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How Much it Really Costs to Start a Blog in 2018

Welcome to the first part to the SAMMB series in 2018! Before we get started with actually creating the blog and making money, we have to know how much things are! 

Many bloggers will have you believe that starting a blog costs as little as $5 per month (because they’re trying to sell you hosting) but what they don’t tell you is that if you want to turn your blog into a money making business, you will have to spend farrrrr more than $5 per month! 

However, before I scare you off, just know that it doesn’t cost hundreds or thousands of dollars per month but expect to spend at least $50-$150 per month. 

Let’s break down exactly what you’ll need to create a profitable blog and how much each thing costs. 

What You Need to Start a Money-Making Blog


Of course you know this! You need a website. In 2018 there are tons of options and no, you don’t have to go with WordPress despite many other bloggers telling you that you HAVE to get a WordPress.

Here’s the truth; WordPress is really complicated if you have no prior tech/marketing/online experience for which we also partner with services such as this train advertising agency. I don’t really know how to categorize the type of experience you need but you get my point.

Starting a blog is already difficult. Don’t make it harder than it needs to be by trying to become a website designer too.

Here’s some easy drag-and-drop website creators that I suggest instead of WordPress.


Squarespace Pricing Plans Monthly Plan ($/month) Annual Plan ($/month)
Personal $16 $12
Business $26 $18
Basic (eCommerce) $30 $26
Advanced (eCommerce) $46 $40

Squarespace is one of the most beautiful website builders around. It’s very simple to create an attractive site using this platform.

As far as price goes, it’s not bad! Even if it may be tempting to go month-to-month, I highly suggest paying upfront when you can. Not only do you save a bit of money, but you also don’t have to worry about re-occuring charges.

Additionally, if you pay upfront for a year, you may be more motivated to give it your all since you’ve put your money where your mouth is!

For most of you, the personal option is fine to start with.

Expense – $144 per year


Weebly Pricing Plans Monthly Plan ($/month) Annual Plan ($/month)
Basic Use (Weebly domain) $0 $0
Personal Use $14 $8
Groups & Organizations $18 $12
Small Businesses & Stores $35 $25

Weebly is another great website builder. Some may argue that their websites are not as attractive as SquareSpace’s websites but they have come a long way over the past few years. I would argue that they are just as attractive as SquareSpace’s site. However, you’re not able to get such a customized look as you would with SquareSpace.

What you will get instead is a clean and modern look. Sometimes, not having too many choices is a blessing in disguise. When starting a new blog, it’s easy to get caught up on things such as tweaking your website when in reality these are just time wasters and won’t really move your blogging business forward like creating great content would!

As you can see, Weebly is significantly more affordable if you pay upfront for the year. Like mentioned before, you will only need the personal use account for now. You can always upgrade at a later time should you decide to sell directly from your site. For now, let’s just focus on getting set up.

Expense – $96 per year


Wix is very similar to Weebly and are probably each other’s competitors. The one advantage that I’ve seen Wix have over Weebly is it’s advanced suite of apps, plugins and tools. With Wix, you can create a pretty sufficient e-commerce store on your site, you have access to a social media scheduler and an email autoresponder so you don’t have to purchase those tools separately.

Wix has made it so that they’re truly a one-in-all website creator and they help you to run your business online.

Weebly Pricing Plans Monthly Plan ($/month) Annual Plan ($/month)
Basic Use (Weebly domain) $0 $0
Personal Use $14 $8
Groups & Organizations $18 $12
Small Businesses & Stores $35 $25


I have recently created two business websites using GoDaddy and I have to say that I’m impressed. I’ve been seeing their commercials on television lately and decided to give them a try.

They have an extremely simple and basic website creator that’ll allow you to create your website in less than an hour. Your options are super limited as to what you can create but for the total beginner, this is a good thing.

It’s hard to create a website on GoDaddy that doesn’t look sleek and professional which is what you want.

Weebly Pricing Plans Monthly Plan ($/month) Annual Plan ($/month)
Basic Use (Weebly domain) $0 $0
Personal Use $14 $8
Groups & Organizations $18 $12
Small Businesses & Stores $35 $25

Total price – around $144 per year upfront



There are two different types of WordPress sites that you can sign up for. First thing to know: WordPress is free whether you use WordPress.org or WordPress.com. However, there are

One is a self-hosted site where you’ll have to rent space on a server separately. This is where you’ll buy a year’s worth of server space with companies like Bluehost or Web Hosting Hub.

You can see how to download WordPress, purchase hosting with Bluehost and how to install your WordPress site onto your hosting here. 

Many people will try to tell you that you need to host your own site because that’s the only way you’ll have full control of it and if one of these sites goes out of business, you’ll still be able to “own” your own site.

While that might be true, it’s a moot point because a hosting company could go out of business too or be faulty and take down your site (has happened to me multiple times) because at the end of the day, you don’t own the space that your site is hosted on. You’re simply renting it.

I used to think that self-hosted sites were the way to go especially for blogging businesses, but I no longer feel that way. Drag and drop sites such as Wix and SquareSpace have come a longggg way and there’s something in the complicity of being able to drag and drop elements to create your site.

Another argument that people will make about using a self-hosted WordPress is that WordPress has a ton more apps and plugins than anyone else. This is true. However, because WordPress is considered “open source” (meaning anyone can come and create a WordPress app), there are a ton of faulty apps that don’t work or can crash your site.

Also,WordPress has sooo many options that it can become quite paralyzing and you find yourself wasting time on fixing and tweaking the smallest things on your website. However, if you want to continue with this option, you can get hosting for as little as $48 per year using my link found here. In addition to purchasing hosting, you’ll also need a few other crucial tools:

Bluehost hosting – $48 per year

Askimet – $12 per year – an app to prevent spam bots from taking over your comment section.

Premium themes – I suggest the Genesis framework theme created by StudioPress which is like a skeleton that’ll allow you to “drag and drop” elements to simply design your website. It’s $59.95 and you can get it here. Then, once you download the theme, you can purchase a prettier theme to go on top of it. StudioPress’s themes go for about $129.95 and can be found here.

One time fee of $190

If you’re into feminine WordPress designs and end up using the Genesis framework theme, check out Hello You Designs which in my opinion, have some of the prettiest themes! They even have an option where you can pay them to download the theme onto your site.

WordPress also has a website builder just like SquareSpace, Wix, Weebly and GoDaddy. If you go to WordPress.com, you can build a site for free or you can purchase one of their plans.

WordPress Pricing Plans No Monthly Plan/Features Annual Plan ($/month)
Personal Domain $4
Premium Domain + ability to monetize with ads + access to free premium themes $8
Business Everything the other two offers + the ability to install all the WP plugins and upload purchased themes $25


Domain – A domain is the website url and you need one if you want to look professional. Since we’re starting a business, professional is important.

Domains are not expensive. You can get one through your website carrier for about $15.

If you purchase the right plan, all of the website builders I mention above include a free domain with your plan.

If you go to GoDaddy.com and buy a domain separately from your website carrier, it’ll be a few dollars cheaper however, you will have to transfer your domain from GoDaddy over to your website carrier which can be a real pain in the butt!

This is a different process for each website carrier and usually takes 1-2 weeks to do. In my opinion, it’s easier to simply buy the domain through the website creator that you choose and save yourself the extra hassle. It’s usually only a few dollars more. Sometimes, you’ll get a free domain when you buy a year’s worth of services.

When you buy your domain, they’ll also prompt you to buy the Whois domain privacy protection. This protection hides your name and address so that spammers or other business owners who want to sell you something won’t spam your inbox with requests. It’s worth it to buy it.

They’ll also ask you if you want to add on the SSL certificate for an extra fee. This is the security certificate that’s on sites that consumers purchase things from. If you plan on selling anything on your website, you should get this. This will protect your customers’ sensitive information and also will provide any potential customers a piece of mind that their information is safe.

Expense – Free to $25

Social Media Scheduler 


Expense –

Email Autoresponder 


Expense – anywhere from $0 – $99 per month depending on list size in first year

Graphic Design Tools 


Expense – anywhere from $0 – $11 per month

Landing Page Creator

You will need something to create a landing page sometimes called a squeeze page.

Expense – $300 per year


Grand Total for 1st year of blogging – $543

So, if you take the cheapest options available above, the least amount you would spend is $543. More than likely you will spend more; like $1000. This is because you’ll buy a digital product or two. Hopefully your email list will grow beyond 1000 subscribers and you’ll have to pay for an email autoresponder and you’ll want to sell products or services on your site meaning you’ll have to pay a little more to offer those things.

In actuality, this makes sense as there’s few businesses that you can start for less than $1000.

Now, this is not to say you can’t start a blog for less than $500. In fact, you can start a blog today for free on any of the site builders I mentioned above and never spend a dime. However, your chance of making money from that BLOG is likely 0%. To start a BLOG BUSINESS, you have to spend money on startup costs.

There’s simply no way around it. And, I hate that there are so articles on the web stating you can start a blog for $5 per month and make money. That’s really not realistic and I want to give you guys the truth.

If you’re looking to start a serious blog that will make money, budget for these items above and create a budget for blog coaching and/or education.

Optional – Continuing Education

I highly suggest you invest in some type of blogging education course. You can follow along with me for free and then choose to pre-purchase the accompanying videos and handouts for a very affordable price ($29).



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