It’s another Monday morning and you’ve hit the snooze button on your alarm. It’s time to start a whole new week in a job you don’t particularly like, but a job you need to pay your bills.
As you lay there you start to think of ways of how you could start your own business, a business you can run alongside your job, just to earn a little extra cash to take the pressure off your financial situation.
That’s when you are stopped in your tracks. Starting your own business needs cash, and spare cash is one thing that you don’t have a lot of.
So now you start thinking of low cost business ideas and come up with the answer of starting an online business, and you decide the perfect vehicle for your entrepreneurial zeal is a blog. You’ve often wondered if you could ever make money online. Other people do so why not you?
Using a Blog to Start an Online Business
Starting a blog as a business venture is one of today’s most commonly used methods to make money online.
It appeals to people who have ideas on starting an online business by attracting internet users to a blog and then earning commissions on their visits, either by affiliate marketing, running ads, recommending products or any other of the numerous ways people make money by blogging these days.
What are the Start-Up Costs of a Blog?
Start-up costs of a blog are certainly lower than brick and mortar endeavours. We’re talking hundreds of dollars compared with ten, even hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to start a traditional business, like a shoe store or a temp agency.
If you pare down your expenses, starting a blog for your internet business can initially cost you very little. Let’s just put it this way, however much you end up spending on starting a blog, it will never come close to the cost of starting a brick-and-mortar business.
Online Diary or Real Internet Business?
The amount you invest in your online business will also depend on what type of blog you decide to start. This is because there are basically two very different types of blog:
- A blog that’s essentially just an online diary – This would be like a day in the life of, musings on everything from politics and recipes to fashion ideas and travel journals. Although these online diaries can catch on and eventually gain enough readers to make some money, it’s worth noting that there are millions of these out there. So to make money with this type of blog you’d better be pretty good at blogging!
- A blog that’s designed to make money – This type of blog is full of content aimed at a specific target audience or niche. These blogs are hard work and you need to devote a lot of your time to them. However, if you’re dedicated and driven enough you might just be one of the bloggers who can make this type of blog a success.
For the online diary bloggers out there it is possible to keep costs to a minimum. Between free hosting and free themes, a blogging business that is no more than a hobby can carry essentially zero start-up costs with low ongoing running costs. By the way, “themes” are style programs to customize the look of your blog.
For those of you looking to bring to life your online business ideas via a blog that’s designed to make money, you should expect to spend more money than if you were running an “online diary blog”.
The Costs of Starting and Running a Professional Blog
Again, there’s a range of business choices to make here. Finding the true cost is a little hard to pin down so we’ll start with the basics.
- Hosting – Hosting can be found for less than $5 a month, which should suffice in the beginning. As your internet business grows and requires more resources from hosting services, you can look into upgrading at that point. It will still be a minimal amount, however. When starting an online business I personally don’t think it’s a good idea to use any of the free hosting that is available. When I looked into it I found restrictions could be applied and I would not be in complete control of my site, so I gave up on the idea straight away.
- Domain Registration – The average price for this is around $10 to $15 a year per domain.
- Premium WordPress Themes – WordPress is free blogging software that you can use to run your blog. However, you will need to shell out some dough when you want to style your blog. That’s where themes come in. WordPress premium themes cost anywhere from $20 to $100 and upwards…again, not a huge investment. Regarding the free WordPress themes that are available, I do not use them. I have explained why I prefer premium WordPress themes in the following post: WordPress Themes – Free vs Premium
- Photos – To catch a reader’s attention you can use photos and images. These will cost money – anywhere from $1 to $5, and upwards.
Now we get to phase two of your internet business which is when you’re ready to pour some extra cash in and make it a real success. Here are some more services you may need to pay for to keep the momentum going.
- Writers – A blog can fail when the owner runs out of things to say or doesn’t have time. When this happens it’s time to consider hiring writers. Find a good one and they are worth their weight in gold.
- Email Marketing Tools and Autoresponders – If you want to build an email list these tools will help manage your subscribers, build loyalty and keep them coming back to your site.
- Premium WordPress Plugins – Plugins are extra features for your blog which make it capable of doing exactly what you need it to do.
- Keyword Research Tools – A paid keyword research tool can save you an incredible amount of time in finding low competition highly searched keywords.
- Web Designers – If you want to alter the appearance of your blog, and you don’t know how to do it yourself, then hire a web designer.
Are you now thinking that running a blog is not such a low-cost business idea after all? Well don’t……
As pricey as it may seem, when you go for broke with the services on your blog, the cost still pales in comparison to the price of starting a physical business. With a blog you can add services and upgrade as you go, gauging whether it’s worth it along the way.
For this reason and many others, starting a blog is one of the very best ways for people just like you to break out on their own and make it online.
Photo © Depositphotos.com/Alex Pretelt