After Google’s 2024 Core Update, Can You Still Make Money from Blogging?

In March 2024, Google released one of the largest and most important algorithm updates in the search engine’s history. The 2024 core update was designed to reduce the prominence of low-quality, spammy websites on Google’s search results pages. According to users, though, the results have been mixed. Some people have complained that small publishers have all but disappeared from Google, leaving major publishers like Forbes to rake in more clicks and earnings than ever. 

In short, 2024 has not been an easy year for bloggers. It has never been easy to make money as a small publisher, but it’s harder than ever now considering how unfriendly Google’s ranking algorithm has become to all but the biggest brands.

So, is it still possible to make money from blogging? It definitely is, but it’s no longer as simple as publishing content that matches search queries and waiting for the money to start rolling in. Until Google makes a significant change to its ranking algorithm – or the users finally revolt and start sending their search queries elsewhere – that money-making strategy is reserved for the big publishers. Making money as a small-time blogger requires creativity, perseverance and a willingness to try a new approach. Here’s how to do it.

Understand How to Have a Blog That Generates Traffic in 2024

If you look online for stories about bloggers’ experiences in 2024, most of what you’ll find will fall into two categories. You’ll see the people who are claiming to earn a fortune because they want you to buy their educational material, and you’ll see people complaining that the Google core update completely wiped them out. 

What you won’t see are the people who are actually making money from blogging, because they don’t want you to find out who they are and copy their strategies. 

So, we’re going to tell you what those strategies are.

If you want to have a blog that receives organic traffic from Google in 2024, you need to do the following.

  • Have a unique approach. The days of creating 2,500-word articles that rank for everything are over. Those articles will never rank for the hundreds of long-tail keywords that they used to rank for because the web is now being flooded with generic AI-created content that addresses each of those keywords individually. Don’t copy a failing strategy; stop trying to create mega-guides that rank for everything without really answering users’ queries in a helpful way. Most importantly, don’t create articles that look the same as content that Google already has in its index dozens or even hundreds of times. You need a completely unique approach.
  • Don’t be afraid to try something counterintuitive. An article in The Verge providing buying advice for printers garnered many thousands of views and links from hundreds of different domains shortly after Google’s core update, and the reason why it got so much attention was because the article answered its main question at the very top of the page in just a few words. The second part of the article was a rant about how terrible the modern web is sometimes, and the third part was AI-generated drivel inserted as a statement piece. The article garnered huge traffic because it was completely unlike anything else. If you have an idea that’s never been done before because it seems like it shouldn’t work, you might want to consider trying it. It’s better than following the crowd, which is almost guaranteed not to be successful.
  • Pick a field that allows you to demonstrate your expertise. In other words, you need to do something that can’t be replicated by AI. Remember that AI isn’t an expert in anything and can only regurgitate the material that’s in its training data. Demonstrating that your content is reliable, trustworthy and written by a true expert can go a long way toward ensuring that your users will have a satisfying experience. 
  • Work hard to cultivate a true brand. Your goal is to get to the point where people are adding your site’s name to their searches. When that happens, you have a brand – and once you’ve reached that point, the traffic will really start flowing. You need to do everything you can to make your name known.

Find New Ways to Earn Revenue

Another thing that has changed greatly in recent years – and especially in 2024 – is how successful blogs earn money. In the past, bloggers typically did well by using some combination of display ads – often provided by Google – and affiliate links. These days, though, affiliate sites are often not doing as well as they once did because the major publishers are getting all of the traffic that’s easy to monetize.

The solution? You need to find different ways to earn revenue. Here are two ways of doing that.

  • Try selling your own products instead of pushing products made by other companies. If you add a product section to your site and begin offering something like wholesale JUUL pods, you’re no longer just a blog. Now, you’re an e-commerce site – and many people have observed that e-commerce sites seem to have an easier time getting their content to rank compared to affiliate sites.
  • Establish a presence that you can monetize on other platforms. For example, you can attempt to combine your blog with a social media presence and become an influencer, earning revenue through product placements. You can start a video series or podcast. You can become a valued contributor to communities on Reddit and Discord.

Keep Your Traffic Stable During Lean Times

Having a presence on other platforms outside your own blog is a good way to fulfill several of the recommendations in this article. Being in many different places gets your name out there and helps you establish a brand. In addition, posting content on other platforms can bring new opportunities for earning revenue. It also fulfills our final recommendation, which is that you need to do everything you can to avoid depending solely on Google for your traffic.

Google’s ranking algorithms are always changing – and your site may not always be one of the winners when an algorithm update is released. Despite their best efforts to produce great content, bloggers aren’t always rewarded by Google. That’s one reason why it’s often a good idea to have a presence on a major platform like Instagram or X – because the biggest platforms are usually fairly insulated from the ebb and flow of Google’s algorithm updates.

The biggest problem with third-party platforms, though, is the same as it is with Google. Since you don’t own the platforms, you don’t control your access to your audience. So, if you really want to make money from blogging in 2024, you need a traffic source that you can control. In other words, you need to start a mailing list. 

As soon as you launch your blog, you should get an account with an email marketing provider and do everything you can to encourage people to subscribe. If you promise value and actually deliver it, you should have no problem there – and once you have a few thousand subscribers, you’ll have a fairly reliable source of income that Google can’t take away. 

In today’s age of quick AI-generated answers at the tops of many search queries, it’s harder than ever to establish a direct connection with your audience. A mailing list can help you do exactly that, and it’ll go a long way toward keeping you afloat when your blog isn’t generating as much traffic as you’d like.

Rylie Holt