How much does it cost to start a blog in the UK?
Technically, nothing. Zip. Zero. Zilch moolah. But what about a blog that will actually do something for your business?
Well, that's a bit more of a question...
Because a “free” blog would mean we're valuing the time we spend writing each post at zero.
That said, if you already have a business website, starting a blog is pretty darn cheap considering the benefits of doing so.
So if you are considering starting a blog, here are a few helpful thoughts about things it's easy to overlook going in:
Why start a blog?
Before we get into it, we need to remember to stack the cost of starting a blog against the benefits of writing one.
After all, there's a reason why blogging has become such a go-to online marketing activity. A blog:
Attracts traffic to your website
Lets you convert browsers into buyers (if you write it well)
Shows off your expertise in your field
Can help you build engagement or start a community
Keeps on doing all of that for years after you've written it
Is it worth starting a blog?
For all the good reasons to start a business blog, it's important to bear in mind that it's not all plain sailing.
It takes time and effort to write. Or you'll need to outsource to your friendly neighbourhood copywriter (in which case “time” and “effort” are replaced by a small financial consideration).
You can't just fire out a post and expect thousands of people to read it. I really wish that was how it worked!
Promotion of your blog posts across social media is a must. So is being dedicated to a solid posting schedule (at least once a week – probably more).
It also takes time to get anywhere. There's a lot of content out there. So you may need to find a niche or take the time to build a community.
How much does it cost to start a blog in the UK?
You can start a blog for free. Especially if you already have a website. However, there's a “but” and it's a big one.
Free websites do tend to look and feel free. Just think back to the last business website you looked at and felt “iffy” about.
Was the formatting all weird? Was the quality of writing poor?
It doesn't take much to go from “free” to something that will do the job well though.
Cost of blogging if you don't have a website
If you don't already have a business website, there will be some costs involved in getting up and writing a blog (even if that cost is just your own time):
1) Domain name – around £10-15 per year
If you don't have a website, you'll need to pay so whichever service you use to host your blog doesn't add an unhelpful “.wordpress”, “.hubspot”, or in my case “.wix”, to your address.
Now, some people might not find this to be a problem. You can usually get free website hosting if you don't mind the URL being ungainly.
I tend to think it looks unprofessional though. Plus, spread over the course of the year, it's not much of a cost.
2) Website hosting – varies, but bank on £100 per year
Again, you may already have website hosting. In that case, skip this. If not, you can't really avoid some kind of web hosting if you're starting to blog.
I won't recommend any particular hosting provider. Bloggers that do tend to have some kind of affiliate link deal going on where they get paid to do so.
Some providers offer much cheaper rates than the above. Usually though, you'll have to pay for a few years upfront or do something else to get that rate.
Some also represent better value than others because they come with marketing tools that would otherwise cost you money. Email or blogging tools, for example.
Whichever option you go for, just be aware of what you're getting into. Check reviews. But also see if recommenders declare an affiliate link or interest.
3) Themes and plug-ins – varies, from free to £150 ish
WordPress is famous for being a free blogging platform. But that “free” only gets you so far.
The presentation of your site on WordPress (and some similar sites) is dictated by the “theme” – essentially the design elements – you are using.
Some themes are free. They're often touted as not being very good. They may not be coded that well, slowing down your site.
Premium themes and paid-for options cost quite a bit though. Most easily top £100 each. You can even get professional graphic designers to whip a custom one up for you.
I chose my hosting provider largely because of the lack of themes. Not sure I'd make the same decision in hindsight. If you're using a host that uses themes though, premium is not free.
Blog costs if you already have a website
If you already have a website, you will already be paying the main costs of starting a blog.
However, you should still consider:
1) Copywriting – varies, starting from free (if you write yourself)
I charge around £150 for regular blog writing services for businesses in Bristol and much further afield. This is very much the affordable end of professional copywriting prices you'll find in the UK.
Of course, you might skip using a copywriting service completely. That means your blog can technically be “free” (though it means you're valuing your own time at zero).
And that's quite a bit of time too:
The usual estimate is that you need to blog four times per month
Some argue that four posts per week are actually needed to gain traffic
Each post should ideally be 750+ words (though some estimates say 1100+)
This means most people who run a business will hire someone to write their blog. It's very difficult to find the time and energy (and often very different skills) required to write and run a company.
Watch out for cheap (usually online) copywriting agencies who spin out someone else's content using AI or non-native writers whose English may need work.
Always ask for a quote. It's no hassle.
2) Promotional tools – varies, starting from free
You can try to rely on organic SEO searches alone to attract traffic to your blog.
But even the best bloggers in the world will usually try and drive traffic their way via other promotional channels.
There are a number of options you can start with, most of which are free or have very affordable options:
Email marketing tools – using email marketing software can help boost your blog. Some are free, some offer little more than templates, some are deeply involved.
Social media tools – posting on socials is usually free. But you can use tools to automate the process. Again, normally free unless you pay someone to do it.
SEO tools – you'll need these to search for useful keywords. Options vary, but most tools like BuzzSumo do offer a free version that might be enough for some purposes.
Start a blog today
Starting a blog is a commitment. You'll probably only see results if you do it regularly over a longer period of time.
Yet it's possible to do it affordably, getting all of the advantages of writing a blog without it being a burden.
The Maiden Standard has been the copywriter for websites of businesses in Bristol and beyond for convenient blogging for over a decade.
Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org talk through what you need and get a cost and commitment-free quote today.