So you’ve decided you want to start a blog. You’ve been brainstorming your niche. You know you need to pick one you’re passionate about, otherwise you’ll run out of things to write about. You’ve realized that living a frugal lifestyle is your passion, something you could talk about all day. You want to help people save money and live a debt free life.
Or maybe you’re past that stage. Maybe you have a blog about living frugally and getting out of debt, but you’ve hit a roadblock. Blogging is time consuming and it isn’t free. You want to make some money off this hobby of yours, but your readers are visiting your blog looking for ways to save money, not lose it. So where is this money you are seeking going to come from?
Note: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, check out my disclaimer.
I know exactly where you’re at. I’ve been there! I had countless blogging “pros” (who were making $1,000+ a month from their blog) telling me I needed to create a product to sell to my readers. They said that’s where the real, reliable money comes from.
My niche isn’t limited to frugal living. I blog about life as a mom and wife, I share recipes and DIY projects, I talk about blogging. I really consider my niche to be “stay-at-home mom blogger”. I feel that term covers all the bases. The stay-at-home mom part is what motivates me to live a more frugal life.
Being a stay-at-home mom is also what motivated me to start this little blog. I’ve always loved writing and my new role as a mom put me in a situation where I was having little interaction with the world outside my house. I’ve never been an overly social person, but connecting with other people every once in a while is nice, ya know?
Then one day I saw something on Pinterest about a woman who made thousands of dollars every month blogging. She got to spend time writing and connecting with people and she was making money doing it.
Reading her story made me want to learn more. I had tried my hand at blogging on a free platform about a decade ago, but prior to reading that woman’s blog post, I had no idea a blog could put money in my bank account.
Putting money in my bank account was very appealing, considering Hubby was the only one working and he’d recently been put on a salary that was hurting us. The idea of being able to stay home with my daughter while writing, talking to others and watching cash roll into my bank account seemed like a dream come true.
The first couple months after bringing life to A Frugal Desteny were filled with lessons and obstacles. There’s so much to learn! Not only did I know nothing about how WordPress worked, I was generally clueless about everything else that goes into it, including where my money was really going to come from.
I’ve been blogging for almost a year and a half now and things have gotten a lot easier, thank goodness! Google Analytics no longer confuses me, I understand themes, logos, plugins, disclosures and all the other random things that go hand-in-hand with blogging.
I even know how to bring in money now. It didn’t happen overnight. I spent so many hours reading and researching, as I’m sure you’ve also been doing. Here are the ways I generate an income as a frugal living blogger:
If you don’t know what rebate apps are, I’m not sure you can really consider yourself a frugal person! I love any app that gives me money. My favorites are Ibotta, Checkout 51, Receipt Hog and Walmart Savings Catcher. You can make money referring your readers (or friends and family) to Ibotta & Checkout 51.
Every affiliate program is different, but with Ibotta you don’t even need to be an affiliate to get paid for your referrals. Ibotta pays it’s members $5 for each referral. They do have an affiliate program, too. You can find it here. If you’re accepted as an affiliate you’ll receive $10 for each referral.
Checkout 51’s affiliate program can be found here. It only pays out $1 per lead.
You can easily become an affiliate with companies like Zulilly, Sling TV, Amazon & Wish.com and help your readers find great deals on products they need or want.
Zulilly’s affiliate program can be found through ShareASale. I used to be an affiliate, but since I never buy from them myself, I never advertised Zulily. They ended up closing my account and I’m not sure how much they pay out now.
This is where you sign up to become an Amazon affiliate. Everyone uses Amazon & there are really great deals on there sometimes, so it doesn’t hurt to become an affiliate.
You can make money when you’re readers purchase Wish.com products that you recommend to them by joining their affiliate program here. They pay you 30% of every purchase made through your links.
I absolutely love Sling TV. It’s well priced and so much better than Dish, DirectTV or my local cable company. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants something more than Netflix but isn’t interested in regular cable and satellite TV. If you love Sling TV, too, and want to tell your readers all about it, you can become an affiliate here and make $13.60 every time someone clicks on your link and signs up for a 60-day subscription. Here’s a little tip to bring in those 60-day subscriptions, too: You receive a free Roku if you pay for your first 2 months up front. It’s what I did when I signed up for Sling!
MONEY SAVING & MAKING WEBSITES
Before I started blogging, I joined websites that helped me both make and save money. Two of my favorites are Dealspotr and Swagbucks. Once I became a blogger, I learned I could become an affiliate for these websites and make money every time someone I refer joins! If there’s a website you love to use to save money or make money, I highly recommend becoming an affiliate. Your readers will be able to feel your passion for these sites and join them. They’ll reap the rewards of using the website while you make money off of them doing so!
Flex Offers has two affiliate programs for Swagbucks. One pays out $3 every time someone you refer signs up and confirms their email address. The other pays you $1.24 anytime a person you refer installs the Swagbucks app.
Dealspotr’s program is different and kind of cool, in my opinion. You can become an influencer on their website by proving you have a blog. If you write a blog post recommending Dealspotr, you’ll be given 50,000 points (the equivalent of $50). After that, you’ll be rewarded when people sign up and you’ll get extra points when the people you refer complete tasks on Deaspotr.
There are a lot of ways to make money through ads. You can go through a website and have the ads automatically generated on your blog or you can sell ad space yourself.
I tried a few different websites when I first started blogging, but right now I’m just using Google AdSense. At first I wasn’t really making money, but over the last year or so I’ve had a few really great months. Right now I’m only making $2-3 per week through my ads, but that’s because my views are down at the moment.
Once my readership bounces back up, I’m going to give selling ad space a try. I really like the idea of the advertisements on my blog being relevant to the content on my blog.
A sponsored post is one that a company pays you to write. You can find sponsored post opportunities through a ton of websites including Sway, IZEA, and Influence Central. If you’ve been blogging for a little while, companies will try to reach out to you, too. I was blogging for about 6 months when I got my first email asking that I write a sponsored post.
Since then I’ve only written a handful of sponsored posts and I usually turn down the companies who contact me, with the exception of two. I really want to make sure that the product or service I’m writing about is relevant to my readers. Plus a lot of companies don’t want to pay you. They’ll offer you the product as compensation. Unless it’s a product I really, really want to own, I won’t accept that offer. I want to be compensated monetarily for the time I invest into my review of their product.
You can also contact companies yourself. I, personally, haven’t been successful with this yet, but I know a lot of bloggers who have gotten sponsored opportunities this way. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a company you love or think your readers should know about. Just make sure you have all of your blog’s stats and numbers at the ready (preferably in the form of a media kit) because the company is going to want to know who they are teaming up with before they agree.
CREATE A PRODUCT
I know, I know. Earlier I said that selling products on my website didn’t make much sense to me, considering most of my readers are searching for money saving tips and ideas.
That doesn’t mean creating a product is completely out of the question, though. If you have a decent amount of content on your blog already, you could throw together an eBook relatively easily. The only issue will be making sure you price it correctly. Are your readers willing to spend $20 on a book filled with all of your money saving advice or are they more likely to spend $5 on a smaller eBook that contains the basics? Knowing your audience is key.
Maybe your audience would be willing to pay for an email course that helps them learn how to get out of debt or a video series where you share a new way to save money every day for a week. There are a lot of different products you can sell, the trick is making sure that your readers are willing to spend money in order to save money in the long run.
I had no plans to blog about blogging when I first created A Frugal Desteny. I figured I’d write about parenting and frugal living. Over time I learned a lot, though. I’d be in blogger Facebook groups reading questions from newbie bloggers thinking to myself I can’t believe there was a time when I was asking these same people this same question.
That’s when I realized I had gained knowledge that new bloggers didn’t have. Not sharing this knowledge with my fellow blogger seemed just… wrong. So I decided to start writing posts like this one.
If you choose to go the same route, as many bloggers do, look into all of your favorite tools and courses. I use PicMonkey for almost every picture I use on my blog and they also have an affiliate program on ShareASale. There are a few courses I’ve taken and blogging related products I’ve purchased in the past. I’m an affiliate for all of the ones I fell in love with. That means every time I persuade a reader to purchase one of those courses or products, I get paid. It’s awesome!
Do you see the donation button on my right sidebar? I haven’t had it long and it isn’t something I ever planned to add. Then, one day a couple months ago, one of my readers told me he wanted to donate money to my blog. I had always thought those donation buttons were corny, but I added it upon his request.
Maybe you think it’s corny, too, and you definitely don’t have to add it. Then again, if you add it there’s a possibility some of your more regular readers will want to send you some money to help keep your blog afloat!
I hope this info helps you. If you’re a frugal lifestyle blogger like me, whether this is your first day of blogging or you’ve been blogging for years, let me know! I’d love to connect with you and read your blog!