As a new blogger, you’ll probably want to know – how much does it cost to start a blog?
The answer to that question will entirely depend on what kind of blog you’re starting and what you need to bring your vision to life.
You can start a blog for free but you won’t be able to truly own it. If you want to 100% own your blog and the domain name then you need to invest in paid hosting, a paid domain, and possibly a couple of other free tools depending on how fast you want to grow.
Let’s dive into what this might look like cost-wise.
How much does it cost to start a blog?
According to a poll done by Blog Tyrant, 36.8% of bloggers spend more than $100 when starting a blog. The people included in this poll were those who aim to make money with their blogs.
Does that mean all blogs cost at least $100 to start them? Absolutely not. Not every blog is going to be the same, nor will every blog cost the same.
Different bloggers have different goals. Some bloggers want to start blogs for a hobby, some want to start a blog that can eventually make money but it isn’t their primary goal, some do it as a side hustle, and others are purely starting blogs as full-time income-generating activities.
It can sometimes be hard to focus on your goals in the very beginning, especially with the mental health challenges that can come with blogging. This also leads to overspending in the beginning.
Let’s determine what you’ll need starting out so that doesn’t happen.
Determine What You’ll Need for Your Blog
If you’re starting a blog as a hobby, chances are you won’t need to pay for anything since you have access to free hosting options with WordPress.com – which is their free offering to folks who want to get their feet wet with blogging.
However, if you’re starting a blog for income, then you’ll have to spend money to make money. This doesn’t mean spending a lot of money.
There are several affordable options out there for your blog.
Usually, there are 2 things every blog absolutely needs:
- A domain name: Think of this as your virtual address for your website and the way your readers access the blog.
- Hosting: This is what actually powers what shows us when your readers access your blog. This is what makes the actual website appear live on the web.
In addition to those 2 basic things, other tools you might want to think about if you need or not are:
- Design tools such as Canva
- Themes and plugins for your website
- Marketing tools like email marketing tools
- Social media marketing and scheduling tools
- Keyword and competition research and tracking tools
- Contractors if you want to hire others to help you create content for the blog
- And any others that might come to mind for your specific vision of your blog
The Different Costs Associated With Blogging
Now that we’ve nailed down everything that you may or may not need for your blog, let’s talk numbers.
Domain name: $0 to $15/year
A domain name can cost anywhere from nothing to as much as $15 or more per year. The cost of your domain will depend on the popularity of the word combination used in the domain. The .com variation is also usually more expensive but you should still be able to find a good .com domain for under $15 a year.
Affordable domain name registrars to purchase a domain name through:
Hosting: $3 to $25/month
The cost of hosting will depend on the kind of hosting you need. Usually, it is recommended for bloggers to invest in WordPress hosting which starts usually at about $1 a month. You can easily set up your hosting with Namecheap or Godaddy after you purchase your domain name.
However, no code tools like Webflow are on the rise which you can get started on for completely free and then move up to a paid hosting plan from there.
Affordable hosting providers for your blog:
- Namecheap: Hosting costs start at $24 a year with a free trial available
- Godaddy: Hosting costs starts at $1 a month with a free domain
- Bluehost: Hosting costs start at $2.95 a month
- Webflow: Hosting costs start at $0 a month and go up to $12 a month with their basic hosting option
Theme and plugins (premium): free to thousands of dollars
Regardless of if you decide to go with a WordPress hosting option or to use a no-code tool like Webflow, both have options for themes and plugins.
There are usually great options for plugins that are completely free starting out and if you go with WordPress or a no-code option like Webflow, then you’ll see both have a completely free plugin library.
However, for themes, you’re looking at costs that start at about $50 and can go up to as much as a couple of thousand dollars if you were to hire someone else to design your website for you.
You can purchase themes on websites like Creative Market for WordPress, browse their free theme library within WordPress, hire out someone else to design your website for you, or go with a free or paid theme on Webflow.
Email marketing tools: $0 to $50/month or more
Email marketing is going to be a huge focus area for your blog. These are the readers that liked your blog so much that they signed up for your email list.
They are basically your VIPs so treat them like it with a good email marketing service.
Affordable and great email marketing service providers to look at:
- Flodesk: Has a free option available to get started then increases to $38/month
- Substack: Get started using it for free
Other tools: $0 to $100/month or more
Other tools you might need for your blog are social media marketing tools to both create and schedule those posts to your community, tools for search engine optimization to increase your Google traffic, and anything else you might need for the daily operations and marketing of your blog.
Some of these tools are:
- Buffer: Schedule social media posts for free or go up to their premium plans that start at $5 a month
- Keywords Everywhere: An affordable keywords research option with prices that start at $10 for 100,000 keyword search credits
- Ahrefs: Keyword and competition research and tracking tool with prices that start at $99 a month
Contractors aren’t something that you would start hiring out for immediately.
Give yourself some time to test out content for your blog, play around with how you want to run things, and then think about hiring someone to help you with those repetitive tasks that you shouldn’t be doing anyway.
Once you’re ready, use a website like Fiverr to start looking for contractors.
Wrapping Up Blog Costs
As you’re planning your new blog, don’t try to jump into all of the paid tools all at once. Chances are, you don’t need them all in the beginning.
Redirect yourself to the basics, which are your domain name and hosting. Start there and add on as you see fit and as you grow.