This is an easy step-by-step guide on How to Start A Blog on A Budget. You can start a money making blog for less than $8.00/month and help support your family, dreams, goals and aspirations.
When I started blogging 8 years ago, I was a newly stay-at-home mom and we were on a very tight budget. We had just had our first son and after being born prematurely and spending a month in the NICU, we made the decision for me to quit my full-time job and become a stay-at-home mom. While that was a dream of mine, it also meant we went from two full-time incomes to one, basically overnight.
We started budgeting and I started couponing. In fact, I got so good at managing our finances and saving money, I was asked all the time how I did it.
One day I was sitting on the couch feeding our son and it hit me – I had to start a blog!
Initially it wasn’t to bring in money, in fact, at that time, I didn’t even know you could make money blogging. In the beginning, the idea was to help other families learn how to budget, manage money and coupon like I did.
The problem was, I hardly had any extra money to spend creating my blog so I saved up, watching about a million YouTube videos and created my first blog on a very tight budget. I am talking, I spent less than $100 starting my blog.
Yes, I know $100 can be a life-changing amount of money for some (and for us it was too) but if you can find that first $100 and spend time building your blog, you can make that back 100x over.
How do I know this? Because that happened to me.
While I didn’t know in the beginning you could make money blogging, I started figuring it out and seeing other amazing bloggers living a fulfilling life and supporting their families by being a full-time blogger.
Now, I am able to stay-at-home with my kids and support my family through my blog as well as working on other blogs.
So, that’s why I am sharing information on How to Start a Blog On A Budget because I’ve been there, done that and I truly want to help!
How to Start A Blog on A Budget
When it comes to starting your blog, there are some basic steps you need to take to get your blog up and running.
After all, if you don’t actually have a blog, you can’t start to earn money so the first step is to establish a blog and get it live on the web!
The first pre-step is budgeting enough to afford to set up your blog properly from the beginning. You’ll need about $100 to start. Once you’ve got that money set aside, it’s time to start your blog!
Here is the 5 step guide to setting up a blog.
Step 1 – Establish Your Niche
What is a niche?
A niche is the basic idea or theme surrounding your blog content (posts).
Establishing your niche is basically deciding the topic or topics you want to write about.
It can be anything from a super specific niche like “dog training” to something like a mommy/lifestyle blog about your family, life, etc.
Determine what you enjoy talking about, want to write about and that will be your niche.
Step 2 – Decide on a name.
Okay, this is something that is going to take quite a bit of thought. When I first started blogging my blog name was “Bargains with Brittanie” and I have since rebranded but that name stood out to me because it was me. I was a bargain hunter and loved bargains and coupons (still do) but I decided my blog needed to be more than that which is why I few years ago I rebranded.
Big tip here – name your blog with the intention of NEVER having to change the name because honestly, it’s a pain.
Choose a name that describes what your site will be about and is something you’ll be happy with for years to come.
It’s not that you can’t change it later, it’s just that it ends up being a lot of work because you’ll have to change the domain, logos, etc.
What I did in the beginning was write down a bunch of potential names and different variations of those names. I then read them out loud, typed them in different fonts, signed as them, etc. until I found one that really stood out to me.
You can even enlist your spouse or someone
This is probably the longest process of setting up your blog so take the time to choose the right name!
Step 3 – Choose the domain name.
Okay, once you’ve decided your niche and your blog name, it’s time to choose the domain name.
This is your official website address where your audience (readers) will visit to read what you have to say.
For example, mine is www.simplisticallyliving.com and if you visit that URL it’ll take you to my main blog page.
That is what you want too!
What is the best place to buy a domain name?
The best place to get your domain name is from the same place you are getting your hosting from (that’s the next step) and luckily, BlueHost (my hosting recommendation) gives you a free domain!
Something to keep in mind when choosing your domain name is, the domain you may want may already be sold to someone else so this is where variations of the name will come into play.
So, if you decided to name your blog, “Dinosaurs Exist” you would type in, dinosaursexist.com into the search bar.
Doing so, you’ll see that domain name is already taken (I actually own it) so you’d need to choose another name.
Once you are able to find the domain you want and it is available, head through to the next page.
By the way – I highly recommend choosing a .com domain extension because it is a lot more professional when it comes to blogging.
Step 4 – Get Professional Hosting
Okay, you’ve got your niche and name picked out. Now you need something to host your website on, a platform and my personal recommendation is WordPress.
Some bloggers have started on a Google owned blogging platform called Blogger. However, this is not a very professional looking platform and it has very limited features. Also, because it is owned by Google (and it’s free) Google can literally remove your entire blog without any notice, for any reason and there is nothing you can do about it.
That is why I say, save the money to get a self-hosted blog on WordPress.
While WordPress is a free platform for hosting your blog on, you do need to pay a company to host your website on their servers.
When I started out I used a company called BlueHost and they were great for my blog in the beginning. In fact, I still highly recommend them for new bloggers. With BlueHost you can get hosting for as little as $8.00 per month which is insanely cheap but more importantly, they are a reliable host.
(Full disclosure, I am an affiliate for BlueHost which means if you use my link, I’ll make a small commission. I’m an affiliate because I do believe they offer great hosting for new bloggers.)
So, here is what you need to do:
- Head over to BlueHost and click “Get Started”.
- Choose your plan. I highly recommend the “Choice Plus” plan as it gives you more storage and space on your server which is needed as you grow your blog.
- In the box under “create a new domain” enter your domain name (see information above) then move onto the next page.
- Head to the next page and fill in all your personal information.
- Now use the check down box to select 1 year of hosting and ignore all the extras under “package extras”.
- Your total should be under $100 including tax. Pay for it and you’ll get information via email on how to login.
Now, if you know nothing about setting up your blog properly (and I assume you don’t), get onto chat or a phone call with a BlueHost representative. They will walk you through step-by-step on how to get your site entirely set up and will assist you with the technical side (something I can’t do). Everything from installing WordPress on your site to choosing a theme.
Don’t worry – all of these can be changed later but for now, you just need to get the site up!
Step 5 – Launch Your Blog
Once everything is set up and your blog is live, it’s time to get to writing.
The hardest part of this journey is actually starting the blog by writing content for people to read.
That first post will seem like it took you a year to write but once you do it, you’ll get better and faster over time.
Create your first post and just keep going!!!
Once you get your blog some content up on it, you can worry about the look of your site and all of the other technical stuff like how to make money (which I will make an entirely separate post for).
But right now, it’s about taking the initiative to set up your blog, do it on a budget, and get your content up.
Content is king when it comes to blogging so you have to put it out there in order for it to be seen and for your blog to grow.
Okay, I hope these 5 steps to starting your blog on a budget helps you get on track to being a blogger and brings you one step closer to your passion and financial freedom.