How to Frugally Start a Blog on a Budget – Everything you need to start a money making a blog on a low budget. You don’t need to be a millionaire to start a great blog!
What other hobby do you know that you can spend $2.95/month and make a full-time income? I can’t think of almost anything other than blogging.
Something really great about blogging is that you don’t need to be wealthy to start a blog. You about $30/year… and that’s really it!
No, you won’t be a millionaire overnight. But you will start and begin to work toward something bigger.
Another great thing about blogging is that you don’t need to be independently wealthy to start a blog. You can make a very average (or even below-average income!) and frugally start a blog on a budget.
I started a blog after reading one-too-many income reports and thinking that $10,000/month was totally doable within 1 year of starting your blog. I took a total leap of faith and told my husband to skip a birthday present for me that year. Instead, I bought my blog hosting and got started.
We were still on a very tight budget; my husband had just started a new job and we were still in the “trial” period for him at work. There was a lot of unrest for us at the time – at any point in the first 90 days, they could come to him and say that it wasn’t a good fit, and he’d be let go. He was our only source of income and we were horrified of him losing his job on the heels of me making this purchase for the blog.
There weren’t 5 figure paychecks coming in each month, we didn’t live in a fantastic house, and we’d just recently had our third son. Money was tight. But even then, blogging was totally something I could afford to start because of how reasonably priced it was.
Because of how tight money was for us coupled with just how inherently cheap I am, I hardly bought anything for my blog. In the first year I started blogging, the only things I paid for were my hosting with Bluehost ($2.95/month) and Elite Blog Academy (at the time, it was $50/month) and that was it! Nothing more at all!
I want to share with you all of the tricks and traps to avoid and show you how to frugally start a blog on a budget.
Here are the best ways to frugally start a blog on a budget.
1) Choose reasonably priced hosting.
Sadly, if you want to make money blogging, you can’t get a free blog on Blogger or WordPress.com. I know, I wish it was free to start, too. But that’s not how it works.
If you have a free site on one of those platforms (or Wix or any other free site), you can get your host to move it for free when you buy your domain (which we’ll get to in a second).
You can’t use a free host because they will limit your ability to grow as a business owner. Brands won’t want to work with you, advertisers won’t want to use your site and having a URL that looks like “yourblogname.wordpress.com” just isn’t professional.
Ok, now that we’ve covered that, we need to talk about what you do need.
You will need a host for your site. There are a lot of different options out there and they differ from what they can offer you.
I started using Bluehost. I loved them and they were really good to me. Almost every big blogger that I know started off using Bluehost. The only reason they switched is that their traffic grew (but, just being honest, you likely won’t need to worry about that for a few months or longer).
Insider information about getting the cheapest Bluehost deal:
I’m telling you, I am an extreme cheapskate through and through! I found a loophole in Bluehost’s system that will REALLY help you out!
Here’s the step-by-step to save lots of money:
Go to Bluehost.com, and click “get started now.”
- Select the “Basic” package (you won’t need anymore, trust me)
- Enter your blog domain name (or the link that you want your blog to have – ex: awesomesauce.com) that you want.
- Then go to the next page: the payment page
- Here’s where the fun starts…
- Scroll down to the “package information” where you can see the pricing.
- Then move your cursor like your going to leave the page (like you’re going to “X” out of the browser tab)
- A box will pop up giving you EVERYTHING for free and lowering the price for the 36 months.
Just by doing that, you save almost $200!
Here’s the full video tutorial that I made for you:
As far as hosting goes, you don’t need anything bigger or more complex than what Bluehost has to offer you right now. There are other options out there, but I either can’t recommend them (because I haven’t tried them) or they are expensive and are way more than you need to start off.
2) You don’t need to pay for anything else!
Once you have your hosting, you will be barraged with “offers” trying to “save you money.” In reality, these are things you don’t need!
Here are some of the offers that you need to avoid right after you set up your blog:
- “WordPress setup!’ – WordPress is free to set up (and super easy)
- “Customizable themes!” – Use the free themes for as long as you can. There are hundreds to choose from! Don’t spend any money until you know what you want.
- “Tech support!” – You get free tech support from Bluehost and I’ve had great results with their tech support when I needed it most.
There are plenty of free resources out there to help you figure out the basics when you get started. The last thing you want to do is buy every single class that you hear about but then never get around to taking them.
Just last week I was speaking with someone who was telling me that they had just started their blog 2 weeks ago and had already bought 15 classes (and these weren’t cheap classes, either). At this point, she was in information overload and just had no idea where to start and just became stuck.
I don’t want this to happen to you, too!
If you feel like you need to buy a class to show you what you are doing right this minute, my number one recommendation is Building a Framework. It’s an incredibly comprehensive course that is perfect for beginners to get started on the right foot.
But your ultimate savings goal should be to save up and buy Elite Blog Academy when it comes out again this year. Save every and any extra money that you can and set it aside for this class! This is the class that made me a full-time blogger. And it’s not just me; my fellow EBA alum and friend Rosemarie Groner from the BusyBudgeter.com is making more than $100,000/month and she credits EBA for her success.
3) Use the free options out there for as long as you can!
When you’re starting a blog there are always going to be people trying to tell you to buy the newest, latest, and greatest software for something or another. Repeat after me: “I don’t need it!”
When you’re just starting out, you will be spending a lot of time to just get used to writing and formatting and making graphics. You don’t need to also worry about how to afford an expensive email provider, a personalized tech guy, a virtual assistant, a graphic designer, and so much more.
Here are my top recommendations for free products that will really do the trick for you without ever having to pay for anything:
- MailerLite for email provider – You will want to have some way to collect emails from the beginning. MailerLite is free and offers a lot of the same features as the expensive email software companies. They are free up to 1,000 subscribers.
- PicMonkey for graphics – You can design all of your own graphics very easily with PicMonkey. You don’t need anything more than this at this point in time. In fact, I still only use PicMonkey for my photo editing and design. (Even their paid version is $36/year, but you really don’t need it.)
- Pixabay for free stock photos – There is no need to pay $30/month for a high-end stock photo service. Pixabay has a LOT of free photo options that are great for any blog. (Just remember to never ever EVER take a picture from Google; especially without the proper citation!)
And honestly, that’s all that you need to start off! There are always free alternatives to the expensive products out there.
If you ever have a question about a free alternative, just comment below and I’ll find out for you! 🙂
Getting used to blogging is tough enough on its own and you will be spending quite a bit of time and energy getting your blog up and running. You never ever need to go into debt to start your blog.
Blogging is really the only entrepreneurial venture that you can start for less than $100 and then not spend any more for another year or even more. Never ever buy into the idea that you need to spend thousands of dollars to start a blog!
More blogging resources that will help you get started:
- Don’t Let Fear Stop You From Starting Your Blog!
- How to Start a Profitable Blog the Right Way
- How I Made a Full-Time Income From My Blog in 2016
- Blogging Freebies!
- The Blogging Class that Made Me a Full Time Blogger
- Surefire Ways to Promote Your Blog and Grow Your Audience
- The First Pay Day I Got From Blogging
- Best Blogging Podcasts to Follow
- Here are great blogging freebies!
- March 2017 Blogging Income Report
- February 2017 Blogging Income Report
- January 2017 Blogging Income Report
- 5 Signs Blogging Isn’t for You (& 1 Sign You Should Start Today!)
- Can You Make Money Blogging in One Year?
- How to Start Using Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers
- Best Tips for a New Blogger From a Blogging Pro
- How to Start a Profitable Blog Ecourse
- Surefire Ways to Promote Your Blog and Grow Your Audience
What was your biggest hesitation in starting your blog?