How much does it cost to start and run a blog? You might have heard that it’s expensive. Well, it’s not! Click here to find out more.
Working from home is all the rage now and the majority of us (myself included) want to be able to work for ourselves and work for our dream and not someone else’s dream.
One of the best ways to make money is through blogging!
Yup, with time, patience and determination, you can turn your blog into a money-making machine.
It does require some investment like paying for your hosting company and a theme (optional) but it won’t cost you your entire day job paycheck and/or savings!
To run my travel blog, I pay $3.95 a month.
Yup, only $3.95.
There are some things that I can invest in later on, like the premium version of Yoast SEO or the Premium Version of ConvertKit. But, the free versions are working just fine for me and I don’t feel the need to invest in them just yet.
I do plan on purchasing the premium versions of what I mentioned above but that is only when I am making an actual living from my blog. For the time being, I am making money from my travel blog but not enough to make a living from it. I will get there one day but like I keep mentioning over and over again, making a living from your blog takes time and a whole lot of patience.
Here is what I spend my money on and what changes I did throughout my time as a blogger:
Why do I need SiteGround? Why do I need to pay for that?
Let me tell you why.
You need to host your website to actually make it your own. Here is a little story about how I started blogging:
Back in the day when I first started my travel blog, I used to blog from a free blogging platform called Blogger. I didn’t need to pay for anything. All I had to do was just sign in, pick out a username and I was good and I actually spent 4 months using Blogger.
What’s the catch?
The catch is that when using platforms like Blogger, the blog you created isn’t yours. You’re using another blog’s services for you to have your blog. Makes sense?
My URL back in the day was (cringe alert, where my milso’s at?) www.airforcegirlfriendingermany.blogger.com
If you want to have a professional blog and make money from it, having your URL end in .blogger or weebly.com is not professional! This tells me that someone is trying to sell me a service or product without them wanting to invest in their website.
Furthermore, when you host your own website, you’re paying for a space on the internet that’s actually yours! I’ve heard nightmare stories of Blogger shutting down people’s blogs.
When you host your own website, this can’t happen (unless you don’t pay the fee required to have that space)
Does that make sense now?
Here are some changes that I made throughout the years and things that I learned:
I do a lot of research when it comes to blogging. There’s lots of free information on Google!
Everyone recommended using Tailwind. Tailwind is a scheduling tool that schedules pins for you so you don’t have to get on Pinterest every day to upload and pin pins.
I wanted to go grow my Pinterest and my blog so reading everyone’s glowing recommendations, naturally, I subscribed to the Premium plan which was approximately $15 a month.
But even though everyone seemed to rave about Tailwind, it didn’t work for me. I found that when I stopped using it, my Pinterest monthly views AND clicks to my blog GREW!
Furthermore, after the recent update Pinterest made to their algorithm, I believe that Tailwind is not needed.
So that is one of the changes I made in my blogging journey.
If you’re interested in trying Tailwind because you feel that it might work for you, try the free trial first! They have a plan where you can schedule 100 pins per month for free.
This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine!
I spent a considerable amount of money on blogging courses.
Sicily, 1992. Kidding.
You are desperate to grow your blog so you go on Google. You stumble on this website with an eye-catching landing page describing a blogging course and how it changed the lives of so many people!
You get excited.
You keep scrolling and your heart starts racing. You immediately start saying YES I WAN THIS! I WANT THE SUCCESS THESE PEOPLE ARE HAVING!
You scroll to the very bottom and you see a $700 price mark and your heart drops. You start feeling sad that you can’t afford to pay for that course but at the same time you really want to pay for it because so many people are raving about it!
If you don’t have the money, don’t spend it! I bought so many courses that didn’t offer value. I could find that information for free on Google! There are so many free courses out there for you.
That is one change I made. I stopped paying for bad courses. Period. Do your research on that blogger beforehand and look through the course’s contents! I was super close to buying an Instagram course that sold for $300 but when I looked at the contents, it consisted of information that I knew already and got for free on Google.
I am not saying courses are not good. They are BUT if you’re on a tight budget, don’t fret. You can still find what you need on Google. There’s TONS of free information out there!
Buying a theme is not a bad investment. You need your blog to look professional so your readers can have a good experience and keep on returning (which means more money in your pocket)
I purchased only two themes and that was when I saved up the income I made from my blog. My favourite is the one I am using now from AngieMakes.
I paid $70 dollars but it was really worth it. Angie’s themes are super customizable and well worth the money!
Can’t spend $70 on a theme? Don’t worry. WordPress offers a number of free themes! Back when I made the switch from Blogger to WordPress, I used the free themes for a couple of months and I liked the way my blog looked!
It’s common knowledge and a proven fact that having an email list will increase your blog’s audience. Sending out emails on a weekly basis will increase views. Creating your own lead magnets (more on that below) will encourage people to subscribe to your mailing list and in turn your blog views will keep on increasing!
Currently, I am making use of the free plan on ConvertKit. It does have a little less features than the paid plan, but I believe that if you’re just starting out and you’re wanting to get some subscribers, it is perfect for you!
Speaking of email services .. If you want to stay up to date with the latest blogging tips, subscribe right here!
You don’t need to be a master in Photoshop or Illustrator to have a successful blog.
I use Photoshop but have been using it since I was 13. I’m now 24.
If you’re just starting out, don’t be tempted to splurge on Abobe Products (unless you really want to) just because other bloggers are using it.
Here’s the truth: you will not learn Photoshop in one day and you don’t really need Photoshop to create AMAZING graphics for your blog!
Big bloggers make use of Canva. It’s free, easy to use AND comes with ready-made templates for all kinds of things. You can even use it for non-blogging related things such as creating a CV!
If you’re doing research to start a blog or grow a blog, I’m 100% sure you stumbled upon articles telling you how important SEO is and how you should have your blog ranking high on Google for clicks.
Yes, that is very important! SEO is extremely important for your blog and having your blog rank on high on Google will increase your traffic exponentially.
However, if you’re just starting out and you’re on a tight budget, don’t feel compelled to buy courses or expensive subscription apps.
Having your website rank on Google takes a lot of time and it’s extremely difficult. I recommend focusing on Pinterest first.
Pinterest, just like Google, is a search engine. People go on Pinterest to look up information. The difference is that it is much easier to rank high on Pinterest than it is on Google and you can do it for free!
All you need to do is create new pins every day and have a Pinterest strategy that works for you!
Don’t know how to create your own Pinterest strategy? Subscribe to my mailing list to be the FIRST to know when my Ultimate Guide To Using Pinterest blog post is live!
I hope this blog post showed you that you don’t need to go all out on your blog! If you’re just starting, you can do start a blog for really cheap and not break the bank. Later on, when your blog starts generating you some more income, you can slowly start investing in it.
However, as a beginner, you can do it and still stay in your budget!
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment on this blog post or email me at email@example.com and I’ll be more than glad to help you out!
Don’t forget to pin this blog post to your Pinterest boards too!