fulltime blogging

Tools I Use To Run My Blogs.

When it comes to buying things, I am the opposite person of what I used to be 10 years  ago, an impulsive buyer.

As I aged, I became an “ala carte” person, LOL. That means, as much as possible, I only get what I need. It reminds me of one of my eldest sisters who would always say, 

“Do I need this? If yes, buy it. If not, wait until you can afford it.”

In running my blogs, I try to keep my cost low. When I was just starting out, I was a one-man show. I had to work 8 to 10 hours everyday, for 6 months to 1 year, as if it was my full time job - learning (Amazon) affiliate marketing from scratch, writing contents, promoting them, then repeat.

Nowadays, I already know the process, but I still make time to learn something new everyday (learning doesn't stop).

I had a writer/VA for two years who helped me produce 3 articles a week. Creating a course is something I cannot outsource so I had to ask her to pause content creation. Covid19 pandemic also drastically reduced our offline income, so there is a need to do some cost-cutting.

Before I enumerate the cost of running my blogs, I would like to be completely transparent. I am affiliated with these products (I’ll put an asterisk so you’ll know). This means that I would earn a “reward” or a commission from these companies should you decide to purchase their products or avail of their services. I urge you not to spend money on any of them, unless you need or afford them.

Wealthy Affiliate is an all-in-one platform: Training, hosting, keyword research tool, side income (get paid for creating trainings), etc. 

I have been a Premium member since 2015. There is a next-level of membership, the Premium Plus, which launched last November 2, 2020. Upon comparing WA to other similar platforms, I have justified to myself that staying is still the most cost effective  decision.

The ASA2 plugin generates more than 50% of my Amazon affiliate marketing income. This is not for beginners, though. You need to be accepted to the Amazon Associates program first before you can have  access to Amazon's API (and can therefore use the ASA2).

Normal price for license for 1 website is $59 per year. Renewable at 30% discount.

I renew every Black Friday sale (end of November) for $47, for all 5 licenses per year, making it just around $9 per license.

It's free to join.

This is what I use to receive my monthly income from Amazon US, Amazon Canada, and Amazon UK. You can do bank transfers and they also have a prepaid debit card that they can send to you for free. I tried both but bank transfers can be anywhere from 1 hour to 3 days. Swiping your debit card is also possible, subject to the current exchange rate.

Nowadays, I link my Payoneer to my Gcash account (Philippines), and I can withdraw in realtime from Payoneer to Gcash. 

Mailchimp is free for up to 2,000 contacts (with 1 automation). Depending on your niche, you may not need to start building your list when you are just starting out.

I am currently using the Free plan.

When starting out (just collecting e-mails), a free plan is already good enough.

I have decided to delay my e-mail marketing campaigns until I finish all the courses I want to make.

Now, below are the platforms I decided to use, but are not necessarily needed when you are just starting out. I’d like to think of them as “investments” since they make my life easier. I usually have a "shopping" list of what I want to avail next, should I find it a "need" instead of just a "want."

Remember when I said I am now an "ala carte" person? LOL. The next two tools I use are purchased one-time, but come with free unlimited future updates.

Thrive Themes is a membership platform, but you can also buy their products ala carte. Since I like to keep my cost low, I am not a member.

I currently use two of their products - the Thrive Architect and the Thrive Themes Builder. I only started using some Thrive products when my blogs were already earning.

One-time purchases:

Thrive Architect (1 site license): $67; Thrive Architect (5 licenses upgrade): $30.

Thrive Theme Builder & Shapeshift (1 license): $97.  Thrive Theme Builder & Shapeshift (5 licenses upgrade): $30 

I only buy as I need it and sorry, I'm stingy like that, LOL.

The next platforms are optional. Just bookmark them for future references.

The free plan is already good enough when starting out. You can record a video for 15 minutes straight, and edit/export it for free (and upload it on YouTube). I use a paid version since we also use it for homeschooling videos (we record more than 15 minutes at a time).

It's a motion graphics tool I used for my YouTube AD video promotions. They have a forever free plan (but with a watermark) . I used it one time for one month ($29).

tailwind logo

*No credit card required

It is ideal to use Tailwind when you have enough contents to share endlessly. I only used the paid (yearly) plan when I already have 100 plus blog posts to share since manually sharing them can be time-consuming.

As a busy homemaker (and now homeschooling), I need automate some of my blogging tasks. I need my contents to be promoted endlessly and I cannot possibly manually do that anymore.

I use Tailwind to schedule my content promotions on Pinterest, which is one of my reliable traffic sources.

Belonging to an unlimited number of Tailwind communities, I am able to schedule my pin distributions (several images/pins per blog post), so my contents are endlessly shared to different places in an autopilot mode.

It's not just for free images, graphics and templates. You can do a lot with the free plan!

I use templates for Pinterest and for featured images in my blog posts.

When I started my YouTube channel, I became addicted doing easy motion graphics with Canva. I am a busy mother and I really appreciate how I can output a 30-seconder full motion graphics video in an hour from scratch just using Canva's graphics, animation and audio, too! 

I go Canva Pro one month at a time (around $12). I subscribe when I work on images, I cancel when I don't. My working schedule is based on my subscriptions, lol. Subscribe for 1 month = use for one month. I only want to pay when I use it.

My Recommended Starter Package:

Cost For Running 10 blogs:

$495/year, divided by 365 days = $1.36 per day

Can you think of a business that you can run for $1.36 a day?

I run an Airbnb business, and it certainly costed us a lot before we were able to "launch" it. Maintaining it is definitely not $1.36 a day. Covid19 pandemic caused our Airbnb income to stop. Blogging income continues, pandemic or not.

Bonus: Once you can afford to outsource contents and pay for automation tools using your income from blogging, you don't have to work as much.