How much does it cost to start a blog?
So you have been tossing around the idea of starting a blog. You’ve read countless blogging success stories of bloggers who are making over 100k a month with their blogs. You have seen other successful bloggers claiming to be able to quit their jobs within 6 months to pursue blogging full time. You’ve probably asked yourself, “How much does it cost to start a blog?”
Let me tell you the terrible truth right now. Blogging isn’t free. Yes, you will see many people claiming to help you start a blog for free BUT if you ever want to make money from your blog you WILL have to invest.
It doesn’t have to be much in the beginning but it will be something.
Affiliate Disclaimer: This post most likely contains affiliate links. I earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.
I know that most new bloggers are starting blogs because they want to supplement their income. If you are trying to supplement your income chances are you do not have a whole lot of extra money each month. Because of this, I will give you both free and paid options for each category in this post.
Just remember: If you want your blog to be your business you need to treat it like a business. Starting a business almost always has start-up costs.
Don’t ever feel bad about investing in your blogging business. You will have to spend a little money to make money. Blogging costs are relatively small compared to starting other businesses.
Cost #1: Webhosting
Think of your blog host as the place in the big huge internet that your blog will live. It is important that you pick a reliable company so that your users can always access your website and read your awesome content! We recommend self-hosting using either SiteGround or BlueHost.
BlueHost Basic Plan starts as low as 2.95/ Month
- free domain name!
- 1 website
- 50 GB of website space
- Unmetered bandwidth
- 5 parked domains
- 25 subdomains
- 5 email accounts
SiteGround’s Basic Plan starts as low as $3.95/month
- 1 website
- 10 GB Web Space
- 10,000 Visits Monthly (You can have more visitors but this is the happy spot for site speed and capability with this plan)
- Unmetered traffic
- Free email
*With SiteGround you will have to pay for your domain name. You can do this through SiteGround for $15.95 or through godaddy.com, or domains.google.com (both are around $12 for the year)
Productivity Resource Bundle
Do you want the tools I used to grow my mommy blog side hustle to over $1000 a month?
I’m giving them out for free! Why? Because I was a new blogger once too and I wish someone would have helped me this way too!
Grab this bundle of 4 productivity resources!
- Writing Checklist
- Keyword and Topic Planner
- Blog Post Outline
- At a Glance Blog Post Organizer
Cost #2: Theme
What is a blog theme?
A Blog Theme is the design aspect of a blog. If you think of hosting as a house where everything is stored then a theme is the paint colors, furniture, and all of the interior design. A theme gives you control over how you can design your blog and the overall appearance.
Paid Theme: Divi Theme by Elegant Themes
I struggled to design my first blog, bringingbackthehousewife.com when we tried using a free theme. It was frustrating and time-consuming. I wasn’t able to get the blog to look the way I wanted! Then we switched over to the Divi Theme by Elegant Themes. I will never go back. Divi is extremely easy to use and is extremely customizable. To say I am obsessed would be an understatement.
When you purchase Elegant themes you get 87 themes and 6 plugins, which includes Divi. You can get one year of Elegant Themes for $89.
- Access to All Themes
- Access to All Plugins
- Theme Updates
- Premium Support
- Unlimited Website Usage
- Risk-Free Guarantee
We personally have the LifeTime Access Package. This is a one time fee of $249. I know that has a hefty price tag but believe me the functionality of Divi is amazing, you are going to want to use it year after year. You really won’t regret that purchase.
With the Lifetime Access Package, you get
- Lifetime access to all themes
- Lifetime access to all plugins
- Lifetime updates
- Lifetime premium support
- Unlimited website usage
- Risk-Free Guarantee. (Get your money back after 30 days if you don’t love it)
Sign up for Divi today! You won’t regret it!
There are many free WordPress theme options out there. Since I have not used any of them I don’t can’t speak to them other than that they come highly rated from other users.
These themes include:
If paying $249 for lifetime access to Divi seems overwhelming you could start with the one year for $89 so that you can test it out for a whole year. At the end of the year, you could buy the lifetime access. This year would give you the chance to make sure blogging is for you and that you are ready for the bigger commitment.
It is also 100% okay to start with a free theme! Upgrade to Divi when you are ready!
Cost #3: E-Mail Service
What is an email service?
An email service is a third party provider that collects, stores, and protects the email addresses of your subscribers. This service also allows you to send emails to subscribers.
Why do you need one?
Having an email service is the only way you are going to be able to directly contact your readers. Directly reaching your readers will be critical when you to sell products and services. Building an email list takes time and effort. You should start collecting email addresses as soon as you launch your blog.
Signing up for an email service is the way to do that!
Paid Version: ConvertKit
Convert Kit is the email service that we use. As someone that is not very tech savvy, I am usually ready to pay a little bit extra for something that will be easy to use. Your blogging to-do list will be a mile long, you do not want to waste any extra time trying to figure out how to navigate tricky software.
I have found ConvertKit to be extremely user-friendly.
The base package Convert Kit offers is $29.This package gets you
- 0-1k Subscribers
- Unlimited customizable forms
- Unlimited emails
- Subscriber Tagging
- 70+ Direct Integrations
- Email and Live Chat Support.
Free Alternative: Mail Chimp
I personally never used Mail Chimp because I was pretty sure I was going to pass the 2,000 subscriber limit pretty quickly. I didn’t want to go through the work of transferring over my email list. Plus I had read that they are not as user-friendly as ConvertKit.
The free Mail Chimp Service gets you:
- 2,000 Subscribers
- 10,000 emails per month
- Multi-use accounts
- EMail and support for the first 30 days
- Pop up forms
- Landing pages
- And more
Cost #4: Marketing
Why do you need to market your blog?
The sad truth is that no matter how hard you work on your blog, how amazing it looks, and how amazing your writing and products are, no one will ever see it unless you market it. Think about this: how huge is the internet? SOOOOO huge right? Well if the internet is that huge how will your blog ever be found if you don’t market it?
Good news! Marketing your blog can be free! Pinterest is an excellent resource for blog marketing!
Most bloggers market their blogs on Pinterest! Since it’s free you will be able to drive tons of organic FREE traffic to your blog!
Read: Pinterest Marketing Tips
Next level your Pinterest Marketing with Tailwind!
While marketing your blog on Pinterest is free there is also a paid service called Tailwind. Tailwind allows your to schedule hundreds of posts in just a few minutes, sign up for tribes which will increase traffic, and provides pretty in-depth analytics which will help you improve your Pinterest Marketing.
You can sign up for Tailwind for free and schedule your first 100 pins. After that, there are several different packages available.
The Basic Tailwind Account called Tailwind Plus starts at 9.99/month per account and is billed annually. This membership includes
- Smart scheduling
- Unlimited scheduling
- Profile and board metrics
- Basic website insights
- 30 day history archive
- 5 Tailwind Tribes Memberships
- 30 Tailwind Tribe submissions
- 250 Active Smart Loop Posts
After that there are many different upgrades you can select. I highly, HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend signing up for the Tailwind Plus account. The time you will save scheduling pins and using Tribes will more than earn back your $9.99 a month investment. Sign up and schedule your first 100 posts for free, here.
Total Cost Summary: How Much Does it Cost to start a Blog?
To Summarize: You can run your blog for about $50 a month. This is including the base package of most services.
Hosting: $3.95/ Month (Paid annually)
Convert Kit: $29.99
Elegant Themes: $7.41/Month (Paid annually)
This equals $51.34/ a month
Some other startup costs might include paid courses or services associated with setting up your blog.
As far as new business ventures go, blogging is extremely affordable with these startup costs! Don’t wait! Start your blog today! You’re future self will thank you!
Why Spark Your Blog?
We have been where you are! We got married, overspent, had a baby, and felt like we were drowning in student loan debt, bills, and every day expenses. Starting our first blog changed everything! With my little mommy blog, I was bringing in over 1k a month in less than a year with pretty minimal effort and maintenance (after I got the blog off the ground that is!)
That could be you too! If you have a few extra hours to spare each week think about what that extra income can do for you! And if you work really hard you can turn blogging from a side hustle into a full-time gig! It's possible!
So stop dreaming and start doing!