I created a post on how to create a blog for less than 20 dollars, but once your blog is up and running how do you keep the costs down but the profits up?
I always believe in investing in yourself, instead of buying a cup of coffee, pay for some advertising or save it for a theme. Although, sometimes people really don’t have that luxury.
That is why we are creating this post. How to blog on a budget.
Although I do believe you can blog for zero cost, it’s almost impossible to create a profitable blog with a zero budget. This includes self-hosting, themes etc.
Therefore, this post is going to be a realistic how-to blog on a budget – running a profitable blog for almost zero per month!
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What do you need to do after you start a blog?
There are a number of posts out there on starting a blog and building a blog on a budget but what about all the tools that bloggers need to use to maintain their blog?
How do we continue to blog on a budget?
Let’s look at the tools out there and some free or low cost alternatives.
Moz (SEO + DA Score)
I am really starting to understand SEO and starting to rank on Google page 1. Over the last three months, I have moved my blog from a DA of 1 to 15 within less than three months. I track all my Google rankings through the Moz website.
What is Moz?
Moz is an online platform that allows you to track your Google rankings and is also the source for DA scores. This is also the platform that I use for a large portion of my keyword research.
I was originally using platforms like Ahrefs which was incredibly expensive and wasn’t as user friendly.
The Moz Pro account isn’t cheap either. The monthly pro account costs $179 per month.
A lot, I know.
So, when you’re looking to blog on a budget, what other tools are out there?
Interested in finding out how I moved my DA score from 1 to 15? Check it out here!
Keysearch is an amazing alternative to Moz for keyword research and costs a fraction of the price.
Keysearch offers three different plans. The first being free! What more can you ask for?
Although this platform isn’t as high spec as Moz, which you can’t really complain about as it’s free, this was what I used for my first year of blogging and it was the best keyword research platform.
Keysearch then offers two other paid plans. Starting at $17 dollars per month for 200 searches per day. If you need to upgrade your daily searches, there is a 500 search plan for $34 per month.
Related: What is a DA score for blogging?
The Moz toolbar, which is a chrome extension, is free to download.
You can use the toolbar as long as you have an account – a free one will work. You can then monitor your DA score on your site.
For example, if you pin the Chrome extension, your DA score will appear each time you click on your site.
Smarter Queue (Twitter scheduler)
I only recently upgraded my scheduler to Smarter Queue after shopping around. To be completely honest, I’m still not 100% sold on it but I think that’s just because it’s something different.
The functionalities of the platform are great.
As you know, at The Bloggers Incentive, we love using Twitter.
If you’re a Twitter user, then you’ll know how time-consuming it can be to schedule tweets for each day.
I started using the Smarter Queue because I could create a tweet and generate different variations of the tweet to then post throughout the month.
I didn’t want Twitter to mark me as spam, therefore using variations such as:
- How to create a blog post
- The best way to write a blog post
- The top 5 things to include when writing a blog post
This meant it was a lot easier to schedule my tweets. To use this platform, it costs £13.99 per month for the solo plan. This plan is great for bloggers.
What are some more affordable alternatives?
Before investing in the above tool, I used the free tweet scheduler that is built within Twitter.
I have been using this tool for the past year and honestly, it has done me well.
The tool is free to use and has a very high limit. The limit for scheduling tweets is 2,400 tweets per day. If you’re tweeting that amount, it’s maybe time to rethink your marketing plan for Twitter.
Why would I not continue to use this tool?
To be honest, there are two things that I found slightly annoying after time.
- When scheduling a tweet, it would put the date 5 days ahead. Therefore, it meant changing the date every time I scheduled a tweet. This wasn’t as bad during the month, but when it came to the end of the month, it would change the month as well. I was then having to change the day, month and time for every single tweet which was very time-consuming.
- I couldn’t schedule the same tweet for multiple dates. As I mentioned above, I like to share my blog posts, therefore I had to write out blog post lines such as ‘the best ways to grow your blog’ each time I wanted to schedule a tweet.
This is a great free tool but of course, it comes with some cons.
Canva (content creation)
Canva has been one of the tools that I have used throughout my whole blogging career. Although I have tried other creator tools, I have always stuck with Canva as it’s easy to use the platform.
With Canva, I use the Pro version which costs £10.99 per month for all features.
With the pro account, I can use all the fonts, pictures and transparency features.
I use Canva for creating Instagram posts, Pinterest pins and all my planners.
What other alternatives are there for blogging on a budget?
Canva free account
As we mentioned above, Canva offers a free account. Within the free account, you have access to almost all the features in the pro account.
The fonts, colours and picture range is large enough to blog at the beginning. Therefore, to save money each month, I would recommend using the Canva free account.
I used the Canva free account when I started blogging a few years ago and I have never had any problems.
Of course, this is limited in comparison to the pro account but you get what you pay for.
For Pinterest scheduling, I don’t need to offer a free alternative because my method of pinning is free already.
When I started using Pinterest originally, I was using Tailwind which cost around £14.99 per month, at the time I was using it.
I quickly realised that the Pinterest scheduler that is built into Pinterest is just as useful. A con of using the free scheduler is that you can only schedule 30 pins. Before the algorithm update, this would have been a problem but due to the update, Pinterest preferring fresh pinning over repins, I now post only 2-3 pins per day and still rank well.
Stock photos are something I have not yet invested in for my blog. Honestly, because I am not sure which one is the best to go for.
In the meantime, I use a number of free stock photo sites.
My favourite stock photo site is Unsplash which has over 2 million photos on their site.
Also, you are not required to have an account to download the photos. Downloading is easy and you can do it all from the homepage. Unlike other sites that redirect you to another page.
If you would like to use other stock photo sites, check out my post below.
How to blog on a budget
Blogging is about investing but that doesn’t always mean money.
You can invest time into your blog before you have the money. There are a number of free alternatives out there that help bloggers build their blogs without breaking the bank.
Using the above tools that I have suggested, you can keep the blog budget to a cost as little as well… nothing! I suggest using a paid tool for keyword research which would be $17 per month but in regards to everything else, there are free alternatives for all your blogging needs.
This post doesn’t count self-hosting, themes and advertisements.
If you would like to invest money in your blog and improve your DA score, check out my Pocket Size SEO Guide which shares all the secrets on how I grew my blog from a DA of 1 to 15 within 3 months.
What are some affordable alternatives that you like to use for your blog?
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