WHAT I DO most of the time with my smartphone, other than occasional checking of emails about sponsored posts and partnerships, is hobby blogging. Yes, it’s generally called, and I call it hobby blogging.
With my SG A50, I would just lay down on the sofa and type on Samsung Notes whatever pops into my head, whatever falls within the confines of business and personal finance, and whatever sounds interesting and worth sharing.
I see myself improving a lot. I can now finish one full blog post in just an hour and after another hour, get back to it for proofreading and uploading.
Since a few months ago, I’ve been into making just short blog posts, say less than 500 words each, because readers hate (although Google loves) longer ones. Like me, most people skip this and that and simply scroll down the pages for the takeaways. But this goes against that. It goes three times longer.
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As the post title says, I am supposed to share how I’ve been earning a humble passive income with this hobby blogging. That FIVE DOLLARS up there is currently my daily Google AdSense earnings. Now, let’s cut this intro short and jump into something more serious and more interesting.
I was a college freshman then when I first dreamed of launching my own website. Simple as it was, but I got no personal computer so I would frequent the internet café just across the campus to learn as much as I could about the internet.
Soon I discovered Blogger and wasted no time creating my first free hosted blog. I named it SyndicaEduc (with that annoying tail blogspot [dot] com). Someone else took the same name after I deleted the account.
I was always excited back then visiting the café twice a week, if not more often, just to upload and share my school essays and other academic notes online. Read also 5 Profitable Blog Niches (Topics) for Filipino Bloggers.
But learning more and more about the internet and blogging, particularly about domains, simply brought me doubts and discouragements. I lost interest.
I didn’t have the financial capacity to purchase my own domain, nor even avail a credit card (as debit cards were not yet VISA nor MasterCard-powered then).
In short, I didn’t have the means. I was slapped with the cold truth that at the end of the day, still I couldn’t call it mine. It’d always be Blogger’s.
So I shifted to WordPress. I expected the same case, but at least their domain purchase feature was more convenient. Soon I got my first MasterCard debit card, I grabbed right away the opportunity to own a fully customized domain name. It was MarcoandKenneth (with the dotcom).
Unfortunately, I had the site for only a year or until the domain expired. Things got sour again when I further realized that still I couldn’t monetize my content after the same case of free hosting. At least it was all clear. What I needed was a web hosting service. Read also PayMaya: Web Hosting and Facebook Campaign Payment Solution.
It took me more years, say two or three, before I finally launched my self-hosted blog, the website I really dreamed of in the first place. It was in January 2017 when I started publishing on i-Millennial [dot] com via SiteGround servers. Read also Paano Gumawa ng Sariling Blog (Self-Hosted Blog)?
I started serious blogging.
Years passed, and just last March I rebranded this blog to signedMARCO [dot] com. And although the former domain made me a little fortune, I have seen better earnings since the rebranding. Read also Whys and Hows of Changing My Website Domain Name.
It’s what I consider another hobby blogging milestone.
Google AdSense and Other Earnings
All my Google AdSense applications back in time with free Blogger and WordPress hosting were futile, fruitless. I earned no single centavo, but the experience helped me understand better how I should enter the blogosphere through the right door. Read also How Filipino Bloggers Make Dollars Online.
In February 2017 or a month after I launched my self-hosted blog, I applied for Google AdSense publisher account and started earning dollars by March. As per the records I keep, I earned $15.27 (around PHP800) within the first month.
It was an extremely slow yet promising means of earning while hobby blogging. Sorry, but I got enough patience. Read also Can I Blog in Tagalog (Filipino) for Google AdSense Monetization?
In November 2017, I received my first Google AdSense payout of $102.04 (around PHP5,000) for seven months of content and link ad placements. Several factors influenced this – the gradual increase in traffic since the launch, the one-month account suspension in July, and my commitment to improving user experience, hence limited yet strategic placement of these ads. Read also iMillennial Publishers’ 2017 Year-End Report.
In 2018, I had four more payouts, and all in all (including paid sponsored articles) I earned around $1,000 (around PHP50,000.00). It was also in the same year that I launched another website, AcadShare [dot] com, an online resource of teacher and student learning materials. Read also Towards Millennials’ Sustainable Blogging Ecosystem.
Last year, I got busy with my teaching schedules, and I just couldn’t find time to write blogs. It was a big shame that almost all articles I published for six months straight or more were sponsored ones.
I observed a little drop in my Google AdSense earnings, but paid sponsorships saved it. I still recorded almost the same earnings as the previous year, or $880 (around PHP44,000).
So far, the highest single Google AdSense payout I had in my records was $367.02 (around PHP19,000). That was in April last year.
Finally, I got enough cash to buy a new smartphone. It wasn’t a splurge because still I’ve been using the phone for that purpose of making passive income. Read also How to Receive Google AdSense Payments by Bank Transfer (Philippines).
Since the start of the current year, I have had a book entry of $300 (around PHP15,000.00). I should say that such was affected by the rebranding I had and the number of blogs I wrote myself.
The coronavirus pandemic however has given me such a luxury of time to keep on writing and writing. Since the last two months, I have been producing daily articles. Read also How to Resubmit Website to Google AdSense After Domain Change.
Best Practices for Monetizing Blogs
I’ve gone this far with my hobby blogging. If you’ve been reading my articles, then you probably have come across how I got a Google AdSense account suspension for thirty days due to an alleged self-clicking on ads. Read also Google AdSense Account Suspension: Self-Clicking on Ads.
As much as I want to boost my Google AdSense earnings, I don’t want to compromise user experience. I hate obtrusive ads whenever I visit sites, and I know it’s the same that most readers feel.
With this, I make sure that all ads look great across different gadgets and do not cause annoyance and inconvenience on the part of the readers. All ads as much as possible should be native and in-article. Read also What Makes Blogging Still Worth It (Just Another Biased Contrast).
Aside from these ad placement standards that I maintain, I also ensure that all sponsored articles, even affiliate links, add value to the entirety of the blog.
At times, I decline offers such as affiliate links to gambling sites and others that go against the niche and my publishing principles. Read also 9 Silent Moves to Attract More Blog Sponsors and Advertisers.
In the end, all best practices and strategies for monetizing blogs boil down to creating quality content that respond to the needs and wants of the readers, maintaining high publication standards, and doing things just consistently.
Blogging does not require a degree in Information Technology (IT) nor a techie team to make money online. Many bloggers start with a simple self-hosted WordPress blog with quality content and regular audience traffic that later becomes a source of numerous income opportunities.
If you have just started with a personal blog, then I suggest you do a lot of research about improving audience traffic, writing quality articles, and monetizing content. You can always start it here. If you’re still looking for a reliable web host, I highly recommend SiteGround (click and register through the link to get discounts).