It doesn’t cost much all that much to start a blog and start driving traffic to it. In fact, it can cost almost nothing at all, but for those serious about blogging, there are some costs involved. Let’s take a look at a few of your options.
One of the most important decisions you can make is hosting. There are free blogging platforms like WordPress and Blogger where you can get a free blog, but there are several reasons it’s important to pay for your own domain.
If you use a free service, you don’t have as much control over your domain name. Rather than www.yourblogname.com, your domain will be something like yourblogname.wordpress.com. This doesn’t look as good and isn’t as memorable as your blog’s name as a domain name. It also doesn’t carry the SEO benefits. Another reason to pay for hosting is that it often comes with special features and other things you can use.
A domain name costs around $10 to $30 per year, which is a small price to pay for your own domain name. Hosting can cost anywhere from $60 to $200, and can be even more if you elect a fancy package with extras.
If you want to start a blog but you’re not sure you want to commit to it, you can start the blog on a free platform like WordPress, and roll it over to your own domain when you feel ready to do it.
My own opinion is simple, why would you want to build your blog on real estate you don’t own and don’t control. It’s foolish because if things change you could potentially lose all of your hard work. The best advice is get yourself a self-hosted WordPress account.
One of the costs of starting a blog is paying a designer to do the design work. However, a cheaper option is to buy your own custom theme. You can buy themes for around $60 or more and many of them come with added features. Hiring a designer can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars, so a pre-designed theme is a good deal.
Hiring a Writer
If you don’t feel confident about your writing ability, you can hire a ghostwriter to write your blog for you. The benefit of this is not only that you don’t have to do it yourself, but that you get content that’s original and well-written by a professional writer.
Content is extremely important and it needs to be good, so this is a worthwhile investment. Online web content writers typically charge about $0.05 per word. There are cheaper writers than that, but it’s not a good idea to skimp on quality.
One of the joys of blogging however is in the actual writing, anyone can write in a conversation way, and this is exactly how you should write for your blog. When you first start blogging you might be rusty and lacking in skill but you don’t have to worry because when you start, you don’t have an audience and by the time you do you’ll have written hundreds of blog posts and will be well versed with your writing skills.
Finally, one last possible expense is advertising. You don’t need to pay for advertising, I’ve never paid to advertise my own website for instance and that attracts tens of thousands of visitors.
There are multiple forms of free traffic, which is known as “organic traffic.” These include social media, guest blogging, email marketing, forums, general SEO, and many more. The disadvantage of organic traffic is that it takes time to build a steady flow although once it works, it continues to work. Paid advertising extends your reach and gets you targeted traffic much more quickly.
There are a number of ad networks and the best-known and most-used is Google AdWords. Google AdWords allows you to target your audience very closely. You can target the specific keywords people using Google to search are looking for.
There are also social media ad networks. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest all have their own ad networks, which allow you to target users and get your posts seen.
The good thing about online advertising is that you can decide exactly how much you’d like to spend, set a limit and stay within your budget.
With any expense associated with your blogging, be sure to calculate your return on investment (ROI) first. Will you earn enough in future revenue to justify the expense? It may be difficult to judge your ROI right away, so be sure to keep close tabs on both expenses and revenue before you get carried away.
Every single business should have a blog, the benefits they bring are tremendous, with an active blog helping drive traffic, audience engagement and lead generation.