Blogging is a popular side hustle for a reason – all you need is an idea and a laptop.

Unlike other businesses, a start up blog doesn’t require you to spend thousands upfront on products, equipment or premises

But if you want to make money using a self-hosted WordPress blogit 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 funding their site 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 money 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 day job earnings?

In that case, I have 4 ideas for you to help fund your start up blog…

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.

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.

Similar sites include Quidco (UK based) and Ebates in the US, although I haven’t personally used them.

2. Use Ebay to generate some seed money

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.

But I’ve successfully sold all sorts of stuff – including leftover craft supplies from my wedding and cushions, 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.

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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

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.

***

Even using one of these 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!

How are you currently paying for your side hustle blog costs?

Would you consider any of these methods to help fund your start up blog until it’s profitable?

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