Are you even a blogger if you aren't busy telling someone how to start a blog?
When I started Frugally Reckless in 2017, I just wanted to write things and share them with the world. I ended up going with WordPress through Bluehost. I used a referral link from another blogger and paid the full amount up front to cover 36 months, assuming that was the smart thing to do since almost all the blogs I read seemed to be saying the same thing.
The reason they all said it? They got a kick back from Bluehost. One of them (after we met in person) told me they'd never use Bluehost because it's so slow, yet there it was on their site with a referral link. Now before you're up in arms, people deserve to be paid for their work. If they are using their blog for income, it makes perfect sense to recommend products that will compensate you.
Six-figure income-producing blogs aren't nearly as common as the internet would have you believe. If you have a true motivation to make money with your blog, consider reviewing this study before you jump in. It will give you solid facts about what top income producing blogs do and give you an idea of the real time commitment required. This will ensure you are efficient with your time and energy.
Last year, I was up for renewal with Bluehost. I debated if I really wanted to continue blogging at all, let alone through WordPress. The world was spiraling, Covid was killing people, and I felt like nothing I could say would be worthwhile considering the struggles our world faced. I decided I at least needed to move to a free solution, which I wish had been shared with me from the beginning by those I followed.
Here's what I wish I had done.
Step 1: Start the Blog, cost: $0/year
Simply hop over to https://www.blogger.com/ and start a blog. Come up with your theme and write a couple posts. You can create pages if you want to. Adjust the layout to fit your style and space needs. Overall, it is easy and intuitive. A couple things are a bit clunky while designing, but it's free, so that is the tradeoff. There are statistics within the interface for each post so you don't even need to set up special connections to get data on what people are reading when they visit your blog.
Step 2: Purchase Your Domain, cost: $12/year
Hop on over to Google Domains and get registered. Then connect it to your blog.
Step 3: Write.
Just keep writing about the things that matter to you. If you do that, you'll develop a readership who appreciates and responds well to it. You will enjoy it. You will find value and fulfillment from it. Maybe money will come along, and maybe not.
For those wanting to start a six-figure blog, sorry. I can't help you. I'm focused on my six-figure day job instead.
Bonus: Mail list, cost: $0 to start
Want to get some subscribers? WordPress had some nice interface that automatically emailed out my posts, but they changed it and made it far less convenient. This time, I went for https://mailchimp.com/ which is (yep, you guessed it) free! Once you build up a base, there is a cost to continue, but theoretically you will be able to offset by marginal revenue.
I do miss...
The direct posts to social media that immediately and automatically went out. Those were nice. But if you aren't regularly on social media, it doesn't help much.
That's it. Onward, as we scream into the void and question whether or not we've made a sound if no one is around to hear it.
I make no money from directing you to any of these sites. I'm great with that.
Happy Four-Year Anniversary, Frugally Reckless.