How Much Does It Cost to Start a Blog?
How much does it cost to start a blog? This is a question that many new bloggers have and it’s hard to find a definitive answer out there.
I wrote this post to answer all the questions you might have about the cost of starting a blog, including necessary start-up costs and optional additional costs.
But contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune (large OR small) to start a blog.
Because I build all of my blogs myself, blogging doesn’t cost me much more than my time, my domain and hosting costs.
But not everyone is lucky enough to be able to build their own blogs.
When I first started blogging, I was a broke single mom on a super tight budget. But I have to tell you that starting a blog is probably the best decision I ever made.
So…if you’re wondering how much it costs to start a blog, you’re in the right place.
Does it cost a lot to start a blog?
In a word; No. It doesn’t cost a lot to start a blog. To be truthful, it costs very little to start a blog.
There are 4 main platforms that most people use to start a blog;
These four blogging platforms are the most popular for starting a new blog. The first three however, are free blogging platforms. By “FREE” I mean that you’ll pay nothing to build your blog on any of them. With Wix however, if you want to remove the “Wix” logo, you’ll need to pay.
If you want to make money with your blog (and who doesn’t?), I DO NOT advise starting your blog on any of the first three platforms.
If making money with your blog isn’t a major concern, then a free blogging platform should do just fine. But if you want to blog like it’s your job, WordPress.Org is the platform for you. Free blogging platforms come with limitations that will bite you in the ass in the short run.
Some of those limitations include:
- Limited monetization: You won’t be able to place ads on your blog, so you won’t make money from ads or affiliate marketing on your blog or website.
- No domain name: Free blogging platforms don’t allow you to have your own domain name (ex. yourname.com) unless you pay extra for it. As a result, you’ll be stuck with something like blogger.com/yourblogname instead.
- Blog design: You can’t choose a customizable theme for your blog so you’ll be stuck with a ‘cookie cutter’ theme instead.
- No ownership: When you use a free blogging platform, you own the content that you publish there.
- Lack of bandwidth: Free blogging platforms limit how much traffic your blog can manage, drastically limiting your visitor potential
THE COST OF STARTING A BUSINESS BLOG
Blogging has one of the lowest start-up costs of any business out there. The potential that exists for a blog to make more money than you could at any job, is unbelievable!
It’s completely possible to start a professional blog at a very low cost.
Let’s talk about the non-negotiable costs when it comes to starting a blog. There are actually only two, and they are:
- Web hosting: Your web hosting provider is the company that gives your blog a place online. Think of it as your blog’s home on the Internet.
- Domain name: As mentioned above, you will need to pay for a domain name (ex. yourname.com) for your blog.
When you get web hosting and a domain name, it’s known as starting a “self-hosted” blog. This is the way to go if you want to treat your blog like a business.
The last piece of the equation is your blogging software. Almost every blogger uses WordPress.org (not to be confused with the blogging platform WordPress.com) and this is something most web hosts will install automatically for you (it’s free.)
HOW MUCH DOES WEB HOSTING COST?
Web hosting is one unavoidable cost that you have to pay when starting your blog.
The cost of hosting with Hostgator operates on a sliding scale; the more hosting you buy, the less it costs per month. So if you purchase 36 months, you’ll pay $2.75 per month, but you’ll have to pay that 36 months up front.
If on the other hand, you want to pay for one year, it costs closer to $4.75 a month, again, paid for 1 year in advance.
**BONUS: If you click the button below and purchase your domain and hosting at Hostgator using my link, I’ll install WordPress for you. Simply make your purchase, then email me and let me know that you’ve done it. I’ll send you further instructions.
HOW MUCH DOES A DOMAIN NAME COST?
The cost of a domain name varies based on where you register it, but at Hostgator, a domain is free when you purchase your hosting plan.
If you go with another company, you may want to budget between $75 and $100+ for your domain name and web hosting for your first year.
With just these two things, you’re good to go with your new blog!
There are some additional costs associated with starting and running a blog that are optional, but highly recommended.
I would advise you to start out with a free blog theme, before you run out and spend a small fortune on a paid theme.
But if you’re sure that blogging is for you, and you can afford to ‘ante up’ for a premium theme, go for it!
EMAIL MARKETING PLATFORM: $0-$100+/MONTH
Now we’re moving into additional costs that I really only recommend thinking about after you’ve been blogging for a few months.
The first one of these additional costs is an email marketing platform.
Though not every blogger starts an email list (even though they should), having one can be very helpful to make more money with your blog. You can build a loyal audience who want to buy your products (or products you are an affiliate for.)
There are plenty of “free” email marketing platforms out there for you to choose from, but they’re only free up to a certain number of subscribers (usually 1,000 subscribers), and I’ve found that they can be quite ‘sticky’ about what you send.
The email marketing platform I recommend is ConvertKit.
They offer a free plan up to 1,000 subscribers, but after that, it’s $49/month.
In all my years of blogging, I’ve found ConvertKit to be a worthwhile investment..
WORDPRESS PLUGINS: $0-$200+
WordPress plugins are important little pieces of software you can install on your blog to add additional functionality.
Here are some free WordPress plugins I that I use for my own blogs, and recommend for new bloggers:
- Yoast SEO: Helps you write search engine-friendly blog posts.
- Pretty Links: Add social sharing buttons to your blog posts.
- GDPR Cookie Consent: Create automatic backups so you never lose anything.
- Wordfence: Secure your blog from hackers, viruses, and other threats.
- WP Fastest Cache: Speed up your site and keep it running smoothly.
SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS: $0-$49/MONTH
Another cost for starting a blog is investing in social media tools.
I’m not going to call this cost ‘optional’, because thanks to the use of this tool, one of my blogs gets 80% of it’s traffic from Pinterest.
These are programs like Hootsuite, Tailwind, and Edgar that allow you to automate social media posts on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
I personally only use Tailwind for Pinterest scheduling.
It costs $15/month but I think it’s worth it due to the amount of time it saves me. (You can also get a free month trial to test it out first to see if it’s worth the spend for you.)