Lately, I’ve been dipping my toes into the waters of freelancing. It’s been delightful, and I’m learning how to swim. As I add freelance writing, editing, and more to my list of side hustles, I am amazed at how much work there is in the blogging community. Making money as a blogger isn’t a quick-fix idea, or something that happens overnight. But it can be a viable side hustle, with some persistence and determination.

Many successful bloggers outsource work and hire freelance writers, virtual assistants, editors, commenters, and the like. In turn, bloggers like me are getting to earn more money, pay down debt, and save more.

The blogging community is an entire sub-economy that is driving much of the internet, and yet, it’s not really talked about. People on the outside don’t believe it’s real, or that it’s legit work. Blogging and making money on the internet is still a very new thing for most people, and it’s as nontraditional as it comes. It’s as if you are telling your parents that you are going to art school, and they think that it’s just a nice hobby, but not a real profession.

But bloggers are making real money, sometimes really good money on the internet. I think about Sam making 35k in his first year of blogging, and Stephanie who is making 1k per month freelance writing, and the many other bloggers I admire who are freelance hustlers and have taken the leap into this odd and amazing world.

Before I started blogging, I thought a blog was like an online diary. In fact, I have several old blogs on the internet with old poetry, ramblings, and musings. I never thought a blog was something that could or should make money. But as someone who has become used to nonprofit salaries, I find myself excited by the prospect of making more money and learning new skills in the digital age. We are living in the era of a new economy, one that isn’t as easily quantifiable as the one we constantly hear about in the news. Although the economy is slowly recovering, many people are having difficulty finding jobs, or finding meaningful careers.

I recently read Amanda Abella’s piece on Why You Can’t Get Rich Working for Someone Else. She makes some really interesting points that I am starting to realize for myself.

I started to think about bloggers and the economy — are they being counted in the jobs report? How much are bloggers bringing in? It seems like they are making a decent amount and fueling the economy, while creating a micro economy of their own by outsourcing work.  Bloggers are seen as influential — as people who can reach many because of their audience.

Bloggers are getting paid in a variety of ways through products and services: affiliate marketing, freelance writing, seo services, tech help, editing, virtual assisting, commenting, social media management, and brand partnerships. The ways to make money on the internet are both exciting and intimidating!

I remember when I first started blogging – I didn’t know what SEO was. I felt challenged by my lack of technical knowledge. I had to learn so much in a short period of time. But like anything, it just takes practice and a willingness to learn. Learning new skills in the digital age can really launch a great side hustle, or even a new career.

In short, I think bloggers are adding to the vitality and strength of the economy in new and interesting ways.

What do you think? Are bloggers stimulating the economy?


Melanie is a freelance writer currently living in Portland, Oregon. She is passionate about education, financial literacy, and empowering people to take control of their finances. She writes about breaking up with debt, freelancing, and side hustle adventures at

Currently she puts more than 50% of her income towards debt, while living a frugal, fun life. In addition to her love of personal finance, art and music, she is also a karaoke master. Follow the adventure @DearDebtBlog.

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28 responses to “Do bloggers stimulate the economy?”

  1. I agree with you. I can imagine my mum and nans face if I told them I’m giving up teaching to be a blogger. They’d think I’d lost it but actually many are making a sustainable income from it. Sometimes opportunities just fall into your lap with blogging.

    Bloggers give SEO specialists work; web designers work; social media specialists work and many more. So yes I think they do stimulate the economy.

    Great post! Thanks for sharing.
    Debt Busting Chick recently posted…*UPDATE* May 2014 Debt RepaymentMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      I’m sure they would be shocked if you did that! Sometimes opportunities do come out of nowhere, which is awesome. Blogging opens yourself up to new things!

  2. Hi Melanie – I must admit I’m pretty surprised about the opportunities. I don’t think it’s easy work, but if you enjoy it, then it can be a good option to pursue for side income or eventually permanent income, as we’ve seen with many.
    Debs @ recently posted…Found moneyMy Profile

  3. Awesome post here, Melanie, and I think you’re right, but I think many people are still in denial that blogging is an actual job/business. I still get comments from people, like you do, questioning the legitimacy of it, but I’m laughing all the way to the bank. 🙂
    Laurie @thefrugalfarmer recently posted…A Heartfelt “Thank You” to Our Military Men and WomenMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      You rock, Laurie! I’m so proud of you and what you have done. People don’t think it’s legit because they haven’t done it themselves.

  4. Great topic! Bloggers definitely stimulate the economy, at least this one does. I pretty much spend all of the online income I make. Heck, bloggers contribute to development, too. I’ve recently hired someone from a developing country to help me out, all thanks to the internet. I also have two freelance writers who are on EI at the moment.
    Anne @ Unique Gifter recently posted…Practical Gifts for New GraduatesMy Profile

  5. I don’t know if we are stimulating the economy, but we certainly run a little micro business, and it’s legit. When people who know I’m busy ask me why then I continue blogging, I have to explain it’s because it IS part of my overall business, and that I earn income from it. They look at my funny. 🙂
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…My Spendy Yet Productive WeekendMy Profile

  6. meant to say they look at ME funny!
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…My Spendy Yet Productive WeekendMy Profile

  7. Well, my initial thought is yes, we do, because blogger make a significant amount of money from promoting and encouraging readers to buy products. But then, I thought maybe not, especially bloggers that emphasize frugality 🙂
    Retired by 40 recently posted…Find Money in a Too Tight Budget!My Profile

  8. Bloggers are like the ultimate referral. When someone follows you and feels they know you personally and trusts your judgement, your recommendation is valued. That’s why advertisers are willing to pay quite a bit for sponsored content.
    Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life recently posted…Budget Travel: NYC Weekend GetawayMy Profile

  9. Hey Melanie!

    Thanks so much for including me. Really feels special to be acknowledged. Hope you’ll be making mad money soon. 🙂 You can do it!

    All the best,
    Sam @ recently posted…The 5-Minute Guide To Thomas Piketty’s Capital In The Twenty-First CenturyMy Profile

  10. E.M. says:

    This is an interesting way to think about things. I also would have never thought there were so many opportunities to be had in the world of blogging, or freelancing. It’s quite the eye opener! I also hear you on being able to make more by freelancing. I think it’s somewhat easier when you’re used to having a low salary. Getting to the point of passing your regular income doesn’t take as much time!
    E.M. recently posted…Can You Stand the Heat?My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      I know! I make a low salary and I am so tempted by freelancing. It feels like I can make a lot of money, but I know it is harder and has its drawbacks. I really do wonder if I could make (potentially) a lot more than at a nonprofit?

  11. Abigail says:

    I think anything that generates income will help stimulate the economy. Even if PF bloggers might be a little less likely to put those funds back in circulation 😉
    Abigail recently posted…Sometimes waiting pays offMy Profile

  12. You make some awesome points about the blogconomy! I didn’t realize it was such a micro economy of it’s own until I read this 🙂

    Thanks for mentioning my article for Careermeh! I’m glad you found it helpful 🙂

    Amanda Abella recently posted…How to Stay Productive When Things Keep Going WrongMy Profile

  13. I think anyone who creates value or invests (in other word, risks) their own money on a business venture is stimulating the economy. If bloggers are making money, they are providing value to someone, so yes I do think they stimulate the economy.

    As far as long-term income, I don’t know if blogging is the way to go. Ideally you could sell your blog for a sizable lump sum to an investor down the road. So far I’ve seen that to be difficult for 99.999% of blogs. You might be better off building a different type of business. It’s not like owning a blog is the only path to passive income.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted…The Cure for AffluenzaMy Profile

  14. anna says:

    I think it’s awesome when people can get paid to blog! I think the more personable or ‘authentic’ a voice someone has, the more they attract readers, yours included! 🙂
    anna recently posted…Brief UpdateMy Profile

  15. Making money blogging, writing, etc is something I’m trying to pursue. I just need to get my foot in the door somewhere. After that, it’ll get easier (I’m told). I like writing so I’m hoping to do some of that to earn money and maybe quit some of my current side-hustles (possibly even my 9-5, at some point). Bloggers ARE stimulating the economy. Thanks for sharing!
    Shoeaholicnomore recently posted…Estimated Debt Free DateMy Profile

  16. Michelle says:

    When I told my mom that I was leaving my job to continue freelance writing and blogging, she freaked. She couldn’t understand how I could make any money off of it. But this month, we pulled in 2k in 20 days, which is my salary at my old job. I guess it is like money where our mouth is situation!
    Michelle recently posted…What I Would Do With 1k a MonthMy Profile

  17. I would say yes, bloggers do stimulate the economy…they always say small businesses stimulate the economy- mainly because they hire workers. Well blogs often hire freelancers, VAs, people to handle tech stuff, so definitely. It’s pretty awesome that many bloggers are doing well…I’d hope to get there one day.
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted…Why Do You Live Where You Live?My Profile

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