How much does it really cost to have a self-hosted blog?
This post breaks down the costs and expenses in running a self-hosted blog. The basis of this breakdown is my other blog, This Village Girl, where I talked about my personal development journey and which I started from scratch with zero coding knowledge and almost limited technical understanding nor patience for it.
The biggest/boldest/bravest thing I have ever done in my entire life is launching a self-hosted blog amidst all the chaos that happened in my life from the time I quit my 9-5 without savings nor plans of what I truly wanted to do with my life. In the middle of doing odd jobs, my MBA and the fact that I must send money back home, my depression got worse and worse but I didn’t have the courage to seek professional help.
Blogging is not easy but it helped me to improve my mental health, financial situation and gave me skills that I am sure I would have never learned inside the corporate box.
Read also: How to Start a WordPress Blog from Scratch
I thought gallivanting the world solo and living overseas alone was already being brave but nothing needed more courage than grabbing a pen and opening my heart up to write about the mess I have made when I took that leap.
I secretly saved 200 Euros and made that investment. That time it was a really big amount but I didn’t care. I know in my heart that it is to be a writer was what I have always wanted but kept on coming up with other grander things just to be able to make the folks and other people proud. I was doing a lot of things for other people and that time, I really wanted to do something for myself.
There are a lot of free platforms and I need not spend just to have an online journal but I already launched several and it using them made me feel that my hands were tied. I also wouldn’t take it seriously knowing that they don’t have much value to offer compared to the one that I paid for.
200 Euros, for a third world village girl like me who automatically converts everything to Philippine Peso was a lot. Average workers in my country earn less than that a month and here I was, despite declaring bankruptcy, had the balls to spend that money for a self-hosted blog. But 200 Euros for three years is cheaper than the daily dose of Starbucks coffee I used to inhale daily while making sure that I held my cup a bit higher for the world to see.
200 Euros is actually nothing compared to all the lessons I have been learning and all the warm messages I have been receiving.
I know this might be so much for something that there’s no guarantee but trust me, it will all be worth it. It is as expensive as you think it is.
Here’s the breakdown of the expenses in running my personal development blog:
Hosting plan and domain (169.22 Euros + 13 Euros / yr for domain x 3 yrs = 210 Euros)
You can actually choose to register from one month or one or two years but the longer the plan that you will choose, the lesser you actually pay and the more committed you’ll be to make it work.
Blogging is not an overnight success thing but for just 3.95 Euros a month for hosting and 13 Euros a year for domain, endless possibilities will open up for you like how it did for me.
I even know two people who purchased hosting and domain without even the intention of blogging. They just wanted to have a place to keep photos, videos and graphics they made so it will not take more space at home.
There are so many other hosting companies out there and I have tried two others but being with Siteground is the best blogging decision that I have ever made that I have not even thought twice of getting it for Virtual Besties. Hands down to Siteground even if my technical knowledge is very limited. I never had any problem with them. I truly feel the care. I am sleeping in peace knowing that they are always there for me.
Tailwind is an automation tool that allows you to schedule your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest posts in advance. This saves a lot of time which you can use to write new articles or work on other important tasks wnot having to worry that no your blog is not being seen out there even. Tailwind promotes your blog even whil eyou are sleeping.
You don’t need to purchase it right away yet or you don’t have to at all depending on how you want to promote your blog. But when I learned that Pinterest is every blogger’s best friend and Tailwind is every content creator’s partner, I have purchased it even if I haven’t found a Pinterest strategy that will help me grow my blog nor earned even a cent from it. All I knew was that it will all be worth it. Even then I knew that I’d give a try and give my soul to it even if the chances of failing was high.
I got it five months after I purchased hosting and domain and when I felt like I was ready for the next step.
120 USD a year is nothing compared to the time you will save by repeating tasks over and over. Time is your most priced comodity especially when you’re trying to do something for yourself and Tailwind understands that. This is what I love about it.
Theme from Theme Forrest -19 USD
Oh how I would gawk at other blogs for looking so beautiful. I had zero web building skills nor extra cash to hire a web designer. No matter how much I tried, I just couldn’t seem to make my site look the ones that I have imagined. Theme Forrest came to my rescue. They have hundreds or even thousands of beautiful affordable themes in there. For 20 USD, I got a new one. But few days of attempting to make it work on my own and failed, I switched to a free WordPress Theme and I have been using the free version up to this day. I am happy with its simplicity and truly, no need to stress about it. There are a lot of free WordPress themes.
What is important is that you know how things work. It doesn’t make sense to have all the complicated set up but not knowing what to do when the expert is not around anymore. Play with it and familiarize yourself with it first then once your blog is already earning well and you can already afford to hire a professional help, go for it. For the mean time, focus on your content. The rest will surely follow.
For TVG, I have spent 370 USD. That is not so much compared to other niches like travel, food, fashion or DIY for sure where you’ll need to buy supplies, ingredients, book flights and hotels. But with a little imagination, creating and maintaining a profitable blog isn’t impossible.
I use stock photos for my posts but I choose the free ones as much as possible and credit the source. I also use Canva. I can’t live without Canva. My very limited artistic skills didn’t limit me from producing really nice art cards for my social. Canva is just genius and a must have for every business. Up to this day, I have not yet upgraded to business account yet so I have not yet spent anything to create with them.
Total Cost: 370 Euros
It took me a 11 months to find a way I feel comfortable monetizing it. I want that it aligns with what I believe in life. I am a minimalist and I am writing about personal development. It didn’t feel true to me when I tried promoting stuff that I hardly use because I hardly have stuff these days. As for you, you can earn from your blog from day 1.
Don’t let the price of hosting and domain hold you back from entering a door that will lead you to more doors of possibilities. Consider it an investment. Blogging is hard but as the cliché goes, it is worth it. The hard-work and the late nights will pay off. Since I got approved by Mediavine after hitting 25k sessions, my life has not been the same. I feel like floating. For the first time in my life, I am harvesting the fruit of my labour. Something that was earned and not given. And something you can also have only if you will decide to believe that you can.
(For Virtual Besties, instead of purchasing a new site, I upgraded to GrowBig which will then allow me to have as many sites as I want to and just pay for the domain name registration. I paid 150 Euros for the upgrade and the domain registration. I have spent 520 Euros in total.)
Read also: Why I Host my Blogs with Siteground