You see it time and time again. Blogging is a low-cost way to start making money on the internet. Oh, how I wish that were true. What no one tells you is the real cost of starting a blog and the time that it takes. The time, what is your time worth? This will vary for everyone but at the beginning of your blogging life, the answer will always be more than you make.
Depending on your ambitions of blogging the cost of starting a profitable blog will vary. For this, I will be extremely transparent and tell you what it cost to start The Creative Boss.
What’s In A Name
The first major thing when starting a blog is deciding on a title; luckily this is free. But it does take a bit of research to find the right name and make sure that the domain is available as well as the name on social media platforms. An excellent site for checking the availability of names is NameChk. Once you have a name, it is time to register the domain. One of my go-to resources for registering the domain is NameCheap. This gives you one of the best rates for domain registration.
You Need A Home
With your domain registered it is time to move on to picking a host. The possibilities here are nearly endless. I would choose a host that you can grow with as your site grows. I use A Small Orange and am extremely happy. I was able to choose a shared hosting package for only $5 a month and given the ability to grow as my site grows. This keeps my startup cost low.
With your domain and host setup, you are ready to customize your WordPress site. I suggest the Genesis Framework with a child theme. I am a fan of Restored 316 themes. These are beautifully designed, and you are sure to find one with nearly all of the features you want in a theme.
These are the initial costs of starting a blog and do not account for your time invested in setting up all of these things. Including premium plug-ins to give your site some added functionality.
Premium plugins that I suggest investing in from early on are:
CoSchedule– this is a fantastic editorial calendar as well as social media post scheduler. This will save you time as you start blogging and promoting and keep your workflow streamlined. The cost of this plugin is $10 a month, but they offer a fantastic referral program that can help you cut costs on it and possibly get it for free every month.
MailChimp– This isn’t just a plugin but is essential for growing your email list from the beginning. If you set up content that will be an automated campaign, you will need the paid plan, and luckily they start at only $10 a month.
SumoMe– Where to begin with this plugin, the features that this offers to help you grow are quite fantastic. This will give you some great email capture features as well as social share icons. The cost of this plugin can range from free to $100 a month depending on which premium features you choose to use.
Yoast SEO– This is one of the best plugins you can have on your site. This will make optimizing your posts for search engines ridiculously easy. It also has some other fantastic features built in that you would probably not even think were important early on in your blogging journey, such as easy linking to your social media accounts. And even XML sitemaps. Luckily this is a plugin that offers a very good free version and an even better premium version that you upgrade to as your site grows.
WooCommerce– If you plan on selling anything through your site, this is the one I recommended. While the initial plugin is free, you will pay for any premium features that you need for your business. This varies from business to business, but their customer support is phenomenal on the paid plugins, and their knowledge base has an answer to nearly any question that you may have.
Easy Digital Downloads– While WooCommerce is great if you are selling products there is another great alternative that I like for digital products, especially if they are free. It is just as fantastic as WooCommerce but focused just on digital goods, like e-books. While Easy Digital Downloads is free, there are some premium plugins that you may consider purchasing. I have two that I started with initially. The first makes it a little cleaner looking interface to offer free downloadable products the other is the MailChimp integration.
The real cost of starting a blog:
Domain Registration: $ 8.23 (for thecreativeboss.co and thecreativeboss.net)
Hosting: $5 per month through A Small Orange
Theme: $59 for Genesis Framework
$50 for Restored 316 Child Theme
Plugins: $10 per month for CoSchedule
$10 per month for MailChimp
$19 for EDD Free Download Add-On Feature
$29 for EDD MailChimp integration feature
Total Out of Pocket for Startup: $190.23
While this number is not too outrageous, it may be more than some are willing to spend on starting a blog, especially if they are not sure if it is a right fit for them. I have big plans for The Creative Boss and know that the small investment will pay off.
Founder of The Creative Boss
After years of trying to run an online business I have seen quite a few ups and a whole lot more downs. I spent hours every day researching how to make a go at some elusive, passive income. I felt like it was something that was just a myth, and then I figured out what the real meaning of passive income was: to work smarter, not harder. It’s not just sitting around watching the dollars pour into your bank account, but you can create products that will sell and still be sitting on the beach or at home in pajamas, and I want to share with you what worked for me. I don’t want you to spend years trying, failing, and throwing in the towel.