So you want to start a blog…. but first things first, how much does it cost to start a blog?
Some people think blogging is free while others assume it costs thousands of dollars. So which is it?
Before you start any business (including a blog), you want to be fully aware of expenses. So this post is all about the cost of starting a blog so you know exactly what to expect.
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Remember, we’re not talking about a personal diary type blog here. We’re talking about a blog that actually makes money – one that can potentially become your full-time income.
Your costs will obviously vary depending on the kind of blog you want but let’s just be upfront and say, there are expenses. It’s not free. But in our opinion, these are expenses that are 100% worth it and you should consider them as an investment in your business.
To help you understand exactly how much to start a blog, here’s a simple rundown of the cost you can expect to incur when getting started.
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Have a Business Mindset for Your Blog
When starting a blog, It’s important to have the right mindset. That mindset is thinking about your blog as a business.
With any business, you need the right tools to help you achieve success. Blogging is no different.
It’s not realistic to use free software, free hosting and expect to make money from your blog. In fact, it’s only going to set you back and limit your ability to make money.
This means if you want to make a business out of blogging you will need to spend some money in order to get the right tools for your blog.
So stop focusing on the costs. Treat it as a business from the start and you’ll give yourself a much better chance of success.
Now let’s have a look at the costs of starting a blog.
Must-Haves for a Blog
First, we are going to go through the must-haves for a blog. If you want to make money from your site you need to have these.
Hosting is a necessity if you want to be a successful blogger.
What is hosting?
Hosting is like paying to occupy your own space on the internet. It is where you can store all your store all your data and files safely.
Yes, there are free blogging platforms like blogger that don’t require you to pay for hosting, but your capabilities are limited.
This will affect how far you can go to monetise your blog. For instance, you can’t add ads to your posts, you can’t add custom themes, you’re limited to the kind of plugins you can use and so much more.
If you’re really interested in making money blogging you will need to invest in a paid hosting solution. There are no two ways about it.
You can choose a plan from 12-36 months. The longer you pay upfront the cheaper it is.
The cost of a hosting you blog works out to be around $106 for 3 years.
Which is really cheap compared with other hosting companies.
A domain name is the website address that people will type in the browser URL bar to be able to visit your website e.g. www.yoursite.com.
Obviously, this is on the must-have list. How else are people going to find you?
Now the cost of a domain name is around $15 a year.
However, Bluehost gives you a free domain name of your choice when you sign up for their hosting.
You can find your domain name here:
What about platforms?
WordPress.org, (which is different from WordPress.com) is a free open source platform that you can use to build, design, and manage your site.
Yes, that’s right it is free.
So why do you need WordPress?
You need WordPress to write content, upload images, design your homepage and everything else that comes with running a blog. It’s basically the backend of your website.
It’s by far the most popular blogging platform because it is easy to use, very flexible and has a ton of technical support.
With a Bluehost account, you can easily get WordPress setup on your new blog. When you sign up for an account it will automatically install WordPress for you.
A WordPress theme is a template that changes the design and functionality of your website.
A theme will also allow you to customise your blog the way you want it.
When it comes to themes you really are spoilt for choice. There are thousands of WordPress themes available – both free and paid.
Should you get free or paid themes?
Our recommendation is to go with paid themes because they allow you to do more with your blog design and customise it in a way that will be most appealing to your readers.
Additionally, free themes generally lack technical support and updates. Because there is no monetary incentive for the people who build these themes, it can be difficult to get any support or help if something happens to your theme or website.
Our top favourite premium themes are:
- Elegant Themes – The Divi theme by Elegant will give you a beautifully designed site with lots of cool new features. We use this theme on Fulltime Nomad and on a number of our client’s sites. The site has 80+ themes that you can access with a paid subscription.
- Genesis Studio Press – This is one of the most popular WordPress themes of all time. It’s an easy to install theme with a lovely look and feel.
A premium theme will cost you around $60-90. This is a one-off payment.
If you can’t afford a premium theme just yet and are happy to go with a free one then you can check out some of the free themes here.
A logo is one of the most overlooked aspects of a blog. A logo is quite significant because it allows you to create a brand and personality for your blog.
A logo lets you stand out from the crowd and also adds reputation to your blog.
How much will a logo add to the cost to start a blog?
Not much at all.
You don’t need to spend so much on a logo. Check out Fiverr.com where you can get a professional logo designed for as little as $5. If you want to spend a little more head over to 99designs.com where you can set up a design contest and have a number of people work on your design.
Social Media Tools
Social media is a great way of promoting your blog and increase traffic to the blog. Generating traffic and building an audience is the most important aspect of blogging. So you need all the love you can get and social media has lots of it to offer.
While it isn’t a must-have, another tool we use and recommend is Tailwind. This is great for scheduling posts on Instagram and Pinterest.
We strongly recommend that every blogger begins building an email list from the start. Every visitor that comes to your site should be viewed as an opportunity to capture their email.
Email is important for your blog because it helps you build relationships and trust with your fans. The more your fans trust you, the more they will read your blog.
Email is also a great way to generate income through affiliate offers or selling your own products.
Simply put, email is the number 1 promotional tool for bloggers.
Now to begin with you can use something like Mailchimp which has a free option to get you up and running.
However, for the long run, we do not recommend MailChimp.
We recommend using an email platform like Convertkit. Convertkit is specifically made for bloggers and in our opinion is the number blogging email platform.
ConvertKit has plans starting from $29 a month. However, if you want to give it a try first, ConvertKit offers a free 14-day trial.
The above tools are a MUST have to start a successful money making blog.
Let’s quickly recap and do a summary of costs
- Hosting: $2.95 a month with Bluehost.
- Domain: $14 a year or free with a Bluehost account.
- Premium Theme: Elegant Themes $89. You can get away with a free theme if you are tight on budget.
- Logo design: Starting at $5 on Fiverr. Or if you have money to splash check out 99designs.com
- Social media tools: Check out the free tools at sumo.me.
- Email marketing: From $29 per month with ConvertKit or free for first 1000 subscribers on MailChimp.
Now let’s go through a couple of other costs
Other Costs of Starting a Blog
You don’t need to be a pro blogger to make money from your blog.
If you are a newbie and have never blogged to save your life, you can take online blogging courses to help you improve your blogging skills.
We have a Free 5 day blogging course on Fulltime Nomad that will teach you everything you need to know about blogging.
Udemy also has some pretty good blogging courses including:
- How To Start A WordPress Blog in Under 30 Minutes
- Blogging For Business: 3x Traffic Without Ads
- Blog Blueprint: How To Turn Blogging Into A Career
As you guys might already know, we are big fans of self-improvement. So we recommend investing in yourself to improve your skills and knowledge.
Time is definitely something to consider when trying to figure out how much does it cost to start a blog.
And as we know, time is money. It really is.
If you want to be successful with blogging then you need to be committed to spending time on your blog.
This includes creating content, promoting your blog, engaging with your audience, and of course carrying all that money to the bank ?. But seriously, you need to work consistently on your blog to make it work and that is honestly a lot of man/woman hours.
To begin with, you won’t see a return on that time spent. It might be months before you begin making money with your blog.
So this is something that needs to be taken into consideration.
So there you go. Hopefully, this article answered any questions you have about the costs of starting a blog.
Remember if you are serious about blogging you will need to spend a bit of money upfront to get the right tools and software.
If you have any questions please hit us up in the comments section.
And if you haven’t already please go sign up for our free 5 day blogging course.
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As the co-founder of Fulltime Nomad, Johnny really believes the world is too big to stay in one place. In 2013 he broke away from his non-location independent job to chase his passion of travel and living abroad. Now he helps others do the same.