What is The Cost Of Starting A Blog?
What really is the cost of starting a blog? If you want to start a blog and you are a planner addict like myself that likes to figure things out or at least have a plan to know what to expect, you are probably wondering this question (I did too).
Or you took the leap and started your blog without necessarily taking into consideration what it will actually cost you to start, grow and earn from that blog. So the costs are beginning to add up and you’re wondering… But what REALLY is the actual cost of starting a blog?
I’ve put together all of the expected costs and organized it by type of cost as well as WHEN you should expect to incur the cost.
I also discuss the mindset you should have when starting.
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I have made a LOT of mistakes and a LOT of bad investments in my first 4 years of blogging. That’s not a good testimony I know, but if you are DIY-ing your blogging journey without any proper guidance(mentor), you are going to make lots of mistakes and errors and bad investments (of time and money) that may be difficult to recover from.
So, I’m here to tell you from experience what you SHOULD be investing in so you can hopefully get the maximum rewards from the minimum investment!
Before I talk about the actual costs, let’s want to talk briefly about the mindset that you should have before you begin.
It will help you set the right expectations and intention for your new blog.
Treat Your Blog Like a Business
It’s important to start your new blog with the mindset that it is a BUSINESS. Because starting a blog is really not that much different than any other business start-up.
There is a high risk that you won’t ever make any money or profit from it, although I am of the belief that if you don’t give up, you can’t fail. And if you do it right, it will pay off at some point.
Blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme, and I don’t ever intend for it to look like blogging success comes easily.
You can’t expect to start out spending zero dollars on your websites and make a bunch of money. It doesn’t really work that way.
And if it did, everybody and their dogs would be doing it.
You WILL have to spend some money if you hope to make any money blogging, and it also requires a lot of time, focus, and dedication.
But you CAN make some serious income with a simple blog and without spending your life savings on it.
And you CAN blog and make money off your blog while still working FULL TIME. Yes, you don’t have to quit your job to start your blog. With the right strategies and productivity tools, you can do both at the same time until when you are really ready to make that decision.
And you CANNOT CANNOT CANNOT have the mindset of “I”ll spend money when I make money.”
Good luck with that. You’ll be a broke blogger forever. I was that broke blogger. So, I can tell you for a fact that that mindset doesn’t do you good.
You’ll end up wasting the first few months and years trying to get away with “free” only to end up giving up and making the investment later on down the road anyway.
Don’t waste your time. Start the right way from the beginning and you’ll reach your goals much faster.
It’s important to begin your blogging journey with these things in mind so that you have the proper expectations of what it will take and what you will need to invest in your new business.
Why You Should Avoid Free Blogging Softwares
If you start on the cheap, you can expect to get cheap results.
It will be tempting to start with free hosting, free themes, and try to send emails to your subscribers for free, but you’re going to come up short in a lot of areas.
Free Blog Hosting
When I talk to some of my readers about blogging, I get questions like:
Why would I pay for hosting when I can start out on a free platform like blogger or free WordPress.com?
Because free blogging sites come with a TON of limitations, including:
- How you are allowed to make money (example: no ads allowed)
- Blog design (say goodbye to customizable, paid themes)
- What plugins you have access to
- Overall control of your site
- Bandwidth (how many visitors your site can hold)
- And more.
I have an entire article on the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org (free vs. self-hosted) that you should read if you are considering starting out on a free platform.
Free Blog Themes
Next, you’ll be tempted to try to use a free theme on your blog because the average paid theme costs around $49-$90.
Free themes are also incredibly limited.
Truth: Most free themes don’t even allow you to make simple customizations like changing the color of your menu…
You also have to consider what your time is worth is here.
If you spend 4 days trying out different free themes looking for one that allows you to design your blog the way you want when you could have spent ONE day designing it with a very customizable (paid) theme, you’ve spent a LOT more than $49.
You could have spent the rest of that 4 days writing blog posts and getting ready to launch.
Expected Cost of Starting A Blog in the First 1-3 Months of Blogging
The following costs can be expected in the first 1-3 months of blogging.
You’ll incur most of them in the first month but it ultimately depends on how quickly you are moving with the start-up process.
This is what I call the “newbie” phase and it includes setup and blog design. This process will generally take you a month or two.
Blog hosting is going to be your very first investment and one of the most important investments you can make into your blog.
Your hosting provider is the company that basically houses your blog so that it is visible to the rest of the world.
There are a lot of different blog hosting companies out there, but I recommend:
They are less expensive than the other companies and far better service, in our opinion. Hostinger particularly offers you better site speed (and you’d want your site to be fast) than any other hosting company I have used.
You can start for as low as $0.99/month with Hostinger (although I recommend their $2.85/month plan as if offers more flexible value) or $2.75/month Bluehost. Or $2.75/month HostGator This prices are special deals I got for my readers and subscribers and is only available through my link!
You get the most value when you sign up for a 3 year (36-month) plan as I did, (this is the best thing I’ve done for my blog. Buying a 3 year hosting plan gives you time to work and master your blogging strategy, earn an income without worrying about your hosting expiring anytime t but the catch is that it must be paid upfront.
And remember that this is the first investment you are making into your blog. It represents the commitment you’re making to your new business.
$2.89 PER MONTH
Estimated Blog Hosting Costs: $138.72 (when you pay for 48 months– 4 years). With a free domain name, free forever SSL, free wordpress setup, weekly backups of your site, fast site speed, this is the best you’d get for the 4 years bargain).
Blog themes are the software that allow you to customize the design of your blog, including changing colors, fonts, and the overall structure of the content on your blog.
A beginner-friendly and customizable blog theme will save you days of headaches of wasted hours, which ultimately ends up saving you money. This is why selecting the best blog theme you can is crucial to your blogging success.
My #1 recommended blog theme for beginners is Divi.
It’s the most customizable and beginner-friendly theme on the market and also what I recommend to all of my client and course students.
Divi does come in at a slightly higher price tag of $89/year, BUT you also get access to the entire Elegant Themes market, which means their social sharing plugin, lead capture plugin and over 70 other themes to choose from if you don’t love Divi!
$89 PER YEAR
Check out Divi OPEN
I also recommend Blossom Themes.
Blossom Themes have some of the best and affordable collection of feminine and chic WordPress themes I’ve seen. Whether you’re a fashion blogger, travel blogger, mom blogger, influencer, chef, or a coach, looking for something with a feminine touch and isn’t pricey, blossom theme is here for you.
The themes have beautiful layouts with soothing Pastel colors, elegant typography, user-friendly sidebars, clean design, image-centric, and less saturated versions of feminine colors.
I have personally used their Blossom Feminine and I loved it.
$49 lifetime offer for any theme of your choice.
Check out Blossom Themes and make your choice.
Another theme I recommend is Bluchic Themes
This is another feminine theme, I know.
But Bluchic can be customized to any look and feel you want it to have. So your site may end up not having the feminine look (if that’s your goal).
Bluchic themes are designed to help entrepreneurs create a beautiful & professional website that shows off all you have to offer, without the tech struggle or designer price tag to tick off your to-do list.
Whether you’re a blogger, coach, virtual assistant, or shop owner, they have the perfect theme for you. All of Bluchic themes are e-commerce ready, and come with step-by-step instructions and tutorial videos that make setting up your website the easiest thing to tick off your to-do list.
Themes start at $79 to $129 (lifetime offer)
Estimated Blog Theme Costs: $49-90
Social Media Tools
Regardless of which social media platform you are driving traffic on, you will likely need to purchase software to help you schedule posts and drive traffic to your blog.
My recommendations include:
- Tailwind to help you schedule posts with Pinterest and use analytics and collaboration tools to increase your traffic
$15 PER MONTH
Free Trial + $15 Off OPEN
Estimated Social Media Related Costs: $15-30/month
Investment in Courses
Now… this one is totally optional but I highly recommend it, and not just because I sell my own courses. You don’t have to buy mine.
Buy someone else’s if you find a better one. Because this can make a HUGE impact on your new business.
Yes, the internet has a wealth of free information but it’s often outdated, sometimes untrustworthy, and very often fragmented.
The smartest bloggers and business owners withhold their best information for their paying customers. They don’t give all of their secrets away for free.
Good blogging courses will give you a step-by-step plan with actionable steps that tell you what you need to focus on every step of the way.
Blogging courses are generally priced anywhere from $49 – $1,000 or more. The more in-depth you get into the world of blogging, the more expensive they will be.
I am creating my first paid blogging course which you can pre-order at $20. This price will go up to $59 after I launch the course.
The course takes you through the entire process of building a blogging business and making money from it, including:
- Setting up and designing your blog with WordPress and a theme
- Creating content for your blog and structuring your posts correctly
- Starting your email list and writing emails to your audience
- Google and Pinterest SEO, and Getting visitors to your blog
- Monetizing through affiliate marketing, creating your own products, and more
- My favorite plugins and blogging tools
- Weekly Live training (to walk you through the different aspects of setting up your blog)
- Monthly live blog and mindset coaching (for 3 months)
- Training on how t create your first digital product (ebook or course)
- And so much more!
And if you aren’t sure yet, consider taking my free blogging bootcamp for beginners first!
Estimated Investment in Blogging Courses Costs: $20-1,000+
Total Estimated Cost to Start a Blog (1-3 Months):
- First Month: $187.72 to $230
- 2-3 Months: $15 to $30
- Optional Blogging Courses: $20+
Expected Costs After 3+ Months of Blogging
After the initial phase, including set up and blog design, you will begin to focus on driving traffic to your blog and monetization.
You could be in this phase as soon as 1 month after starting, depending on how you quickly you move.
At this stage, you will likely run into some additional costs to grow your blog.
These costs will vary based on how quickly you grow your blog and monetize it.
Most companies in this business charge you based on how many views your pages get or how many subscribers you have, so the costs will grow as your blog grows.
For example, your monthly costs for email marketing will increase as your number of subscribers increases.
At some point in these first few months, you’ll also likely want to invest in software like LeadPages or any other lead generation tool to help you increase your subscribers.
These expenses are harder to estimate because it depends on how quickly you’re growing and what areas you are focused on growing with your blog.
The key is to work on monetizing your site as quickly as possible so that you can generate enough revenue to cover these growing costs.
This is where HELP can really come in handy…
You might want to buy additional courses here, depending on where you have invested so far.
Again, my course is designed to take you all the way to $$$$.
But other courses might come up that you want to buy depending on what kind of courses you buy and when.
I can tell you that I STILL buy courses — even after 3 years of blogging. Because the internet is always changing and there is always more to learn!
Total Estimated Blogging Costs After 1-3 Months:
- Regular software on a monthly basis: $50-$150/month
- Optional investment in courses: $100+
The key at this stage is to quickly begin monetizing so that as your blog costs grow, your revenues will begin to grow as well.
Again, you have to have the right mindset going into this.
Let’s say you have cheap landing page software and you make an average of 1 sale every day for $20.
If you spent an extra $97/month on better landing page software but it bumped up your sales to TWO every day, you would do it, right?
That’s spending an extra $97/month to make an additional $674/month. Yes, please…
This is generally how paid software in the blogging biz works and why it’s important to understand that you will often have to invest some money upfront before the rewards pay off.
Other Expectations and Costs
There are just a few other minor details that I want to address before ending this post.
You don’t need any special equipment to be a blogger except for a working laptop with a good internet connection.
If you don’t have regular access to a great Wi-Fi connection, you need to consider getting it or finding another career.
Blogging requires you to be regularly connected to your work, your audience, and social media.
The good news is that you don’t need special cameras or any other kind of external equipment. Other than a laptop, blogging is more about the software that you use and that I described above.
Don’t forget that another huge investment is your TIME!
Blogging takes time. When you are just starting out, you might need to spend long hours on your computer working on your blog and trying to figure out what works.
When your blog begins to be successful and starts earning you income, you’ll find that you’ll start bouncing out of bed in the morning because you’re so excited to get to work!
Summary of What It Cost to Start a Blog
Expected Costs in the First 1-3 Months of Blogging
- Blog Hosting: $138.72 (for 48 months) (averages to $2.85/month with my Hostinger discount)
- Blog Theme: $60-90 (#1 recommendation: Divi theme)
- Social Media Tools: $10-30/month (Tailwind)
- Investment in Blogging Courses: $20+ (Zero to Pro is my premium blogging course with live trainings)
Total Expected Costs in the First 1-3 Months of Blogging: $262 upfront + $46/month after that + optional blogging courses.
Expected Costs After 3+ Months of Blogging
- Other Software: $50+
- Additional Blogging Courses: Optional
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I hope this helped to address some of your questions associated with the actual cost of starting a blog and running it, but if I missed something, please feel free to ask in the comment section below!