You’re ready to start a WordPress blog but don’t have unlimited funds to get it done. We get it and can help. Your reasons for wanting an online presence can vary widely. For instance, maybe you have a strong desire to write, to make some money working from home or need a way to drive traffic to your business.
A blog is an online magazine of sorts that allows you to post articles and other content as often as you’d like. Some of these websites appear fancy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re expensive.
What’s Your Budget? Figure This Out First
In truth, there’s no “one size fits all” budget for bloggers, but you should sit down and figure out your finances before you get started. The amount you decide to invest in your blog will depend on your goals, comfort level, and available income.
Are you looking to keep costs to a bare minimum or can you justify some additional expenses in the name of increased profits? Let’s assume you’re just getting started and want to stick to a tight budget. Here is what you’ll need to spend to get a quality WordPress blog off the ground…
Start a WordPress Blog on a Budget
1. Buy a Domain
If you want to be taken seriously, you’re going to need a self-hosted blog. We’ll get to the hosting part in a minute, but this starts with having your own domain name. Instead of using the free WordPress format that would look like www.yourblog.wordpress.com, you’d have www.yourblog.com.
On average, you’ll pay around $10 per year in domain name registration fees. But you can get a free .com or .blog domain when you are purchasing a WordPress hosting plan from WPWebHost. Pick something relevant, short, memorable, and choose a .com whenever possible.
2. Find WordPress Hosting
Sure, you’re blogging for your audience, but they aren’t going to see your content if the search engines don’t make it available. Google won’t give anything on a blogging platform (WordPress.com or Blogger) much attention, so you need to find an affordable web host. Don’t let the idea of a web host intimidate you – most will install WordPress with the simple push of a button.
There’s a common misconception that hosting a website is incredibly expensive. However, it’s not. According to the survey, the competitiveness of the shared hosting industry keeps prices highly affordable. For instance, the average entry-level shared hosting plan (which allows one website) is just $3.40 per month and renewal price is $4.94 per month.
If you prefer a customized environment for your WordPress blog, WPWebHost offers bloggers $3.00 per month to host a single WordPress website. Not only can you get cheap and affordable managed WordPress hosting, but the option also comes with excellent features and server performance.
3. Buy a Theme
Your WordPress theme controls the way that your website looks. This is what is going to allow you to choose colors, fonts, page layouts, and much more. There are thousands of free themes available, but this isn’t always the best option.
It would be a shame to invest a ton of time into customizing your blog and then realize a few months or years later that your theme doesn’t comply with the latest WordPress updates (these are released frequently). Or worse, you could find out that a free theme contains some malicious code that is compromising your data or that of your visitors.
There are several reasons to choose a paid theme:
- The themes are of higher quality
- You get greater security and lower risk of hidden code
- They deliver updates the keep up with WordPress and other web changes
- You get the ongoing support for the themes
What you spend on a theme can vary widely, and it doesn’t have to be a ton. You can get a subscription to Elegant Themes for $89.
4. Premium Plugins
Once you have your theme figured out, it’s time to take a closer look at your plugins. There are plenty of free WordPress plugins that will supercharge and optimize your blog. But, sometimes it makes sense to spring for the upgrades and get the premium versions of a few of these tools.
For example, having an SEO-optimized site is the best way to get your blog to the top of search engines. One of the plugins you should seriously consider paying for (there’s a free version) is Yoast SEO. Some of the premium features of the plugin include:
- multi-keyword optimization
- Warnings when your content becomes outdated
- Internal linking suggestions
- Content insights
- Redirect manager
- Free support
5. Email Campaigns
Collecting email addresses from your blog readers is one of the best ways to grow your WordPress readership and start building some income. Imagine when you’ve just published an incredible new post or have a time-sensitive offer for your readers, the one way you can get their attention is through an email message with a link.
If you’re on a tight budget, you can get started building your email list for free with MailChimp. This has some impressive features for a free program and allows you to create a list of up to 2,000 subscribers.
When you become more popular than this or want to send more than 12,000 emails per month, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid service. Some affordable options are a MailChimp paid plan and Constant Contact.
6. Social Media Manager
It’s tough to make a name for yourself online today without the help of social media. You should have social sharing buttons on your WordPress blog so that visitors can share your content as well as links that go to your social media pages.
Being a blogger and a social media presence might be a bit too much to handle. Fortunately, you can get some help by using a social media scheduler to automate some tasks. A few budget-friendly examples are Buffer (free for up to 10 posts) and Hootsuite.
Starting and growing a blog can be a challenge, especially when you consider the millions of other WordPress bloggers that are doing the same. But you don’t need to know anything about web design to get this done. You simply have to set your budget and be smart about how you spend your time and money.