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However, I ended up building my blog as a hobby for two and a half years before I monetized it.
I did get burned out six months into it, but I never thought about completely quitting or selling my blog. I kep chugging along for years. To me, Frugal Asian Finance is like my baby.
It wasn’t until Mr. FAF and I received our green cards that I started monetizing my blog. That’s when the blog income started trickling in.
After one year, I went from making $0 to four figures from this passion project. And this is how I did it.
1. Pick a platform to build your personal brand
It also came with a 30-day refund policy in case you change your mind and decide that blogging is not for you.
I actually requested a refund the first time I signed up for BlueHost since I had a typo in my domain name (I know!). The refund process took less than 5 minutes.
I also got cold feet and thought about quitting altogether. But something inside me kept telling me to sign up for a new domain, and I did.
Your platform doesn’t have to be a blog. It could be Instagram, YouTube, Facebook or any other platforms that you can promote yourself and your business.
2. Pick a brand name
If you want to build a business, you definitely want to build a brand name for it. My first blog name was FrugalAsianGirl.com, which I ended up not using.
You want to pick a name that speaks the most about yourself, the content you want to write, and the products or services that you want to promote.
One way to check if the brand name is taken is to try signing it up on BlueHost. If the domain name is taken, BlueHost will tell you. Another way is to do a quick Google search to see if the name is available.
3. Build your audience
Depending on the platform that you pick, you can then decide on what strategy to build for your audience. As for me, during the first year of my blog, I published new posts about personal finance three times a week without fail.
Depending on the niche that you have selected, it’s time to produce the content in that niche. You can check out my post about how to create massive content for your personal finance blog.
I was able to bring the monthly pageviews from 0 to 31,104 after seven months. I think what worked for me was being authentic in my writing and publishing articles consistently.
Since I blog anonymously, I was able to share with the reader even the most personal details about our finances and marriage. And it resonated with a lot of readers who were going through something similar in their lives.
I also used Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to promote my blog.
4. Treat it like a business
What differentiates between a hobby and a business is that “a hobby is for recreation while a business operates at a profit or a loss” – TaxSlayer.
If you have a hobby just for fun and make a couple of bucks here and there without worrying about making losses from it, you might not think of it as a business. As a result, the time and effort you put in might not reflect the intent.
However, when you have a business, you have the intention of making a profit from it and do bookkeeping for tax purposes. At least, that’s how I treat my blog right now.
When you have the mindset that you need to work on your blog in a more serious manner, you will be able to put more serious thought and effort into growing your business it rather than just wanting to have fun with a hobby.
5. Decide on how to monetize your brand
There are a myriad of ways to monetize your brand. For Frugal Asian Finance, I have four main streams of income:
1) Display ads (Ezoic)
3) Amazon affiliates
You can see the details of how I made my first $2,000 from blogging in this post. My biggest source of income so far is sponsorships.
I just launched my first digital product (Beautiful Budget Planner) and coaching services (How to launch a WordPress site and online buisness).
I plan to work on more digital products in the future to help my audience and to generate passive income for my blog.
If there’s any product or service you’d like to see on Frugal Asian Finance, please let me know in the comment section below, and I will work on it.
6. Keep track of your income and expenses
As a business owner, you are in charge of paying your taxes. I currently use an Excel spreadsheet for this purpose. As my business grows, I plan to use 3rd party services such as FreshBooks to keep track of accounting and invoices.
7. Keep at it and don’t give up
It is not always easy to create and run an income-generating business, especially in the beginning. However, it is important to keep in mind that for many bloggers and content creaters, it might take them months or even years to start seeing profits for their business.
If you are passionate about product and believe in your business, keep working at it. I wouldn’t suggest quitting your job right away to start your own business.
Keep your 9-5 and work on your business on the side. As your business grows and can replace your income, that’s when you might want to consider going full force into your side business.
I know the 9-5 grind gets a lot of bad rap. But for many, it provides a stable source of income with healthcare, 401k matching, and other benefits. It’s worth it to keep it if you can.
I have been longing to have a business of my own for years. For me, it’s not just about the money or becoming famous. I want to be able to create and grow something of my own that also provides value to others.
I have been building Frugal Asian Finance for almost four years now, and I do think it’s time for me to take my blog more seriously while staying true to my values and my audience.
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