From a monetary point of view, starting a blog can cost you nothing. It can be free.
There are many free blogging platforms to choose from like www.blogger.com, www.typepad.com and even the mighty www.wordpress.com.
These free blogging platforms are fine for those individuals who just want to blog and NOT make any income.
You get to choose different layouts, different header banners (i.e. the photo or design, right at the top of your blog).
You can also choose what you’d like in the sidebars as well.
These are excellent if you just want to share your thoughts and opinions.
However, more and more people are turning to the web and blogging to make a blog income.
Some want to remove themselves from the 9-5 rat race and blogging can be one way to do that (like I did – see the 50 things you didn’t know about me). Others have suddenly found themselves unemployed and want to start something new, fresh and it’s their next journey in life.
Others simply want to carry on working the 9-5 and just want to supplement their income.
Housewives and househusbands want to work part-time from home and blogging can be a way of making some extra income.
So for those who do want to make a blog income, I don’t recommend a free blogging platform.
Using a non-free blogging platform will dramatically improve a blogger’s ability to earn money blogging.
These are the reasons why I don’t recommend you use any free blogging software:
Monetization and Advertisements: Many of the free blogging platforms do not allow you to include advertisements of any kind and by advertising you can make an income.
Customization: The free blogging platforms provide few options to change the design of your blog and a limited amount of internet space. The options to choose layouts, headers, etc as I state above are good but they are still restrictive.
Technical Knowledge: The free blogging platforms require much more technical knowledge than the non-free platforms and if you don’t want to get into the technical side, then ignore them.
Plugins: With the free blogging software you are restricted with what plugins you can use. Plugins are ‘add-ons’ that add functionality to your blog and there are thousands of free ones to choose from. Some will make your blog load faster. Others attract visitors, allows you to add photos, videos…the list is almost endless.
Here are some of my recommended plugins: 16 Mandatory WordPress Plugins Your Blog Should Have
If you want to make a blog income, I recommend you go with a non-free blogging platform like WordPress.
Hold On! I said WordPress was free!
There are 2 different versions of WordPress. Let me explain…
The WordPress software from www.wordpress.com is free. They provide everything, the domain name, the hosting and the software but I do not recommend you use them.
As well as the reasons I mention above about free blogging platforms, if you were to use WordPress.com you don’t own the blog, WordPress does and that means you are very limited in what you can do with the software.
The other WordPress software from www.wordpress.org is the one I recommend.
One more reason:
Google loves WordPress.org: Google has come out and stated that Google loves WordPress. WordPress makes it easier to gain more traffic and visitors to your blog. Here’s a video with Matt Cutts (the face of Google) explaining why Google loves WordPress. Click here: Matt Cutts video
Here are the small costs involved to set up your own blog:
A domain name and hosting
Check out my blog post on “How to choose a website name”
To make things simple you can buy the domain name and the hosting of the domain name with the same company. They do everything for you and it just makes things easier.
When you purchase hosting, you are basically buying some space on the internet for you to load your blog. That’s hosting in real simple terms.
A domain name and hosting for one month will cost as little as $4.95.
I use the following hosting providers for my clients and myself and they are excellent.
And that’s it.
You DON’T NEED to purchase anything else. You now have your own on-line blogging business that’s going to cost you approx. $60 per year.
Of course, just buying the domain and hosting isn’t going to make you a blog income, but I’m just talking about the set-up costs here.
These are some extras that I would recommend:
A Premium WordPress theme
There are numerous WordPress themes to choose from.
Why do I recommend a premium theme?
Mainly because the free ones are a little poor in their design, take time to understand on how to change things and the support if you have problems can be non-existent.
The premiums themes do cost but they save you huge amounts of time and the support is excellent. Expect to pay anything between $50 and $100 for a premium theme.
The ones I use for my clients and myself are:
A Header Banner
Some blog owners like to have a personally branded header banner.
Having your own personally branded header banner makes you different from all the rest.
The price for a unique header banner can vastly range, anything from $30 to $1000.
In summary, to make a blog for a blog income, the minimum cost is just a domain name and hosting ($60 per year) and if you want a premium theme ($80) and a personally branded header banner, that’s an extra $60.
In total $200 for your first year on-line costs. Then don’t forget in the second year you would only have the hosting costs of $60 per year.
That’s the cheapest business you’ll ever set up.
What’s your view on the set up costs for a blog? Which hosting or extra purchases do you recommend? Please share your ideas in the comments below.
It’s amazing how many people start their blog using a free blogging platform – we started the same way on Blogger – but it doesn’t take long before you realise the limitations and you move on to WordPress. It makes life a whole lot easier when you have full control over what you can do with your blog. You just don’t get that with free blogging platforms PLUS as you say the costs aren’t that great.
This is an amazing business – the costs are negligable compared to the amount of money you can potentially make.
Thanks for dropping by!
Those free blogging platforms are so restricted – we need all bloggers out there to know about WordPress!
I use hostgator myself and I love wordpress. I am enjoying learning this new process and actually making some money from it. Its such a low investment for a resource that can give you back so much return.
I also use Aweber to ramp up my profit margins. It takes time, but it is lovely. It takes your cost to about $260 a year, but it is well worth the ROI.
I’ve been testing Aweber out over the past few months and have now decided to move all my email services to them. The support is excellent.
I also use hostgator and I have so far liked their service. They have excellent support and reliable service.
I am still using blogger blogspot. When I was new on blogging I did not aware about that we have to be our own domain. But now I can understand. My blog already gain PR3 and SERP rank for some popular keyword. So I think If I change my blog to custom domain might be my all rank will decreases.
I wish to start a blog, but the technology is not easy to implement. I was reading the article carefully and it seems that wordpress is still the best alternative.
WordPress.org is the best blogging platform. You can get my free multi-media guide about blogging here: http://www.incomebloggingguide.com/
If you are serious about your blog then you cannot get better than WordPress…that’s WordPress.org NOT WordPress.com
As always…great comment.
I think the most important thing is the fundamental need to keep everything under once control. Having a blog in your own domain and under your server is key if people are any serious about having a blog.
Plus having your own domain goes towards showing you are a serious business to your visitors / customers.
Indeed wordpress is athe best blogging platform out there. It is not only easy to use, but is backed up by thousands of free plugins and a robust community just in case you need any help with your blog.
Truly, it cost me around $200 to launch my blog last year: hosting for 24 months and Thesis theme. Till now the plugins I use are free. Thanks Andrew.
There is no-where else you could start you onw business up with just $200, is there?
Great guide. However, even if you want to make money from your blog but not spend this can be done but you will have to have patience. You will need to start off on the free blogger platform (not wordpress.com because you can’t customize it much). You can then proceed to build it to a level where it is earning a small income yet enough to purchase a domain and hosting. Voila! That’s how I did it. Of course you will need patience, time and hard work.
If you are serious about many money on-line, I would recommend you buy your own domain name and use WordPress.org.
The small investment will be worth it in the long run.
I also started on blogger.com and later moved on to the self hosted wordpress platform available from wordpress.org. It gives you much further control than the blogspot blogs which I only personally recommend to starters looking to gain experience with blogging first.
Thanks so what free blogger platform did you use then? Also would it be suitable for a novice blogger such as myself who has possibly never even recognized reading a blog let alone use one. I hope to build a small business from home.
I would suggest you do a lot of research – perhaps even get a mentor. You could go very wrong if you don’t know what you are doing.
Great points you make Andrew. Using free blogging platforms is like building your business on someone else’s land! Why would you do that!? Work hard for years and put all of your effort into building your business, knowing that at any moment the the owner of the land can simply kick you out for no reason!?…
I(and I think you and most bloggers) know of a blogger who had a successful free blog on blogger, ranking high for many top keywords in his niche, until one day, blogger decided to delete his blog and so he lost everything.
He eventually got the blog back, but lost his ranking and all the traffic he had worked so hard for, for years and years.
Of course, if you are e beginner and want to learn and get your feet wet, then thats a different case. But, as soon as yo can, get your own domain and hosting. It costs $10 a year for a domain and probably around $60-70 for hosting.
If you were going to build a business offline, dont you think people would laugh at you if you weren’t prepare to spend around $100 a year?..
Excellent point well made about the domain owners just removing your blog for no reason.
I agree $100 is small but I think many people want to do it on the cheap.
Great post. WordPress is an incredible platform furthermore it’s very easy to use and install :). I really enjoyed your post Andrew.
You are welcome…glad you liked it.
I tried Bluehost when I was starting 2 years ago but found my sites a bit slow to load. Maybe it was the due to the entry-level package I took. I’ve since switched to HostGator & I’m happy so far, their live support is quite helpful in my experience. I’m still struggling with the header design though and can only do basic ones with Photoshop.
I use both BlueHost and HostGator. I must admit I prefer Bluehost!
You thought about outsourcing the creation of your header banner?
Hi Andrew, thanks for the link, I will seriously consider it. I haven’t really thought about outsourcing it, have been prioritizing articles so far. Sooner or later I know I’ll need this service though.
Good luck…whatever approach you take.
I use a premium theme Swift theme..as it can be modded into different designs and is very user friendly …cost is very less almost of a single woo theme..
Not used that one myself. Thanks for sharing your advice.
I do not have a blog yet, but I thought google had it’s own free blogging platform??? I see some of my fb friends business sites blogs that they have created on it?
Google does have its own blogging platform but if you are serious about blogging…WordPress.org is the one to use.
There is a free hosting service offering Cpanel and all you need to instal wordpress easily! I think it´s called 000.webhost or something similar!
Free Sub domains can be get at co . co or something like this!
Does that include a domain name as well – that you own?
Go for a paid blog platform for a more professional look, especially if you have a premium theme. You also have much more control over your blog that has its own hosting account as well. But I guess it’s all about having the passion for what you do. Paid vs free will not matter if your content doesn’t have any value.
you can start a blog with zero cost, if you plan to use blog to make money . Then forget about free blog.
Because is time to monetize your blog, you need to own the blog and own domain name.
You need to managed your hosting your own to make sure it 99 percent uptime and less facing error.
What a very good post. A thorough breakdown of the costs involved in blogging is very useful.
I suppose it all depends what you want from blogging, if it’s just a hobby, free Blogger blogs or WordPress.com blogs will do fine but if you’d like to earn money, a self hosted WordPress.org blog is the way to go as you are in full control and Google loves WordPress at the moment.
Thanks again for a very useful post,
Well If you are an Indian you can get it at Rs1500 INR.. Including domain name and web space…
Good post Andrew. If i’m comparing to my costs mine was so cheap at first time. Me just purchased a 35$ premium theme and hosted with free provider stonerocket. Now i’m shifted to country providers
To begin creating a blog with our own domain, at least we need a fee of $ 21 per year. Usually the space provided is very diverse. Starting from 1 GB even unlimited. I prefer to create a blog with my own domain
Good advice! Although it can be free as you mention, I would strongly recommend people to invest just a little in a good domain name and hosting. Sure, you can use a free subdomain for a while but it’s going to make it more inconvenient to move it if/when you get successful. Also, if it’s not hosted on a server you have control over then it’s not going to be possible to guarantee uptime. Tom
Totally agree Tom.
I find it weird that people want to be successful but don’t want to invest a small amount of money into a personal domain name and hosting.
Good advice! Although it can be free as you mention,.Thanks for the link, I will seriously consider it. I haven’t really thought about outsourcing it, have been prioritizing articles so far. Sooner or later I know I’ll need this service though.Thank you for posting this article.
Hi ! it is really useful …information about that how much blog cost. We have also an Article that is similar that How To Know that You Are Ready to Start a Blog Most Internet users have at one point contemplated about writing a blog. After all, it doesn’t cost anything to start one and it sounds like fun. But the fact is that majority of new blogs die within the first three months. People loose interest, motivation or simply decide that blogging isn’t everything it is cranked up to be. There are plenty of abandoned blogs out there testifying to this. Don’t make another one.
I personally started using blogger at 1st, but switched to buying domains from godaddy, hosting from hostgator and using WordPress. I myself highly recommend WP because of it’s flexibility
The cost of blog should not be measured in terms of dollars only. The cost comprises time, effort and resources. The only problem is that most of the people cannot manage their time and effort. Similarly people remain disoriented about the application of effort. Anyhow this is a continuous task and demands sheer commitment.
This is a brilliant post and interesting. I have recently started a blog. As far as the costs were concerned, it cost me the domain name and also hosting. All in all lets say 20 dollars to start with. I am sure costs will increase.
Costs will increase – you may want to invest in some automated tools.
Perhaps I should write a blog post called “How much does it cost to maintain a blog?”
Andrew, please share which automated tools to use. I am sure costs will mount over time.
You may want to read this post that deals with backlinks:
I love to use Bluehost, and the procedure to install a WordPress is very easy by simple script.
Thanks you to give a such nice information.
Thanks for your post Mr. Andrew. Well this is a newbie blogger deb, who is experimenting with blog from the last one & half year.
I started blogging with blogger. I learned a lot about blogging, how-to-blog and so on from that. That blog has got decent number of unique visitors across the world. Now i want to start a new professional blog and want to do it seriously. I searched the web regarding the which blogging platform is the best? and i read a ton of articles from many blogs. I finally got my decision, It’s definitely WORDPRESS. But here is the problem, wordpress .com or .org . I know that starting with .org is the best. I totally agree with you that $100 is really small for a business. But i’m a engineering student right now. There is a bit difficult for me to pay to the webhost & for domain right now.
My question is, can i start my blog with wordpress.com after a while, i will switch to wp.org with my own server easily? – is that a good idea?
and Can u tell me how much money a professional blogger earn?
I want to here from you=)
The good thing is you have started and also thought about how to move your business forward.
You can start with WordPress.com and then move over to WordPress.org but am not sure you can take the domain name with you.
I know money, for you, is tight but if you could find just $100…I think it would be worth it.
Your last question: Can u tell me how much money a professional blogger earn?
There are so many factors involved in earning an income as a professional blogger. A huge percentage of bloggers make hardly any money at all.
I’m guessing but, perhaps, 10% make a decent (and better) income.
Thank you so much for ur reply Mr. andrew.
Now i have decided to go with wordpress.org . Even now i’m searching a decent domain for me right now. isn’t it a good decision to use my custom domain and hosting it with free 000webhost for now, After a while i will switch to doreo server?
Money making part is important as per as serious blogging. But inspite of that i want to show my online presence, to be the part of web community…
I like your site. Thanks for helping us=)
Great post, I started on blogger and recently moved to my own self hosted wordpress. Freedom to write whatever I like! It is so much easier than people think.
Aweber is something on which you can rely. It will take some time, but trust me it will be of great help. WordPress is simply awesome. It’s so easy to use and doesn’t cost much, though returns is huge.
A really nice atricle. A through breakdown of the costs involved in blogging is very useful.This is a brilliant post and interesting. I have recently started a blog. As far as the costs were concerned, it cost me the domain name and also hosting.As far as blog concenred ilater moved on to the self hosted wordpress platform available from wordpress.org. It gives you much further control than the blogspot blogs which I only personally recommend to starters looking to gain experience with blogging first.Thanks for such nice article really helpful.
I love wordpress and to build sites now are dead easy just to get them ranking is always the best and hardest things to do.
Really nice article. I have an idea for a blog/site but am completely new to this. Is customization easy with these hosting sites and wordpress? At least in terms of a custom banner, site layout and adding images to articles and blog posts?
Is there anyone I could chat with privately and bounce some ideas off of before I get started?
I have no issues investing a few hundred dollars, I just want to make sure I can do exactly what I want to do.
I have a free chat facility you can use – see bottom right of my site. You can use that to make contact and we can discuss your needs.
If someone can’t invest in their own domain name for blogging (about $1 per month) or the hosting ($5 per month)they should just get therir domain and park it and fill it up with adsense. At least that way a trickle will come in so they can re-invest in themselves. 🙂