Blogging used to be easy. You’d sign up for a blog on Blogger, start blogging and call it a day, all for $0. But if you are Blogging on a budget it requires you to think about your investment a little.
Now it appears like you need a ton of tools to have a successful blog. And many of these tools cost a pretty money. What happened if you want to blogging on a budget?
But I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a successful blog. In fact, for Blogging on a budget, very few things you actually need to spend money on. The rest you either don’t need or can get away with free alternatives.
Blogging on a budget is possible, so don’t let a lack of money discourage you!
What You Need
Before I get into what you actually need, let me begin this by saying that blogging can be done in a million different ways. There is no right or wrong way. These are things I recommend for the best possible blogging experience and make Blogging on a budget possible. Your needs may change, so take this with a grain of salt.
1. A Domain ($10+/year)
Want to be taken seriously? Want to have an easy to remember URL? Then you need a domain. This is the #1 blogging requirement. Even if you go with a free Blogger blog, I believe a domain is super important. Consider your name for an example. People know you because you have a name. So this is something that is kind of mandatory (for my readers) whenever you start a blog.
A domain is a cheap way to immediately give your blog a lift. No one is going to remember that your blog URL if it’s followed by a .wordpress.com or .blogspot.com. Odds are they’re going to immediately take your blog name and add a .com to the end of it. In addition, think of how professional you’ll look with a custom domain!
You can often purchase your domain through your host (in fact, many offer a free domain for a year when you purchase hosting), but if you’d rather keep things separate (like I do), Namecheap is my beat and cheap solution for domain name purchase.
Why I prefer Namecheap?
Because they don’t have any hidden charges. You pay each year what you pay at the time of purchase. Moreover, they offer a FREE domain privacy protection plan called “Whoisguard” for the first year. So, you will have your PII information protected for whole 1 year for FREE. In case you decide to discontinue your purchased domain from Namecheap next year, at least you won’t pay extra dollars for domain privacy protection. For example, if you buy a domain name from your hosting company, you may get the FREE domain, but you will need to pay for the domain privacy protection plan separately.
You May be Interested in Reading: TIps to consider before choosing a domain name for your blog?
2. A Good Host ($5+/mo)
Notice I said a good host. I know we’re talking about blogging on a budget, but in terms of hosting, you get what you pay for. However, that doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot for a good host.
If you don’t like both for any reason, another recommended cheap hosting solution is “Hostgator”. They offer solid WordPress Hosting plans and very good customer service. I have experienced zero issues in last 3 years of hosting from them and just renewed hosting for one of my other websites this year.
I should also note that if you purchase hosting, you’re also going to need a content management system/blogging platform, such as WordPress. Depending on your host, you’ll probably have to install and get that setup.
If that sounds complicated to you, another decent option is to go with Squarespace. Squarespace is a website builder/hosting solution in one. In other words, you can purchase a plan for $12 a month and you’re ready to go.
(Note: This option is little costlier than hosting a self-hosted WordPress website. If you think, installing WordPress and buying hosting is complicated for your, please contact me for help. I offer free WordPress blog setup and free wordpress blog setup coaching for the whole 1 week from your blog launch date.
If Your Budget Allows
A domain and good hosting are the only things I think are absolutely necessary. Everything else can be achieved for free or you can just do without. But as they say, time is money, so going the low-cost or free route might take more time on your part. Of course, if you’re low on cash, but have time, by all means, invest your time into your blog. But if you have some extra cash you’re willing to invest into your blog, these are the things I would look into.
1. A Clean, Organized Theme ($20+)
If you go the self-hosted WordPress route, you’re going to need a theme that not only looks nice but is easy to navigate. If you’re really on a tight budget, there are plenty of free WordPress themes available in the theme directory. Of course, you get what you pay for. That’s not to say that there aren’t any good themes available, but when it comes to customization, you may be limited.
That’s why I personally advise spending a bit of money to get a clean, organized WordPress theme that you can customize to match your brand. I am a big fan of the Genesis Framework, but it is pricey (although it’s 100% worth it).
You may be interested in reading – Genesis Guide for Absolute Beginners
If you are running multiple blogs/websites, just like I do, then buying themes for different niche blogs will be very expensive. I was in the same boat once but luckily one of my friends recommended me to buy the LIFETIME plan of Theme-Junkie Premium themes.
The advantage of buying LIFETIME plan is that you will get access to all their existing themes for LIFETIME, moreover, access to all their future themes too. So, basically – no investment needed going forwards in buying premium themes. They have a huge collection of 50+ premium themes for different niche websites, business, portfolio, E-commerce etc. Consider visiting their collection here – “Theme Junkie Premium WordPress Themes”
Special Offer: Buy the LIFETIME package from Theme Junkie in $49.00 (For Coupon Code: Contact Me)
2. An Email List ($15+/month)
If you’re blogging, you probably are looking to grow an audience, right? The best place to grow your audience is with an email list. Sure, you could grow your audience on social media (and you should), but you shouldn’t rely on that alone. Social media comes and goes. But email? Email has been around and will continue to be around.
If you’re looking for a free option, MailChimp is my go-to. You can have a list of up to 2000 subscribers, but since it is free there are limited features. If you’re willing to spend a bit, you can upgrade and get additional features such as autoresponders. But I recommend starting with MailChimp until you have 2000 subscribers and once you notice that people are showing interest in your email opt-ins then go with other paid option. You can skip to next bullet if you wish to.
3. Google Apps for Work ($5/mo)
Most hosts come with email, but if yours doesn’t, you’re going to need one. Sure, you could go with a Gmail account, but we want to look professional. I mean, you’ve purchased a domain so let’s keep everything on brand, shall we?
But even if your host does provide email, you still might want to check out Google Apps for Work. Why? Well simply put, if you’re using your host for email and your site goes down, so will your email. Now I don’t know about you, but that’s no good in my book. But if you host your email outside, your email will still work even if your site goes down.
4. Social Media Scheduler ($10+/month or $47/LifeTime)
We all know that publishing blog posts are only half of what running a blog entails. If you want your posts to get read, sharing your posts via social media is key. But not only that, you should be sharing other people’s content as well.
Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to be sitting on Twitter all day tweeting posts at certain times. I’d much rather take a block of time and spend it scheduling all my social media posts so I can focus on other things.
Social media schedulers don’t have to be expensive. Buffer offers a free plan where you can schedule 10 posts. I highly recommend you try it out if you’re not using Buffer already. It’s definitely worth the $10 upgrade in my book. CoSchedule is another great option, but it does cost a bit more. And of course, you can also use free tools such as Hootsuite if you’re really on a tight budget.
But if you want something for Lifetime with no monthly charges, I recommend you to try BleuPagePro. It’s the ultimate social media manager and can manage all your social account with the unlimited number of schedule post. Moreover, if you are out of content, it will discover the content automatically and will publish on your social media account on autopilot. I’m using it and it’s something that will keep feeding your audience with quality content every day. You don’t need to worry about posting content on the Facebook page, twitter, Pinterest, your blog, etc. It will do it automatically. It comes with 30 days money back guarantee and is worth experimenting.
These are the things that I think are most important and worth trying on when it comes to Blogging on a budget. Of course, your needs may vary. The important thing to keep in mind is that everyone’s blogging needs are different. Just because every blogger is using a new expensive tool, doesn’t mean you’ll need to use it too. Blogging on a budget is something that requires you to check your budget and evaluate your blogging needs, then choose tools that fit within those. Blogging on a budget can cost a lot, but it doesn’t have to. And I’m sure you will start making more than you expenses in just 3 months of blogging.
Read More: HOW TO START A BLOG (ON A BUDGET)
If you like this article on “Blogging on a budget”, please share it with your friends and colleagues. Also, if you are using something which can help other bloggers who are “Blogging on a budget” then please share it in the comments section below.Blogging can costly, but it depends on requirements. Here are some things worth spending $ on. Click To Tweet