Gone are the days when we used to run blogs for free. These days, the upfront costs for running blogs are like pulling your hair out. Yes, it is THAT bad. There are countless tools involved in maintaining a blog. And it pains us to say that those tools are quite pricey. Unless you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you need to have a frugal plan with you.
So what can we do to run a blog on a budget? In this article you'll discover a bunch of tips that can help you run a blog without any extra greens flying out of your wallet.
Begin Planning Your BlogApart from saving money, there is also the stress, headache and the time that you have to account for. Of course, this requires an intense level of planning. You have to carefully weigh your options well before you can even think about launching your blog.
The first thing that you need to plan out first is your niche or the kind of topics that you would like to write on. Then there is your target audience, blog categories, the kind of posts and content that you will create and how frequent you get to blog.
Get A DomainIf you want to make it easier for your audience to find you, you will need a domain. This will give you a URL that is short and easy to remember. Even for a free blog, a domain is absolutely important. It has to be short, sweet and to the point. Add that to the fact that it will give you a real professional look.
You can purchase your domain through your host, but if you like to keep things separate then perhaps Namecheap is your best bet.
Pick A Blog CMSIf you’re going to be blogging regularly, then you will be in need of a blog CMS. It is a better way of helping your manage your content without having to know how to code. A CMS is your blog’s platform. There are various platforms that bloggers can use, but WordPress is the most approachable.
Get A Good HostJust because you’re on a budget, doesn’t mean that you aim for low-quality hosts. SiteGround is a good place to start. They are reliable and highly recommended for that matter. If your budget can handle better than go for Flywheel as it has a better reputation.
Be sure to get a CMS if you’re planning to buy a good host. You may need to install and set it up, but it depends on what host you get. Squarespace is another solution that can give a web builder and a host all in one go.
Make Your Blog And Brand IdentityBrand identity ensures your authenticity to your traffic. You have to ensure that your brand identity matches with your niche, audience, as well as the type of content that you share. For example, if you have a bright and upbeat attitude, you don’t want it to sound gloomy.
It also has to be something that you do not have to change often. It should also be long-term, beautiful and in good working conditions. There are free DIY classes such as CreativeLive’s on how you can create your own brand identity.
A Clean And Organized ThemeGoing on a self-hosted route like that of WordPress means that you will need a theme that works as well as it looks. WordPress’ theme directory has plenty of free themes that will spare your spending hand. Bear in mind that just because it is free, doesn’t mean WordPress does cheap quality.
True, there may not be that many customizations, but it still delivers. If quality is what you’re looking for, then give Genesis Framework a go.
Email ListIt will take months and years of hard work for you to cultivate a great following. The best place to grow your audience is with the help of an email list. Of course, there are social media as well, but that shouldn’t be the only option for you to take. Social media is a fad that will just come and go when the time comes, but email has been around and will stay relevant as it is.
For a free option, MailChimp is your way to go. You could have up to 2000 subscribers, but since it is free, your chances are quite limited. Don’t be afraid to spend a little in order to get the best features and turn up the quality of your blog for the better.
Find Some Images To BlogAn image can either make or break your blog. Your blog’s growth depends on how accurate and high of quality the images that you share are. The images that you use could be of the post, your own self, sidebar graphics, products and more. You can get free images from several online resources or you could hire a professional photographer, or an illustrator, add elements and graphics to your pics as well.
Now that you have most of the things that you need for your blog, you are all set to go.
Jasmine Demeester works as a blogger for Dissertation Help Deal. She takes pride in her blogging and uses it as a way to improve her online visibility.