Starting a blog was one of the best things I ever did. I have been able to create a business that allows me to work the hours I want, spend time with my family, and still earn an income to support them. Even better, I was able to start a profitable blog on a budget.
A lot of people are on the fence about starting their own blogs because they don’t have a lot of money to invest in it. The great thing about starting a profitable blog is that it is a business that doesn’t cost a lot to get started. You can easily start a blog on a budget so that you can start making money from home.
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As you know, I am very frugal. I’m not going to pay for something if I don’t have to. I have scoured the web to find great services and courses that have helped me grow my blog on a budget.
Everything that I will list on this post are things that I have personally used and have had success with to start a blog from scratch.
I’m sure there are many more options out there but these are the ones I have personal experience with and can feel confident recommending to you. These are great options for beginner bloggers.
Start a Profitable Blog from Scratch
I went with a very popular hosting company when I first started my blog. It was affordable and it did what I needed it to. It was OK, not great. I decided to change hosting companies last year and it was the best thing I did for my blog.
I changed to Siteground because the previous company I was with went downhill very fast. My site was constantly down and customer service was nonexistent.
Siteground offers hosting as low as $3.95/month which is great if you are starting out. I use the $14.95/month plan which is still very affordable. You can easily upgrade as your blog grows.
My blog has never been down since I switched and if I ever have a problem, I can use the live chat and someone helps me within seconds. I think the longest I had to wait was 2 minutes to be connected to someone. Their customer service is fantastic and they are so helpful and nice. That is important to a non-tech person like me or your a beginner blogger!
I signed up during one of their Black Friday deals and got 70% off their normal price for a full year. You may want to check around that time to see if they are offering any great deals if you don’t need to switch right away.
There are a lot of email providers that you can choose from. I personally use Mailchimp. I think it is fairly easy to use and the best part, they offer a free plan. This is great if you are just starting your list and getting the hang of email.
I am going to be using Mailchimp while I grow my list. You can use their free service until you reach 2,000 subscribers. Once I reach 2,000, I will make the switch to ConvertKit. I have heard some great things about them and they are great if you want to make money through your email list as well as your blog.
ConvertKit starts at $25/month but they have some great features and they are very user friendly. You can set up sales funnels and use affiliate marketing to make so much more than the $25/month.
If you are going to be selling your own products, it may be worth it to start out with ConvertKit. Otherwise, you may just want to start with a free Mailchimp account until you grow your list.
Start a Profitable Blog on a Budget
If you want to get people to click on your posts, you have to have great images. You can take them yourself or you can use stock photos. These are the photo sites I get all of my photos from that I use in my blog posts:
- Pixabay: free photos
- SC Stockshop: sign up for their email and they send out free photos once a month.
- Creative Market: sign up for their email and they send free photos, fonts, and more every Monday.
- Stock Unlimited: You can sign up for a monthly plan that is $9/month for unlimited downloads! It’s the best price for stock photos that I have found.
You will need to use a photo editing software to resize your images and make them look fantastic for Pinterest. The two I use are Canva and Picmonkey. I prefer Picmonkey but that is just because I have used it the longest and it is what I am more comfortable with.
They are both free to use. You can upgrade to Picmonkey Royale for only $3.33/month and you get more features, fonts, and filters you can use. Canva offers free templates and pictures but there are a lot more that you can purchase, I think they are $1 each.
Popups and Plugins
I know that a lot of people think popups are annoying, myself included. It took me a long time to put a popup on my site but there is one thing I have learned…..they work! I looked at using Sumome as my popup but it was a bit expensive for me.
I installed MiloTree on my site instead. It is a popup that gets people to sign up to your email list and social media sites. I have seen a dramatic increase in my signups since using it.
MiloTree offers a free option but you may want to upgrade to the paid plan that is only $6/month because you can customize it and adjust the frequency settings so that you don’t annoy your frequent visitors. You can also turn it off on mobile devices.
AppSumo is a great site that offers all kinds of deals on things bloggers could use. They offer new deals frequently so sign up for their emails so that you will be notified when they have a new deal. They have things like courses, plugins, apps, etc.
I have bought several things from Appsumo at amazing prices. I got lifetime access to StockUnlimited for only $49 which is less than the price of one year! I also got 40 credits to Quuepromote for $39 to help promote my blog posts. It normally costs $700!
Just go to the homepage and click browse at the top to see the deals. They even offer some freebies!
I really can’t afford a virtual assistant right now but one thing that has helped me save time is by using social media schedulers. They are cheaper than a virtual assistant and still save me valuable time I could spend doing other things to grow my blog.
For Pinterest I use Tailwind as my scheduler. It has made an amazing impact on my Pinterest followers and overall pageviews. It is as low as $10/month and worth every penny. They even offer free webinars and Pinterest training videos to help you get the most out of the program.
For Facebook, I just post manually or use the Facebook scheduler since it is free and very easy to use.
For Twitter, I use Hootsuite. You can use it to schedule Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ accounts. They offer a free plan, which is what I use, or you can do the pro plan for $9.99/month that gives you a lot more features.
Courses, Classes, and Books
Blogging is an industry that is constantly growing and changing. You need to have up to date information to really grow and succeed. What I love is that successful bloggers are willing to share their secrets and tips to help you succeed as well.
Tickets to blogging conferences and courses can be several hundred dollars. When you are starting out you probably don’t have that much to spend.
You can actually find free online classes to really help learn the skills you need to succeed as a beginner blogger. These are my favorite affordable options for learning.
One of the ways I learned how to really make income from my blog was by taking the Elite Blog Academy course. I can’t recommend it enough. They will be open again for registration in 2019 but you can sign up for their waitlist to be notified. This will give you time to start saving up if you are interested in the course.
Ruth Soukup, the creator of EBA, actually has some free training that you can sign up for like the: Blog Structure Blueprint, The Secret Blueprint for Blogging Success, and 7 Surefire Ways to Boost your Blog Income Overnight. You can sign up for those free trainings to get some great tips.
Here are some other affordable options:
- Skillshare: They offer some free classes or you can get your first month of Premium classes for free!
- CreativeLive: They have paid classes but you can watch the ones that are live for free.
- BC Stack: This is offered once a year and includes 65+ books, courses, and classes for $27! I bought this last year and got classes that are normally over $100 each! Sign up for their email so you will be notified when it is for sale again.
- Ultimate Blogging Bundle: This is a great way to get many blogging resources, books, and courses for one low price…it is usually 97% off the total value. They will have a flash sale on May 14th-15th so sign up for their list to be notified.
- Traffic Transformation by Lena Gott: I used her strategies and went from 30,000 pageviews/month to over 120,000/month!
- Strategies Worth Sharing: I am using the strategies in this book to grow my Facebook page. It is only $20 and I have seen an increase of 400% in my Facebook likes and engagement!
- Blog Traffic Bonus Guide: Learn some ways to increase your blog traffic.
Don’t underestimate the free webinars and virtual summits that blogging and marketing experts offer as well. I have learned some amazing tips from these types of things and they were all free.
You can do a quick Google search to see if there are any being offered.
This post ended up being longer then I was planning on but I just wanted to make you aware of all of the amazing services out there that are very affordable and can take your blog to the next level or start a profitable blog on a budget.
You can have a profitable blog on a budget, you just have to do a little searching and put in the effort and you will see your site take off in no time.