Starting Over: What If I Had $1,500 To Start My Blog?
I can remember back to the very first blog I set up and I can tell you now, if I had $1,500 back then I would have just wasted it. So my advice, right this minute, is to put that $1,500 in your wallet and forget about it for a while. Seriously. Don’t let anybody tell you what you should spend it on until you’re read the rest of this article.
If this is your very first blog and you know nothing about blogging
There are those who will tell you to go buy a domain name and get yourself set up with a web hosting company. They’ll tell you to go pay a designer to create a logo for your blog and go pay another designer to build a premium theme for your blog.
Then they’ll tell you you need this fancy-schmancy plug-in and that killer software, and before you know it you’re in debt. That $1,500 is gone, you need more, and you haven’t even started your first blog yet.
Don’t do it. You don’t know anything about building a blog yet. You’ll only be wasting your money.
Instead, take at least two to three days to learn how to decide what to blog about and how to choose a good domain name and what type of web hosting you really need. Chances are, if you’re like a million other bloggers, your first blog is just going to be a grand experiment. Your second and third blogs may be experiments, too, and that’s OK – as long as you’re learning.
You can start a new blog for free at Blogger.com or WordPress.com and learn about keywords and domain names and all the basic things you need to know. Then, when you feel more confident, you can go buy a domain name and hosting. But give yourself time to learn WHAT you’re buying before you spend the money.
If you’ve been blogging for a while and you’re ready to get serious
Once you’re ready to take the plunge, here’s what I’d spend that $1,500 on:
- A good domain name – a dot com domain name will cost you around $10 and you’ll own it for one year.
- Web hosting – A shared web hosting plan will cost you around $8 per month, so set aside $100 and you’ll be covered for a year.
- A logo for your business – You can design your own logo, you can buy a pre-made logo online, or you can find a designer online and pay to have a logo created. Plan to spend anywhere from $5 to $300, depending on the design and the reputation of the designer you use.
- A premium WordPress theme – Seriously, if you insist on spending money on a premium theme it’ll cost anywhere from $80 to $300, or more, depending on how much customization you need and the graphics design. Personally, I recommend the free, open source Atahualpa WordPress theme. It’s just like Thesis, only easier to use, and it’s free.
At this point, you can stop spending money or you could use what you have left to buy some traffic for your new blog. Better yet, why not use it for something that has a more lasting effect like outsourcing some killer content or an infographic for your blog.
Honestly, though, unless you’re an experienced blogger who’s sure you’re on the right course, I’d hang on to as much of that $1,500 as possible until you understand what it is you’re paying for. It might take a few hours or it might take a few days. But wouldn’t you rather know you really need it than waste that money on something you’ll never use?
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