Starting a blog is extremely fast, easy, and affordable, and while there are options for free web hosting and blogging (ie: Blogspot and WordPress), I recommend not going with them if you’ve got time to learn how to host your own website…
Free web hosting and blogging platforms might seem great in the beginning, but they’re free for a reason. The free solutions they offer won’t provide the same customization options, freedom, or complete ownership over the content you create. Step on the wrong toes and they can shut down your website without warning.
With all of this in mind, I highly recommend you go with a shared hosting plan. In most cases, you can find web hosting plans for less than $10 per month.
Bluehost, for example, has plans as low as $2.95 per month and they also offer a free domain name at sign up. However, If you aren’t a fan of Bluehost, there are plenty of other hosting solutions to choose from.
You may go crazy trying to compare all of the different hosting services and plans out there, if you’re only searching to save a few dollars. At the end of the day, choosing a reliable hosting provider with a decent amount of positive reviews will be fine.
Anything more than $10 a month for a shared hosting plan is probably too much, and always be sure to uncheck any upsell or additional services they might sneak in during the sign-up process (ie: domain protection, site speed), as these often aren’t required by bloggers or new site owners.
If you do want these services, you can also add them at a later time.
Finding a great theme is definitely one area worth investing some time and money in. It can help make your blog look more professional, stand out from the competition, and better your branding.
You can find high-quality and low-cost themes at MyThemeShop or ThemeForest. Most premium themes are usually available between $29-$79 each. If you choose not to self-host, WordPress premium (or business) plans offer you full access to their whole collection of themes.
Depending on the focus and direction you want to take with your site, you might also want to invest in some quality content. You can outsource your content creation with platforms like TextBroker or iWriter. Both will allow you to find high-quality writers while also allowing you to decide how many words you want to be written and how much you want to pay.
If outsourcing your content creation isn’t on the to-do list, you can use essay helpers to help you fill in any blanks while you write. I pay for a premium subscription with EssayBot to provide me with excerpts and resources when I need them most.
Once you’ve got some content written out and ready for publishing, scan free stock image websites like Unsplash, Pixabay, or Pexels to upgrade the image quality on your posts. The right images will decrease bounce rate, improve user engagement, and form a bond between brand and reader.
Starting a blog is quite easy and extremely low cost if you’re looking to go live today. There aren’t any up front costs when choosing a free hosting service like WordPress.com, but if you do choose to self-host, you will have to fork up some cash for a domain name, theme, and hosting services. Don’t worry – it normally adds up to only pennies per day.
There are more than a billion active websites on the Internet today, and a new blog post is published every 0.5 seconds. This means the competition will be strong with many websites already creating a promoting their content. In the long run, it’s well worth your time and money to build your website right from day one.