Last updated on November 29th, 2018 at 11:02 am
You’ve heard all the stories about how people have started a blog and changed their lives. Yes so many people struggle because they are not techie or have no clue what it takes to get started. This post is going to help you with your DIY WordPress site so you can start working towards your financial freedom.
*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
Now you’re wondering if you should start with a self-hosted blog or start on a free platform. If you’ve been wondering “how much does it cost to have a self-hosted WordPress blog,” you’re in the right place.
If you’ve been itching to start a new blog but have been holding off because you don’t know how much it’s going to cost, then I’m going to provide you with the bare minimum costs. This is what you’ll need to spend to start your blog.
I’m also going to provide you with some blog costs that you may want to consider if you’re trying to build a business. These costs are not necessary, until your blog starts to grow and you actually have a blog plan in place.
Why You Should Avoid The Free Blog Platforms
Before we dive into the costs of running a self-hosted WordPress blog, let’s get this out of the way right now.
You don’t want to start your blog on a free platform. While you can if you really want to, the truth is that you need to at least be willing to invest in hosting and a domain.
When you’re trying to build your blog on someone else’s platform, you don’t actually own the content. Yes you spend hours and hours writing it, but you don’t own it.
This means that if Google or WordPress.com don’t like your blog because of the content, colors or basically anything at all, they can delete it. If you don’t believe me, read this.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not take the chance of building my blog on someone else’s platform who has all the control over my content.
Especially, when you can get started with a your own WordPress blog for practically nothing.
Related: My SiteGround Review
How to Build a WordPress Site From Scratch?
I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that you won’t run into any technical issues. Learning how to use WordPress comes with a huge learning curve.
For some of us, it takes longer than others. This doesn’t mean that you can’t learn how to use it, it just means that you’re going to need to develop patience and give yourself time to understand it.
The cool thing is that there are tons of WordPress YouTube tutorials that can help you out. Of course, you can also sign up for a WordPress maintenance service like iMark Interactive to help you take care of all those technical things you don’t want to.
Either way, once you start logging into your WordPress blog on a regular basis, you’ll learn the ins and outs of it very quickly.
Whatever you do, don’t let the fact that you don’t know anything at all stop you from moving forward. Everyone who started their blog started without any knowledge whatsoever and tehy didn’t let that stop them from pushing towards their goals.
Bare Minimum Costs Of Running A Self-Hosted WordPress Blog
I know you don’t have a lot of money, that’s why you’re considering starting your blog on a free platform.
After you read what the bare minimum costs of running a WordPress blog are you’re going to be amazed.
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So what are the bare minimum costs?
Domain: When you start your own webblog, you’re going to have to purchase a domain. Domain costs will vary, depending on where you purchase it.
Many new blogger love using GoDaddy for all their domains. I have always purchased my domains from NameCheap.
Tip: If you use Namecheap, to register your domain for more than one year in advance. The more years you add to your domain, the more you’ll save on the frontend. (When I registered my domain, I registered it for 7 years because I knew I wanted to build a business with my blog.)
Web Hosting: Most new WordPress users look for the cheapest hosting available. Remember that saying “You get what you pay for.”
I currently use SiteGround for my blog. I migrated my site from HostGator when I started this one.
I’ve been extremely happy with SiteGround. Not to mention, whenever I need customer support they have been awesome. Another great hosting account is WP Engine. (although they are more expensive)
Tip: If you’re blog is brand new I recommend starting with the GrowBig plan on SiteGround. This plan is suitable for 10,000 monthly visitors to your blog. If you can afford it, pay for more than one year in advance…this will save you even more.
Oh, I forgot to mention that SiteGround offers free SSL Let’s Encrypt for all WordPress blogs.
There you have it, a domain and hosting are the bare minimum costs for running your own website.
Imagine being able to start working towards financial freedom for only $83 your first year. There’s no other business model that I know of that lets you get started this cheaply.
Free Email Autoresponders
You may have heard everyone start your list now. I totally agree, you want to start building a list so you can nurture those readers and build a relationship.
If they trust you and believe that you have their best interests at heart, they’ll love you. Your focus should be to really want to help them with whatever it is they signed up for.
There’s two free email autoresponder services you can start with out the gate. They are MailChimp and Mailerlite.When I started this blog, I was using MailChimp for maybe a week. I am not that familiar with it, but there are tons of YouTube videos that will help you get started with either one.
Today, I am using GetResponse for my autoresponder service.
So don’t feel like you need to pay for any fancy service when you’re starting out. Start with one of the free ones and as soon as you can afford it or you think it’s wise, move to a paid service.
That’s really all you need to start a blog, nothing more and nothing less. You don’t even need to pay for any plugins or themes right out of the gate if you choose not too.
However, they are NOT necessary when you’re first starting out.
Now let’s take a look at what you may want to consider spending on once your blog starts to grow.
Costs You May Want To Consider Later
Running a profitable blog does take money. Don’t let anyone tell you that it doesn’t.
The great thing is that you don’t have to invest in these things right out the gate. You can always add them as your blog starts to grow and makes money. (or you can choose to not add them at all)
The choice is completely up to you, that’s the beauty of owning your virtual property.
Related: How to Start A Blog On SiteGround
Landing Page Builder for Your Blog
As you can see from my home page, I have it setup as a static landing page. I also have a landing page set up on my limited WordPress services page.
I use the Thrive Architect for all the landing pages on my sites. You may have heard of other services such as LeadPages and Click Funnels.
While I am sure they are great products. The truth is that they are too rich for my blood. I don’t like paying monthly fees to run my business. So I am always looking for one-off payments for all the products I use to run my blog.
Email List Builder Plugin
I am still learning how to grow my email list. The Thrive Leads plugin makes it easy for me to add different types of opt-ins to my blog without having to code anything.
You may have seen some of the opt-ins on my blog when it first opened in the browser. I am a huge fan of this plugin and am still learning the ins and outs of using all the features.
Premium Theme For Your Blog
I use and recommend the Genesis Framework. This framework is awesome and I love the fact that it is constantly updated. Not to mention that it makes creating an SEO optimized site extremely easy. I am using the Daily Dish Pro child theme for my blog.
Of course there are other themes that are more beginner friendly such as Beaver Builder and Divi. I use both of these page builders in my WordPress freelance business on a regular basis.
If you’re still on a free theme, that’s cool. You don’t have to spend money on a premium theme right away. Take your time and do your due diligence before you spend money on a theme. The worst thing you can do is spend money on a premium theme only to realize that you don’t like it.
Related: How to Choose A WordPress Theme
If you don’t want to spend a lot of time learning how to use Genesis, then I sugggest Getting started with Divi 3.0. It’s a great beginner theme that will save you on your WordPress design cost by allowing you to build your own site.
Plus a lot of new bloggers start out with it and eventually switch to another theme of their liking. Just remember, if you do start out with it, only use the page builder for your pages.
Otherwise, you’ll have a very hard time changing themes later on down the road.
Don’t Pay Any WordPress Web Design Costs
It still amazes me how many new bloggers shell out thousands to have a customized design. I know you want your blog to look amazing and stand out.
But there will be plenty of time later on down the road to hire a designer if you want to. At the beginning when you create a new WordPress site, the most important thing to focus on is finding an out of the box theme that looks good.
Make sure it’s responsive and then put your head down and start writing high quality content. As you continue writing content and promoting your posts, you’ll start to get traffic.
With traffic, you will start to make money.
Reinvest that money to keep growing. Once you’re managing to make $100 per day or more, you can then focus on things that make your site pretty.
Social Sharing Plugin
Now there are literally tons of free social sharing plugins available. However, I purchased the WordPress Social Warfare plugin about 2 months after starting my blog. I have to admit, I am biased towards this plugin.
It allows me to create the exact images that I want people sharing on social media sites. I love it so much that I even took the time to create a blog post dedicated to setting up the plugin.
You can use a free social sharing plugin and many people use the SumoMe or Shareaholic plugin. (I don’t know anything about either one) The main thing you want to look for in a social sharing plugin, is that it makes it easy for your visitors to share your content.
As Your Blog Starts Growing More And You Determine It’s Direction
Everyone’s blog is different, the way that you choose to monetize it will depend on what you’re business plan is. Are you wanting to earn money from affiliate marketing, offering services, creating digital products and etc…
You might not really know how you plan on monetizing your blog right now. However, as soon as you do then you can decide what other expenses you’ll need.
For example: if you plan on selling digital products, you’ll need to have a system in place that allows your customers to access the products they buy. When I start creating my own digital products, I’ll probably use something like DAP, since I’ve used it in the past. For my current eBooks, I am using Easy Digital Downloads, which is free to use.
Many people love setting up their online courses using Teachable. I’ve heard a lot of great things about it, I’ve personally never used it though.
Of course only time will tell on what I use to deliver my digital products. Just like you, when that time comes, we’ll have a big decision to make.
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Final Take Away
If you’ve started your blog with the hopes and dreams of turning it into a sustainable business, you shouldn’t start out on a free platform. You’re going to have to invest something.
The great news is that you now know what the bare minimum costs are for running a WordPress blog. It’s no where near as bad as you may have thought.
Start with the bare minimum costs and don’t spend on anything else. Nothing else is required for running your own site. Don’t believe everyone who says you need this or that to get started.
Avoid all the bright shiny objects people are trying to sell you. It’s easy to get caught up in the lies that you need this or that to grow your blog.
All you need is the bare minimum and a lot of persistence and consistent daily actions to grow your blog. Don’t expect overnight results and keep working towards your goals each and everyday.
Keep learning how to use WordPress and don’t forget to start reading everything you can about DIY SEO WordPress tips. There’s a lot to learn if you want to master search engine optimization and start getting traffic from Google.
Don’t forget to check out my JumpStart WordPress guide. It will help you get your new WordPress blog setup so you can focus on blogging and growing your tribe. If you need help getting your WordPress blog setup, sign up for my Free 7 Day WordPress Crash Course.
You can literally start your blog today for what it would cost you to eat out at a nice restaurant. (of course it depends on which hosting account you choose and how far in advance you pre-pay)
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Have you started your own WordPress blog? If not what’s been holding you back? Are you considering starting on a free platform? If so why?