Have you ever been curious about all these people who have blogs? Maybe you’ve wondered how to start a blog? How much does it cost to have a blog? How do you make the graphics? And can you really make money with a blog?
And maybe you’ve even wondered if you should start a blog for your company.
Starting the blog is the easy part. Creating new content and graphics is where the real work comes in.
But I jumped ahead. Let’s start with the first questions. How does one even start a blog and how much does it cost?
One of the great things about starting a blog is that the monthly overhead is pretty low. But to start a blog you do need to sign up for some basic tools.
Five Basic Tools to Start a Blog
1. The first thing you need to buy is your blog domain name. This is usually an annual fee that about the cost of two large lattes.
2. Then you need a web hosting company for your domain name. I use Bluehost and have been very happy them and the service they have provided me.
I’ve used their complimentary Chat service a number of times and the person on the other end is always super helpful. And the monthly hosting fee is minimal.
3. Next, you need a self-hosted WordPress account. I’m honestly not what the other type of accounts are for but self-hosted means you own your content – no one else has rights to it.
4. Once you have your blog name, Bluehost and a self-hosted word press account set up you will need a theme. Themes are what make sites look good. There are many free themes that you can use while you are setting up a blog and deciding if you can commit to the necessary amount of writing.
I use a Restored 316 Theme and love it and their customer support. They even have a private Facebook group where we can ask questions and get instant support from others with Restored 316 Themes.
5. You will also want to sign up for a Gmail account. Google offers you free data about your site and it is much easier to attach it to a Gmail account. A G-suite account makes it even easier and is worth the small monthly fee.
How to Make Blog Graphics
If those first five steps sound doable then the next important step is to focus on graphics.
I only have minimal graphics on my blog but those graphics helped to tell the story of what I wrote about.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Graphics are much harder to make then I ever imagined!
You can use a fancy program like Adobe Illustrator or you can sign up for an account with a simpler site like use PicMonkey or Canva. I use Canva and splurge for their paid option – the cost of a couple more large lattes.
The real key to graphics is to find someone who has done the hard work and has created templates and courses that teach you how to use the templates. I would be lost without my friend Kara at Simplifying DIY Design.
Kara is an awesome teacher and her Canva templates are easy to customize to match your blog’s look and brand. Check out her free resources to get an idea of the graphics you’ll need to make as a blogger.
Can you Make Money Blogging?
Can you make money blogging is the real question, right? Because if you are going to give up your coffee shop coffee for the fees it takes to operate a blog are you going to make a profit? Or even break even?
The honest answer is maybe and it will probably take awhile. The two main ways to make money blogging are through affiliate links and selling an online product.
My friend Kara at Simplifying DIY Design is n example of a success story. She teaches amazing courses and sells amazing templates. Her client list is growing every day.
And to have a profitable blog you need to enjoy writing. Blogs are about creating new content to share with the world to help solve other people’s problems. If you’ve got problem-solving skills and enjoy writing then blogging is for you!
Should you start a blog?
The overhead to start a blog is low and a blog can be a great extension of your company. Having current content on your website helps potential clients get to know you and connect with you.
You should have at least 15 hours a week to commit to writing, learning and promoting your blog. And about $100 for monthly services and another $300-$400 a quarter for courses and resources you will inevitably sign up for.
The real question, since you’ve made it to the bottom of this post, is do you want to start a blog? Because if the answer is yes then go for it! What’s the worst that can happen?