Blogging is a popular side hustle for a reason. Unlike other businesses, a start-up blog doesn’t require you to spend thousands upfront on products, equipment or premises.
All you need is an idea and a laptop and you can work from home – grabbing time to work after your 9-5 or when the kids are napping. It really is the perfect gig for a mama who wants a creative side hustle.
But if you want to make money using a self-hosted WordPress blog, it does require some upfront investment. So, how do you fund your start-up blog?
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The vast majority of newbie bloggers will end up paying for their start-up blog from their own pockets – at least for a while.
I’ve been blogging since 2014 – starting off as a hobby as I planned my wedding. Honestly, I really dread to think how much I spent on that first blog.
I had a MASSIVE case of ‘shiny object’ syndrome – paying for all sorts of expensive email and social media marketing systems with no clue what I was actually doing.
I wasted a ton of cash, but I did learn some valuable lessons along the way.
Fast forward a few years and now I rarely spend any money on my business unless I have already earned it from my blog.
But what if your blog isn’t making any money yet? And you don’t want to dip into your hard-earned family finances?
In that case, I have 4 ideas for you to help fund your start-up blog…
4 IDEAS TO PAY FOR YOUR START-UP BLOG (EVEN WHEN IT’S BRAND NEW!)
1. Save Cashback from online purchases
Earning potential – $$$
Effort involved – LOW
I am a HUGE fan of online cashback sites. Because, you know, FREE MONEY. What’s not to like?
My personal favourite (UK-based) is Top Cashback.
So far, since March 2013, I have made over £900 (c. $1.2k) just by shopping online – that’s over £200 (c. $265) per annum and would cover my annual blog domain and hosting costs every year.
Ooh, I have £53 to withdraw – happy days!
I’ve found that the biggest opportunities for cashback come when you’re changing energy, mobile phone, insurance or media providers.
But I’ve also earned a ton on baby clothes and equipment too (kids are expensive – you might as well get rewarded for buying baby stuff!)
Clearly, I don’t recommend buying stuff just for the sake of getting cashback, but if you’re shopping anyway ALWAYS check to see if you can get cashback or coupon codes.
2. Use Ebay to generate some seed money for your start-up blog
Earning potential – $$
Effort involved – MEDIUM
I tend to go through phases when I’m really keen on decluttering and I offload a ton of stuff on Ebay.
It can be a little time intensive as you have to take photos and write descriptions, as well as lugging stuff to the post office to dispatch. But it is a great way to earn some cash to put towards blog costs.
What I’ve found sells well are unopened Perfume sets (unwanted Christmas gifts anyone?!) as well as games consoles or other media type equipment.
Clothes can also do pretty well – especially good condition label clothing. I’m currently offloading a ton of baby clothes!
But I’ve successfully sold all sorts of stuff – including leftover craft supplies from my wedding, so why not give it a shot?
I haven’t tried it myself, but loads of people also swear by their local Facebook selling groups, so that may be worth a try too.
3. Trade in old mobile phones, books, CDs and DVDs
Earning potential – $$ for mobile phones, $ for everything else
Effort involved – MEDIUM
If you’re due an upgrade on your mobile phone, what are you going to do with your old one? Why not check to see how much you could get for trading it in?
I’ve personally used Mazuma Mobile for this very purpose and it was pretty straightforward.
For example, an iPhone 6 (16GB) has a guaranteed value of £120 (c. $160) on trade in – you just stick it in an envelope and send it off.
If your phone is damaged you’ll get less for it, but it’s still better than throwing it out!
If you’re based in the US, Best Buy are worth a look for trading in tech.
A less lucrative option is to sell on your old books, CDs and DVDs to a site like Music Magpie.
I haven’t done this myself, but from what I can see, you just enter the barcode for each item and it will tell you how much it will pay for them.
To be honest, the trade in values are pretty low so you’d need to be selling a ton of stuff to make any significant amount of money. But, every little helps right?!
4. Take Online Surveys as a side hustle (while watching TV!)
Earning potential – $
Effort involved – HIGH
Taking surveys online is a way to make some cash without even leaving your sofa.
The amounts you can earn are relatively low however and it is time intensive.
The one time I tried it a few years ago I found that I started a lot of surveys but then was often ‘screened out’ after a couple of questions as I wasn’t the ideal target audience.
But, it is possible to earn small amounts of cash as you’re catching up on the latest Walking Dead episode or whatever.
Swagbucks is a good place to start, both in the UK and US.
A start-up blog can seem like an expensive business, with so many opportunities to part with your cash.
Don’t worry though – even using one of my methods would be helpful to generate some capital for your blog. Top marks if you manage more than one!
For example, say you used a site like Top Cashback for all your online shopping for a year, as well as trading in a mobile phone.
That could be enough to pay for your annual domain and hosting costs and maybe even a monthly subscription for something like a social media scheduling tool. Sorted.
It certainly pays to think outside the box to pay for your start-up blog until it’s profitable!