Income Report: How Much Money I Make Blogging Vs Selling Online And Which Business Model Is Better

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Twice a year, I publish an income report to track the progress of my various online businesses.

And in case you are new here, my primary sources of income are my online store at and my blog at

In addition, I run a small business podcast and an ecommerce conference called the Sellers Summit. Feel free to check them out!

How Much Money I Make Blogging And Running My Online Shop And Which Business Model Is Better

On this page, I post the most up to date income reports for my businesses which usually come out in January and July of every year.

As of right now, the latest income report for my online store(Bumblebee Linens) can be found here.

And a link to the latest income report for my blog can be found by reading the rest of the post below.

Editor’s Note: While I never post the raw numbers for my online store, you can easily figure things out for yourself by reading my previous income reports and doing the math.

If you want to learn how to start your own profitable online store, click here to sign up for my free 6 day mini course.

Which Business Model Is Better? Blogging Or Ecommerce?

Because I’ve had a good amount of success with selling physical products online and blogging, I often get asked which business model is the best one to pursue. In fact, here’s an email I received the other day from a reader of the blog.

Hey Steve, I’m thinking about starting an online store or a blog very soon and I’m thrilled I found you. I know that you’ve done both so I wanted to know which business model you recommend for someone just starting out.

Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge! -Kay

First off, the answer to this question is fairly complicated and largely depends on your personality and your long term goals.

But by reading about my experiences with both business models below, you should be able to decide for yourself.

Let’s start with blogging first.

How Much Do I Make Blogging?


Before I delve into the numbers, I just want to say that I’ve always been a little embarrassed by how long it took me to make meaningful money with

In fact, a bunch of my other blogging buddies started around the same time as I did and many of them are either making more money than I am or have a larger reader base than I do.

As of today, I’ve been blogging for almost 7 years. And to tell you the truth, I’ve probably put more hours into writing articles for than I have spent working on my online store.

Writing also doesn’t come that quickly or that easily for me. And to make things worse, no one was reading my blog during the first 2 years.

Even my Mom used to tell me…

Why would people possibly want to read your posts and pay you money?

The Tipping Point

tipping point

But after about 2 years of blogging to a really small audience, something magical happened during year 3.

My blog started to generate some serious traction. And low and behold, I started gaining traffic and regular readers on an exponential growth scale.

In 2012, I broke 6 figures for the first time.
In 2013, I made $171,000.
In 2014, I broke $350,000.
And in 2015, I hit $712,000!

While last year’s profits were already amazing for, this year I’m happy to announce that my blog is on track to exceed 7 figures in income for the first time! Mission accomplished!

Click here to read the latest income report for

After years and years of slogging away at the keyboard for no money, I’m ecstatic to finally enjoy the fruits of my labor.

But folks, if you trying to make money fast, then blogging is not the answer.

You can easily make much more money with an online store in a much shorter period of time than you can with blogging.

For example, my wife and I made over $100,000 in profit in our first year of business with our online store.

But with my blog in the first year, I maybe made $100 but that’s probably pushing it.

Editor’s Note: If you want to learn how to start a profitable online store, click here to sign up for my free 6 day mini course.

The Intangible Benefits Of Blogging


But money aside, blogging is an incredible way to express yourself and to build an audience.

First and foremost, a blog allows you to create a loyal following. Simply knowing that someone is out there reading my stuff is quite satisfying and makes me happy every time I hit the publish button. (Take that Mom!)

I’ve also met a ton of new people through blogging that I would not have met otherwise. And many of these people I now proudly call my friends.

By writing and podcasting about ecommerce, I’ve also inadvertently positioned myself as an authority in the ecommerce space. As a result, I’ve been offered a few book deals (including an offer from Wiley Publishing).

I’m also constantly bombarded with free products and free software to review. And I even launched a successful ecommerce course that now has ~2000 students!

There’s no way that would have happened without my blog.

Most importantly, I feel like I’m making a difference in this world by teaching others how to start their own businesses. This last point is crucial.

It’s hard to describe the feeling but helping others take charge of their lives is probably the most satisfying part of blogging.

Blogging Vs Ecommerce

blog vs ecommerce
If you’re like my Mom, you’re probably wondering how a blog can possibly make money.

With, I generate income primarily through advertising, affiliate marketing, podcast sponsorships and online course sales. And the best part is that these income sources are passive in nature.

But as I mentioned earlier, it takes a tremendous amount of time and effort before you can make even a single penny.

If you decide to start a blog for the sole purpose of making money, don’t expect to make any meaningful revenue for at least a few years because you need to build an audience first.

If your goal is to make money immediately, then go into ecommerce and start selling something online.

Starting an ecommerce store will almost always make money faster than a blog because you don’t need that much traffic to sell your own goods and the payout per sale is often much higher.

But the beauty of blogging is that once you start getting some momentum, your growth potential is limitless and the margins are incredible!

Last year, my ecommerce store generated more revenue than my blog, but my blog was more profitable.

Why? It’s because the money I made from blogging was more or less pure profit.

Unlike running an ecommerce store, I don’t have additional overhead in the form of inventory and office space. And even though my ecommerce store made a lot more money during its first 5 years of existence, my blog is growing much faster today.

To put things in perspective, here’s a graph I threw together that demonstrates the growth curves of both business models.

Blogging Vs Ecommerce

So What’s The Verdict? Should I Start A Blog Or An Online Store?

If you have less than $500 to start a business or if you don’t know what business you want to start, I would advise that you start a blog and put yourself out there.

The starting costs are super low ($3.95/month) and by building an audience now, you will have a place to market your products to when you are ready to start selling.

Remember, blogging is an excellent way to get your ideas out to the masses, to establish yourself as an authority and to reach out to other experts around you.

What’s really nice about is that the majority of the money I earn is passive income.

Unlike my ecommerce store, I don’t have to worry about carrying inventory, customer support, customer acquisition, importing goods from overseas etc..

The real question that you have to ask yourself is whether you have the patience to get through the initial slow period of blogging or whether you want to start making money right away.

If you want to make money faster, then sign up for my FREE 6 day mini course on how to start your own profitable online store.

If you prefer generating more passive income, continue reading and I’ll show you how to get started blogging right now in under 5 minutes for less than $4/month.

How To Start A Blog


First off, if you are interested in ever making money off your blog or turning it into a business, then you must host it yourself and own your domain and website.

This is absolutely required.

Right now the best blogging platform available is WordPress. And an economical way of getting started is by hosting your WordPress blog on Bluehost.

Not only does Bluehost only cost $3.49/month, but I actually ran my ecommerce store on Bluehost for 2 years before I transitioned to dedicated hosting and I’ve had very positive experiences with them.

Blogging has been one of the best things ever to happen to me and has allowed me to quit my job. Today I work from home, travel whenever I want and attend all of my kids’ activities.

Below, I’ve written step by step instructions on how to start a WordPress blog in the easiest way possible and for the lowest possible cost using a reputable webhost.

Step #1: Sign Up For Webhosting

Instructions How To Sign Up

  • Go To The Blue Host Website
  • Click On The “Get Started Now” Button.


  • Select A Plan
    If you’re just starting out, just go with the cheapest plan which will be fine until you reach about 1000 visits per day.

    Bluehost Plans

  • Type In Your Domain.

    Note: If you already own a domain, simply type it in.

    Select A Domain

  • Enter Your Account And Billing Information.
  • Choose Your Hosting Package. You will be given a choice of 12 months, 24 months or 36 months. The longer the time frame, the cheaper it will be.

    Bluehost Options
  • Make sure you unclick all the stuff you don’t need. Trust me. You don’t need SiteLock Domain Security, Site Backup Pro or Search Engine Jumpstart
  • Click Next. You will receive a confirmation in your email.

Step 2: Install WordPress

WordPress is by far the most popular blogging platform out there. And the best part is that you can install WordPress in a matter of just a few clicks on Blue Host

  • Go Back To Your Bluehost Control Panel Front Page. If you forgot how to get to your control panel, Click Here
  • Click the icon that reads “One Click Installs” under the “Website” section in your cPanel.

    1 click install

  • Select WordPress To Be Installed


  • Click on the “Install” button

    install button

  • Enter Your Domain

    Wordpress Domain

  • Enter In Your Blog Username And Password

    blog username

  • Click “Install”. Now WordPress has been uploaded to your domain!

Navigating WordPress

To sign into your WordPress account, all you have to do is type the following url into your browser

Login with the username and password you selected during installation. Click “Add New Post” and begin blogging!

There Are Many Different Ways To Make Money Online

Whether you decide to build an ecommerce store or start a blog, just keep in mind that there are many different ways to make money online.

Overall, your decision should be based on how much money you are willing to invest and your time frame to profitability.

If you are interested in starting an ecommerce store, I would recommend starting with at least $500. And once again, sign up for my free 6 day mini course if you want a good overview of the process.

If you are unsure about what business you want to start or if you don’t have the funds, then start blogging and building your audience now! By creating a loyal following, you are paving the way for your future. Good luck!

photo credit: Poetry in Motion

Ready To Get Serious About Starting An Online Business?

If you are really considering starting your own online business, then you have to check out my free mini course on How To Create A Niche Online Store In 5 Easy Steps.

In this 6 day mini course, I reveal the steps that my wife and I took to earn 100 thousand dollars in the span of just a year. Best of all, it's free and you'll receive weekly ecommerce tips and strategies!

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100 thoughts on “Income Report: How Much Money I Make Blogging Vs Selling Online And Which Business Model Is Better”

  1. Adam Dimitrov says:


    I really find your writing overall motivation and extremely helpful!

    I started a store selling private label products myself and it worked (that’s before I found you). Now we consistently get 50k of gross revenue a month and we only sell in Spain.

    About blogging though, the fact that you made slow progress in the first years just mean that you followed the wrong strategy e.g. your one post/week policy.

    You’d have easily gained success earlier by putting out content consistently more times per week (like many youtuber’s daily videos) and doing webinars to build your list.

    With that said, this requires a lot more time and effort, so obviously this is for the most committed with a lot more free time (not people with full time jobs like you were ).

    Posting one piece of content a week and then marketing it is also a sustainable way in the long term and will generate results once you accumulate enough content.

    With that said, I just started by website, I plan to use youtube and webinars and written content mainly to build my following, and then I’ll make video courses to monetize it. Same niche as your blog. 😉

  2. Ash says:

    Like your blog post. Really helpful, motivated and valuable information. Recently started my blog about finance and life. I will learn about blogging more from your blog. Thanks for sharing

  3. Patrick Pedrus says:

    Hi Steve,

    What a relief to find someone like you who explains it fully. Thanks so much. You make sense and are very positive.



    Hello Steve,
    I like the comparison between an blog or a online store. Your right about starting a blog first. I learned my lesson the hard way and started a store with no online experience. Thanks for the good post!

  5. Living Free says:

    Wow, what you did is extremely inspiration. I became a blogger not too long ago. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to pitch my story and blog post.

    Do you have any blog post on that?

  6. Stephen says:

    Great comparison. I started my blog a few years ago. Haven’t put too much effort into it until late last year. Now I’m looking into an online store so I think your 6 day course might really help me out. I just signed up for it so I’ll let you know in several months how it goes!

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  9. Larbi Chakir says:

    Hello Steve,

    I hope you are doing well, my name is Larbi and I have been trying to reach out to you few time but to no avail. I am interested in starting to sell on Amazon, however, I don’t know where to start. I am looking for a proven blueprint (I can’t trust anymore for some reason) after I listen to your podcast I found out that you are a genuine person who is willing to help others achieve there dreams.

    PLEASE please reach back to discuss if there is any blueprint that you are selling that can helping generate some passive income. I am also a digital content producer if you need any help I will be able to help

    Thank you

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  11. freelancing work online says:

    Thanks for sharing your honest experience. When I first took a look at my headshots,
    I wasn’t too thrilled with mine but you’ve given me a new perspective!

    I appreciate the shout out in your article too!

  12. Elaine says:

    This is absolutely a spot on article for myself. I’ve been wanting to start something of my own but unsure where to start, so thanks!

    I have a couple of questions for you:

    -can I have ads on my WordPress site? I heard WordPress is a bit more restrictive than a normal site?
    -what’s your thought on running a site that sells digital products and running a blog at the same time as a first-timer? My husband and I work full-time but we don’t have kids yet.

    Look forward to hearing from you soon and keep up the good work!


  13. Yiga says:

    Another way of making money blogging is Flipping them for a huge profit. After monetizing a blog with Affiliate programs / adsense. Work towards flipping it and get a huge profit at once. However, earnings & traffic are supposed to be stable.

    This is a great post, I loved it

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  15. NPF says:

    i have not made a single dime! since i started blogging for 4months now

    1. Airforce says:

      Blogging is so much a hard task

    2. C.I.A. says:

      Remember to provide value to your audience. Educational, informative, or entertaining.
      Do reveal ‘dark’ and hidden secrets on your blogs as well 😀

  16. Police says:

    Blogging is very lucrative and i think i will stick with it

    1. immigration says:

      You need money, patience and time to succed in bloggin

    2. Navy says:

      Blog Blog Blog

    3. Customes says:

      I have a wordpress blog

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  19. Canadian Visa says:

    Blogger vs WordPress

    1. AustraliaVisaLottery says:

      I will choose wordpress anyday

  20. Npower says:

    Blogger is still cool but..

  21. Npower says:

    Npower salary is bae

  22. survey online says:

    interesting piece of article

  23. FinBennie says:

    WordPress is very easy to use with the help of plugins

  24. Insurance says:

    use of plugins makes wordpress easy

  25. Finance and Trade says:

    blogging gives alot of money but, it pays over time

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