Disclaimer: I use affiliate links in this blog post. This means that if you purchase a product I’ve linked, I earn from the referral. However, you don’t get charged extra. Click here to read the full disclosure.
You don’t need thousands of page views or even a thousand followers on any social media platform for you to start monetising your blog.
Yes, you read that right.
I used to think that the more, the better.
But it’s not about the number of sessions or followers you have that dictates if you can earn money online.
It’s all about the quality of followers you have.
Are they your ideal blog reader & customer?
Do they like you?
Have you earned their trust?
Do they see you as an authority in your industry?
Often, we think that to have a money-making blog that it is a requirement to have thousands of followers.
It’s so tempting to focus on building vanity metrics over sales-generating activities.
And while yes blog traffic and the number of followers play a role in how much you can make online and the consistency of sales, it is not the sole requirement to make your first sale online.
THE KEY TAKEAWAY:
The amount of blog views or followers do not guarantee sales.
I was able to make money online with less than 1,000 Instagram followers, and less than 200 email subscribers.
I didn’t even have tens of thousands of blog page views.
But I made it work.
I was able to create opportunities that led to sales.
A disclaimer I want to point out is that this is not my first blog.
I have been blogging over ten years so it’s taken some time to figure out, learn and go through many experiences to make my first sale online.
And to set your expectations, while yes I did make money with my blog, it wasn’t thousands of dollars either.
But all the same, I was proud of how far I’d come.
The purpose of this blog post is to show you that it is possible to start making money even without massive traffic and without thousands of social media followers.
If I was able to make money online from home, so can you.
These are what helped me make money online:
- I had already established myself as a writer & blogger
- I set up my blog strategically intending to take it full-time
- Even before I started this blog, my goal was that I could be able to quit my 9-5 and go full-time.
- I invested in myself through courses, blogging tools & resources
- My mindset was that of a business owner, so I approached my blog as a business
- I knew I wanted to make money with my blog through passive income via digital products & services
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HOW I APPROACHED MY BLOG & ONLINE BIZ
By day, I had a full-time corporate job as a marketing associate manager in the retail industry.
And during the spare time I had and at night, I was building my side-hustle & online business: this blog.
Albeit, it was no walk in the park.
My day job was very demanding.
I had to work weekends because we executed events like concerts which took place mostly during the weekends while weekdays were spent preparing for those events.
As I mentioned, this was not my first blog, and in truth, before I started this blog, I was at a significant crossroad: to quit blogging for good or to start over.
I was at a point where I was frustrated.
I had not created a steady stream of income through any of my other blogs.
How was I supposed to become a full-time blogger if I wasn’t earning anything?
I kept thinking that maybe it just wasn’t meant for me.
But somehow, something told me to think it over.
And I knew I wanted to keep blogging and to keep writing.
Just not blogging about music anymore.
And thank goodness I chose to start over!
And within the same month of merely letting go of my music blogging persona, purchasing my host and securing my new domain, I had made back my investment.
All the money I spent to restart my new blog had been covered by landing a sponsored collaboration that aligned so well with my new blog.
The amount that I would earn was what exactly what I spent on investing in the blogging tools I needed to set it up for success in the get-go.
It was such perfect timing and a sign that things were finally falling into place.
I had faith that this time around, things would work out.
I didn’t know yet how, but I had a good feeling about this new blog.
How I Was Able to Make Money Online From Home Without a Big Following
A year and six months since starting this blog, I became a full-time blogger.
I was able to make money with this blog in ways I wasn’t able to with my previous blogs.
These money opportunities were:
Landing multiple sponsored posts
I was not shy about telling people that I am a writer and blogger even while working at my corporate jobs.
This, in turn, helped me establish my reputation as a writer and blogger.
I wanted people to think of me when they needed a writer or blogger; that’s why I was very vocal about telling people about what I could do.
And that during University I was the Editor-in-Chief of our publication for two years.
I landed some of my collaborations through word of mouth.
Networking plays a huge role in landing projects and collaborations because you then become the top of mind when people know what services you can offer.
I partnered with a premium creative network and even landed my first press trip to cover the opening of a hotel in Boracay.
This first press trip then led me to more sponsored opportunities because of the people I met on that trip.
You never know who’s looking for bloggers to collaborate with.
If you’ve wanted to land sponsored posts or brand collaborations, the biggest thing that helped me was to network and told people that I was a writer and blogger.
I even created a calling card which I would give out so they could contact me in the future!
My actionable tip for you:
Don’t be afraid to tell people about what you do and what services you offer. For example, if you’re a travel blogger specialising in sustainable travel, let people know. Shamelessly promote it so that when someone is looking for a sustainable travel blogger, they’ll think of you.
Launching an online course
Even before launching this blog, I knew that I wanted to sell an online course.
So when a well-known teaching platform approached me to create a course on their platform, I said yes.
It’s been a turning point for me.
This online course was the course I wish I had when I started my blogging journey because it would have saved me loads of time, effort and money figuring out how to strategically build a blog that attracted & created money-making opportunities.
And thus, the How to Start a Money-Making Blog (Your Creative Business) was born.
I knew I wanted to be able to help other bloggers set up their blogs strategically so that they could start earning whether it’s their side-hustle or a blog that they eventually want to take full-time.
I know that bloggers can succeed and it’s all about positioning their blogs in such a way that attracts their ideal customers.
My actionable tip for you:
If you want to create an online course, research the most significant pain points of your ideal customer.
You can do this by joining relevant Facebook groups and checking what questions they share or even sometimes there’s a thread all about what they’re struggling with.
List all these pain points in a content calendar to help you come up with course ideas.
Or you can also openly talk to your followers to see what they struggle with the most. From your research, create a product that addresses this.
Before launching my online course, I made my first affiliate sale.
Full disclaimer: it was less than two dollars but still.
I was over the moon about making my first affiliate sale.
It felt like something was shifting.
And it confirmed that good feeling that I had about this blog.
I went from having blogs that had made no money to hitting blogging milestones like this.
Although I did get into concerts for free with my previous blogs (in a way, it was savings too on my part), I couldn’t live off of free concert tickets y’know hahaha.
And while I still have a lot to learn in terms of affiliate marketing in order to increase my affiliate marketing sales, I wanted to share this piece of information because I want you to know that it is possible to start making money online and with your blog.
What helped me make my first affiliate sale was continually sharing about the products I loved to use especially if there was someone who was asking for a recommendation.
Because I was very vocal about these products, some of my friends and followers would then ask me more about the product, and then I would ask them if it was okay that I send them my affiliate link (and more often than not they would agree!)
My actionable tip for you:
Share about the products you love and don’t be shy to promote them on your blog and social media.
Check if these products have affiliate programs that you might want to join and don’t forget to read their terms & conditions before signing up as each program has different guidelines and payout terms.
Helping my friend set up her blog
I’d not only established myself as a writer and blogger to my friends and followers but was also now seen as the go-to when it came to starting a blog.
Because of this, one of my friends approached me to help her set up her website for her travel agency.
And helping her in that way made me realise that this is something that I want to help others with too.
I realised that not everyone who wants to start a blog intends to take the do-it-yourself route and would rather pay for someone to help them set it up.
And that’s what I did for my friend since she said that she didn’t know what platform, host or where to look for good themes.
It was so exciting, and it felt so good to be able to help her out in that way.
My actionable tip for you:
Ask yourself what type of projects do you enjoy as a blogger/creator that you find exciting and that can offer as a service to others.
If you’re a blogger who specialises in graphic design, maybe it’s to design done-for-you social media templates or create custom blog graphics on a retainer basis.
Those were the different ways I was able to earn money online within the first year and a half of running this blog.
It was during the first year mark that things started falling into place fast.
And then more paid writing opportunities were coming my way too.
I saw this as a sign, and I had this gut feeling that the time to take my blog full-time was near.
And I didn’t want to wait any longer.
I trusted myself and mustered up the courage to talk to my boss about my resignation.
Mind you it took a lot of attempts before I finally talked to her because I was worried about how she’d take it and if it was the right time for the company for me to be leaving–even if I knew that it was the right time for me & my biz.
And I’m glad I took that leap.
It hasn’t been easy.
It’s been seven months since I quit my corporate day job.
My mindset tests me now and then, so I’ve incorporated morning affirmations into my daily routine.
I remind myself that this is what I’ve wanted so long.
I’d rather face the challenges I have now to continue to build my dream career than stay in a place where society expects me to and still encounter difficulties.
No matter where I am, I’ll face challenges anyway.
Might as well face the challenges that bring me closer to where I envision myself to be.
Now over to you.
Tell me, have you been able to make money with your blog and how? If not yet, how do you plan to monetise your blog?
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Learn the essentials in building a profitable blog with an actionable, step-by-step framework. Get access to 17 lessons that show you how to set up a blog strategically and craft your blogging business plan with the How to Start a Money-Making Blog (Your Creative Business) online course.