Make Money With a Blog as a Developer
I have a blog with 1 million impressions over the last three months, and I want to start monetizing it. Let’s see how other successful developers make money from their blogs and learn from them.
Josh has one of the best quality dev blogs out there. He usually writes about front-end development. If we look at some of his articles, there are mentions of a course called css-for-js-devs. He can make one million in revenue by selling 25 hundred premium packages. According to SimilarWeb, Josh’s blog gets more than a million visits a month — he sure makes tons of money from the course. He has extreme expertise in the area, and his blog with the course is a work of art. Also, he gracefully collects emails, then builds trust with quality email content, and eventually can sell a product to his subscribers.
Flavio Copes has a blog with tons of content, and he gets one million visits a month. He has Carbon ads on his articles, but they pay around one dollar for thousand expressions. Almost everybody in tech uses an ad blocker — only around 20% percent of people will see those ads. Most likely, Flavio makes only a few hundred dollars a month from those ads. The real money should come from his cohort-based courses. He doesn’t disclose prices on landing pages, but they should be 3-digits. Flavio brings visitors to his email list by giving away access to the list of ebooks in exchange for an email.
Kent C Dodds is a legendary React influencer. His blog has more than 400 thousand monthly visitors. Kent’s two premium courses have 3 figure price tags. Besides that, he has courses on EggHeads, which works similarly to Skillshare — you pay for a subscription and get access to all of the content. According to Kent, most of his revenue comes from the EpicReact course. And sure enough, he also has a newsletter. We start seeing a pattern here.
Here’s another popular blog with 600 thousand monthly views. But there is something special about Gergely — he has a paid newsletter with thousands of paid customers with 150 dollars yearly subscription, and it’s a reasonable price when you sell to engineering managers. Gergely also has a few solid books and a job board. He’s one of the most prolific tech content creators out there, but also he has deep expertise.
Another blogger is Ahmad Shadeed, with 300 thousand monthly visits. He also has Carbon ads that don’t bring much money. He sells a book on CSS and has a free newsletter.
We saw a few blogs today, and they all share a similar model. You make a post that people can find on Google, then you try to collect an email, and eventually sell a digital product. Real money is made on high ticket three-digit educational products, as we saw with Kent and Josh. But it takes expertise, track record, passion for a subject, and consistency of effort. Since the most reliable way to make money from a blog is to sell courses, it’s better if you like creating content.
You can also create content online without turning it into a business. The content will highlight your track record and expertise. It will set you apart and help you with a better job or co-founding opportunities. I always lived in post-soviet countries, and my educational content helped me get remote jobs that otherwise could be quite a challenge.