How Much Does It Cost To Start a Blog? (It’s Less Than What You Think)

Either you have started a blog or you are thinking about starting it, it is our nature that we start thinking about the costs before even starting anything new.

That is because we always want to make the right decisions and not make the decisions that will lead to failure.

In this post, I will summarize the how much does it cost to start a blog.

I will include everything from the cost of setting up your blog to marketing.

Consider starting a blog like starting your business, because it is indeed your online business.

On your blogging website either you will be selling your products (digital or physical or maybe both) or marketing for others.

If you are starting your blog for earning money online which 99.99% of us do, then you will also have to invest a little bit.

Trust me whatever you are going to invest in your blog, it is going to pay off 1000 times (or maybe more) more than what you spend if you do it right.

Now why I am comparing your blog to a business is because you will have to invest in your blog like you do for a business start-up.

There is no way that you are going to start money without investing in your business.

Blogging is not an easy task; else everybody must be doing it.

It certainly needs your investment in terms of money, a lot of time and focus.

And if you are thinking that I will invest when I start earning then I am afraid that is not going to work out.

Of course you can start blogging for free but you won’t be able to make money with free blogging. Furthermore, it will make you spend money later on.

So why don’t you choose the right path where you will know everything beforehand.

Why NO To Free Blogging?

We all love free things and these become part of our lives, that we can’t just ignore them. 

If you get something free when we go shopping for groceries, that is good, you should accept it.

But when you are starting your blog, you should stay away from all kinds of free things you are being offered.

As I said earlier that it is not just your blog, it is an online business that you are starting.

Hence you have to make some investment before you start making money from your blog.

When we are just looking for information on starting a blog, we get tempted towards free hosting, free themes, free plugins and free marketing tools.

But these free things come with a lot of limitations.

Let’s discuss some of those which are critical for your business.

Free Website Hosting

There are so many free website builders and blogging platforms available online. And we tend to get attracted towards them due to their free pricing model.

But by choosing them we are not going to make a good online presence for our blogging website. 

Here the most common limitations of choosing a free website/blog hosting:

Inability to choose your domain. You will be assigned a subdomain like yourwebsite.freesitehosting.com

  • Lack of control on your website
  • Slower loading speed
  • No analytical data available
  • Lack of support
  • Lack of search engine optimization features
  • Impossible to monetize your website
  • Unresponsive Website
  • Not a lot of customization options available

Free WordPress Themes

Another thing that you will be attracted to is a free WordPress theme.

There are so many free WordPress themes available on the official WordPress theme directory as well as other resources.

But they have limitations of their own. 

Now even after being aware of the limitations of free themes (which I am going to discuss next), if you choose to install a free theme, I would recommend you to use the official WordPress theme directory.

Here are the limitations related to the free WordPress themes:

  • Limited theme support
  • Lack of features and functionality
  • Lack of customization options
  • No unique design
  • Website speed issues
  • Lack of updates
  • Plugin Incompatibility
  • No SEO friendliness

In case if you manage to find a good free theme and are deciding to customize it at your own (of course you need to have good knowledge of HTML, CSS, JAVASCRIPT and PHP), you will end up wasting your time that you must have used to write the blog posts on your website.

Free E-mail Marketing Tools

Almost all the major big marketing tools provide access to their plans for email marketing. But are they free?

Technically they are, but again they have some limitations that you should not ignore if you want to build email marketing a good source of the traffic to your website.

Email marketing enables us to connect with our potential visitors. You can collect emails through your website and use these marketing tools to send emails to your visitors.

While you can start with a free plan for email marketing, you will always have to choose a premium plan once you have got enough subscribers.

You can have only limited contacts, contact lists and basic templates with a free plan of a marketing tool.

How Much Does It Cost To Start a Blog?

Now that we have discussed why we should not choose free blogging; it is the time to discuss the cost of starting a blog.

The cost of starting a blog can differ for different kinds of blogs and completely depends on what features you are opting for and what kind of resources you need. The basic cost of starting a blog is around $100 and could go as high as $1000 annually based on your requirements.

Therefore, whatever costs I am sharing is the average cost of starting a blog with the most critical features and tools.

I am devising all the costs into below-mentioned parts so that you can have a clear picture of the amount you have to spend on the different things for your blog.

So, without further ado, let’s jump in!

Cost of Domain Registration & Blog Hosting

First and the foremost thing you need for starting a blog is a domain name. A domain is like the digital identity of your blog.

People can easily reach your blog by using your domain name.

I have discussed in my earlier blog posts how you can choose a good domain name for your blogging website.

Once you have decided a good blog name, you need to secure a domain name and how you are by registering it with a domain name registrar.

Of course, you need to pay for it.

Fortunately, there are so many domain registrars available online and you are independent to choose any domain registrar. 

The cost of registering a domain can range between $10 and $20 per year. Yes, the domain name prices are different for every domain name registrar.

Luckily, we have Bluehost that offers free domain registrations for one year if you buy their hosting plan.

Hosting is a virtual space on the internet where your website data is stored and when people come to your website the same data is delivered to them.

I always recommend Bluehost as the blog hosting for new bloggers who are just starting.

One of the reasons is the free domain registrations for the first year. 

But the reasons for choosing Bluehost as the hosting platform is not just limited to free domain name registration. 

Here are some other notable features that Bluehost offers:

  • Free SSL Certificate
  • 1-Click WordPress Install
  • 24/7 Premium Support
  • 30 Days Money Back Guarantee
  • Recommended by WordPress
  • Low-Cost Hosting Plans
  • 99.9% Uptime
  • Free Professional Email Accounts

Now that we know why Bluehost is the best choice for new bloggers, it’s time that we find out how much it costs to host our website with Bluehost.

Bluehost offers different hosting plans for different requirements.

Here is a screenshot from the Bluehost website with the details of all hosting plans.

Cost of starting a blog - Bluehost Pricing Plans

You don’t need anything more than a basic plan for your blog; it offers everything that you need for starting a blog. 

While the prices can vary for the basic plan as well depending upon the duration of plan that you choose, I would recommend the 36 months plan as it offers the best value for money.

If you choose the basic hosting plan for 36 months you will have to pay $142.20 only for 3 years of blog hosting. 

And if you follow this link, you may also manage to get some extra discount and purchase the hosting plan at as low as $2.75 per month.

Of course, you will have to choose a 36 month plan for this.

Undoubtedly the basic plan of Bluehost is the best value for money and you will also save a lot of money as compared to other hosting plans.

Enter the domain name of your choice below and secure it on Bluehost.

Cost of WordPress Theme

A WordPress theme provides the building blocks for your website. 

Your website design completely depends on what theme you select for your blog.

I use the Shapeshift theme from Thrive Themes and believe me it is the best theme for building a beautiful website for your blog.

Obviously, this website is built on the Shapeshift theme. 

Therefore, you can explore this website and figure out how good this theme is.

For getting this theme all, you need to do is get a Thrive Themes membership. 

By paying $19 per month (paid annually), you get access to all Thrive Themes and plugins.

You can even use these themes and plugins on 25 of your websites.

Technically, you won’t have this many websites but it’s a good option to have if you, later on, decide to run multiple websites.

If you want to know more about Thrive Themes and their features you can read my review of Thrive Themes.

Related: Thrive Themes Review: Why So Much Hype About Them?

Cost of Keyword Research Tool

A keyword research tool is a must to have a tool if you want to be successful in your blogging career. 

It gives you the ability to know what people are searching for, how much traffic can you get for a keyword and many other metrics.

My go-to tool for keyword research is Jaaxy.

Cost of starting a blog - Jaaxy keyword research tool pricing

You can use a free trial and if you like this tool then you can subscribe for their Pro plan at $49 per month.

Cost of Blog Marketing Tools

Once you have set up your blog and have posted a few articles, you would want to reach potential visitors with the help of email marketing tools.

I already discussed why you should not choose a free marketing tool.

For email marketing I use GetResponse and I feel that it is the best email marketing tool available out there. 

You can sign up for free and use the 30-day free trial.

Cost of starting a blog - GetResponse

The cost of starting a GetResponse basic plan is $15 per month and if you choose the 12 months or 24 months plan you get an 18% to 30% discount.

I have a complete review on GetResponse, you go through it to know why I like GetResponse.

Related: GetResponse Review 2020: GetResponse Features, Free-Trial & Pricing

Overall Cost For Starting a Blog

Now that we have discussed the individual cost of every service and tool that you need for starting your blog, it is the time to discuss the overall cost for starting a blog.

Tools & Services

Cost of Starting a Blog

Cost of Running a Blog

Free Options Available?

Domain Registration & Hosting

$100

$100

No

Blog Theme

$0

$228 ($19/month)

Yes

Keyword Research Tool

$0

$588 ($49/month)

Yes

Email Marketing Tool

$0

$120 ($10/month)

Yes

Overall Cost

$100

$1036


In my opinion, starting a blog and running it could be altogether a different thing to do.

If you look at the table above it costs a minimum amount of $100 for starting a blog.

That includes the amount for registering a domain and purchasing a hosting at any standard hosting platform.

You can start a blog with the free WordPress themes, free keyword research tool and without an e email marketing in place.

But as you grow your blog, you may consider buying the premium theme, premium keyword tool, and email marketing tool.

And that could add up some more costs around $1000 per year.

That's what almost every blogger on the planet does.

Start with as low cost as you could and scale up to stay ahead of your competition as you grow.

I'm sure as you progress you will realize the right time to adopt the right tool as you start generating the profits from your blog.

Here's the breakdown of the cost of running my blog (ebizopedia.com).

Managed WordPress Hosting: $25/month (SiteRubix.com from Wealthy Affiliate)

Blog Theme: $228/year. I am using the ShapeShift WordPress theme from Thrive Themes and using Thrive Themes membership that costs $19/month that is paid annually.

Keyword Research Tool: $49/month (Jaaxy from Wealthy Affiliate)

Email Marketing Tool: $15/month (GetResponse)

Overall Cost: $1296 every year

The break down of the costs above should give a clear idea about how much does it cost to start a blog and running it successfully for years.

Before spending any money on the premium tools look at your budget and then decide.

It makes sense to start with as few resources as possible and gradually adding up the costs.

Bottom Line

So that was all about the cost of starting a blog.

If you follow along and use the right tools and publish the content that is helpful for your visitors, you will attract a good number of visitors in the first 3 to 6 months of blogging.

Once you have established a good image for your blog and you are already attracting a good amount of traffic you may want to purchase some courses, to help you generate more traffic as well as revenue from your blog. 

These courses are completely optional if you want you can purchase them or you can follow my blog where I share the free information on building your online business.

Here are the links to links where you can sign up for these courses:

  • Authority Hacker
  • Wealthy Affiliate

They have both free and premium courses; you can choose whatever you like.

I have even written complete reviews of both these websites.

You can read them here:

Authority Hacker Review - Build Authority Sites In Minutes​​​

Wealthy Affiliate Review - The Best Affiliate Marketing Training

Are you finding it difficult to set up your first blog? Let me know and offer you any help you might need. 🙂


About the author 

Hardik Raval

Hardik is passionate about helping people launch their own online business. He loves to talk about online business ideas, affiliate marketing tools, tips and other sources of residual income available on the internet.


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