Before I decided I wanted to start a blog, I did quite a bit of research. I came across many blogs that talked about the benefits of blogging and how it’s earning them more than a full-time income for their entire family so they can manage to stay at home and/or travel around the world. Everyone was offering “free email courses” on how to start a money-making blog and making it sound so easy.
The truth is, most of these free email courses are trying to sell you website hosting services via affiliate links and that’s just a part of how they make part of their “more than full-time income” – through YOU.
When they tell you that you can’t build a real blog on a free platform, they’re lying. Because that’s exactly what I’m doing now.
Website hosting services can cost you anywhere from $3-5/ month for a basic plan. The price is typically lower if you decide to sign up for a longer contract (e.g. 3-years or more). Also, this price is only for your first term. After that, you will have to pay the regular price of $7-8/month.
In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a lot of money, but what if you’re not even sure if blogging is your thing? Are you just going to throw in a couple hundred dollars and hope for the best?
I’m here to tell you my secret on how I started my blog with literally only $10: I use BLOGGER.
I’m not here to advertise for Google. Heck, Google doesn’t need my help… But I’m here to tell you how I started my blog (and what I am still using).
There are many myths about using Blogger as your content management system (CMS) because it is a free blogging platform. But I’m here to tell you otherwise.
What I love about Blogger…
It’s FREE with unlimited storage!
Blogger is a free CMS and nothing can beat *free*! They host all your content, images, and files for you to run your blog. Every Google account comes with 15GB of storage. It’s not a lot, but did you know that certain types of files actually don’t count towards your quota? That’s right. When you set your photo upload quality to “high quality” instead of “original quality,” your photos do not count towards your storage limit! Click here to learn more!
Since starting my blog, this is how much storage I am using:
Its interface is simple!
Blogger has a really simple user interface, so it’s great for beginners! When you decide to do something a little more complex than what Google Blogger can offer, then it might be time to look into WordPress. But Blogger’s interface and what it can do is more than enough for the blogger who’s just starting out.
When people tell you that you can’t customize your Blogger blog, that’s a lie. First of all, there are so many free *and* beautiful blogger templates available on the internet. And if you are tech-savvy, there are many tutorials available that teach you how to further customize your template. Most people cannot tell that my blog is hosted on Blogger until I tell them. In fact, my blog template is also free, but thanks to my techie skills, I’ve learned to customize many parts of this blog.
But Blogger does have limitations…
Lack of customer support
Google is a huge company, but it’s difficult to get help at the one-to-one level when you need it. Blogger has its own help forum for those who need it and expert users and Google support often help answer your questions there. However, I have not needed to use it so far, so I don’t know how quickly your answers would be answered there.
Google can remove/disable your blog
There have been reports in the past where Google removed someone’s blog without notice because they’ve apparently violated Google’s Terms of Service and Content Policy. At the end of the day, your blog sits on their platform, they have the right to do this. It’s unfortunate, and it’s hard to argue once your blog is deleted. The best thing you can do is to make sure your content does not violate their terms and policy and that your blog is backed up regularly!
Blogger could one day be shut down
So… Since everything is free, where exactly did I spend my $10 to start up this blog?
Well, when you first sign up with blogger, they give you a subdomain. My subdomain is onceuponacheerio.blogspot.com.
The one rule that I do believe out of all these “start your own blog” email courses is that you need your own domain for people to take you seriously. So that’s what I did, I bought myself a domain.
After doing some research, I end up buying my domain from Porkbun.com (affiliate link). Privacy is very important to me as it is with most people, I would think. Porkbun offered me WHOIS privacy for free, whereas many other domain registrars make you pay extra for it.
Also, the few times I’ve needed to call their phone support to help get things set up, I get through to a real person immediately. Never once have I had to go through an automatic voice messaging system – which is a HUGE deal (for me at least)!
So that’s my story on how I started a blog with (almost) no money. The reason I wrote this post is to debunk the myth that you must buy website hosting services in order to start a “successful” blog. Everyone can have their own definition of success. But I’m just letting you know that I manage to drive sufficient traffic and monetize by Blogger blog, which is many blogger’s goal.
I want to help those who think they might want to venture into the world of blogging and letting you know that you don’t need a huge investment right off the bat. It’s fun and exciting, but don’t go into it for the money because you might just end up in disappointment. I love to craft and crochet, and that’s what my blog is mainly about. I do it because it’s my passion and it excites me to see other people making the stuff from my patterns and tutorials!
It takes a lot of work to start gaining real traffic and earning enough money to quit your 9-to-5 job. I’m not there. In fact, I still work full time. But if you are thinking about starting up a blog but skeptical about putting down a few hundred of dollars for web hosting, you can do what I did and start out with Blogger!