Don't Do It Yourself

3 Tips for Starting a Blog on a Shoestring

shoestringThanks to the Internet, and advancing technology, it's possible for just about anyone to start a blog. And a blog can be a good idea, besides. A blog can be part of an online business marketing plan, as well as provide a direct revenue stream.

One of the best things about blogging, though, is that it's fairly easy to start a blog without the need for a lot of capital. If you are trying to start a blog, here are 3 tips for starting on a shoestring:

1. Web Hosting

If you are really hurting for cash, and can't afford to pay $6.95 per month for hosting, consider free hosting. Be aware, though, that you get what you pay for. You might end up with slow service, and there might be more outages on your site. Additionally, there are some free web hosts that add their own ads to your site, which can clutter it up. Even paying $3.95 a month can help you avoid that.

When choosing your hosting, consider scalability. At some point, your successful blog will need to move to paid hosting. There are plenty of hosts that can start you out with a free package, and then easily move you to a more expensive package when you need more bandwidth. Keep this in mind, since switching hosts can be a huge pain down the road.

Finally, many web hosts offer affiliate programs. If you can sign up for an affiliate program and convince site visitors and others to sign up through your link, you can offset some of the costs of hosting. In some cases, you can even enjoy an extra source of revenue as an affiliate.

2. Internet Access

There are packages that allow you to access the Internet for as little as $20 or $30 per month. You won't find blazing fast Internet for that price, but it's usually adequate for starting out as a blogger.

If you are still having trouble affording the access, you can look into other options. Many cities have Wi-Fi hotspots these days, and you can usually find free access at coffee shops and some fast food restaurants. If you go two or three times a week, you might be able to get started fairly easily, and it won't cost you anything.

Consider, too, co-working arrangements. In some cases, co-working allows you a free space to work, and free access to the Internet. At some point, you will likely need to upgrade your access so that you have it available to you more regularly. But you can get started by paying less, and go from there.

3. Blogging Platform

You will also need to decide on a blogging platform. Fortunately, there are plenty of platforms to choose from. These platforms have free versions, with templates. This means that you can start out without the need to hire a tech person or web developer.

Free templates are somewhat limited, though. While you can customize to some degree, it might not look as professional and sleek as a paid template. Later, after you have started earning money, you can invest in a newer look — and maybe even pay someone to help you.

It's fairly easy to get started, but at some point you will want to upgrade. Keep that in mind, and you'll be in a better place to proceed.