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How Much Does It Cost to Start a Blog?

14 Mins read

Featured image courtesy of Unsplash.

Have you been considering starting a blog?

Whether you’re thinking about adding one to support your business, using blogging as a method of self-expression, or wanting to create something new and profitable, starting a blog is a great pastime and worthwhile endeavor.

But there is a big question you might be asking: how much does it cost to start a blog?

There are ways to start a blog that are completely free, but this is nearly impossible to do if you’re looking to grow your blog beyond basic content creation. We’re going to take a look at the question “how much does it cost to start a blog?” and consider three different price points and goals.

Let’s dig in!

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Blog?

Have you already done some research on how to start a blog and decided that it’s right for you? Before you make the official leap into starting a blog, it’s good to be aware of all of the costs that are associated with blogging.

how much does it cost to start a blog
Image courtesy of Unsplash.

The amount of money that you invest in your blog (and the answer to that key question of “how much does it cost to start a blog?”) will depend on your goals. We’re going to explore prices associated with blogging and sort them into three main categories:

  • Lowest cost
  • Middle of the road
  • Fastest growth

Budget-friendly blogging options are out there. However, there are even more options if you’re willing to invest more. Let’s find out how it’s done!

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Blog: Lowest Cost

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Are you hoping to start your blog with minimal investments, sticking as close to free as possible? Then focusing on lowest cost is right for you!

Fortunately, most blogging platforms are completely free to start. WordPress, our favorite platform for beginner bloggers, is completely free to start a blog with. You can register a name and have your URL end with “.wordpress.com” for zero cost, and immediately get to content creation.

However, there are a few reasons why going the zero-cost route might be a mistake. To build a successful blog, you’ll want more freedom, control, security, and a proper domain name.

Registering a Domain Name

Take a moment to think about your favorite blogs. Odds are, they don’t end with “.wordpress.com” and this is for a good reason. Having a different extension (like .com, .org, .co, and so on) adds credibility to your site and helps people feel like they are on a separate website and not a WordPress account.

In addition to your overall credibility, having an extension like “.com” is better for SEO purposes, especially when compared to a “.wordpress.com” extension.

Registering a domain is a low cost way to immediately add value to your website. In learning the answer to how much does it cost to start a blog, the cost of registering that domain will be your first step!

We recommend using GoDaddy to register your blog. This budget-friendly, easy to use domain registrar is the best way to get a good domain name without paying an arm and a leg.

Image courtesy of GoDaddy.

As you can see from the image above, all you need to do is type in your desired blog name. You’ll be given a list of various examples and extensions with prices listed. Pick your favorite one that works with your price point, and there you have it! Your own registered domain.

You can anticipate paying around $15/year for your domain if you’re specifically trying to keep your price low.

Using a Web Hosting Platform

Another essential cost of creating a blog is using a web host. This will make your blog more easily accessible to potential visitors, and provide more safety and security to your site. For more information about why you want a web host, take a look at the brief video below.

But where do you get a web host? Luckily for bloggers, this process is just as easy as it is to register a domain name!

Bluehost is our favorite service to use when securing a web host. It’s simple and beginner-friendly, and also provides you with all of the information you’ll need to choose a web hosting platform. It offers different pricing options to help you determine which level of service will work for you and your blog.

For a budget-friendly option, you can easily choose Bluehost’s WordPress-specific plans. Depending on the size and scope of your site, you may be able to pay under $4/month!

Take a look at the list below for a few examples.

Image courtesy of Bluehost.

But even with a more expensive plan, getting a web host shouldn’t cost you more than $15/month for a new blog. While this is a little bit pricier than registering a domain, it will certainly be worth your investment in the long run.

The Essentials of Low Cost Blogging

There are free ways around every other element of blogging, including plugins, templates, themes, and more. However, you definitely don’t want to skip out on registering a domain and using a web host.

So, how much does it cost to start a blog?

Well, if you’re going with the cheapest route possible, you can easily start your blog for less than $100 a year! That’s not bad for a website with lots of earning potential!

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Blog: Middle of the Road

Are you willing to shell out a little bit more money in exchange for a high-quality blog? You don’t need to take money out of your savings for this level of blog building, but you’ll need to be willing to spend a bit more.

We recommend this level of starting a blog for anybody who intends to have higher traffic, or for those who are growing their blog for a business website.

Domain Registration and Web Hosting

As with in our last category, registering a domain and finding a web hosting platform are essentials for “middle of the road” blog building.

Check out GoDaddy for the best domain name registration prices. Since this is a crucial step in building a blog, it’s not the kind of area where you want to be too cheap. So, if your preferred domain name costs more than you anticipated, picking this as your biggest investment might be worthwhile.

You may find yourself spending between $25 and $50 per year on a domain name at this level.

Image courtesy of GoDaddy.

Once you have a domain name selected, it’s time to secure a web hosting platform. As with our previous step, using Bluehost is the most simple and rewarding route.

This is another route where you may want to spend a little more on a great web hosting plan. If you decide to go with a WordPress specific plan, we have a few recommendations. At the very least, the “Choice Plus” plan should be on your radar. However, we think a WordPress plus plan might make more sense for your blogging needs.

Image courtesy of Bluehost.

As you can see from the available options above, these premium hosting plans will cost a bit more than the basic WordPress hosting plans. Though, they’re fantastic options if you intend to build your website. They also come with more privacy and security options and better support from Bluehost.

Another great feature found with these plans is the Microsoft 365 mailbox, which will come in handy when taking advantage of the email marketing plans we’ve outlined below.

These hosting plans will cost you between $30 and $60 a month.

Email Marketing Services

Email marketing services are a great addition to your blogging efforts. Though our favorite email marketing options may not have enough features for those on a bigger budget, these are perfect for someone who’s interested in getting started with email marketing to grow their online business.

Convertkit is our favorite when it comes to email marketing services. This platform is designed to boost your marketing results through email. You can send out both broadcast and autoresponder emails to your followers to dramatically improve the lifetime value of your customers.

Image courtesy of Convertkit.

As you can see from the image below, all of these fantastic offers are available to you for only $25 a month. If growth is your game, then Convertkit is for you.

Another benefit of Convertkit? They offer free courses to teach you about email marketing and online businesses! Watch the video below to learn all about why (and how) to use Convertkit.

Premium Themes

WordPress comes loaded with plenty of free themes for users. This is a great place to start building your blog. A quality premium theme can help you stand out against the millions of blogs that have already been created through WordPress.

You can select one of the many premium themes available directly through WordPress. Some of our favorites include:

Do none of these options stand out to you? You may want to consider giving GeneratePress a try.

This freemium platform is a wonderful place to turn to if you need high performance and flexibility. With seemingly endless templates and design options, you’ll never want to look at a free WordPress theme again!

Image courtesy of GeneratePress.

A premium GeneratePress purchase will cost you around $50.

SEO Tools

Focusing on SEO to boost your blog’s visibility is important for any content writer. SEO is one of the best ways to drive reliable traffic to your site, and growth is nearly impossible without using it.

There are plenty of free tools to use for SEO, but Yoast Premium may well be worth your while. It will help do most of the work for you, and you’ll save hours of your life trying to optimize your posts.

Image courtesy of Yoast.

For only $90 per year, you’ll have a handful of important tools. These include:

  • Keyword finding tools
  • Keyword optimization
  • Multi-lingual versions
  • Readability checks
  • And much more!

Watch the tutorial below to learn how to use Yoast with your blog.

At this level, you may also want to use paid keyword research tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs. These cost around $99 per month or more, so if that’s still too pricey, you can easily find inexpensive keyword research tools like UberSuggest, or even your own Google Search Console (which is totally free!).

The Essentials of Mid-Budget Blogging

If you’re going with the middle of the road option, odds are you’ll want to save where you can. So, we suggest exploring free plugins and taking advantage of the thousands of YouTube videos with how-to videos on everything about blogging.

How much does it cost to start a blog? To summarize the answer to this question at a mid-range budget, you’ll want to consider investing in the following services when blogging.

  • A domain name ($25 to $50 per year)
  • A hosting service ($30 to $60 per month, or $360 to $720 per year)
  • Email marketing services ($25 per month, or $144 per year)
  • Premium themes (around $50 per year)
  • SEO tools ($90 per year)

You can expect to spend between $500 and $1000+ per year when you’re running a blog on a mid-range budget. This might sound like a lot, especially if you’re just starting out. However, these tools are all designed to equip you with what you need to run a successful blog, so you may end up making far more than you invest!

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Blog: Fastest Growth

Are you ready to start a blog and have plenty of money to invest?

You may be in this situation if you already have experience creating a successful blog in the past or if you run a business and have the funds to create a bigger online presence.

For those in this category, we will be pulling out all of the stops to ensure that you have a fast-growing and successful blog.

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Domain Registration and Website Hosting

As you saw in the last two categories, domain registration and website hosting are crucial investments. You’ll find that registering a domain through GoDaddy is no different than in the last category.

However, for website hosting, you may want to splurge on the priciest category to ensure optimal growth.

Looking through Bluehost’s WordPress options, we recommend using the WordPress pro “Scale” option. This has everything that you need to ensure that your blog is safe, secure, and fast.

The Scale option is also great if you take online payments or run a small shop. If you don’t run a shop, you may find that the “Grow” option is sufficient.

Image courtesy of Bluehost.

Hosting outside of Bluehost is another option for those investing more in their blogs. Kinsta is our favorite premium hosting service for this purpose. Some of their specialized features include:

  • A fully managed hosting plan
  • Free migrations
  • Daily backups
  • Fantastic security

Their plans are pricier than Bluehost’s, but they are more specialized in supporting large blogs.

Image courtesy of Kinsta.

You can anticipate paying $75 and up for a premium hosting plan.

Premium Themes

A high-quality blog with an unrestricted budget deserves the best of the best when it comes to themes. So, you should go with nothing short of the most premium themes out there.

Premium themes on WordPress can cost anywhere from $30 to more than $100. Considering how often you’ll have to deal with your theme, we think that this is a steal!

You’ll also definitely want to check out GeneratePress at this level. You’ll have much more freedom with the layout of your blog, and you’ll have more input into the final layout.

Find out how to utilize GeneratePress for your themes with the video below.

Social Marketing Tools

You’ve selected this level because you’re eager to grow your website quickly. This means that using marketing tools are essential, and social media marketing will be at the core of it all.

For this growth technique, we recommend using Tailwind. This platform allows you to use Pinterest and Instagram to promote your blog, grow your following, and expand your reach. Some of the many features include:

  • Scheduling social media posts
  • Hashtag suggestions
  • Platform advice
  • Networking oppertunities

You can choose to use Instagram, Pinterest, or both with this platform, though the prices will be different depending on your plans. Pinterest Plus and Instagram Plus are $9.99 apiece (per month), and we recommend using both. Enhanced social media marketing at only $20 is practically a steal!

Image courtesy of Tailwind.

You’ll also want to use Convertkit, the email marketing platform that we mentioned in the mid-budget level. Watch the video below as a reminder of how it will work with your blog!

SEO Tools

Our next recommendation for payment-worthy add-ons to any growing blog is a quality paid keyword research tool. There are plenty of resources online to help you learn everything about SEO, but an industry-leading SEO tool is important if you’re serious about growth.

SEMrush comes with a great SEO toolkit that can help any blogger, whether you’re already knowledgeable about SEO or not. It comes with various features to help boost your SEO game, including:

  • A technical SEO audit
  • Position tracking
  • Ideas to help build your organic traffic
  • And much more!

Learn more about how to best utilize SEMrush through the video below.

SEO growth can help you make more money through blogging, so it makes sense that it might be a bit pricier than many other plugins and add-ons. Take a look at the payment chart below to decide if it’s something worthwhile for your business and blog.

Image via SEMrush.

Another worthy SEO tool to check out is TheHoth, an SEO agency that specializes in boosting your business through services like link building and content creation. This agency provides incredible customer service where you connect with an SEO specialist, not just a Google search bar. They do the work for you!

Image courtesy of TheHoth.

HOTHX, a Best Seller in fully-managed advanced SEO at TheHoth, has prices starting at $500 per month with a $250 set up cost. This may seem like an enormous investment, but they are the most specialized, customer-friendly agency out there if you’re looking to transform your blog into a profitable business in no time.

Schedule your free consultation to decide if this route is right for you!

Image courtesy of TheHoth.

Hiring External Workers

Does creating a blog seem like a gigantic task that you’re not up for? If you want to see the results but don’t have the time to put in the work, you can always hire work to contractors and agencies.

Platforms like UpWork are great places to find eager workers. They can do everything from designing a website to writing content! Some freelancers will be a one-stop shop and handle anything you throw at them. However, it’s likely that you’ll want to find specialized workers to work on individual tasks and projects.

You may want to consider hiring freelancers on UpWork for the following tasks:

  • Designing your website
  • Ensuring maximum security on your blog
  • Increasing your virtual reach through marketing
  • Checking your content for SEO
  • Writing blog posts
  • Adding affiliate marketing links into your posts

What we love about UpWork is that it gives you plenty of time to find your freelancer. You can look at their profile to see their past work, read reviews by others who have hired them, and conduct a full interview before offering a project. You also get to set the budget!

The Essentials of Fastest Growth Blog Building

If you’re asking the question, “How much does it cost to start a blog?” and aren’t too worried about three or four digit numbers, then you’ll be happy to know that there is a virtually endless list of resources and tools out there to help you!

For those who aren’t on a tight budget and want to make their blog the very best, as quickly as possible, here’s a quick summary of what you’ll need:

  • Domain registration ($25 to $50 per year)
  • Website hosting ($75 or more per month or $900 per year)
  • Premium themes (around $100 year)
  • Social media marketing ($20 per month or $240 per year)
  • Email marketing ($25 per month or $300 per year)
  • SEO tools (at least $100 per month or $1200 per year)
  • Hiring contractors and freelancers (depends on your budget)

All of these tools and expenses will cost you a few thousand a year, depending on which levels and subscriptions you’ve decided to move forward with. You’ll also spend considerably more if you decide to hire someone to do any of the work for you!

Common Questions

If you’re planning to invest in a blog, odds are you have a few questions. So, we’ve gathered some of the most common inquiries that people have before they get their credit card out.

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

How much does it cost to start a blog?

As you can see from the information we have shared in this article, the amount of money you put in to starting a blog will vary. You can spend as little as $100 a year, or upwards of $10,000! It’s all about your personal blogging goals and what you have to invest.

Is it expensive to start a blog?

In short, it can be. But it doesn’t have to be expensive to start a blog!

It’s important to know all of the information upfront before you register a blog. There will be a few costs here and there, but with the right budgeting, you won’t break the bank!

Is it worth starting a blog in 2020?

Blogging has been popular for over two decades, and for good reason. Blogs are not just a great way of sharing content, but a great way to make money online too!

There are so many ways to make money online. From affiliate marketing to display ads, you can make money from almost every aspect of blogging.

With that said, it’s also important to remember that blogs aren’t a get-rich-quick scheme. You have to invest both your time and money into them before you can expect to make real money.

Take a look at our guide on how to monetize your blog to learn more!

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Can I start a blog for free?

Sure! You can definitely start a blog for free. Most hosting platforms are free to use, and you’ll find that there aren’t any costs until you start digging deep into things like SEO and marketing.

Many people choose to run free blogs for personal enjoyment. You can write personalized content and share it with the world without paying a cent! Some common niches that people use when blogging for free include:

  • Personal stories
  • Event training (like progress on training for a marathon)
  • Music recommendations
  • Hobby blogging

You can also monetize free blogs, meaning you can still make money. However, you’ll have less of a chance at having high traffic numbers and less control over things like ads.

Ultimately, your earning potential will be significantly less than if you’re willing to invest a little cash into your blogging venture.

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Blog Summary

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

How much does it cost to start a blog? Well, as you have learned throughout this post, it depends!

If you have a budget-friendly mentality and want to keep costs low, you can start a successful blog for as little as $100 a year.

Do you have some cash ready to spend, but don’t want to go overboard? Then $500 can be enough to get your feet off of the ground!

Ready to go nuts and build the best blog you can imagine? Your budget should at least be in the four digits. You can expect to spend around $5000 or more in the first year.

Take some time to think about your blogging goals, as well as your budget and the initial planning stages of starting a blog. You’ll be amazed at how much potential you have!

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