Most unexpected costs when starting an online business

Blogging unexpected costs

Blogging is free and easy they say.

So you venture into the blogging world confident that you have all things played out. And free, no no, Your free trials end and you’re faced with realities that blogging is getting hard.

You spend a lot of time going through your expenditure records. How rich can these bloggers be they might be spending a lot.”Why didn’t anyone tell me that its this expensive,”

Surprise, you can’t make money with free blogs!.Of course there are free themes but everybody is using it, that’s a thumbs down. You can Subscribe for free stocks but everyone gets the exact stocks.

You can’t have a competitive and unique website with free designs.Well unless you’re blogging for fun, turning your blog into a business will cost you…

Why? business startups cost money and so is blogging. Therefore, starting your businesses for free is a huge mistake that will come to haunt you. Because these expenses will not go away but continue to pile up in ways you can never avoid.

Annual Self Hosting and Addons Email-Support

OKEY,you have heard it and you will keep hearing it.

Selecting a web host for your website is unavoidable and highly recommended for it to become live on the internet. For your business to make sense and seriously make money, you will need a host.

The host gives you your webspace, shared hosting can be as low as $50 per year that’s for small businesses but upgrading to a dedicated server can strain your pocket.

With self-hosting, you own your site, make customization, add plugins or a theme .

You can host your website with Bluehost or Siteground with as little $50 annually on basic hosting and a free SSL certificate in the first year.

As your sites grow so will your investment, you will need to upgrade to the next plan or dedicated server to access more features.

Transfer charges will be applied to those willing to migrate from a host. A host that might be slowing down your site or getting no technical support.

Get email hosting, having a domain name to connect it to your web is needed. A business email shows professionalism.


Free emails will make your prospect leads think twice about doing business with you. A professional email with your domain will earn you trust from your clients or leads. You will have complete control of the data and the business information is safely kept.


You can get email hosting for as little as $10/year with either web hosts.

Get a unique domain name

Having your domain name is a major investment.WHY

  • Your domain name is also your site URL
  • You’re creating a brand for your blog
  • It affects SEO
  • It’s pretty and professional

Some hosts offer free domain registration for the first year. The trick is to get hosting and domain altogether. Renew every year after the expiry period(definitely at a higher price). Others put a high price on domain transfer, therefore,

You must check out your host first before making any huge decisions.

Check domain prices at some of the most popular domain registrars

  1. Godaddy:-$0.8/year (renews at $11.99 /year)
  2. Namecheap:-From as low as $1.37/year(renews at $10.69/year)
  3. Bluehost.com-Free domain the first year(Renews at $11.99/year).Prices change from basic to pro plan per year.
  4. Siteground-$15.95/per year


I recommend you use the first 3 alternatives cause the Siteground main focus is on hosting.They offer domains separately, their plans don’t include the domain name.

Pro Upgrades


Themes


Free

There tons of free options for every niche. Themes are pre-made templates that allow you to design your blog. You can hire a website developer to create one for you but it will be a huge investment and very expensive but since you are starting out just purchase one or get the free ones.

Pro


You need a quality premium WordPress theme as your blog grows. Prices range from $25 to super theme $79.Check out these popular and most recommended themes by top bloggers.

  • Divi from elegant themes (highly recommended for beginners)-
  • Themify
  • Genesis frameworks
  • Thrive themes

Use a child theme when you want to make changes to your parent themes

Yoast


Ever since the update, most Yoast features have been moved to premium version. With free versions,I can only setup 1 keyword for SEO per page and let Google,Bing and Pinterest know exactly what the page is about,Therefore I am missing the SEO advantages on a free version


With a premium version,I can add more related keywords,preview my page,get real time suggestions for internal links, be updated on my most important pages update,get an overview of my site and keywords score,24/7 support and no ads…etcetera

Grammarly

My favorite editing tool is Grammarly. Ever since I started using it my post has never been clear and mistake-free. I might not be the best writer ever but at least with Grammarly, I see progress.

With Free version comes Critical grammar and spelling checks and the features get better with a premium version. You won’t regret it.

I can access 400 types of features like

  • Advanced checks for Grammatic errors, punctuation, context and sentence structures,
  • Genre specific writing skills
  • Vocabulary enhancements suggestions
  • Detect plagiarism

Premium version costs $11.66 per month if billed annually and $15/month if billed annually for the business version

Graphic Editing Software

If you want your blog to stand out, you need to invest in graphics editing tools like Canva and Picmonkey

Canva has both free and paid version while picmonkey only a paid version with 7 days free trial.

Canva


Canva is a great graphic editing tool that allows you to create designs for any projects with free element and minimum efforts.

Canva can be used to plan our website or social media like create posts/graphics/banners/headers/covers…They have ready to use templates available, free icons ,stock images and so much more.You even upload your own photos and use your own texts.

Canva Pro allows you to unlock more features and try it for free for 30 days.You can,

  • Control your brand with brand kit,
  • Create stunning animated graphics
  • Export designs with a transparent background
  • Resize your designs.,
  • Collaborate with shared templates and folders.

Email marketing services


An email list is one of the most valuable strategies for creating money as you’re getting direct access to someone’s inbox. Email list helps to connect you to your readers, stay up to date and find access to valuable content.

With Mailerlite it’s free for the first 1000 subscribers and about $15/month afterward.

There are more options out there like Convertkit, which is free the first two weeks then $29 per month.It makes it easy to grow subscribers.

Lastpass

Legal requirements


You need a disclaimer, privacy policy, and terms and condition page.

Transaction Fees

Well can you not avoid this,every time i make a payment theres a small fee that i have to pay.Some fees have been cut when paying for hosting and resources and tools tools.

Stock photos

I don’t have the required skills nor time to take pretty high-quality photos. It’s exhausting juggling both blogging tasks and getting perfect photos for your blog. That’s where stock photos jumps in so i can focus on making amazing content.

Free


I’ve access to free stocks and free resources as perfect additions to my brand.

But these free stocks have been used by millions of blogs out there, therefore, my sites will lack that brand uniqueness I want. Then Pinterest preferable ranks paid stock photos.

With a paid membership plan I can download as many premium styled stocks as I want to fit my brand.

Ivory mix

Access 550+ photos monthly for free
become an elite member with $47/quarter and access 2700+photos and graphics and more or become a VIP with $137/year 3500+photos and graphics and more

Sc stock shop-
Mostly recommended for small entrepreneurs.I can shop by collections or colors from as little as $19.00 per collection. You can join Social Squares membership with $25/month and $240/year.

Pixistock-

Get instant library access with as little as $39/month , With Canva templates ,instragram quote library $69/quarter and an additional premium graphics library access for $199/year


check for more alternative stock library and price at:

  • Creative market
  • Oh Tilly
  • Styled stock society
  • Hautes stock

Utilities and equipment

Well how are you gonna blog, you will need a laptop to access the internet. The laptop needs to be charged, you will need your notes. Simply you need your business to function by Investing in

  • Internet
  • Electricity
  • Laptop
  • Notebooks
  • Planners
  • other stationery

Resources and Tools


This is my favorite part, I love tools and frankly, I have had a hard time here.

Well,there are amazing tools ranging from basic website performances to social media marketing. Some online shops like ivory mix and Sc stock shop have taken advantage of this and used free resources as their freebies in email lists like

  • Daily planner
  • To-do list
  • Checklist

Some cool tools to steadily grow your traffic will be

  • Tailwind
  • Buzzsumo
  • Semrush
  • pinterest

Time

I need myself to plan the time to do business,This is a sacrifice i will have to make if i want good results.I had to schedule my blogging,work and school time for it to work.At first,it was tough but blogging becomes easy when you have a plan and committed to your work.

What do top bloggers understand that newbies dont

I had to quit my old blog to later learn what works . With lots of blogs on the internet, all proving huge traffics and income strategy . Spending months of trial and errors.Till it become exhausting wondering, “Really!! Why is it not working for me?” .

So i had to plan and go deeper into their minds.Try to see and feel what they know.I became an expert.This is probably by doing toms of research.Well it was clear they did things differently.

  1. Blog Consistently
  2. Bring your personality and skills
  3. Spare some play time for real
  4. Use bulletpoints and lists to get ideas
  5. Understand your targeted persona
  6. Showcase your brand and promotional brand
  7. Make your point easy and relevant
  8. Make your content worth sharing
  9. Be willing to fail
  10. Never doubt yourself
  11. Optimize your site for SEO
  12. Prioritize your email list
  13. Embrace the power of free
  14. Build an amazing CTA
  15. Google analytics from day 1

The most crucial things to do after installing WordPress

So you have finally installed WordPress.There are so many things to try but you are not sure where to start. Well, I got you covered, this could be your ultimate checklist.

First, there are few things to do to properly set up your website before your big launch. Here’s a list of a Must definitely do after installing WordPress.

Complete your user profile


WordPress edit the site by default, you can check in to make sure its what you wanted.


You can go to the name section and replace the user profile because WordPress will show your username next to your posts and comments by default.

by simply visiting Users»your profile

Provide your email address.

Scroll down to Your Contact information. Change your email address to

one of your emails’s addresses or get a new email with your domain like wordpress@example.com.

It will look more professional. Make sure your email is active. (this is where you will be contacted with installation details)

Provide your website link And also share a little about yourself on your bio profile.Readers will use this to learn more about you. Save changes

Prevent hacking by changing your username and password

If you hired someone to install your site or you set your username to admin by default when setting up, the best thing to do is change your user admin and password.


Go to users » add new users .

You will then be redirected to add new users page

  1. Add your username but make sure it’s not obvious.
  2. Add your password
  3. Add your email address.
  4. Change your role to the Administrator(To make it possible to make further changes).

Edit the rest if necessary and save the changes. You will be redirected to the users’ page


Log out from your current username and login with your new username and go to all users and delete your old user name.


Warning. Check and double check and triple check and check again that you “.Attribute all contents to” your username or your entire contents will be deleted.


Then Confirm deletion.


Your username is listed will show up with a post count instead of zero and also the contents You attribute to this username will be shown.

Edit Site title and tagline

Go to Settings » General settings


Change the settings here if necessary, most of the settings should be configured automatically.

Make sure you change the Site title from My blog.


Change tagline from Just Another WordPress site because of this what your readers will be viewing when they open your blog. And will be a missed SEO opportunity too.


Also change your timezone, date and time format.

Then click save changes.

Go to » Reading

Next, configure your sites custom layout.But first, make sure the search engines visibility box is unchecked.


if not search engine will be discouraged from indexing your site(your site will not be visible online).Unless you’re running a demo site, well you don’t need to be live. So I will repeat, leave the box blank.

A static front page is necessary if you are running a small business website, but most blogs use static front page as their homepages.

Also, edit how many blog posts to shows, pick a high number but not so many. Most bloggers recommend about 20.

choose how your feed should be shown either in full text or summary.I recommend summary because it will not only expose the detail of your posts but visitors will also have to click through to access your posts. It also makes your post more organized.

Permalink

Configure your permalinks before creating any posts or pages. Go to settings»Permalinks


Choose a Format in the common settings. I prefer the posts name cause the keywords are in your Url therefore great for SEO and user usability.

It’s also very simple and easy to read and understand.By both your readers and search engines.

Delete Default Content

WordPress comes with default content, a blog post- Hello world, a sample page and comment. You have to delete these placeholders items by simply scrolling to

Post» all posts and click the trash link to delete the blog post.


Then scroll to pages » all pages and delete the sample page.


Next, go to Comments and delete the default comments.

Delete unused default WordPress themes

Delete at least one of the unused themes. Simply because even inactive themes would also be updated.


Go to Appearance » themes page and select the theme you want to delete and delete on the link. Repeat the process on other themes that you want to delete too.


Install theme and Setup a child theme.


There are tons of theme options for your blog and the search can be endless.

WordPress comes with a default theme. if you are already set on a particular theme by now. Your good but if not click here

How to decide on a theme

Think of what you will want site to have:

  • A simple theme
  • Able to split long posts
  • Plenty of white space
  • Your own images and graphics and they should be readable
  • Check your title and search button position.
  • use large fonts
  • The content layout should include lists and bullet points
  • The sidebar should be simple with images and links and limit external links
  • Change to your preferred color scheme
  • Social buttons that are easier to find
  • Have clickable landing pages
  • More

Creating child themes

A child theme is a theme that is based off from functionality to looks of the parent themes or original themes.


A child theme allows you to make changes without modifying it directly, therefore, keeping all the core files of the parent themes safe.


So why do you need to go through all this trouble to create a child theme while you can just use the theme you have and modify it.


Well, a good theme will be updated regularly, changes will be made and your old files will be deleted and replaced with new ones.

This is good right, but all the changes you made on the theme will be lost including your modification.


With a child, theme updates are only made on parent theme so all your changes will be safe on a separate folder. And the best part is that there are plugins for that.

  1. Child theme configurator
  2. Child theme wizard
  3. Child theme Generator
  4. Child Theme Creator by Orbisius
  5. Generate child theme
  6. WPS Child Theme Generator
  7. Childify Me

Add contact form

Wpform contact form plugin will be needed. Its beginner friendly and also has a prebuilt form templates. (blank or simple contact form).

You can use this to create any type of contact form you like.

You can also use a drag and drop builder to create beautiful contact forms with Wpform lite.

create Menus and widgets

Menus are placed close to the header or the center of the sidebar in most WordPress themes. They help users find information easily by browsing through the different sections of your site.


Simply go to Appearance » menu then start adding and adjusting menu items.

Create a menu that makes sense, centrally located and comes with a search button.


Widgets allow you to add features and functionality to your sidebar with no coding needed.


Appearance » widgets page and simply select the sidebar where you want to add the widget and click on add to add it.

create favicons and logos and graphics

I use Canva and Picmonkey to create my blog graphics.With Canva, you can choose templates, upload your own photos or use the available photos.

Replace the existing texts by adding your own message and when your done playing with your graphics you can either Download, print or by clicking publish or download.


Canva uses its free resources from

  1. Ivory mix stock photos.
  2. Creative market for graphics .
  3. The Hungry JPEG .
  4. Vecteezy free vector art.

Install essential plugIns


Plugins add some functionality to your site. and WordPress plugins are best for this, These plugins will improve your site ranking and improve your site performance.

Now You Can Start a Blog In Just a Few Hours: The ultimate beginner’s guide.

Lets talk tech

After all, every blog is a website. Anyone can start a blog, we all have stories to share and mostly we do it in social media platform.

There’s a spot on the internet waiting for you to call it your own. You don’t need to be an expert, the truth is I learned everything from scratch and I’m still learning…

How to start a blog

Identify your target audience, niche, and purposes.

You decided that you want to open your website and

  • Earn passive income,
  • Work from home by doing what you love
  • Build and connect with  your brands,
  • Build your confidence by showcasing your skills
  • Inspire people around you by being informative
  • Involves no tech knowledge and it’s affordable and you name it…

At least by now, you must have a hunch of what you will be blogging about.

You must have done a ton of research finding your real audience. Now you’re confident with what you’re going to offer and you must be great at it or are you offering something different.

you must have heard of specifying your niche but your head is brainstorming with ideas.You’re not even even sure what your niche really is and it is overwhelming.

Don’t worry,even when starting out i did’nt have a target audience.lt took me a while and failed blogs to find my voice.Lucky for you the show is about to get better.

Start brainstorming creative contents

How are you going to keep them coming, the answer is by creating great content. You must be great at something.

Try to get a rough work of your thoughts and write as many contents as you can. Pick as many topics and try to see which you can create a sequence of stories with. Now that you got it, who’s a winner…pick a topic that you’re passionate about.Valuable contents will drive traffic.

Unless you’re creating a news article.Pick a list of evergreen contents that will stay relevant no matter when or where your readers will access it. Now that you have identified your audience and your niche its time to pick up your name.

Identify the domain name


Pick a domain name that’s related to your niche, readers will be able to easily identify your blog contents from your domain name. You can also use your own name instead, but it should be unique, short and easy.

A good domain name should be memorable,avoid using silly abbreviations,hyphen,numbers or copyright issues.

Domain search useful tools

Choose an effective blogging CMS (Content Management System)


There are lots of options out there, WordPress is the best of all.Why,its beginner friendly,has vast capabilities and its functionality is endless therefore more advanced users find it customizable.

Choose the right platform

a free platform wordpress.com or a self-hosted wordpress.org

You aim to earn through affiliates programs, high paying ad networks or sponsored content you need to pick a web host to host your own site. Why it means you are in control of the running of your site and the information you want to share with a third party.

if I’m using wordpress.com my URL would be burnandgain.wordpress.com

It’s free but not professional plus they put too much ads on your blog and its distracting.

With wordpress.org, I get my own domain name that search engines can identify with and rank me better in SEO.So if you want to make money or turn your blog into a business pay for hosting

Find a webhost and pay.

There are many popular all in one hosters like Bluehost and Siteground offering free domain registration, one-click WordPress installation and not all in one hoster like Cloudways.

why is Cloudways so different.

  • With cloud ways, you buy domain elsewhere like GoDaddy or Namecheap
  • You don’t share servers
  • You choose your cloud hosting providers like Digital ocean, Amazon web service or Vultr to host your website.
  • Your account gets dedicated resources depending on what you choose for your blog
  • Admin Cpanel is easier to use and understand
  • You can install a preconfigured WordPress with multiple security and caching features, therefore, your site speed is optimal.
  • It comes with a one-click installer.
  • Your site is backed up every day and you offered both email and call support.

Learn more about Cloudways from thesocialms

I use Bluehost to host my other websites and Truehost in this website as its available in my locality and offers free hosting and cheap domain extensions.

Well, the procedure of signing up to either of the web hosts is almost the same as they both offer administrative Cpanel…

How to setup wordpress with bluehost

At Bluehost, to get started, click the green ‘Get Started‘ button

select a plan whether Basic, Plus or Pro.I would recommend basic starter package plus you can upgrade to the next plan later on.

Register your domain name

Have you got your domain, if you do sign up now but if you don’t, don’t freak out? You can use your own name too, but first make sure its not taken. You can use Namemesh and Bustaname.com to check out for more domain name ideas and if it’s available or you can skip this step and come back later

Next, fill out your contact details and select your payment option.You can uncheck any extra addons, its optional cause it will add more costs on starting your blog.

Confirm that you have read and agreed on the terms and conditions offered by Bluehost services. Then click on the green ‘submit‘ button.

Installing WordPress

Bluehost makes it easy to install WordPress when signing up,it automatically installs wordPress on your domain name

How to install wordpress

Bluehost will guide you through on how to have your blog set up.Simply log in into your bluehost account,scroll and find ‘My sites‘ tab and then click Log into wordpress button you will be directed into wirdpress admin dashboards

Under my site tab, click ‘create site‘ to get started. Fill all the info required through the guideline including site title, tagline, select domain name and path for your website and you can leave the directory path blank.

It may take a while for you see to see your success message, you may also receive the installation details via email. Click on ‘log into WordPress‘ button and access your sites admin area.

Congratulations you did it

Wait, you’re not yet done. Yes, you have installed WordPress but it’s not over yet. There are few basics steps to complete in order to fully customize your website and settings. Check for the most important must do after installing WordPress.

Why Major Blogging Mistakes Will Make You Question Everything

I never talk about my first blog, I even never let my friends or family know about it. It was a good thing kept it a secret cause it could have been humiliating. I was so beamed with optimism that this could be my first project that ever worked. I ‘ve tried to come up with thousands of business ideas but I always fail before my first earnings…I wanted to surprise everyone by launching an online brand and make a living out of it.

My blog was so bad that I lost both my user admin password and access to my website, my web host wasn’t much of help either, they relentlessly refused to pick my calls. Even resetting my password via the standard login page and through my database via Phpmyadmin didn’t work too. My website wasn’t properly installed so something about installation still on the local host.

Make planning your new best friend.

After an endless struggle, I gave up. But when you’re passionate about something, you can’t let go. I very much wanted my blogging dreams to come alive.Therefore, I used a new approach to build a perfect website then grow my blog.

After months of research, trials and errors, the only way was to do it right. So while taking notes,my new blog has to work and this time my new goal has to be real.

Set your goals right

Blogging is not a quick way to earn money. Yet, some bloggers have made quite a living as bloggers, it takes time and strategy.

Its all about commitment, hard work,self-disciple, and patience…to be as successful. A successful blog or website is not an overnight success and it requires some blogging investment.


Branding and more branding

Hey!your followers can be your audience ,your welcome.


If your goal is to have a perfect blog then you will be disappointed ,Instead your effort should be less focused on creating contents and more branding with as simple steps as having the right fonts, logo, images, and colors and when you done, take a step further and do some real marketing on Pinterest or any social media platform of your choice.

Start preparing your email list as soon as possible and start mailing newsletters to increase your blog traffics. Don’t make the mistakes I did cause building a mailing list is huge, you can even make a profit out of it later on and grow your traffic.


Make a posting schedule

Always schedule your blog posting date and stick to it, don’t overstretch your self to release many posts in one day.

Quality outshines quantity and having the right talent on a specific niche will help you grow and own your audience cause the more unique your content is the more readers will want to stay and read your blog.

One thing I regret the most was not having a plan.

Planning saves you time.
Make a to-do list.
How much you want to spend .
Blogging tools you need too.

I wrote down a list of everything I needed from WordPress blueprints to their expenses if it’s free or not and you save a lot.

So before I made my first purchase for domain and hosting I had a list of everything in my notebook I needed to buy for free and prioritized what to buy first as invest slowly.

This list included how I needed to familiarize myself with my WordPress dashboard cause this is where my most time will be spent. I even checked and made my WordPress glossary to find out what i didn’t know before.

Check out these lists of blogging mistakes to avoid.

Unreliable web hosts


For a newbie, one thing we need is technical support when we are stuck right. Even if the web hosting company have an all-inclusive site for our WordPress needs. We tend to have even the tiny bits of questions that need answers.

  • What if the hosting sites don’t have your back when you need them?
  • What if their servers are down and you can’t get to them?
  • What if you unknowingly altered the most crucial settings and don’t know what to do?

Everybody needs coaching and the best coach is our trusted web host cause we build our relationship on trust and them having our back, adorable. Yet, without their 24/7 support or their unethical response, trust is broken.

So this is what happened to me when I invested in a cheap and unreliable web hosting company, therefore, I was forced to install WordPress manually through a third party. Well, I think you have an idea of how it ended.

There are so many all in one web hosters available like Bluehost, Siteground and Hostgator and not all in one like Cloudways that offers one-click installation.

Find the right tools and resources

With so many resources and blogger tools for each need such as

  1. Domain name generators to search for domains
  2. Content and blog ideas generators like portent that generates titles that sales
  3. Headline analyzer like Sharethrough headline analyzer that analyses headlines and ranks it better
  4. Email marketing automation tools Mailerlite or Convert kit
  5. SEO website audit like Semrush
  6. keywords research tool like KWfinder
  7. Testing site speed like Pingdom
  8. Password managers like LastPass and KeePass
  9. Editing tools like Grammarly and Hemingway
  10. Social media tools tailwind for Pinterest, Hootesuite twitter scheduling, Buffer social media scheduling
  11. Productivity tools like Asana, Trello, and Evernote and so much more.

Blogging has been simplified for you to focusing on your voice and talent to create amazing content. With these tools, you can comfortably bring the magic that is creating awesome content for your new friends.

Domain name


Domain names do not have to be perfect and unique. Most bloggers use their names or use a very fun way to generate one. There are domain generators such as namemesh.com,bustAName.com, thesaurus.com

…all you need is a word or you can combine words,bustAName also has a quick domain check to see if your picked domain name is readily available.

Themes


WordPress creates all kinds of the website so not all themes will work the same. Your content should be the key in deciding the best theme for your blog/website.

A theme that won’t slow down your site and easier for users to go around will generate you, subscribers.

So how will you know a theme is good for your site,(flashy themes rich with features can slow down your site always avoid using cool themes.)

Always make a list of all the features you want in your theme.

  • Is it a basic or premium theme?
  • Are the fonts readable or large?
  • Is the design layout simple enough to support your blogging goals?
  • Can they adjust their layouts in different sizes on screen and devices?
  • Are plugins supported for faster access such SEOs and spams protectors?
  • Is it compatible with browsers and other such engines?
  • Does it come with technical support or can you do it on your own?
  • How have other users rated this?
  • Does it come with a child theme?
  • Can you preview your theme before announcing it to the world? etcetera

Plugins

plugins add and extend security and improve your site ranking on search engines. How do you know which plugins to chose because they are so many? Plugins and tools are the best to add some functionality on your site only if you have the right set.

You can install plugins practically for anything but too many plugins means bad load times making bad SEO. So you have to choose a plugin that is essential to your blog need first and add the rest later.

Well, you are going to be awesome,i know i feel it too.

I hope this article helped you realize where you did wrong and how you can strategize. If you need help setting up your blog, you can use my free ultimate beginner’s guide to start your blog.