How much does it cost to start a blog? It’s not unusual to hear a new blogger’s asking this question. The great thing is that you can start a blog for as little as you want.
Today, I’ll be sharing two different ways to start a blog. Then I’ll also give you an inside look at some of the expenses that I made when I started this blog.
*This page contains affiliate links to products I recommend. If you purchase something from this page, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you
The cool thing is that anyone can start a blog. Let’s take a look at the 2 types of people who start a blog and what they can expect to pay for their blog.
Starting a Hobby Blog
I consider a hobby blogger as someone who is testing the waters to see if they really want to blog or not. They might want to start a blog to journal their daily life.
Maybe they have been wanting to start a blog because they want to share their opinions about a particular subject or subjects. These people have not chosen a niche nor do they have any desire to make money from their blog.
Expenses for The Hobbyist
If you have no intention of making money or turning your blog into a business, I recommend using Blogger or the free version of WordPress.
There’s absolutely no reason to pay for your blog if you only want to start a daily journal.
Later on, if you get the blogging bug and decide to grow your blog and turn it into a profitable venture. Then you can consider investing in web hosting and moving to a self-hosted WordPress blog.
The Professional Blogger
This person is starting their blog with the hopes of making money from it. They have chosen a niche and are willing to write high-quality articles that attract their target audience.
They already know that blogging is a long-term strategy and they are willing to work hard to reach their goals.
Expenses for The Professional
If you are trying to build a business, you should never start on a free platform. I would highly suggest you start on a self-hosted blog right out of the gate.
This will save you a ton of time from having to migrate your site later on. Most people are going to say that the only blogging costs you need are a domain and hosting.
However, if you have never tried to grow a blog, you’re going to be in for a surprise. There’s a lot of work that goes into turning a blog into a profitable business.
One of the biggest things you’re going to struggle with as a new blogger is learning how to get traffic. Every blogger struggles with this at the beginning stages of their blog.
Don’t worry, you’ll learn as you continue working on your blog on a regular basis.
Wise Investments For The Professional Blogger
As a brand new blogger, there are a few expenses that I believe you should make right out of the gate. Of course, if you’re on a budget then the first 3 are the most important.
#1 Domain Name
Before starting your blog, you’re going to have to choose a name for your blog. Once you’ve done that stop by Namecheap and register your domain name. This is where I get all mine.
The cool thing I really like is they offer free privacy for all their domains. (they used to charge for this)
As soon as you buy your domain, you’ll need to research various hosting companies to see where you want your site to live. If you want to save time, I recommend that you just set up your blog on SiteGround.
I have been using SiteGround since this blog was about 3 months old. They are reasonably priced and have awesome customer support. There’s no reason to overpay for hosting as a new blogger.
Try to find a hosting service that has reputable reviews from people who are NOT just trying to get you to buy through their affiliate link and earn a commission. I am a SiteGround affiliate, but as you can see from my SiteGround review, I use the hosting service as well.
Don’t forget to check out my step by step SiteGround WordPress installation tutorial that will take the confusion out of installing your first ever WordPress blog.
The best way to save as much money upfront on your hosting is to pay in advance for 2-3 years. You won’t have to worry about paying for it for 1-3 years. This will give you enough time to grow your blog and hopefully start making some money.
#3 Premium Theme
There are bloggers who say that you do not need to invest in a premium theme right out of the gate. I tend to disagree, a premium theme like the Genesis Framework or Divi will give you a lot more flexibility than a free theme.
There are so many WordPress themes available that you can use, that’s what makes it so challenging to choose the right theme.
Find one that you like and is mobile friendly. Don’t overthink it or spend so much time trying to pick one with all the bells and whistles. Chances are you’ll end up changing your theme as your blog grows.
My blog is almost 2 years old now and I’ve already changed the theme once.
Best Themes for Beginners
If you’ve never worked with WordPress before and have no prior experience working with it, I recommend using one of the more beginner friendly themes like Divi from Elegant Themes.
It’s a drag and drop builder that will make it extremely easy to create an amazing looking blog without a huge learning curve. If you do use it, just remember NOT to use the page builder for your posts.
If I remember correctly, it leaves short codes in your posts that will make it virtually impossible to switch themes later on. (not sure if they fixed this issue or not yet)
#3 Blog Design
It still amazes me when I see so many people in Facebook groups saying that they spent $1000 or more for their blog design. With my first blog and this one, I didn’t spend any money on design. (yes, I know that it’s not that pretty.)
The truth is that if you’re a brand new blogger, you shouldn’t waste any money on your blog design. Instead, focus on writing high quality content on making your first $2000.00 dollars.
Once you are making consistent income, then you can decide if you want to hire someone to customize your blog design. Until then, don’t spend any money on this.
Your money will be a lot better spent if you invest in some type of blogging course that teaches you how to write for both search engines and your readers. This is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
#4 WordPress Plugins
One of the biggest mistakes that I made when I started my very first blog is buying all kinds of plugins. My hard drive had tons of plugins that I thought that I would need.
The truth is that if this your first blog ever, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on plugins. You can start with the basic free plugins and then invest in the ones you need later on down the road.
You don’t want to load your blog with a bunch of plugins that will only slow down your load time. Instead, try to keep your plugin use to around 10-20 plugins. I think right now, I have 22 on this site.
Now I know what you’re thinking, I’m using a lot of plugins. Well, the difference is that I am using a lot of premium plugins that are developed with load speed in mind.
Most new bloggers will head over to the plugin repository and download a bunch of free plugins. The premium version are totally different than just using a free one.
#5 Email Autoresponder
I wasn’t going to put this here as you can start on the building your first 1,000 subscribers for free using Mailerlite. There are a lot of bloggers who swear up and down about ConvertKit, just be prepared to pay for it.
Personally, I chose to start using GetResponse for my autoresponder service. Whether you choose to start using the free MailerLite or using a paid service, you need to start building your email list from day one.
I recommend creating a resource library where people give you their email address to access all the goodies. This seems to work really well, plus you can test out different lead magnets and see which ones convert the best.
Investment in Additional Blogging Courses
Now that you’ve seen the bare minimum of what it takes to start a blog. I thought it would be fun to show you what I spent money on when I started this blog.
It’s a lot more than most people spend. I love buying blogging courses because they help me learn and improve my blog. Although, I have to admit that not all the courses or info products that I spent money on have been worth it.
Not to mention it seems like the cost of getting an online education is becoming more expensive.
First Month Blogging
Every first time blogger should avoid all blogging courses. (yes, I don’t think you should spend any money on courses if you’re brand new)
The reason being is there are so many courses out there, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed. Instead, spend time reading everything you can on sites like Backlinko and The Moz Blog to start learning about SEO.
Join a couple of Facebook Groups to meet other new bloggers and ask questions and get help. (just be careful because not all the information you receive is going to be legit.
Sit down and write content so you can get used to working inside of your WordPress dashboard. Once you’ve gotten your feet wet and are a little more familiar with how blogging works, you can start thinking about some courses if you want to.
Invest in one course at a time and start implementing what you learn. When you’re ready you can move on to the next one. Remember, it takes time to learn how to blog and courses while they will help you accomplish some things.
They are NOT the cure all and do not guarantee that you will have success.
How Much Does It Cost to Start A Blog
As a new blogger, these courses will keep you busy for quite a while. The best part is that you get lifetime access.
If you do buy it though, just make sure that you focus on one specific course first before moving onto another one. I started with the 10k challenge and now I am working on the SEO course.
The course isn’t open every month, so I suggest that you sign up for the FREE 12-Day Blogging Bootcamp email course to get a feel of Paul’s writing. He’s different than most bloggers, but that’s what I really like about him.
Billionaire Blog Club (BBC)
One of the biggest challenges that you’re going to face as a new blogger is increasing your page views. This is what most new bloggers do, they start a blog, then they start writing content.
They have no clue what their audience is looking for or how to find popular blog topics that people love.
BBC changing to (MOMO) will make increasing your page views a lot easier. I reached 11,000 page views after 30 days of joining BBC.
There’s a 10k challenge inside the course that will give you all the steps you need to take. Don’t think that it’s going to be easy. It’s going to take a ton of work, but I have no doubt that you’ll reach 10k in 60 days if you do what he says to do.
Plus you won’t have to worry about buying a bunch of online courses that will add up quickly. Inside of the Billionaire Blog Club, you’ll get access to so many courses, you just work at your own pace.
As of right now, you can no longer join BBC you’ll have to wait for MOMO. I’m not sure what the price will be, but you can sign up for his email list to find out.
Here’s what you’ll have access to:
- Billionaire Pinterest
- Billionaire Blogging SEO
- Board Masterclass
- Billionaire Niche Selection
- Intro to Email Marketing
- Google Analytics
- Content Creation
This is the only online course that has actually helped me grow my blog. I would highly recommend this course to help you cut corners and spend months trying to figure things out on your own.
Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait for MOMO to be released if you want to join.
Elite Blog Academy
This is a very expensive course that teaches you how to turn your blog into a business. I purchased it when this blog was about 3 months old. After failing a few times in the past with several blogs, I wanted to make sure that I was investing in myself.
EBA is a good course if you have absolutely no previous blogging knowledge. It is a very basic course that really doesn’t show you how to actually get started blogging.
Instead, the focus is on teaching you how to find your avatar and build an actual business from your blog. You can read my Elite Blog Academy review to see what I think about it and whether it’s the right course for you.
When I started this blog I had no clue what Pinterest was or how to get started. Instead of trying to figure things out on my own, I purchased the Pinning Perfect course which helped me set everything up correctly.
The cool thing is that this course is continually updated and I get lifetime access to all the updates for free. They have gone up in price since I’ve purchased it but I found this course extremely helpful.
This ebook helped me when I went was manually pinning my pins. Now I use Tailwind to help me automate my Pinterest strategy. I still do a little bit of manual pinning but nowhere near as much as I used to.
This was another Pinterest course that taught me a lot of advanced secrets that I would’ve never known. It was extremely informative and helped me learn quite a bit about the social media platform.
You don’t want to get this course if your Pinterest account isn’t at least 8 months old.
Genious Bloggers Toolkit
Consists of a huge collection of online courses and info products that you can use to help you grow your blog. It goes on sale once or twice per year and I have purchased two of them.
For $97 you get access to over a $1,000 worth of blogging courses. It’s been totally worth it and I’ve always managed to pick up some nuggets when actually taking the time to follow a course.
I think the Genius Blogger Bundles come out in the fall. If you do pick it up, I recommend signing up as an affiliate. As an affiliate you’ll be able to buy the bundles at a discount.
Which Ones Would I Recommend?
As you can see, I easily spent over $1500 on info products and online courses. That’s a lot of money, considering that it takes a blogger awhile before their blog actually makes money.
Related: How Much Money Can You Make Blogging
I don’t regret investing in my blogging education. But I can say that since purchasing the BBC course, I don’t plan on buying anything else.
I’ve already purchased everything I need to help me become successful. Now it’s just time to start working and taking action to grow my blog.
Social Media Tools
You’re probably going to be tempted to do manual pinning because you don’t want to pay for Tailwind. (which approved by the Pinterest API)
It’s definitely possible to start out pinning manually. I tried it and it worked for awhile, but it became extremely difficult to continue doing it manually while trying to focus on other areas of my blog.
That’s why I recommend you start using Tailwind as soon as you have enough pins to start rotating through the platform on a regular basis.
Avoid The Shiny Object Syndrome
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with investing in your online education. After all, if you wanted to be a doctor or lawyer you would have to invest in your education.
Blogging is no different if you want to succeed you need to be willing to invest. Just remember whenever you buy a course or product, make sure that you’re actually taking action on the course.
Don’t just buy anything and everything because you think that it’s going to help you build a successful blog. Unfortunately, no course or product is going to help you make money from your blog.
Sure it will give you a roadmap of what the creator did. But just because they tell you what worked for them doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to work for you.
You’re going to have to test and tweak things until you get the results you want.
Don’t Be Afraid to Spend Money
On the other end, don’t be scared to spend money. Yes, you can do a lot of things for free and there’s a ton of free blogging information available online.
If you’re serious about building an online business, it’s going to cost you money. Especially, if you don’t want to spend hours trying to find all the free information you need.
Savvy entrepreneurs understand that in order to build a business, they are going to have invested in themselves. Most people who start a blog don’t have a clue how blogging works.
Yes, you know that you need to write content on a regular basis. But you probably don’t understand how to make money with your blog or how to turn a blog into a business.
There’s a lot more to creating a successful blog than just writing blog posts. The sooner you learn what it actually takes, the sooner you will be able to create a full time income from your blog.
Final Take Away
Starting a blog is not as expensive as starting a brick and mortar business. If you do start a blog, make sure that you give yourself 3-5 years to start making money.
I’m not saying that it will take you that long to actually start seeing a profit. But many new bloggers think that if they start their blog today, they should start seeing profits in a week or so.
Blogging is a long-term business and anyone who tells you that success happens overnight is trying to sell you something. Every blogger will have different costs involved with running a blog.
Don’t feel like you can’t start a blog if you don’t have the money to invest in anything to start your blog. Some people have started a blog on a free platform and once their blog was getting traffic and making money, they moved it to a self hosted blog.
The important thing is to start your blog today if you want to change your future. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself if you don’t have a lot of money to invest.
You can still start a blog on a budget and re-invest your money back into your blog as it grows.
It may take you longer to reach your blogging goals, but you still can with the right persistence and efforts.
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Congrats on making the decision to start your own blog. You’ve made the decision to work hard to take control of your financial future. Just know that it isn’t going to happen overnight.