One of the most frequently asked questions from hopeful new bloggers is, “How much does it cost to make a blog?”
Reading about successful bloggers who boast six-figure blog income can make anybody interested in starting a blog. But, maybe it can make you a little skeptical too, right?
After all, isn't there an old saying?
“It takes money to make money.”
So if you are starting a blog to make money online, how much will it cost to make a blog before the money comes in to support it?
Like many things in life, there is ALWAYS an expensive option. You can ALWAYS add more bells and whistles, especially when it's time to ramp up your marketing.
However, I have some great news for new bloggers.
The actual cost to make a blog for beginners is incredibly small.
Skip your expensive Starbucks run one morning and you can pay for a month (or two) of running your blog.
That's how small.
Let's take a deeper dive into the costs of running a blog.
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What Costs Do Bloggers Have to Pay?
First, let's assume you want to start a self-hosted blog using a platform like WordPress.org.
If you haven't yet read into the differences before WordPress (.com) vs WordPress (.org) make sure to do so here, straight from the source.
There will always be completely free methods, with zero costs for new bloggers. However, they are not the ones you want if you intend to use your blog for business.
There are two costs a self-hosted blogger has to pay for simply owning and operating their site: hosting and domain name.
Blogging Cost #1 – Blog Hosting
To be a “self-hosted” blogger, you are paying to “own your real estate” in a sense.
Starting a money-making blog requires the self-hosting aspect, because there are no limitations in place.
Without getting too technical, there are several popular blog hosting sites to choose from.
Two of the most popular are BlueHost.com and SiteGround.com. As I continue to build out websites, I have tried both of these sites and have been very happy with each.
Bluehost tends to be the cheapest, all-inclusive option for new bloggers. You can often find an exclusive bonus offer through affiliate link recommendations. Here's my link to Bluehost if you want their lowest price available on the market today!
What is the cost to make a blog on Bluehost? Under $5 a month.
Yes, you read that right.
For less than the cost of your morning Starbucks or your grab-and-go lunch in one day, you could be hosting your own money-making blog for a full month.
Oh, and it's pretty common to see an even lower price if you can afford to pay for a full year of hosting upfront, rather than month by both.
I bet you're wondering where the catch is now. The big costs must be coming up in cost number two, right?
Well, have I got a great surprise for you…
Blogging Cost #2 – Blog Domain Name
Your blog domain name is the part you choose that comes after the “www.” in your web address. Most commonly, it's the name of your blog.
I bet you are thinking this much be where the huge cost to make a blog comes in.
Owning your own “.com” address must be pricey.
That's what I thought too. Until I found out the truth. And now I own at least a dozen of them.
Because you can purchase a domain name for less than $12 per YEAR. Meaning less than $1 per month.
And that's for a classic, beloved “.com” address.
If you want to go even lower, the new extensions offered can be even cheaper. (The ones like .health, .beauty, .xyz and so on.)
Oh. But wait.
Remember how I mentioned loving Bluehost because you can find REALLY great offers through affiliates?
Well, if you run with this Bluehost link, not only will you get the lowest cost, but you will also get an amazing bonus.
You get a FREE domain name for the first year.
So that second cost we just mentioned? Doesn't even exist.
And don't worry. There is no weird fine print making the cost sky-high after the first year. The domain name stays at that low market cost we just talked about.
However, if you're interested in scoping out costs of various domain names but haven't chosen a host yet, you can check somewhere like NameCheap. This is where I love, trust and recommend.
Hidden Costs to Make a Blog
As consumers, we have all gotten used to hidden costs of things we purchase. Maybe there is fine print we didn't see, or the costs triple after the intro deal we got.
Luckily, between legal consumer protections and transparency from businesses, much of that has been eliminated in the website and blog building world.
Companies, including blog hosts and domain name resellers, want (and need) to earn your trust to stay in businesses.
They also want to have great reputations so bloggers like me want to partner with them and recommend their products and services.
I can't speak for all hosts, but I can vouch for Bluehost and SiteGround in not having any surprise costs.
Both will show you the upfront plan for the ongoing costs after the first year if you are signing up with any special pricing.
Also, most are great about offering 30-day money back guarantees and sometimes free trial periods.
Optional Costs of Blogging
Lastly, as mentioned earlier, there will always be ways to make any purchase in life more expensive.
Upgrades and add-ons are tempting. Sometimes they are worth every penny, and sometimes they are a waste of money.
For a new blogger, when I recommend starting with just the two costs mentioned above, I mean it. (Or just the one hosting cost with the freebie through Bluehost.)
However, if you are thinking longer-term and want to know what options might be available to you, here are some things many professional bloggers also pay for, and why.
- Email Marketing System – When you are ready to build an email list and send out email broadcasts to your subscribers.
- Social Media Automation Tools – Scheduling posts to popular social media platforms so you can “set it and forget it,” especially if you are running the show all by yourself.
- Custom Website Theme – Personal preference for highly customized website.
- Graphic Design Tools – Improve your marketing materials, design a logo, improve your branding.
Mom Has The Last Word
Notice how nowhere in there did I mention a cost for a web designer or technically-inclined professional to get you up and running?
That's because I taught myself how to go about all of this – from self-hosting to buying domain names – and it's easier than you think!
You do NOT need to pay someone hundreds or thousands of dollars annually to be your webmaster and keep your website up and running. In fact, I am in the middle of building a course to show you exactly how I did it all myself.
Would you be interested in following me step-by-step to building your own blog? Drop a comment or send me a message on social media so I know whether to move this project to the top of my priority list!