Start a kick-butt blog without going totally broke or crazy

You have an idea for a business.

Check.

A cool niche you want to build a community around. Check.

And you have life-changing, mind-blowing info you can't wait to share.

Oh yeah, and you want to make a crap ton of money because right now you have no money.

Then it’s time to consider launching your blog.

It will cost you ...

Having a blog is going to cost you some money out of pocket, about $1 a day if you go with Squarespace (the platform this blog is on) and less than that if you go with a self-hosted WordPress site.

Having a blog, whether it be on Squarespace or WordPress is going to cost you time. Do not believe anyone who says it can be done in a matter of minutes. Yeah technically, you can get your domain name connected to a blank website in about 10 minutes, but that’s not really up-and-running in my book. Getting your blog ready for launch is going to take weeks if not months, but once it’s done, it’s out there forever.  

My experience

After years of fits and stops, ideas and fears, I finally started Real Word Agency. My sister and I joke that we could have been millionaires by now if we had just stuck with blogging back in 2009. But fear kept me from moving forward. I was scared no one would anything I had to say. I was scared it would cost me tons of money or that it wouldn’t be right. I would look like an amateur in the world of polished pros.

Well, I can tell none of that is true. It hasn’t been easy, but it hasn’t been scary either. If I can do it, anyone can blog.

How to start your blog

And more to the point — how do you start one for cheap?

Answer: You buy a domain name through GoDaddy, NameCheap or the hosting company itself (many times it’s free with a hosting package) and start using the platform you choose. There are a few good ones to choose from, which I will detail below.

Answer part 2: It depends what your definition of cheap is. Is it the least amount of money out of pocket? Is it the lowest payment per month? Or is it the ease of use and learning curve that you master in a couple of days?

Please read and heed:

Building a blog costs time or money, so if you’re looking to do it for the least amount of money, expect to spend hours a week writing and designing your blog.

Since this post is about spending the least amount of money possible,  you’ll need to find the time. I write early in the morning and tweak the website design as I see the need to. I use my phone to pin, post, tweet.

If you have a modest budget, say $100-$500 to spend on design, or initial content, you can try Fiverr.

A word about WordPress and Bluehost

A lot of bloggers push Bluehost and claim it is the cheapest and best hosting service that they all use. Just sign up for $2.65 a month and or $3.95 if there’s no special deal through the blog, install WordPress and viola! Instant blog.

If you want to go that route, this link will get you the $2.65 a month, but that’s for three years.

If you’ve never used WordPress before, it has a huge learning curve. It has a lot of cool features and infinite possibilities, but it can also be a huge time suck. I have used WordPress and got really frustrated with it that I gave up on my blog ideas many times because of WP’s complexities. I still have domain names to prove it.

Bluehost doesn’t offer a month-to-month plan, so yes, you pay as little as $2.65 a month, but that’s for 36 months due at signing.  This deal has freebies thrown in, which you can only get through my link. Your welcome.

bluehost deal

 

Three years is a huge time window, but if you're not feelin' the love for your blog within 30 days, you can get your money back.

For those of you who want to build a website in 3 hours. Well, plan to spend a few days on it. But this video will walk you through everything.

 

My website

My blog and website is on Squarespace. I’m not going to lie. It took a good month to figure out what I wanted and how I wanted to present information. The design is one the Pacific Template and inspired by Megan Minn's Website in a Box. I wish I had discovered it sooner. I would recommend the course if you need a great website fast.

Squarespace itself is pretty straightforward.  Femtrepreneur offers a great free Squarespace video course that goes over all of the features and how the platform works.

As with any new platform, I had to spend some time working with it and figuring it out. Squarespace has a community of designers and such who can help if you need help.

Squarepace has two drawbacks. Drawback 1: The templates are pretty similar. It has no where the customization of WordPress. But with a little help from google and some free programs, you can have a fully branded site.

Drawback 2: For the full business site with unlimited pages and blogs, g-suite custom email it’s gonna cost about $30 a month, month-to-month. So roughly $360 a year, a little less if you pay annually.

The hosting for Bluehost is a little more than $30 a year. You’ll also get a free domain with some of the hosting packages. You'll need to find a theme or layout for your blog, but the free ones are pretty basic.

This is just the beginning. Try out the platforms, see what you like. I will be posting tons more on blogging and starting your own business including side hustles and selling actual products.