How to Blog on a Budget

Blogging hosting

Domain name

Blog themes

Email marketing

Blogging courses


As if blogging wasn’t confusing enough. Now as you look at all of the above and want to start a blog, you throw your hands up in the air and just decide that blogging isn’t for you. Between the confusion of who to choose from, you now need to decide on what to pay for.



Blogging can get expensive but you don’t need everything out there right away. As you build your blog, you can begin to add some more steps as you go.


There are a few things that I recommend that you pay for when you first start out and then there are a few things that I recommend adding as you go.


When I started blogging, I began using the free platform, Blogger. I did that for a few months until I learned that I didn’t own any of the content that I was putting on my site because I wasn’t paying for it. I didn’t want them to be able to delete at any time. I wanted to OWN what I wrote. And so I began to look around for the best options.


WHAT YOU TRULY NEED TO SPEND MONEY ON WHEN BEGINNING TO BLOG


Like I said above, there are things that you should spend the money on right from the beginning.


BLOG HOSTING:

Most of the time, this is the biggest cost that you will have upfront. If you are looking for an affordable option, most hosting platforms allow you to pay monthly. That is how I always did it. It was easier, a bit more expensive but it allowed me to budget my monthly costs much easier. I actually just paid for 1 year at once because Wix offers an amazing 50% off of a yearly plan. It was a deal that I couldn’t pass up. When I was paying monthly, I was paying $30/CAD a month. Breaking down the cost of the yearly rate, I only paid $15/CAD which made it much more affordable to me.


There are so many benefits to paying for your blog hosting. You can add your own domain, better SEO options, no ads unless you want them on there and more. These are my reasons for choosing Wix as my blog hosting.


DOMAIN NAME:

You want to be able to have your own domain name and not the one that comes with the free site. A few of the benefits of owning your own domain are…


  1. Credibility. This allows you to show that you are a professional and that you have an established online presence. It helps to build trust with those who come to your site.

  2. It is easy to remember. Creating a domain that is easy to remember will help your readers come back. You don’t want something that is super long and hard to remember. When you use a free blogging site, they will normally add the blog hosting to the domain. That can make it extremely long and impossible to remember. Plus it doesn’t represent what you are doing on your blog.

  3. It helps to establish your blog as part of your brand. It all goes together. Your social media, your blog name and your domain name are all connected and you want them to showcase your brand.


Those are the crucial 2 things that you pay for when you first begin blogging. To me, these are the MOST important and gives you the best option for starting off on the right foot when it comes to blogging.



ADDITIONAL PURCHASES TO ADD AS YOU GROW YOUR BLOG


There are pieces of the blogging puzzle that should be added as you begin to grow. I don’t think that you need to start with these but you certainly can.


BLOG THEME:

Now if you are with Wix, there is no way to transfer a new theme to your current one so when you are ready to upgrade that can be a pain in the butt. I know that they have it so that you can vote to bring that feature to the Wix platform and I have so hopefully they will have that option soon.


When I upgraded to a paid theme in June, I had to manually transfer everything on my site which took me a full weekend to do but the outcome was exactly what I wanted. It was a hassle but worth every moment of pain to achieve my goal of a beautiful website.


I purchased my theme from Etsy. They have so many beautiful and unique themes that people design. I fell in love with mine and it suits my blog perfectly. Of course, you don’t ever need to pay for a theme if you don’t want to. Most sites offer themes that are free to use. Sometimes those themes just don’t offer exactly what you are looking for and then you can get the paid version.


EMAIL MARKETING PLATFORM:

There are SO MANY email marketing platforms out there that your head will begin to spin with who to choose. Ask any blogger who they use and you will get different answers all the time and they will tell you that their choice is the best choice.


I use Mailchimp. It is free and easy to use. Other people absolutely hate Mailchimp but I love them. It is an easy drag and drop email platform that allows me to show my email list what I need to.


Mailchimp does have a paid version available as well but I currently don’t use it. I found that once I was ready to really focus on my email list (you should do this from the beginning), I signed up for the free trials of all the different email marketing platforms. That way I could play around with them and see which ones worked for me. Creating an email list doesn't have to be difficult.


BLOGGING COURSE:

This is probably one that I should have probably added up to the must spend money on at the beginning but you don’t really NEED to. There are many free pieces of training out there that can help get you started on blogging. BUT remember that the free trainings are not meant to help you 100%. They are meant to give you a taste of what that person offers as their service.


I love free trainings but I also love to be able to sign up for paid courses that will help me take my blogging to the next level. So far, one of my favourite trainings has been the Pinterest course by Boss Girl Bloggers. I loved it so much that I am an affiliate for this course. If you purchase through my link, I will get a % of the sale.


By paying for courses, you are going to put in more effort to make sure that you get your money out of them. How many times have you signed up for a free course and never even looked at it? I know that I am guilty of doing that.


You can totally begin blogging while maintaining a budget. It is just about being smart about what you need to spend money on versus what you want to spend money on. Throughout the years, the items that I spend money on are different when it comes to my blogging. Now I look for ways to save myself time so that I can focus on my client work. That means that I purchase graphic templates and sometimes I purchase workbook templates.


This allows me to be super-efficient when it comes to my working time. Currently, I am writing 3 blogs a week and I am also helping my 1 client manage her blog which she does 2 times a week. Plus I have my 1 on 1 client and Blogology is beginning next week. Being efficient means that I can give my best to EVERY single client that I have. It means that I am giving myself room to grow to become the best blogging strategist that I can be.


Start small and grow as your blog grows. If you are ready to begin your blogging journey, there are still a few spaces left for Blogology. I’d love to help you for the next 7 weeks build a strong foundation when it comes to your blog.


@samanthalaycockblogging

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