There are two options here.
- A. Start a blog for free that looks like you started it for free
- B. Invest a little money into a blog that looks professional
My choice? B. And as someone who has a frugal lifestyle blog, you better believe I think it’s totally worth it to spend some money when starting your blog.
Why Spend Money to Start a Blog?
If you wanted, you could start a completely free blog using a platform like Blogger or WordPress.com. But from a Return on Investment point of view, it’s going to be hard to make any money from a blog that hasn’t had any money invested into it. If you want a professional looking website that can earn you an income, I highly suggest putting money into your site up-front.
Cost to Start a Blog Breakdown
Web Hosting – $3.95/month
If you use my Bluehost link and signup for 36 months, you can get web hosting for $3.95/month. That’s a total of $47.40 for one year. If you aren’t ready to commit to 36 months, you can also choose the 12 month option for $5.95/month – still a great deal! The benefit to signing up for a longer commitment is that you’ll lock in your low price for that entire period.
Domain Name Registration – Free
If you claim your domain at the same time you purchase your Bluehost web hosting package, your domain name registration fee will be waived. Sometimes people will buy their domain name from another company such as GoDaddy. Although you can’t get your money back from them, you can transfer your domain name over to Bluehost for no cost.
Domain Privacy Protection – $.99/month
Although this is optional, I believe it’s worthwhile. It keeps your personal information private (like your address and full name which you used to buy your domain name).
Site Backup Pro – $2.99/month
This is also optional, but highly recommended. I looked into other site backup options, but this one is a part of Bluehost and one of the best deals. If your site ever crashes, Bluehost can access previous versions of it and restore it. I think this $20 is worth it. I’d rather be safe than sorry!
That’s it! The best deal is paying $261.72 for 36 months which equals $7.27 a month and you’ll lock in your lower price for that entire time period. But if you’re not quite ready for that long of a commitment, paying $119.16 for 12 months is still a great deal and comes out to $9.93/month. Either way, for under $10/month, you can have a professional website!
Other (Optional) Blog Related Costs to Consider
If you want to make your blog look even more professional, I would recommend choosing a great theme. There are many that you can find on Etsy for a reasonable price, but if you’re ready to pay for a theme, I would buy the Genesis Framework with a Studio Press theme. This website and Crafty Coin both use this framework and a Studio Press theme. It took me a long time to fork over the money, but I am so glad I did.
Graphic Design Software
This is something I haven’t personally invested in yet, but I am considering it. My graphics have all been created using Microsoft Publisher (which came with my Microsoft Office) or Canva.com ( free online design software). They have worked fine up to this point, but I am considering upgrading to something more powerful (and costly).
Photo Editing Software
The biggest investment I’ve made in photo editing software is $4 for Facetune which is an app on my phone I use to edit photos before I upload them to Instagram. Other than that, I’ve used the free options on both my PC and Mac. They work okay, but I would like something more powerful. I did try the free trial of Adobe Lightroom but got overwhelmed by it. Once I’m ready to put some time into learning a new software, I think I’ll consider buying Photoshop so that I can edit my photos and add graphics.
A couple months into blogging, I knew this was something I was going to continue doing for a long time and realized if I wanted to take my blog to the next level, I needed to up my picture game. I decided to invest in an introductory DSLR camera. After scouring the internet for recommendations from other bloggers, I settled on this Canon Rebel T5i which I bought for a great deal on Amazon. I’ve been really happy with it and can’t imagine how my blog would have grown to what it is today without investing in this camera!
I had a really crappy Dell computer from high school graduation that was basically unusable, so I would attempt to blog with my husband’s only slightly better college laptop. It was torture. We both wanted out next computer to be a Mac and as creative people we knew that the capabilities of a Mac would be worth the extra money. So we finally bit the bullet 3 months after I started Crafty Coin and we bought a refurbished Macbook Air from the online Apple store which saved us over $400. I can no longer imagine blogging without my Macbook!