Fighting to keep your blog cost under control can be a challenge. A blog is a very inexpensive means of communicating ideas and information, right up until you are afflicted with.
BSB…Big Shiny Button…though it’s not just a button…its the “next new thing”.
If you drop your hand down by your side, you will find a little slit in the side of your pants called a pocket. Be careful!
It sometimes seems like everyone wants in your pants via that thing called a pocket. After all, that’s where a lot of folks keep their money, and sometimes in this blogging thing you can feel like everyone in the world wants a bit of your hard earned coin. Hell… before you started blogging, how many times had someone in the Philippines promised you the moon …or a reasonable facsimile… as long as you spent $50.00 a month paying them to announce to the world that you exist?
IMWBB…In My World Before Blogging…little old ladies with religious pamphlets coming around on Saturday mornings were the only folks that seemed to want to get to know me. Now I have dozens of folks wanting to be my new BFF…or at least until it becomes apparent I’m not sending them money.
And it’s because they all want to either help me make $100,000 a week working 5 minutes a day or they will…guaranteed…get me in the top 3 spots on a Google search if my blog posts even remotely…VERY remotely…resembles a Google search term or terms. You blog about Halloween? These folks will get you in the top three spots…they promise, just ask them…for a search for “global warming”. After all…Halloween involves witches, which involves boiling cauldrons, which involves noxious fumes, which cause global warming…so you WILL be at the top! They promise!
“The point, Bob…the point! Get to the point! What does Halloween have to do with blog cost control?”
All this babbling is to point out that there are lots of folks who want a close internet relationship with bloggers based on money, rather like relationships with laborers in the world’s oldest profession. Let some of them get in your pants…but be picky and don’t be too promiscuous.
Blogging has some hard costs, but they are few. A blog can be running for less than $15.00 for a year’s domain registration, and there are shared hosting plans out there for under $5.00 A month. Once those are dealt with EVERYTHING else is an option. My admonition was to not be TOO promiscuous…not to not let any of those folks get some of your money. You just need to be careful who you let in your pocket.
Two currencies, three ways to spend
I don’t know about y’all, but I have two kinds of currency. I have time and I have cash. If you have a lot of the second, and don’t have a curious bone in your body that likes to learn, stop reading now…this article isn’t for you. Find a big time internet guru who will do everything for you and just keep writing him checks each month. Don’t worry if your ROI sucks. After all, you have a lot more money than time, remember, so ROI doesn’t really matter…right?
If you are like me though…way more time than money…and have a healthy dose of curiosity about how your blog works thrown in, you have a lot of tools to choose from once you have your domain and hosting set up.
1. There is a LOT of “free stuff” out there to help you have a kick-ass blog while keeping blog cost low.
For example there are the free WordPress plugins. Sometimes I think there is a WordPress plugin that will do anything (I’m still looking for the one that washes my dishes, freeing up more blogging time). There are 7-9 that I consider important for a blog, and hundreds, if not thousands for folks to choose from. Which to use? That’s a whole different post…LOL.
2. Blog cost can be kept down by taking the time…sometimes a lot of time…learning to search for specific “how-to” information on the internet.
You would be amazed at how much you can learn about “how to blog” for free…and then even more amazed at the free tools available to implement what you learn, by judicious use of Google.
There are a lot of folks…some of whom actually know what they are talking about…who just plain enjoy sharing what they know. Some are 100% satisfaction oriented and will never want you to buy something, and some are really wanting to help AND make a little coin, either through donations (think WordPress plugin authors) or by selling associated products (think Dr WordPress, Dave Doolin). It would be a bit of hard work, but I think you could build and maintain a good blog just through good research on who to listen to and some hard work and study…you wouldn’t have to spend a dime, but there ARE some worthwhile expenditures you might choose.
3. Look at one time cost items rather than subscription tools to keep blog cost down.
I am talking about the e-books, video “how-to” courses, premium themes and plugins, and the like. Some are a good value, but many MANY are not. Basically, I have found that the more the sellers promise the less they actually deliver. Dr David Doolin’s “Blog Post Engineering” is a good example of “less is more”. No grandiose promises of posts that will drive your blog to the top of a Google search 100% of the time…no promises of making a gazillion dollars a day just working 5 minutes before breakfast…just an easily doable way for your posts to be SEO friendly without having to really get down in the weeds.
I do regular vlogs…video blog posts… on three different blogs weekly…, , and …and have spent money on equipment and video recording and editing software for that, and I do theme design and spent some money on software for that, but strictly for blogging I have spent less than $100.00 in one time purchases (including BPE) in about 3 years…and don’t feel I have missed anything I needed. Wanted? Yes, but needed? No.
We’ve looked at how to keep your blog cost at almost zero, besides your hosting account, with the help of Google Search. In the next of this series, we’ll look at paid, but economical, services and products that cost little but give good value.