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So, how much does it cost to start a blog on WordPress?
In today’s post, I’m going to address your burning question, “how much does it really cost to start a blog?”
This is a common question that many people ask, and it’s something I wondered too before I started my first blog, Finsavvy Panda, a personal finance blog where I share my tips on how to save money, make money and become financially independent.
I remember I started my blog because I thought it would be nice to write about my passions and interests and help my readers on the topics I enjoy talking about.
At the same time, I was interested in the idea of earning some extra money on the side while I was still working at my 9-5 job.
When I realized how cheap and affordable it was to start a blog and potentially earn a great income with it, I got super excited and immediately started one on a whim!
Today, I am very thankful I started my blog because with lots of learning, experimenting, and implementation of a few monetizing strategies, I was able to earn over $5,000 per month with the Finsavvy Panda blog within my first year of blogging as a total beginner.
Two years into my blogging journey, I reached my goal of earning over $10,000 per month with my first blog, and I would have never imagined being able to quit my job for something I enjoy doing.
When I saw these results with my first blog, an idea sparked!
Knowing that blogging is a very low-cost and low-risk investment, I started a second blog about my lifestyle using the knowledge and experience I gained in my first two years of trying this out.
Now at the time of writing this, I am in my 3rd year of blogging and earning over $20,000 per month, which is something I wouldn’t have thought was possible when I look back 3 years ago!
For more details about monetizing, you can learn how bloggers actually get paid and make money here.
I tell you my story because I want to share with you the potential income that blogging could bring when you start off with a low-cost investment.
Spoiler alert… For total beginners, you can actually start a blog for just under $60 for the entire year! That works out to be only $4.95 per month!
You could even start as low as $2.95 per month and I go through more details about this below.
Don’t forget to save this blog post here on Pinterest so you can refer back to this article and finally start your money-making blog on a low budget! 🙂
How Much Does It Cost To Start A Blog?
It could be your goal to start a hobby blog for fun with no intention of monetizing.
For most of you, your goal is to start a blog or website so you can make money and make a positive impact on your readers’ lives!
Whatever your goal is, you are here because you want to know how much it costs to start a blog.
Before I go through the web hosting plans, I want to first answer a very common question I get from many readers…
“I don’t have a laptop or desktop. Can I start a blog with a smartphone or a tablet?”
Though you can start a blog on any device, including your smartphone or tablet, I HIGHLY recommend using a laptop or desktop because this makes it easier for you to type your blog posts.
I know some of my readers who told me they started their blogs using a tablet and purchased a separate attachment keyboard to make it easier for them to type.
Though they told me they were blogging just fine with their tablets, I still recommend using a laptop or desktop because it is more powerful and faster than a smartphone or tablet. This is the easiest and most practical approach.
Things To Consider Before Starting A Blog
Things to consider before starting your blog is choosing a profitable niche (if you’re interested in making money) and what to blog about.
You’ll also want to know how often should you write and post on your blog. By the way, a quick (and surprising) answer is not as often as you think! And it’s certainly NOT every day or every two days. Not even close to it! 😉
One more thing might want to know is how to choose your blog or domain name.
Now, I am going to breakdown the costs of starting a blog for beginners.
Note, I say beginners because the cost will be different for those who are already making a substantial amount of income with their blogs.
For total beginners, I would highly recommend starting off with these small and affordable costs before you jump into investing in more advanced tools and/or resources.
When I was a beginner, I only invested in the basic Bluehost plan (mentioned in the next section) and a few affordable blogging resources to get started (I will go through these resources too).
Here is the breakdown of blog price and costs to start one for a beginner.
1. Start Your Blog Price With Bluehost ($35.40 to $59.40 for the whole year)
I am going to go through Bluehost’s basic web hosting plans for beginners.
I personally started my first blog, Finsavvy Panda, with Bluehost’s basic 36-month plan. I will talk more about this particular plan in a bit.
You’ll even get a 60% discount on all the Bluehost plans when you use this exclusive page from Finsavvy Panda to start.
First, here are the reasons why I started my blog with Bluehost:
- It’s powered by WordPress.org and any novice or total beginner will find it easy to use this platform
- There are no tech or coding skills required (if I had to learn coding or technical stuff, I would have NOT started my blog!)
- It’s the #1 recommended web hosting company by WordPress.org
- Offers 24/7 through online support chat, phone, or e-mail
- You’ll have a self-hosted blog meaning you actually own your own website (if you ever want to make money with your blog, you need to go self-hosted and NOT sign up for a free blog)
Now that you know that Bluehost is the #1 recommended web hosting company for total beginners, I am going to go through the basic Bluehost plan where you can start as low as $2.95 per month.
When you’re ready, you can use this special Bluehost page to start your blog for as low as $2.95 a month and follow these easy steps in the tutorial below. Not only will get 60% off the regular price, but you’ll ALSO get a FREE domain name (a $15 value)! I recommend acting quickly on this deal while you can because I don’t know when they will be changing their prices.
Step 1: Choose the Bluehost basic package
You can ignore the “plus” and “choice plus” because you don’t need those. Most beginners who want to start off with just one website or blog will usually invest in the “basic” package – this is the exact package I choose with both my first and second blog! You can always upgrade later when you feel like you want some extra features.
I personally did not opt for any extra features until I started earning over $10,000 per month with my blog.
Step 2: Choose Your Domain Name
Next, choose your domain name (AKA your blog name).
If you haven’t decided on your domain name yet, you can click on “I’ll create my domain name later” like the image shown below.
The great thing with this option is you can get started immediately and build your blog without having to decide on a domain name yet.
And yes, the domain name is free at $0 when you decide to host your blog using Bluehost!
Step 3: Create Your Account
In this step, you are going to create your account by filling in your account information.
All you have to do is fill out your first and last name. You don’t have to fill in a business name if you don’t have one yet (this is optional).
Be sure to select the country you live in along with your address, phone number, and email.
Step 4: Package Information
We are almost done!
Now, select your account plan.
It could be the 12, 24, or 36-month plan. These are all paid upfront in the form of a one-time payment. I explain in detail the 12-month and the 36-month plans below because these are the two most commonly chosen plans.
I personally went for the 36-month plan because as mentioned, it saves the most money over the long run.
Whichever plan you decide to choose will depend on your goals and your situation. They are all very low price and a great investment for beginners.
Bluehost 12-Month Blog Price:
As you can see, if you choose the 12-month plan, your investment for the first year would be only $59.40 and that includes the free domain name, which makes starting your blog very cheap and affordable!
Who is the 12-month package right for?
I have many readers who go for this package because they want to try out blogging for one year to see how they like it without spending a lot of money upfront.
Bluehost 36-Month Blog Price:
Again, this is the plan I personally selected for both my blogs.
When you choose the 36-month plan, your total investment would be $106.20 for all 36 months paid upfront. In other words, that is a cheap upfront payment for the entire 3 years! This includes the free domain name too making the cost equivalent to only 35.40 a year, or $2.95 a month.
The 36-month basic package is the best deal and you’ll save more money in the long run. On top of that, you won’t have to deal with any hassle of renewing your hosting plan because your blog will be up and running for 36 months.
Who is the 36-month package right for?
This is another very popular package that a lot of my readers choose because they know they want to try out blogging for more than a year. On top of that, they get to save more money since they know they will be sticking with this for a longer time.
Step 5: Payment Information
The final step is making your investment in the plan you selected.
You can choose to pay by credit card or other payment options like PayPal.
2. The First Blogging Resource to Help Beginners Get Started from Scratch (only $35!)
Once you’ve started your blog with Bluehost and installed WordPress, you can start building your blog! This is the most fun and exciting part!!! 😊
If you’re the type of person who loves to do thorough research and dig through countless articles online, you can choose to learn it all on your own. There is nothing wrong with that.
But from my personal experience, along with many other bloggers’ experience, this takes a LONG time! Not to mention, I remember being totally lost, confused, and overwhelmed on what to do. I didn’t even know what to search for on Google because I wasn’t familiar with any blogging jargon or terminologies!
I also invested in a blogging resource for $100 which was packed with a TON of different resources within. There were over 100 different resources packed into one library, but I STILL couldn’t figure out what to do because it was so overwhelming and there was no guidance or simple roadmap for a beginner.
I wasted months reading and trying to follow the ebooks and courses in this first-ever library resource I purchased to later find out that this package was actually NOT the right fit for a total beginner who just started their blog, like myself, at that time.
Going through that painful struggle at the beginning, I learned that less is actually more!
That’s why I created The Treasure Map To Blogging Success In Just 30 Days, a very affordable e-book jam-packed with a ton of valuable information, to help beginners just like you build and create a solid foundation for your very first blog.
I also laid out a 4-week agenda in the ebook to help guide you on you where to go and what to do once you’ve started your blog with Bluehost.
This profitable roadmap to building a successful blog is the first chapter that will help you create and set up your blog properly to avoid common mistakes that a lot of beginners make.
3. Traffic and Monetizing Resources (starting as low as $25)
Starting a blog is super cheap and affordable especially when you purchase the 36-month plan because this will give you all the time you need to learn and implement monetizing strategies onto your blog.
As I mentioned, you can learn this all on your own if you want by spending hours and hours looking for “free” information online that may not be updated or even wrong. It’s not impossible but going the “free” route WILL take a LONG time!
To be honest, I don’t know any successful blogger who spent absolutely $0 and is making a great income with their blog.
The good thing is you actually don’t have to spend a lot to make a great income with your blog even as a beginner.
I personally spent no more than $500 in my first 13 months of blogging and that includes my Bluehost package of $106.40 (which again, lasts for 3 years until it gets renewed). That’s under $40 a month so treat it like a night out with your friends or a manicure at the salon. That money invested in a blog has the potential to grow so think about what you could do with the money you earn. This was all I spent at the beginning of my blogging journey to earn my first $3,000 to $5,000 every month in EXTRA income with my first blog.
I also didn’t spend that much more when I reached my goal of earning more than $10,000 per month. Today, I spend more now that my income is higher but I am able to keep my costs under 10% of my revenue, which I mention in my $20,000 monthly income report if you’re wondering how much it costs to start and maintain a blog that’s generating a full-time income.
I also know there are bloggers who spent less than me and were able to earn a great income in their first year. It really depends on the individual and what their comfort level of spending is.
There’s a reason why the saying goes “you’ve got to spend money in order to make money” – this is a worthy investment in yourself to learn and grow! You can even compare this to the amount you paid for your college or university education. It’s peanuts compared to your tuition!
I honestly don’t know any other side hustle or business idea that costs this low to start! Just think about brick and mortar stores, restaurants, franchises, and physical shops!
You also don’t even have to spend that much all at once. You can create a savings fund for your blog and break it down into segments and invest in the next ebook or course whenever you’re ready to move onto the next chapter of your blogging journey.
Here is a guide on what you would do next after you’ve purchased your Bluehost plan and set up your blog the correct way (found in The Treasure Map With Blogging Success in 30 Days ebook).
Along with that, you must have a good collection of blog posts and content ready before you start making money with your blog.
How Much Does It Cost to Start a Blog and Make Money?
This section answers the question, how much does it really cost to start a blog and make money?
Traffic ebook or course (as low as $25 to $40):
Once you have your blog set up correctly along with a good collection of blog posts, your next step is to learn how to drive traffic back to your blog.
There are tons of information from both free and paid resources on how you can drive traffic and pageviews to your website. And YES, I am talking about FREE traffic! It’s NOT paid traffic of ads. As a beginner, you don’t need to pay for any traffic or ads!
Traffic sources include social media like Twitter, IG, Facebook, and much more. Other traffic sources include search engines like Google, Bing, and Pinterest.
I always go by the motto “less is more” and that’s why I chose to focus my efforts on learning only ONE traffic source when I was a beginner. When you try to be on every social media and platform, you will become distracted and stretch yourself thin. You will maximize your traffic and pageviews when you focus on one platform at a time.
Focus on the traffic source you are interested in learning more about. I personally focused my efforts on Pinterest when I was a beginner.
If you want to learn more or want a recommendation from me, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will give you recommendations on which traffic ebook or course I think will be the right fit for you. I’ll be more than happy to help!
Please note that I can only give you a recommendation if you have a self-hosted blog or website with pages and content ready for your readers.
Monetizing Courses (as low as $0 to $199):
Once you understand how to drive some traffic back to your blog, it is time for you to learn how to make money blogging!
I know many bloggers who don’t invest in any courses that teach you how to make money with a blog or website and that is fine since it is a personal choice! Just know that it may take you a longer time than the blogger who is motivated and willing to invest.
I strongly believe that the minimum you should invest in is a beginners’ guide like The Treasure Map to Blogging Success in 30 Days ebook to set up your blog correctly and properly (avoiding mistakes), along with a traffic guide to help you earn your first income with a blog. These are enough to get you started as a beginner before you reinvest some of your earnings and advance to the next level.
As you may know, there are many different and creative ways you can make money with your blog.
I make money with my blog with display advertising, affiliates, and selling my own digital products online. Those digital products include my:
- Ebook that teaches beginners how to set up a solid foundation for their blog
- A budget binder printable along with a budgeting ebook for beginners who want to manage their household or personal finances
- 100+ page blogging binder/planner to help bloggers plan, organize and keep track of their blogging journey
For more information on blog monetization strategies, you can learn how do bloggers get paid and make money blogging here.
Also, if you want a recommendation from me on which monetizing ebook or course to take, send me an email at email@example.com. I will give you recommendations that I think will be the right fit for you in your current situation. Again, I’m always happy to help!
Please note that I can only give you a recommendation if:
- You have a self-hosted blog or website with pages and content ready for your readers
- Have some blog traffic (like what I mentioned in the previous section)
Those are vital to have before contacting me about a course or recommendation that teaches you how to make money with a blog. If you don’t have your blog setup PROPERLY and ready to go, it would be impossible to provide you with a recommendation on a money-making course.
Blogging Tools and Automation (as low as $0)
When you are a beginner starting from scratch with no experience, you don’t have to spend a fortune on these tools and resources.
In fact, you can start off with $0 and not have to pay for a single cent until you want to upgrade to the paid versions!
I personally didn’t spend any money here yet until I felt a little more confident with the traffic and income of my blog.
Here are some resources I am currently using on my blog. As a beginner, you can always start off with the free version or trial until you are ready and comfortable to invest.
Blog Theme (as low as $0 to $99):
After you start a self-hosted blog with Bluehost with this tutorial, you have the option to install a free or paid pre-made blog theme.
A blog theme is simply the design, appearance, and layout of your blog. There are many different themes for you to choose from.
When I first started my blog, I used a basic free theme (I spent $0 at the beginning), but I have to admit the free version will be limited in terms of the layout appearance, design, and customization options.
Later on, when I had a little more experience with my blog, I decided to spend money and invest in a more premium pre-made theme. I really like how I only have to spend on the theme once and I never have to think about it again – get it done and over with!
I have absolutely zero knowledge in design and coding, and I’m NOT tech-savvy at all, but having the option to install a free theme, or paid theme, eliminates the need for coding. If starting a blog required me to know how to code or design a theme layout, I wouldn’t have started one! So, I am reassuring you that this doesn’t require any technical nor coding knowledge to get your blog up and running.
I also have a review and tutorial post here about the Foodie Pro Theme that I use for two of my blogs. By the way, the name of the theme is called “Foodie Pro Theme” but it can be used for any type of blog. It doesn’t have to be a “food” blog and I explain more in my review and tutorial post. I also include a few more options for different themes in the blog post, so you can check it out once you’ve started your blog.
Stock Photos for Beginner Bloggers ($0):
You cannot take any random image you see on a website or Google for your blog.
The great thing is there are tons of FREE and beautiful stock photos can download and use on your blog. These absolutely FREE resources include:
Once you start earning an income with your blog, you can look for more premium photos where you would either pay a monthly membership or per photo.
I relied on a lot of these free stock photos when I was a beginner. Until I was earning an income with my blog, I started investing in more premium pictures.
And no, you don’t need to invest in premium pictures to make money with your blog. Earning your first income with your blog has nothing to do with investing in paid photos.
Canva for Beginner Bloggers ($0):
This is the tool I use to create my own banners, Pinterest pins, social media images, and marketing campaigns.
I am NO design expert and I have never taken any course in design, but Canva makes it VERY (and I mean VERY) easy for beginners to create these for your blog. It also includes free templates and samples for you to play with it.
I was using the free version ($0) when I was a beginner for almost 2 years, but I decided to invest in the Canva Pro version (for less than $15 a month at the time of writing this) when I felt more confident about my blog and comfortable with the tool.
You also get access to a TON of premium and paid stock photos (at NO extra cost with the Pro version) that you can use in your blog designs. I highly recommend this tool especially if you have the money to spend.
This is one of my favorite tools to use today and I absolutely love how easy they make it for people who have no experience in designing!
Tailwind ($10 a month but not required):
This handy tool allows you to automate your blog post scheduling for both Pinterest and Instagram. I currently only use the one for Pinterest.
In my honest opinion, you do not need this as a beginner until you understand how to use Pinterest or Instagram to drive traffic back to your blog.
I also know many bloggers who are able to drive a substantial amount of blog traffic and pageviews without using this tool.
When I was earning over $6,000 per month blogging a little over my first year, aside from web hosting, and a few affordable courses, and e-mail marketing (on a free trial during that time), Tailwind along with some premium stock photos were the only tools I invested in.
The Tailwind scheduler is only $10 per month but again, beginners who just started a blog do not need this yet.
This is a personal choice and preference. So, whenever you feel that you’re ready to use Tailwind, you can get a FREE trial version using this special page here, along with a FREE $15 credit, that goes towards your payment for Tailwind if you ever decide to invest in this tool.
E-mail Marketing Subscription For A Beginner Blogger ($0):
You can still start a blog and make money without an e-mail list. I made my first income without an email list on my first blog! I also have another blog right now that is generating a great income on its own without an email list! So, as you can see, e-mail marketing is not necessary to start your blog.
E-mail marketing is something you may want to consider once you have a little more experience.
When I earned my first $500 in blog income, I started learning more about e-mail marketing and I was on a free service to see how it was. Once I started earning over $6,000 a month, I invested in a ConvertKit plan. The lowest monthly plan starts at $29 USD.
I didn’t start using ConvertKit until I was making money with my blog, so I recommend using a free e-mail marketing service first to test the waters.
However, I DON’T recommend beginners who just started a blog to start e-mail marketing because it’s better to focus on setting up your blog, building up some content, and learning how to drive some traffic first.
I made the mistake of trying to build an e-mail list when I was a beginner. When I was new to the blogging space, I read countless articles and blog posts by pro bloggers (in fact, EVERY blogger) that beginners must and need to start an e-mail list on day 1, which I understand where they are coming from when they say you need to start building a relationship with your readers.
But from the perspective of a beginner, this is foreign and it’s going to be overwhelming. Not to mention, you won’t have traffic yet and you won’t know what to say to your readers yet when your blog doesn’t have a lot of content at the beginning.
Learning e-mail marketing and setting up your newsletters along with campaigns requires a strategy and in my honest opinion, it’s not the right time for beginners.
But whenever you are ready for e-mail marketing, you can start here with ConvertKit’s FREE plan for beginners.
Start Your Blog and Make Money
I hope you found this comprehensive and detailed guide helpful in answering your question on how much it costs to start your blog and make money.
Starting a blog and making money is not something that happens right off the bat and overnight.
It does require time, patience, motivation, and effort.
However, the great thing about starting a blog is that it’s super cheap and affordable. As you can see, the potential to make a great income comes at a very low cost and it’s considered a low-risk investment.
That’s what attracted me to start my blog!
When you’re ready to start your blog with this affordable Bluehost plan here, you can use the tutorial above and follow the steps, under the section “1. Start Your Blog Price With Bluehost ($35.40 to $59.40 for the whole year).”
Once you’ve started your blog using this tutorial, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know!
I’m always excited for my readers who start a blog and I’m more than happy to hear from you so I can cheer for you in your blogging journey!
I hope to hear from you soon, my blogging friend!
Cheers and happy blogging!