How to start a profitable blog for less than $100?
Starting a blog ain’t cheap!
There’s a statement that you probably haven’t heard or hear with less frequency than the one that affirms that ‘you can make money blogging’.
It’s true that you can make money blogging, but it’s truer that it is not cheap to make that money.
To make money you have to spend money, right?
However, no one said that it’s a must to immediately invest $1000 on your blog. You have to spend money for it to come alive but not thousands to a point that you go completely broke before even earning a dime.
Instead of spending a thousand dollars to start a profitable blog, we are going lower than that by investing a hundred— $100 — on your blog.
You don’t think that’s possible?
I started my blog by only spending around $50 in the first month, April, and did just fine afterwards.
It’s possible to be spending that ‘small’ amount of money on your blog and I even created a free course that teaches you how to do it in just a week.
Besides that course, you still have this post to teach you how to invest $100 on starting a blog.
We are talking about spending $100 to potentially start earning more than that in your first month of blogging. It’s possible, it has happened to a few bloggers and the next can be you.
But before we jump into how to start a blog with only $100, let’s see...
The benefits of starting a blog.
1. It helps you gain new customers
When people see that you have a great blog and that it’s helping you earn a lot of money, they will take you serious and will want to work with you in so many ways.
They will contact you to learn about your services or products or even offer you a brand deal where you act as an influencer.
Brands might even reach out for your services as an influencer and you will be earning a lot of money just because you decided to start a blog.
2. Earn money in your sleep
With so many ways to monetise your blog without having to be working on it day and night, you can start earning thousands in your sleep once you have created a great sales funnels whereas people can always lend on the bottom of it and purchase through your affiliate links, your products or perhaps help you with some ads money.
3. You build a network
Building a strong network is what any aspiring blogger should be looking for as it will help you expand your influence and your network will help you grow your blog. Even yours customers might help you further into acquiring new customers and all thanks to a powerful network and trust, of course.
So, let’s see how you can start a profitable blog for as little as $100.
How to start a profitable blog for less than $100
[Disclaimer: This post has affiliate links of services or products I truly trust. I’ll receive a commission if you sign-up or purchase something through those links, at no extra cost for you. It’s just a matter of keeping this blog and myself up🖤]
1. Choose a name and topic for your blog
First and foremost, you need to know what you want to blog about and I give an in-depth explanation on how to choose the right niche (topic) in my free blogging course, but lemme just give you a few details here.
When choosing a blog name (domain), you must take in mind your passion and what topics are profitable and trending out there in the blogging world.
When I add the passion to the equation, I do it so that you know that you must love the topic/niche you will be blogging about as you will feel more motivated to write more blog posts and won’t give up on your blog because you love your blog.
Passion for your niche is amazing but not enough to start earning money from your blog.
To start making money, you will also need to take in mind what topics have a high search volume on the net and that can give you a lot of money if you invest on it.
To prove that passion is not enough, let’s say that I am passionate about making socks for dogs and I want to start a blog.
Do you really think that I’ll make money from it?
In the short run, yeah, maybe, but in the long run that’s a bit far-fetched because there aren’t many people out there looking for how to make socks for dogs meaning that not many people will visit my blog and it will flop because of lack of traffic.
But let’s connect a few loose dots, alright?
Let’s say that if you love making socks for dogs, it’s means that you love sewing — probably— and the crafting industry is profitable.
Sure you might stray a bit from your true passion of sewing dogs’ socks but you will be making money by doing something close to it.
There are many profitable niches out there and all you have to do is search for them and find the one that pulls your heart strings.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s see what you can do about that domain name.
As you can see, my domain/blog name is my own name and I chose that because I hate taking care of legal stuff and this is really my blog so what is better than naming it after me?
Here, I’m not limited to posting about one single thing as I would be if I had chosen a domain name like ‘New Bloggers Says’ <— Ha, the Instagram Community of this blog. That domain would limit me to talk about blogging stuff only but I want to branch out to my personal life later like talking about my love for minimalism, the environment and photography.
Since it is my name up there, people know that I run this show and that my life can also do it. I also get to increase my brand awareness as a person, not just a blog.
You get the drift, right?
Now, I chose my name because it would save me the hustle of registering my blog as LLC entity and that takes a lot of paperwork and time that I really didn’t want to waste on legal stuff that could be avoided. Instead, I chose sole proprietorship because I am the only one running this and it’s easier to deal with the authorities this way.
However, if you are not bothered by legal stuff, you can register you blog as anything you want. Just make sure that it’s relevant to the niche you chose up there.
Let’s stick with the sewing idea as an example; you can come up with names like ‘Crafters’ Little World’. I ran out of ideas for that topic, not my cup of tea.
2. Hosting and Domain
To start a profitable blog you will need be purchase a hosting service and the one I use is Squarespace.
There’s a reason why I prefer Squarespace and not Wordpress, and another reason — actually many — on why going for a free hosting website like Wordpress.com is a big NO!
Squarespace is one of the best platforms to host your blog, for me and many other bloggers like Elle&Co. whose blog scores more than $10,000/month.
Beyond just some bloggers supporting it, Squarespace helps you design your blog without even needing to know how to code, something that cannot be said for many services. Their drag and drop menu for design is amazing and makes designing your blog plus writing content a lot easier.
Yup, just more proof to why Squarespace is a great platform to host your blog and to seal the deal for you, they accept monthly payments.
Yup, you can pay your plan monthly, something that I immediately loved because when I started this blog, I had to depend on my monthly allowance and some loan from my mummy.
I was 17 when I started this blog and didn’t have a side job to help me fund the blog so paying around $220 in a go was definitely out of reach for me.
My allowance was somewhere around $40 when I started blogging and I didn’t want to wait for four more months to get the money without having to spend it on my personal stuff. That was my going to happen.
So, when I went on a search for a great hosting service and read so many recommendations on Squarespace, I just had to check it out and I didn’t regret it.
They gave me the option to pay $26/month for so many features that I thought I wouldn’t need but ended up loving. For only $26 dollars a month, they had the whole SSL certificate down to a T, they allow you to sell products even though I was not purchasing a Commerce plan and they offered more around protection, design and simplicity.
I just had to do it. I signed up for the 14 days free trial and loved it on the first day,
Right there, I scored in my hosting platform and, wait a sec, my website domain plus G-suite e-mail (We'll talk about that further down).
Let’s tackle the domain name thing first...
When I registered for Squarespace, I had to pay $20 dollars for my domain name that will last a year which was great but there are sites like GoDaddy that can sell for less but then you will have to pay almost the same amount the next year.
So you choose, pay it now and get it over with or be fooled with a minimum amount that requires a lot of work to install and then pay more next year.
Those kind of offers are the ones that I don’t really like. Offers from sites like BlueHost who say that you only have to pay $2,99/month to start but then you follow up and find out that you also have to pay for domain registration, security services and more that add up to more than $250 in a go.
Um, no thank, peach.
I love straight up services like the ones that Squarespace offers and that I know what I’m paying for.
So, if you choose Squarespace, you will spend around between $38 and $46 in the beginning. I say $38 because you might want to choose the minimal monthly plan tat is $18 and pay $20 for the annual domain registration. I chose the $26 plan and am happy with it.
3. Choose and customise your blog theme
Since I’m using Squarespace, I’ll walk you in on how to choose your blog theme, more like template on the platform.
Unlike many that offer limited free themes/templates and you must purchase those templates that will do justice to your blog, Squarespace offers all their templates for free. FREE!
Oh, and above that, you can have one template on display for the world while you work on another one behind the scenes. You can test multiple templates at once but only one will be one display. That isn’t a bother because Squarespace gives you the chance to see which platform best works for you.
After choosing the right template for your blog, you can now create a menu with their drag-and-drop tool that allows you to create new pages like pro without even being one.
On Squarespace, you can create a Cover page — something like a landing page — multiple blog pages where you can post about different things, a product page where you can sell your products, services and whatnot, and even hidden pages that can only be access through a given link.
They have pages for almost everything on it and it’s bloody amazing.
Based on the template you chose, you can have sidebars and wide banners where you can display your best offers or even place a CTA, Call-To-Action.
On my homepage, I had a banner but removed it and now I have an announcement bar on top of my menu bar and even have a email list form on my footer. I can bring back the banner when I want to but I’ll keep it as it is for the time being.
You can customise it as you like it and all for free. If you want to add a few codes that will make your blog more special than it already will be, you can do it by going to SETTINGS on the main menu and then ADVANCED and then just click on CODE INJECTION and inject your code.
However, injecting a code might alter your blog’s customisation and if you are not really a pro in this whole coding thing, search for one.
4. Start a newsletter
Until now we have spent $46 on your blog and we still have some money left for an email marketing service like my favourite, Benchmark Email.
The reason why I added starting a newsletter, email list, in this guide is because it will be one of your best assets in the world.
A mailing list is pretty much a collection of people that have shown that they are interested in what you are saying and trust you enough to a point that they have given you their email to contact them whenever you want to.
Unlike your Instagram followers, you actually own your list subscribers as they are in your control to govern and provide as much value as you can.
With social media followers, you can’t really reach out to them as easily as you can with email subscribers and those followers haven’t really shown any real interest in what you are selling or just saying.
Plus, for every dollar you spend on email marketing, you get $44 as return-on-investment which is way better than all those social media platforms you know.
So, peach, it is a must to start an email list if you are serious about making money as a blogger and if you really don’t want to regret starting a list on a really tricky platform like Mailchimp — they bamboozled me and many other bloggers with their ‘free’ plan — you should really go for Benchmark Email. My absolute lifesaver.
They have a similar plan free plan of only 2000 subscribers as Mailchimp but they do not ask you for money so that you can automate your emails.
Like, what the fudge is wrong with Mailchimp for charging people, on a free plan, to automate their emails. You can’t even create an email series or a damn email course because you don’t have the extra money to pay for the services.
You can only send broadcast emails to your audience which is kinda tiring and not really great if you want to grow your list without burning out.
For reasons like keeping my sanity and budget in check, plus amazing feature and simplicity, I chose Benchmark Email and don’t regret it. Even though my plan is free at this time, I can automate my emails, create beautiful emails, segment my subscribers and even get to track my emails.
It’s a pretty neat service for a new blogger or any blogger out there and I truly recommend it. You can start for free now and upgrade whenever you want to.
After choosing your email service provider, you can start focusing on growing your email list but firstly offering a freebie or content upgrade.
A freebie is more like something free and valuable that you offer to your readers in exchange for their emails, giving you the consent to contact them via email.
There are many freebies that you can offer to your audience but the ones that I know that work best are:
You can use a tool like Canva, like I do, to create all those freebies and it’s quite easy to as well. Canva already has a few templates ready for you and all you have to do is to customise them and voila!
After that, you can start brainstorming newsletter ideas to send to your audience and how to gradually start selling products that they won’t think twice before purchasing.
Oh, and if you want to come out as a real professional, don’t you even dare use a Gmail email to contact your list buddies. Just don’t.
When you choose Squarespace to host your blog, they give you the chance to create a G-suite Email, a branded email, for your blog for only $6. I purchased the deal and created my branded email, email@example.com, by following their instructions to activate it.
So, do invest in G-Suite email as it will paint you to be more professional and serious about your blog and audience.
Well, until now you have spent $52 in which you cover your domain name registration, hosting services and branded email.
We have $47 to go — the headline says for less than hundred dollars. LESS...
Anyways, let’s see how you can start earning money from your blog.
5. Monetise your blog
Here’s a really quick tip: Always write content with an end goal in mind like making money from your content or getting new email subscribers.
Your content shouldn’t be written without a goal that will benefit both you and your audience. If you want to make money from your blog, then each content you write must give you a chance to earn money or at least get new subscribers so that later you can gradually sell something to them.
As I said in the beginning, starting a blog ain’t cheap and so isn’t maintaining it. You want to be making money from your blog and most, if not all, your blog posts so that you can keeping paying for your blog’s expenses and your life expenses.
With that in mind, in your very first day of blogging, start creating content that has the possibility of scoring you a lot of money through blog monetisation.
I’m talking about content that has the potential to hold a bunch of affiliate links, ads if you want to and even recommendations to your own product or services.
Those babies above can help you start earning money from your blog and in your sleep.
The way I see it, there are five ways you can monetise your blog:
Promoting affiliate products
When you promote an affiliate product, you are pretty much going to be earning a commission for doing so as a reward for your services.
It’s a great deal, earn money by promoting someone’s products sounds great to me. You don’t need to create your own products to be swimming in money.,
There are bloggers making $1000/months and those like Michelle from Making Sense of Cents who is making a little over $50,000/month through affiliate marketing.
You can start searching for affiliate programs on the net or see which affiliate products top bloggers are promoting and start promoting them.
Selling your own products
If you feel like promoting someone else’s product is not enough for you, you can create your own digital products — this can help you earn money in your sleep — and start selling them on your Squarespace shop.
If you feel like your website shop ain’t enough, you can sell them on SendOwl and even create your own affiliate program where people can create links to promote your products.
Offering your services
If you have a few great skills or just even one, you can monetise that by offering a service or two around it.
Let’s say that you are a great writer or have a great experience with Instagram marketing; you can offer Instagram Management or Marketing services or even start working as a Fiverr freelance writer.
For all I know, any blogger can be a freelance writer if they sharpen their skills and promote their services.
You just offer the space and the chance to be known by your audience and they will give you the money.
Just make sure that the sponsored posts are relevant to your niche or you will damage your blog’s image.
Perhaps the most difficult way to monetise your blog and especially if you are a newbie at it.
To really starting earning a lot of money from ads on your blog, you will need to have a lot of valuable traffic sent to it.
With a new or small blog, I bet you won’t even earn $10 in the first month or two months.
Related post: Five ways to monetise your blog
6. Resources to help you start earning money from your blog
Remember that we have spent a little over $50 on your blog and we have around $47 left to invest on your blog, more like investing on it’s future.
To become a terrific blogger who can promote her own blog with ease by implementing a few SEO tricks here and there, sharpening your content writing skills and even learn how to earn money with affiliate marketing, you need to invest on tools or products that will help you skyrocket your blog’s performance.
I’m talking about tools like these:
The Blog Traffic Book — A book written by a blogger I trust blindly and that teaches you all her secrets to how she ended up getting more than 50k pageviews per month and started earning more than $3000/month. The 150+ pages book is worth $29. That’s it!
The Ultimate Blog Planner — This is my very own planner that has more than 50 pages dedicated to the organisation, control, growth and monetisation of your blog for a price below $10. It’s only $6.99 and you get access to it for a lifetime, being able to re-print every page you want!
Your first 100 — A book that I didn’t regret investing on to help me draw a plan to draw in my first 100 customers. The investment was only of $2,99 and you end up making more than that with it’s strategies and tips.
Let’s see just how much you will invest on your blogging education if you purchase those resources that every blogger should have.
That will be $38,98 plus $52 from the costs above which will make $90,98 in gross expenses regarding your blog.
With that, you will be set up to run a profitable blog that will help you score more than a $1000/month if you do it right.
If you think that you need more guidance on how to start a profitable blog, check out this course: