How I Made Over #320k from my Blog Last Year with Little Effort
It’s the beginning of the year guys and I think it’s important we check how our different businesses or side hustle performed last year.
I will be sharing my earnings from one of my side hustle which you all know, this blog (The Total Entrepreneurs).
Many of you might not know that I started TTE out of my passion for entrepreneurship and not really because I wanted to make money at first.
Also, TTE is the least of my side hustle.
I am not just a business blogger; I have a pay job but would not love to disclose my office for security reason. I’m also the founder of OFRAN JANITORIAL SERVICES, a cleaning company based in Enugu. I also trade cryptocurrency. In fact, I am into GRA (General Running Around).
How I started Blogging
In 2011, during my national service year, I was serving with the department of petroleum resources in the capital, I started asking myself some personal questions, “after this what next?”.
Every day in the office when I am doing nothing, I am filled with the thought of what will I be doing if after my service year I don’t get a job? Am I going to continue this hustling? Can I feed a family with my current earnings?
I was making roughly 45k as at this time monthly, #19,800 allowance from NYSC and #26,000 tea allowance from DPR. This was aside my side hustles that were still bringing small change to my pocket. I pay my rent and feed myself. I have always been a “hustler” right from my school days. I was making money doing a lot of things I can’t start mentioning here while in school. So I was able to save money to afford a rent in Housing Estate, Kubwa, Abuja .
I had few friends in Abuja and outside that are done with school but still unemployed at that time and practically doing nothing but waiting for a paid job. They earn zero Naira monthly and feed off their parents and relations.
I talk to them about their position and also tried convincing some close to me to start doing one of the things I was doing then (going to Aba to cut materials, make shirts, bring them to the capital and sell for good profit). Just 2 agreed and actually took my customers and designers phone numbers and started while the rest saw it as petty business. I didn’t blame them cos there parents were not complaining and they got contact too.
The story of one of my friends that started making and selling clothes after I compelled her to start something for herself excited me. As a female resident in Abuja with lots of contact, she broke even.
This inspired the birth of The Total Entrepreneur, I was so excited about her success story I decided to open a Facebook page where I inspire other young people to become independent.
The page was growing gradually and after a year, then 2013, I decided to create a blog for it.
That was how I started another journey of learning how to create a blog. I met a friend who design websites and ask that he teach me, he was then designing with dream weaver; too much coding and I didn’t like the outcome of my design after my first trial, so I started looking further until I discovered WordPress.
Today I can design WordPress sites but I never learnt it from anybody, just my passion to have a better blog that will be simple to use and give my readers a quality experience.
I was writing at least one topic every week, most of my blog posts as at that time were centered on personal development, how to start…, my little experience in business and how young people can actually earn money doing something they love as well as share business opportunities for fresh graduates while they’re waiting for their “almighty” pay jobs.
I never earned any money from my blog for the first 11 months of starting and mind you, I paid for my domain ($16.99) and hosting plan ($49) from my savings. I never considered using a free platform like blogspot.com or wordpress.com as I read about how limited such platforms can be and I wanted the best user experience for my readers.
Was I concerned about revenue generation then? No.
What then was motivating me to continue?
- My daily traffic was increasing and most was from the search engines.
- Feedbacks from my readers.
- The fact that somebody will trust my judgment and it will eventually work for them.
My First Revenue Earned
As my traffic started growing, I started seeking out monetization options, my domain and host need to be renewed. I read lots of blog posts on that topic with all tipping Google Adsense as the best monetization avenue for blogs. I applied and was denied. Their reason for denying was not clearly stated and this made me to even work harder on my blog.
I started writing more and sharing my articles on social media groups to increase my traffic and I applied again and was denied the second time, that was when I made a decision that I will not apply for Adsense again, at least not for now and started seeking alternatives.
I tried many alternatives and at the end of a month, my blog will generate mere $3 -$5 via ads, lol. What was that? As at this time I already renewed my domain and host from money I was making from my other side hustles.
I tried other monetization options including affiliating for Konga using banner placements and also looking at some of my old posts that I have proffered solution to my readers and looking for better solutions that I can earn royalty from if my readers use my link to purchase those products. I was making some money from Konga until I noticed that I was being shortchanged and stopped promoting their products on my blog. You can read about my problem with Konga here.
Few weeks after I got my job, at the office, I received a mail from JiJi.ng requesting for an opportunity to sponsor a post on my blog and asking how much I charge for such. I was so excited at the end of the bargain I was paid #20,000. I was like, just like that? I was excited and shared my breakthrough with some friends.
Remember, blogging was a part time thing for me even as at today, but the fact that a company can pay you such amount just to post an article about one of their product excited me. That was the beginning of my revenue generation success. Yes, it was a success for me.
By then, I already read about native ads and I fell in love with that concept of advertising and applied for some and was approved and till today it accounts for majority of the revenue I generate from my blog aside sponsored posts.
How I Made Over #320k from my Blog in 2017
2017 was a busy year for me in the office and personal life. I spent very less time on TTE. Looking for ways to make money offline and also trying to keep my blog alive but it was a year I made more money from the same blog than preceeding years.
Please don’t remind me how #320,000 ($870) is small amount to make for a full year, I am excited about this revenue and writing this post to inspire young individuals that are still doubting if money can be made from online or via blogging.
I am also writing this post to assure anyone interesting in blogging that they can make far more than I made if they put extra effort.
I barely have time to write due to my kind of job and schedule but I try as much as possible to share business tips and success stories of some entrepreneurs once in a while, I also share articles on challenges I face in running my personal business and how young entrepreneurs can avoid such challenges. I also sort the service of a content developer to write on topics I choose while I edit, add few information that my readers seek knowledge on and publish.
This way, my blog was never abandoned but did I put maximum effort, frankly no.
So how come I made that much last year?
I made sure my articles are unique and of quality with relevant keywords and SEO friendly. I promote my articles on social media over time and to international readers (via Facebook geo-targeted ad).
Here is a rough estimate of my earnings last year:
MGID NATIVE AD – $186
CONTENT.AD – $237
SPONSORED POSTS – $350
AFFILIATES – $76
ADCLERKS MARKETPLACE (JOINED NOVEMBER) – $21 (Here I sell ad space directly to advertisers)
All sponsored posts were at a flat rate of $50 per post and non came from Nigeria. I believe that boosting my articles via Facebook targeted ad to USA and writing articles that are not limited to Nigeria readership helped in the wide views I was getting and this translated into international partnership.
I was also able to get payment using PayPal. (This knowledge of receiving funds from PayPal in Nigeria made me #145,000 almost half the amount I made from the blog but I didn’t include it here cos I never promoted such sales in my blog). A comment I left in another blog that wrote about PayPal verification brought the buyers.
You can write me if you’re interested on the short guide on how to open a verified PayPal account that can receive funds from Nigeria without changing IP.
Late last year, I decided I will do better with my blog the coming year with a target of at least double of my earnings in 2017. I will be spending in making my blog lighter (load fast), enrich my contents, share current business news apart from personal development articles, share more practical approach to doing business, engage more content developers and most importantly, grow my social media followership.
I will also try some SEO methods to build my sites ranking even the more and connect more with my readers.
Like I always say, never assume you must be employed before you can make money online/offline. You got something to offer the world, let the social entrepreneur in you come alive. Provide solution to people’s problem. Consult in your field, interact with experts in any field you love and would want to venture into, there is always a way out. I started my cleaning company without any equipment and I bought my first tools with the payment I received from my first client. You too can.
Hit me up if you have any business idea but no resource to start, I can show you a way around. (Not for all types of business though)
To your success.