If you are thinking of blogging, you should be aware of the various costs involved with it. I had a friend who wanted to startup a blog and make money with it. I advised him that it’s not that easy and requires a lot of time and effort, and the substantial price tag that comes with it. He did get started with his blog but quit after 1 year. However, with a bit of knowledge and technical expertise, blogging can become a rewarding and fun experience for people of all ages. Being a blogger for over 10 years, I will go over the details of how to run a cost effective and successful WordPress blog without breaking your wallet.
No Need for a Blog Oriented Computer
Assuming that you are a blogger who is just starting up, don’t opt for buying a laptop or computer just for blogging. Use what you have. Even a device running Windows 7 can easily handle a blogging platform like WordPress. All you need is a high speed Internet connection (recommended), web browser and an image processing software. The software are available for free. You can use Firefox or Chrome for web browser and MS Paint as an image processor to get started.
It is likely that you already have an Internet connection for your home use so no added investment is required there. If you have a large cellular data plan, you can even tether the data to your computer to setup and update your blog.
Register a Cheap Domain Name for Your WordPress Blog
Many novice bloggers sign up for free blogs without registering a domain name. It is highly recommended that you create your blog’s foundation with the right domain name. Having your own domain name provides you with added control over your blog. If something goes wrong, you can easily change the location of your blog by updating the DNS settings of your domain name.
Domain name registration is not expensive. In fact, you can register a .com domain name for only $10 per year. Consider reputable companies like Godaddy and Namecheap to register your domain. They offer lucrative deals for new registrations. Before you register a domain, make sure you are really certain about the domain name you are planning to use. You want to establish your blog with a catchy domain name for the long term.
Sign up for an Affordable Web Host
For a novice blogger, it will take a while before you get a huge traffic spike to your blog. Don’t panic, that’s the norm but many bloggers give up prematurely due to this fact. A steady traffic to your blog will require time and great quality content. For a beginner WordPress blogger, you don’t need high performing web hosting platform to handle your blog. You can signup for a plan which is less than $5 per month options from Dreamhost.
When it comes to hosting your blog, you are looking at the price, reliability and configuration of the site to handle WordPress blogs. Many hosts have good price and reliability, but the server is not capable of handling load from a WordPress blog. This results in slow loading web pages which can be a nuisance for your visitors.
However, if you already have a great plan in place and expect serious traffic to your blog from the first day, you should sign up for a more robust hosting plan. It costs a bit more but ensures that you have sufficient server resources allocated to your blog to handle spike in traffic. Siteground and Bluehost provide wonderful plans starting at about $15 per month for high traffic blogs. You may get discount for the first year for paying in full. These hosts are reliable and won’t let you down.
Design and Development Costs
I would strongly recommend that if you are starting a blog, you first learn about using WordPress and how to install a WordPress blog. This way, you will save lots of money in development and subsequent maintenance of the blog. Installation of a WordPress blog is very simple using cPanel that comes with hosting. Writing posts and pages using WordPress is also no rocket science. Sign up for a free account on wordpress.com and play around with the platform.
Addition Hardware Cost
If your blog involves personalized contents like pictures and videos, you may also have to look into high quality cameras. The smartphones these days could get the job done easily. You may also need image and video processing software to edit multimedia files. Software developers often give out free copies of their paid software on software giveaway sites like giveawayoftheday.com.
If you want more traffic, you will need to advertise on search engines and perhaps other blogs/websites. Advertising is quite expensive. As an alternative to advertising, look into publishing SEO friendly pages to get more organic traffic and be active on social media networks.
When it’s all said and done, you are looking at spending a minimum of $5 to $10 per month behind your blog. This is provided you have a domain name and basic hosting package. Fear not, the cost may seem like a lot but if you monetize your site correctly, you can offset much of the cost from ad revenue.
As a side note, the secret to running a successful blog is to add regular content. Keep your content original, full of useful information and 300 words minimum. Write your titles and headings well by including search keywords in them. Use images and links in your posts. Avoid grammatical errors as much as possible. Even then, you may notice that your blog is not getting enough visitors. Don’t worry, keep doing what you have to do and there will come a time when you will have a steady flow of visitors. Good luck!