Are you thinking of starting a blog?
Do you think you can’t afford it?
In this post I will show you how you can start a blog on a budget.
What Do You Need To Start A Blog?
Starting a blog can be a daunting experience for a beginner, but it doesn’t have to be.
If you get yourself organised and know what you need to get started you can be up and running very quickly.
So what do you need to start a blog?
- An idea for your blog niche
- A domain name
- A content management system (CMS)
- Web hosting
These are the basic things you need to start your blog. Let’s look at each of them in more detail.
An Idea For Your Blog Niche
Before you start building your blog you will need an idea for your blog niche. The choice you make here can be vital to the success of your blog, so choose carefully.
Your blog niche might be an easy choice for you, especially if it is about a hobby or interest. Choosing a hobby or interest as the subject of your blog can really increase the chances of being a successful blogger.
This is because you will already have a good knowledge of the subject and will know what others with the same interest will be looking for from this type of blog.
Having this knowledge will help you write interesting and informative blog posts and build a rapport with your followers.
The fact that you love the subject will also keep you interested and make blogging a pleasure rather than a chore and make it easier to come up with blog post ideas.
Choosing a niche that you are interested in is strongly recommended and will make blogging much easier in the long term.
Choose A Domain Name
When you start a blog you will need a domain name. This is the address of your blog and you need to think carefully about your choice.
A domain name needs to be memorable and preferably reflect the subject of your blog.
You will also need to decide what extension your domain name will have, such as .COM or .CO.UK for example. This is usually decided by the target audience of your blog. If your traffic is coming from all over the World you would probably choose a .COM domain but if it is country specific you might be better with a domain extension for that country.
On the domain registrars website you will be able to search for a suitable domain name for your blog. To help you decide on suitable names think of potential keywords or phrases that are related to your niche and try to make it as memorable as possible.
Domain names usually cost around $10-$15 per year depending on the extension and if they are not classed as a premium domain which will cost a lot more. Premium domains are not recommended for blogs though due to the excessive cost.
Now you have your domain you can move on to your next step.
Choose A Content Management System
A content management system allows you to build your website and add content very easily. There are lots of content management systems available but I only use and highly recommend WordPress.
The version of WordPress I recommend is WordPress.org as this gives you more options to grow and monetize your blog.
With WordPress you use themes and plugins to design the look and features on your website. Some of these are free and some are paid options. Which you choose will depend on your specific needs and your budget.
For this blog I use the GeneratePress Premium theme, but there is a free version of this theme as well which has a few less features. You could always start with the free version and then upgrade later if needed or when your finances allow it.
You can see details of the GeneratePress theme here.
After you have decided which CMS to use you will need one more thing before you start building your blog.
If you are using WordPress.org as your content management system (which is recommended) you will need to purchase some web hosting.
There are many choices when you are looking for web hosting for your blog. If you are starting a blog on a budget then you have to choose carefully to make sure the hosting has all the features you require at the right price.
There is a more in depth look at web hosting in the blog post – How To Choose Hosting For Your WordPress Site.
As this post is about how to blog on a budget, the price will be a very important factor when making your choice but don’t just choose the cheapest as this might not provide everything you need for a successful blog.
Always set your budget and check out all the features offered by different web hosts within your price range.
The hosting company I use for Explorewp is A2 Hosting. This is the company I think offers the best features and performance for the price.
If you need an even cheaper alternative then 1&1 Ionos offer the first year for as little as $12, but remember this will rise in the second year and might not be the best option in the long term.
These are my recommendations but always make sure they meet your requirements before purchasing.
Now you have everything you need you can start blogging. Make sure you write good quality posts to inform and entertain your readers.
The quality of your posts will determine the success of your blog so make them as good as you possibly can.
Although it is nice to have a good looking blog the quality of your content should always come first.
With fast and reliable web hosting your site will load quicker and this will help with the SEO of your website and help you to keep your audience on your site for longer.
There are also ways to create graphics and images for your blog for free as well. Online design tools such as Stencil and Snappa both have free versions that are useful as you get started on your blogging journey.
Having good images will improve the look of your blog and when added to useful and informative content they will take your blog posts to a higher level.
Take a closer look at Stencil here.
Find more information about Snappa here.
I hope this post has provided you with the knowledge and inspiration to start blogging and create your blog on a budget.
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