These are tough and changing times have seen more and more business owners adapt to an eCommerce model as they move their offline business online. However, eCommerce is not the only way to make money online – you can also start a blog.
Blogging as a business model can be very profitable, and the best thing is that starting a blog does not cost a fortune.
You can do it one a shoe-string budget. And in this post, we will break down how. Let’s get started.
Choose your niche
The first step in building a successful blog is choosing a niche – this is the topic that you will write about on your blog. This part of building a blog is free – you only have to spend some time delving into your interests and passions to find a niche that appeals to you.
People generally go for one of two options when choosing a nice:
A tightly focused topic
As the name suggests, this is when you blog about a singular topic, for example, graphic design, programming, or Vegan cooking. Blogs that have a tight focus like this are generally easier to gain traction with as you are speaking to an audience with a particular set of needs, wants, and goals.
A broader topic base
Instead of focusing on one tight subject, you could go with a broad topic blog. For example, if you’re into technology, you could create a blog that covers different tech topics. If you have multiple interests – fashion, beauty, cooking, etc. – you could create a lifestyle blog.
It can be harder to build an audience for a broad topic blog. However, there is an upside – writing about different topics enables that you can tap into a wider audience.
Buy a domain name
Once you have a niche selected, the next step is to pick a domain name – this is your blog’s name. There are two parts to this:
First, you have to choose a name. Coming up with a name for your blog can take some time, and you will have to do some brainstorming. To help make this process easier, follow the below tips.
Choose a descriptive name, for example, ‘Vegan Treats.’
Keep it short and snappy (two short words max)
Don’t use numbers in the name
Don’t pick a name that already exists
After you have a name, the next step is to buy the domain and make it yours. You can buy a domain for less than $12 per year from domain companies like Godaddy or Namecheap.
Choose a blogging platform
To build a blog, you need a blogging platform. There are software or online tools that give you all the tools to create your blog. There are free blogging platforms like Blogger.com and WordPress.com, and there are also paid platforms like Wix or Square Space.
While Wix and Square Space are good blogging platforms, they also make it easy for beginners to get started. However, they charge a monthly or yearly fee, and they also have limitations on how you can customize it.
If you’re serious about blogging, I recommend choosing WordPress.org (not to be confused with the free WordPress.com). This is free blogging software that you install on your web host server.
WordPress.org has a little learning curve, but there are no limitations to what you can do when it comes to customizing how your blog looks and feels, especially if you add free resources from Design Bundles to the concoction. You also get access to millions of plugins that allow you to add features and enhance your blog.
Get web hosting
Ok. So far, we have spent only $10. Not too bad! However, now we come to an expensive part of starting a blog – web hosting. But, the good news is that it’s not that expansive! Good hosting will cost you less than $9.99 per month, and if you avail of a yearly plan, it can be significantly cheaper.
So what is web hosting? For your blog to be live on the internet, it needs a home on a server, and that’s where web hosting comes in. Web hosting companies like Blue Host, A2 Hosting, and Site Ground allow you to rent space on their servers. Within this space, you can build your blog and store all its pages, images, and media files.
Most of these web hosting companies are beginner-friendly and will walk you through setting up WordPress.
Pick and Set-up Your Theme
Your theme is the style and look of your blog. See it like a skin. If you choose WordPress as your blogging platform, you will have access to thousands of themes. Some are premium, and others are free.
When just starting, opt for a free theme. Once your blog gets up and running and begins to make some money, you can go for a premium theme.
Installing a theme is easy. From the WordPress theme library, select one that you like, then you can install it with the simple click of a button. Once installed, you will have to make some tweaks and changes to get it right – this can be a little difficult as a beginner, but thankfully, they are lots of great websites to learn about WordPress.
Add your logo
Every blog needs a logo. If you want to come across professional, having one is a must. However, you don’t need to pay for one. When using WordPress, you can add your logo as text. Simply write the name, and it will appear in the header section of the blog.
If you want a logo that’s a little more snazzy and upmarket, but that still allows you to stick to your shoe-string budget, then a logo maker is the cheapest way– it will cost you maybe $20 to create a logo.
Create a content plan and publish your first post
Ok, we are nearly there. Your blog is set-up, and you are ready to start publishing content. But, before you start pounding the keys and writing, come up with a content plan.
Ideally, you should always have a month worth of content planned in advance. When planning what to write, make sure your post topics align with your audience’s needs and wants. You might have to do some research to find suitable topics.
Once you have a plan in place, the next step is to write your first post and publish it – after publishing, you will officially be a blogger.
Market your blog
There are lots of ways to market your blog. And many of them are free! However, you will have to spend time and energy on building a name for yourself.
Some of the methods you can use include:
Social media marketing
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Marketing is the hardest part of blogging. It takes time to start gaining some traction, so don’t expect results overnight. Or even in the first few weeks. But don’t give up. Patience and persistence are the key to marketing.
Time to build your blog
If you follow all the steps in this post, it will cost no more than $25 to get your blog online. $45 if you opt for a logo. That’s not bad at all! Now, it’s up to you.
Are you ready to take the next step?