Over the years, blogging has turned into a huge industry. Many people have blogs, whether its mom blogs, food blogs, craft blogs, technical blogs, or many more. It’s no secret that blogging has transformed from a hobby to a business. There are tons of bloggers out there who are making money from doing something that they love–writing about what they know. So, maybe now you are thinking about trying your hand at blogging. You can read here about how to make money online with starting your own website.
What you need to know about blogging is that sure, it can make you good money, but it also costs a little bit of money, too. The amount of money you put into your blog is essentially up to you, but there are some costs you won’t be able to avoid. This article is to help you identify the costs of blogging, and how to save on some of those costs.
This is one cost that you won’t be able to avoid. Sure, there are free blogging platforms out there, but that is not the way to go. If you use a free blogging platform, your blog does not belong to you. Your blog belongs to the platform you are hosted on, so if they felt like shutting it down at any given point, they could. Also, if you are on a platform you do not get a nice “.com” domain. Your domain will end with “.blogspot.com,” or something along those lines. When you use a web hosting company you will own your blog, and have all the rights to it.
With that being said, it does cost a little bit of money to use a self hosting website. How much money you spend really depends on what hosting company you choose. There are so many out there you may feel overwhelmed by how many choices you have. When deciding, there is so many reasons to pick one besides just price. You want one that has the best uptime percentage, 24 hour support, automatic setup, no hidden fees, along with the best price. Arvixe is an example of a hosting company that supports an advanced content management system. A content management system is just what it sounds like. It is where you add and edit posts, along with some options to personalize your blog.
Anyone who blogs knows how important web design is. The design of your page determines whether readers want to keep clicking to more articles, and if they want to return. If you want to dive in right away you can always hire someone to design your site for you. If you are like many others, and want to make money from your blog before you invest too much, there are always simple design tweaks you can make yourself for free.
What does it cost to have someone design your blog? Well, it depends on how experienced they are,
how much design you want on your blog, and how interactive you want it to be. You can find someone out there who is very experienced and able to make your blog an amazing site to look at, with interactive features as well, but it is going to cost you a pretty penny. For a professional design, you are looking at roughly $500 if you are starting a website from scratch, and $250 if you are looking to redesign your already-established site.
If that just isn’t in the budget for you yet, you can easily do some simple design tricks on your own. Every theme you choose for your blog comes with customization options that you can monkey around with. There are a few design rules you should follow, though, to make your site look its best.
- White space is key. The more white space, the better. White is visually appealing, and it is a known fact that it’s easier to read black words on white background. Little pops of color on the headlines or side bars can make it look great also.
- Optimize your space above the fold. “Above the fold” refers to what a reader can see on your site before they have to scroll down. You want them to see the most possible, so they want to scroll down and keep reading. Make sure your logo isn’t too big, and doesn’t take up all of this space.
- Steer clear of pop ups. Pop up ads are just annoying. If you are going to have ads, place them strategically in the layout of your site. If you have a lot of pop ups, chances are your readers will get annoyed and possibly leave the site.
If you are just starting your website and need to increase your traffic, marketing is something you may want to do. Whether it be purchasing ad space on other blogs within your niche, or handing out business cards. Bottom line is, no one will visit your page if they can’t find it. With the many ways you can market and network, its easy to blow right through your budget. Fortunately, there are plenty of free ways you can market your new website.
- Social media. This is a HUGE one. Seriously, write that down. Social media is the center of everything these days. You would be amazed how many more people you could drive to your posts if you shared them on your social media profiles. On a side note, you want to try and increase your followers on social media as well.
- Link ups. There are many blogs that do “link-ups,” or “linky parties.” This is a way for many bloggers in similar niches to get together, share their links, and visit other blogs. You can get many visitors, and maybe even make friends this way.
- Visit other blogs within the same niche. You want to get your name out there, and the best way to do it is make friends! Find other bloggers, go to their blogs and comment on their posts. Chances are they will check out your page as well. Win-win situation for the both of you.
- SEO. I have saved a big one for last. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This basically means you should write with keywords that are more likely to be found on a search engine, such as Google. This would help readers find your page when they are searching for keywords on Google. To find out all you need to know about SEO, read this article.
There are the most common costs associated with starting your own blog, or website, and how to save on some of those costs. Blogging can be as cheap as you want it to be, aside from the web hosting. Maybe you are wanting to make some money on your blog first, before you really start investing. That makes sense, and a lot of people do it that way. If you are wanting to learn more, read Part 1 on How To Monetize Your Blog.