How Much Does it Cost to Start a WordPress Blog?
Blogging is one of the best ways of making money online. You can always start with a Free Blog at Blogger
However, self-hosted WordPress is always preferred over Blogger for professional blogging as it gives you more control over your blog’s SEO.
If you are planning to start a WordPress blog, the most obvious question in your mind would be the costs involved for the same.
Therefore, I thought of sharing with you, in detail, all the costs involved in starting and running a WordPress blog.
Costs of Starting a WordPress Blog
The financials involved in starting a WordPress blog vary greatly depending on the customization of the blog and outsourcing of activities related to blogging.
We are going to divide the blogging costs into 2 parts, Essential costs, and Optional costs. Optional costs are what it takes to run your blog successfully.
The essential costs are necessary costs for you to start the blog.
Starting a blog is not very costly. All you need is a domain name, a good solid hosting, a WordPress Theme and necessary plugins to get started.
1. Domain Name
A domain name is the first thing you need to buy for starting a blog. Domain names are priced depending on extensions. A .com domain will usually cost you in the range of $10 to $15 per year.
However, some domain registrars offer a special discount on domain names for the first year.You can get a .com domain from GoDaddy and 1&1.com for just $0.99 for the first year. Renewals of the domain name would be at $14.99 per year.
Namecheap, on the other hand, offers a .com domain name for $10.69 and renews it at the same price. Some hosting companies provide free domain with their hosting plan. So make sure not to buy a domain name before you finalize your hosting company.
My Suggestion: Buy the domain name from Namecheap as it has better customer support and it turns out to be cheaper in the long run. However, if you are low on budget, you can buy it from GoDaddy.
Cost to You: $1 to $15 for the first year
2. Web Hosting
For a self-hosted WordPress blog, you need a server where you can host your blog. The cost of hosting varies greatly depending on the traffic you are expecting, the amount of storage you need, the size of your web page and the number of requests it generates. It also depends on whether or not you are using caching plugins and CDN.
For beginners, shared hosting plans are most suitable as they are cheap. A shared hosting plan from will cost you anywhere between $1 per month to $30 per month.
Though cost is an important factor for most beginners, you should not compromise on the quality of your host. Below are some of the recommend hosting companies along with their pricing for one year.
GoDaddy Economy Hosting plan will cost you $3.99 per month for annual billing and it comes with a free domain name for the first year. However, with a special GoDaddy $1 Hosting Offer, you can get the same plan for $1 per month.b. DreamHost
Dreamhost offers just one shared hosting plan which comes with a free domain name for the first year. It will cost you $9.95 per month for annual billing. However, with Special $50 Discount, the effective monthly rate turns out to be $5.78 per month
You can get Namecheap Value plan for just $0.82 per month with annual billing. It, however, does not come with a free domain name. Namecheap usually does not offer any special discounts as it is already the cheapest among reliable hosting companies.
My Suggestion: You can go for Dreamhost as they have good fast servers which provide excellent uptime. Also, their customer support is one of the best. However, if you are low on budget, you can start with GoDaddy.
Cost To You: $12 to $70 for the first year.
3. Designing Website
Blog design is another critical cost that you have to consider. You can either select a free theme from hundreds of free themes at WordPress Repository or buy a Premium theme which may cost you anywhere between $30 to $100.
Most premium theme providers offer themes for a one time cost with free updates for lifetime. Some of them also allow you to access all their themes with a monthly or yearly membership plan.
If you are very particular about the looks of your blog and want to get a fully customized theme, you can hire a web designer. A freelance web designer may charge you anywhere between $150 to $800 for a basic blog depending upon your requirements.
Cost To You: Free to $100
4. WordPress Plugin
Various free and paid WordPress plugins are available to add functionality to your WordPress blog. You can use plugins to manage on-page SEO, optimize images, show related posts etc.
You can find free plugins in the WordPress Repository for adding almost all the basic features to your blog. However, for advanced features, you may have to buy paid plugins.
My Suggestion: It is not wise to buy paid plugins for a new blog. These Free WordPress Plugins will be sufficient for most beginners.
Cost To You: Free for basic functions.
You have your blog ready. But you need content and traffic at your blog to make money. Optional costs are the ones which will help you achieve the same.
5. Writing Articles
Content is the king. Your blog would be worthless without good articles to engage your blog visitors. It is recommended that you write atleast one SEO friendly article of 1000 words per week.
You can either write all the articles yourself or hire content writers for the same. A good content writer will charge you anywhere between $10 to $30 per 1000 word article.
It is recommended to publish at least 8-10 articles per month. Assuming that you are getting 50% of articles written by others, you will have to shell out around $50 to $100 per month
My Suggestion: You must make sure to write most of the articles yourself to maintain uniform writing style at your blog. However, if you wish to hire content writers, make sure to hire good content writers capable of writing SEO friendly articles.
Cost To You: Free to $100 per month.
6. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Good articles can retain traffic to your blog, they cannot drive traffic to your blog. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) includes various techniques to drive organic traffic to your blog from search engines. SEO is easy to learn, difficult to implement and very costly to outsource.
You can break down SEO into 3 parts
- Keyword Research
- On Page SEO
- Link Building or Off Page SEO.
There are many free tools like Yoast SEO which can take care of most of your blog’s on-page SEO. For keyword research, you can either use free tools like Google Keyword Planner or paid tools like SEMRush.
Link Building too, you can manage yourself. However, if you want to be aggressive with it, you can set aside a monthly budget of $50 to $200 for the same. This includes paying for guest posts and hiring freelancers for manual link building.
My Suggestion: Cost of outsourcing SEO is very high. It is one thing that can break a blogger’s back. Unless you are making good money from your blog, you must avoid outsourcing it.
Cost To You: Free to $200 per month
7. Social Media Marketing
For drawing traffic to your blog post, you cannot solely rely on organic traffic from search engines. It may take months before your blog starts ranking for a particular keyword. This is why social media marketing becomes so important.
Social media marketing includes various techniques to get organic traffic from social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. Most bloggers usually manage it themselves.
For social media marketing,
Cost To You: Free to $20 per month
8. Email Marketing And List Building
Email Marketing is the best way to reach out to your target audience.
If you collect the email Id’s of your blog readers, you can easily reach out to them whenever you publish a new post at your blog.
All you need is an email subscription box or pop-up at your blog integrated to an email management software
For Email Management software, you can use MailChimp which is free up to 2000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. You can also get 30 days free trial of GetResponse or 60 days free trial of Constant Contact
My Suggestion: Mailchimp is good for beginners with less than 2000 contacts. However, Constant Contact is a better option as it has better features and email templates.
Cost To You: Free to start
Starting a WordPress blog is very cheap. If you have a very tight budget, you can start your blog for as low as $12.
Just get GoDaddy $1 Hosting With Free Domain Name, and install WordPress on it. You can then use free themes and plugins to get started with your blog.
Among the optional costs, email marketing is the only thing you must consider if you are low on budget. Mailchimp is great for starters who do not need a lot of features.