Many aspiring bloggers are held back by the uncertainty of what it would take to start their own blog. I occasionally get emails from people asking to know how much money and time they will have to invest to get a blog up and running; whether or not they will have to go through some web design skill acquisition to be able to manage their own blog by themselves. Let’s put that uncertainty to rest.
How Much Time Does Setting up a Blog Take?
I will try to be as specific as possible. Setting up a basic blog shouldn’t take over an hour even for a complete newbie. The entire process is really just registering, picking a template/theme and installing. Setting up additional features and functionalities may take a little more time. The truth is that the entire design process is not the bulk of the work, creating quality and original contents, and optimizing your blog for search engines are. That too also depends on what you want with your blog. While some blogs carry shorter posts, a few others use just images. Many are also just copy and paste blogs. This post alone took me roughly 5 hours to write and edit. So you can see it all depends on what you want or intend to do with your blog.
How Much Does Starting a Blog Cost?
You can start your own blog today free of charge – absolutely free! However, if you are gunning for a serious blog, one that you may wish to monetize sooner or later, then you will have to buy a custom domain name (www.yourname.com) and also pay for hosting. You may also have to buy premium themes and plugins or hire a freelance web developer to help customize your theme for uniqueness and additional functionalities.
While a domain name costs around N3, 000 – N6, 000/year ($10 – 20/year); Web hosting is around N500 – N50, 000 ($2 – $20/month).
Hosting packages come in different sizes and with different features. You may start with the basic package and upgrade later as your blog grows.
Does Setting Up a Blog Require Any Special Skills?
Starting a blog is now easier than ever. In the past, it would require knowledge of HTML, CSS, PHP and writing codes, not any any more. There are now several free blogging platforms and content management systems (CMS) that allows users add contents such as texts, images and videos to blogs without any technical skills. WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr are the most widely used platforms out there. WordPress is the most popular and my favorite. There are also a few popular WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) web builders, like Wix, Weebly, etc. WYSIWYG are drag-n-drop web builders that can be used by almost anyone.
You will find thousands of videos on YouTube to help you get started on any of the platforms. You may also hire a freelance web developer to put you through if you would rather have a personal tutor you can always run to (I actually offer this service to clients from different parts of the world. The training takes few days or a week or two to complete and can be done over the phone or Skype).
In addition to the design, you may also hit Google to read a thing or two about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) since you will want you want your blog to show up on search engines and rank high on search pages. There are also SEO experts out there available for freelance work. It all boils down to your budget and whether or not you only want to play around with blogging.
Finally, unless you are setting up your blog for the fun of it, I don’t recommend using a free platform. Paid platforms give you more control, endless customization and credibility. WordPress has a free version and a self-hosted paid version. The paid version is my personal favorite, but if you really just want to just try out blogging, I’ll suggest you use Blogger (owned by Google). It’s free and great for people who are trying out blogging for the first time.
My next post in this series will guide you on setting up your blog. If you like this post don’t forget to share it and like my Facebook page. Leave your questions or comments in the comment box below. I’d be glad to see and review your new blog. Cheers.