How to Launch Your Blog or Business for Under $100!!

launching Jun 09, 2017

Launching a new business or blog can be downright overwhelming. There are 9 million options out there and just getting started is often the hardest thing! 

If you are looking to start a new blog or business or just need a little help getting started, this guide is to your rescue!! 

I am going to walk you through how to do it and give you a peek into how we launched this very new blog and business here at Our Work at Home Life. 

Psst: By the way...did you know that we offer a FREE mini course all about launching your own blog or small business. Read through this guide then come sign up for a 3 part video series all about getting started. And the best part? It's FREE!! Sign up here

Our Launch Strategy Behind Our New Blog

Our main business is Young Wife's Guide. I (Jami) started this blog in 2012 and the landscape of blogging has changed so much since then! So are you wondering how to launch a new blog/business in 2017 and beyond?

Here's how we took on the challenge of launching this new blog in the middle of 2017 and how you can do it too! Inside our private Facebook group, many of you have been asking how we are going about our launch strategy. So here's what we are doing:

Start with Brainstorming:

Jason and I did a lot of brainstorming about this new blog, the goal of it, the purpose behind it, and our mission for it. Before we had a name or a website or a strategy, we spent a ton of time really thinking through what our missions was going to be, how much time we would spend on it each week, what my roles on the blog would be, what Jason's roles would be, etc.

You don't want to spend a year in this phase and your goal and mission probably will change over time. But try to think through the purpose behind your new business so you can better know where you are going with it. 

Picking a Name:

Now, I first want to say that people get way too hung up on picking a name. Yes, it's important. But it's not the most important thing. Don't spend forever on this step and never actually write or launch your blog. You want to be intentional, but in the end, you just need to get going!

When picking a name, the #1 thing you need to look for is if the URL is available. Just go to a domain register (such as GoDaddy, Bluehost, Namecheap, etc) and search for your domain name. You can quickly see if it's available or not. (And even if it's available, some premium domains can cost into the thousands.)

RECOMMENDED: You can use any domain registrar that you want. But after trying several (and having most of our domains with Godaddy, we have landed on Namecheap being our favorite! They are easy to work with AND are often the cheapest for the domains). You can search for a domain name here

Namecheap.com 

Anytime Jason and I are brainstorming a name, we have Namecheap open next to us and we check each name before we get too attached. Because chances are, it's already taken! And a .com website is a must for us. We won't consider anything else. But you could do a .org website as well.

Wordpress.org:

Every one of our websites is on wordpress.org. This is a big discussion for a different day but if you want to grow a blog or business, then wordpress.org is where you want to be. 

ONE EXCEPTION: Our one exception is in fact, this website. For a variety of reasons, we decided to host our store AND our blog through one platform: New Kajabi. I plan on covering these reasons in a future video/blog post so stay tuned. But for now, just know that we've been using Kajabi for well over a year now and are IN LOVE WITH it and highly recommend it to everyone. So Kajabi could be a great option for you as well. (Email us with any questions about Kajabi! I would be happy to discuss your individual situation.)

If you are hosting with Wordpress, one important thing you need to note is there is a very big difference between wordrepss.org and wordpress.com. You want to use wordpress.org. Here's a good article that shares the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org.

What it Costs to Launch a New Blog:

Buy Your Domain: Once you've picked your name, you need to purchase your domain name. This will normally run you around $9-12 for a year. So not a huge investment. (With Namecheap, you can often get it even cheaper than that.)

Sign up for web hosting: This is the important step if you are using wordpress.org and also the part that most people get hung up on. It's really not as hard, expensive, or confusing as it sounds...I promise!

Most web hosting will run you $6-10 per month. My personal favorite option is SiteGround because they make it so easy. If you are serious about getting your blog up and running, this is what I suggest you do.

We have to use a fancy dedicated server thing for Young Wife's Guide now because of our traffic. But if I was starting out again today, I would use SiteGround. (This is after having used GoDaddy, Bluehost, and HostGator throughout the years and never being very happy. Out of those three however, Bluehost is my favorite).  

Choose Your theme:

Free Options: There are a ton of free wordpress themes out there. I don't have any to personally recommend. But just google "free wordpress themes" and you will probably be up to your eyeballs in options. But just be careful, not all themes are created equal. Some look good on the outside and are simply terrible on the backside.

Genesis Framework: This is my personal recommendation and all of my websites are built on Genesis with a child theme (except Young Wife's Guide which is, as of this Summer, on a completely custom built theme).

The Genesis Framework will cost you $59.95 but has built in features that a free theme or other themes simply don't have. They have built in SEO help, is extremely user friendly, etc. You can use Genesis out of the box, but it's kind of boring.

+ a Child theme: Now you add a child theme on top of Genesis. Think of Genesis as the framework, the groundwork that you put first. Then you put a child theme on top of it's what makes your blog look all pretty and adds fancy features. The child themes typically cost around $45. If you purchase from the StudioPress website (the makers of Genesis) then you can grab a package deal of the Genesis framework and a child theme for $99 for most themes. 

The TOTAL Cost: 

For about $100 you can get a YEAR of your blog hosting and domain name. That's all you really need! If you are on a tight budget, stay here and you can always upgrade as you go.

For about another $100, you can get a professionally designed theme that looks amazing out of the box. So if you have $200 to invest you can have a beautiful website in literally minutes and be ready to go. What's holding you back?

What else to invest money in?

People often ask what other things they should invest money in at the beginning because I know it can feel like you need to invest in ALL THE THINGS. But you don't have to. If you can't spend any more right now, then skip this next section. But here are a few of my recommendations:

An Email Service Provider:

I used Mailchimp for years when I first started blogging and only just switch to ConvertKit in 2015. If you can afford ConvertKit I highly suggest you start there (see below) but Mailchimp is FREE up to 2,000 subscribers. Great way to get started on your email without spending any money at first.

ConvertKit:

This is now what I exclusively recommend. I've been using them for almost two years and did HOURS of research before switching. I have been completely happy and LOVE my ConvertKit. It will cost you an investment of $30 a month to start with them but it's 100% worth it. I would make this your very next business and blog investment.

Tailwind App:

I have been using Tailwind since 2015 as well and am totally in love with it. I use Tailwind for all of my Pinterest scheduling and how I use it to schedule and manage all of my Pinterest (which is my #1 source of traffic so it's well worth it!!).

If you sign up through my link, you can try it out for 30 days for FREE (you don't even have to put in a credit card). This is what I did because I wanted to really make sure it was worth it first. I was hooked immediately and have been using it ever since. After that, it's just $10 a month.

Link in Profile:

My next suggestion is a newer love of mine. It's called Link in Profile and it allows you to add direct links to your Instagram images. Since Instagram is my FAVORITE social media, it's well worth it to me!

You can sign up for a free trial to test it out and then it's just $10 a month after that.

My biggest advice to you is to NOT get overwhelmed in the process. JUST GET GOING! You can always change, correct, and do new things once you get going. 

Designing a Life You Love Through Online Business! 

Do you want to discover how to make an income from home with a blog or a small business? Or maybe you are ready to take your blog/business to the next level? 

Sign up for our FREE 3 part video course on getting started. It's FREE!

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