Create a blog for less than £5.00 per month
Are you shocked that I pay less than £5.00 per month? In fact,it is only £4.53 per month. There are so many articles stating that you need to pay for so many different things. You can create a website on limited funds, but you do have to be persistent and be motivated.
Yes, there will come a time when I will have to increase my budget. But I want to prove that you don’t have to walk away from something you want because of financial limitations.
My first blog was a failure
The first blog I ever created was during 2016, on Google Blogger called ‘Our Journey’. It was very basic and I did not really have an idea as to what I was going to write about. I just wanted a blog.
As you can guess, this was a total flop and a very big learning curve for me.
Why my first blog failed
There are so many reasons why my first blog failed. Mainly because I had no direction, no planning ahead of articles.
The main reason this failed is because I was not motivated. I found it very hard to write anything. I also lacked confidence in myself and what I had to say. I was so worried about what other people thought of my writing skills. Plus, I was not ready to accept any negative feedback from anybody.
I also felt a failure as I was not able to come to grasp with the basics of blogging and creating a good site. So I decided that blogging was not for me and walked away from Our Journey.
Don't let your failures put you off
It has taken me several years but I decided to go ahead with Mum Goes Barmie. During this period of time, I had this feeling inside of me that I still wanted to do a blog. But I had to create something for me, that I would enjoy and hope that others would also.
My outlook on life has changed drastically over the years. I no longer worry if people will enjoy my blog, or compare myself to other established bloggers. I am an individual and I do not want to be like other bloggers.
You don’t have to be an expert to start a blog
You really don’t have to have experience to create a blog. I am not a tech savvy person and I managed it. Yes, it has been a learning curve and I am still learning. But if I can do this so can you.
Be patient and be aware that you will make mistakes. I have watched so many YouTube videos on how to use WordPress, and how to design a website. I also read many blogs about how to start.
Youtube has helped me a lot and I worked designing my blog stage by stage. I did find many of the blogs misleading. They try to encourage you to spend more money. Which did put me off a bit.
There is so much free information out there, at the touch of your fingertips. But make sure you do not become confused. Take everything in stages.
What you need to consider before you start your blog
Why do you want to start a blog
You need to be very clear as to why you want to start a blog. The time you will need to spend on this is high, and it can be very demoralizing at first. You will need to research your topics and then write them.
How many hours do you need to spend on a blog article
Realistically you need to allow a couple of hours a day. It is important that you stick with this, as one night or day off will eventually become a habit. Don’t tell yourself you can do it tomorrow, because tomorrow never comes.
It is hard to find this when you are on your own, but you will find the time. Even if you find a half hour in the morning, lunch time or hopefully after the kids are in bed. There will be days that you may only be able to have half an hour of spare time, but that is better than nothing.
Find your key motivation
At first when you start a blog it feels like you are writing only for yourself and it is very hard to keep yourself motivated. Especially if you have not thought through what is your key motivation.
Find the route of your motivation
One of the key and most important questions I was asked was why? What is my key motivation? I keep this thought in my head all the time as it is the key to success.
Grab yourself pen, paper and walk away for 20 minutes and asked yourself what your key motivation is. Write these down and then come back.
Reorganise your motivation listing into top priorities and pin this where you can re-read every day. You will need this for those days when you are asking yourself why.
If you find it easier, create a vision board with pictures or photos only. This is more visual, but it does help.
How much can you spend on your blog
This is very important as there are so many blogs out there stating that you must have this specific item. I decided to set myself a budget and as my audience grows then I will increase my budget.
Check out your household budget and work the figures before you consider your budget for you blog.
How to choose your blog niche
It is important to understand and have a clear outline what your blog will be about and what you want to achieve. Research your niche and understand your competition.
There is no point in creating a blog if there is a lot of expertise in your area. It will be very hard to compete.
Pick a niche you have knowledge in, don’t try to fake it. People will read this in your articles. It is important that you gain trust from your readers.
Popular blog niches
The most popular blogs are about health & fitness, relationships and earning money online. Drill down into these niches. Think of them as a tree with branches and you want to grow one of those branches. Or if you have a hobby that you love, can you create a blog out of this.
This is an important decision so be clear. Go away and make a list, and as you create this list ask yourself how you can expend, and monetize this niche at a later date.
Can you monetize your blog niche in the future
Everybody wants to make additional money. If this is one of your key motivations to monetize your blog in the future think of how you can do this.
Can you produce YouTube videos, or even place affiliate links within your articles once you have the audience. Don’t expect this to happen over night, as you have to have the traffic to your blog first.
Advertising on your blog
Don’t load you articles or blog site with adverts, or affiliate links. They are really annoying. This will put your readers off. If I start to read an article that had lots of adverts.
Readers will automatically leave the site as they may find this very frustrating and removes the reading experience for me. If you want to advertise, place adverts on the side bar not in the middle of an article.
Can you solve a problem with your blog niche
One thing to consider is can you solve a problem or help anybody with your niche selection. Nobody wants to read the same thing over and over again. You need to make sure that you can offer the reader something that will help them.
How will you drive traffic to your blog
There is no point putting all of this hard work into your blog if you have nobody to read it. Consider different social media platforms where you can promote your blog. Build yourself a community on the social platforms and interact with others. But be true to who you are.
Social platforms you can use are YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. Don’t compare yourself to other users, be your own individual. It is important that you do not try to be somebody you are not. Especially when you see perfect photos of families and children.
Choose your blog name
I found this the hardest. It is recommended that the name needs to represent your niche. As you can tell mine does not. Select a name that is easy to remember and means something to you. You will not be able to change your name later.
Go onto google and type in a selection of name choices and make sure that nobody else has this or it similar.
How did I choose my blog name
Nicholas and me sat down with lots of bits of paper. We listed a word on each and gradually eliminated the ones we did not like. We played around with the remaining words and that’s how we came up with Mum Goes Barmie. It did not happen overnight, this did take about a week to decide.
Don't expect to make £1000’s and have hundreds of followers overnight
Everybody says how easy it is to create a blog and make money. Well honestly it is not. It is hard work and not easy.
Yes it is easy to create a blog, but not easy to make money. You will not hit that publish button and gain loads of followers overnight. Or even earns £1000’s. Maybe in a dream you will but not in real life.
Blogging is a way of creating a passive income for your future. This can take up to a year of hard work and continuous work to keep readers engaged.
If you do manage to do this then please, drop me a line as I would love to know how you did this.
What is my £4.53 per month charge for?
This is the only expenditure I have each month and it is for the hosting, usage on icloud facilities for my website. This facility allowed me to use my chosen name, host my domain and also download WordPress as the basic format for my website.
At first, I was not sure which provider to go with. I was always under the impression that you had to purchase your domain name separately. Once purchased,you would then need to transfer this to a hosting company. For me it was out of my league and I was really not confident at all.
Why choose TsoHost
I am lucky, as we have a good IT department at work so I asked the experts. They recommended TsoHost as the best value for money and ease of use, and they were correct. It is just so easy.
Overall Tsohost costs me only £50.76 per year and I pay by DDR £4.53 per month. There are no upfront or one of fees.
This suits me best, as it fits my budget and I can deactivate at any time. There is no transferring of domain name or paying in advance, no WordPress fees or any other additional hidden charges.
Restriction of TsoHost for your blog
There is no restrictions for affiliate links, which is often the case with some sites like Blogger. Plus with Blogger you do not actually own it, where as with Tsohost you do.
My site is backed up and I can roll my site back if I do anything that can potently mess my site up. Which for me is a bonus.
You can view Tsohost here, and check to make sure your chosen site name is available. If it is don’t put off and start today. But wait, carry on reading as there are some tips for free resources you can use to help you.
Free blog theme templates
After you have registered with Tsohost you will need to download wordpress, from the control panel. This is where the fun start, as once you have done this you can choose your website / blog theme.
This is the overall design of your website layout. There are 1000’s to choose from but make sure you go for a basic simple site. Do not go too fancy to start with, there is time later to upgrade and change later.
A lot of the themes are free, but if you want additional options then you will need to pay to unlock these. When you first start I really don’t think you need to do this, especially if you want to stick to your budget.
Free tools you can use to help you create your successful blog
Search Google for blog keywords
Yes this is a very simple one. Don’t pay for keyword search tools when you really don’t need to use them. Using google will help you confirm the number of people that are searching for a particular topic or question. Just scroll down your search screen and find what people are asking.
Grab a pen and paper, write your question into the search option and test out the A-Z system. At the end of your question type A and write down what suggested questions google displays. Jot these down and gradually work through the alphabet. It is time consuming but when you are saving money, it does not matter.
Google Trends for most popular questions
If you have an idea for an article for your blog, but you are not sure if it is worth it google trends will help you with your decision. It is designed from information of searches from the public via google over time.
Google trends provides you with information on countries, most searched topics. But you do have to have an idea first and you will search on related words or questions and this will provide you with the time scale from 5 years to weekly searches.
Google trends will also help you in refining your niche and confirm if there is sufficient searches.
Ask the Public for specific questions
This is a free search facility where you can ask specific questions and it will provide you with a clear download of the types of questions people are asking. You can download this report and use this to help you create you blog article. But the downside with this is that you only have 3 chances per day to ask a question. If you want more then you will have to pay.
Canva.com for blog your designs
Free design templates for Pinterest, YouTube thumbnails, twitter and Instagram. They have basic layouts free which you can change to suit you. There are some that you will need to pay for or you can create your own from scratch.
You can go Pro with this but there is a monthly fee of £10.99. But to start you do not need to do this, use the facility for free.
Pixabay.com for blog photos
Download free photos, illustrations for you and no copyright restrictions. The photos can be used for your blog posts or even creating the perfect pins for Pinterest.
Tailwindapp.com for social media blogging
Tailwind Integrates with Instagram and Pinterest. You can plan ahead for future articles to a set schedule per day. No more worrying and will take the pressure off with posting each day or week.
You only have so many free opportunities so you will need to subscribe and pay a monthly fee at a later day. I only use this for Pinterest, as I want to make the most of the free postings.
If you join Tailwind you can claim $15 free gift. But this is only if you subscribe.
Mailchimp.com for blog subscribers
Mailchimp can with be Integrated or you can create a popup for people to subscribe to you website. Although you can only create one campaign free. Ideal for start up but later you will need to subscribe. Especially if you want to create affiliate campaigns.
You can set up RSS feeds to your subscribers that will automatically notify them of a new blog post. Saves you lots of time and will encourage your subscribers to revisit your blog.
Google Analytics to track your blog traffic
This needs to be integrated into your website, and it is brilliant. You can you view how many visitors you have had, how many are returning plus how many new people are viewing your site. It will also give you insight into your bounce rate, best performing pages, and the length of time people spend reading your articles.
There is so much data available it can be confusing to what you actually need to view and improve on. You can download the app to your phone and view your site performance during the day which is a great way to motivate yourself.
If you want to create a passive income, but not in an urgent rush for money today. Creating a blog is the direction you should take. It is very time consuming but it is fun. Don’t spend lots of money on the different facilities that you can find ways around for free.
It is important that you create a maximum spend per month for your website / blog. Don’t jump in and pay subscription after subscription on things that you do not need at the moment.
Test your blog first before paying out
Test the waters first, as I would rather only loose £4.53 per month rather than £80 – £100 . Which is the amount you can potentially waste if you decide that blogging is not for you.
Have respect for you readers, be honest with them and don’t try to trick them in any way. Be true to yourself and have fun. Interact with readers and be real. Not just somebody that is after the next pound.
I promise you, that blogging will become addictive, and you will be checking your Google Analytics during the day. To feel that buzz when you see your new readers increase is brilliant.
I would love to hear from you and find out if you have taken that first step. Please comment and keep me posted to how you are getting on.