I’m going to out on a wild limb here and say that you are (or aspire to be) a frugal person. And that you like to read blogs.
I’m also willing to bet that at some point in time, the idea of starting your own blog has crossed your mind… which was likely followed up with questions about cost, technical stuff and how you actually go about DOING blog stuff.
Let me cut through the riff raff and make this easy for you: You can start a blog in 15 minutes for less than $4.
Don’t believe me? Put your life on pause for the next few minutes and see how easy it is to start your own blog.
How to Start a Blog on a Budget
Three simple steps to becoming a blogger (and a simile to explain what they are):
- Domain & Hosting (a house on a plot of land)
- Installing WordPress (hinges and a door knobs so you can go inside)
- Customizing (the color of the house)
(1) Domain and Hosting
Your domain (house) is your online home. Mine is dontwastethecrumbs.com (just in case you didn’t know).
How did we come up with this name? Honestly, Mr. Crumbs and I brainstormed while making homemade pizza in the kitchen. It was quite fun actually!
Once you’ve picked out a few (and tossed others aside), head over to Bluehost to see if it’s available.
If you’re prompted to pick a plan first, I recommend choosing the starter package. You’ll pay a lump sum up front, but it’ll save you in the long run (and it’s the most affordable plan on the web!)
Once you’ve picked out a domain name, you need to host it.
Hosting is how your home is seen to the rest of the world. You can own a domain name, but if you don’t host it, no one will see it!
Bluehost has really great hosting rates and gives you your domain name for free when you host through them. Perfect for us frugal peeps!
(2) Installing WordPress
WordPress is blogging software. You know how there’s Microsoft Word or Pages for typing documents? WordPress is what you use for blogging. And because Bluehost is awesome, they make it REALLY easy to install it on your site. Here’s how:
First login to Bluehost. Choose “I Can Do It” and navigate to the “hosting” tab.
Choose “WordPress” in the middle and on the next screen, choose “Start.”
Choose your domain from the drop down menu and click “Check Domain.”
Follow the prompts through the installation, check the terms & conditions box and click the “Install Now” button.
When the installation is complete, click the “View Credentials” button so you can get your login information.
Type the Admin URL into the browser and you’ll see the login screen:
Enter your username and password and click “Log In.”
And you’re now behind the scenes to your brand new blog! Welcome to the blogosphere!
There are SO many options to customize the way your blog looks. To start a blog on a budget, I recommend choosing one of the free themes listed HERE. If you want a premium theme that has more options, look at these options:
- Thesis Theme – a great all-in-one theme for when you’re just starting out
- Genesis Framework – this is what we’re currently using here on Crumbs with the child theme Foodie. You’ll want to also checkout the other child themes available via StudioPress.
- Elegant Themes – we have friends who use this and love it. It’s very simple to use and a bit less expensive than some of the other options.
And that’s it!
Now, you’ll do just fine with your blog if you stopped right here.
But as time goes on and you write more and more, you might be wanting a little extra help. So here are my a few other frugal resources for new bloggers:
- How to Blog for Profit Without Losing Your Soul – one of the best books written about blogging. It covers all the major topics without talking over your head or being overwhelming. I read this a couple of years into my blogging career and still found it helpful!
- Convert Kit – when you start gaining followers, you’ll need a way to email them! Convert Kit is designed for bloggers, and is by far my favorite of all the email platforms.
- Picmonkey and/or Canva – easy (and free) options to edit your photos
Finally, when you’re up and running and ready to make an income, here’s how you can make money blogging!