How to fund your new blog

I started my blog series by introducing you to some essential points one has to consider to start a successful blog.
The response from my peers and my loyal readers have been fantastic; it has been very resourceful for both the professional bloggers and the wannabes as gathered from the comments, and feedback received so far.
This week, I  am sharing light on a subject that I am passionate about personally.
There is a saying and I quote “Like begets like” (‘anything/anybody/ will father a similar offspring’) is a somewhat archaic saying meaning that children will always resemble their parents.
This principle applies to every aspect of life, and business is not an exception. You cannot sow maize and expect to reap cocoa. If you diligently invest money, you will definitely enjoy its fruits.
To maximise your earning potentials, you will need to invest diligently. If you are not ready to do this, please find something else to do with your time and other resources.
The blogosphere in Ghana is currently very competitive: bloggers put their best foot forward to remain relevant, and this has caused many to invest more in their blogs/websites hitherto.
The struggle for traffic has intensified over the past three years in this tumultuous era of blogging; however, one’s chances of staying on top are guaranteed.
Before you make up your mind to create a blog, be prepared to spend money on awareness creation if you want to make an impact. This is a fundamental truth you must align yourself with from the word go!

blog fund
Photo credit: Conphys Pictionary 0548900560

Blogging is not by force but if you want to do it, then, be diligent about it.
Special thanks to the following people whose contributions made this post possible. Their comments indeed have enriched this post, and in no particular order, my special gratitude goes to Martin GraceMade Faith of Black Tour Africa, Nana Yaw Asare of xbitgh.com, Ekow Threesixty of  Cape360gh.com  and Enam Kumi of accraconnect.com.
There are two kinds of bloggers in this world; We have those who just blog for fun and those who blog to either create a brand or make money.
I know you fall within one of these categories.
This article is not for you if you blog for fun unless you want to spend money to run your blog professionally.
While concluding my post on how to start a successful blog, I stated — Focus, Passion, and Money is what you need to get things started well.
These three (3) are very important, but when you don’t have the money to refuel your focus and passion, things may not be so easy for you, and the chances of you getting frustrated are high.
You should understand by now blogging is business, and just like every other business, you need a starting capital.

Why do I need a capital to fund my blog?

You need this capital to get you:

  1. To setup the blog technically: buying your domain name, hosting account, theme and any particular plugin or service your blog needs.
  2. To keep you visible – marketing.
  3. To build a brand; organisation and people respect brands that look good.

You need to see blogging as a long-term investment.
After successfully setting up your blog your next big challenge is how to keep it running. This involves awareness creation and constantly keeping your audience updated on what you do.
This can only be implemented by having a good marketing plan in place.
This post is not about how you should market. I am only focusing on how to raise money to make sure your marketing campaign does not see its untimely demise.
Tip: When you commit to online marketing, it is terrible at any given time to stop. I will recommend to cut down your budget rather than ending the campaign entirely. If you end a campaign, you will instantly see a decline in your visitor stats especially when your blog is new and has not really gotten the attention it deserves from your audience.
Most wannabe bloggers are likely unemployed and probably students. This should not limit how creative your mind can be. You need to put on a business mogul personality. You have to start thinking outside the box if you really want to run your blog as a business.
Most successful blogs that you are inspired by did not reach their current status overnight. They were built on sacrifice and consistency. Some names that come to mind are www.ameyawdebrah.com, www.ghanacelebrities.com, www.ghbase.com, www.bigxgh.com, just to list a few.
I did not struggle to raise money to start my blog.
Your story may be different, so you have to take what I am to share with you very seriously.
At the time of this writing, I work and school at the same time but these responsibilities and others do not limit me. Never have an excuse!
After reading and knowing what I had to do to start a blog, I began thinking of how to raise money to sustain this business I wanted to venture.
I had personally wanted to open a business, but my busy lifestyle never gave me a chance. I jumped at the opportunity to start blogging as a business because I knew I could run this no matter my location in the world; all I will need is a computer with an internet connection.
This was one of my motivating factors.
Tip: Have a motivating factor that can compel you when things get tough
You will gather that from day one I was so business-oriented about this activity, and you will agree no one runs a business to lose.  I was not sure of making any gain for the first three (3) to six (6) months and was focused on a 2- year plan for a super-high-fly gain because it took my friends at ghbase.com a similar period to finally start cashing huge and making an impact in Ghana.

So, the big question is …

How are you going to fund your blog till you start getting paid either from direct ads or any other form of content adverts?
After a lot thinking and writing, I came up with these ideas I am about to share with you.
I have personally used them, and it worked for me; If you can apply them to your situation, you may find some relief in running your blogging business.
Idea #1 Do you have any savings?
Before you consider going for a loan which is a no go area for me, why not check what you have in your savings account. I am not even sure anyone or a bank will be willing to give you a loan to blog.
If you consider what you about to do as a business and hope to have some returns on this investment, you should have no problem using 100% or 50% of your savings as startup capital. Depending on your starting capital, your savings can either be part or the full startup capital.
Your startup capital should be able to cater for your initial expenses such as paying for your domain name, web hosting space, development of your website (if you don’t have the expertise), some initial graphic work for your social media accounts, and if possible your first-month marketing budget.
Idea #2 must be considered if #1 is not sufficient to get you started.
Many of the renowned bloggers you know today, started blogging relying on their savings. It was pretty hard for them but if they have been able to make it; so can you.
Don’t try to be a special case of failure! You have no excuse now!

Idea #2 Look at your income or allowance

In my case, my savings was more than enough to kick start things for me. What I needed was money to keep my marketing campaigns running every month consistently.
I am not a full-time student, so I am not on any allowance scheme from my parents. I had to focus on my salary since I was working. Honestly, I had a lot of activities already feeding on my salary yet I was determined to save a little to support my blog, and I had in mind that it will not always be like this; It will get better.
If you are not able to convince yourself when you need to invest money into your blog, you will find it extremely hard to sacrifice.
Always remember, nothing good comes easy!
Before you can reap, you need to sow. If you want to reap well, then you have to sow well.
To be able to sustain this, you will need to reconsider your current lifestyle.
I had to stop eating pizza on some Tuesdays, spreading people unnecessarily, not going to watch movies at Silverbird Cinemas, reduce my rate of chartering Taxis’, ended some unnecessary calls and activities to make room for this new adjustment to my monthly spending budget.
You can apply this concept to your school allowance or national service allowance.
Stop wasting money on useless activities!
When I started blogging, I became very conscious of money, especially how I was spending. I saw every GHS 5 cedis note as a dollar and what that can help me achieve if that was part of my marketing budget. This was the reason I stopped given some people tips especially when I know the person does not deserve it.
For example, a friend who has not liked my Facebook page should not even get anything from me. Since you can’t contribute to my success online, why then should I spend on you? I would rather keep it to support people who are willing to help build my brand.

Idea #3 What can you offer

I wanted to spend big on my online campaigns.
I knew my savings from my salary couldn’t afford that so I had to come up with plan B.
My “plan B” led to what I call recycling.
Recycling was going to be hard for me because I was already working.
Recycling has to do with identifying your skills and talent and using it to provide services for people for money in return.
My background in IT gave me room to explore a lot of opportunities. I started designing websites, running online ads, and other consultancy services. I was recycling between 30% and 40% of my earnings into the blog.
Your blog essentially will be based on your passion, turn that passion into a profession and make some cash.  If you want to blog on photography, then you must be a photographer to maximise your blogging potentials. You can use your blog as a tool to market yourself and also to build a brand. In case you need help in handling a camera. You should consider reading this: Photography – What do I need to start?
This is just one case I have cited; there is so much you can do. Sit and think.
You can identify one area you are good in and try offering services at a fee. Start small, and it will grow.
Every skill is essential, in case you still don’t know what to do. Get in touch

Idea #4 Try Affiliate marketing

I will expand on this intriguing area as a full post soon. This use to be an area where most bloggers are not passionate about some time back.
Today, things are different, it is growing in popularity and it as an area I believe you can tap at your initial stages of blogging.
Affiliate marketing in its basic form is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.
This can be implemented in so many ways.
Because you are new and small, not everyone will take you seriously.
You can start with shops or companies where you live. Write appealing content around their services or products. Include a form or a link where they either signup for a discount or pay for that service or product through the link you have provided.
The company or individual in return pays you for every referral or sale you make.
This is a classic example of a local-based affiliate marketing. My friend Enam Kumi of accraconnect.com is making money by selling promoting watches. He gets paid for every watch sold using a coupon from his website. Click here to view

 Idea #5 Find a blog partner

Things can be easy for you if you can find someone who willing to share this responsibility with you.
Two heads they say are better than one, and apparently, the power of two aside helping cut down the financial responsibility on you can also be a good help when it comes to content creation.
Take your time and sell your idea to someone who will fully support you.
Remember, it’s a partnership, and things must be very transparent from day one.
If you are not good with working with people, don’t bother trying this.

Conclusion

Nothing in this world will come to you on a silver platter. Life was indeed not designed for things to be easy; there must always be some form of responsible, dedicated engagement for something to happen.
“If you honestly have passion and faith in what you are doing; committing money into it should not be a problem” – John-Bunya Klutse.
You will need a change in lifestyle to be able to maintain a good budget at all times.  You may struggle if you continue to do the old things and still want to invest. If you ever have any questions about how to fund your new blog? Just drop a comment, and I will try to help you out.
Stay blessed, and Jesus loves you!

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