I’ve seen a lot of people and small businesses dump their blogs because they can’t afford to maintain them during the current state of the world. But, I’m on the side of never giving up. Even the smallest blogs can survive a recession if correctly planned.
I’m talking about self-hosted blogs in this instance. Because, well, that’s what I have experience in. This is when you pay a web hosting company like GreenGeeks and install WordPress on the account.
*Yes, that is an affiliate link to GreenGeeks and I earn a commission. It’s a shameless promotion, but I really do trust their service.
And I understand the need to cut expenses when the money is tight. But before you make any drastic changes, let me explain how my sites survive recessions, including the one in 2008.
Keep in mind that none of them ever go higher than 200 visits per day. At least, not yet.
How My Websites Survive Recessions
When I build a website, or even a business for that matter, it pays for itself. I’ll invest a small amount of my money to get it started, but then I work to make sure it can pull its own weight.
After all, if you have to keep dumping personal money into a business year after year, it’s a failing venture. A business needs to be its own entity and pay its own bills.
A website is really no different.
Most of the money generated from my blogs is through Adsense. And the traffic and audience I bring in every year is enough to pay roughly three times what I spend total in hosting.
Now, I do plan on expanding how the sites can generate income. But the fact remains that my small blogs make enough to pay for themselves while letting me put a bit into charities as well as buy new plugins and recording equipment.
The bottom line is my websites pay for themselves.
The money, for the most part, has all been through income generated from those sites or businesses. And bear in mind that I don’t put a lot of effort into several of them when it comes to content.
Now, I know there are a lot of people who’ll pay for their blogs because they simply like to write and share online. If you can afford to do so, then you’re probably not reading this post.
How a Small Blog Can Survive a Recession
So, I cannot guarantee that you’ll have the same experience as me. Too many variables come into play when trying to gauge a site’s success. Which is one thing that drives me nuts about so-called “experts” on YouTube.
Averages are just that…averages. Not every site will go viral no matter how much work is put into the development. Niche, content topics, marketing methods, writing style and more weigh into a blog’s success.
However, here are a few key points in how you can increase the chances of a blog making it through tough world situations.
A recession means fewer people are spending money because they don’t have it to spend. But, there are still people who make a living and will still shop. Not to mention how some methods of monetizing rely simply on a click of the mouse.
For example, Google Adsense pays you when someone clicks an advertisement. The person doesn’t even have to buy anything, and you’ll still get paid. Though, it’s usually in cents-per-click.
Find ways to monetize that is effective for your blog. Affiliate links, ad serving networks, print-on-demand services…most of these methods are free to sign up.
You could even add and link a Teespring account and sell your drawings or quotes on shirts or iPhone covers. In fact, this is something I plan on adding in the near future.
Continued Effort in Growth to Survive Recession
It takes quite a bit of effort to ensure the blog is constantly growing and adapting to the digital world. However, the payoff can be rewarding if you maintain the effort.
For the most part, this involves making sure you have a regular flow of content. Effort dictates success; and if you put in a half-assed effort, you can expect a half-assed result.
For a small blog to survive a recession, you need to put time into caring and maintaining its presence online.
Use Free Methods to Market the Blog
If you need a boost in traffic, there are a number of ways you can do so without spending a single dime. The only thing you’ll use up is time, which many of us have an abundance of at the moment.
For example, the traffic to this blog has increased by 166.67% in the last two weeks because I’ve been writing every morning and sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Of course, this is the difference between 27 and 72 visitors.
The point is the Internet is full of methods to market your small blog for free. And many of them are very effective depending on your audience. In fact, WriterSanctuary gets quite a bit of traffic from its YouTube channel.
Why Keep Your Site Online?
Everyone has reasons as to why they should shut down the blog in light of current events. I don’t blame anyone for wanting to pull the plug.
However, you may want to consider the following before you cancel your web hosting…
Survive a Recession by Keeping Your Audience
What happens to the people who love to read your content or rely on informative posts? They’ll go somewhere else for the information. Unfortunately, you’ll find it quite difficult to get that audience back.
Many people will feel abandoned by you and lose faith that you’ll stick around. This is also true if you don’t create regular content, something I am guilty of myself.
Losing Time and Effort
Consider the amount of time and effort you put into your blog. How many hours have you spent trying to get that perfect look or create that awesome post?
A lot of people who shut down their site don’t take into consideration the sheer amount of content they’ll delete. All of that work can be gone with a simple click of the mouse.
So, if you do plan on closing the site down, at least make a backup so you don’t have to start completely from scratch.
Losing the Domain Name
What if you have that perfect domain name for yourself? Are you sure it’ll be around once the recession is over? It’s doubtful. Mostly because of how domain vultures work.
Some individuals will actively wait for certain names to become available and snatch them up immediately. Then, they can essentially hold it ransom until you pay far more than what it would cost in a year.
We’re talking thousands of dollars to get a domain that would have cost you $15 this year to keep.
I’ve actually seen this process at work. A client of mine forgot to pay his domain and a third-party snatched it up almost instantly. It took a lot of money and effort to get it back.
Comparing Expense vs Income
To properly survive a recession, it comes down to expense versus income. How much does it cost you to maintain the blog against what you spend on it each year?
For most annual self-hosted plans, it should cost less than $150. This is the web hosting and domain name registration total. Now, I pay a bit more because I have an unlimited domain plan with GreenGeeks and have five or six sites on my account.
Still, if you can average about $0.38 per day through ad marketing or affiliates, the blog will pay for itself. This is less than what many people will pay for a coffee at 7-11 every morning before work.
And what if your small blog actually makes you an extra $20 per year after it paid for itself? Yes, that’s only $20. But it’s money you didn’t have before.
Will Your Website Survive a Recession?
All I’m saying is that you don’t want to do anything too hasty when it comes to your blog. If it’s not paying for itself and you clearly do not see how it could, then, by all means, take it down.
Not every blog is able to survive a recession without the owner paying out of pocket. Mine do simply because I make them pay for their own hosting and domain names.
But, what if next week you wrote a post that started the ball rolling for making money? Of course, this is a gamble.
In the end, you might hit that perfect post that vastly increases the amount of traffic your site receives. And this could lead to an increase in revenue.