October 21, 2020
15 min Read
How to Make Money Blogging Without Spending Too Much Money
How to Make Money Blogging Without Breaking the BankBlogging is one of the most lucrative ways to make money online. In fact, thousands of people have already earned from blogging enough to let go of their full-time jobs. Fortunately, here in the Philippines, the blogging fever hasn’t reached that level yet. For not-so-obvious reasons, vlogging overtook blogging here in the country. All of us here have a friend or two trying to earn money from YouTube. Although everyone has a story to tell, not all people like to be in front of the camera. Many prefer to write their experiences instead of showing their faces. This gap here could be a potential source of income. Let’s get started about blogging and how you could make money from it without spending a lot of money:
What you need to know about bloggingThere’s a lot of potential in blogging that’s seriously untapped here in the country. Try googling your favorite local brand or the most popular thought leader in your area. Chances are, they aren’t blogging (though they may be vlogging). Many bloggers aren’t just earning a few hundred dollars every month from blogging. Jon Morrow, the mastermind and owner of a popular blog, Smart Blogger, is earning more than one million dollars a year from his blog. In a month, he’s earning more than $100,000. That’s almost 5,000,000 pesos every month! Alex and Lauren, a power-duo known for their blog, Create and Go, are earning six-figures (in dollars) from their blogs. In September 2020 alone, they earned $133,272.99, which is a little more than 6 million pesos. But behind the scenes, there are a lot of actions happening and resources being spent. For starters, you would need to spend money to buy a domain name, web hosting service, email marketing platform, themes, and plugins. Aside from that, these bloggers are spending more than P50,000 every month on freelance writers, SEO services, and other means to increase the blog’s traffic. Their expenses every month makes it seem to the ordinary Filipino that blogging is expensive. In comparison, being a YouTuber only needs a smartphone... But let me reassure you, blogging doesn’t have to be expensive — you could even start with just a hundred pesos every month! If you want to know more about this, keep on reading!
How to make money bloggingSo the million-dollar question is… How do bloggers make money? How can you apply the same monetization methods on your blog? Here are the best and easiest ways to monetize a blog:
#1: AdvertisingThe easiest way to make money with a blog is through advertising. That’s why most beginners rush to Google Adsense once they have some traffic going in. Add the fact that all you have to do to get started is to copy a script from Google and paste it on your site. Then, an ad banner like shown below will appear on your site: Basically, the ads network will display some banners on your site to promote a product from an advertiser. Every time someone clicks on that banner, you get paid a certain amount. This is called cost per click (CPC). Aside from CPC, there’s also CPM or cost per thousand where you get paid a certain amount for every 1,000 ad views. At a glance, it sure isn’t a great way to earn money from a blog. After all, you need lots of visitors on your blog every month to earn a substantial amount. Well, you’re right! At the very least, you should start putting up ads only after you get around a thousand visitors per month. Check out this blog income by Mom Beach, particularly, her income from ads: That’s more than 150,000 pesos all from ads! But take note that using ads as monetization doesn’t always look good on every niche. There are many people who don’t like ads since they kind of look annoying and spammy. Add the fact that there are now ad blockers compatible with almost any browser. If you’re not sure about that, try Google Adsense first. Put yourself in the shoes of your readers. Are the ad banners messing up with your experience? If not, feel free to continue using them. As your traffic grows, switch to premium ad networks like Mediavine or AdThrive.
#2: Affiliate marketingAffiliate marketing is also an awesome passive income stream for a blog. As the name suggests, all you need to do is partner up with brands and then, recommend their products or services on your blog with tracking links in exchange for a commission. Remember Smart Blogger? Jon Morrow revealed that his blog earns more than 5 million pesos per year simply by promoting affiliate products.
"Here at Smart Blogger, we make more than $100,000 per year promoting affiliate products, most of that coming from casually recommending products we love like SiteGround (affiliate link) and Elementor (affiliate link)."The nice thing about affiliate marketing is that there’s an affiliate program for almost every niche and industry. As long as there’s an existing product or service in the industry, there will always be brands that have referral programs to increase their sales. Want to blog about camping and travel? Here’s an example of a camper blog that promotes affiliate products: If you’re interested in affiliate marketing, try to research products and services that readers of your blog would be interested in buying. You could also think about some of the products that you’re currently using. Then, check out if the brands behind those products have an affiliate program you can sign up for. If you’re having difficulty finding affiliate programs for your blog, you can check out:
- Amazon Associates
- CJ Affiliates
#3: Selling digital and physical productsWith affiliate marketing, you’re basically selling the products and services of others. You only get a small percentage of the sale. But with selling your own products, you get to decide how much you want to get paid. At the start, you may have to invest time to create the product. But the maintenance work after that is minimal. You may have to update the product from time to time to keep up with the changes in your niche, but that’s only a small work. The easiest products to sell are info-products like ebooks, templates, and checklists. The most common is ebooks since they are simple to write and publish. For example, you can easily compile your blog posts and add more helpful content exclusive only to the buyers. Here’s a good example of an ebook being sold: Ryan, the author of the ebook, revealed in his blog article that he has sold more than 1,328 copies worth more than 430,000 pesos! Here’s a screenshot of the sales figures since his ebook first came out: Aside from info-products, you can also sell physical products like shirts, mugs, and caps. Depending on the niche of your blog, you can even create products that well you know your audience would love. If you would like to sell products on your blog, you will have to learn to use ecommerce plugins like WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and Easy Digital Downloads. These plugins will make it possible for you to manage and sell products right inside your blog.
#4: Selling freelance and consulting servicesIf you would like to sell something without spending time and resources, then selling services is the way to go. The only investment you have to make is creating the “Hire me” page to make your readers aware of your services. For example, you can always sell freelance services related to blogging. Since you’re already blogging, you don’t have to learn anything new or invest in new tools. Your blog also becomes a portfolio of your skills. One example of this is Elna Cain. Aside from running three blogs, she’s also offering her skills in digital marketing and blogging to entrepreneurs. Here’s her hire me page on her Innovative Ink blog: Aside from freelance services, you can also sell consulting services. The difference with consulting is that you don’t have to execute the strategies and advice you’re offering. You just have to share your expertise and help the client solve his problems. If you choose to sell freelance services, consulting, or both, you would need to familiarize yourself with different invoice and payment platforms. In the Philippines, both PayPal and Payoneer work great.
#5: Online Training CoursesHave you noticed an increasing number of course creators? There are many of them running ads on Facebook. Selling online courses works really great and has high returns especially if you’re offering premium ones. On average, online courses are more expensive than ebooks. But it’s understandable since it takes more time and resources to prepare an online course. You would need to create more materials like slides, checklists, script, and others. Here’s an awesome online course by Ryan of ryrob.com: In his September 2020 income report, he shared how much he earned from his course, which is almost 200,000 in Philippine currency: When it comes to creating online courses, it’s better if you do so when your traffic is at 50,000 or more per month. This ensures that you’ll have a steady flow of students coming in and enrolling to the course. If you would like to start selling online courses, you need to learn how to use learning management systems like MemberPress, LearnDash, or Teachable.
How to start a blog on a tight budgetOne of the main reasons why Filipinos don’t blog (as a means to earn money) is because of the associated costs of starting one. Compare it with other means like vlogging where you only need a smartphone and internet access (since uploading videos to YouTube and Facebook is free). But that’s definitely not true. You can start a profitable business without having to spend so much. You just have to know how. With that, here are ways to start a profitable blog without spending too much:
Find the most profitable nichesTo be able to make it big in the blogosphere, you need to find the most profitable niches and see where you can make a difference. It’s not enough anymore to just “follow where your passion is”. If the topic you would like to write doesn’t have that much or audience, or worse, the audience doesn’t have the budget to invest in your niche, then you can’t expect to earn a living with blogging. But what are the most profitable niches? Luckily, there’s no need for you to go on a full data analytics rampage. There are a lot of sources out there like this article from SEO Basics or from Blogging Explorer. But usually, the most profitable niches you’ll see are in:
- Finance and investment
- Weight loss
- Education and career