Hey! So you have decided to start your blogging journey! First, Congratulations on taking your first step for the blogging journey and welcome to the Blogging community.
I started my first blog in 2017 and made some blunders with my blogging expenses as a beginner. I realized after making mistakes that one should be very aware of the blogging expenses.
So when I did a quick Google search for blogging budget, most of the websites are trying to sell their affiliate products instead. So in this article, I have tried to answer most frequent questions by new bloggers – ‘How much does it cost to start a blog?.’
The quick answer to the question ‘How much does it cost to start a blog?’ is-
You can start a blog on Blogspot for free if your only motive is to write, and you are satisfied with Blogspot features and don’t need much customization.
To create a blog on wordpress minimum requirement is domain name and hosting, which will cost you 50-100$ for a year. Other elements like paid plugins and themes are optional, and you can add them as your blog grows.
In this article, I have covered most of the essential blogging expenses, and if you should invest your money on it or not.
So let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
Investment on the domain name
Hey! Have you decided on your domain name? If you have not yet decided, remember that domain name does play a critical role in your brand and its address to your website.
So choose a domain name, which is brandable and keyword rich(Not compulsory though, but better if you can get one with rich keywords) and related to your blog. You can read this article by Neil Patel to know more about selecting a domain name.
Now, this expense is a must, and we can not ignore it. But make your comparison first on all the domain name providers. There are multiple domain name providers like BlueHost, Namecheap, GoDaddy, Hostinger, Gooogle Domains, and many more, so do your research on all the hostname providers for pricing.
When you are comparing prices, also compare some other factors like SSL certificate and privacy protection. Many domain name provider will charge you separately for privacy protections. On some other, it’s included in listed pricing. Similarly, few domain name providers do give a free SSL certificate for a year free (And you will need it, if it is not free with the domain, you can buy separately it later).
Compare all the domain name providers and buy your favorite domain from the one with the lowest price.
It should cost you around ~8-10$ for a year and not more than this.
Investment on Hosting
Hosting is the most important and critical thing for your blog. Remember that site speed is a factor for SEO, and your domain host does play an essential part in your site speed.
So we can not compromise on it. But it does not mean to buy the most expensive WordPress Hosting but to make an informed decision and buy a reliable, affordable plan for hosting.
Since you are just starting your blog, so ‘Shared hosting’ is excellent for it.
Here is an article by wpbeginner where they have to compare different domain hosts for performances and pricing. You can dig more in-depth on this topic and check your options before buying hosting.
If you ask me if you have a tight budget, go with Namecheap.com, and if you can spend more on hosting, take hosting on Siteground, Greengeeks, or bluehost.com.
Hosting will cost you around 50$ – 100$ a year for hosting.
Investment on theme Theme
When I started my first blog, this was the most difficult decision I made. I just wanted a good looking website, and I started looking for the perfect and most stylish looking blog templates and wasted money on it.
If you are just starting your blog and are on a budget, my advice would be to focus more on your content and less about your theme. WordPress has many default theme options available, so choose one that loads faster and has a clean and smooth interface.
Once you start getting some traffic and if you can monetize your website. Sure, go ahead and invest some money on a premium theme for your website.
Investment on WordPress plugins
WordPress has a wide variety of plugins available to download, and many of these plugins are paid, so if you are just starting your blog, don’t hurry to invest in plugins.
Most plugins have some free alternate available in the plugin store or can do some customization to get similar results.
Many bloggers recommend getting paid versions for plugins like Yoast, Convertkit, opt-in monster, mailerlite, and active campaign. Now, these plugins are useful, no doubt about it, but there are free alternatives available for them, which should be more than enough for you to keep up for at least the first year.
So before purchasing any other plugin, do in-depth research for free alternatives first. If you are very sure that they are not alternate and need it, then sure go for it, but don’t invest much unless you have some starting audience and a good search engine appearance.
Tools which you should use and invest in paid versions
There are various tools that you need when you start blogging. There are multiple tools for different needs, Eg, graphic design tools, Stock images, Search engine optimization, Maintenance dashboards, Keyword research tools. Now, these are not essential tools, but they do make life easier for you.
There are few tools which I would recommend to use. The good part is that all three have some free plan available and can get your critical work done within free plan limits. You should give them a try and should take a premium plan if you think that they are worth your money.
- Grammarly – Grammarly is a tool that makes sure everything you type is correct and clear and easy to read. So if English is not your first language and you are not comfortable with it, you should have this plugin.
Now, there are specific alternatives available for this, but no one works as good as Grammarly. So go for it if your budget allows it.
- Canva – Canva is a feature-rich drag-and-drop online graphic design tool that allows you to create great visual content like presentations, posters, infographics, etc.
It is suitable for your SEO and your user experience if you embed custom visual content in your posts. So if you are not a pro with tools like Adobe illustrator and photoshop, Canva can help you create great graphic content.
It has tons of templates for different themes and easy-to-use interface, making it easy to create visual content.
- Uber suggest Since you have started your blogging journey, understand this. Keyword research is the secret sauce to get up in search engine rankings. Though there are free alternate options like Google trends and keyword planner tool, using a proper keyword research tool is much better and reliable.
Though there are multiple Keywords tools, the most famous one like SEMRush and Ahref are priced very high and not worth your money as a beginner.
Uber Suggest is a keyword research tool by Neil Patel and its great tool for keyword research. It has a free plan, though it has certain limits. So you can do your keyword research using free plan limits on Uber suggest.
Should you invest in paid backlinks, paid likes, and other blackhat techniques for SEO?
When you start learning about Blogging and Search engine optimization, and you start reading about blogging terms like backlinks, DA, DR etc.
Now I understand that it is challenging to create backlinks and increase your DA as a beginner, and buying some paid links and likes seems an easy way out. But don’t take this shortcut and work to create your backlinks organically.
Paid links generally are spammy and are of low quality. Google continuously is improving its algorithm and keeps working to improve its search results., so there are chances that spammy backlinks will not help you, and Google may penalize you for those spammy links.
Don’t spend money on Black hat techniques and work hard to establish you as the authority in your niche. Keep generating excellent quality content and keep working on your backlink profile.
Recommended budget setup
If you are just starting, here is my recommended setup for a beginner blogger:
- Domain Name purchase – Google domains/Hostinger(8$)
- Hosting – Bluehost/Namecheap(20$)
- Recommended themes – Astra, Genesis, Generate press(Free & Paid), X theme(Paid), Saxon(Paid), Hello theme(Free with Elementor Pro plugin)
- Recommended plugins – Monster insights(For analytics), Imagify(reduce image file sizes without losing quality), Rank Math SEO(For OnPage SEO,), Wordfence Security(For security and protection), w3 total cache(For caching), Elementor(Drag and drop editor),Elementor Pro(Paid version of Elementor, 49$ for an year)MailChimp(For mail integration) , Updraft plus(For backups)
- Tools – Canva(For graphic design),Grammarly(For English), UberSuggest(Keyword research tool)
So if you just beginning, budget of 50$-100$ setup would be perfectly fine for you and you can keep investing more as your traffic grows.
I hope this article has been useful to you and would help you decide on starting your blogging journey. If you are still stuck with something and need some more help. Leave your query/feedback in the comment section below.