I have to say. I have a full-time job that provides me with my income and I love that there’s no pressure to make money doing this!

  • I’m definitely in the same boat. Seeing as I’m NOT a stay at home mommy blogger and I actually work full-time, I just don’t have the time to devote to seeking out brands and campaigns and basically whoring myself out for the sake of income. I’d much rather build a relationship with my followers and have a community and if those opportunities come, they come. Don’t get me wrong, I love a free product to review just as the next person but I only want to be that blogger that pushes things if it feels organic to me and most of the time when I read sponsored posts, they just don’t.

  • i so appreciate this post, nadine! i’ve often felt like much of what you’re saying but i’ve also poured over your site because you provide really great content so i’m glad you continue to write!

    i think the lack of confidence totally contributes to holding many people back, myself included. that’s why my focus word of the year is ‘capable’ because i need to remind myself i am indeed capable of whatever i want and it’s this dang brain of mind getting in the way. appreciate your honest words and happy 3rd year of blogging!

  • but you’re a damn good blogger. i check about 3 blogs every single day. you’re one of them.

  • The business of blogging is definitely interesting. You definitely have to be a hustler, I’m still trying to figure it out too!

  • But I like being a passive blogger 😉

    No really, I do. I don’t want to hustle to make money off of something I enjoy and have for years now — I’d rather pick up a (very) little advertising income & promote a few fellow bloggers here and there to cover most of my blogging costs than to sell myself out entirely at the whims of those willing to pay the big bucks in sponsored post-land and post about crap that I don’t care about. I’m sure I could talk a few places into letting me stay/visit for free in exchange for blogging about them, but I haven’t wanted to go that route just yet.

  • I love that you’re passive about it. It’s better than me, haha! I love the people who really work at it, and I definitely thought about trying to work at it too when I made my big career change. But it just wasn’t me. It didn’t feel right for me. For some people it’s awesome and works, but not everyone.

  • well, you still predicted kanye and kim’s baby name. I’ll forever be a fan and remember that and keep coming back to your blog, even if you are passive income blogger. and honestly, maybe you being passive makes you a better blogger for readers? Less pushy overdone sponsored posts(that all blogs seem to put out on the same day). To really make the big bucks, and to not be obnoxious about it to readers, you really gotta hustle and invest the time. Just do what works for you with what time you have! You’re busy right now with your newish job and wedding planning! I know when i was wedding planning I could not handle doing ANYTHING else!

  • Tim has said many times to me “can’t you make money doing that blogging thing” I said I don’t know how…………….short and sweet

  • I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately. I have been going through these periods where I get serious about blogging and I want my numbers increase and I try to grow my following and what not, then I realize that I have let everything else fall away in my life and I start wondering if I should blog.

    I’m coming to realize that tracking numbers and trying to be consistent and a big blogger isn’t for me. I don’t love it in that way, I love it as an outlet when I need, not as a second full time job that takes me away from everything else. It’s just hard to go back to writing sporadically and not tracking everything once you’ve started.

  • 13% of your income while still being passive – kudos to you, my friend!! Really, really interesting post – I always love reading your insights on the blogging industry. Happy three years to your blog as well, it’s been great fun so far 🙂

  • What you have done with your blog as a “passive blogger” is incredible! You do a pretty damn good job at what you do and always have great content.

    I feel the same way in terms of being a passive blogger. Yes, I get income from my blog but I have never sought out brands. I have never pitched anything to other companies (except for the occasional blogging community/agency/etc) and I feel like every big time successful blogger is pitching to the big guns. I might be a stay-at-home mom but I feel like I’m rarely home long enough to make this a full time thing. I see other moms do it and I wonder how the hell they have time to do anything. I’m okay with being a passive blogger even if I wish I wasn’t.

  • What a timely post for me! I was just having this conversation with my husband last night. I go through periods where I just enjoy the creativity of blogging, and don’t put a lot of pressure on myself to grow my readership. Then I go through another phase where I can’t shake the question, “if I’m spending so much time on this blogging thing, why not try to make money from it?” Right now, I am in the I-would-like-to-not-be-passive-phase. The thing is, though, I don’t see my blog as an end-all. I see it as practice for my writing and sketching and thinking. I want it all to turn into something, but I don’t know if that “something” is more income from blogging. I have so many thoughts about this. But I really appreciated coming across your post today. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!! And I agree with Caroline…13% is an awesome passive percentage! Way to go. 🙂

  • I’m the same way. Two really great opportunities just fell in my lap though, so I’ll continue doing what I’m doing. Ha!

  • I have been blogging along, for years, without a care. On my own, not connecting with other bloggers, not generating income, just not…anything. Recently my health status changed and I am finding that I need to branch out on the blog. Not only to generate income, but to feel a sense of belonging, to converse, to make friends. I sure wish that I would not have had my blinders on, for years. It is so much more rewarding to read and comment on the work of others. I have just begun to monetize, and I sure wish I would have started that sooner too! It is one big cram session over here! LOL! I am glad that I am not the only one who was blissfully blogging!

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