Thrifty Hustler has been online for more than two years now and as days go by, I’m starting to see this blog as an investment.
Technically, investment means, the process of putting money on something for a profit. When I started this blog, I didn’t create this blog mainly for profit, but rather, as a stepping stone for me to learn and improve my knowledge of personal finance.
However, as days go by, I’m starting to ask myself, have I stumbled upon a possible investment? Is blog an investment?
Photo by Jac Alexandru on Unsplash
A Quick Thrifty Hustler Blog History
For as long as I can remember, I’m aware that I suck at saving money. When I created this blog, my main source of income is my online selling gig which was doing really well (pre-pandemic).
And even if the business was doing really well, I wasn’t able to save any money at all. It had been the story of my life for the longest time. I have been earning and spending it all, and the cycle doesn’t seem to end.
I do have an awareness of my situation. But, every time I have some money saved, for some reason, I will find something that I can justify to myself that is worth buying.
And the cycle continuously repeats itself.
I’m also aware that I don’t want to be in the rat race for the rest of my life and I should do something about it. I just know that it’s simply not for me after experiencing what it’s been like for a decade.
I’ve been reading personal finance blogs as well for the longest time, and usually, I’d apply what I’ve learned this month (with excitement) and afterward, I’d often forget about what I’ve learned and go back to where I was.
I was like having amnesia every now and then about saving money.
So I figured, I need to do something that will serve as a constant reminder of what I want to achieve in my life – which is financial independence. This thing that I need to do should also be something that is enjoyable for me and at the same time interesting, otherwise, I won’t be able to sustain doing it.
Since I love to write, I started writing journals. But to be honest, I don’t like writing on paper. Since I didn’t enjoy doing it, it naturally stopped.
And then I figured, what if I write an online blog so I can access it anywhere and anytime (unlike a notebook). I also thought that I can use this as a platform to interact with the writers/bloggers of the blogs that I read.
I also believe in learning by doing, so I thought, perhaps if I write about the things that I want to learn, I will be better and more knowledgeable about those things (e.g. personal finance).
Fast forward to today, it has been more than two years since I started this blog and I’m quite surprised with what the journey has been like.
There were of course a lot of inactivities, especially in my first year. I was blogging on and off and had a total of 11 inactive months since I started Thrifty Hustler (Yup! Eleven months of totally not updating the blog).
Fortunately, the articles were indexed by Google and did well in the SERP and the traffic was continuously growing (though it’s kinda struggling in the SERP now).
How Much Money Did I Invest In My Blog
If we’re going to talk about the financial investment, then this blog costs me around $13+/year for the domain and $81.79 for four years of hosting service with Hostinger.
This blog is kinda barebones if you will, even up until now. I’m using a lot of free services that are available to me, some of those free services include:
- Unsplash – For the pictures
- Canva – For making graphics
- Free WP Plugins
- Mailchimp – For Email Subscription
I don’t see any reason to upgrade yet for the paid services since I’m still within the threshold of the free services. Mailchimp for example is free until you get 2000 subscribers. If you go beyond that, then you will have to pay a monthly fee.
The Biggest Investment I Have Given This Blog
The biggest investment that I have given this blog is of course my time.
If you have been reading my blogging-related posts, you’ll get an idea of how slow I write. English is not my first language, but it’s considered though as our second language in my country.
Even if we use English at school and at work, it’s not the same compared to using your native language.
Expressing yourself and your thoughts (especially personal thoughts) in another language is not the same as expressing yourself in your own language.
Nevertheless, I’m aware that this blog can reach a bigger audience if I use the English language.
Having said that, I probably spend on average, 3 -4 hours to write, edit, create graphics, etc for a single article.
This does not include the time I spend learning and tweaking my blog’s HTML code/design (which I enjoy a lot).
This also does not include the time I spend reading and watching Youtube videos about writing, SEO, and other blogging stuff.
But the time I spend on my blog is my idle time. It’s the time that I would’ve spent on online selling if the business has not been that slow nowadays.
I have mentioned earlier that I’m an online seller of second-hand goods but ever since the pandemic started, sales have been very slow and I found myself with a lot of idle time in my hands.
So basically, I’m utilizing something that has been freely available to me all this time.
If I’m not blogging, I would probably be spending my time watching Netflix and some random Youtube videos. Actually, I also spend a lot of time watching Netflix, but as of this time, I think I’ve seen almost all zombie, and apocalyptic movies available in the app.
What This Blog Has Given Me
This blog only started earning ‘decently’ when I moved to Ezoic last February 2021. Prior to that move, it’s just earning cents from Adsense and I have not even reached the payout threshold for Adsense.
I’ve read in some forums that some people do better with Adsense than in Ezoic, I guess it depends on what the nature of your blog is.
In my experience, Adsense usually pays per click and sometimes per page impression, while Ezoic pays page impression. If your blog is highly commercial in content, then it would probably do well with the pay-per-click type of ads.
The earning is really not that big that’s why I have not decided to write about it yet. But it does cover the blog expense for sure and a little bit more.
But the biggest thing that this blog has given me is the confidence and the knowledge to earn money online.
It gave me a first-hand experience that earning online is indeed possible.
Sometimes, even if you’ve read about it countless times, you really don’t get the conviction until you experience it yourself.
Another thing that it has given me is – I am able to utilize my idle time.
Perhaps I innately learned it from my online selling gig. Since I sell second-hand items online, I also sell almost all personal items that are not being used at home.
And with blogging, I was able to convert my idle time into articles that continuously grow in traffic as days go by. I am also able to convert my idle time into learning online stuff such as SEO, etc.
Having said that, I think I’m now more comfortable starting a new online project that is built to be fully monetized. I actually have started the groundwork for a new project and it’ll be my main priority in the next few months.
So, Is Blog an Investment?
My answer is an astounding YES!
Yes because of multiple reasons:
- Blogs have the potential to earn a liveable income especially if done right (e.g. SEO optimized).
- One blog can have multiple sources of income. You can put display ads, accept sponsored posts, do sponsored reviews, put affiliate links, promote products and services, etc.
- A blog can open doors of opportunities. I mentioned in my blog before that I was hired to write for a small business even if I wasn’t applying (they just found my blog on Google). It’s a short-term gig but nevertheless, it wouldn’t have happened if not because of this blog.
- If you do your due diligence and if you spend ample time learning and growing a blog then the knowledge that you will be able to build can be used to replicate the success you will have on your first blog.
- Even personal blogs with no specific niche can earn money as long as it has a decent amount of traffic.
It can also be a big NO.
A blog is not and will not be an investment if you will not help it grow. As simple as that.
Nowadays, almost every online platform can potentially be an investment for anyone (anywhere) if done right.
Even Twitter and Instagram accounts can potentially be gateways that can help you earn money.
Thrifty Hustler is not a fully monetized blog and I also don’t see it being fully monetized in the near future. I really like to keep it as it is, at least for now.
If you have been following my blog for some time, you’ll notice that I write almost about anything within my chosen topics and not all of them are keywords-based. I still like writing articles that I feel have value to the audience that this blog has built, even if I know that these kinds of articles will not do that well on SERPs.
I just like to keep this as it is I guess, at least for the time being.
But it did open the door and provided me a platform to learn how blog monetization works. Having said that, I’m currently working on an experimental project that is built solely to be monetized and I’m really excited about it.
If you’re thinking of starting a blog, regardless of your reason, I suggest that you go for it.
Even if you’re not confident yet on how it will fare, just go for it. One of the best ways to learn something is to actually do it. 🙂Is Blog an investment? Click To Tweet
How about you? Do you think your blog is one of your investments? Why or why not?
Jerico Saquing says
Love this so much! Thanks for sharing 🙂 As a finance blogger for two years now, I’ve also learned a lot from blogging. I also consider my blogs as an investment now rather than just a hobby.
By the way, I’m a freelance writer full-time and a part time blogger so in a way, I can relate to you. I’ve also recently switched to Ezoic from Adsense and my earnings have doubled.
I love reading posts like these because there’s so much personality and honest opinions here! Thanks!
Thrifty Hustler says
Thanks Jerico for your comment and kind words.