Which Makes More Money: Mining Bitcoins or Writing About Mining Bitcoins? (An Interim Report)

by Joey deVilla on April 18, 2013

gollum with a bitcoin

What I Made by Mining Bitcoins

As an experiment, I started running a Bitcoin miner at around the same time I published my article How to Mine Bitcoins for Fun and (Probably Very Little) Profit. It’s participating in BitcoinCZ’s mining pool, which is where I got this report on its progress:

bitcoin rewards

As I wrote in my earlier article, Bitcoin miners work by confirming Bitcoin transactions and competing to be the first to record them in the “blockchain”, a sort of general ledger of every Bitcoin transaction. These additions to the blockchain are called, quite naturally, blocks. A miner or pool of miners that successfully wins the competition to add a block to the blockchain gets 25 Bitcoins as its reward (creating the block also creates a 25-Bitcoin transaction), and in the case of BitcoinCZ, that reward is split proportionately among the various miners in the pool.

Looking at the BitcoinCZ report, I’ve made somewhere between 0.00036 and 0.00047 BTC since Saturday, depending on how pessimistic or optimistic you are. At the present Bitcoin exchange of 1 BTC = USD$94.13 (as of 11:57 a.m. today), I’ve made somewhere between 3.4 and 4.4 cents.

What I Made by Writing About Mining Bitcoins

As you’re probably aware, I make a little “walking around money” through the ads on this blog. Here’s that StatCounter report on how The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century has been doing in terms of pageviews over the past week:


Click to see the graph at full size.

The most-viewed article for the past week was How to Mine Bitcoins for Fun and (Probably Very Little) Profit; it currently accounts for almost three-quarters of all the pageviews. While I can’t get a direct report showing how much each article contributes to my ad revenues, it’s possible to come up with an estimation. My estimates show that in the past week, the Bitcoin mining article has made me somewhere between 32 and 45 dollars.

To summarize: I made 1000 times more money by writing about mining Bitcoins as I did by mining Bitcoins.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Joe Taiabjee April 18, 2013 at 12:32 pm

So there’s the proof. You make a lot more telling people how to make money on the Internet, than you can actually make on the Internet.

Penguin Pete April 18, 2013 at 4:35 pm

You should see what I’ve gotten writing freelance blog posts about mining Bitcoins. Including ASIC mining units.

I expect the word “Bitcoin” will end up in Bayesian spam filter lists very soon at this rate. It just seems to attract the flake element.

Andy April 18, 2013 at 6:16 pm

What is he mining with, a Pentium 4 processor? Anyone with knowledge about mining should be getting much, much more. You have to have the right hardware, and know how to properly configure your mining software. I am using a $250 video card and mining around .05 bitcoins per day.

Mike April 18, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Uhm, with that low of performance you should probably stop mining bitcoins.

Even a single ATI 5870 can do more than that during a week.

Stel April 19, 2013 at 6:45 am

you people have way too much frickin time on your hands

Steve April 19, 2013 at 8:06 am

.05 BTC a week, that’s almost enough to live on! Except for the cost of the electricity, of course.

Bill April 19, 2013 at 10:02 am

If you’re making 3-4 cents per week… You’re doing it wrong.

With a single ATI 7970 I am making roughly 4-5 dollars per day. Maybe you should do some research and disclose the hardware you’re using before posting how “unprofitable” it is.

CharonPDX April 19, 2013 at 11:15 am

@Joe: LOL. Works for “get rich quick” schemes, too. You make more writing books about how to get rich than you do by following the advice in said books.

@Andy/Mike, Yes, with a fast/power hungry computer, you can mine bitcoins faster. But it still amounts to less than a penny a day, and you’ve spent more than that in power mining them.

Joey deVilla April 19, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Bill: I disclosed exactly what hardware I was using in the linked article: an HP IQ526, and even linked to its spec sheet.

The article was for the beginner who might want to try mining using an old TPS Reports-grade computer just lying around the house. You will get better performance from a gaming rig — around 2 orders of magnitude. That puts it on par with what I make from blogging, minus the ancillary benefits (jobs and other opportunities) that arise from having a blog that has a decently-sized readership.

bob dobilina April 19, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Thanks Joey! Seriously the more people believe you, the more $ for me.

You ought to have addressed scalability: you can only write so many articles a day, only win so many freelance gigs a week, whereas I can stack a few dozen GPU’s in a room and compound earnings, and this income rolls in all day. And when you power down your monitor and get into your jammies, while you saw logs and dream of winning the Man Booker prize, the money rolls in for me then as well.

Joey deVilla April 19, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Like I said, the article’s aimed at the average person with an old Windows machine lying about home, hoping to make big bucks on a machine with an integrated graphic chipset and not the hardcore miner who’s ready to run a bank of GPUs (or better yet, FPGAs, or ASICs). Besides, I’m a mobile app developer and consultant, and have other ways to make money in my sleep.

Seabear70 April 20, 2013 at 9:13 am

Ok, can someone give me an ROI analysis on their bitcoin rig?

The guy who said he is making .05BC a day should pay off his video card in about 6 weeks at that rate. The rest of the computer will likely take longer.

I could dedicate an entire networks downtime to running BC mining, but I get the impression that after I pay myself for the labor at a discount rate of $65/hr I’m going to wind up in the red.

MarkTT April 21, 2013 at 7:08 pm

I wanted to buy Bitcoins here, in the UK, directly without intermediators on ebay or other middle men (because fees are huge), and I found it very difficult, so I made this guide with the cheapest way:


Wesly April 22, 2013 at 5:17 am

The “average person” does not choose to use an old rig to mine. An idiot does. And most idiots don’t know what Bitcoin is.

Joey deVilla April 22, 2013 at 10:13 am

Wesly: Lots of people have heard of Bitcoin, between its recent mention in the news, and its being the topic on the popular TV show The Good Wife in the episode titled Bitcoin for Dummies (season 3, episode 13), which had famous money idiot Jim Cramer as a guest star.

There’s nothing idiotic with being empirical and doing some low-cost experimenting; the real idiotic thing would be to write off the entire enterprise without giving it a shot first.

Joey deVilla April 22, 2013 at 10:27 am

Stel: I’ll refer you to this article, quoted below:

“That guy has too much spare time” is one of the most odious, intellectually dishonest, dismissive things a person can say. It disguises a vicious ad-hominem attack as a lighthearted verbal shrug. The subtext of the remark is that the subject’s passions — this remark is almost always directed at someone engaged in some labor of love — are so meritless that their specific shortcomings don’t even warrant discussion. The subtext is that any sane person who considers these passions will immediately see their total worthlessness. To direct this remark at someone is to utterly dismiss their personal fire and so their ability to distinguish between the worthy and the unworthy.

It’s a substitute for thought. It’s a uncompromising line between art and junk, between personal enrichment and navel-gazing. Whether it’s directed at some model-train otaku who has reproduced, in miniature, a fantastic landscape that she brings to life with the flick of a switch or an obsessive collector of breakfast cereal packaging whose house is wallpapered with gaudy enticements to tooth-decay, the slur brooks no possibility that the speaker has failed to appreciate some valuable, fulfilling element of the subject’s hobby.

Of course, some of this stuff will surely be relegated to the scrapheap of history. Some of it will “fail.” But who can say what? Who can say which technologies and movements will be the enduring delights of generations to come, subject of PhD theses and documentary films, and which ones will be merely charming but obscure footnotes?

The genuinely disruptive, novel artefacts are by definition unpredictable. This fact is at the core of the doctrine of Fair Use: We don’t know what innovations the world may come up with in the future, but we know that the fewer restrictions we put on tomorrow’s innovators, the higher the likelihood that they will come up with something marvellous that will be to all our benefit.

No April 22, 2013 at 6:15 pm

I make 100 times what you make in a week in a day mining coins. You need better hardware.

Jun Fan April 27, 2013 at 10:53 am

There’s very effective way to make money mining bitcoins. Outsource the mining. We created GreendaleLabs.com to take the pain out of mining.

Javan Japeth April 29, 2013 at 7:32 am

This article says:

“Should you join the Gold Rush? Bitcoin is the Wild Wild West of finance at the moment. Unless you have lots of guns or a really big posse you might want sit this one out, wait for the gunfire to die down, and the smoke to clear. On the other hand, you might miss this narrow window of opportunity if you don’t act quickly.”


So… the other way to join the action without actually jumping in is to write about it.

Ted July 25, 2013 at 10:46 am

Fuck! This is the reason why carbon emissions is rising! DAMN BITCOINER!!

anyways i just check out MT.GOX its rising!! hehehehe!

Emily November 18, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Excuse the pun, but glad to hear you have been quite literally coining it in through your bitcoin writing endeavours 🙂

bjvvbjk March 12, 2016 at 2:34 pm

Thanks for finally talking about >Which Makes More Money: Mining Bitcoins or Writing About Mining Bitcoins?
(An Interim Report) <Loved it!

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