If you’re a short story writer thinking about blogging, you might want to know if you can earn extra cash or even make a full-time living.
Do short story blogs make money?
Short story blogs can make money if the author drives traffic to the blog and monetizes the site with display ads, affiliate links, and informational products. Short story blogs usually do not make money directly from the stories. Short story blogs that are not monetized make little money.
As a short story writer and blogger, I want to share everything I know to help you answer the question, “Do short story blogs make money?”
Do Short Story Blogs Make Money? (Detailed Answer)
It is possible for short story blogs to make money. You just need a little creativity and the right strategies.
Most short story blogs don’t make money because the author is unknown, and therefore no one visits the website or buys anything from the blog.
Short story blogs also don’t make money because the blog is not properly monetized.
If you want your short story blog to make money, you need to find ways to drive traffic to your website. You can do this through organic content marketing – that is, creating content that is interesting and engaging enough that people will want to read it and share it with their friends.
You can also make money writing short stories if you:
- Sell merchandise on your website
- Advertise your blog on other websites
- Use my five most recommended strategies (I cover them in detail below)
If you want your short story blog to be successful, you need to put in the time and effort to build an audience and promote your blog.
Do Short Story Blogs Make Money From Their Stories?
Most short story blogs don’t make money directly from their stories.
That’s why people often ask me, “Can you make money writing short stories online?”
The answer is, “Yes.”
You can use short stories as content that helps build brand loyalty and audience retention. You can also blog on platforms that pay you for engagement and reading time, such as Medium.com.
Bloggers who publish their work on Medium can make a little bit of money from the platform itself.
Medium pays its writers based on how long people spend reading their stories. So, the more people who read your story and stay engaged, the more money you’ll make.
I can speak about Medium because I’ve been writing on Medium for several years.
And I currently make between $2-$3k per month by writing blogs on Medium. I typically write 20 or more posts per month. The revenue compounds over time.
Now, if you only write short stories on Medium, you’re going to struggle.
What I suggest is for you to:
- Write short stories
- Write nonfiction articles on writing
- Write nonfiction articles on topics related to your short stories
- In your blog posts, write your short stories, and then expound on what they mean or life lessons
How Do Short Story Blogs Make Money? (5 Ways)
There are a few ways short story blogs can make money.
The most common ways are:
- Selling short story collections (and other books)
- Display ads
- Affiliate marketing
- Informational products
Selling Short Stories
How do story blogs make money?
Short story blogs can make money selling collections of short stories. The blog can also use Patreon subscriptions to the short story blog, or longer works, such as novels.
One way to sell collections of short stories is to create an ebook.
The blog can put all of the short stories it has published online into one ebook and sell it on Amazon or other ebook stores. This is a great way to make money because the blog already has the content written and doesn’t have to spend extra time writing new content.
Another way to make money from a short story blog is through Patreon subscriptions.
Patreon is a website where people can pledge money to support artists and creators. The artist or creator then provides exclusive content to their Patreon supporters.
This could include early access to new short stories, deleted scenes, or even entire novels that haven’t been published yet.
All of these methods allow readers to find great new content and support the artists and creators they love.
Monetizing a blog with display ads is the most common way for bloggers to make money.
The amount of money that can be made from display ads varies depending on the number of visitors to the site and the quality of the traffic. Generally, sites with more visitors and higher-quality traffic will make more money from displaying ads.
Most bloggers start with Google Adsense.
You can add Adsense to your site pretty early in your blog’s life. As you grow traffic on your site, you can move to better ad networks such as Ezoic, Mediavine, and AdThrive.
Affiliate links are another way for bloggers to make money.
Affiliate links are links to products or services that pay a commission when they are clicked on and then purchased. Commissions for affiliate links vary but typically range from 3% to 30% of the total sale price.
Believe it or not, some affiliate commissions go all the way up to 100%.
Other affiliate programs also offer a flat fee for every sale generated through an affiliate link, regardless of the total sale price.
Short story bloggers make the most from affiliate programs that:
- Pay higher commission rates
- Pay recurring commissions
For example, my most lucrative affiliate partnership gives me a 30% commission, month after month, as long as the person remains a customer of the software.
On my portfolio of websites, I like to experiment with different affiliate programs that relate to the content of my blogs.
I suggest that you do the same.
If a blog drives a significant amount of traffic (usually 50,000 pageviews or more per month), brands may want to sponsor content on the blog, even if that content is short stories.
This can be a lucrative way for a short story blog to make money.
It allows brands to reach a large audience while also providing interesting and valuable content for readers.
There are a few things to keep in mind when attempting to secure sponsorships for your blog. First, it’s important to have a well-defined audience that is interested in your content.
Sponsors want to know that their investment will be worth it, and targeting a specific, engaged audience is the best way to show them that your blog is worth their time and money. Additionally, it’s important to have high-quality content.
Readers can tell when a blog is trying too hard to sell them something.
And they are likely to react negatively if the quality of the content is poor. By focusing on creating great content and being selective about the sponsors you partner with, you can create a successful sponsorship program that benefits both your blog and your sponsors.
Informational products, such as e-books and online courses, can also be sold through a blog in order to generate revenue.
Ebooks are digital books that can be read on electronic devices such as phones, laptops, and tablets.
They are usually cheaper than traditional books, and they can be downloaded instantly. Ebooks can be sold through online bookstores such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble, or they can be given away for free in exchange for email addresses.
Courses are instructional programs that teach people how to do something.
They can be delivered in person, online, or a combination of both. Courses can be sold through websites such as Udemy and Lynda, or they can be offered for free in exchange for email addresses.
These products can be sold directly through the blog or through an affiliate program.
The commission rate for informational products varies but is typically higher than the commission rate for affiliate links. Mostly, because when you sell directly to the reader, you don’t have to pay the middleman (the affiliate program).
Instead, you keep 100% of the commission.
Check out this video I made about, “Can Short Story Blogs Make Money?”:
Examples of Short Story Blogs That Make Money
It may surprise you how many good examples you can find of short story blogs that make money.
I’ve compiled a list of short story blogs and websites with revenue estimates based on their search traffic. I estimated revenue using a revenue calculator on TheWebsiteFlip.
The calculator averages monthly revenue based on:
- Monthly traffic
- Estimated RPM (the profitability of a niche)
- I went with an average RPM of $10
Note: even blogs that don’t currently use ads, could earn money instantly by adding ads. Therefore, I’m confident that these estimates can be used as serviceable examples.
I pulled monthly search traffic data from Ahrefs.
Since the revenue estimates are for display ads only, the net revenue for these blogs is likely higher than my estimates.
With all that said, here are the results:
|Short Story Blogs||Monthly Pageviews||Monthly Revenue|
|Short Fiction Break||221||$2|
|The Mooske and the Gripes||1.2K||$15|
|Reedsy Blog (Short Stories)||17.6K||$176|
|Stories To Grow By||411K||4K|
As you can see, there is a wide range of monthly traffic and, therefore, revenue.
This goes to show the absolute importance of boosting traffic to your blog through content marketing. Since my websites get a total of 120K pageviews per month, I suggest that you focus on a few crucial traffic-generators.
Here are my suggestions:
- Start a blog as soon as possible
- Write a mix of short stories and nonfiction blog posts
- Do keyword research using keyword methods and tools (RankIQ is an easy keyword tool I recommend for beginners)
- Make sure your website is set up correctly with good site speed
For your website, I recommend WordPress.org (free), Bluehost or HostArmada hosting sites (paid), and a fast theme like Astra (free). For site speed, use only a few plugins, but do get WP Rocket.
Add Google Adsense once you have 30 or so posts.
Then get on Ezoic ads once you start making 1,000 pageviews per month. After you reach 50K pageviews, apply for Mediavine. At 100K pageviews, apply for AdThrive.
Final Thoughts: Do Short Story Blogs Make Money?
If you really want to make money with short story blogs, then I suggest that you put a lot of effort into building as much traffic as possible based on low-competition keywords.
Get to 100,00 page views per month as soon as possible.
That will likely make you $1,000 or more per month (on average). The more traffic, usually the more money.