May 23, 2024



Tech Business News estimates that there are 600 million blogs in total.

Want to start one?

Since you’re here, I assume you do, and you’re worried about the upfront price. So, how much does it cost to start a blog from scratch? Really?

You can get a blog or website up and running for one dollar a day with Solo Build It! (SBI!), the ultimate all-in-one solution.

You can also go with a different approach and mix-and-match services and tools from vendors. There’s a huge range of prices. Odds are, you’ll stumble across even more expenses as you go. Some are necessary. Others? Not so much.

Today, I’ll break down the initial cost and extra expenses. I’ll also share with you why I think a properly run blog can be well worth your money (and time).

Free Blogs: Are They Any Good for Professional Bloggers?

It’s possible to start a blog using free blogging platforms like WordPress.com.

But the million-dollar question is: Is it a good idea?

First, let me explain that not all bloggers are the same. There are hobbyists, part-time hustle bloggers, and those who do it as a full-time job.

Are you a hobbyist blogger looking to share your passion with others? Then, by all means, start a free blog. It’s a great way to dip your toes in the water without the financial commitment!

Meanwhile, if you’re in it for the passive income, I wouldn’t recommend free blogs. They might limit your monetization and customization options while riddling your blogging site with ads. Plus, they usually don’t inspire confidence.

Blogging Costs Breakdown: Essentials and Nifty Additions

A domain, a hosting service, and a blog theme—that’s all you need to start an online business.

Scaling it and monetizing off of it, though? That’s a whole different story. You need high-quality content, an email marketing system, and a good arsenal of SEO tools.

Let’s take a quick look at the costs and what the all-inclusive Solo Build It! solution covers.

Item Average Market Cost Included in Solo Build It!
Domain $15 annually Yes
Hosting Up to $240 annually Yes
Design $0–$1,000+ Yes
Content $0–$500 per month No (but we have Tai to help you with content creation)
SEO $200+ annually Yes
Email Marketing Tool $100 annually Yes
Hardware and Extras $0–$500+ (niche-specific) Nope

I’ll dig deeper into the expected value for money if you choose SBI!.

But for now, I’ll be looking at the typical approach: mix-and-matching from various vendors.

1. Domain Name Registration (Essential)

You can expect to pay around $15 annually for a custom domain.

Popular registrars like Namecheap and GoDaddy offer domains at affordable prices. Keep in mind that you’ll need to renew each year or risk losing your domain. Solo Build It! takes care of this for you.

2. Hosting Service (Essential)

Now that you have a domain, you need a provider to “host” it. The thing is, the price tags for hosting services vary a lot based on the features you need. But as a ballpark figure, let’s say you’ll need an upfront cost of around $240 for a reliable, no-limit service.

You could get a Bluehost/WordPress package for a low introductory price. Or you could pick a hosting plan from GoDaddy for around $10, with a three-year term.

That said, most hosting providers will throw a free domain name registration into the mix. You’ll likely get an SSL certificate as well.

3. Designs (Essential)

You could pick a website template (free or paid premium theme) or use a builder tool. Mostly, I’d go for a premium theme if the budget allows for it.

On the other hand, getting a web designer to put together a professional-looking blog for you is the most hassle-free approach. It’s an expensive option, though. Think four-figures.

The designer could also help you create a memorable logo, which is nice to have, but not an essential purchase. You technically could make a basic logo design on Canva without needing much technical skills.

4. Blog Content

If you want to keep the costs down, the obvious approach would be to write your own blog content. Writing your own content isn’t just great for your wallet. It’s also good for satisfying Google’s EEAT guidelines (expertise, experience, authoritativeness, trust), as you’ll bring in your personal experiences.

But many people struggle with writing, or it takes them a long time to produce a high quality post (looking at myself here!). Using a generative AI tool like SBI!’s Tai can be a real game changer.

Alternatively, consider outsourcing content creation. Freelance writers or content agencies can be a godsend for creating drafts that you can refine and perfect yourself.

How much will this cost? Well, you have quite a wide range here.

If you hunt on freelance platforms, you’ll find someone willing to deliver an article for $5 or $10. Other writers will ask for three figures for a single blog post.

When you outsource content writing, check the drafts you receive for plagiarism and whether they are AI generated. You don’t want to pay for an article that’s 100% written by the likes of ChatGPT or contains plagiarized material. My go-to tool for these kinds of checks is Originality.ai.

5. SEO Tools

Tools like Google Analytics and Keyword Planner are free and handy. However, if you want search engines to find (and love) your content, odds are, you’ll need a few premium SEO tools.

Here are some popular options:

  • Yoast Premium plugin: $99 for an annual package
  • Ahrefs: $99 per month
  • Semrush: $129.95 a month

6. Email Marketing Software

A word of advice: Start building your email list ASAP. Seriously! Getting your readers on a subscriber list will pay dividends for your online business as it grows.

There are many software options out there. Prices often relate to the number of people on the email list.

For ConvertKit users, the paid plans start at a monthly cost of $9 for up to 300 subscribers. Meanwhile, Mailchimp’s plans start with a 500-member contact list.

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7. Extras

Obviously, you need a laptop, a smartphone, and a reliable internet connection. I can only assume you already have those.

If not, you can get a budget-friendly laptop for under $500 and upgrade to a high-speed Wi-Fi connection (around $60).

Now, there might be some niche-specific extras. Try to make a list of the additional costs before beginning your blogging journey so you don’t get caught unprepared!

If you’re not sure what you need, look at the content from successful bloggers in your niche. Ask yourself: What will I need to create similar stuff?

Maybe a camera and decent lighting setup for your DIY projects? Perhaps you’ll need some image editing software as well? Blogging tools like Grammarly are usually handy, too.

But if there’s one “extra” hardware I’d recommend, it’s noise-canceling headphones. It can be a great productivity booster when working from home or public spaces.

The Hidden Cost: TIME

While budgeting is a major aspect, don’t ignore the time investment.

Technically, you could get a basic blog up and running in just a few hours, especially nowadays, as many site builders have integrated AI capabilities. However, customizing it takes substantially longer.

Expect to spend weeks, adding pages, fine-tuning premium themes, setting up additional plugins, and publishing initial posts. And that’s just the setup phase!

Sure, you’ll work from home and set your own hours. Still, you need to put in some effort.

Most bloggers invest 5+ hours per week on their site. Full-time bloggers? Oh, they devote 60 hours weekly.

The good news? It’s possible to balance blogging with your family life, with a few “off” days per month, too. You just need the right blogging tools and some insider tips to build an online business that runs smoothly.

Value for Money in Solo Build It!

The average cost breakdown showed how much you’d expect to spend on starting and running a self-hosted blog if you were to buy from separate vendors.

Wondering how the all-inclusive solution Solo Build It! and its 80+ modules compare?

Well, Solo Build It!’s team ran the numbers, and it turns out SBI! can save you $3,800+ every year!

After all, SBI! has way more than the “basic” features and tools mentioned in the breakdown list—without the extra cost.

If that’s not enticing enough, consider the “priceless” functionalities you’ll get with SBI!.

  • Education & Training: The step-by-step Action Guide, a vast knowledge base and weekly newsletter provide everything you need to know, under one roof.
  • Community & Support: Friendly forums, regular live Zoom calls and a stellar support team ensure that you’re never alone in your business-building journey.
  • Always Up to Date: Whether it’s major new developments like artificial intelligence or the rare golden nugget from hundreds of business sources, SBI! has your back. All updates are included automatically. Nothing for you to install or upgrade.

What Makes the Blogging Business Worth the Cost

You can make money through blogging.

Granted, some bloggers never profit, but others earn $100,000 from their sites. It all depends on your skills, commitment, monetization strategy, niche, and luck.

Unless you have a four-leaf clover, there isn’t much to do about luck.

Niche choice, on the other hand, is something to work with. According to RankIQ, food blogs are particularly lucrative. Lifestyle and travel blogs are viable options, too.

But let’s talk about effective monetization strategies for a minute. Ads, affiliate marketing, digital products, and online courses are common money-makers.

I’ve had the privilege to interview many of SBI!’s successful members. Their success stories often show a common pattern: they started out by monetizing with Google AdSense or Amazon’s affiliate program.

Once they had some experience and attracted decent blog traffic, they switched to higher paying advertising platforms like Mediavine and began selling their own digital products.

Either way, you can’t expect instant cash. Plenty of blog owners need to wait at least 6 months before seeing any profits.

Ready to Achieve Your Blogging Goals?

There are a lot of reasons why a blogger might quit halfway. Let’s make sure bad budgeting isn’t one of them.

So, be on the lookout for the best value for money and crunch the numbers. As a beginner blogger, you shouldn’t be afraid to start with a small version and scale up as you go.

Of course, you can get in touch with Solo Build It!’s Advisor Team if you have any questions about the features included in SBI! and SBI! for WordPress.

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Blog? (Full Expense Breakdown)

Margit Streifeneder
Margit Streifeneder is the Marketing Co-Director at SiteSell. She works with a small but mighty team to spread the word about Solo Build It!, via helpful content, informative emails and eye-catching ads. She’s passionate about helping solopreneurs achieve success, and enjoys interviewing SBI! members about their achievements. Besides growing her own online business, she loves exploring new places, hiking, dancing and spoiling her three cats.
Margit Streifeneder



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