Running a website is not as expensive as you think. If you want to start a blog, you can probably do so for under $100 for the first year. While the costs of starting are very low, this is not what you can call passive income. The value you put into your website is your hard work, hours and hours of it, before you see any result. But believe me, if you keep at it, then one day, it becomes all worth it. Your first comment, your first invitation to guest post, your first fight with a disagreeing reader, your first content going viral on social media… those are all very special moments.
Anyway, back to the website creation. First, you need a domain name. It is maybe the most important part of your marketing, as much or more than your content will be. Why? because it will tell people what they will find there. Your potential readers may be attracted by keywords, for example “raisingadog.com”, by fun names, or if you plan on building a brand around yourself, or are already a little famous in your niche (say dog trainers in Portland), you may use just nameandsurname.com.
Think hard and long about it, as changing names down the road is a real pain.
Domain registration is pretty cheap, usually for a first registration you won’t have to pay more than $10 per year, sometimes as low as a dollar or two. Then expect the next year’s registration to be more expensive, usually in the $15-20 range. Still, a bargain to promote yourself and your products to the world.
The next step is to find a hosting company. That is another error newbie bloggers often commit the first year, they choose free hosting and wait until they build a following to go self hosted. Why is that a mistake? Because you are not allowed to advertise on your website, or put banners that are not approved by the host. Meaning you are unable to monetize your content. The usual rate for hosting is around $60-100 per year, but then again, if you enjoy a promotion, like the Black Friday or year end one, you can get as much as 75% your hosting package. That is really not a big sum to miss out on monetizing opportunities for your blog.
What you are going to write is the third important part. You want to find a niche you are passionate about, and able to write content on, day in, day out, for the next year or so. Then people will approach you and offer some content, offer to guest post or you will have sufficient funds to hire some staff writers. But at the beginning, unless you have a million dollar idea and some angel investors behind you, it is just you.
So be sure to choose a niche you enjoy, as it will make it much easier to make a name for yourself, network with other bloggers, and start being known around.
In the end, a $100-ish investment for the first year, plus your time, can lead to great income, if you are good at what you do, and stick with it while you develop your site.