Tag Archives: Blogging

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Blog

If you are a newbie and want to create a blog, you may want to know how much does it cost to start a blog. Here in this article, we discuss the cost involved in starting a blog.

Before we start, I would like to mention here that there are two approaches to create a blog. First is to create a hosted blog and second is to create a self-hosted blog. What are they?

A hosted blog is a free blog that you can start with any of the leading blogging platforms. For example, blogger.com, wordpress.com, tumblr.com allow you to create a free blog. However, there is a downside to it. The blog name would be something like bloggingstudio.wordpress.com or bloggingstudio.tumblr.com.

Apart from that, the free blogs come with lots of restrictions. They don’t allow you to install each and every plugin that you might want to. Also, some of them don’t allow you to put advertisement (like Google adsense) on your blog. In other words, you really don’t own your free blog. They also don’t look professional.

If you are serious about blogging, you should go for the second approach. This is called self hosted blog. You completely own your blog and free to use any plugin and put adverts on your blog. In order to create a self hosted blog, you need a domain name and a web hosting account.

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Blog (Self Hosted)

Now lets see how much you have to shell out in order to start a blog.

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Blog

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Blog. Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Cost of Domain Name

You need to register a domain name in order to have a self hosted blog. For example, the domain name of this blog is BloggingStudio.com.

A domain name with .com extension costs you around $12 USD per year. However, you can even get a domain name for free when you sign up for a web hosting account with BlueHost (read below). In case you want to just register a domain name separately, you can do that on Godaddy.com for around $12 USD.

It is recommended to register a domain name with .com extension. That’s most popular and oldest one.

Cost of Web Hosting

When you sign up for a web hosting account with the leading web hosts, you will have to pay around 6 to 7 USD per month, that’s around $80 USD per year.

However, currently BlueHost is running a promotional campaign. If you sign up with them, you will be charged just $4.95 USD per month, that is $59.4 for the first year. You also get a free domain name with each web hosting account.

Click Here to Sign up for Bluehost Account.

My choice: When I started my first blog, I signed up for a web hosting account with Bluehost for $59.4 for 1 year. Got a free domain name with the web hosting account. When I had to create more blogs, I registered additional domain names with Godaddy and used the same hosting account of Bluehost for all the blogs.

Cost of Blogging Software

WordPress.org gives you a free blogging software that you can use on your web host. It’s easy to install WordPress with just 1 click on the leading web hosts. For example, check this tutorial to find out how to create a blog in less than 5 minutes.

Cost of Theme (Optional)

There are plenty of free themes available for WordPress that you can use. However, if you want, you can use a premium theme after paying a one time fee.

StudioPress genesis framework with a child theme will cost you $99.95 USD. Thesis theme will cost you $87 USD. There are some great themes available for $25 as well.

My choice: I use StudioPress theme on all my blogs.

Summary

To sum up, here are the costs involved in starting a blog.

1) Domain name: approx $12 to $14 USD per year (Free when you sign up for web hosting account with Bluehost)
2) Web Hosting: approx $60 to $100 USD.
3) Cost of Theme: $25 to $100 (Optional).

Affiliate Disclosure:
This post contains some affiliate links. If you sign up with the services mentioned here using these links, I will get a small commission for referring them an amazing customer. You won’t be charged anything extra.

How to Deal with Blog Plagiarism

In the world of blogging, plagiarism means copying somebody else’s content bluntly and using it in someone’s own blog to make money or for some other purpose.

Blogging is all about creativity and originality and therefore, plagiarism is considered a very serious offense. It is just like taking advantage from somebody else’s effort and hardwork. Plagiarism is usually done by a person who does not take blogging as serious as taken by others or is not morally matured at all.

Why should you bother about plagiarism?

Now why is it important for you to protect your blog from plagiarism? Would you like someone to take credit of your work and get all the benefits by it? If the answer is ‘no’ then you should take necessary steps to protect your work from getting copied.

Blog plagiarism also affects your search engine rankings. The copied content may outrank the original ones in search results, thus getting more traffic. But some search engines like Google are smart enough to tackle with these copycats. They have got efficient algorithms which detect them and either report them spam or atleast do not give them high ranks.

blog plagiarism

How to find out if somebody has copied your content?

This can be done with the help of two most efficient tools present on the web, Copyscape and Copygator. You just have to fetch your URL to check if any content of your site is present on any other site. Or you can just copy a small portion of an article and search the part in Google, if someone copied your article it should be indexed on Google, so Google will tell you the rest of the story. There are many other efficient tools available on internet to choose from.

How to protect your Blog from Plagiarism?

You cannot let your ideas and creativity stolen by anybody so easily. You can kick out these copy cats through number of ways, such as:

Copyright your content

Everytime you create a blog, make sure you copyright your content. The best way to do that is to register at myfreecopyright.com. Also consider registering under the DMCA. It takes a short time and is effective in giving you ownership over all content that’s published.

Prevent hot linking for your images

This is another way you can use to protect your blog images from content thieves. This just requires a few code changes in your hosting .htacess files in the root domain folder.

Use copyright proof plugins

These plugins certify you as the authentic author and assigns copyright to you on all the content. In case anybody copies your content, you can always sue them.

Link back to your article

It is a WordPress trick in which any stolen post automatically links to the original content. You just need to add a simple code to your wordpress single.php.

Use Tynt service

This website is very effective in preventing people from copying your content. It automatically creates backlinks to your blog or website. Getting the backlinks promotes your websites SEO and hence traffic which automatically boosts your online rankings.

Apart from these, you can make your content such that anybody cannot copy it easily. Add personal touch to it, like your own experiences, stories and images. Try to avoid writing very long blogs as they are likely to be copied. If you find out your blog has been copied, then try to contact the plagiarist and ask him/her to give you credit. In case this not happens, you can report against them.

WordPress or BlogSpot: Which is better?

If you are a new or aspiring blogger, you must be facing similar dilemma that most of the bloggers have faced. WordPress or BlogSpot, which platform to choose from.

What are benefits of one over another. And which one has a possibility to turn your hobby of blogging into a full-fledged, money making career if need be!

Let’s be honest, everyone likes popularity and having a few followers here and there really doesn’t hurt.

Also read: Why WordPress is Used for Blogging

So, if you get a platform which allows you to customize your blog attractively and have tools which can actually help you garner some attention, would definitely score over another. Even if it means paying it for a little.

wordpress or blogspot what to choose

BlogSpot or WordPress: Introduction

Also read: How to create a blog.

BlogSpot, or Blogger as it is popularly known, was launched in late nineties and later revamped and acquired by Google. BlogSpot has various attractive features that vary from a range of editing and customization options along with facility to keep your blog private or go public.

WordPress, on other hand, is an open source blogging and content management system which was introduced in 2003. With its ease of use and easy to manage features, it has its fan base growing every day.

Also, keep in mind that WordPress has 2 versions: free, hosted blog provided by WordPress.com and another one is self-hosted blog provided by WordPress.org. Read here to understand the difference between the two.

BlogSpot Vs WordPress: Which is better?

We could compare each of these blogging platforms on various aspects but this article would stick to a few major points.

Customization

Whether it is theme, widgets or incorporation of various fonts, BlogSpot is way ahead than hosted WordPress.com blog.

However, the self-hosted version of WordPress allows even more customization, as you want. When it comes to placement of widgets, allowing Java/flash in the blog, configuration of themes and ease of use, WordPress wins hands down.

So, if you are looking for a lot of customization and want your blog to stand apart from others, self-hosted WordPress is something you should opt for.

Search Engine Compatibility

Coming back to gathering followers or creating some noise, you would need your blog to speak for itself or say come up in famous search engine results.

WordPress has some incredible features that allows you to optimize the blog.

In BlogSpot, you need to manually add tags & categories that allow your blog to index faster and quick in ranking. But, if you look at long term prospects, WordPress has ability to set up SEO friendly URLs far better than the default URLs. It’s also easy to add custom meta description to each post with the help of a plugin.

Special Features

When it comes to few special features like Spell checker or hit counter, BlogSpot is a clear winner. The spell checker in BlogSpot checks for passive voice, cliches, proper usage of words, while WordPress has one that is pretty standard.

Sure, both the blogging platforms come with “hit counter”, but BlogSpot comes with one which can classify or customize the visitors, in terms of fans, visitors etc.

Making money

Finally, we come to the most important part of blogging, that is making money. When you are using WordPress, you are allowed to sell your blog, while selling of blogs in BlogSpot is strictly not allowed.

You can put Google adsense and other ads to your blogger account and self-hosted WordPress blogs. However, you will not be able to put adsense on hosted WordPress.com blog.

Summary

If you are looking to start a blog and serious about it, the best option for you is to get a web host, register a domain name and go for a self-hosted WordPress blog. You won’t face any kind of restrictions and you will completely own your blog.

Read here: How to create a blog.

Free Hosted vs. Self-Hosted Blog

There are already millions of blogs on the Internet. Some of them are created on a free host while others were created on a paid host.

So what’s the difference between a free hosted blog and a self-hosted blog? We will discuss the difference between the two and will also check out which one you should choose.

Also read: Why you should create a blog.
Points to Consider before Starting a Blog.

blog

Image courtesy of cooldesign / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What is a free, hosted blog?

You can go to Blogger.com or WordPress.com and sign up for an account and create a blog straight away.

No fees, no set up charges.

Sounds simple, right?

Such free hosted blogs are great for beginners.

However, while signing up, you need to agree with their terms and conditions and also follow them. Additionally, you don’t get a domain name for free.

All you get is a free subdomain name. For example, your blog’s URL will be yourblogname.wordpress.com or yourblogname.blogspot.com. You can choose yourblogname, subject to availability.

But some extra part will be there in the URL such as wordpress or blogspot. There are some other restrictions as well like no or very little options to customize.

What is a self-hosted blog?

A self-hosted blog requires you to install a blogging software but you will need a web host for that. Off-course, a web-host, for example Bluehost, will cost you some money.

You will also need to spend a few dollars for domain name registration. A domain name is the address of your blog on Internet, for example bloggingstudio.com is the domain name of my blog.

A web host provides you actual space on their servers to store the code/scripts, images and other files related to your blog or website.

All this you can get for under $8 USD per month. Installing the blog software is not a big deal.

Most of the leading web hosts like Bluehost and Hostgator provide you 1 click installation of blog.

WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org

WordPress.com is the free service that provides you hosted blogs. WordPress.org is also free but they provide you a software that you need to install on a web-host and the web-host is not free.

Free hosted vs. self-hosted blog: What’s the difference between the two?

Self-hosted blog is like your own house. You have the complete control. You can customize as you want. You can add any plugins you want.

You can change the layouts, look and feel. You can also put adverts on it.

On the other hand, having a hosted blog is like staying in a rented house. Just like you have lots of restrictions in your rented house, you have very little control over the hosted blog.

Some of them don’t allow you to put ads on your hosted blog. You have little options of customizing the looks and adding new functionality.

Apart from the restrictions, the free hosted blog with a subdomain name looks less professional. It’s very hard to earn credibility with a “FREE” thing. There could be several hundreds, if not thousands, blogs having same looks, more or less, as yours.

Due to the above mentioned reasons, I recommend everyone to go for a self hosted blog. Sign up with a good web host such as Bluehost (great for beginners) and install WordPress, a free, Open Source software provided by WordPress.org.

Few Points to Consider before Starting a Blog

Before creating a blog, there are few important points you should consider. In this article, we are going to have a look at those important points.

Also read: Why you should create a blog.

blogging points to consider

  • Do you really enjoy writing something? If you don’t really enjoy doing that, it is very likely that you will loose interest very soon.
  • On what topic you would like to write? Have you thought of the topic of your blog? Follow the topic of your own interest and not the advertisers!
  • Are you disciplined enough?
  • Are you consistent? Apart from regularly updating the blog, you would also have to reply to the comments and visitors’ emails on a regular basis. You also have to manage your social media promotions and networking with other bloggers in your area of expertise.
  • Would you be able to dedicate at-least 8-10 hrs every week for your blog? It will be required to dedicate a lot of your time – not only for writing new posts but also for promotions.
  • Would you be able to work really hard for your blog? These days, there are already so many blogs on Internet, blogging isn’t really simple as it used to be earlier. You would be required to stay focused on many aspects. SEO and driving traffic to your blog are some of the major tasks you would be required to perform.
  • Do you possess some basic level of technical knowledge? This is required to start and maintain the blog? You need to configure the blog, and then maintain it. You have to take regular backups and optimize it as well. Just in case you do not have this knowledge, don’t worry – you can hire someone!

These were the most important points you must consider when you are planning to start a blog.

Recommended

If you are planning to start blogging, look around for a FREE WordPress installation service or a paid blog set up service. You can also check for blog maintenance service.

Image Source: jaylopez