We all dream of being the next Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income but we are not anywhere nearer to that dream. We dream of living on the Internet and working anywhere in the world with just your laptop.
Sadly, not many people live up to those dreams. Even with me.
Let me tell you why and I strongly encourage you to read this. I’m sure it resonates with you perfectly well.
I have a dream — to make money online and quit my day job. I like what I’m doing, but I love making money from the Internet (even more). Little did I know, I started blogging in 2004 and soon, it lifted off. I was making thousands of dollars month in, month out and I was happy.
Soon, I find myself drifting away because I wasn’t blogging anymore. I thought money would flow in that way and I was wrong. Blogging takes time and more importantly, the first step of actually starting a blog (penning down the content).
In 2017, I took action to grow my email list and started blogging back. Yes, I miss those thousands of dollars I earn monthly and I dearly need it for my financial needs.
Then I realized something significant. Starting a blog now is way easier than those days.
You are reading until here, you should be interested to start a blog. Good for you because I’m a true believer that Internet can drive a lot of people (including you and me) to richness — with the right strategy.
In this post, you will discover the exact steps I took to start a blog from scratch and start making money online.
More importantly, I’m going to show you how you can start a blog under $30 investment. Period.
How To Start A Blog Under $30?
Starting a blog is actually very simple. The below are what’s needed to start a blog under $30, and with budget in mind.
What you will need are:
- Domain name
- Web hosting
- WordPress theme
- check-square-oWordPress plugins
- check-square-oEmail marketing software
Step 1: Choosing the right domain name
Do you need the keyword in the domain name?
Do you need it to be a .com or a .net?
How long should a domain name be?
All these questions, I know — I thought of them myself. The truth simple: It doesn’t matter.
In today’s world, getting a domain name is just like an address. It doesn’t matter if you have the prime location in town, you will still receive your mails.
Here are some basic to help you get started on the right foot:
- Easy to remember domain name > Hard to remember domain name
- Shorter domain names are always better
- Having keyword in the domain name is a bonus (but not an absolute need)
- check-circle-oDomain name with .com should be your first priority (and opt for alternatives if it is not available)
- check-circle-oEnsure that the exact domain name is available on Facebook and Twitter
How much does a domain name costs?
A domain name would costs you under $10. In most cases, you can just head over to GoDaddy, create a new account and purchase your first .com domain for only $1.
Ladies and gentlemen, a domain name costs as low as $1. So, what’s stopping you?
Step 2: Purchase a web hosting service
In order to start a blog, you need to have a web hosting service. If a domain name works as your address, a web hosting service will be the electricity to light up your property.
Web hosting doesn’t cost you a bomb. On average, you can get a decent one under $10 a month.
If you want to have complete hassle-free process, you should just purchase web hosting from GoDaddy (choose shared web hosting) and bundle up with your domain name purchase.
More discounts from GoDaddy, of course!
Are there any other GoDaddy alternatives?
Yes, there are. As a matter of fact, I highly recommend beginners to get SiteGround hosting instead due to several reasons:
- checkGreat performance and zero downtime
- checkExcellent support (the best you can find)
- checkSimple pricing and 1-click installation
BONUS:Top 5 Secrets Of Finding The Best Web Hosting Company
Usually, SiteGround charges $9.95 per month for its web hosting. However, you can get it for only $3.95 per month through this special link (no coupon code required).
Note: Once you have purchased a web hosting service, you will receive step by step instructions from the web hosting company such as SiteGround on ways to install your domain on the server. This whole process wouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes to complete.
Step 3: Choosing a WordPress theme
This is where the tricky part and 99.99% of the bloggers make the same mistake. They opt for free WordPress theme.
Let me repeat. This. Is. A. Mistake.
A WordPress theme is like the pain job of your car or bike. You may have a great engine under the hood but if you are not having the right appearance, the vehicle is not going to turn heads.
MUST READ:Which Are The Best Premium WordPress Themes For 2018?
What should a good WordPress theme has?
- Loads the website under 1.5 seconds
- Easy to customize without coding skills
- Wide variety of demos to import and use immediately
- checkConstant updates and undying support from the developers
- checkAffordable and easy on your wallet
When it comes to choosing the best WordPress theme, I only recommend one — Thrive Themes.
Thrive Themes is powerful because it comes with 9 Thrive products along with the theme. I personally call Thrive Themes my all-in-one marketing toolbox.
When I use Thrive Themes, I am not only able to use beautifully crafted, fast loading and conversion-focused premium WordPress themes, I am able to enjoy unlimited usage of these:
- All Thrive Themes (10 premium WordPress themes)
- Thrive Architect (drag and drop builder plugin)
- Thrive Leads (lead generation plugin)
- check-square-oThrive Ultimatum (scarcity plugin)
- check-square-oThrive Comment (comment plugin)
- check-square-oThrive Ovation (the only functionable testimonial plugin)
- check-square-oThrive Headline Optimizer (set and forget dozens of titles on automation)
- check-square-oThrive Clerver Widget (finally, a plugin that allows you to display specific widgets to your audience)
- check-square-oThrive Quiz Builder (the only quiz builder that helps you generate leads dirrectly from your blog)
Can you guess how much the above cost? $100, $200 or $500 a month?
No, it only costs you $19 per month for Thrive Themes Membership (you can read the full review here).
Again, read the review and decide if Thrive Themes is worth it.
Step 4: Installing essential WordPress plugins
Stop cracking your head on which plugins you should be installing. To start a blog, you only need to install two WordPress plugins from the WordPress repository:
- SEO plugin (Yoast SEO or All-In-One SEO pack)
- Contact form plugin (Contact Form 7)
Do you know why you only need two plugins? Because when you use Thrive Themes, you have everything inbuilt in it. You have everything at your disposal such as lead generation plugin, comment moderation plugin, quiz builder plugin and many more.
If you are just starting a blog, this is the best way to start a blog under $30 investment.
Best WordPress Form Builder?
If you are looking for a good WordPress form builder, you don’t have to look far. WPForms is one of the best and most intuitive form builders in the market. There is no coding skills needed—just drag and drop elements into the form and anyone can build it from scratch!
Step 5: Email marketing software
Another major mistake by many bloggers is that they don’t start collecting emails from their readers.
You should start collecting emails as soon as you start the blog and with tools such as Thrive Leads, it allows you to collect emails faster due to their high conversion tools and it integrates with major email marketing providers.
But wait! Email marketing software is expensive, right?
No, they are affordable and even free for some.
If you are a starting a blog and affiliate marketing is your main business, do not use MailChimp.
I repeat — Affiliate marketers need to avoid MailChimp as much as possible.
While MailChimp is free to use (forever if you have less than 2,000 email subscribers), it serves some major disadvantages for people like — people who makes a living from the Internet.
MUST READ: 3 Disappointing Truth About MailChimp Email Marketing Solutions
If you are not doing affiliate marketing, MailChimp is definitely a great choice when you are just starting a blog.
What is the best MailChimp alternative?
MailChimp is free and the best alternative to MailChimp for bloggers is Drip. Drip offers free account to everyone (use this link to sign up) and it is free for the first 100 email subscribers.
Once you hit the 100 email subscriber mark, you should be able to generate at least $50 a month (easy). By then, you have two choices to make — stick to Drip at $49 per month or ConvertKit at $29 per month.
Personally, ConvertKit will be a better choice when comparing with Drip. You can also read my review here: MailChimp vs ConvertKit vs Drip
Summary: How to start a blog under $30?
Starting a blog under $30 is doable — more importantly, it is achieveable only when you follow the above steps. As you progress deeper into the blogging world, you can start considering better options such as premium WordPress hosting and other WordPress options.