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How to Start a Blog for Less than $20: Straight Up, No BS
I’m going to give it to you straight: you do not need to spend a week’s salary to start a blog.
You can do it for free, but if you want to be serious about blogging to make money, I would encourage you to spend just a little bit of money upfront to start your blog the right way.
Starting a blog can seem overwhelming, I know. I’ve been there.
Now that I have this blogging thing figured out, I want to share everything I know about how to start a blog with you… for FREE.
I’m not going to make you pay me money for my knowledge on starting a blog and how to make money blogging.
I want to give you what I never got: free, useful and thorough advice on how to start a blog the right way. Because blogging has changed my life, and I want that for you as well.
If you want to start a blog that actually generates income and maybe turns into a full-time career for you, the very first things you need to do are:
1. Purchase your Domain Name
2. Get set up on WordPress Self-Hosted
There is a lot that goes into blogging full time, but getting started on the right foot is the difference between a blog that makes it and one that doesn’t.
I’m not shaming anyone who uses anything other than WP self-hosted. Not at all! It’s just that in my years of experience, I can’t recommend anything else in good conscience.
WordPress is pretty much the industry standard. But more than that, it’s the only way to truly own your blog. You own everything from your domain name to the content that you publish.
WordPress is also the most versatile and customizable platform for blogging, in my opinion.
The learning curve might be a little steeper with WordPress, but it’s totally worth it in the end.
Here are your First Steps:
1. Purchase your Domain Name
If you already know what you want to call your blog, that’s fantastic! If not, head over to this post for some guidance.
Either way, once you decide on a domain name for your blog, head over to Namecheap.com and see if it’s available to purchase. This is as simple as searching for it on the homepage, as shown below:
My favorite thing about Namecheap is… well, it’s cheap. But just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it doesn’t have serious value.
Namecheap is the only domain provider I will use. You can purchase your domain for as low as $3.95, but on average, a .COM site costs $8.88 on Namecheap.
Less than $9 for a .COM is pretty great if you ask me.
Whether you want a .com, .net, .org or any of the other plethora of domain extensions available… Namecheap has you covered!
My advice: if your domain is available as a .COM, purchase it.
If it’s not available, but you’re dead set on the name and you have done research on other websites with the same name, a .net address is the next best option.
Okay, so you’ve purchased your domain name. Now what?
2. Set up EasyWP
Namecheap is more than a domain registrar. They actually provide a really awesome service called EasyWP, which is, for lack of better terms- managed WordPress hosting.
The way WordPress self-hosted works is this: you can either go directly to WordPress.org, download and install the files yourself and attempt to set everything up on your server. Or, you can use a service like EasyWP to do all that hard stuff for you.
Downloading and installing WordPress yourself can be tricky, especially if you’re not tech-savvy. Hell, even if you consider yourself tech-savvy, it’s still tricky. Here’s a link to the guide for installation on WordPress.org.
Okay, so now that you’ve been scared off by that lengthy and confusing installation guide…..
I direct your attention to EasyWP.
EasyWP by Namecheap takes the burden of downloading and installing WP off your shoulders.
The only thing you have to do is sign up for EasyWP, select which domain name you want to set up a website for, and they do the rest!
Right now, you can start with EasyWP for as low as .01 cent! Normally, it’s only $1 for your first month, but if you sign up now you can get your first month for literally a penny.
After that, you can select from 3 different packages, $3.88 – $7.88 – $11.88.
EasyWP is absolutely worth the money in my opinion. The best part about Namecheap + EasyWP, in general, is that you aren’t required to pay for a year upfront.
Other hosting sites lure you in with a promise of “Start your blog for just $2.95!”, but what they aren’t telling you is that you have to pay for the entire year upfront. Which can equate to over $100 just to set up your blog.
Actually, years ago I fell victim to one of these websites. Based on the pricing packages and the way they were presented to me, I thought I was paying $2.95 per month. I was not happy when I checked my bank account the next day and discovered they had charged me $150.
I’m not going to name names. Their customer service was very helpful, and they refunded most of my money (but not all).
You don’t need to worry about that with Namecheap. Their pricing is straight up, no bs.
What you see is what you get. You can choose how many years you want to register your domain and decide how much you want to spend.
You can choose which package you want for EasyWP, and then decide if you want to pay monthly or yearly and their monthly payments are still extremely low.
A lot of other sites seem to penalize you for paying monthly, or show you a low monthly price but fail to mention that it’s not actually billed monthly but rather yearly and you have to pay for the entire year upfront.
Namecheap + EasyWP was an actual lifesaver for me when I couldn’t figure out how the hell to install WP myself, and I didn’t have a ton of money to spend setting up my blog.
I have set up four blogs using Namecheap + EasyWP, and I can’t recommend them enough.
Another thing I love about Namecheap is their amazing customer service.
I am the girl with ALL the questions. Any time I am having trouble with something, or I just have a simple question, I use the chat feature on their website.
They have the most amazing customer service reps who answer all my questions, and never hesitate to walk me step by step through any issue I’m having until it’s solved.
So, now you know why I love and recommend Namecheap so much. It’s truly the most affordable, valuable and simple way to start a blog.
Purchase your domain name with Namecheap.com
Use EasyWP to set up your blog with WordPress self-hosted
Once you’ve completed these steps, you’re ready to start blogging like a badass!
Check out my next post on how to navigate the WordPress dashboard. I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about using the WordPress dashboard, plus free access to every single plugin I use to run my blog.