Just as with most purchases, having a blog for your business costs as much as you want it to.
It’s a little like anything that you buy. To use an analogy, you could go for something that’s in line with the latest Ferrari or you could opt for an old banger.
The costs are wildly different, but you can drive them both to reach the same destination. You may have to tweak the old banger as you go on your journey. The Ferrari may be so complicated and sensitive that you will need to pay somebody else to maintain it for you.
When putting together the costs of a blog, it’s essential to look at the bigger picture.
These five parts are what the typical blog is made of. We’re going to look at what each piece is (blogs are a bit confusing to say the least, especially if this is the first time you’ve had one).
The domain name is the same as the address of the blog. In effect, it’s what is also known as the URL. It’s the words that are written in the top address line of a website browser. By typing them in, you can go to the blog. For example, the domain name for my site is www.ameliachampion.com
To get a domain name, you’d go to a company such as BlueHost or GoDaddy and buy it. It will cost just a few pounds and then once you’ve got your website set up, you can promote it as part of your marketing as well as bring in visitors through your blog posts. It’s a way to increase your online exposure.
I bought my domain name for just $0.99 from GoDaddy. As I write this the current price is even less at just $0.88 from GoDaddy, and free with hosting from BlueHost. As you can see, it’s not a large amount of money to buy.
If you want to buy a domain name that has already been in use and is relatively well known, such as Google.com or Yahoo.com then you’d have to pay a very high price for it. Or even buying a domain name that is very catchy, the price may well be higher.
To find out exactly how much your chosen domain name costs, you will need to search for it on the providers site. You can do this on GoDaddy here. However, if what you have in mind is something along the lines of what I used, ie just using the name of your business or yourself as your website name, then it shouldn’t cost too much. You will still need to check whether the domain name that you want is available. You can also do that by going here.
Blog hosting is basically taking care of the data that your blog uses and making it available through a server. It’s available for a very low cost these days. Years ago, it used to cost far more to buy blog hosting. To give you an example of this, the cost of hosting is currently $3.45 from Bluehost or $2.99 from GoDaddy.
There are a few different options for hosting. When you start out, you will be fine with just getting shared hosting. GoDaddy explains shared hosting as being part of a building of apartments. Basically, you are renting one section of a server to host your blog data and content.
Other more advanced options including using a shared but upgraded server. This is an option that would be more suited to a more advanced blogger. They would benefit from upgraded services and a faster server.
Then there is also the option of hiring an entire server. The blogger would enjoy more bandwidth (ie a bigger and dedicated entrance to their website). But the cost is also far higher.
When we’re starting out, we don’t have so many visitors to our website blog, so having a shared service is fine. It’s also considerably less outlay, which is important when we first get going.
Again, this is where the analogy of the Ferrari vs the old VW comes into play. It really depends how much you want to spend as to how much your design costs. When I started out, I was fortunate enough to be technical enough to do all my own design work. I had already created a website for a client, so although it was a bit of a struggle, I managed to do my own.
So I bought my domain name, then my hosting and then installed WordPress. Once you reach this point, you can either use the design themes for WordPress that are offered to you, buy one that is pre-made or you can ask somebody to design something specifically for you.
I have gone down all of these routes. My first design was free from WordPress and I just tweaked it and learnt a few ways that I could change it to suit my preferences.
When I purchased the premade one, I looked around and eventually chose one that suited my needs from Theme Forest. I also recently purchased one of these to create a design for Petite Anse Hotel which is one of my ongoing clients. I had seen the same design on another hotel that I frequented, and I found the design appealing, so tweaked it to suit the company colours and added our own content. You can see it here. I maintain this site and its content.
The last time I had my website redesigned, I used a designer by the name of Chelsea Olivia. I love her work and you can visit her website here. She took over the entire project for me and used the fonts that I wanted and asked me to go and choose colours that I liked. Then I went back to her with what I liked, and she worked out the entire thing for me. It helped in terms of time, but the cost is obviously more than doing it all yourself. It cost me around $750.
Along with the design, there may be other expenses involved such as buying access to Akismet which is an add on that keeps your site safer from spammers. You may also want to buy other items such as Yoast which is a great way to see whether you’re adding enough SEO to each post and your overall website.
You may think that you don’t really need security, and it’s true, you may not. When I started out I had several years without it and I was fine without it. Nothing happened to my website all this time. I didn’t have any security on my website.
Then about two years ago, all this changed. Both the Petite Anse website and my website got hacked. It was a horrible moment and one filled with horror. Here I was with a mess of a client’s website. I wasn’t so concerned about my own as I’d just manage to get that back into some kind of shape when I could. But the clients was his entire livelihood. Petite Anse is a hotel website and nobody would be able to see the hotel without it. It would mean that nobody would book a room or look at the menu before they dropped by for lunch, etc.
All that content and fiddling around that I had done with them to get them ‘just so’ had been obliterated by unscrupulous hackers. No doubt the hackers had enjoyed themselves, but I was now in a state of shock and wondering what I could tell my client.
Fortunately, I managed to get pretty much everything back and reinstalled. The backup that was used was a few weeks old, but it was still much better than not having any help with returning to the point we had reached. However, since that day I have learnt my lesson. I enjoy greater peace of mind knowing that it won’t be so easy for a hacker to get into the site. It also means that there is always a very current backup to use. Both sites have a backup taken every night.
Getting the design developed is usually actually the most expensive part of the blog. Again, the cost of the blog content will depend on whether you do your own or whether you decide you would prefer it done for you. It’s now that the difference between the Ferrari and the VW comes into play in full.
Writing blog content and finding images can take a lot of time. You can do it yourself and will learn as you go.
If you’re not really a writer, you may prefer to hire somebody to do it all for you. They may charge you between £10 and £50 a piece, depending on who you hire. You will probably have to insert the blog content also.
If you’re building a business blog, then you’ll also need to consider that in addition to the blog content, there is also the website content. There will be pages other than the blog. For example, on my website, I have this blog, but I also have web pages that explain to my visitors who I am and what I have available in terms of products and services. I have also got a few images around the website that shows people who I am and what I have for them.
Now that you know about where to get your written material from, you should also know where to find your images. I collect mine from several different places. I have an image service that I have paid for access to called Clipart.com. In addition, I look for images on Pixabay and take them from Canva.com and from Pagemodo.com.
I also purchase some images from Creative Market which sells some very exciting products. They also sell fonts and other thrilling website pieces. If you are of a creative mind, go and have a look there sometime. It’s a place full of website wizardry.
As you can see, it’s not so expensive to get a blog up and running. The biggest cost that you’ll have is the content. However, if you’re intending on writing your own blog posts, then you won’t have to this outlay to be concerned with. There will be minor purchases along the way. Sometimes I get a little stuck with the design of my website and I hire somebody to help me. They will tweak it for me and are currently offering 30 minutes of their WordPress knowledge for just £15 per hour.
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