Expense #1 Domain name.
Your domain name is your website address or URL. You can register your domain name at any one of hundreds of registrars. It costs anywhere from two dollars to twenty depending on the registrar you use. If your desire domain name is not available, however you might be able to buy it from someone. Some domain names can go for thousands of dollars. To keep it inexpensive, create a list of five to ten possible domain names. Register the one that is available, cheap, and best fits your needs.
Note: If you create a blog directly on a site like WordPress.com you don’t have to pay a penny. However, you will have to follow their rules which limit or eliminate several profit models. Additionally your blog URL will have WordPress in the address. For example, http://www.janesmith.wordpress.com.
Expense #2 Hosting
Again, if you choose to have your blog hosted by a blogging service like WordPress then it’s free. However, most people choose to host their own blog. There are no limits on how you can profit if you host it yourself. There are also no content limits.
Hosting ranges from just a few dollars a year to a hundred dollars a year. Most people end up spending somewhere around twenty to sixty dollars annually. Your expense will depend on your bandwidth and space needs. Also, you can often reduce your annual costs by signing up for a longer term. For example, if you choose to pay for three years of hosting at once, it’s likely much cheaper than if you choose to go month to month.
Expense #3 Blog Services
Most blogging services are free. WordPress and Blogger both fall into that free category. Some however charge a fee. TypePad is one such blogging service. If you choose TypePad or another fee based blogging service then you’ll want to add that into your monthly or annual blogging expenses. However, a membership with TypePad also includes your hosting and your domain name. Keep in mind that when you host with TypePad your blog URL will include TypePad in the address. For example, http://www.janesmith.typepad.com.
Expense #4 Blog Design
The truth is there are so many beautiful free templates, especially for WordPress, that it doesn’t have to cost you a penny for a great blog design. That being said, you can also purchase a template, have your blog custom designed, or customize an existing template. A template customization might include something as simple as a new header. Because designers range in price you might pay anywhere from twenty five dollars to twenty five hundred dollars, or more.
Expense #5 Content
Content doesn’t have to cost you a penny either. In fact, your blog will likely do quite well if you’re writing or creating the content yourself. Consider supplementing with guest bloggers which you can also find for free. They’ll blog on your site in order to help create awareness for their own blog. (You can do the same to build awareness for your own blog.)
You can also hire content providers or purchase the rights to content, aka PLR. Prices range depending on your topic and the contractor you hire.
So, you can pay absolutely nothing for your blog. Or you can spend thousands. Most people fall somewhere in between. It’s realistic to say that you can have a very professional looking blog for less than $150 dollars. That includes your domain, hosting for a year, and a bit of template customization.
Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.