How to Start a WordPress Blog on a Budget
You can become a full-time blogger, whether you have a lot of upfront capital to get your blog started or not. It all hinges on the content management system (CMS) that you choose during the initial stages of your venture — some offer value for money, and some are far more expensive than they need to be. By choosing WordPress as your CMS, you will be able to enjoy the former.
To find out how you can start a WordPress blog while working with a strict budget, be sure to read on.
Be prepared to set up and host the blog yourself
WordPress is an incredibly cheap CMS — for the most part, it is 100% free to use. It’s such a cost friendly service because, when you use it, you have to set up and host the blog yourself. So long as you’re prepared to do this, you can carry on with this particular venture without unearthing any nasty surprises at a later date.
Try before you buy
Even after becoming aware of the kind of service that is offered by WordPress, you still need to ensure that it (and blogging in general) is the CMS for you. Fortunately, this CMS offers a plethora of ‘try before you buy’ services, including the risk-free 60-day WPEngine trial. Making use of this service will allow you to get to grips with this CMS before you commit to this venture in a financial sense.
Choose a domain name
Your domain name will be the web address that Internet users type in to get to your site. It’s incredibly important, then, that you choose a domain name that says everything there is to say about your blog and its brand.
As important as this step may be, it still doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. On average, domains tend to cost $12 per annum, and this is always a good starting point to work up from. If a domain-providing service is offering a name that is well above this asking price, avoid it at all costs.
Choose a cheap theme
Your blog doesn’t need to be a world-beater right off the bat, so it’s okay to keep your costs down even if it impacts the aesthetic appeal of your site during its initial stages. At this point, it’s more important to get to grips with the CMS rather than actually trying to make your blog profitable.
This means that you should search the web diligently in order to unearth the very cheapest themes on the market. Here are a few cost-effective options that may just suit you, your blog, and your budget perfectly:
Start an email list
If you want your blog to bring you profit at some point in the near future, then you’re going to need to start growing its traffic as soon as possible. To do this, you’re going to need to start an email list early on in your venture. By doing this, you will be able to come into direct contact with your most loyal readers whenever you have new information to share with them, as each and every one of them will likely check their emails throughout the course of each day. The best part about this kind of marketing? It’s completely free. It costs nothing to set up your own email account and to subsequently spread the word about your blog via it.
Monetize your blog
There will always be people out there willing to pay you for ad space on your blog (either in the form of physical advertisement space on your home page, or in the form of backlinks in the written content that you upload). It’s important that you are open to this kind of external sponsorship, as monetizing your blog in this way is the only way you are going to make any profit from it during its startup stage.
There are a plethora of other ways to monetize your blog and squeeze every last dollar out of it, some of which conclude:
Joining affiliate networks
Writing sponsored posts
Writing books about your niche
Offered products or services relating to your blog’s topic
Focus on SEO for your Blog
In order to attract people to your blog, these people first need to know that your blog exists. Promoting your blog is, then, paramount. You should, however, err on the side of caution in this instance, as your marketing costs could spiral out of control if you’re not careful.
One way to promote your blog in as cost-effective a manner as possible is to focus your attention on search engine optimization (SEO).
By adhering to the latest of Google’s long list of demands, you could find your blog rising higher in its ranking and, thus, finding its way onto your target readers’ screens far more often.
In order to get on (and then stay on) Google’s good side, you should:
Avoid low-quality links (such as those to spam sites) at all costs
Make sure you never send your users to missing or broken links
Stay abreast of your HTML index tags
Ensure that your site is as fast as it can be
Do not keyword stuff
Make sure your site remains organized and de-cluttered
Spread your links
Only ever write content that is search friendly
At some point in your future as a blogger, you may want to consider investing some serious money into your venture.
During your blog’s initial stages, however, it’s important that you save money as and when you can. By embracing the bootstrap approach, you will be able to get used to the demands of WordPress without blowing your budget on it, which will, in turn, see you have more cash to inject into it once you are a more accomplished blogger.
From trying before you buy to focusing your attention on your site’s SEO, it’s important that you put all of the above advice into practice.
By Madison on 10 May 2019