Starting a blog is a low risk startup business. (yes, starting a blog is starting a business). The start up costs are low. You don’t have to purchase inventory, have high overhead costs, or need to worry about very many tools and supplies.
Still, how much does it cost to get started?
I’m sure you want to know what type of expenses will be involved before you start blogging. That shows you’re a smart cookie.
First, it’s important to think about the kind of blog you want to start.
Is your end goal to make money from your blog? Do you want your blog to be your business/job?
Alternatively, do you want to blog as an online journal or fun hobby?
If you want to start a blog for fun, there are several avenues you could explore to start a blog for free or for very minimal costs.
This post isn’t for hobby bloggers though. (no hard feelings, you’re cool too!)
This post is for people who are serious about generating an income with their blog. People who want to share their ideas and reach a large audience online. People who are ready to move forward and make their dreams a reality.
Let’s dive in and break down the costs of starting a blog. These are the expenses you will acquire during the initial setup and first few months of blogging.
Heads up, there are affiliate links in this article. This is at not extra cost to you. I only recommend products I and am happy with
As with all purchases, there are different price points for different value options. If you want a lexus, you can find a lexus. If you a kia is more your budget, you can find that in blogging world too.
The good news about starting a blog is that even with the various options, the costs are minimal!
You can get started blogging with just a few tools and services. Here are the basic needs for starting a blog:
Hosting and Domain Expenses
Hosting is the very first thing you need to get your blog up and running. It is the house for all of your amazing content. There are several different platforms you could use to build a website and start blogging, but I prefer self-hosted WordPress. This requires a hosting service.
When you sign up for hosting, many hosts will give you a free domain.
Higher end hosts will require that you purchase your domain name separately at an additional cost.
One of the most affordable hosting companies out there for new bloggers, and the easiest to set up, is Bluehost.
Bluehost lists their plans by a monthly rate, but you are required to purchase at least a year at a time. You get a better monthly rate the longer you pay for.
Hosting companies do not make money off of you during your first purchase. Where they really profit is from your renewals. Pay attention to the regular price, this is how much you will pay once your initial contract is up.
Here’s why I recommend Bluehost for brand new bloggers: it is the easiest set up, by far.
I’ve tested all of the hosting companies recommended below, and Bluehost is the simplest option to get up and running on your own. Navigating Bluehost’s platform is simple and clean.
Bluehost is basic shard hosting designed for small blogs. It it isn’t your forever home, err.. host. But it is the best starter host on the market.
Best Price: 2.95-4.95 a month, depending how many years you purchase.
Other affordable options:
NameHero – $4.30 a month, paid annually
SiteGround – $3.95 a month, paid annually.
High End Hosting Options
BigScoots – $34.95 a month, paid monthly or annually
Kinsta – $30 a month or $300 a year
WordPress Theme Expense
After you get your hosting, you’ll need a WordPress theme to make it look good! Technically, there are a lot of free themes out there. I do not recommend using a free them. Free themes are notorious for getting hacked. Free themes also tend to have poorly written code and bloaty features that slow down your blog.
My #1 recommended theme for new bloggers is the Genesis Sample theme that comes with the Genesis Framework. Good news is this is the most affordable of premium themes.
If you want a fancier child theme, you’ll need to get that in addition to the Genesis Framework.
First, you’ll buy the Genesis Framework (or you’ll buy it in a bundle with the Framework on StudioPress.com)
Then, you’ll find a theme you love at one of these trusted designers: Restored316 | Biz Budding | Coded Creative
Best Price = $59.95
High End Themes = $169 (60 for Genesis Framework + 99 for Child Theme)
Email Address and Storage Expenses
As a blogger you’ll need an email address associated your blog domain address. [email protected]. Gsuite is the best place to get this set up! Bonus is that it includes storage for Google Drive, allowing you to easily save document and sheets for your blog. I write all of my drafts in Google Docs before uploading them to my blog.
If you use Bluehost as your hosting company, they offer a prorated discount to Gsuite for their plans.
Best Price – $3/month through Bluehost, paid annually
High Ende – $6/month paid monthly through Google
*note – the two options are the exact same service, just different price plan.
Email Marketing Expenses
Email is the way you will keep people coming back to your blog. No one-click stands for your blog!
When someone visits your blog, you’ll ask them for their email address (usually by offering a free resource) and they’ll sign up to follow your blog! You’ll email them on a regular basis to get them back to your blog. 🙂
You’ll need a Email Service Provider for this. I recommend and use Convertkit! They have a free basic plan for the first 1000 subscribers.
The full plan costs $29 a month, but you won’t need for a while. The free plan is perfect for beginners!
Best Price: $0 from Convertkit
High End: $29/month from Convertkit
Starting a blog is a a learning curve. You will save yourself a ton of time by enrolling in a beginning blogger course and being guided along setting up your new blog.
I’m a little biased on this one, but my courses will be a great place for you to start!
I have a free course, The Start a Blog Guide that will walk you through all the technical aspects of blogging.
You can upgrade the course to include the Blog Launch Challenge to make sure you launch your blog with bang (followers, content, and a plan for marketing!)
Best Price: Free
High End: $35
So, how much does it cost to start a blog?
Okay, now that we’ve covered the basic expenses, let’s add everything up.
New Blog Expenses
|Expense Item||Best Price||High End|
|Hosting & Domain||$72||$300|
|Email Address||$36||$6/ month|
|Email Marketing||$0||$29/ month|
|Beginning Blogger Course||$0||$35|
How much does it cost to start a blog? $168 today
For less than $200 you can start your own business! There are not many other business that can start at such a low price.
When I tried to start my artificial flower arrangement business I spent over $3000 in supplies and inventory, the costs of running a website, costs for business cards, costs for a booth at a craft fair.
It was a failed business. Womp. Womp. Womp.
And I never got that money back.
Starting a blog business is a much lower financial risk!
What are you waiting for? Start your blog already! Enroll in the Free Start a Blog Course and get that dream off the ground.
Are there any additional costs to blogging?
As brand new blogger, the tools and set up listed above are adequate to run a blog business. I think you’ll be good with only the above recommendations for at least the first 6 months. As you grow, you might need more tools.
Here are few common expenses bloggers invest in:
- Pinterest Scheduling
- Stock Images
- Graphic Design Tools
- Legal Page Templates
- Continued Education
Don’t worry about those yet though.
The most important part of starting is hosting and and a theme. Get those going and you can start sharing your ideas with the world wide web.
The net is waiting for you…
Blog Expense Saving Tips
I have learned over the years that you’ll save money in the long run by paying for things annually. You will see that most companies and tools offer a steeper discount or 1-2 months free if you pay annually.
If you can afford to pay upfront, you’ll save money in the long run!
FAQ about Blogging Expenses
You can get started for less than $200!
Yes, but if you are serious about starting a blog as an income source, I recommend investing in the best set up to make that possible.
At least $100, if you purchase everything recommended you’ll need $200
As your blog grows, your expenses might grow. What you spend is up to you!