How I Was Able to Make Money Online From Home Without a Big Following
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
FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN START A MONEY-MAKING BLOG TOO:
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 so I pivoted my content and chose to start from scratch.
And thank goodness I chose to start over!
So with all the blogging experience I had and the resources I invested in, I decided to set up my blog strategically so that I could start making money.
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.
LEARN HOW I SET UP MY BLOG STRATEGICALLY TO MAKE MONEY
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.
READ: STAY HAPPY IN THIS INSTAGRAMMABLE HOTEL IN BORACAY
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.
I put everything I learned over the many years blogging and turned them into lessons for my course.
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.
ENROLL IN THE COURSE NOW TO LEARN HOW TO SET UP YOUR BLOG STRATEGICALLY & MAKE MONEY
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.
RELATED: 3 WAYS A BLOG AUDIT WILL IMPROVE YOUR BLOG FOR THE BETTER
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.
Right after launching my online course, I was approached for a press trip and then while on that press trip, I landed another the paid collaboration.
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.
This moment was more than five years in the making, and while I had not matched my corporate income, I had a feeling that this was the right move.
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?
Want to make money blogging?
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.
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Wow this post is like a bible for how to be successful. I love that you’ve added an actionable tip, it means I can come back to it over and over and see what you’ve written etc!
Such helpful advice Izzy. I’d love to make more money from my blog but sometimes it comes down to confidence.
But you’ve proved it is possible even if you’re not one of the big players in the blogging world and that sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone really pays off x
Thank you so much, Claire! Confidence does play a role in putting yourself out there when it comes to monetising one’s blog. Best of luck to being able to make more money with your blog – it’s definitely possible! 😀
Great tips and ideas! Thanks for sharing your experience and advice. I’ve had my blog for sometime now but It’s true, it’s not the number of followers but the quality and your interactions with them.
Thank you so much, Annie!! 🙂
Love this post. So inspiring!
Thank you, Christa! 🙂
Thank you for sharing this, there was so much useful content in here laid out so easy to read which I loved! Well done on your success so far, you’ve done so well x
Thank you so much Em and Jess!! 🙂
Thanks for sharing with us Izzy! I’m still a new blogger (started in March during lockdown) but I’d love to make money from my blog someday. I think I’d like to go the coaching route, but have some ideas for digital products and maybe affiliate marketing too. Thanks so much for the encouragement!
You’re welcome, Clarissa!! It’s definitely possible to monetise your blog. I wish you the best of luck. 🙂
This is so informative and helpful! The part about networking is very interesting, of course if you don’t tell people they don’t know and so much can come from networking.
Thanks for sharing! ?
Thank you, Chris!! Yes networking is so important. The more people that know about your blog & what services you can offer, then the higher the chances that you can be their top choice when certain opportunities arise that align well with what you do / blog about. 🙂 And you’re welcome. Thank you too!!
Hey Izzy. What a great, motivational post. I have no intention of using my blog for a full-time income … but if I can cover my hosting costs that would be awesome. Let’s hope I can use your tips to move in the right direction.
Thanks so much, Richie!! Do update me how the tips work for you 🙂
This is such a helpful post!! It will really be handy for any bloggers who are looking to go full-time into blogging. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you too, Sumedha!! 🙂
This is inspiring, Izzy! I’m a beginner and looking forward as well to grow my blog. I know it’ll take a lot of time, too. Thank you for sharing! 🙂
Thank you so much, Queenie!! 🙂
Love this! I cannot wait to start making more money from my blog! I have scored a couple paid Instagram posts the past month so I am hoping to keep that up!
Amber – The Unpredicted page
Thank you, Amber! Yes, it’s so possible to make more money with your blog. That’s great you’ve been able to land multiple sponsored posts on Instagram. Keep up the great work!! 🙂
Hey Izzy, thanks for sharing your experience, you’re so inspiring! I am starting my second year at university in 2.5 weeks and I intend to continue blogging on the side. I hope that it becomes something bigger than it is now, but if it doesn’t, at least I had loads of fun in the process. Your story and tips motivate me to keep at it! Thank you!
Thank you so much too for your kind words, Ming! 🙂 Yes you can definitely do both though it can be challenging at times especially when it comes to time management. What helped me juggle my blog & full-time job before was to plan & schedule ahead. Though don’t be hard on yourself if you miss out on posting if you get too busy. What matters is to keep moving forward! Good luck and hoping for your blog successes too! 🙂
This is so inspiring Izzy! I recently joined LIKEtoKNOW.it influencer app and made some money on it already. I will be sure to start being more vocal about my blog. Thank you for the encouragement!
Thank you, Jenni!! I’ve heard about LIKEtoKNOW.it but haven’t tried it out. That’s great you’ve made money using the app. You’re welcome!! 🙂 How does LIKEtoKNOW.it work? Do you have to use the app separately and only those using the app can purchase through your affiliate links? 🙂