How Much Does It Cost To Start A Blog
“How much does it cost to start a blog” is a question most new bloggers have.
If you’re thinking of starting a blog but you have no clue what blogging costs are involved, you’re in the right place.
In this post I’ll outline the basic blogging costs of starting a blog and I’ll add a few optional resources that you might want to use to grow and monetise your blog down the track.
The good news is that it doesn’t cost that much to start a blog, in fact it’s probably one of the most affordable businesses to start.
Let’s have a look!
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Do I have to pay to start a blog?
“Do I have to pay to start a blog or can I start a blog for free?” is another popular question with new bloggers.
You can start a blog for free but depending on what your long term goals are, this might not be the smartest thing to do.
Free blogging platforms have lots of limitations when it comes to functionality, design and monetising.
Once you start on a free blogging platform like WordPress.com or Blogger.com it is tricky to move your blog to self-hosted WordPress.org.
Most bloggers who start on a free blogging platform realise after a few months that they need to move to WordPress.org to get the functionality they want. But because moving your blog from a free platform can be tricky and sometimes even impossible, they have to start their blog all over again.
So my advice is to avoid the free blogging platforms and start a self hosted blog on WordPress.org.
Limitations of free blogging platforms:
- You don’t own your site, it can be shut down
- You don’t have your own domain name, eg: www.wordpress.com/myblog
- Doesn’t look professional
- Not many design options
- Not much functionality in the form of plugins
- Affiliate programs/sponsors may not want to work with you
The best blogging platform for a professional blog
If you want to start a blog with the goal to make money from it, you need to start a blog on WordPress.org.
WordPress.org is used by most professional bloggers and it’s the platform with the most functionality and flexibility. This means you can create your site and add unlimited functionality like email sign up forms, shop pages, SEO plugins, and you’ll have unlimited design options and plugin functionality.
Advantages of a self hosted blog on WordPress.org:
- You own your blog
- You have your own domain name, eg: www.myblog.com
- Your blog looks professional
- Unlimited design options
- Unlimited functionality with plugins and themes
- You can monetise your self hosted blog any way you like
As you can see, starting a self hosted blog is definitely the go if you’re serious about your blog.
If you’d like some help starting a self hosted blog on WordPress.org, read this:
Or if you’d like a 7 day email course to walk you through every step of starting a blog, you can sign up for my free course:
How much does it cost to self host a blog?
Starting a self hosted blog on WordPress.org doesn’t cost much at all. In fact it’s one of the most affordable businesses to start.
The blogging platform, WordPress.org, is free to use. The only thing you have to pay for is website hosting and a domain name.
But if you host your blog with Bluehost, you get your domain name for free!
Bluehost’s basic plan is enough for you to get started and you can get it for only $3.95 per month.
To get the price of $3.95 per month you have to sign up for 3 years.
$3.95 x 36 months = $142.20
Or if you don’t want to sign up for 3 years, you can pay $5.95 per month for one year.
$5.95 x 12 months = $71.40
On your way to the checkout Bluehost will try to sell you extra services, but you don’t need these. Untick these boxes because you can add a security plugin and an SEO plugin to your site for free.
Ok, so for your first year of blogging, we’re looking at $71.40 so far.
Is this all you need to start a blog?
There is one more thing you need:
To protect your blog from fines or lawsuits, you need to add legal pages to your blog.
In certain states and countries you are required by law to have legal pages on your blog. If a resident from one of these countries visits your blog, your blog has to be compliant with these laws, even if you don’t live there.
We all know lawyers can be incredibly expensive, and getting customised legal pages for your business would probably cost you over $1000. This is why I was very excited to find a legal bundle especially designed for bloggers that is super affordable.
This Legal Bundle is definitely great value at $157.
The good thing is that legal pages are a one-off investment for your blog, there are no recurring fees here.
Website hosting and legal pages are the only 2 must-have requirements for your blog, so let’s have a look at how much it costs to start a blog for your first year.
Web hosting: $71.40
Legal Pages: $157
Or for your first 3 years:
Web hosting: 142.20
Legal Pages: $157
So for under $300 you can run a business for 3 years.
That’s pretty affordable, especially if you consider that you should be able to earn this back within your first 6 months of blogging.
To find out how you can monetise your blog quickly, read:
Optional investments for your blog
Besides website hosting and legal pages there are a few tools that you might want to invest in to speed up your blog growth and your income. Let’s have a look.
Social Sharing Plugin
To make it easy for your blog visitors to share your blog posts to social media it is a good idea to invest in a social sharing plugin. I use Social Warfare and love how easy it is to set up. It adds stylish buttons to my blog posts and shows how many shares my post has gotten.
Pinterest is the best way to promote your blog, but to be successful you have to be consistent.
This is where Tailwind comes in. Tailwind is a Pinterest approved scheduler that will schedule your pins at an interval. It even picks the best times for you, when your audience is online.
I bought the annual plan and I have to say that my sanity is definitely worth 10 bucks per month! It is so much quicker to schedule your pins in Tailwind, especially with boards lists and being able to pin your pin to up to 10 boards in one click.
Tailwind Tribes are also a great way to increase your reach. Tribes are like group boards but with much higher re-pin rates and higher quality content.
I highly recommend getting Tailwind, you can try it for free here:
As a blogger you need a lot of stock photos. Especially if you use Pinterest for your marketing efforts. You can get free stock photos at Unsplash or Pexels but if you want a more unique photo that you haven’t already seen on 20 other blogs it might be a good idea to invest in a stock photo membership.
PixiStock is a stock photo site with lots of gorgeous feminine stock photos, social media quotes, Canva templates and Adobe Lightroom presets. Sign up to their annual plan for $197 and get access to their complete stock library.
Email Marketing Platform
Both these platforms offer a free plan to start with for up to 1000 subscribers.
Mailerlite includes automated sequences in its free plan and once you reach 1000 subscribers it costs $15 per month.
Convertkit is $29 per month if you want to add automated sequences and goes up to $49 p/m when you hit 1000 subscribers.
If you don’t know much about blogging, Pinterest marketing or monetising a blog, it might be a good idea to invest in a blogging course or two.
Wicked At WordPress
Do you have no idea how to build your website with WordPress? This course will show you how to find your way around the WordPress dashboard and teach you how to edit, update and backup your own site.
Making Sense Of Affiliate Marketing
There is more to affiliate marketing than slapping a few links in your blog posts. This course shows you the affiliate strategies that Michelle uses to generate over $50.000 per month.
I took this course and I increased my affiliate sales by 481% in one month.
Email Marketing Course
Learn how to build an email list with Convertkit or Mailerlite in this detailed self-paced course.
Find out how to create a high converting lead magnet, how to create a welcome sequence, how to monetise your list, your legal responsibilities and more.
>> And here are some great FREE COURSES:
Kickstart Your Money Making Blog
This no-fluff beginners course shows you exactly how to start your blog and all the necessary steps you need to take to be able to make money with your blog.
Enrol in this 7 day email course completely free of charge (no tech skills required).
This free legal course is especially made for bloggers and will explain exactly which legal pages you need on your blog to protect you from lawsuits. It also explains all about the GDPR and CCPA, and what you need to do to make sure your blog is compliant.
Free SEO Course
Learning Search Engine Optimisation is a great long term strategy to grow your blog with traffic from Google. Take this free SEO course to get some super valuable tips to get you started.
Other blogging costs to consider
To be able to blog, you’ll obviously need a computer. Since most people already have a computer, I didn’t add this as an initial expense.
But if you don’t have a reliable computer to start your blog on, I’ve added a few popular options here.
Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop ($359.99)
Every new blogger needs a good laptop, the Acer Aspire 5 is the top selling laptop on Amazon and perfect for the beginner blogger.
Apple MacBook Air ($949.99)
If you prefer a MAC operating system, the Macbook Air is your most affordable choice. This lightweight laptop has a 13 inch screen, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD Storage.
Apple MacBook Pro ($1249)
If you want a laptop with a bit more grunt, the Macbook Pro is what you need.
With 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage and eighth-generation quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, this laptop can handle anything. I’ve got the Macbook Pro and I’ll have Photoshop, Illustrator and several other applications open, plus two browser windows with 30 tabs open and it’s still working fine.
This brings me to the end of my list of blogging costs you might incur in your first year of blogging.
How Much Does It Cost To Start A Blog
I hope this post has giving you a better idea of how much it really costs to start a blog and all additional blogging costs you might have for improving your blogging skills and growing and monetising your blog.
If you’re ready to start your own blog you can set it up with this step by step set up guide or you can sign up for my free blogging course here or you can grab my free Ultimate Blog Planner Workbook below.
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below and good luck with your blog!