HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO START A BLOG
There are hundreds of posts which focus on how to start a blog which is why I wanted to take a different approach and focus on the financial side by working out how much it costs to start a blog.
If you have seen my blogging resource guide I tell you about the things you need to get started with a blog and probably the most frequently asked questions in the blogging world which you can check out here! For the rest of this post I will focus on the cost to start a blog and the financial investment you need to get started, especially if you want to start blogging full time or considering taking it seriously, its really key to know the long term costs.
Blogging has relatively small start up costs but over time they do add up. While blogging doesn’t’ always see results straight away, this means your investment may not start to pay off until a few months or even years later. Which is why you might be asking, how much does it cost to start a blog. If you are looking to generate some income from your blog, it also helps to know what is worth investing in now so that you don’t waste money later.
This post focuses on the costs of running a self hosted blog. If you really want the bare bone essentials of starting and running your own blog or website, feel free to check out my resource blogging tool guide which gives you the A-Z on where and how to start a blog for free and what tools and resources you’ll probably need.
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Fee’s for web hosting are usually upfront, especially if you want to invest in a 6 monthly or yearly plan. You can start off with a monthly plan but this is usually much more expensive than a long term plan of say 12 months. For example, Siteground create a 1 month hosting plan. Over 12 months that equates to £100. Compare that to Siteground’s 12 month hosting plan for £55. Similarly, Hostgator’s recurring one month plan over 1 year would be £165. Compare this to their 12 month plan of £120.
Of course the benefit of using a one month plan is that you can cancel your membership anytime and therefore not tied into a long contract which you have already paid upfront costs for. However, its unlikely you will see results in such a short space of time, that just trying it out for one month wouldn’t really be enough to test the waters out long enough to tell if its something you want to stick to. Hostgator do have a 3 or 6 month plan if you think 12 months it too long.
I chose 12 months simply because I knew I would have to stick to it and get my money’s worth. It was the best way I knew I would be committed! Which web hosting service you choose is completely down to you. You should think about customer support, cost, any extra added features you would need and so on. Of course you can change half way through, but its much easier to stick to one that you like from the beginning. Siteground and Hostgator are one of the most popular for price and customer service!
If you want to build an audience that are truly engaged in your content and want to hear more from you, then you need an email list. Its easy to create a simple sign up newsletter and write to your subscribers once a month but no doubt you’ll want more functionality, use fancy landing pages and streamline the way you get your readers to sign up. Not to mention all the behind the scenes features you’ll be using to get your email courses and automation running smoothly.
I personally chose Convertkit as my email management system but I am soon to change over to Mailerlite. I originally signed up to Getresponse but I found Convertkit so much easier to use and I have a pretty good understanding of tech myself! In terms of what I wanted my email management system to do, Convertkit definitely works very well for my needs. Particularly the landing page function. I have now expanded to create my own pop up sign ups. Plus Convertkit is really handy when it comes to automation and email courses which means I don’t need to worry about anything else except for thinking about what to write for my weekly newsletter to my subscribers! Heres the deal, Convertkit pricing starts at £24 per month. Over 12 months, which is around £300.
Compare this to Mailerlite which is free up to 1000 subscribers. The next price bracket is around £8. Which is why I am changing over to Mailerlite. I have reviewed their services and they have most features which Convertkit have. I know Convertkit have a really great tagging feature to help segment your subscribers and manage your list in a seamless way, but for now, the vote is with Mailerlite. As you can see the total cost for Mailerlite if you have between 1001-2500 subscribers over the course of 12 months that’s £96, so under 1/3 of Convertkit. Mailerlite has very similar features to Convertkit and therefore a perfect alternative if you’re on a budget.
Once you have you website domain and secure your social media handles, you’ll probably be thinking about your brand image and what your blog says about you. It’s time to think about the theme for your blog. The layout, how easy it is for users to interact with you and your content. No doubt this could have some effect on your bounce rate if viewers aren’t a fan of your theme.
My theme was purchased through Tinselpop which cost around £35. While themes are completely interchangeable at anytime, your theme will come to be the colours which represent you and your brand all across your social media and media kit. I would probably say that you should stick to a theme which you are unlikely to change for the long haul, at least 3-5 years. That’s just my personal opinion though because I have been blogging for less than a year! If you do decide to change your theme, them at the minimum try to stick to the same colour theme.
There are so many moodboards to get inspiration from on Pinterest! With CreativeMarket there are hundreds of different themes all starting from £1.50 to over £100. It completely depends on your budget and what you are looking for. I personally needed a blog which made it easy to share posts, to navigate, that was responsive regardless of whether it was viewed on a tablet or 22 inch iMac. Themeforest also have templates which start from as low as $2. So on the design front, themes are really at the lower end of the spectrum. I would suggest doing a good amount of research on either Creativemarket or Themeforest to find the type of theme that you really like before committing financially.
If you’re willing to spend more on your theme, you could also try restored316 who have some really amazing themes which I love! Had I not found my current one I would more than likely have invested within Restored 316.
Training and courses
Once your blog is all set up, you’ll probably be wondering how to get blog traffic, how does Pinterest work and where to network online to get your blog noticed. There are many different courses available some of which are free, like my instagram course. Though it isn’t always easy to find free courses unless you stumble upon them during your own research.
Courses can vary from £40-£800 and its important to get clear on what you specifically want out of these courses before you decide to invest. I personally, like to do a lot of my own research first because I like to be very sure before I part ways with my hard earned money!
So far I have invested in a few traffic e-books including this blog traffic e-book for around £25, How to double your blog traffic for £10 and probably my favourite the building a framework e-book for £25.
These are more so guides rather than actually courses. If you are looking for ways to increase your income there is Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing which is £190. Harsh Agrawal has his own affiliate marketing e-book for £23 as a cheaper yet in-depth alternative. Pyjama Affiliates have a range of blogging courses too that range from around £25-£50.
If you have more funds to invest in a course, you can also try out Ruth Soukup’s Elite Blogging Academy. It opens every year at the beginning of March, so you’ll have to sign up and join the waiting list!
Grand total: £71.50 – £1350*
*The total range will be high depending on what products or services you decide to invest in. For example, you could invest in all the courses I mentioned will of course increase the amount you invest. There are also add ons like scheduling programmes such as MeetEdgar (£80pm), Coschedule (£30pm, Boardbooster(£5pm), tailwind (£15pm) or when sending digital products, sendowl (£9pm) . Not to forget premium versions of products like Prettylinks Pro (£50pa).
In all, how much you decide to invest on your blog is a personal choice. There is no right or wrong way to build your blog and investing more funds does not guarantee faster or better results.
I think most of all don’t let the cost of starting a blog put you off. Work out your budget and work from there. There is a template, theme, scheduler hosting service and all of that good stuff available for everybody’s price bracket. It can be expensive or affordable depending on where you look which is why its important to do your research and find out exactly how much does it cost to start a blog.