How much does it cost to start a blog? If you want to give blogging a try, you may want to know how much money you’ll be on the hook for.
For better or worse, there’s no single answer. You can start a blog for as little as $0 or as much as hundreds of dollars, so read on to learn more about the factors that affect the price.
But first, this post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy to learn more.
The first factor in determining how much it will cost to start a blog is the domain. You can start with a subdomain on many free blogging platforms, and that can work.
However, registering your own domain, such as hannahhaefele.com, looks more professional. I use Google Domains to register all of my domains, and each one costs $12 per year.
The exact cost depends on the top-level domain (TLD), such as .com or .net. I’d recommend choosing .com if at all possible because it’s easier for others to remember, so you can keep from losing traffic.
Another thing you’ll want to purchase is website hosting. I use SiteGround, and you can bundle your hosting and domain with them to get your domain free for a year.
When I started, I believe I paid $48 for a year of hosting. Now that I have multiple websites and my promotional period is over, I pay about $300 per year to host as many websites as I want.
You can spend way more than that or a bit less than that. It all depends on how many blogs you want to start and which website host you choose, but SiteGround is a nice balance of quality and affordability.
Many website platforms come with a blogging option built-in. Since I use SiteGround with WordPress, I can use the WordPress editor to write and publish blog posts at no extra cost.
Most blogging platforms will be free or included with the cost of website hosting. However, not all website hosts offer a free one-click installation of WordPress or other content management systems (CMS).
Luckily, SiteGround does offer free and easy installation. That has made it really quick and simple for me to set up each of my new websites over the years.
How to Save Money When Starting a Blog
You may not be happy with how much it will cost to start a blog. However, that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your plans to create and publish content online.
Luckily, there are few things you can do to save money as a beginner. Then, you can set aside some money to invest in your blog when you’re ready.
Choose a Free Blogging Platform
I first started blogging on Blogger, which is a free blogging platform that Google owns. It was easy to set up and write my first few posts, and I was able to make a bit of money despite not paying anything upfront.
Blogger is an excellent choice if you want to test the waters of blogging before breaking out your wallet. You can build a pretty sizable blog on the platform, and you can always migrate it later.
You’ll use a subdomain, like example.blogspot.com, to start your blog. After you decide to spend money on your blog, you can switch it over to your own domain.
Bundle Your Domain and Hosting
You can buy your domain and hosting together to get a free domain for a year. Some hosts, including SiteGround, offer the bundle to help you save money and encourage you to get both elements from them.
Now, I prefer to register my domains elsewhere. Google Domains is pretty cheap and includes domain privacy for free to keep my personal information out of a massive website owner database.
But if you don’t want to deal with the technical side of connecting your domain to your site, getting them in the same place is nice. It can make it harder to move to a new host if your website grows, though.
Find a Hosting Promo Deal
A lot of website hosts will offer a cheaper rate for the first year or so of your hosting plan. I was able to save probably half of the money I would have spent on hosting when I initially switched from Blogger.
Unfortunately, other hosts, like Bluehost, only offer these deals on longer contracts. I’ve seen that the low rate they advertise only applies when you sign up and pay for three years in advance.
Luckily, there are many shorter-length contracts you can get at a discounted rate. Then, you can save money as you start, and you can hopefully start making good money by the time you need to renew your hosting.
Of course, you can also look out for Black Friday and other holiday deals. They aren’t available all of the time, but it’s a good option if it’s that time of year.
Stick to the Basics
Another excellent way to save money when you start a blog is to just buy a domain and hosting. Many website hosts will try to get you to upgrade to a higher-cost package.
They also might try to sell you on things like extra security or managed backups. However, you can handle those yourself for free, so you don’t need to pay extra.
If you go with a WordPress blog, you can install a variety of free plugins for security and backups. Plus, you can usually add those extra paid services later if you decide you want to try them.
How to Find the Money to Start a Blog
You may know how much it will cost to start a blog, but maybe you don’t have any extra cash on hand. Fortunately, you can do a few things to earn the money to start a blog.
Here are a few things I’d recommend trying when you can’t afford even the most basic blog.
Start for Free
I can’t emphasize enough how helpful it was for me to start blogging for free. That gave me the time to make sure I enjoyed it before I started paying.
However, you can also use certain platforms to start making a bit of money. For example, you can connect to Google AdSense when you use Blogger, so you can make money even on your free blog.
You can also use a platform like Medium, and you can add affiliate links to your articles. Or you can get 100 followers and join the Medium Partner Program to make money from the platform to use to start your own blog.
Do Freelance Blogging
The way I’ve made most of my money for the past four years has been through freelance blogging. I’ve been able to get a few different clients over the years, and they’ve provided me with a good amount of work.
You can do freelance blogging part-time if you’re in school or have a day job; that’s how I started. Now, you’ll need to set some money aside for taxes, but you can use the rest to fund your own blog.
Freelancing is great because it’s flexible. If you get enough clients, you could even focus on blogging full-time, so you can dedicate about half of your time to client work and the rest to building your website.
Use Your Wishlist
Another way to find the money is to ask for it when the holidays or your birthday is coming up. Add cash or a Visa gift card to your gift list, and tell others about it.
Once you receive enough money, you can use it to pay for a domain and hosting. Then, you can start your blog and keep it running for at least a year.
By the time the year is up, you can add cash to your next gift list again. Or you may even be able to start making some money (not a lot) within that year that you can invest back into your blog.
How Much Does It Cost to Start a Blog?
The amount it will cost to start a blog depends on many factors. Some bloggers invest hundreds of dollars when they first start to get the best possible host and to pay for writers to help create content.
However, I spent about $60 when I was first ready to pay for things for my blog. That was only after a few years of doing it and making sure I would take it seriously.
Can You Start Blogging for Free?
You can start blogging for free, and you may even be able to make some money along the way. Then, you can put that money into a fund to use to pay for a better blog.
Or you can start blogging for free and never intend to pay for anything. However, if you want blogging to be part of your business, you should plan to spend money at some point.
How much does it cost to start a blog? You can get probably as many answers to that question as there are blogs on the internet.
However, you can expect to spend about $40 to $60 for your first year of hosting and a domain. If you don’t have that money, you can start for free and save up the cash to invest later.