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2021 BMW M3 and M4 Prototype

The engineers of the new generation 2021 BMW M3 and M4 did not make it any easier when they also brought an F82 M4 to the track for the prototype test drive of the new M brothers. Certainly, one thing is undisputed: Even six years after the market launch of the previous M4 with the Competition package is just as impressive.

So anyone who brings it to the first drive preview must either be arrogant or extremely confident. Whether the engineers of the sixth generation iconic M car were driven by high spirits or self-confidence, can be determined relatively quickly on the the Sachsenring race track.

2021 BMW M4 Coupe camouflage 14 830x553

First Up Is The Older F82 M4

My drive starts at the wheel of the F82  M4 which impresses with the familiar, but its never boring strengths: low weight, balanced weight distribution, rear-wheel drive, an extremely easy-turning inline six-cylinder and a good steering feedback. It still puts a big grain on your face on a demanding track like the Sachsenring.

But the F82 is not the reason for our visit, so after a few laps, I jump behind the wheel of the new generation G80 M3.

2021 BMW M4 Coupe camouflage 15 830x553

Even before driving off, the cockpit leaves no doubt that the time has not stood still. Larger displays and the more modern displays of the current iDrive 7 are reminiscent of the higher priced and more powerful BMW M8.  But compared to the top coupe model, the new G82 BMW M4 also gets the fans’ favorite six-speed manual transmission.

Six-Speed Manual Only With A RWD Setup

Therefore, the new generation of BMW M3 and M4 should also score points in any real driver’s car ranking. And for many fans and drivers of the previous five M3 generations, the new iteration not only includes a a manual gearbox, but also the classic rear-wheel drive with a mechanical locking differential.

That is exactly why the M Division has brought the basic model to the Sachsenring. The test cars are the entry-level versions of the G80 M3 and G82 M4 with 480 hp, manual transmission and power sent to the axle.

The BMW M3 and M4 Competition models with 510 hp and an eight-speed automatic, and a four-wheel drive model with M xDrive will follow in late 2021.

But for the first in-house comparison with the predecessor, the entry-level M3 and M4 are still more powerful than the current M3/M4 Competition.

Dirk Häcker, known to our regular readers as Head of Development M Automobiles goes full throttle right after the pit exit. So if you want to justify your exclusive presence at Sachsenring, you need to stay on it. At first, you will be amazed how effortlessly the new M4 turns in, following the driver’s ambitious goals.

Now it makes sense why BMW wanted me to drive the F82 M4 a bit earlier in the day. Aboard the G80 M3, you will immediately feel faster on the track, especially after you find the optimal balance between braking too early or carrying too much speed in the corner.

Häcker later confirmed in an interview that the engineers saw potential for noticeable progress in the steering behavior and worked intensively, among other things, with additional stiffeners in the front-end, new wheel suspensions and, of course, modifications to the suspension and damping, so that the new generation could be even more impressive than their predecessor.

It goes without saying that the M engineers have also improved the rear axle behavior. The result is impressively high cornering speeds, at which the M3 appears to remain stable on the track, quite effortlessly.

The new model is powered by the new S58 TwinTurbo inline six-cylinder, which we already know from X3 M and X4 M. In the new 2021 BMW M3 and M4, the engine tuning has been adjusted to fit the lower weight of the cars.

What is particularly convincing, in combination with the manual six-speed gearbox, is the more generous torque at low engine rpms. This allows you to concentrate almost entirely on the 3, 4 and 5th gears on the Sachsenring.

For the first time, the M setup enables software support in the form of “double-declutching” to be set independently of the DSC mode. In the future, if you want, you can switch gears manually without the rev matching, and at the same time leave DSC or DTC activated.

Still A Real Driving Machine

After my brief but productive session with the 2021 BMW M3 and M4 is clear that new generation is still a real driving machine. Subjectively, everything indicates that the basic models will clearly deliver better lap times than the F80/F82 Competition predecessors.

The full potential of the new G80/G82 M3/M4 will only be revealed by the Competition models, which are geared even more towards performance.

Test drive performed by our sister magazine BimmerToday



15 Best Web Hosting Plans for Bloggers in 2020 (Hosting Plans Compared)

If you’re looking for the best web hosting plans in 2020, then you’ve come to the right place.

Over the past 6 years of running my blog here (and reaching 500,000+ monthly readers), I’ve learned the importance of using only the best web hosting plans to power my blog and keep this site running—to bring in more readers and generate more side income.

The real challenge when trying to find the best hosting plans for you blog though, is sifting through all the noise out there.

That’s why I’ve compiled this comparison of the best web hosting plans from only the most reliable hosting companies in the industry—with a focus on (1) affordability and (2) speed & reliability.

Because here’s the thing, the best web hosting plans will help your blog load ultra fast without breaking the bank each month… and if you can do that, then you’re in a great position to create quality content and rank your website higher in Google search results (thus bringing more readers to your blog).

Based on my rigorous testing and evaluations, here are my picks for the best web hosting plans to choose from this year.

15 Best Web Hosting Plans for Bloggers in 2020 (Affordable Hosting Plans Compared)

  1. Dreamhost Web Hosting Plans: $2.59/mo
  2. Bluehost Web Hosting Plans: $2.95/mo
  3. GreenGeeks Web Hosting Plans: $2.95/mo
  4. SiteGround Web Hosting Plans: $6.99/mo
  5. HostGator Web Hosting Plans: $2.75/mo
  6. Hostinger Web Hosting Plans: $0.99/mo
  7. HostPapa Web Hosting Plans: $2.95/mo
  8. iPage Web Hosting Plans: $1.99/mo
  9. Namecheap Web Hosting Plans: $1.44/mo
  10. Cloudways Web Hosting Plans: $10.00/mo
  11. A2 Web Hosting Plans: $2.96/mo
  12. InMotion Web Hosting Plans: $6.39/mo
  13. GoDaddy Web Hosting Plans: $1.00/mo
  14. Kinsta Web Hosting Plans: $30.00/mo
  15. WP Engine Web Hosting Plans: $31.00/mo

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission. When you purchase web hosting using my one of my affiliate links, the company compensates me, which helps me run this blog and keep things like my 25,000 word ultimate guide to starting a blog free of charge to you. Know that I also only recommend hosting companies I personally stand behind.

As we look at our selection of the best web hosting plans for bloggers, we’ll be comparing several factors that’ll help you choose the right hosting plan for your needs.

The crucial factors in what constitutes being one of the best web hosting plans on the market today includes:

  • Features
  • Performance (including uptime and loading speed)
  • Customer support
  • Price

Whether you’re just starting your blogging journey or already a veteran, you need to have a great hosting plan to back up the quality of your content. Using the wrong web hosting plan is not only a waste of your money, but it’ll also lead to your blog struggling to gain traction.

Now without further delay, let’s dive into my list of the best web hosting plans for bloggers.

First up on our list of the best web hosting plans for bloggers this year, is Dreamhost. They’re ranked first for very good reason—not only are their hosting plans the best combination of extremely affordable, fast and reliable—but this web hosting company is also one of the longest-running hosting providers on the Internet, having been founded in 1996.

best web hosting plans dreamhost 1

Currently, Dreamhost is home to over 1.5 Million+ WordPress blogs and website owners. A true testament to the platform’s reliability and the reputation they’ve built over the past couple decades. To top it off, Dreamhost is also one of only three hosting companies that’s recommended by the makers of WordPress themselves—making their web hosting plans amongst a select few to come with the official stamp of approval.

So what exactly does Dreamhost offer inside their best web hosting plans? Let’s dig in.


One of the reasons Dreamhost has fast become one of the best web hosting services, is their exceptional performance. With impressive load times of around 0.719 seconds and strong server response times, your visitors will have a great experience on your blog. Plus, you can employ some of their (free) recommended performance WordPress plugins to speed up your load time even more.


Dreamhost knows that every second your blog is offline can affect your traffic and revenue. That’s why they guarantee 100% uptime, something quite unique in the web hosting world. And to back up that claim, they promise to compensate customers for any downtime your website experience. So if you’re looking for one of the best web hosting plans as far as uptime is concerned—then Dreamhost stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Customer Support

With an extremely efficient (and fast) customer support system, you can sleep easy with confidence that Dreamhost will never leave you in the lurch if you encounter any technical problems. Customer support comes in the form of 24/7 live chat for quick fixes from their team of WordPress pros and email support (for more complex troubleshooting), the latter of which promises a response time of no more than 24 hours.

Pricing for Dreamhost’s Web Hosting Plans

As with all other aspects, Dreamhost’s pricing for their web hosting plans is also in a class of its own—starting at just $2.59/mo (for an annually billed plan), especially their industry-leading 97-day money-back guarantee. Another unique feature of how their web hosting plans are priced, is that they are one of the very few reputable hosting companies to have a true month-to-month payment plan that starts as low as $4.95/mo.

Here’s what the pricing structure looks like for Dreamhost’s two main web hosting plans:

Dreamhost's Best Web Hosting Plans Pricing Comparison Screenshot

Dreamhost’s starter hosting plans actually offer 2 different levels of shared hosting plan options—the Shared Starter (best starting point) and Shared Unlimited (as you begin to grow your blog and get more regular readers coming in).

Their best-bargain web hosting plan, Shared Starter, includes:

  • 1 Website
  • Free Domain included
  • Unlimited Traffic
  • WordPress Pre-Installed
  • Fast SSD Storage
  • Free SSL Certificate (to secure your blog)
  • Free Domain Privacy (to protect your contact information)
  • 3 Year, 1 Year & Monthly Options
  • 97 Day Money-Back Guarantee

As your blog grows and you begin generating a meaningful amount of traffic (and income)—you’ll want to upgrade to one of their more robust web hosting plans that affords you faster load times, more storage, the ability to host more websites and more.

That’s when their VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting plans come into play.

Dreamhost’s highest-tier VPS Hosting Plan adds features like:

  • 8 GB Ram
  • 240 GB SSD Storage
  • Unlimited Websites
  • Unlimited Traffic
  • Free SSL Certificate(s)
  • Unlimited Email @ Your Domain
  • 97 Day Money-Back Guarantee

For many bloggers (myself included), Dreamhost is responsible for helping me to launch my blogging career—and they’ve lived up to their name by offering the best web hosting plans on the market when it comes to balancing reliability, speed and price.

Not only do they offer one of the cheapest web hosting plans in the industry, but their feature sets, reliability and level of customer service make them top-notch.

If you’re just getting started on your own blogging journey today—then Dreamhost is my #1 recommendation for the best web hosting plan to get you off and running.

You can learn more about Dreamhost and compare their web hosting plans right here.

Ask any veteran blogger to recommend their best web hosting plans of choice—and Bluehost will come up more than most other hosting companies.

The reason for that is simple—Bluehost truly does offer some of the best web hosting plans for bloggers when it comes to affordability, features specifically curated for bloggers and the high-touch level of customer support when it comes to technical WordPress questions. Having been around since 1996, Bluehost has accumulated a lot of experience in the web hosting market, and they now combine price and value nearly perfectly.

Bluehost Best Web Hosting Plans to Consider for New Bloggers

So how does one of the biggest hosting companies fare in terms of how their individual web hosting plans are structured?


Based on several tests, Bluehost comes out as one of the top contenders as far as site performance goes. With load times that range between 0.046 seconds to 3.43 seconds depending upon where you’re located in the world, your website will load fast with a Bluehost hosting plan.


With the industry average for uptime being around 99.59%, Bluehost’s 99.99% average places it amongst the top-performing web hosting companies in this category.

Customer Support

Need help with technical issues concerning your hosting plan or with WordPress challenges? Bluehost won’t disappoint in this aspect, as they offer class-leading 24/7 support via phone, live chat and email. You’ll also find their lively forum very helpful, as is the wealth of knowledge they provide through their how-to guides, articles and FAQ section.

Pricing for Bluehost’s Web Hosting Plans

Apart from their 30-day money-back guarantee, Bluehost’s web hosting plans are some of the most competitive on the market from both a price and feature standpoint. Regular pricing ranges from $7.99/mo to $13.95/mo. However, you can get special deals (like mine right here) that reduce those prices to as little as $2.95/mo.

Bluehost Web Hosting Plans Pricing Comparison Page Screenshot

Bluehost offers a more generous selection of web hosting plans (and features within each of them) compared to other companies in the industry. Here’s how their two best hosting plans stack up:

With the Basic web hosting plan (budget-friendly) you get:

  • 1 Website
  • 50 GB SSD Storage
  • Unmetered Bandwidth
  • Free SSL Certificate
  • Standard Performance
  • 1 Included Domain
  • 5 Parked Domains
  • 25 Sub Domains

The Choice Plus web hosting plan (with their best features) also gets:

  • Unlimited Websites
  • Unlimited Storage
  • Unlimited Domains
  • Unlimited Parked Domains
  • Unlimited Sub Domains
  • Domain Privacy
  • Access to Spam Experts
  • Site Backup – CodeGuard Basic

Not sure about which Bluehost hosting plan you should settle for?

After personally testing and running some comparisons between their web hosting plans, I highly recommend the Choice Plus Plan for 2 reasons:

  • Unlimited storage
  • Domain privacy (for enhanced security)

However, whichever plan suits your blogging plans for the year to come, one thing is for sure—Bluehost offers some of the best web hosting plans on the market.

Moreover, their web hosting plans are backed by a customer service team that goes above and beyond the call of duty to help new bloggers with WordPress troubleshooting issues, technical challenges and any other questions that come up as you’re just starting your blog.

GreenGeeks is a (comparatively) small web hosting company with around 300,000 customers, headquartered in California since launching in 2006. Their claim to fame is their massive effort to provide only eco-friendly web hosting plans to their customers.

GreenGeeks Best Web Hosting Plans Compared and Reviewed

To back this up, here’s an excerpt from their homepage, “Since our launch in 2008, GreenGeeks has been the industry’s leading eco-friendly web hosting provider, putting back 3 times the power we consume into the grid in the form of renewable energy. We are based out of Los Angeles, California with a global workforce that provides a better web hosting experience to customers from over 150 countries.”

It’s easy to think that a company like GreenGeeks could be a one-trick pony, but that’d be an incorrect assumption. They may offer an eco-friendly set of web hosting plans, but they’re also able to provide competitive features that all great hosting companies invest in. GreenGeeks has a lot to offer and we’ll go through a full comparison, so you can decide if this hosting company aligns with you.


One of the things that GreenGeeks prioritizes is performance. The company integrates new technologies to make sure that they provide faster load times on all of their hosting plans for customers. In fact, they were one of the first companies to invest in adding the newest PHP 7 protocol. Their load time ranges from .452 seconds to .9 seconds according to most third party testing. They also have multiple data centers that you can choose from with any of their hosting plans, so you can get the best service possible in your area.


GreenGeeks consistently has a 99.9% uptime, ranking it amongst the very highest uptimes for web hosting companies.

Customer Support

GreenGeeks offers a variety of ways to contact them for support. Depending on your preference, you can open a ticket, use live chat, call, or use email for support questions. They also offer an extensive knowledgebase if you’d rather search for the answer yourself.

One thing to be aware of about their customer support is if your questions become more difficult, you may have to use their customer support ticket to get an answer. This happens when your queries go outside of the scope of basic questions and require a more technical response. This can be a little annoying if you want an immediate response, but the wait time isn’t long and the staff is knowledgable and helpful.

Pricing for GreenGeek’s Web Hosting Plans

GreenGeeks is a very affordable option for bloggers looking to get their sites off the ground with affordable web hosting plans. Like most hosting companies though, in order to take advantage of their lowest prices—you’ll have to commit for multiple years. Therefore, their lowest cost hosting plans are for a three-year commitment.

With a three-year commitment, GreenGeek’s lowest tier hosting plan starts at $2.95/mo, while their top-tier hosting plan runs $11.95/mo.

GreenGeeks WordPress Hosting Plans Pricing Breakdown and Screenshot

Here are some of the features offered with both their top and bottom WordPress-oriented hosting plans.

Ecosite Lite Plan

  • 1 Website
  • 1-Click App Installer
  • Unlimited Web Space
  • Unlimited Data Transfer
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Free Domain Name for 1st Year
  • Free Wildcard SSL
  • PowerCacher Included
  • Free Website Transfer
  • Free Email Accounts
  • Unlimited MySQL Databases
  • Unlimited Sub & Parked Domains
  • Free CDN Integration
  • Hardware & Power Redundancy
  • Pro-active Server Monitoring
  • Real-time Security Scanning
  • Automatic App Updates
  • Enhanced SPAM Protection
  • Nightly Data Backup
  • Free SSH and Secure FTP Access

The Ecosite Premium Plan includes many of the same features plus:

  • Unlimited Websites
  • 1-Click App Installer
  • Unlimited Web Space
  • Unlimited Data Transfer
  • Free Domain Name for 1st Year
  • Free Premium Wildcard SSL
  • Free Dedicated IP
  • 4X Performance

GreenGeeks packs their best web hosting plans with features and really has a lot to offer for a comparatively lower-priced hosting company.

A few of the features that stand out most include: free SSL with any hosting plan, unlimited bandwidth and a free domain name for your first year. Their nightly backups and security features are also a couple of their most notable (complementary) offerings.

If you’re looking for a hosting company that uses renewable energy—without having to sacrifice performance and quality—then GreenGeeks will have your best hosting plans.

SiteGround is another long-established web hosting company that’s loved by many bloggers and WordPress users from around the world. That’s for several good reasons as you’ll soon see. Started in 2004, the company now boasts of hosting over 2 million blogs globally—and has often been named the best WordPress hosting company in the industry, being one of just a small handful of hosting companies given a stamp of approval by WordPress themselves.

SiteGround Web Hosting Plans Homepage Hero Screenshot

SiteGround is very popular in the hosting space because they have a reputation for offering some of the most reliable web hosting plans around. And if you’re moving to their servers from another hosting company, they offer free migration. Apart from that, here’s what else you can expect from SiteGround’s web hosting plans.


SiteGround has some of the best web hosting plans as far as performance is concerned. And that’s particularly true for their impressive load speeds. Third party server speed tests regularly reveal that SiteGround’s response time is between 0.056 and 0.138 seconds. That’s dependent on your location in the world, but those are impressive results nonetheless.


Uptime isn’t something you need to worry about when using one of SiteGround’s web hosting plans. Their servers boast a 99.9% uptime.

Customer Support

As for customer support, SiteGround is solid in this area too—after all, they’re veterans in the industry. Depending on which of their web hosting plans you’re on, you can get support by phone, chat or ticketing system that takes the conversation over to email.

Pricing for SiteGround’s Web Hosting Plans

While SiteGround isn’t the cheapest option on our list of the best web hosting plans here, their hosting plans are still very affordable—ranging from a $6.99/mo introductory offer (and then $14.99/mo after the first year) up to $14.99/mo for their best hosting plan (which increases to $39.99/mo after the first year).

Their pricing is definitely not the cheapest compared to Dreamhost and Bluehost, but then again—neither is the quality of their hosting and overall service that kicks your value up quite dramatically. Their web hosting plans are well worth the investment and are still considered budget-friendly.

Let’s briefly look at what you get with SiteGround’s best web hosting plans.

Siteground Hosting Plans Pricing Screenshot Image (Comparison)

Their first web hosting plan, StartUp (the most budget-friendly) gets you:

  • 1 Website
  • 10 GB Web Space
  • Approximately 10,000 monthly visits
  • Free WordPress Install
  • WP Auto-updates
  • Free WP Migrator
  • WP CLI and SSH
  • Free SSL certificate and HTTPS
  • Free Email
  • Free Cloudflare CDN
  • Unmetered Traffic
  • Free Daily Backup
  • Unlimited MySQL DB

GoGeek, the highest-tier web hosting plan, upgrades you to:

  • Unlimited Websites
  • 30 GB Web Space
  • Approximately 100,000 monthly visits
  • Free WP Transfer by Experts
  • WordPress SuperCacher
  • Advanced On-demand Backup
  • 1-click WordPress Staging
  • Add Collaborators to Sites
  • Advanced Priority WP Support
  • The Most Server Resources
  • Pre-Installed Git for WordPress
  • Manage White Label Hosting and Clients

SiteGround takes a lot of the heavy lifting out of building your blog with their feature-rich hosting plans.

Besides everything their web hosting plans come with from a technical standpoint, you also get:

  • Free pre-installed WordPress (after signing up with one of their web hosting plans)
  • A site-building wizard to teach you the basics of starting a blog
  • Auto-updates of software, themes and plugins
  • Hands-on support for all of your blogging questions

One pretty big caveat to note about SiteGround’s web hosting plans though, is that if your website crosses the usage thresholds for the hosting plan you’re on, your blog may temporarily be taken offline. That’s a pretty major bummer in the event that you get a spike in traffic from a press feature or guest blog post, but their support team is very responsive and can help quickly remedy this if it happens (usually by upgrading your hosting plan).

Other than that, SiteGround definitely offers some of the best web hosting plans around—making them more than worth considering for hosting your blog.

Another veteran web hosting service provider, HostGator, takes the 5th slot on our list of the best web hosting plans for bloggers. Founded in 2002, the company boasts of over 8 million websites housed on their servers, making them one of the bigger players in the industry.

best web hosting plans hostgator

So what attracted 8 million+ customers over to choosing HostGator as their web hosting plans of choice?


While HostGator’s performance is great overall, it does depend a bit on where you’re located in the world. The closer you are to their servers, the better the performance. Speed tests have shown average load speeds ranging from as fast as 0.69 seconds to as slow as 8 seconds.


HostGator’s uptime stands at 99.9%, well above the industry average. Definitely one reason their web hosting plans are loved by their customers.

Customer Support

As a HostGator customer, you’ll never be stuck on a problem for long, as they have one of the best customer support organizations in the industry. You can easily get support any time of day, 7 days a week throughout the year by phone or live chat. Their resource library also has a wealth of video tutorials and articles to walk you through any uncharted technical territory along your blogging journey.

Pricing for HostGator’s Web Hosting Plans

Another reason HostGator is so popular is the fact that their web hosting plans are very affordable. Because of their 60% discount that’s available through select affiliates like me, their hosting plans are almost always priced between $2.75/mo and $5.95/mo.

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Add to this their impressive 45-day money-back guarantee and they deserve their ranking amongst the best web hosting plans for bloggers who are on a budget. And that’s not all—HostGator offers one of the few web hosting plans that actually allow you to pay month-to-month.

So what do you get with each of HostGator’s web hosting plans?

Their lowest-priced Hatchling web hosting plan gets you:

  • Free Domain Name
  • One-click WordPress Installation
  • Unmetered Bandwidth
  • Free SSL Certificate

The Baby web hosting plan gives you the same as the Hatchling plan plus:

  • Unlimited Domains (which is great if you run multiple websites)

With the Business web hosting plan you get everything from the Baby plan plus:

  • Free Upgrade to Positive SSL
  • Free Dedicated IP
  • Free SEO Tools

HostGator also throws in many other handy features with every web hosting plan, including:

  • 100+ free mobile-responsive page templates
  • Free domain name
  • Domain transfers
  • $100 Google Adwords credit and a $100 Bing Ads Credit

If you’re looking for a time-tested hosting company that offers some of the best web hosting plans on the market, HostGator fits the bill.

And while their hosting plans don’t stand too far out from the crowd in terms of feature offerings, they are a good budget-friendly choice that still has a solid all around reputation in the industry.

If price is your #1 consideration in a web hosting plan, then you should definitely look at Hostinger. They’re one of the cheapest options currently available on the market, and even better—you won’t have to sacrifice quality for a good price if you choose one of their extremely affordable hosting plans to power your blog.

Hostinger Web Hosting Plan for New Bloggers (Screenshot)

To be fair though, Hostinger won’t provide as many bells or whistles as most of the other best hosting plans (like Dreamhost or Bluehost), but they’ll give you high-speed web hosting for a very competitive price. While you might think their low prices mean they’re a new or small company, the opposite is actually true. Hostinger has been around since 2004, and claim to have over 29 million users in 178 countries, making them one of the larger companies in the space today.

But how do they stack up against some of our other best hosting plans on this comparison list? Let’s take a closer look.


Hostinger has a surprisingly fast load time for a provider of budget web hosting plans. Their average load time is 0.369 which is well above industry standards. In fact, there aren’t many providers that match this quick of load time. Hostinger also provides a strong server response time making their overall performance very competitive.


Hostinger has a strong uptime of 99.91%, which is well above the industry average, so you know you’re in good hands when it comes to reliability.

Customer Support

One thing that sets Hostinger’s customer support apart is they offer a multilingual support team. Hostinger communicates through live chat using an instant messaging platform called Intercom. Live chat is available 24/7/365. In addition, Hostinger has a knowledgebase packed full of helpful content with blogging advice that includes things like Getting Started, Domains, Billing and more.

One downside to the customer support system is that you must log in before accessing the live chat support. That means if you’re interested in contacting Hostinger for information before signing up, you’ll be somewhat limited. You can still submit a ticket without being a customer, though.

They also don’t offer phone support, which can be a downside for bloggers who prefer to communicate over a quick call.

Pricing for Hostinger’s Web Hosting Plans

As we already mentioned, Hostinger is likely going to offer the most budget-conscious web hosting plans you can use for your blog. Their current prices range from $0.99/mo to $3.99/mo. That’s an incredibly low price to work with and can be a great option if you’re a new blogger working on a tight budget.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is these prices are introductory—and they will go up after your initial contract period with Hostinger expires. Now, let’s go through their lowest and highest paid plans to see what you’ll get with Hostinger.

Hosting Plans by Hostinger Pricing Comparisons and Monthly Cost

For shared hosting, Hostinger’s cheapest hosting plan is the Single Shared Hosting plan. Here’s what it offers:

  • 1 Website
  • 1 Email Account
  • Limited Bandwidth (100 GB)
  • 1X Processing Power & Memory
  • LiteSpeed Cache
  • WordPress Acceleration (LSCWP)
  • Cloudflare Protection
  • Github Integration
  • Easy Website Builder
  • 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
  • DNS Management
  • 1 MySQL Database
  • 2 Subdomains
  • 1 FTP Account
  • 1 Cron Job

Hostinger’s highest-paid hosting plan is Business Shared Hosting. This is what you get:

  • Unlimited Number of Websites
  • Unlimited Email Accounts
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Daily Backups
  • Free SSL Certificate
  • 4X Processing Power & Memory
  • LiteSpeed Cache
  • WordPress Acceleration (LSCWP)
  • Cloudflare Protection
  • Github Integration
  • Easy Website Builder
  • 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
  • DNS Management
  • Unlimited MySQL Databases
  • 100 Subdomains
  • Unlimited FTP Accounts
  • Unlimited Cron Jobs
  • Daily Backups
  • Access Manager
  • Free Domain
  • SSH Access

Hostinger is a great choice for those that want to start a blog, but don’t want to invest much money upfront. They offer quality performance and ongoing support to their customers, too.

If you’re choosing their cheapest hosting plan though, it’s important to realize that you’ll have certain limitations—and other blogging-related costs may add up, since you’ll have to pay for them separately (or from other vendors). For example, you won’t get a free domain name or complementary SSL certificate if you use the Single Shared hosting plan. You’ll also be limited to 100 GB of bandwidth on that lowest-tier hosting plan.

Another thing to note is the low introductory price of $.99/mo for their low cost hosting plan does come with a 4-year commitment.

That’s a long time to commit to a recurring payment for web hosting. Once the 4 years have passed, you’ll start paying a higher price for your hosting plan—but that’s far enough into the future that you can worry about planning for what to do later.

Either way, Hostinger does truly offer an amazing deal for their hosting plans. But, in my opinion—it’s worth signing up for their higher-tier hosting plans (which are still very affordable) right from the start, so you can lock in the low rates with their hosting plans that offer more flexibility, additional features and an all around better experience.

HostPapa is an independently owned web hosting company based in Canada. While they’re relatively small compared to many of the other web hosting companies here, they launched back in 2006 and service hosting plans for over 200,000+ websites owners.

HostPapa Web Hosting Plans for Small Businesses

Much like a few of our other picks for the best hosting plans here, HostPapa is slightly geared towards providing hosting plans to small business owners.

Also like GreenGeeks, HostPapa focuses on providing eco-friendly hosting plans for their customers—as their hosting plans are powered by 100% renewable energy. They share, “We promote the development and use of wind & solar energy resources by purchasing green energy certificates to offset all the power we use in our data centers and offices. By putting equivalent clean energy back into the grid, we effectively reduce our carbon footprint and support renewable energy initiatives.”

Though HostPapa isn’t a large company, that may arguably be their greatest competitive advantage in the hosting industry. They provide very high-quality security and tech support to their customers at a level you’ll be hard-pressed to find with other web hosting plans. Now, let’s review HostPapa and see how they compare.


HostPapa-powered websites have average load times of around .759 seconds according to third-party testing, which ranks them right in the middle of the pack.


HostPapa offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee, which comfortably places them in the top rung of web hosting plans for this category.

Customer Support

Customer support is one of the features that HostPapa is most proud of. They claim to have customer support members that truly care about their customers. Not only that, but they also seek to provide experienced tech support to help their customers answer important questions—with the goal of helping every customer make the best choices for their business.

HostPapa uniquely offers a 30-minute, one-on-one call with a “squad” expert to help new customers become familiar with the tools and features of their best hosting plans. Another helpful feature, is that they offer multilingual customer support in English, Spanish, French and German. Their customer support is available 24/7 and they can be reached through support tickets, phone, email and live chat. On top of that, they also offer an extensive knowledge base and library of self-help tutorials & videos for customers on any of their hosting plans.

It’s one thing to make promises about strong customer support—and it’s another thing to actually deliver. In HostPapa’s case, they really do deliver on their promise. They get high praise for their customer service, and this is often the top reason other customers so regularly refer people their way.

Pricing for HostPapa’s Web Hosting Plans

HostPapa offers three levels of shared hosting plans starting with their “Starter” web hosting plan and ending with the “Business Pro” web hosting plan.

The Starter Plan has an introductory price of $3.95/mo and the Business Pro Plan has an introductory price of $12.95/mo.

HostPapa Pricing for Hosting Plans (Screenshot)

To get the introductory pricing though, you must sign up for a three-year commitment. At the end of the introductory period, the renewal prices will be $7.99/mo and $19.99/mo. These renewal rates are far from the lowest priced web hosting plans on our list, but their features do go above and beyond. Let’s take a closer look.

Here’s some of what HostPapa’s Starter Plan includes:

  • 2 Websites
  • 100 GB SSD Storage
  • Unmetered Bandwidth
  • Free Domain Name Registration
  • 100 Email Accounts
  • Email virus scanning
  • SpamAssassin spam protection
  • SpamExperts
  • 500 MB Individual Mailbox Storage
  • 5,000 MB Overall Mailbox Storage
  • Free Let’s Encrypt SSL
  • PHP 5.6, 7.0 (Choose Your Version)
  • WordPress (1-click setup)
  • Custom Cron Jobs
  • Enhanced SSD drives
  • Cloudflare Content Delivery Network
  • 2 Hosted Domains
  • DNS Management
  • Server firewall, Monitoring, and Intrusion Detection
  • Brute Force Detection
  • DDoS Attack Prevention and Responses

The Business Pro Plan includes many of the same features plus:

  • Unlimited Websites
  • Unlimited SSD Storage
  • Unlimited Email Accounts
  • 1,000 MB Individual Mailbox Storage
  • 10,000 Overall Mailbox Storage
  • Faster Premium Servers
  • Fewer Accounts on Server
  • Enhanced Performance
  • Unlimited Hosted Domains
  • Advanced Security Features
  • Domain Name Privacy Protection
  • Premium Wildcard SSL Certificate
  • Automatic Website Back up (1GB)
  • SiteLock Detect

There are some notable differences between the lowest and highest tier hosting plans with HostPapa. For example, the Business Pro plan includes a free SSL certificate and domain name privacy protection. Both of these additions significantly bring up the overall value of this hosting plan. The Business plan also provides an automatic website back up and faster servers.

All of the HostPapa hosting plans have something called “unmetered bandwidth.” While this sounds like freedom at first, unmetered doesn’t mean the same thing as unlimited. There are limitations to how much bandwidth your hosting plan will allow—so take a closer look at the details when you sign up.

HostPapa states that they won’t limit the amount of visitor traffic or content on your site, as long as your blog complies with their Terms of Service. They go on to say if your website demands too many resources though, they’ll notify you, take corrective action, or ask you to choose a hosting plan that better fits your needs and usage.

HostPapa’s terms of service are admittedly a bit ambiguous about this point, stating disruptive use as, “generating a daily, weekly or monthly volume of network traffic that is excessive in relation to amount of network traffic typically generated by HostPapa’s other clients who’ve purchased similar hosting services.”

HostPapa Notification No Limit to Website Traffic

Limiting bandwidth use is not uncommon with hosting companies, but it’s something to be aware of when searching for your best hosting plan.

If you expect a high level of traffic, or large volume of content to live on your site within a relatively quick period of time—you should start right away with their higher-tier hosting plans—or consider other hosting companies that offer unlimited (or higher) bandwidth.

For bloggers and small business owners looking for the best customer service, multiple websites and eco-friendly web hosting plans, HostPapa is worth looking into.

iPage is another one of our popular hosting companies on this list—having been founded over 20 years ago, in 1998. It’s one of the oldest companies in the hosting world, and they currently host over a million websites on their various different web hosting plans.

iPage Hosting Plans for New Bloggers Homepage Screenshot

With a focus primarily on hosting plans for individuals and small businesses, they work hard to provide an easy-to-use web platform—designed specifically for non-technical customers to use without getting overwhelmed.

On top of their user-friendliness, iPage’s web hosting plans also come with some of the most features (and bonus extras when you sign up with them). Now, let’s dig into the details of their best hosting plans.


Load times on blogs that are hosted with iPage are fairly average, ranging from .0787 seconds to 2.6 seconds based on third party tests.


iPage has a 99.9% uptime guarantee, like many of our companies here that work hard to deliver the best web hosting plans.

Customer Support

iPage offers a variety of ways to contact their support team including ticketing (email), live chat, phone and a knowledge base with tutorials and walkthroughs. However, one thing that does come up in customer review boards, are occasional complaints about slow response times, unhelpful answers or even unresolved tech issues. This isn’t the experiences of iPage’s average customer, but the fact that it does happen sometimes—should signal that customer support isn’t their strongest attribute.

Pricing for iPage’s Web Hosting Plans

Currently, iPage has one shared hosting plan option available for an introductory price of $1.99/mo, making it one of the lower cost options on our list.

Like most hosting companies though, once the introductory price expires, your bill will go up—in this case, to $7.99/mo. Also like most hosting companies, in order to lock in the lowest rate with their hosting plans, you’ll have to sign up for a 3-year commitment.

iPage Web Hosting Pricing Plan Breakdown and Comparison (Screenshot)

iPage offers a shared hosting plan, two WordPress hosting plans and one VPS hosting plan. That being said, the primary plan you should be considering if you’re just launching your website, is their Shared Hosting Plan. So, let’s take a closer look at iPage’s primary web hosting plan.

What iPage’s Shared Hosting Plan offers.

  • Free Domain for 1 year
  • Unlimited Disk Space
  • Scalable Bandwidth
  • Unlimited Domain Names Allowed
  • Unlimited MySQL databases
  • Free SSL Certificate
  • Customizable Email Address with Your Domain (you@yourdomain.com)
  • Enhanced Security Suite
  • vDeck Control Panel
  • 24/7 Network Monitoring
  • Visitor Statistics/Site Traffic Reporting
  • Two Data Center Locations
  • Cisco Routers Using BGP4 protocol
  • UPS Power Backup & Generators
  • WordPress 1-click installer

As I mentioned earlier, iPage has some pretty helpful freebies they build into their hosting plans—including a free SSL certificate and a free domain name for the first year, making it one of the cheapest web hosting plans on the market with these features included (at least for your introductory period).

iPage is primarily focused on small businesses and individuals, making them a smart good choice if you’re just starting a blog and you don’t have a large budget yet.

Founded way back in 2000 by the current CEO, Richard Kirkendall, Namecheap is another well-established hosting company that deserves a top spot on this list for offering some of the best web hosting plans in the industry (especially when it comes to cheap hosting plans).

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Recently recognized as one of America’s fastest-growing companies on the Inc 5,000 list and boasting of over 10 million domains registered on their servers, they’re definitely doing something right.


Namecheap first and foremost excels at helping you register domain names. Their foray into web hosting plans, has been a smart (and much welcomed) move in more recent years, especially seeing that they offer an above average product in terms of the performance their web hosting plans pack. Speed-wise, third party tests showed an average load speed of 0.83s. Not the best, but still above industry average.


Thanks to state-of-the-art shared infrastructure, Namecheap boasts a 100% uptime. And like with Dreamhost, if for some reason your website is offline due to a fault on their end, Namecheap promises compensation in the form of account credits.

Customer Support

For a company that’s been in business for close to 20 years, excellent customer support is something to be expected. And Namecheap doesn’t disappoint with their ultra high-level customer support that features:

  • 24/7 access to live chat
  • A ticketing system for more complex or ongoing issues
  • An easy to use (and understand) value-packed knowledge base with step-by-step tutorials

Pricing for Namecheap’s Web Hosting Plans

Namecheap has carved out a name for themselves for providing well… cheap web hosting plans. They go as low as $1.44/mo. But in this instance (to be fully transparent) low price and comparatively lower quality do go together. So if you’re on an ultra tight budget, Namecheap’s lowest-tired hosting plan could be a good move for you right now—but once you’re generating some income from your blog, it’d be smart to upgrade your web hosting plan with them.

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Namecheap’s lowest-priced web hosting plan, the Stellar, gets you:

  • 20GB of storage
  • Hosting of up to 3 websites
  • Unrestricted bandwidth
  • Free SSL certificate
  • 50 MySQL databases
  • Optional free website domain name
  • Privacy protection

The Stellar Plus (their most popular web hosting plan) adds on:

  • Unlimited websites
  • Unmetered SSD
  • Automatic backup

A notable addition that comes with the Stellar Business plan from Namecheap is their cloud storage access.

All plans come with a rock-solid 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try out their web hosting plans and see for yourself if they’re a good fit for you.

Cloudways is a cloud-based web hosting platform that provides a complete managed hosting experience for bloggers. It’s perfect for you if you don’t want to get into the technicalities of tasks like managing a server. Ease of use is one of its strengths, making it one of the best web hosting platforms for bloggers with little or no technical knowledge.

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Let’s quickly look at what Cloudways has to offer as core features of their web hosting plans.


Cloudways providers have 50+ data centers located across the globe. And since all of them use cloud computing, their servers are easily scalable. This ultimately means you can quickly scale your server size to handle any spikes in website traffic, database queries, or web application usage. This also translates to very fast load times, with tests giving results as fast as 0.4 seconds—faster than most top-ranked web hosting companies.


Similar to most web hosting platforms on our list, Cloudways boasts of a superb uptime of 99.99%, making it a reliable option for those looking for the best web hosting plans that’ll keep your blog online at all times.

Customer Support

Customer support is a critical element when dealing with anything technical—like building a website. Cloudways certainly doesn’t disappoint in this respect, as their support team is easily reachable via live chat or the company’s great ticketing system. You can also request a call back and speak directly to customer support via phone (as long as it’s during business hours). Cloudways also has an active community ready to share knowledge, tutorials and skills.

Pricing for Cloudways Web Hosting Plans

One thing that sets Cloudways apart from other web hosting companies is that they have a pay-as-you-go pricing model. This means you only pay for the actual hosting resources your blog uses. That means there are absolutely no hidden charges involved—and their hosting plans start as low as $10.00/mo.

Cloudways best web hosting plans

Some features you’ll enjoy with a Cloudways web hosting plan include:

  • Simplicity (easy UI to manage the platform)
  • SSL installation
  • Staging environment (for testing)
  • A choice between the top cloud providers (starting at $10.00/mo)
  • 24/7 expert support via live chat and ticketing
  • Server and app cloning
  • Monthly hosting pricing structure
  • Free migration

Because it’s cloud-based, Cloudways doesn’t offer email hosting directly through their platform—but you can turn to Google Business for setting up your company email addresses and linking them to your domain without any issues.

If you’re looking for a cloud hosting platform that offers the best web hosting plans (both price and performance-wise), then Cloudways deserves to be at the top of your list of options.

Founded originally as a side project back in 2001 and based in Michigan, A2 Hosting is an independently owned and operated WordPress hosting company that’s been consistently growing in leaps and bounds because of their approachable brand, cheap and fast web hosting plans. Although there’s no verified number of websites hosted by the company, they cite that they’re serving hundreds of thousands of customers based around the world.

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Alright, now let’s take a closer examination of A2 Hosting’s core feature offerings that power all of their web hosting plans.


This is where A2 Hosting hosting truly shines. With third-party tests showing some (very simple) websites loading as fast as 0.036 seconds, their hosting platform leaves most of the competition in the dust when it comes to fast load times—though like most hosting companies, it does depend a bit upon where in the world you’re located.


With a 99.9% uptime commitment, A2 Hosting won’t let you down as far as keeping your blog online and accessible for readers.

Customer Support

Another area that A2 proves itself to be worthy as offering some of the best web hosting plans, is in customer support. They take this so seriously they’ve dubbed their customer support team the Guru Crew. You can reach the Guru Crew 24/7 throughout the year via phone, live chat and email. You’ll get speedy and efficient assistance whenever you need them.

Pricing for A2 Hosting’s Web Hosting Plans

While A2 Hosting’s pricing is slightly higher than most of the competition, it’s still affordable—and well worth it. Here’s what the pricing structure looks like for their top three web hosting plans—starting at $2.96/mo:

best web hosting plans a2 2

It’s important to note though, that when renewing your web hosting plan with A2 Hosting after your first contract period is up—pricing leaves this introductory rate and goes back to normal, which ranges from $7.99/mo to $18.99/mo—depending upon which level of web hosting plan you’re on.

So what do A2 Hosting’s top web hosting plans offer to bloggers?

The Lite web hosting plan comes with:

  • 1 Website
  • 5 Databases
  • Unlimited Storage
  • Unlimited Transfer
  • cPanel Control Panel
  • Free SSL & SSD
  • Free & Easy Site Migration
  • A2 Optimized Enhanced Security for WordPress sites.
  • 24/7 Monitoring.

The Swift web hosting plan offers the same features plus:

  • Unlimited Websites
  • Unlimited Parked Domains
  • Unlimited Addon Domains
  • Server Rewind Backups
  • Unlimited Databases
  • Free & Easy Site Migration

The Turbo web hosting plan offers all the above features, plus:

  • Turbo (Up To 20X Faster)
  • A2 Site Accelerator
  • Railgun Optimizer

All of A2 Hosting’s web hosting plans come with an anytime money-back guarantee, which is practically unheard of in the hosting industry.

This is another effort by A2 Hosting to show that they always put their customers first—and that they really stand by their product.

InMotion is an employee-owned hosting company that was established almost 20 years ago, back in 2001. They provide both speed-oriented web hosting plans and domain name services, boasting a customer base of over 300,000 domains today.
InMotion Web Hosting Company Homepage Screenshot
InMotion also owns another company called Web Hosting Hub, which is a website design service (targeted towards beginner bloggers and small business owners) where they have around 40,000 customers who’ve signed up for their affordable web design services and hosting combination plans. They’ve been around for quite a while in this space and are a very well-known brand.

Now, let’s take a look at the specifics of their best web hosting plans and see if InMotion is a good fit for your blog hosting needs.


InMotion has a very middle of the road (average) load time of around .827 seconds according to third-party tests. You can choose from two data centers located in the United States, to get better results in your area if you’re using their higher-tier hosting plans (the VPS or business class plans).


InMotion has an impressive 99.9% uptime rating, which sets them at the top of the pack in the hosting industry.

Customer Support

When it comes to customer support, InMotion claims to be a leader in the industry. Their support team is US-based and available to help with technical matters through either live chat, phone or email ticketing system. They also have an extensive knowledge base and community-based Q&A section available to customers on all of their hosting plans.

Pricing for InMotion’s Web Hosting Plans

InMotion has a wide range of hosting plans to choose from—including Shared Hosting (my recommendation to start with) WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, Dedicated Servers and Managed Hosting.

The least expensive shared hosting plan has an introductory price of $6.39/mo when you sign up for a 2-year plan. The Pro Plan has an introductory price of $14.71/mo with a 2-year plan. After the introductory period, the Launch Plan rises to $7.99/mo and the Pro Plan goes up to $15.99/mo.

InMotion Web Hosting Plans and Pricing Comparison Explained (Screenshot)

We’ll take a closer look at both the cheapest and most expensive shared hosting plans with InMotion to give you an idea of what features they offer.

InMotion’s Launch is their cheapest hosting plan. Here’s what it offers:

  • 2 Websites
  • Free Domain
  • Unlimited Disk Space
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Unlimited Email
  • Free Advertising Credits
  • Visitor Statistics
  • Hack Protection
  • DDoS Protection
  • Automatic Backups Available
  • Free SSL

The InMotion Pro Plan also includes:

  • Unlimited Websites
  • 4X Performance
  • eCommerce Ready
  • Customer Management Tools
  • Pro Level Support

InMotion is a well-established hosting provider that’s been around for many years, so they’ve honed in their hosting plans to offer unlimited bandwidth and a free SSL certificate—nice features that not all hosting companies offer on their lower-priced plan options. They also offer a substantial 90 day money-back guarantee, which is one of the longest in the industry. Interestingly, they do require an over the phone verification for purchase, which can be a hassle (especially for non-US users).

Their web hosting plans would best suit a small business owner who’s interested in having more than one website—or a blogger who expects a high amount of traffic and doesn’t want to be concerned with crossing bandwidth constraints (since InMotion’s hosting plans offer unlimited bandwidth).

GoDaddy is one of the giants amongst the established web hosting platforms—and while their web hosting plans are deserving of a spot on this list of the best hosting plans—I wouldn’t recommend them over any of our other picks in the affordable range of hosting companies (despite their $1.00/mo introductory offer).

That’s largely because their cheapest hosting plan comes with a heavily restricted feature set, and the price jumps up to $9.99/mo after your first year at the starting $1.00/mo rate. Despite their most basic plan not meeting the same standards as the other best web hosting plans here in this list, GoDaddy is still a great company. They’ve been around since 1997 and have grown to become the world’s largest domain registrar—with 14 major facilities around the world.

best web hosting plans godaddy 1

Thanks to their massive advertising campaigns (that include running Super Bowl spots and sponsoring NASCAR driver Danica Patrick), they’ve become synonymous with web hosting and domain registration. But does that experience and fame translate into having some of the best web hosting plans on the market?

Let’s take a look under the hood of what you’ll get with GoDaddy’s web hosting plans.


Having been in the game longer than many of the other web hosting companies on the market today, GoDaddy proves itself by offering a pretty exceptional product when it comes to performance. With load times averaging between 0.0294 and 0.517, they rank amongst the best.


With GoDaddy servicing your web hosting plan, downtime is almost unheard of—as the platform boasts a 99.9% uptime rating.

Customer Support

GoDaddy’s award-winning customer support is one of the reasons the company has grown to be the giant it is today. That and a massive advertising budget. Reachable by phone, chat or email, you’ll get help very quickly from GoDaddy’s customer service team when you need it—regardless of the web hosting plan you’re on.

Pricing for GoDaddy’s Web Hosting Plans

Another reason GoDaddy markets themselves as “the people’s favorite” is the fact that it’s very easy to make a website with them—especially from a pricing perspective. With plans starting from as low as $1.00/month, they offer one of the cheapest introductory priced web hosting plans on the market today.

As I noted though, the $1.00/month is an introductory price that you’ll only enjoy until you renew your plan after the first year—and then your plan’s price goes up to $9.99/mo after that (then making it much more expensive than other web hosting plans of their class). Now, let’s take a look at all of GoDaddy’s web hosting plans:

godaddy best web hosting plans

GoDaddy’s Basic web hosting plan starts at $1.00/mo for the first year and includes:

  • 1 Website
  • 10 GB storage
  • 25,000 monthly visitors
  • Free daily backups with 1-click restore
  • Automatic daily malware scans
  • Built-in sign up forms
  • A free domain when you purchase an annual plan

Their highest tier web hosting plan (Pro 5+) offers the same features plus:

  • 5-50 websites
  • 50-200 GB storage
  • 800,000 monthly visitors
  • One-click staging site
  • Free SSL Certificates — 1 per site
  • Free site maintenance tools
  • Real-time performance and uptime monitoring
  • Automated client report

GoDaddy also makes it easy to migrate your website over from a different hosting company by offering free website migration and automatic WordPress core software updates.

With all of this being said, some very noticeable caveats of going with GoDaddy’s (cheapest) Basic web hosting plan, are that:

  • You don’t get a free SSL certificate
  • Access to cPanel comes at an extra cost

Both of these two features come free with similar packages from competitor hosting companies, making this a big miss in their offering lineup.

Overall, GoDaddy is a robust and reliable web hosting platform that serves their customers well, though the extremely low introductory pricing (for your first year’s web hosting plan) and restricted features can come back to bite you after that first year is up—as their pricing then jumps up to being much higher than other comparable web hosting plans like what you’ll get from Dreamhost and Bluehost.

In my opinion—you’re ultimately better off going with a starter web hosting plan from a company like Dreamhost. You’ll get more features, better support and your pricing won’t suddenly change at any point in the future.

Kinsta is my #1 pick as the best managed (premium) WordPress hosting company, and I use their web hosting plans to power my blog here (now that I get 500,000+ monthly readers).

Founded just a short while ago in 2013, that makes them one of the newer kids on the block in the web hosting space, but they’ve made an incredible impact in the market—offering the best web hosting plans for sites that are able to spend a little more on hosting to get their major upgrades in speed, reliability and customer service. Once your blog is making a little money, I highly recommend upgrading your hosting to one of Kinsta’s top-notch web hosting plans.

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Kinsta’s on a mission to create the best WordPress hosting platform in the world. Because of this, they’ve intentionally bootstrapped the business to avoid investor interference in the direction they take their company. They truly care more about making their customers happy as a path to building a great business—rather than focusing on returning investor profits.


Third-party testing reports average load times of between 0.798 seconds and 2 seconds, which is well above the industry average. To ensure high performance, Kinsta uses 4 types of caching—their own built-in CDN (Content Delivery Network), Ngnix, PHP 7.3, LXD software containers and MariaDB. These and other add-on features you can select make Kinsta’s web hosting plans some of the best on the market from a performance perspective.


Kinsta has impressive uptimes of 99.9%-100%, ensuring that your blog is always up and running.

Customer Support

Because they solely focus on offering managed WordPress hosting to their customers, Kinsta’s customer support team are all experts on using WordPress. This means you get excellent customer support whenever you reach out to them. Most communication is done via online messaging (live chat or email) as the company believes it to be faster and more efficient than phone support.

Pricing for Kinsta’s Web Hosting Plans

Kinsta has a unique pricing structure in that you, more or less, get to choose a web hosting plan (out of 10 available options) that’s much more tailored to your specific hosting needs—based on a number of factors like how much traffic your blog is driving, to the number of WordPress installs and even storage space you need.

And if none of those plans suit your needs, you can get one specifically tailored to what you want. The plans range from as little as $30.00/month up to $1,500.00/mo (or more) for massive websites. Each plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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To put things in perspective, here’s what Kinsta’s Starter web hosting plan has to offer:

Their Starter web hosting plan includes a lot of amazing features:

  • 1 WordPress Install
  • 20,000 Monthly Visits
  • 5GB SSD Storage
  • 50 GB Free CDN
  • 1 Free Premium Site Migration
  • Free Unlimited Basic Migrations from Other Hosts
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • 20 Global Locations
  • Multisite Support
  • Automatic Daily Backups
  • Manual Backup Points
  • 14-Day Backup Retention
  • Multi-user Environment
  • Staging Area
  • PHP 7 Support
  • Free SSL Certificates
  • Imported SSL Certificates
  • 2 PHP Workers Per Site
  • SSH Access
  • White-labeled Cache Plugin

Their top-tier web hosting plan, Enterprise 4 includes the same features plus:

  • 150 WordPress Installs
  • 3,000,000 Monthly Visits
  • 200 GB SSD Storage
  • 1000 GB Free CDN
  • 5 Free Premium Migrations
  • 30-day Backup Retention
  • 16 PHP Workers Per Site
  • Recommended for eCommerce/Membership Sites
  • Site Cloning

Kinsta is my top recommendation for managed WordPress hosting, because they go way above and beyond what other web hosting companies offer in the premium space. That’s why I chose them to host my blog here—their features and customer service go much further than other web hosting plans on the market.

All of that makes Kinsta stand out from the crowd, earning its ranking amongst the best web hosting plans around.

One of the first premium WordPress hosting plans to hit the scene was from WP Engine. Much like Kinsta, this web hosting company also specializes in offering managed WordPress hosting (more hands-on, higher level of service, faster speeds) and provides some of the best support in the web hosting space.

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How do WP Engine’s web hosting plans fare against the competition? One of the strongest selling points of choosing a hosting plan with WP Engine to power your blog, is that they’re a very well-funded company that recently took on a large round of venture capital investment—so they’re not afraid of pushing the envelope to provide their customers with an exceptional experience. Let’s take a closer look at their web hosting plans.


Thanks to the use of CDN and MaxCDN (free on all of their web hosting plans), WP Engine offers impressive load times of around 0.582 seconds.


WP Engine promises a 99.9% uptime. Interestingly, they don’t believe 100% uptime is possible.

Customer Support

WP Engine provides customer support via live chat for all their customers. However, phone support is only for plans above the Starter hosting plan.

Pricing for WP Engine’s Web Hosting Plans

Depending on your needs, expect to invest anywhere from $35.00/month to $290/month (or more) for the best web hosting plans from WP Engine. The great news is that all of their hosting plans come with a 60 day risk-free trial offer so that you can take them for a test run.

WP Engine best web hosting plans

WP Engine offers 3 different web hosting plans to choose from—and a custom option if their standard packages aren’t exactly what you’re looking for.

The Startup web hosting plan comes with:

  • Genesis Framework
  • 35+ StudioPress Themes
  • 24/7 chat support
  • Dev, Stage, Prod Environments
  • Transferable Sites
  • PHP 7.3 ready
  • LargeFS
  • Global CDN
  • Page Performance
  • Automated SSL certificates
  • SSH Gateway
  • 25,000 Monthly Visitors
  • 10 GB Local Storage
  • 50 GB Bandwidth a Month
  • 1 Site Included

The Scale web hosting plan adds on:

  • Millions of Monthly Visitors
  • 100 GB – 1 TB Local Storage
  • 400 GB+ Bandwidth a Month
  • 25 Sites Included
  • Dev, Stage, Prod Environments
  • Imported SSL certificates
  • 24/7 phone support
  • SSH Gateway

Other features included with WP Engine’s web hosting plans include:

  • Premium WordPress themes
  • Ecosystem integration with top names like Amazon, Google and BigCommerce

In short, it’s clear that WP Engine strives to do more than just provide you with a good web hosting plan—they actually want your blog to succeed and equip you with a lot of tools, resources, content and support to help make that happen.

And while I’d still recommend that most bloggers opt for Kinsta over WP Engine if you’re committed to a premium WordPress hosting provider (or your blog is growing quickly in monthly readership), it’s worth evaluating all of your options before making a final decision.

The Best Web Hosting Plans for Bloggers: Which Plan is Right for You?

Picking the best web hosting plan that’s perfect for your blogging needs is no small task—particularly if you’re not conversant with all the technical jargon that gets thrown around in the web hosting space.

But with a resource like my guide to choosing your best hosting plan, your choices consist of only the most affordable, reliable and fasted web hosting plans available on the market—making it a win regardless of which plan you go with from this list here today.

So, out of all these best web hosting plans, which one should you go with? Well, that depends on what you really need.

Overall Best Web Hosting Plan: Dreamhost

My #1 recommendation is to go with Dreamhost at $2.59/mo. Their web hosting plans offer the absolute best combination of affordability, speed, reliability and amazing customer service that’ll help you deliver the best experience for your readers this year. You simply can’t beat their value for the low monthly cost.

Best Web Hosting Plans Dreamhost Homepage Example

The features alone that come with Dreamhost’s web hosting plans, make them the best hosting company to get started with.

Add to that the fact that their hosting plans start at just $2.59/mo, and it’s a no-brainer to use them for hosting your blog—especially since that still ranks them as one of the cheapest hosting plans on the market (and with the best feature offerings at that price point).

If you’re ready to get your blog hosted and set up—then head over to my Dreamhost link right here and get started.

Cheapest Web Hosting Plan: Hostinger ($0.99/mo)

If what you need today is purely the cheapest web hosting plan you can get your hands on and shaving a couple dollars off your monthly cost is a meaningful move, then my recommendation is Hostinger.

Their cheapest hosting plan is $0.99/mo (you can get set up here), and it still comes with surprisingly good features built into the plan for that price point. Not nearly what you’ll get from a web hosting plan with a company like Dreamhost, but if you’re going for budget-conscious, then Hostinger’s lowest-priced plan is your ticket.

Hostinger as One of the Best Hosting Plans on a Budget

If you’ve followed along closely, you’ll notice that GoDaddy’s most basic ($1.00/mo) web hosting plan is about the same price as Hostinger’s plan too.

Here’s why I recommend Hostinger over GoDaddy when it comes to picking the cheapest web hosting plan—after your first year of hosting, Hostinger’s lowest-price plan will increase up to $2.15/mo moving forward (still making it one of the cheapest hosting plans you can get your hands on, though). Plus, the features that come with their cheapest hosting plan are actually very competitive and gets you just about everything you could want.

On the other hand, GoDaddy’s cheapest hosting plan jumps up to $9.99/mo after your first year is up. That then makes their plan way overpriced for the restricted feature set you’ll have access to.

If you need the cheapest web hosting plan on the market—choose Hostinger at $0.99/mo.

That being said, I always recommend going with Dreamhost at $2.59/mo if you can spring for a little bit more in your budget.

The gains you’ll get in terms of speed, reliability and customer service are well worth the very small additional monthly cost.

Final Thoughts: 4 Factors to Consider When Evaluating the Best Hosting Plans

While my personal experience and in-depth evaluations have shown me that these ten web hosting plans I’ve broken down for you today—are without a doubt the best hosting plans on the market right now—I know that some bloggers may still want to go in another direction with their hosting decisions.

And that’s ok! But finding a web hosting plan that fits your unique needs (and blogging goals) can be a little like looking for a needle in a haystack.

With quite literally thousands of hosting plan options available online (all claiming to be the best of course), settling on one can be difficult.

That’s why I want to give you the tools you’ll need to evaluate other web hosting plans if you’re continuing your search beyond here.

How to Choose the Best Web Hosting for Your Needs Graphic

To help narrow down your choices, here are the four most critical factors to consider as you choose the right web hosting plan for your needs.

And as you evaluate other web hosting plans you find out in the wild, come back here to compare them against my top choices to see whether or not the claims others make really stack up well against their competition. I think you’ll find my list of the best web hosting plans here to be pretty darn helpful 😉

1. Uptime

In the web hosting world, uptime refers to the time a server stays up and running—on a scale of 0% to 100%, with 100% uptime being the absolute best.

Uptime is therefore a measure of how effective a web hosting provider is at keeping their servers (and thus your blog) online.

While it’s unavoidable that every web hosting provider will at times face brief moments of downtime for a wide variety of possible technical reasons—sometimes genuinely out of their control—you should only consider web hosting plans that offer 99% or greater uptime.

Anything less and you’re practically signing up for a web hosting plan that all but guarantees your blog being offline with some regularity.

Therefore, the best web hosting plans are those that can keep your site up and running as close to 100% of the time as possible.

2. Load Speed

We’re living in an age where the speed of your content delivery places an important role online—both in terms of (1) diminishing reader attention and in (2) how important Google’s determined page load speed to be as a ranking factor in the overall blog SEO grand scheme.

Use a free page speed testing tool like Google’s PageSpeed Insights to test the load times of a few websites who claim to use the hosing provider in question. Your ideal load speeds should come back at less than 1 second.

The simple truth is that if the pages of your blog don’t load extremely quickly, readers are going to leave and search engines like Google are going to de-value the content of your website compared to others in your niche with faster load times.

When it comes to browsing content online, the demand for a faster, more seamless experience is only growing.

That’s why when choosing your best web hosting plan, you must consider the load time each web hosting provider promises.

Slow load times will cost you precious readers. And while there are many other factors that determine how fast your website loads (like the size of your website, your WordPress theme of choice and the optimization WordPress plugins you employ—but a good web hosting service plays a major role too.

3. Customer Service

Because of the technical nature of web hosting and blogging in general, there’s a real chance that something can go wrong from a technical perspective and solving the problem will be beyond your own personal skills.

And when that happens, you don’t want your blog to be offline, broken or looking shabby for long.

When choosing the right web hosting company to power your blog, make sure they offer some form of quick-response support on a 24/7 basis.

This is one of the main reasons why many of the best web hosting plans on this list are so highly regarded—because they offer exceptional customer support.

4. Cost

Thanks to the stiff competition, the web hosting industry offers very affordable hosting deals for first-time customers.

However if you’re not careful which web hosting plan you choose, at renewal time, you might be shocked if you didn’t do your due diligence to investigate the renewal fees—and take a close look at how much the price of your plan increases after the introductory period expires.

Some hosting companies (like GoDaddy) will more than 10x the cost of your web hosting plan after the introductory offer expires. Not great, right?

By choosing a reputable, well-established hosting company like Dreamhost at $2.59/mo or Bluehost at $2.95/mo, you’ll already be locking in some of the cheapest hosting plans on the market (that still come with great feature sets, high uptime and strong page load speeds).

The best part? The web hosting plans from both Dreamhost and Bluehost do not increase in price after your first year of hosting—the price you see, is the price you lock in for the foreseeable future.

From a cost perspective, it’s hard to beat the web hosting plans we’ve covered in this list here today—and for the plans that have price increases after an introductory offer, I’ve taken the time to clearly highlight that for you to see.

Another final cost-related factor to consider, is what your future web hosting costs will be as your website grows and you need to upgrade.

While you’ll undoubtedly be learning how to make money blogging as your visitor count increases, it’s still smart to stay on a safe hosting budget.

With this knowledge and new toolset at hand, you’ll be in a better position to pick the best web hosting plan for your blogging needs.

And that, my friends, is a wrap! Thank you for reading along 🙏

Here you have my ultimate breakdown of all the best web hosting plans on the market this year.

Choosing Your Best Web Hosting Plan is Only the Beginning

After getting your hosting plan squared away, now it’s time to begin the really fun stuff.

If you’re just starting out on your blogging adventure, make sure to check out my free guide about how to start a blog.

Want to Start Your Blog (the Right Way)?

Check out my ultimate guide: How to Start a Blog (on the Side).


Watch a Manual G82 BMW M4 Lap a Track

2021 bmw m4 prototype 00

Now that we’ve learned about the upcoming G80 BMW M3 and G82 BMW M4, we know that the version to get, of either car, is the standard version. Why not opt for the more powerful Competition model instead? Well, because the standard model comes with something special that rests in between the front seats — a manual gear lever. The standard M3 and M4 will come with a manual transmission and that makes them the versions to get. In this newly released video from BMW M, we get to see a manual M4 lap a track from inside the cabin.

This video shows off the M4 lapping a circuit, with the driver actually moving his arm to change gears. Imagine that? More interestingly, it shows the driver heel-and-toeing on downshifts. What’s makes that interesting is the fact that most BMWs have always had auto rev-matching unless you turn the traction and stability control all the way off.

2021 BMW M4 Coupe camouflage 23 830x553

Now, maybe this driver did just that for the video, allowing him to heel-and-toe, but Zee Germans typically won’t do that. So it will be interesting to see if the new BMW M3 and M4 have the ability to turn that function off and still keep stability control on. If that’s the case, that shows BMW has listened to the complaints of its customers, who want to heel-and-toe on their own, on the street, without turning off stability control, as that would be unsafe on the road.

It sounds pretty good, too. Obviously there’s some speaker trickery going on but it should be able to either be turned off or at least turned down, as is the case with most new M Performance cars.

Overall, it’s just good to see the next BMW M4 actually being driven on a track, the way it’s meant to be driven; with a proper three-pedal gearbox and some heel-and-toe action.


70 Ways How to Make Money Online in 2020 (on the Side)

You’re here because you want to learn how to make money online. And you’re in the right place.

If you’re looking for legitimate ways to make money online without having to first purchase an in-depth training course (which always seems to cost $97) about how to make money online, then welcome to the best free tutorial on the Internet when it comes to making money online.

This is my ultimate guide on how to make money online, and I’ve worked hard to keep this completely free.

There’s no catch, no tricks, and no up-sells here.

I’m sharing everything I’ve learned over the past decade, pulling from my own experience in learning how to start a blog that now earns a consistent $30,000/mo or more (on the side of my day job)—from online sources like affiliates, courses, freelancing, sponsorships, drop-shipping and other ways to make money online that we’re exploring in this guide.

70 Genius Ways How to Make Money Online in 2020

I’m here to tell you that you can (relatively quickly) learn how to make money online. However… it won’t always be easy, and you’ll of course have to work hard, push through making some mistakes and learning from your failures along the way.

Is it easy to make money online?

It can be, but that depends on what your goals are. If you’re hoping to earn $50 or $100 relatively quickly online, then there are plenty of ways to make that happen (like selling your skills as a service). However, it’s not easy to quickly start making thousands of dollars online, because that requires a healthy measure of hard work (and time).

Here’s the reality; the Internet has opened up so many possibilities to people regardless of age, location, or background to build a sustainable, online business or side project that can make extra money online every single month. And as I said, I’ve experienced this first-hand.

For the past several years, I’ve been on a mission to experiment with the best ways to create sustainable online income and chase my dreams of self-employment. And while I’ve seen my fair share of success, things haven’t always been easy either. Along my journey, I’ve launched four separate online businesses. The first one lost me $6,537 in a matter of months, while I completely overestimated the target audience size for the second. Both shut down very quickly.

But after my first two failures trying to make money online, I started to figure out some important lessons. My next self-funded business hit $160,000 in revenue in its first year alone. After that first taste of self-made success, I’ve gone on to sign consulting contracts worth tens of thousands of dollars with startups like LinkedIn and Google, launch profitable online courses, and grow my blog to over 400,000 monthly readers and $50,000/mo in side income.

All these highs and lows have given me a clear understanding of what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to making money online.

Is it the right time to start an online business?

With over 3.2 billion people now actively using the internet, we’re well into a massive transformation in how the world does business. We’re living in an age where there’s no longer limitations on what you can achieve based on geographic location or lack of financial resources.

If you have an internet connection and a few dollars in your bank account, there is little that can actually get in the way of you making some extra money online.

There are quite literally hundreds of clever ways to make money online. From taking online surveys, to renting or selling your old clothes, flipping your iPhone to someone in a different country, and even buying low-cost products locally, just to resell them for a higher price on Amazon. There’s truly no shortage of unique ways to make money online.

How do you avoid scams like easy ways to make money online?

Before we dive into this guide, I need to address the elephant in the room…

There’s no such thing as an online get-rich quick scheme.

Most of the “quick” and “easy” ways people talk about when it comes to making money online—are not true businesses.

Sure, some of them may be good for creating a few hundred or even thousand dollars in one-time revenue. But they’re not going to help you unlock financial freedom and achieve complete control of your lifestyle.

At best, they’re shortcuts that don’t last forever—and many of the “opportunities” like network marketing giants Herbalife and others offer, often pan out to either be a scam or at the very least, damaging to your personal relationships. And I would never advocate for that.

The Internet has opened up so many opportunities to entrepreneurs and forward-thinking workers to make money online. But it’s also opened up considerable competition.

Here’s the hard truth: The only ways to make money online in any lasting manner, involve putting in real time, effort, blood, sweat and tears.

This isn’t to scare you off. I simply want you to know that this guide is going to focus primarily on ways to make real, sustainable extra income online. Not just a few quick bucks. I want to share all the mistakes I’ve made that got me to where I am now so that you don’t have to go through them, and can build a successful online source of income for yourself.

Don’t get me wrong, there are still a lot of great opportunities to make money online today. It’s that the most common ideas have been picked through a lot more than they were a few years ago. To stand out you need to be smart, look for the best opportunities, and be unique in the ways you approach making money online. And I’m here to help.

Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission. Know that I only recommend products, tools and learning resources I’ve personally used and believe are genuinely helpful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to purchase them. Most of all, I would never advocate for buying something that you can’t afford or that you’re not yet ready to implement.

Have questions about how I make money online? Check out my monthly blog income reports where I break down exactly how I’m making money from my blog.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission. When you purchase a product using my one of my affiliate links, the company compensates me, which helps me keep this blog free of charge to you. Know that I also only recommend products I personally stand behind.

👋 By now you probably already know… one of the best ways you can start making money online right now is launching a blog of your own. For that reason, I recently put together a free master guide that breaks down how to start a blog and I share the exact strategies I’ve used to turn my blog into a more than $40,000/mo business.

Want my Free Guide: How to Start a Profitable Blog in 7 Days?

Come read my ultimate guide to blogging that’s been featured on Forbes, Business Insider and Entrepreneur.

So, if you’re as excited as I am now, let’s dive right into the 70 best ways to make real, sustainable money online.

Looking instead for inspiration to make smaller amounts of quicker income online? Click here and jump down to #11 for a list of less “long-term business ideas” and you’ll get my advice for the safest (real) ways to make money online that involve less up-front work.

We’re going to start first with the top ten ways to make money online (with a long-term focus) and sustainable future.

If you’re looking to build a true online business, or start a side business idea that has the potential to truly change your life (and you’re not afraid of investing months & years of work into the business), this where you should start.

Through my years of experience and research, I’ve consistently found the following ideas have the best potential to create a steady stream of recurring revenue. They’ll take a lot of effort. But if you’re willing to put in the work, they could change your life, like they have for me.

One last quick thing to note before we dive in: I’m going to be talking a lot about your niche for every way of making money online that we cover here. If you’re unfamiliar with this term, all it means is your unique topic, angle, market, audience, or voice that will make people stand up and notice your business.

It’s a competitive space online, and the more you can differentiate what you do from what’s out there already, the better chance you’ll have for success.

Alright, now with that out of the way, let’s get into my ultimate guide of how to make money online.

1. Build a Niche Blog (or Website) and Use Affiliate Marketing

Build a Niche Blog to Make Money Online as a Business Owner

If there’s a niche you’re interested in and you can build a decent audience around it, starting a blog and using affiliate marketing to generate income is an incredible way to make money online.

I know first-hand that learning to start a blog (let alone make money from it) can be a massive undertaking. The good news though, is that it doesn’t cost much to blog these days—around $65/year for the basic costs.

So, I put together a free master course for you to take that spreads out all of the work involved in starting a blog, into a series of action-packed lessons. My free course breaks the entire process of starting a blog down into an incredibly simple 7-day process for going from 0 to brainstorming the best blog post ideas, publishing (and promoting) your first blog post in just 1 week. We also cover beginner and advanced ways to learn how to make money blogging in the course. I can’t recommend it enough.

Want my Free Course: How to Start a Profitable Blog in 7 Days?

Enter your name and email address and you’ll get instant access to my course that’s been featured on Forbes, Business Insider and Entrepreneur.

Once you’ve gone through how to pick a niche to blog about, the process of blog business planning and have launched your blog (or niche website), the next step is figuring out which products and companies you can partner with as an affiliate to help facilitate sales of a related, helpful product for your audience of future readers.

In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is selling someone else’s product by referring customers to their online store. If you can create content (on a blog) or a resource so valuable to the people looking for a certain product and then send them to where they can actually buy it, you’ll receive a predetermined percentage of each sale.

It takes time and effort, but website owners like myself and Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income, have built life-changing careers through affiliate marketing. In fact, Pat even publishes his income reports online, showing how he made over $2 million in the past 12 months alone.

Let’s start with the basics of building your niche website and blog, then get into how affiliate marketing will work for you.

First, you need to research and validate a profitable affiliate niche. What this means is: Are there companies in your niche who will pay you to send customers their way?

You can check this in a number of ways:

  • Become an Amazon Associate and then use Keyword planner to find an in-demand niche: With more than a million different products to choose from and up to 10% commission the sales you drive, Amazon’s affiliate program is a great place to get started. Browse their available products and see what connects with you. Or take it a step further and use Google’s Keyword Planner to quickly do some keyword research and check how many people are searching for a specific term. With affiliate marketing, the more relevant traffic you can pull in, the more you’ll make off your site.
  • Sign up for a reputable affiliate network: Aside from Amazon, there are dozens of top affiliate programs for bloggers and even large reputable affiliate networks, such as Share-A-Sale, Clickbank, and Skimlinks, that specialize in connecting you with merchants who are looking for affiliates to sell their products. They charge relatively low commission fees for the privilege of connecting you with merchants, and the merchants on these sites tend to offer much higher commission percentages or set dollar amount payouts.
  • Research individual companies in your desired niche: If possible, it’s always better to become an affiliate directly with a company (if they have an internal affiliate program), as no one else will be dipping into your commission rate. This is the preferred route for most of the prominent affiliate marketers, including Pat Flynn. Unfortunately, it’s also the most work, as you’ll have to do the research yourself to see who offers programs (they’re usually listed in the website footer).

Now that you know your niche and have signed up for relevant affiliate programs, it’s time to build out your blog and learn how to write a blog post that can drive traffic your way.

Start by learning how to name a blog and buying the right domain name (such as www.myaffiliateblog.com) that works for your niche on a domain registrar like Bluehost, Dreamhost or NameCheap.

Bluehost even has a nifty domain name availability checker you can use right here to quickly find out whether or not your desired website URL is available (and if it’s not, they’ll give you suggestions on the next best idea).

Want to Start a Blog? You’ll Need a Domain First

Check if your domain name is available:

Once you’ve got your domain name, you’ll need a platform to build your site on. While you could pick a free option like Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress.com or another website builder, these won’t give you the flexibility or authority you need to build a truly successful affiliate site.

Instead, go with a self-hosted site (like my blog here is)—this means your blog will be hosted on your own server and you’ll have full control over it. There are tons of highly reputable, affordable companies you can choose a web hosting plan with to get your website online, like Bluehost, A2 Hosting, Dreamhost or one of these monthly web hosting services.

Then once you’ve got your domain name and hosting sorted out, it’s time to pick a CMS, or Content Management System, that will let you update pages, build your blog and integrate with all the other services you need. It’s hard to go wrong with WordPress—the CMS powering close to a quarter of the internet. Keep in mind that eventually as you start growing traffic to your blog, you’ll be wise to upgrade from your starter cheap hosting plan, shared hosting plan or free hosting plan and into something like a managed WordPress hosting setup, where all of the settings are custom-tailored and optimized to work particularly well with WordPress-powered websites.

Now next, you’ll want to pick a WordPress theme from somewhere like Elementor, ThemeForest, Elegant Themes, or OptimizePress that you can use today. This is the barebones blog layout, which you can then customize with your own branding, copy, and images. That being said, you don’t want to cheap out. It costs less than $100 to buy a theme that will make your website look professional (and you can upgrade to a completely custom design once you get the business going). You’ll also need strong marketing tools to grow your website, like HubSpot’s All-in-One Marketing plugin.

Like I said, this process can be a bit overwhelming. And that’s why I put together this free master course to help break this entire process down into easy to follow steps that’ll get your blog off the ground and generating readers in less than 1 week.

Want my Free Course: How to Start a Profitable Blog in 7 Days?

Enter your name and email address and you’ll get instant access to my course that’s been featured on Forbes, Business Insider and Entrepreneur.

Finally, once your blog is officially launched, it’s time to start creating content that’ll drive traffic to your affiliate partner’s site and also benefit your own longer-term blog SEO strategies. Here’s what I mean by that:

Let’s say I’m an Amazon affiliate for camping gear, and I want to write an exhaustive, in-depth blog post and review of the “50 Best Hiking Backpacks for Adventuring Outdoors.” By running a quick Keyword Planner check on the organic search volume I can see that there’s around 5,500 monthly searches for the keyword ‘hiking backpacks’ alone. I’ll then start with putting together a blog post outline to highlight my unique angle and make sure I’m doing the best possible job of answering reader questions—while striving to avoid common blogging mistakes along the way.

Then, if my piece of content is so unique and valuable around hiking backpack recommendations, that other reputable outdoor websites are willing to link to it (as a result of a blogger outreach campaign) and build the page’s authority, then I’d have a very real opportunity to rank high in organic search for these search terms (meaning, my page will come up first when someone searches for hiking backpacks).

Since it’s safe to assume that the purchase intent on searches for hiking backpacks is pretty high, the next logical step is that a reasonable number of site visitors would click through using my affiliate links and complete a purchase, over time.

While it often takes a significant amount of time and hard work to build up your affiliate income, if you have the ability to regularly publish high quality content that drives in targeted traffic to your website, this online revenue source can become quite substantial. Follow along with my experiment growing a new blog, called SmartWP about WordPress, into an additional revenue stream for my business.

Check out my Ultimate Guide to Starting a Blog for my free 20,000 word tutorial to starting a blog, promoting your blog content and building it into an income-generating business today. After that and once you’re ready to take your blogging journey seriously, consider investing in your education with one of the top blogging books or blogging courses.

2. Launch and Grow a Startup

Launch and Grow a Startup as a Real Online Business to Make Money

Do you have dreams of running your own business one day? Building and scaling a high-growth startup, while by far the most difficult way to make money online, arguably has the most potential upside.

By the 3rd quarter of 2017, Venture Capitalists had invested over $61 billion into close to 6,000 startups in the US alone.

There’s money in the air, and if you can successfully create an online service, tool, or marketplace that fulfills a rapidly growing need in the marketplace, you could be on track for creating a very valuable business. However, it’ll undoubtedly take an intense dedication of time, efforts, and financial resources.

Unlike a lot of the other businesses we’re going to cover, startup founders face a whole slew of variables and roadblocks that can get in the way of success.

For one, you’ll want to have a high level of domain experience within the industry your startup is going to operate. This means a deep understanding of your customers, the issues they face, and an idea of potential solutions they’ll be willing to pay for. This is the minimum you need to get started.

After that, you’ll need to be familiar with the other major players in the space who might be good partners or acquisition opportunities, as well as an intimate knowledge of how to raise funding, market your product, hire and manage the best talent, and keep yourself financially above water.


Now, this may sound like a lot, but the payoff is worth it.

So where do you start when building a startup?

The most important thing you need before you do anything else is a problem. What do people need that they don’t have? What solution is currently out there that you can do better? This alone is the basis of every great startup.

Once you have that problem or need nailed, the next step is to validate that idea and make sure you’ve actually got customers who will pay for it. This means building a minimum viable product, getting objective feedback from real customers, incorporating updates, testing the market for demand, and getting pricing feedback to ensure there’s enough of a margin between your costs and what consumers are willing to pay.

You’ll need some money in order to make money online in this case

Startups can cost quite a bit to get off the ground. So with your idea and market validation solidified, there are a few different paths you can follow to get your initial “seed” cash:

  • Bootstrap: This means you’ll be self-funding your business. While not everyone will have the funds to pay for everything they need to start a startup, bootstrapping means that you retain 100% control over your company. You’ll be using the financial tools you have at your disposal—whether that’s financing your business growth with credit cards, personal loans, traditional business loans or a home equity line of credit. The payoff if you can bootstrap your company to an exit or IPO though, is that you might not ever have to work another day in your life.
  • Pitch to VCs/Angels/other investors: If you need some serious cash to grow your startup, you’ll want to put together a pitch deck and reach out to investors who might want to give you the money you need in return for a stake in your company.
  • Join a startup accelerator: Another great option is to apply to a startup accelerator like Y Combinator, 500 startups, or TechStars, where a group of investors will help coach you, connect you with potential partners, and provide startup cash in return for a small stake in your company. The competition is tough to get into these, so don’t rely on them as your only path forward.

Once you’re off the ground, it’s all about customer acquisition, market validation, more funding, and growth.

Of course, that’s a simplified version of everything it takes to build your startup. Luckily, there is now more support, education, and access to funding for budding startups than ever before. And a great place to start is with this list of 101 best free and cheap online business courses for entrepreneurs I put together.

3. Build and Sell Software

Build and Sell Software to Build a Real Online Business

Right now there’s an insatiable need for useful software.

Whether it’s an important consumer application, a specialist app to solve a particular niche problem, or even a time-wasting game you can play on your phone, you can create a massively successful business if you build software that helps people. (Look at the rise of Slack—the team communication software that went from side project to billion-dollar company in just 2 years.)

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Most of the software and apps you use on a regular basis are made by massive companies or established development studios. Well, yes. But many successful apps, particularly those in the Apple and Google stores, are created and marketed by individuals and small businesses. In fact, independent developers made $20 billion in the App Store in 2016 alone.

There are two basic ways that you can make money online by building software products

  1. The first follows the startup path we outlined above: You have a disruptive idea for an app or piece of software, you validate the idea with real customers, and then raise money to hire developers or a development studio to build, launch, and scale your software. If you’ve done everything right, your software will be accepted to the Apple and Google Stores and you’ll make money every time someone downloads it or pays for a premium feature.
  2. The second (and cheaper) path assumes that you have the design and dev chops yourself to build your dream software. Naturally, it’ll take more time to get your product off the ground, but being able to bootstrap the development of your software lets you retain more ownership in your business and be more in control of your path, making this a lower-cost, but higher time investment to make money selling apps.

If you’re willing to take the time to learn the development skills necessary to build high-quality software products (or even MVPs to help you get funding), there’s a growing roster of reputable online learning platforms like Treehouse, CodeAcademy, and Skillcrush to get you the skills you need.

4. Start an eCommerce Site and Sell Physical Products

Start an eCommerce Site and Sell Physical Products (Screenshot)

If finding a better solution to a problem hundreds or thousands of people have doesn’t seem like an option right now, you might be better off setting up a virtual shop and selling physical items.

These days, this couldn’t be easier. Sites like Shopify have made it easier than ever to build a customizable, powerful eCommerce site in a weekend and start selling products now.

This is one of the oldest and most time-tested ways of making money online

Plenty of digital entrepreneurs have created sustainable businesses by either:

  1. Creating physical products they know people in their niche will love
  2. Purchasing low cost goods manufactured in foreign countries, repackaging or combining them with other products, and selling them for higher prices on domestic online marketplaces

While you’ll certainly have higher levels of success if you can nail creating and marketing your own unique product, from my own experience (and that of many other entrepreneurs), I know the extremely high costs and risk associated with starting a product-based business.

Instead, if you can find a solid product that’s already being manufactured at a reasonable price from a marketplace like AliExpress, LightInTheBox, or DinoDirect and market it to your audience, you’ll have the start of a money-making eCommerce machine.

Now, let’s get into the nitty gritty of how your online store is going to operate

Whether you’re selling your own new products or reselling other goods, you still have to consider how much stock you’re going to carry, how you’re going to fund upfront purchasing costs, and where you’re going to store your inventory. Remember, even if you avoid paying rent on a storefront, you still need to store your inventory somewhere.

Well. Not always. There’s another option that’s become incredibly popular in the last few years (and is my personal favorite way to operate a product business), called drop shipping.

With drop shipping, you’re effectively partnering with a manufacturer or wholesaler to sell their products. This way, you don’t pay upfront costs to buy inventory, aren’t sitting on unsold items taking up expensive warehouse space, and don’t have to deal with shipping the products yourself. You simply create your site, fill it with drop shippable products, and drive in customers, with almost everything else done for you.

Of course, there’s a higher price per product and your margins are lower, but you’re able to start your online store with little more than a Shopify theme and some hosted images of your products. When a customer makes a purchase, you in turn buy the product from your supplier who then ships it directly to your customer.

No inventory. No handling products yourself. No shipping by hand. Sounds pretty amazing.

If you want to supplement selling on your Shopify store with other marketplaces, here are a few other highly lucrative options:

  1. Fulfilled by Amazon: Rather than drop shipping, Amazon lets you store your products in their own warehouses, making them available for Free 2-Day Shipping to Prime members. Which has been proven to significantly increase sales.
  2. Etsy: If you’ve got handmade or crafty products, Etsy is a great marketplace to market and sell on (bonus points if your product is geared towards a more female audience)
  3. eBay: The online auction giant is still in the game and especially good for selling electronics, gadgets, clothing and apparel, and accessories.
  4. Craigslist: While the least scalable, it can be very cost- and time-effective to sell to people locally.

Just be sure to put a lot of care into your product listings. Everything from learning how to write a headline that’ll capture attention, to how effective the description is at convincing potential buyers your product is better than the rest, and even taking care to shoot high quality product photos can have a dramatic impact on your sales. I recommend using photo editing tools like Fotor, which gives you the ability to edit your images, create captivating graphic designs and more.

5. Find Freelance Clients and Sell Your Services

Find Freelance Clients and Sell Your Services with Online Marketplace Websites

If you have a marketable skill—like writing, designing, web development, marketing, project management, or anything else—one of the easiest ways to make sustainable extra money online is to start freelancing.

And while freelancing might not be as scalable as some of the other ideas we’ve spoken about, it’s not uncommon for solopreneurs to build healthy six-figure freelance businesses for themselves. (In fact, I’ve interviewed tons of them on my podcast!)

Today, over 54 million Americans are opting to forego traditional careers and start a freelance business.

There’s plenty of work and clients to be found. If you know where to look. To start, you need to know if there is enough demand for your skill to make it worth the effort to go out looking for work. Start by searching for freelance postings on sites like Flexjobs, SolidGigs, Contena or one of the dozens of other skill-specific freelance job boards.

How many postings are there for jobs similar to what you do? If there’s a decent amount and it looks like there’s steady demand, put those skills down on a shortlist and start researching the companies and industries that are hiring.

Freelancing is a proven way to apply your existing skills to make money online

I’ve written a full guide to starting your own freelance business, but here’s a quick list to get you started:

  • Decide what your goal is: Do you want a bit of extra income or are you looking to go full-time freelance? It takes time to ramp up a freelance business working from home, so it’s important to know your goals from the outset.
  • Find a profitable niche: We’ve talked about this a lot. But, where are you most comfortable? What niche do your skills, values, and interests intersect? Do you have 10 years of experience as a technical writer? Do you have long-standing PR relationships that’ll be invaluable in helping startups launch a successful crowdfunding campaign? Determine what makes your value unique, and lean heavily on showcasing that strength to your potential clients.
  • Identify target customers: Write down exactly who you want as your client and then start researching those companies and making your list. You’ll want your portfolio and cold emails to align with the companies you’re reaching out to
  • Set strategic prices: The $37.50/hr you earn at your day job doesn’t even come close to the hourly rate you’d need to charge, in order to create the same net annual income, once you’re self-employed. This infographic on calculating your freelance hourly rate can help you decide what to charge.
  • Pitch, cold email, and sign your first clients: Now it’s time to go after clients. Mention them in your content. Reach out to them over email or LinkedIn. Tailor your pitch to show what kind of value you bring to the table. (You can even read my personal cold email templates).

Lastly, remember to always have a solid freelance contract in place.

You might be working on small jobs to begin with, but getting in the habit of not starting freelance work without a contract in place can save you big time down the road.

6. Start Online Coaching and Sell Your Advice

Start Online Coaching and Sell Your Advice Online

Similar to selling your freelance services, you can also start selling your knowledge and advice in an area you specialize in as a coach or consultant. If you can bill yourself as an expert, there are tons of people out there willing to pay for your time.

Being an online coach or consultant is a great way to make money online, as instead of giving your client ongoing deliverables (like when you’re a freelancer), you’re teaching them to be better, faster, stronger than the competition. Your expertise becomes the product you’re selling.

While not very scalable, online coaching is a great way to build an online business

Even better, if you can find ways to package your experience and coaching skills into an easily digestible program, you have the potential to significantly scale this business model.

Now, if you don’t know people who might want your coaching services, there are a number of online tools and communities that make it incredibly easy to find clients and teach, on just about any topic area you can think of. Community driven platforms like Clarity.fm and Coach.me provide you with a network of potential clients to interact with, as well an integrated payment solution.

And while it’s one of the most limited businesses as you’re only able to charge for the time you can provide, many online coaches make hundreds or even thousands for their packages.

It’s also one of the quickest ways you can get set up and start generating revenue. All you really need is an account with one of the online coaching communities I mentioned above and expertise to share.

7. Create Online Courses to Productize Your Knowledge

Create Online Courses to Productize Your Knowledge into an Online Business

If you’re already an expert in a topic—either through your current job, freelance business, or coaching—you can package that knowledge into a high-value course and sell it for years to come.

And while building, launching, and marketing an online course does take a considerable amount of upfront effort, their earning potential is through the roof (especially compared to a lot of the other online ways to make money we’re talking about).

Courses and other knowledge products like e-books, are what’s called passive income. That simply means that once the upfront time and effort is put in, with just a bit of regular upkeep and marketing you’ll be able to continue to sell and make money from them for months and years.

So, how do you go about putting together your course? One of my favorite online course success stories comes from Bryan Harris of Videofruit, who built and launched an online course in just 10 days that made him $220,750!

Selling online courses are one of the most scalable ways to make money online

To hit this awesome goal, Bryan followed a four-stage process to discover, validate and launch his course:

Phase 1: Explore and discover the best topic for his course based on the most popular posts from his blog. This ensured he knew the content was already valuable to his audience.

Phase 2: Validate that people would actually pay for his course by surveying readers and securing pre-orders. (This is an important part that so many people forget. Never spend serious time building something unless you know there’s a paying audience for it).

Phase 3: Quickly write, record, and edit the course content. As he already knew there was demand, it made sense to create the content as quickly as possible. He could always go back and update or edit based on feedback from his initial students.

Phase 4: Launch the course to his email list. The success of your course comes down to getting it in front of the right people. And your own audience, no matter how small, is usually the best place to start. That said, you need to have a clear idea of your launch plan before you put it live.

Now, what if you don’t have a blog with popular posts? Or an email list to market to? Let’s look at how you can build your own online course with no previous experience:

  • Start by taking other courses you’re interested in: Not only is this important competitor and opportunity analysis, but it also gives you an idea of how a course could or should look and feel. What’s the pacing like? Is it via email, video, in-person chats? Once you understand how you want your course to look, it’s time to decide what it should include. Those same courses are a great starting place. How can you make your course better or more interesting? Do you have experience others don’t?
  • Choose your niche and check for demand: The golden course combination is when you can find an in-demand niche that aligns with your skills and unique experiences. A great way to do this is to use Google Trends, Google’s Keyword Planner and other key blogging tools to do keyword research and look for average monthly search volume for keywords related to your proposed course content. Are people actively looking for high-quality information about this subject? Of course, if you’re already creating content for a blog, coaching service, or a site like Medium, you can test demand this way for free just like Bryan did.
  • Find your niche partners, collaborators, and champions: As you’re creating your course, look for notable people who are also creating content in the space. Look at how their businesses operate and incorporate that into your own plan. You can also reach out to any influencers and make them affiliates for your own course. This way, they’ll be incentivized to share your content with their own audiences (which can be a major way to generate your first sales—it helps if you’re using one of the best CRMs for small business—and start building your own community!)
  • Create a killer course experience: With your course validated and in the works, you need to figure out how people will take it. Most course creators choose to host their courses (after going down the path of learning how to make a website) on their own blogs. This way, they get all the value of bringing customers back to their site on a regular basis. I host my own courses from a subdomain on my own site so I can easily add more. The course experience is incredibly important as well. And after trying most of the solutions, I highly recommend Teachable—an online platform designed specifically for courses.
  • Build your audience on a course community: If you’re just getting started building an audience for yourself and want to leverage communities already actively looking for content you can choose to host and sell your online course on a site like Skillshare or Udemy. These are easy, cost-effective ways to build an audience and test your niche to see if there’s demand for it.
  • Market your course: The beauty of using a course to make money online is that you can continue to sell it for as long as you’d like. Look for niche communities on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Reddit that might benefit from your content. Guest blogging on relevant sites. Look for anywhere you might be able to get in front of the right people. With just a few hours a month you can continue to generate sales.

At the end of the day, you’ll need to attract some sort of audience to sell your online course to—and if you can do that well, you’ll be on the path to building a very long-term sustainable online business for yourself.

8. Launch a YouTube Channel to Entertain and Educate

Launch a YouTube Channel to Entertain and Educate Others as a Business

While YouTube recently changed its monetization program, if you’re able to hit their new minimum bar of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of view time in the past 12 months, it’s still an incredible place to make extra money online.

YouTube is arguably the world’s second largest search engine (after Google) and is the third most-visited site in the world. In 2017, almost 5 billion videos were watched on YouTube every single day!

Rather than making money through subscriptions, YouTube channels are based on a traditional advertising system. Meaning the more viewers you get, the more you make. Once you’re approved for the YouTube Partner Program and can start including ads on your videos, with every 1,000 views, you will make approximately $2-$4. Which might not seem like a lot, but if you have 100 videos with 5,000 views a month each, that would be $1,000–$2,000 already. Just imagine if your videos start hitting millions of views!

YouTube is one of the fastest growing platforms you can make money online with in 2020

Growing a YouTube channel is a lot like starting a blog or website, except that you’re working in video—not writing. The first step is to choose what kind of videos you’re going to create. Most successful YouTube channels fall under one of two categories:

  • Educational content: People always want to find the quickest way to learn something new. And YouTube searches including the phrase “How to” are growing 70% year over year, making YouTube an incredible place to teach what you know.
  • Entertainment: Web series, product reviews, comedy sketches and pranks, vlogs, even video game walkthroughs—there’s so many different ways you can entertain people through your YouTube channel.

Next, you need to set up and build your YouTube channel. Your YouTube channel is your home base for all your content. If you already have a Google account for Gmail or Google Drive, then you can use that to log-in to YouTube and start setting up your channel. Pick a username that works for you and is memorable (if you’re using an existing Google account you’ll have to edit your username in Google+).

You’ll also want to make your YouTube channel more easily found by adding relevant keywords under the “Advanced” section and picking your targeted country (where you think most of your viewers are). If you have a personal blog or site, add it as an “associated website.”

Now, it’s time to start creating and uploading content. Make sure you’re using a high-enough quality camera (most smartphones will work but I’d suggest at least having a tripod so your footage isn’t shaky), but don’t worry about being perfect at first. The beauty of YouTube is that you can continue to test out different content and styles as you find what works for you. Instead, stick to a regular schedule to build up your subscriber base.

You can optimize your videos to rank higher by experimenting with attention-grabbing descriptions and previews as well as using relevant tags. You need to stand out and make people want to click on your video.

As you start regularly putting out content, you’ll hopefully start to build a bit of an audience. But to start seeing real money from YouTube you need to market your videos elsewhere. Share your channel on Twitter and Facebook. Distribute videos anywhere else you can think of. Also, interact with comments and build a community around the videos you’re making so people will share it with their friends.

Once you hit the 1,000 subscriber/4,000 hour threshold, you can start monetizing your videos by selecting “Monetize with ads” under the Monetization tab of your channel. While it can take a while to build up a decent following for your YouTube channel, it can be a lot of fun to do as well as become a steady source of extra income.

9. Record a Podcast and Share Inspiring Stories

Start a Podcast and Share Inspiring Stories to Make Money on the Internet

Podcasts are super hot right now, and for good reason. With how busy our lives are getting, more and more people are looking for passive ways to take in content. Which makes them both a great opportunity to build an audience and to make money online.

And while it will take time to build up a big-enough audience to attract advertisers and other ways to make extra income from your podcast, the opportunity is there. John Lee Dumas interviews entrepreneurs seven days a week for his podcast Entrepreneur on Fire and now makes more than $200,000 a month from it. In fact, John publishes all his income online and showed that he’s made almost $13 million since launching in 2012.

The podcast market is constantly looking for new, quality content. And luckily for anyone trying to get started, it’s now easier than ever.

Starting a podcast, like making a YouTube channel or blog, comes down to telling interesting stories and building an engaged audience. I’m probably sounding like a broken record by now, but you need a niche that you’re interested in and there’s already a demand for. Come up with a list of topics you’d like to talk about and then search iTunes charts, Google Trends and other podcast research sites to see what’s currently out there and popular.

You’ll need the right tools in order to make money online with a podcast

You can be as complicated or simple as you want depending on your comfort with audio equipment, but at the minimum you’ll want a microphone and software for recording your voice. Recording equipment like these three top options of various price points will get you started:

Plenty of other brands sell studio-quality, plug-and-play podcast setups that can get you recording today—but I personally use the Focusrite setup, myself.

Now, it’s time to plan out your show. If you’re doing an interview-style show, you’ll now want to start getting some guests involved. You can use your existing social network to reach out to people you already know or are connected with on Twitter or Facebook. You can also head to Medium or Amazon to find authors or experts on topics specific to your niche.

Once you’ve gathered a list, put together an outreach email template (as you’ll be doing this over and over) that’s short and clear with expectations. Tell your potential interviewee who you are, what your podcast is about, and what you’re asking of them. Do a few test interviews with friends and family to make sure everything is being recorded at the quality you want and then book your first episode.

Consider outsourcing components of your podcast to speed up delivery time

If you like learning new software or are experienced with audio editing, you can put the show together yourself. Otherwise, there are lots of services you can find that will help edit and build your show on place likes UpWork and Fiverr.

Congrats! You now have a podcast episode that’s ready to be uploaded to iTunes, SoundCloud, or anywhere else and promoted alongside the rest of your content!

The last step is deciding how you’ll market and monetize your podcast. The larger of an audience you have, the more chances you have for monetizing it. Choose the best website builders to create a simple site for your show and start sharing episodes to your network. When you’re ready to monetize there are a few options you can choose from:

  • Traditional advertising (sponsors)
  • Selling your own products
  • Donations and crowdfunding
  • Selling “subscriber-only” content
  • Putting on live shows

As Aaron Mahnke, creator of the Lore podcast says, “I always tell podcasters to use as many streams as possible. Don’t just sell ads on your show. Don’t just sell T-shirts. Don’t just do crowdfunding. Do all of it. Combine it and find the right mix, and together it adds up to something that’s stronger and more dependable.”

10. Join a Remote Company Part-Time (or Full-Time)

Join a Remote Company Part-Time or Full-Time (to Make More Money) Graphic

While most of the ideas for making money online we’ve covered so far can be done on the side, if you’re looking to completely change your career and start working online there are thousands of companies looking to hire who don’t care where you are.

More and more companies and startups especially are embracing remote work—where you use online collaboration and communication tools to do your work from wherever you want. And you don’t have to be a 20-something hotshot designer or coder to reap the benefits of working remotely. Many remote positions are for customer support positions or other customer-facing positions that don’t require specialized skill sets.

Better yet, they aren’t all full-time either, meaning you can find a remote company and job that works as a way to make extra money online.

If you’re interested, here’s a list of some of the best websites to find remote jobs today:

  • Flexjobs
  • SolidGigs
  • We Work Remotely
  • Remote.co
  • Remotive
  • Skip the Drive
  • Virtual Locations
  • Remote OK
  • Staff.com
  • Working Nomads
  • Jobspresso
  • Europeremotely
  • Jobscribe
  • WFH.IO
  • Outsourcely
  • PowerToFly
  • Landing.Jobs
  • AngelList
  • Authentic Jobs
  • The Muse
  • Idealist
  • Indeed

Here are even more of my picks for the best remote jobs websites where you can find high quality full-time flexible gigs.

Now, let’s talk about the rest of my picks for the best ways to make money online.

If you’re looking to build a new career online or test your way into launching a small business, the first ten ways we just ran through are some of the best, long-term plays for making money online. However, for a lot of people (myself included), you probably want to find other, quick online business opportunities where you can start seeing a return faster.

Which is a great idea. Of course, making money online takes patience and effort. But there are lots of proven ways you can get started making money today without the long lead time of building a startup or getting your own freelance business off the ground.

Also, no matter what your career, it’s important to diversify where your income is coming from. This means having multiple revenue streams from multiple sources, like selling your freelance services, affiliate and passive income, as well as coaching and other online odd jobs.

Not only will this multiply the money you’re bringing in in a serious way, but it protects you against any sudden changes in the market or in your business. Remember that old saying about putting all your eggs in one basket? A few hours a week committed to just one or two of the following opportunities will put you in a much stronger position to be financially safe and independent.

So, no matter what your speciality or niche, there’s a way to use your skills to bring in extra money online for you here:

11. Give Your Opinion in Online Focus Groups and Surveys

Give Your Opinion in Online Focus Groups and Surveys to Earn More

If you want to help shape digital products in their early stages, joining an online focus group or answering survey questions is a great way to make extra money online. They don’t pay as much as some of the other options we’re highlighting in this list, but you can join groups on sites like Survey Junkie, User Interviews and InboxDollars that pay out through PayPal, check or even Amazon gift cards. You’ll be asked to provide a bit of information about your personal demographics (age, location, etc…), but after that you can get going making money online through completing surveys.

12. Test Websites

Test Websites as an Online Freelancer (Graphic) to Earn Extra Income

You probably have a pretty strong idea of what makes a good website. Is the design clean and easy to navigate? Does the content make sense? Luckily, there are plenty of people out there who want to hear your thoughts. And they’ll even pay you decent money for it (most sites pay ~$10 per 20 minutes, or ~$30 per hour!)

To test these websites, you’ll be asked to visit the site in question and record your reactions and thoughts as you go through it. To get started making extra money online by testing websites, sign up for some of the most popular services like UserTesting.com, Userlytics, TryMyUI, Userfeel, or TestingTime (for people outside the U.S).

13. Narrate Audiobooks

Narrate Audiobooks to Make Extra Money Online form Home

The audiobook industry is booming, yet only 5% of books ever get made into audio format. If you’ve got a background in acting, or if people have said you’ve got a voice made for the radio, you can make extra money recording audio versions of independent and popular books. Sites like ACX connect authors with audiobook performers. So, whether you’re an author looking for more ways to sell your book, or an actor/voice actor looking to make some extra income, you can sell your services online.

14. Write and Sell an eBook (Amazon Self-Publishing)

Write and Sell an eBook on Amazon (Self-Publishing)

So many people dream of learning how to write an eBook, but never go through with it. Yet no matter what, I’m sure you have experience and value you could give through writing a book. By packaging your skills and knowledge into a downloadable eBook that helps people learn a skill, advance their careers, or start a businesses, you can change someone’s life and even make good money online. You’ll just need to employ an easy tool like Sellfy in order to quickly sell PDF files (like an eBook) to your readers.

Better yet, you can even upload your own book to one of the world’s largest book sellers: Amazon. With Amazon self-publishing, you set the price, retain the rights to your book, and get access to Amazon’s massive audience. For every sale, you keep 70% with Amazon taking the remainder as a fee. If you want to get started, check out Tara Gentile on CreativeLive as she shows you how to use your existing body of work to write an eBook within the next week. Who knows, you might just write one of the best business books or blogging books of the year!

15. Do Micro-Jobs on Amazon Mechanical Turk

Do Micro Jobs on Amazon Mechanical Turk (Graphic)

Amazon Mechanical Turk is a service that lets you make money online through doing paid microtasks. Each task is something simple that requires human interaction like rating search results, checking for the right spelling on search terms, categorizing the tone of an article, or even basic translating. You can do these tasks from anywhere you want and make money online from the world’s largest e-retailer.

16. Join Freelance Job Sites (Like Flexjobs and SolidGigs)

Join a Freelance Job Network Like Upwork or Fiverr to Earn Extra Online

It can take time to build up your personal freelance business. Yet, there is more demand than ever for freelancers. So, if you want to kick start making money online through freelancing you can join one of the top freelance networks, such as Flexjobs, SolidGigs, Contena, Upwork, Fiverr, or PeoplePerHour. Sign up, build your profile, upload some samples of your work and start making extra money by doing small freelance jobs.

Even if you already have experience or freelance clients, these networks can be a great way to supplement your income and keep work coming in without spending too much time on cold outreach.

17. Sell Your Services on Niche Sites Like 99Designs, Cloudpeeps or TopTal

Sell Your Services on Niche Sites Like 99 Designs, Couldpeeps or TopTal (Screenshot)

If you’re a skilled worker in a specific niche, like marketing, design, or software development, there are specialty marketplaces that cater just to you. These are amazing places to make money online as you know that the people visiting them are looking specifically for the skills you have. Check out places like 99Designs or Dribbble for designers, Cloudpeeps for marketing and SEO professionals, and TopTal, Crew, or Gigster for high-level software developers. Once you’ve built up your development skills, you can begin building a brand for yourself as a higher-value consultant and start charging brands for larger projects like implementing an entire WordPress security overhaul or migrating a website from http to https.

18. Do Graphic Design for Local Companies

Do Graphic Design for Local Companies to Earn Extra on the Side

Walk around your neighborhood or town and I’m sure you’ll see tons of great local businesses with terrible design. However, with increasingly easy-to-use tools like Adobe Illustrator, VenngageStencil, and Visme, just about anyone with a creative mindset and a good amount of motivation can start making money online by being a graphic designer for local companies.

19. Email Marketing with a Niche Newsletter (The Skimm, Mister Spoils)

Email Marketing with a Niche Newsletter (Examples of The Skimm, Mister Spoils) Screenshot

How many email newsletters are you bombarded with every single day? There’s a reason for that. Email marketing to an actively interested group of email subscribers is one of the best ways to make money online. There have even been million-dollar businesses built from simple email newsletters like TheSkimm, or Mister Spoils. Each newsletter targets a specific type of user with interesting, daily content, while also partnering with relevant companies and affiliates to bring in extra money. If this seems daunting, it’s not. Email marketing tools like MailChimp, ConvertKit, HubSpot and AWeber make it easier than ever to get started with email marketing. Here’s my comparison of ConvertKit vs AWeber vs Mailchimp to review a few of my top picks. Another great option to consider (with the largest free plan available) is SendPulse, with their ability to send up to 15,000 emails per month to 2,500 subscribers, and then affordable plans starting at under $10/month as you grow from there. And regardless of which email service provider you end up going with, it’ll eventually be smart to invest in tools like MailGenius that help increase your email deliverability, avoid spam folders and authenticate new subscribers as they sign up.

20. Sells Products on a Shopify Store

Sell Products on a Shopify Store to Generate Income Online

If you’re serious about making money selling things online, it’s pretty much impossible to not recommend Shopify. The platform gives you everything you need to get your online store up and running in less than a day including a custom domain, beautiful templates (so you don’t need design skills), secure payment options, and they can even take care of marketing and shipping for you. Whether you’re promoting your own products, designs, or curating other products for people in your niche, Shopify is the best option for powering your online store.

21. Sell Your Crafts and Art on Etsy

Sell Your Crafts and Arts on Etsy as a Way to Make Money on the Internet

Etsy is the most popular online marketplace for handmade goods and crafts. From bracelets to phone cases, rings, furniture, and more, Etsy is perfect for anyone who is creative and wants to sell their handmade creations. As long as you have the space, this can make for one of the best ways to make money online that can be started with a very limited investment. Consider these 5 steps to starting an Etsy store, from Handmadeology.

While Etsy is a great place to get in front of potential customers who wouldn’t have otherwise found you, once you’re up and running and have built a decent audience, you can move your store over to Shopify and retain a larger portion of the income you make from selling your goods.

22. Become an Influencer on Instagram

Become an Influencer on Instagram as a Way to Grow Your Business

Build up a following on your Instagram account and you could quickly be making extra money online. Major brands, gear companies, and even startups are willing to shell out $500-$5,000+ per post to get in front of your audience. While it’s getting harder and harder to build a massive Instagram audience, if you already have a solid niche and are posting quality content regularly with a great camera for taking Instagram photos, with a few small tweaks you can make yourself an influencer. Check out this awesome article from Shopify on how to build and grow your Instagram following to get started, and as your following grows, you can start a blog to really build up your blog business plan and take things to new heights.

23. Sell Your Art and Designs on Society6

Sell Your Art and Designs on Society6 as a Way to Earn from Your Creativity

While Etsy is fantastic for handmade goods that you’ve already created, if you’ve got killer designs that would look good on phone cases, t-shirts, or even wall hangings, pillows, and duvets, you can sell them on Society6 without paying anything to start. Society6 lets artists upload their designs and create their own shops where they choose what products their designs can be used on. That means one design can be used to make a whole range of awesome products that are printed and shipped on demand whenever someone buys from you. With top creators making thousands every month just from selling their designs.

24. Local Business Consulting

Local Business Consulting as a Source of Money (Graphic)

If you’ve developed valuable skill sets or picked up certifications within your industry over the years, offering your consulting services to local business owners can be a lucrative way to make money online. Whether you’re an expert marketer, business strategist, or manufacturing aficionado, there’s likely a local business owner who’s willing to pay you to help them solve an issue with their company. Start with my guide to launching a freelance (consulting) business and then use my breakdown of crafting an effective cold email to convince local small business owners to hire you. You can even get hired as a consultant by putting your work online and publishing helpful content (take my roundup of honest Bluehost reviews as an example) and prospective clients will want to hire you for more personalized help if they like what they see.

25. Sell Stock Photos Online

Sell Stock Photos Online as a Way to Make Money (Screenshot)

If you have a fondness and talent for taking pictures you can make extra money online by becoming a stock photographer and selling your images to a stock photo company like ShutterStock or iStockPhoto. You’ll get royalties every time someone licenses an image you’ve submitted. To really be successful, build your own photography website to be able to showcase your portfolio and start getting higher-paid private corporate work.

26. Rent Your Home or Room on AirBnB

Rent Your Home or Room on AirBnB as a Source of Side Income

Not only is Airbnb a great way to make extra money online by renting out your spare bedroom, but you also get the benefit of meeting new people (if that’s your kind of thing). You can even rent out an entirely new apartment just to manage as an Airbnb.

But don’t make the mistake of thinking this will be a passive source of income—you’re on call whenever you have a guest and you’ll always need to keep the place clean for incoming visitors. On top of just renting on Airbnb, consider offering your guests paid add-ons, like Lauren Gheysens’, Royal Day Out in London, England—where she gives visitors a local’s only tour of the city, complete with bespoke 18th century costumes.

27. Start an Online T-Shirt Business

Start an Online T-Shirt Business to Make Extra Money

It’s sometimes hard to comprehend just how much people love t-shirts. And with the right niche, marketing and tools, you can create an online t-shirt business that makes you extra money online while you sleep. (Even Bloomberg and Forbes feature stories from entrepreneurs who’ve done just that.) Services like TeeSpring make it easier than ever to create a t-shirt drop-shipping business where they handle the sales, printing, and shipping, and you’re only responsible for design and marketing. Or you can even buy into well-established franchise businesses like Rhea Lana that sell fashionable, affordable kids clothing and get the backing of a proven organization to fuel your online sales. For more tips, check out this simple guide to launching and marketing an online clothing store by my friends over at Selz.

28. Sell Your Expertise on Clarity.fm

Sell Your Expertise as a Consultant on Clarity.fm to Advise Entrepreneurs

If you’ve got experience and expertise in a specific area of business, there are hundreds if not thousands of business owners who would love to jump on a phone call and pick your brain. This can be an easy way to make extra money online and to hone your skills to use in your consulting or freelance business. Sites like Clarity.fm let you create a profile where entrepreneurs and business owners can pre-pay to book a phone call with you for a set amount of time. Whether you’re an expert in raising money for startups, building apps, or running a restaurant, you can make extra money selling a few minutes of your time to people in need.

29. Answer Professional Questions on JustAnswer

Answer Professional Questions on JustAnswer as a Freelancer

If it’s not clear yet, information and expertise are two of the most consistent and lucrative ways to make extra money online. If you don’t like talking on the phone, you can sign up to get paid to answer professional questions on JustAnswer. There are thousands of questions being asked every month from people looking for help from lawyers, doctors, mechanics, vets, and more. To apply, you’ll need to supply your professional verification, resume, and a form of identification.

30. Become a Virtual Assistant

Become a Virtual Assistant as a Source of Side Income

If you have a knack for organization, you can make money online as a virtual assistant helping people to keep their days in order. A virtual assistant will do everything from bookkeeping to research, database entry, booking travel, and managing email. It can also be an awesome way to rub shoulders with some very important people, build up your professional network, and of course grow another stream of income. You can find great gigs on UpWork, Fiverr, Indeed, and Remote.co.

31. Get a Commission-Only Sales Gig

Get a Commission-Only Sales Gig as a Freelancer

If you’re willing to take on some risk and have the heart of a true hustler, you can make extra money online doing commission-only sales for startups and other businesses. While you won’t be getting a regular salary, with the right sales strategies and skills as an inside sales rep, you can make decent money for each sale you bring in. And because you’ll most likely be working with startups, if you can negotiate a little equity you could profit big time if you’re pitching a solid product and the startup succeeds.

If you need to brush up on your sales skills, check out online courses like Sales Training and Prospecting on Udemy, The Guide to Pitching and Selling Clients on CreativeLive. And once you’re ready, head over to Angel List and see if there any open sales position opportunities align with your interests.

32. Teach English as a Virtual Tutor

Teach English Online as a Virtual Tutor on a Freelance Basis (Screenshot)

Teaching and tutoring English as a second language is a great way to make money online, not to mention open some doors for you to travel the world (and document it by starting a travel blog if you’d like). While full ESL (English as a Second Language) accreditation is recommended, as long as you’re a native speaker and have the ability to teach, there are people in countries such as Hong Kong or the UAE who are willing to pay upwards of $25/hr for you to tutor them English via Skype. Check out Indeed, Learn4Good and Remote.co for remote english tutoring jobs or sign up on a specialized site like Preply, VerbalPlanet or Chegg Tutors.

33. Guest Post as a Freelance Writer for Niche Websites

Guest Post as a Freelance Writer for Niche Websites (Graphic)

If you’ve got a way with words and expertise in a niche, there are plenty of sites that will pay for articles and content you write—plus guest blogging is also one of the best ways to build up the authority of your own blog over time. Think of the sites you read regularly. What can you contribute to them that would be interesting? Research your niche and then look for ways to pitch articles. Many sites will simply have a submission or contact link in the footer. To get started, check out my full guide to becoming a freelance writer on the side and then submit your articles to places like Listverse, A List Apart, International Living, FundsforWriters, and Textbroker.

34. Write on Medium’s Partner Program

Write on Medium's Partner Program to Earn Extra on the Side (Screenshot)

Medium is an online community where anyone can post articles and essays and get them in front of their audience of millions of monthly readers. While it can be a great place to build your audience for your own blog or find customers for your consulting business, with Medium’s new Partner Program, you can now make money online whenever someone reads your articles. Register for free and you can choose whether your articles are freely available or only readable by those people paying $5/month for a premium Medium membership. You’ll make money based on the amount of people who read and engage with your posts each month.

35. Help People with Their Tax Prep

Help People with Their Tax Preparation as a Consultant on the Side

It’s not the sort of online money making opportunity that’s covered in glory, but everyone needs a set of eyes to make sure the numbers add up at the end of the year. Every business and most individuals need someone to help prepare tax returns, especially time or resource-strapped small business owners. The Income Tax School provides an array of training programs that’ll certify you with tax prep in as little as 10 weeks, and once tax season rolls around you’ll be able to charge an average of $229 per return as a freelance tax preparer with this way to make money, reports CNBC. Plus, this skill also creates the opportunity to spin your expertise into a larger online business where you could produce written content, videos, podcast episodes and further niche down into a specific industry like advising on taxes for bloggers.

36. Transcribe Audio and Interviews

Transcribe Audio and Interviews as a Freelancer

Journalists, doctors, lawyers, academics, and researchers record interviews every single day and need someone to transcribe what’s been said. So, if you’re comfortable with listening to the same audio over and over while writing it down you can make good money online doing transcriptions.

Most services pay anywhere from $15 to $25 per hour of transcribed audio. If you specialize and have training in legal or medical transcription you can make even more. If you’re a beginner transcriptionist you can find jobs at Transcribe Anywhere, TranscribeMe, Quicktate, Rev, Tigerfish, and Crowdsurf.

37. Proofread Articles

Proofread Articles as a Freelancer to Make Money on the Side

As long as there is still the written word, there will always be editors. Freelance editing and proofreading not only pays a decent hourly wage, it also gives you the chance to read about potentially interesting topics too. What’s more, pursuing freelance writing & editing as a business idea can afford you a lifestyle that lets you travel the world as a digital nomad. You can find lots of job postings from companies and individuals in need of writing, proofreading, and editing services on Contena, which makes this a high-demand opportunity to make money online.

38. Private Labelling and Selling Products on Amazon

Private Labelling and Selling Products on Amazon as a Way to Earn Extra Income on the Side

More than half a billion products are sold on Amazon every month, making it an incredible opportunity to make money online. But, like everything else that involves making money online, you have to do quite a bit of work to earn it. One option on Amazon is to find products that are already made and buy and sell them at a discount. For example, you could research generic products such as clocks, keychains and mugs to attach to your brand.

39. Online Travel Consultant

Become an Online Travel Consultant to Plan Trips as a Freelancer

If you love to travel and find yourself randomly searching for airfare sales or browsing Lonely Planet, why not carve out a niche for yourself as a private travel agent? My friend, Mark Jackson did just that, making extra money online with his travel consulting side business. Start with word of mouth recommendations from friends who know they can count on you for the cheapest flights, and then move on and create a Facebook or LinkedIn group to invite people who want to stay on top of the latest deals. Eventually you could spin this into a full-time consultancy teaching people how to make their dream trips a reality.

40. Do Virtual Odd Jobs on TaskRabbit

Do Virtual Odd Jobs on TaskRabbit as a Freelancer to Earn Extra Money

If you don’t mind doing other people’s chores, then TaskRabbit is a great option for making money online. Earn extra income by walking your neighbor’s dog or mowing Mr. Smith’s lawn. It might seem like not the most lucrative option, but the top taskers reportedly earn as much as $7000 a month, making this a full-time way to make money online for some.

41. Clean Up Search Engines

Clean Up Search Engine Results Pages and Accuracy as a Side Job

Ever see a Google result and say “How the heck did that get there?” While Google and other search engines use powerful algorithms to determine what pages to show for search results, there are real people making money online by making sure the machines are doing their job correctly.

With sites like Appen and LionBridge you can make money by conducting researches on predefined search queries and providing feedback for results based on their relevance.

42. Enter Online Contests for Company Names and Slogans

Enter Online Contests for Company Names and Slogans to Make Money Online

Do you constantly come up with witty one-liners? Do you dream of the days of Mad Men-style advertising? If you’ve got some branding chops or just come up with imaginative copy, there are lots of opportunities to make money online through company naming and slogan contests. If you think you have a knack for names check out the Squadhelp platform where you can earn a little extra money online by naming brands, services, products, company slogans and even help out on the logo design front if you’ve got the chops.

43. Get Paid for Being Healthy

Get Paid for Being Healthy with These Apps

It doesn’t pay much, but if you’re a healthy person and want to make a bit of extra money online, the AchieveMint app will reward you for doing things like walking, tracking your food, or taking health surveys. AchieveMint works by connecting to fitness apps you might already be using like Fitbit, RunKeeper, Healthkit, and MyFitnessPal and then giving you points for certain actions. For every 10,000 points, you earn $10 with no limit on your earnings.

44. Write Reviews of the Places You’ve Been

Write Online Reviews of the Places You've Been as a Side Income Source

When was the last time you went to a new restaurant without looking it up online beforehand? Or bought a product that didn’t have at least a few 5-star reviews? It seems like more and more our world is run on reviews. And you can make money online by writing them. Get started by creating accounts on sites like Vindale research, Software Judge, FameBit, CrowdTap, Influence Central, and Modern Mom. However, before you run off and start writing, be sure to check the small print on each of these sites. Writing reviews isn’t a huge source of guaranteed income and you want to make sure that it’s worth your time before you get going.

45. Do Data Entry for Companies

Do Data Entry for Companies Online

If you’re a stickler for details and have quick typing skills, you can make money online by entering data for companies. Simply search “data entry” jobs on places like Craigslist, Indeed, or UpWork.

46. College Admissions Essay Editor

Become a College Admissions Essay Editor to Help Students Get into their Dream Schools

If editing and advising college students on how to write compelling 500 word essays on topics such as “You were just invited to speak at the White House. Write your speech,” seems like something you would want to do, you can make good money online.

Trust me, tons of parents will pay you to edit admissions essays and offer constructive feedback for their children. Look for open positions at top editing companies like Scribendi, Top Admit, or Essay Edge or post your services online on Craigslist and other marketplaces.

47. Help New Teachers by Selling Your Teaching Plan

Help New Teachers by Selling Your Teaching Plans (Graphic)

Being a new teacher can be nerve wracking. Which is why so many people are looking to buy your old teaching plans to help them feel more comfortable in front of their first class. If you’re a teacher, you can make money online through a site like Teachers Pay Teachers, which lets you buy and sell your original teaching materials.

48. Maintain Artist Fan Pages

Maintain Artist Fan Pages as a Source of Side Income

Your favorite artist, musician, or entrepreneur often needs help maintaining their fan pages on Twitter and Facebook. If you have a bit of a background in social media you can make money online looking after these pages by looking for jobs on Fiverr.

49. Look After Other People’s Pets

Look After Other People's Pets as a Way to Make Money on the Side

In 2017, there were almost 90 million pet dogs in the US. Which has opened up a huge opportunity to make money online as a dog watcher or sitter. Specialized sites like Rover or Care.com connect pet owners with pet walkers, sitters, and boarding houses to help look after their best friends when they’re at work or on a trip. If you’re an animal lover, you can make extra money and get to spend some quality time with a furry friend.

50. Sell Your Old Smartphone and Other Tech Goods

Sell Your Old Smartphone and Other Tech Goods Online

The global used smartphone industry is worth a staggering $5 billion. Which means that old phone you forgot about in your cabinet could be worth some serious money.

There are tons of sites online that will either buy your old smartphone outright or let you list your phone for the thousands of people out there not willing to shell out $1000+ for a shiny new iPhone. Check out Buyback BossOrchard, Gazelle, or Swappa to make extra money online by selling your smartphone or other electronics.

51. Sell Your Old Books

Sell Your Old Books on the Internet (Graphic)

If you want to clear some space out in your house and have a big stack of books you’ve been holding onto for too long, you can make money selling your books and textbooks online. Stores like Half Priced Books and others will give you cents on the dollar for each of your current books while you can check what your book is worth by simply entering the ISBN number on Book Scouter.

52. Rent or Sell Your Clothes Online

Rent or Sell Your Clothes Online on the Side

Is your closet bursting with clothes you’re simply not wearing anymore? Rather than take them to a local thrift or consignment store, you can make money online by renting to selling your clothes. Check out sites like Tradesy, SnapGoods.com, Loanables.com, and RentNotBuy.com.

53. Online Dating Consultant

Try Being an Online Dating Consultant as a Business

Believe it or not, some people have such a difficult time with dating, they don’t even want to participate in the online (or app-based) component of it. If you’re a smooth talker, you can leverage that skill into making money online as a matchmaker on sites like Relationship Hero.

54. Rent Your Car on Turo

Rent Your Car on Turo to Generate Some Extra Income on the Side

If you own a car but barely use it, you can make some easy money online by renting it out on Turo. Before you freak out, rest easy knowing there’s a $1 Million insurance policy on all cars rented on Turo, plus drivers are prescreened.

55. Become an Online News Writer or Columnist

Become an Online News Writer or Columnist as a Remote Freelancer

You don’t need to have a degree in journalism to make money online as a reporter or columnist these days. Plus, there are many news websites that can always use a bit of help on getting local coverage.

Some of them, such as The Examiner, will compensate contributors based on ad revenue generated per article written.

56. Buy and Sell Domain Names

Buy and Sell Domain Names as an Online Side Business

Imagine being the original owner of Insure.com (which sold for $16 Million in 2009).

Domain name trading has been around for the last couple decades, and while most slam-dunk names have long been sold off, there’s still plenty of others that you can get your hands on for relatively cheap and broker as a way to make money online. Before you dive in, however, beware that some experts doubt the long-term viability of this idea for making money online. However, there’s always the chance you might just land on a lucrative domain name for a future billion-dollar company. To get you started, here are some tips from GoDaddy, arguably the world’s largest and most famous repository of domain names.

57. Do Data Analysis for Companies

Do Data Analysis for Companies as a Freelancer (Graphic)

Got a thing for numbers? Plenty of companies pay talented contractors who are good at data analysis, making this a potentially lucrative way to make money online, if you have the right credentials and experience. Platforms like Flexjobs and TopTal are just two of many websites that are great for freelancers with an analytical prowess.

58. Online Personal Trainer or Fitness Coach

Become an Online Personal Trainer or Fitness Coach to Make Money on the Internet

If you’re a fitness buff and have the right combination of charisma and business sense, working as a part-time online personal trainer can be both physically and financially rewarding. Once you build up a reputation and client base for yourself, it could easily turn into a full-time endeavor for you. Check out a few of the top fitness blogs and observe how they make money online from their content sponsorships, affiliate earnings and product sales.

59. Sell Your Songs

Sell Your Songs Online (Screenshot) as a Contractor

The music industry might not be as strong as it was in the 80s, but there are still plenty of ways to make money online as a musician. Sites like SoundBetter let you sell your services as a songwriter, producer, or session musician to thousands of customers a month. While Musicbed, Music Vine, Marmoset, and SongFreedom are perfect for licensing your music to TV shows, movies, and web series.

60. Subcontract Your Extra Work and Start an Online Agency

Subcontract Your Extra Work and Start an Online Agency to Build a Remote Business

Once you’ve established yourself in any of the numerous freelance verticals online, spending your time focusing just on doing inside sales (booking freelance contracts with high-value clients) and then subcontracting your work out to other freelancers can be a great way to make money online.

Rather than simply selling your own time, you’ll be building a business that can scale and grow beyond the hours you have to sell each day.

61. Create DIY or Cooking Videos

Create DIY or Cooking Videos to Earn an Online Income

You know those top-down cooking or craft videos you just can’t seem to get away from these days? There are people out there making a living from them, especially those that also run their own food blogs or travel blogs. In fact, a whopping 78% of B2C companies depend on user-generated content (like these videos) for their marketing campaigns. You can sign up as a creator on a site like Darby Smart and potentially work with brands like Nordstrom, Mattel, and BarkBox. Or, learn how to master PPC advertising and you can use the content to build your YouTube following and monetize through ads and views.

62. Edit Videos Online

Edit Videos Online as a Freelancer to Make Extra Money (Screenshot)

Video is growing like crazy. And more and more people are looking for professional help cutting their raw footage into viral-worthy content. If you have the right software and a bit of skill, you can easily make money online as a video editor. Check out these article of Fstoppers on how to become an online video editor and then look for relevant jobs on Mandy.com, Creative Cow Job Search, or ProductionHub.

63. Build a Niche Website

Build a Niche Website and Use Affiliate Marketing to Grow a Home Business

Find an audience for your passion or hobby and you’re all set to make money online doing something you love via a niche website. That of course, is easier said than done. Creating a profitable niche website takes time and is not intended for the faint of heart. But, if you can hurdle the steep challenges and positively answer a few key questions on whether the website business idea you’re thinking about is profitable, then you can begin building it and eventually monetize through advertising, affiliates, or other relevant digital products.

64. Become a Contract Customer Service Superstar

Become a Contract Customer Service Agent and Work for Yourself From Home

Like talking to people and helping walk them through problems? You can bring in extra income as a contract customer support superstar for companies all over the world. Due to the 24/7 nature of online businesses, companies are looking for people in different time zones to help deal with issues that their users are having. Better yet, if you have experience in service or retail you’ll be perfectly suited. Check out indeed or the other remote job boards I listed earlier to find opportunities.

65. Buy an Existing Website

Make Money Online by Buying an Existing Website and Growing it (Graphic)

Websites aren’t too dissimilar to stocks. Many are junk, but some can generate serious income for you, making buying an existing website a strong potential idea for making money online (if you have an eye for spotting the diamond in the rough).

You can buy and sell websites in the hope of generating future earnings based on their user traffic, current revenue intake, domain name, or some other factors that might be a hidden cash cow everyone else has overlooked. Interested? Check out marketplaces like Flippa and Flipping Enterprises to learn more.

66. Become an Online Notary

Become an Online Notary to Make Money on the Side

Every year, hundreds of millions of documents are notarized in the United States: wills, mortgages, citizenship forms, handgun applications. While for decades, this has all been done in person, there is a budding crop of sites that allow notaries to take their services online. If you’re already a notary, you can sell your services online. Or, if you want to get started, check out the National Notary’s checklist for becoming a certified notary.

67. Run Corporate Workshops

Run Corporate Workshops as a Freelancer as a Home Business

Another way to utilize your talent and business skills is to run corporate workshops online. Businesses are always looking for unique ways to help educate their workforce, and if you can package your talents into a day or half-day long session, you can sell that to companies all over the world to make money online. Start by building a portfolio and then reaching out on LinkedIn to influencers at relevant companies to see if they would be interested in you teaching their team.

68. Lend Your Voice to Voice-Overs

Do Voice-Overs as a Freelancer to Earn Online

Has anyone ever told you you have a voice for radio? Are you great at creating original characters with just your voice? There are tons of people looking to pay for quality voice overs for their corporate videos, animation series, or educational videos. Check out Fiverr and UpWork or create a profile on a specialized site like Voices.com or The Voice Realm to get started making money online doing voice overs.

69. Small Business Marketing Consultant

Become a Small Business Marketing Consultant (Graphic) to Make Money Online

If you have experience with marketing, SEO, or a knack for getting people excited about the products and services you use on a regular basis, think about refining your skills and putting them to work making money online as a small business marketing consultant in your region—especially if you can become a local SEO expert and can help local clients rank higher in their search results.

Businesses of all sizes are in constant need of bringing in more customers, which is where you come in with your business idea. Start by pitching creative small business marketing ideas to local businesses and you’ll be sure to impress the first set of clients you begin working with in your area.

70. Rent Your Camera Gear

Rent Camera Gear Online to Make Money with KitSplit (Screenshot)

Thanks to online marketplace websites like KitSplit, it’s never been easier to rent out your camera gear that spends more time sitting in your closet than it does in the field. From cameras to lenses and so much more, there are over 40,000 people using KitSplit to earn a passive income from renting out the camera gear they already own.

71. Help Other Businesses Bring Back Old Customers

Picture of Entrepreneur Starting an Email Follow Up Business to Generate Income

You don’t have to start your own online business from scratch. Instead, you can build one (very quickly) by helping out people who already have a successful business. Every service business has a long list of past clients they’re most likely not doing a good job of keeping up with—but their neglect is your opportunity. It’s up to 5x more expensive to attract a new customer than it is to keep an existing one. By helping businesses follow-up and bring back their old customers, you’re saving them money (and making your own!). A follow-up business like this can be as simple as a series of emails you write for a client to help them bring back old customers (check out this step-by-step guide for videos and example pitches). All you need is some writing skills, time to research and craft an effective outreach campaign to prospects in a profitable niche.

Final Thoughts on How to Make Money Online in 2020

With the explosion of online businesses, there has never been a better time to look for ways to make money online.

From starting a blog to drop-shipping products online, finding great remote jobs and everything in between, it’s a very attainable goal to create an online living for yourself this year.

My decision to learn how to make money online has completely changed my life.

Below is a screenshot of how much money I’ve made online (from my blog) through November of this year alone.

How to Make a Blog and Profit (Quickbooks Screenshot) Revenue Figures This Year

Sure, it’s taken me years to get to this point—and a LOT of hard work—but it’s been worth the payoff. Today, I have a real online business to call my own.

Life-changing endeavors like starting a business, all the way down to taking on part-time consulting or coaching clients or just answering surveys can be impactful. There’s certainly more than a few ways you can start making money online today and feeling more financially secure in your future.

Did I miss any of your ways to make money online?

Let me know your own personal ways for making money online (in the comments below).

Share some details about what’s working for you and I’ll add them to the list! 😊


2021 BMW M3 and m4 will have a large kidney grille

BMW M3 M4 kidney grille 2021 1

For whatever reason, there seems to be a large section of the BMW that flat-out doesn’t believe that the next-gen BMW M3 and M4 will have the large kidney grille design we’ve seen so much of lately. Whether it’s denial or delusion, there are many fans who seem to think BMW is trolling us all and will actually reveal the final cars with more normal grilles. However, BMW seems to have squashed those ideas with this newly release teaser photo of both cars.

BMW M3 M4 kidney grille 2021 1 830x553

In this photo, we get to see the back of end of the BMW M3 and the front end of the BMW M4. Though, they’re both hidden in the shadows, blocking most of their designs. That doesn’t stop us from seeing the fact that BMW’s new grille design is on the M4, definitively. The photo was also posted to social media by BMW M CEO Markus Flasch, with the caption “This is going to be huge”, followed by a winky-face emoji. I’m sure he intended that to be both figurative and literal, as the new grille design is a big deal and it is, indeed, massive. So it’s as legitimate as it gets.

This new grille design was first seen on the BMW Concept 4 and it wasn’t met with much admiration. Instead, it was mostly criticized by almost all enthusiasts and journalists who saw it. Though, that can happen with such new and radical design changes.

There’s no question, it’s going to be a polarizing design. Sure, some fans will get used to it over time and it does actually have a following of fans that like it. However, there are going to be a lot of fans that struggle with this new design. We’re so fascinated by it and can’t wait to see it in person. Thankfully, that opportunity is coming and it’s going to be sooner than later.


How Much Does it Cost to Start a Blog in 2020? (Blog Costs Guide)

This is the ultimate guide to figuring out how much does it cost to start a blog? So, follow along and we’re going to break down the cost to run a blog in 2020.

How much does it cost to start a blog?

Depending upon your goals and the type of blog you want to start, your blog costs will be around $34.50 to $65.40 to start a blog in 2020 and cover your first year of expenses.

If you need to factor in buying a computer, phone or other hardware into your equation for how much it’ll cost to start a blog—then that can add anywhere from $200 to $2,600 in one-time purchases depending upon the brand of computer (Windows vs Apple) and features (MacBook vs MacBook Pro) you decide upon. Plus, there are a lot more variables to consider when calculating all of your blog costs.

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Blog in 2020? (Blog Costs Guide)

  1. Minimum Cost to Start a Hobby Blog in 2020: $34.50
  2. Minimum Cost to Start a Side Hustle Blog in 2020: $65.40
  3. Minimum Cost to Start a Full-Time Blog in 2020: $941.40
  4. Hardware Costs: $0 – $2,640
  5. Hosting Costs: $2.95/mo
  6. Domain Name Cost: $0
  7. WordPress Theme Costs: $0 – $49
  8. WordPress Plugin Costs: $0 – $217
  9. Email Marketing Tool Costs: $0 – $41/mo and up
  10. Security Costs: $0 – $240
  11. Extra Blogging Tool Costs: $0 – $2,217
  12. Advertising Costs: $0 – $1,000
  13. Content Creation Costs (Outsourcing & Admin): $0 – $500
  14. Accounting Costs: $0 – $500
  15. Additional Costs You May Not Consider: $0 – $370
  16. Doing the Math: How Much Does it Really Cost to Start a Blog?

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission. When you purchase a product using one of my affiliate links, the company compensates me, which helps keep all of my content free of charge to you. Know that I only recommend products and tools I’ve personally used and stand behind.

First and foremost, it’s important to note that the cost of starting (and running) a blog can actually vary widely depending upon the decisions you make on a broad range of startup costs and ongoing purchases. We’ll be focusing solely on making smart financial decisions in this blogging costs guide.

This year, there are an estimated 31.7 million bloggers in the U.S. alone—and if you’re here, you’re probably wondering if now is the right time for you to learn how to start a blog and jump into the industry yourself.

After 6+ years of growing this blog to more than 500,000 monthly readers and turning it into a full-time business for myself, here’s my honest take: Starting a blog can be incredibly fun, lucrative and immensely rewarding, but it’s also important to first understand how much does it cost to blog?

Is the upfront investment of starting a blog actually worth it in the end? Yes, and in this guide to understanding blogging costs for your own unique goals & needs, we’re going to break down (item-by-item) the exact blog costs you can expect to incur in 2020. Most importantly, I’m going to show you the very minimum cost to start a blog in the leanest way possible—as well as the expenses you can expect to incur once your blog is growing and you’re ready to seriously invest in turning it into a profitable blog business.

Here, we’re breaking down the benchmark costs to start a blog for 3 different groups:

  • Hobby Bloggers (blogging solely for fun or as a creative outlet)
  • Side Hustle Bloggers (blogging on the side of your day job to slowly build a business)
  • Full-Time Bloggers (blogging as a full-time business)

Here’s why—if you’re just getting started and want to keep your new blog on a tight budget, you’ll have a different threshold for costs compared to someone who’s running a blog that already generates a little income when it makes sense for them to upgrade into more premium expenses like faster web hosting, better plugins or themes and more robust email marketing tools.

To get straight to the point though…

Here’s exactly how much it’ll cost to start a blog (and run it) this year—depending upon the type of blogger you want to be.

How Much it Costs to Start a Blog in 2020 (Blog Costs Summary):

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Blog This Year? Infographic Answer

To be fully transparent, I’ll be the first to tell you that these summary numbers are an over-simplification and not necessarily what everyone who starts a blog this year should expect to spend. To really get a sense of how much it costs to start a blog, you’ll need to dive deeper into this blog budget template and guide to managing your anticipated costs.

Because the reality is that your best answer to the question… “how much does it cost to start a blog?” may be a little different than someone else’s.

There are plenty of areas where you can significantly cut costs in your blog budget (depending upon your goals and if you’re willing to make some sacrifices), while there are other areas that you may want to spend a little more.

So, we’re going to begin by thinking about what kind of blogger you want to be—and the most realistic starting point you’ll be at for a blog budget right now.

Want to Start Your Blog (the Right Way)?

Check out my ultimate guide How to Start a Blog (on the Side).

Now without further delay, let’s dive in!

Determine Your Blogging Purpose First (3 Types of Bloggers)

The cost to run a (fun-only) personal blog will be very different than the cost to run a blog you want to make money from and grow into a full on business.

A personal blog that you set up either on WordPress or one of the top free blogging sites will be structured completely differently (and have a different set of goals, tools, structural decisions) than a blog that’s set up to eventually generate income and be a real business.

In this guide, we’re going to walk through how much it costs to blog in the leanest way possible—and all the way up to what a serious business blog costs to run once it’s grown a bit.

Are You a Hobby Blogger?

The first category is the personal or hobby blog. This is the type of blogger that has little to no interest in ever monetizing their blog—they just want a creative outlet to share about their life, practice their craft or keep family up-to-date on local happenings. Hobby bloggers are usually on a tight budget, want low upfront costs and skip on any paid blogging tools that can accelerate growth. We’re calling this group the hobby blogger.

Are You a Side Hustle Blogger?

The next category of blogger, the side hustle blogger, definitely has the goal of building a profitable blog within their niche, but they’ve got other commitments in their lives (like a full-time job, family or otherwise) that don’t yet allow them to work full-time on growing their blog today.

They’re able to publish content with some frequency, and they do plan to make money from their blog eventually, but they know it’ll take some time to get there while they maintain other key responsibilities. This category of blogger is willing to spend a little more money up front to get the right blog setup that’ll ensure long-term growth & success, but don’t want to make a huge investment right away. We’re calling this group the side hustle blogger.

Are You a Full-Time Blogger?

The final category is the blogger that’s all-in right now—ready and willing to spend a meaningful amount of capital upfront in order to grow as quickly as possible. They have a clear idea of what they want to do with their blog and they’re comfortable with higher costs because they understand how they’ll translate into blog revenue. This category of blogger sees their blog primarily as a business. We’re calling this group the full-time blogger.

So, how much does it cost to start a blog?

Let’s look at the real costs to start a blog—for each type of blogger.

The Hardware Costs of Blogging: $0 – $2,640

How Much Does it Cost to Blog This Year? A Visual Breakdown with Screenshots and Examples in 2020

Typically, when you consider the question, how much does it cost to start a blog? you’re probably thinking first about the software side of things. The blogging platform you choose, hosting plan, theme design and such. But first and foremost, the hardware (computer) you choose to use for blogging is also an important aspect—especially if you don’t already have one that you can use for your blogging endeavors.

👋 If you already have a computer and smartphone, you can skip the hardware costs of blogging

While many aspiring bloggers probably already have a computer, it’s still something to factor into the cost of starting a blog for some. Not only that, but consider that you may need to upgrade from your current computer if you’re serious about blogging.

Here’s a list of some of the basic (hardware) items you’ll need if you’re starting a blog.

Hobby Blogger Hardware Costs: $200

  • Laptop computer (or desktop): $200

To be a hobby blogger, you really don’t need a lot of hardware. A decent laptop and a smartphone will do it. In fact, you may not even need anything beyond a computer as far as hardware costs are concerned.

If you don’t already have a laptop, you can get one on Amazon for less than $200. You’re probably going to use the laptop for more than just blogging, so it’s a worthy investment to make.

If you don’t already have a smartphone for your regular life, it isn’t a necessity for blogging. It’s convenient to check things out or upload content when you’re on the go—but you don’t absolutely need to have it.

Instead, you may want an inexpensive digital camera so you can load pictures to your blog. If you’re not interested in providing your own pictures you can also use free images from image sites like pexels.com and pixabay.com.

Minimum Hardware Costs for a Hobby Blogger: $0 – $200

Side Hustle Blogger Hardware Costs: $1,400

  • Upgraded computer (powerful laptop): $600 – $2,000
  • Smartphone with a good camera (for photo and video): $40/mo
  • Headphones: $60

Upgraded Laptop Computer: $600 – $2,000

At the side hustle blogging level, you need a laptop that’ll give you more functionality, dependability and processing power. I’d highly recommend a laptop over a desktop because you can take it anywhere. If you’re traveling or want to work at a coffee shop before heading into your day job—you can take your blog with you. It’s a much smarter plan for a blogger who’s taking their blog growth seriously.

The type of laptop you choose is up to you, but you want it to have good processing speed and a lot of storage. A bonus would be something that comes with video and photo editing software.

The biggest question is whether you want to get a Windows laptop or spring for a more premium MacBook.

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Blog? Pricing Breakdown of Hardware Laptops

MacBooks are the most popular choice for bloggers (including me), but Windows-based laptops are getting much better and can be a viable option today. Most of the time, this decision comes down to preference. Those that are used to one or the other generally want to stick with what they’ve been using. A MacBook will cost more money, but tends to be much more powerful and will last for the better part of a decade—making it an overall better laptop.

Depending on the make and model of the laptop you choose, you can expect to pay anywhere from $600 to $2,000 dollars for a fast computer that’ll last years.

Smartphone with a good camera: $40/mo

A smartphone is extremely useful for bloggers today, making it an essential factor in your how much does it cost to start a blog equation. It keeps you connected to the digital world even when you’re away from home. You can receive emails on the go and quickly share relevant content to your blog’s social accounts when you’re out.

Collecting photos or video material for your blog is easy with a smartphone. You may not always have a camera with you, but you probably take your cell phone wherever you go. Get a smartphone that takes excellent photos and videos for content purposes.

Another reason to have a smartphone, is that you can use it to see how mobile-friendly your blog is. This is useful because it’s predicted that by 2025 over 72% of Internet users will only use smartphones to connect to the web.

For a non-prepaid cell phone plan you should expect to pay around $40 a month.

Headphones: $60

A good pair of headphones is essential for those early mornings or late-night coffee shop work sessions. They’re also helpful if you live with other people and need to focus while working on your blog around others on a regular basis.

You can get a decent pair of headphones for around $60 or spend up to $400 for the highest quality Bose ones.

Minimum Hardware Costs for Side Hustle Blogger: $0 – $1,400

Full-Time Blogger Hardware Costs: $2,640

  • Fast, reliable and top of the line laptop (MacBook Pro): $1,300 to $2,600
  • Smartphone with high data plan: $90/mo
  • Bose noise-canceling headphones: $300
  • High quality microphone: $150

MacBook Pro Laptop: $2,100

For a full-time blogger, your hardware costs will be somewhat similar to that of a side hustle blogger, but with one big exception—you’re going to be using your computer A LOT.

So, it’s worth investing a little more up front today into the best possible laptop you can get your hands on: a MacBook Pro. This computer is built to last you the better part of a decade.

My recommendation is to get your hands on the 13-inch MacBook Pro with the maximum processing speeds and memory—maxing out these two features will guarantee you’re getting the fastest possible laptop that can handle multi-tasking different applications at the same time, lots of browser tabs being open at once and that everything happens at lightning speed.

Smartphone: $90/mo

A full-time blogger can also expect a higher-tier phone plan to unlock more data and a newer phone. You can expect to pay around $80 to $100 for that combination. It always helps to shop around, because there may be a different plan that offers you what you want at a better price—with a new iPhone, of course.

Headphones: $300

Your headphones don’t necessarily need to be more expensive as a full-time blogger, but you may want noise cancellation headphones like the Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Bluetooth if you plan on working out of coffee shops, at a noisy co-working space or from a home office where pets and kids are running around. These headphones usually cost around $250 to $350 depending upon where you find the best discounts online.

Microphone: $150

For full-time bloggers, producing your own podcast (or at least recording some limited videos for a YouTube channel) should be on your radar for soon accompanying your written blog content. A good microphone is a smart addition, and most of them will run you between $100 and $200 on Amazon, though there are plenty of less expensive options too.

Minimum Hardware Costs for a Full-Time Blogger: $0 – $2,640

Hosting Costs (WordPress with Bluehost): $2.95/mo 

The next thing to consider when it comes to how much it costs to start a blog—is your blogging platform and web hosting plan you’re on.

While there are free (no hosting required) blogging sites that you can use to test the waters into writing as a hobby blogger, I can’t recommend enough that new bloggers use the combination of WordPress with a Bluehost hosting plan.

Wix and Weebly are popular choices for free blogging platforms, but they’re pretty limited and you don’t actually own the rights to your blog. Even if you’re choosing a hobby blog, I still suggest paying the low cost of hosting to have total freedom with your content. Plus, if you ever want to get more serious about blogging and growing your site, you won’t have to go through the hassle of moving your site later on.

Moving forward, we’ll be breaking down the costs of blogging using the combination of WordPress (as your content management system) and a Bluehost hosting plan.

Bluehost Hosting Expense in How Much it Costs to Start a Blog This Year

Hobby Blogger Hosting Costs: $2.95/mo

WordPress is 100% free content management system (CMS) to use for managing the content on your blog, so the only thing you’ll need to pay for is hosting.

When it comes to getting your blog hosted on a budget, Bluehost is what I recommend. They also come highly recommended by the makers of WordPress themselves, and they’ve built their business around offering reliable, inexpensive hosting plans to new bloggers.

For a hobby blogger, you really only need to purchase their Basic plan, which gets you everything you need for $2.95/mo.

It’s important to note though, that Bluehost hosting is paid up front in a single payment (that secures your hosting price and a complementary domain name for a minimum of your first year).

If you want the flexibility of true month-to-month payments, but don’t mind paying a little more each month to keep your blog online, check out my picks for the best monthly paid plans for bloggers that need to keep their monthly budget really low.

Minimum Hosting Costs for Hobby Bloggers: $2.95/mo

Side Hustle Blogger Hosting Costs: $5.45/mo

For a side hustle blog that you’re taking seriously and hoping to grow into a source of revenue for this side business—I recommend springing for Bluehost’s faster hosting plan that comes with a few more features—called the Choice Plus Plan.

Their Choice Plus Plan comes with a lot of features beyond what you’ll get in their lowest-cost plan, including free domain privacy, automated backups and more disk space (to get your site running faster). This plan will cost you $5.45/mo, and as with all Bluehost hosting plans, requires at least a 1 year commitment up front. That being said, the full year payment does lock you in at one of the lowest-cost hosting plans for the amount of features, value and reliability—especially because you’ll be blogging for the long haul.

If you want to shop around a bit more though, check out the other options for high quality hosting plans that offer a true month-to-month payment option.

Minimum Hosting Costs for Side Hustle Bloggers: $5.45/mo

Full-Time Blogger Hosting Costs: $5.45/mo

In my opinion, even if you’re diving into blogging as a full-time endeavor, you don’t need a hosting plan more robust (or expensive) than Bluehost’s Choice Plus Plan until you’re attracting thousands of monthly readers to your blog.

It’s only at that level of readership that it makes financial sense to upgrade to a more robust hosting plan, either with Bluehost or from one of the other best web hosting providers.

So for now… stick to the Choice Plus Plan from Bluehost that’ll cost you just $5.45/mo and you’ll be good to go for a while as you focus on more important matters (like getting readers).

Bluehost does offer what’s called WordPress managed hosting though, for when you are ready to upgrade (read these Bluehost reviews about it when you’re ready). These plans are usually on sale for existing customers and range in cost from $19.95/mo to $49.95/mo which unlocks more great features for active blogs—like unlimited web storage, unlimited domains and much higher levels of hands on technical support.

Minimum Hosting Costs for Full-Time Bloggers: $5.45/mo

Domain Name Cost: $0

A domain name, your blog’s address on the Internet, is another relatively small expense that bloggers have to pay.

How Much Does it Cost to Blog? Domain Name Cost and Explanation

Thankfully, if you choose Bluehost for your hosting plan, you’ll get your domain name included free for the first year—and it’s around $10/year to renew it after that. So for getting your blog started, your domain name cost will be $0 if you opt for Bluehost.

If you don’t want to use Bluehost for your hosting and domain name—or if you want to switch later—here are some other options:

GoDaddy’s pricing varies a bit based on the domain name you’re considering purchasing (popular names tend to go for more), so it’s difficult to estimate exactly what it will cost to get a domain name on GoDaddy. For most .com extensions, you can usually expect to pay between $10.00 and $20.00 per year. Again though, these may just be introductory prices and they vary greatly depending on a number of factors.

NameCheap is another solid option to evaluate for picking up an inexpensive domain name, but like with GoDaddy, their pricing varies quite a bit based on a number of factors. You can expect to pay around $9 for most .com domain names for your first year of registration.

Google Domains charges a consistent $12.00 registration fee for .com domain names. Of course, some names are deemed premium and do cost more from any domain registrar.

Minimum Domain Name Cost for All Bloggers: $0

WordPress Theme Blog Costs: $0 – $49 

Picking a WordPress theme for your blog is an extremely important step in the process of building your blog.

While you can change your theme in the future, it does take some reconstructing your website in order to do so—which is why I highly suggest picking a great theme from the start, so you don’t have the hassle of multiple theme changes in the future.

Hobby Blogger WordPress Theme Costs: $0

There are quite literally thousands of free WordPress themes available today, but if you’re looking for a free theme that’s easy to use, ultra fast and offers beautiful design layouts, my #1 recommendation is the Hello Theme from the team behind Elementor.

The Cost to Start a Blog (and Blog Budget) WordPress Theme Costs

This free Hello Theme was created to be fully compatible with the Elementor Page Builder, which also starts fee and will extend your functionality significantly—giving you a ton of visual editing and creation features.

Minimum Cost for a Hobby Blogger WordPress Theme: $0

Side Hustle & Full-Time Blogger WordPress Theme Costs: $49

As either a side hustle or full-time blogger, you’re out to grow your blog into a source of revenue. You’re taking your blog very seriously.

And if you don’t come from a background in web development, you’ll find it extremely beneficial to use a premium theme and visual page builder like Elementor on top of your Hello Theme. Premium page builders like Elementor offer a lot more customization options and the freedom to tweak the design of your blog exactly however you want.

While Elementor does technically start out as free, the personal plan of Elementor’s PRO Page Builder unlocks all of the features you’ll want as a serious blogger (for $49.00/year):

Elementor WordPress Theme Screenshot Homepage

Pairing their free Hello Theme with the Elementor PRO Page Builder is the way to go—and it’ll keep your cost to start a blog nice and low.

Eventually over time, it might pay off to start investing in a fully custom-built theme that can suit your very specific needs, but I’ve been blogging for 6+ years here with the same premium theme I started out on—so fear not.

Minimum Cost for a Side Hustle & Full-Time Blogger WordPress Theme: $49.00

WordPress Plugin Blog Costs: $0 – $217 

If you’re not already familiar with WordPress plugins, a plugin is a small piece of software that adds new functionality to your blog.

WordPress Plugins How Much it Costs to Start Blogging

Plugins are really useful for WordPress-powered blogs and can allow you to do a truly unlimited number of things with your site. There are tens of thousands of free and premium plugins available in the WordPress ecosystem, but a few rise above the rest.

You’ll want to start by first installing all of the top plugins I recommend in my guide about how to start a blog. After those top ten, consider these.

Hobby Blogger WordPress Plugin Costs: $0

A hobby blogger shouldn’t have to worry about purchasing a premium plugin. There are lot of useful ones that are totally free. Here are some that you may find helpful.

  • Instagram Feed: Instagram Feed lets you display your Instagram feed directly embedded into your website.
  • Google Analytics for WordPress: You may not yet be monetizing your website, but it’s still smart to install Google Analytics or a more premium analytics tool like Fathom to develop an understanding of who your readers are and how they discover your content. It’s good information to collect if you ever do want to start monetizing your blog.
  • Envira Gallery Lite: You can create galleries directly in WordPress and within Elementor, but Envira Gallery Lite gives you even more options.

Minimum Hobby Blogger WordPress Plugin Costs: $0

Side-Hustle Blogger WordPress Plugin Costs: $217 

Side hustle bloggers will want to move beyond just free plugins and opt for utilizing at least a small handful of the best premium plugins to aid in everything from writing great blog content, to making sure you’re hitting the right SEO best practices, making your content easily shareable and more. Here are the top premium plugins you’ll want:

  • Yoast SEO – $89/year: Yoast SEO has a very robust free version of their plugin that helps you create SEO-friendly content (to rank higher on search engines). The free version offers free keyword optimization, readability checks, communication with Google indexing and a lot more. The premium version of their plugin includes internal linking suggestions, content insights, focus keyword experts and more to consider upgrading for. The premium version costs $89 a year.
  • WooCommerce – $0: WooCommerce is a powerful eCommerce add-on plugin for bloggers interested in using their site to sell their own products. The best part is, it starts out completely free to use and only costs you something once you want to unlock advanced features (or you’re processing a high volume of transactions).
  • WP Forms – $79/year: WP Forms is an extremely helpful premium plugin for bloggers that want to include any kind of form on their site (if you don’t have a WordPress theme that allows for the easy insertion of forms already). Their form tools are extremely dynamic and start at $79/year.
  • WP Rocket – $49/year: WP Rocket is the fastest caching plugin for WordPress that keeps your website running extremely quickly, even when you have a lot of traffic.

WP Rocket Plugin Cost to Start a Blog

Minimum Side Hustle Blogger WordPress Plugin Costs: $217

Full-Time Blogger WordPress Plugin Costs: $217

Full-time bloggers should maximize all of the best premium WordPress plugins as well as other key plugins that add smart functionality to your blog.

In addition to the plugins listed above, you may want to consider these more advanced ones (depending upon the type of blog you’re building and the ways in which you’ll be monetizing your content). For that reason though, I’m not adding any of the below plugins into your equation for figuring our how much does it cost to start a blog. If one of these resonates with you though, then add it in!

  • Zero BS CRM – $204/year: ZBS CRM (also known as Zero BS CRM), is a customer relationship management WordPress plugin that gives you insights into who your customers are. This is an extremely helpful plugin for eCommerce-focused blogs that are selling products directly from their sites. The plugin is free, but you can add extensions at a premium cost. ZBS CRM has also recently joined the team at Automattic, the company behind WordPress, so you can expect more great integrations.
  • LiveChat – $192/year: LiveChat gives you the ability to immediately chat with visitors on your website. If you sell products directly on your blog, then this is a great plugin to add into your mix—that way you can answer important questions from your potential customers on the go. LiveChat ranges in price from $16/mo to $50/mo (or more) depending upon features.
    LiveChat Plugin for WordPress How Much Does it Cost to Start a Blog?
  • WPML – $29/year: If you’re interested in reaching readers in regions of the world where English isn’t as common, then the WordPress Multilingual Plugin is what you’re looking for. It ranges in price from $29 to $159. The lowest version can translate posts, pages, tags, WordPress menus and more—so you’ll be good to go with that.

Since many of these plugins are optional depending on your unique needs, I’m leaving the plugin costs at the same level as for side hustle bloggers: $217.

Email Marketing Tool Costs: $0 – $41/mo (and up) 

Email marketing is the lifeblood of just about every profitable blog. And your blog’s true worth is in the quality of your email list.

Email Marketing Tools in How Much it Costs to Start a Blog This Year

Why? Your email marketing is a way for you to communicate directly with blog readers who’ve expressed an interest in what you do and signed up to get more of your content.

They’re your first stop for figuring out how to monetize your blog and will be an unlimited source of new blog post ideas to write about too. That’s why you should start building an email list as soon as possible.

Hobby Blogger Email Marketing Tool Costs: $0 

A hobby blogger likely isn’t very interested in creating an email list—but it’s still not a bad idea to start one with the goal of building relationships with your readers and making your blog a more meaningful destination. Plus, if you’re a hobby blogger with an interest in monetizing your blog in the future, there’s no time like the present to start an email list.

Mailchimp Email Marketing Tools for Bloggers to Consider in Their Budgets

The good news is, you can use Mailchimp‘s Forever Free Plan with a limited feature set up to 2,000 subscribers.

Since your blog isn’t meant to be a serious business if it’s just a hobby, you may never cross that 2,000 subscriber mark, so Mailchimp would be perfect for your needs. That means you’ll be able to maintain an email list for free indefinitely.

Either way, even if you do self-identify as a side hustle or full-time blogger, there’s a good argument to be made for starting with a free tool like Mailchimp in order to keep your costs low in the very early days—before ramping up to invest in a paid tool like ConvertKit or AWeber.

Minimum Cost for Hobby Blogger Email Marketing Tools: $0

Side-Hustle and Full-Time Blogger Email Marketing Tool Costs: $0 – $41/mo (and up)

My advice for both serious side hustle bloggers and full-time bloggers is the same when it comes to email marketing tools: ConvertKit all the way (but not right at first).

ConvertKit Landing Page Screenshot How Much Does it Cost to Blog

You’re probably familiar with Mailchimp, AWeber and ConvertKit as the top three big email marketing choices for bloggers. This is a quick version of my opinion on these three tools and why ConvertKit ultimately wins, but if you want a deep dive, check out my more in-depth comparison of them all.

Unless you’re starting your blog with an existing list of email subscribers—I suggest sticking with the free version Mailchimp to start collecting subscribers and getting to know them.

If you’re not actively working to making money with your blog right from the very beginning, you can’t really justify the expense of a more powerful (paid) email marketing tool like ConvertKit.

Once you do start crossing into 1,000+ subscriber mark, then I’d recommend upgrading to ConvertKit. It offers the most functionality, includes the ability to deliver automated emails (which can be used to sell your products on autopilot) and so much more. But by time you get to 1,000+ subscribers, you should be monetizing your blog to the extent that more than pays for this tool.

The cost of using ConvertKit rises with your number of email subscribers—but the starting price (for 1,000-2,000 subscribers) is $41/mo (paid annually).

Minimum Cost for Side Hustle and Full-Time Blogger Email Marketing Tools: $0 – $41/mo

Security Costs: $0 – $240/year 

WordPress.-powered blogs don’t come with robust (built-in) security like you might expect from a website builder like Wix.

However, the hosting company you choose to power your blog should provide an extra layer of defense. That’s why I recommend Bluehost (they include site lock security).

Security Costs to Consider in Starting a Blog Screenshot

As your blog grows (and generates revenue) though, security becomes increasingly important—as your site can be targeted by hackers seeking to exploit your earnings.

Hobby Blogger Security Costs: $0

Thankfully, if you’ve chosen Bluehost to host your blog, you have their baseline built-in security.

For a hobby blog, your risks for additional threats are extremely low—and what comes with Bluehost is all the security you’ll need for now.

Minimum Security Costs for a Hobby Blogger: $0

Side Hustle Blogger Security Costs: $99/year

As we’ve already covered, if you’re hosting your blog through a reputable company like Bluehost or Dreamhost, then you’ve already got a baseline level of security monitoring in place. But for additional security, installing an easy-to-use security plugin like Wordfence is a great starting point (and will stay on your blog budget).

Wordfence Security for WordPress Homepage Screenshot

Wordfence starts out at $99/year for installing their advanced security features on one blog. You can usually get a promotional 10-20% discount if you sign up for multiple years too.

With this security plugin, you’ll add many safety features like:

  • Leaked password protection
  • Live traffic monitoring
  • Two-factor authentication
  • File repair
  • Country blocking
  • Advanced manual blocking
  • Endpoint firewall
  • Malware scanner

Minimum Security Costs for a Side Hustle Blogger: $99/year

Full-Time Blogger Security Costs: $240/year

Cloudflare Security Costs to Blogging

For the highest-level security on your blog, Cloudflare is the best possible choice (and it’s what I use here to secure my blog).

Cloudflare ranges in price from totally free to $200+ per month depending upon the size of your website, how many visitors you’re getting, number of pages they’re protecting and such.

If you’re a full-time blogger, you’ll probably want either their Pro or Business Plan. The Pro Plan is recommended for, “Professional websites, blogs and portfolios requiring basic security and performance.”

The Pro Plan includes:

  • Enhanced security with Web Application Firewall (WAF)
  • Enhanced performance with image and mobile optimization
  • HTTP/2 prioritization
  • More control with advanced features

This plan is a good starting point and costs: $20/mo

The Business Plan is for, websites and businesses requiring advanced security, performance, and prioritized support. Here are some quick specs on this product:

  • 24/7/365 support
  • Custom SSL Certificates
  • CNAME Setup
  • Custom WAF rules
  • Up to 100K image resizing request

This plan is worth upgrading to once you have a sizable amount of readers and costs $200/mo.

Minimum Security Costs for a Full-Time Blogger: $240/year

Extra Blogging Tool Costs: $0 – $2,217/year

Here’s a list of the best extra tools and plugins that I’ve personally found useful in growing my blog over the years.

If you’re trying to answer, how much does it cost to start a blog? for yourself, then don’t forget about these essential add-ons that’ll help you drive more traffic & earn more over the months to come.

Hobby Blogger Extra Tool Costs: $0

For your hobby blog, I highly recommend using only free tools and plugins. Start here:

  • Google Analytics – Free: Since 2005, Google Analytics has been a (free) web analytics service built and offered by Google that allows blog owners to track and report on their website traffic. Today, it’s just one of the many blogging tools offered inside the overall Google Marketing Platform brand, designed for marketers and advertisers to reach more readers.
  • Twinword Ideas – Free: This free blogging tool from the team at Twinword, gathers keyword data directly from Google and other top search engines, making it more accurate than most other free keyword research tools out there today. Leveraging this free tool will help you pick smart topics to write about (that people are already searching for online) and give you some insights into writing a blog headline that people will actually click on.

Minimum Extra Tool Costs for Hobby Bloggers: $0

Side-Hustle Blogger Extra Tool Costs: $290/year

At the side hustle blogging level, you’ll start to pay a little bit for extra tools that add meaningful functionality to your blog.

Remember at this stage, your goal is driving more traffic and better-monetizing your content—and these kinds of tools are well worth the investment towards that pursuit.

  • MonsterInsights – $99.50/year: To put it simply, MonsterInsights is a dead simple Google Analytics plugin for WordPress—that allows you to view your GA data directly within your WordPress dashboard. MonsterInsights allows you to easily connect your WordPress blog with your Google Analytics account (without hiring developer or writing any code yourself)—a task that can sometimes be a bit more complicated than most new bloggers bargain for, depending upon which of the top WordPress themes you’re using. MonsterInsights starts out free, and their Plus plan unlocks all the additional features you’d ever need at $99.50/year.

MonsterInsights Plugin for WordPress Blogs

  • Wordable – $190/year: Converting a blog post draft from a Google Doc into WordPress can be an incredible pain. That’s why I love Wordable, because it’s saved me literally hundreds of hours of my life. Once you’ve signed up for Wordable’s free trial, you’ll download their plugin and install it on your blog. Then, in literally one click, you’ll be able to instantly export Google Docs into a WordPress post or page on your blog—without any formatting challenges. Wordable costs $190/year to run on one blog.

Minimum Extra Tool Costs for Side Hustle Bloggers: $290/year

Full-Time Blogger Extra Tool Costs: $290 – $2,217/year

Beyond the tools in the side hustle section above (which I’d consider must-have’s in your equation of how much does it cost to start a blog?), I recommend taking these more advanced tools into account for your blog budget if you can afford the additional spend and you’re focused on serious growth in the immediate term.

  • Ahrefs – $990/year: Hailing as the absolute best SEO-related tool for bloggers and online businesses alike, Ahrefs has more than earned its reputation at helping content creators nail the most important blog SEO strategies—with a special emphasis on keyword research & competitor analysis. Their most relevant features for bloggers, is that it quadruples as a content research and analysis juggernaut, keyword rank tracker (with historical SERP movements going as far back as when your blog began ranking for its first keyword), a competitor research tool and on-page SEO analyzer. I know, that’s a lot. The lowest plan with Ahrefs will run you a hefty $990/year (when paid annually), but I can promise it’s well worth the cost.
  • Teachable – $348/year: As your blogging business grows, making and selling online courses will be a natural evolution along the path to monetizing your blog. Teachable has long been one of the easiest-to-use online course delivery platforms that can not only serve content to your students—but also collect payments on your behalf. Teachable starts at $29/mo when billed annually.
  • Can I Rank? – $588/year: This is by far one of the most exciting new tools I’ve started using this year. At the core of their product, it’s an AI-powered software engine that gives you actionable advice for how to improve your blog’s SEO rankings, get more traffic and even gather clever content ideas to pursue based on your existing content—and which opportunities will provide the most potential traffic value in the months to come. Can I Rank? ranges from free to $49/mo for plans that a full-time blogger should consider.

Can I Rank Tool for Bloggers

Truth be told—as your blog grows, you can spend much more than this in all the advanced blogging tools out there.

So your version of, how much does it cost to start a blog? can actually vary quite a lot depending upon the mix of tools you’re leveraging to grow your blog.

Minimum Extra Tool Costs for Full-Time Bloggers (+ the Side Hustle Tools Above): $290 – $2,217

Advertising Costs: $0 – $1,000/year

Advertising Costs to Blogging Your First Year

The cost of advertising is a common one up for debate amongst bloggers.

Should you pay for advertising, or should you invest in (arguably slower) free marketing strategies for growing your blog? I’d actually argue that there’s a time for both paid and free marketing channels—and it depends largely on where you’re at in your blogging journey.

For example, if you have a brand new blog with no means of monetizing your traffic yet, then it makes no sense to run paid ad campaigns to your content yet. You’ll want to get up and running enough to where your content is at least somewhat monetized before you’re spending a meaningful amount of your blog budget on ads.

Here are some of my best ways for growing your blog that includes both free and paid channels.

Hobby Blogger Advertising Costs: $0

It almost goes without saying that a hobby blogger wouldn’t spend money on advertising. Without any intention of making money from their blog, it really doesn’t make sense to.

However, you probably still want to attract some people to your blog—even for the fun of interacting with people who are also interested in the same things that you are. There are a ton of free ways to find your target audience and grow your readership, but a few pertinent ones are here:

  • Post to Pinterest: Posting on Pinterest is often a lot more useful and far-reaching than other social media platforms. Use portrait-oriented images with text right on the image. These images perform the best on Pinterest because people scrolling through can see at a glance what your blog post is about.
  • Use Other Social Media Platforms Too: Don’t stop with Pinterest. Share information about your blog across the spectrum of social media. Repost your blog posts to Medium, share your newest content on Twitter, and post relevant photos on Instagram. Join a group on Facebook in your niche and share your newest blog posts with them.
  • Ask Your Audience Questions: If you want to get to know what interests your audience—ask them! Ask on social media, in email marketing, or right in a blog post. This gives them a chance to boost your social media posts by engagement and also gives you an insight into the kind of content they’d like to see on your blog.

Minimum Hobby Blogger Advertising Costs: $0

Side-Hustle Blogger Advertising Costs: $0 – $100

Like it or not, advertising your blog is an experimental task.

Right now, you won’t know the most effective ways to market your blog—until you try a few things first.

You can spend a little money on social media ads (on Facebook or Pinterest), but there are a lot of other ways to grow your blog audience without having to spend much money. My advice is to cap your social media advertising costs to around $100 on the platform your audience seems to spend the most time on.

Here are some ways that have worked well for me in growing my blog:

  • Develop a Content Ecosystem: A content ecosystem means having enough relevant content on your site that you can link to internally (like this link right here to developing a content marketing strategy). I’ve linked to several relevant articles from this guide about how much does it cost to start a blog? because I’ve spent a lot of time creating my own content ecosystem. Doing this accomplishes two things. One, it establishes your authority on a subject. It also shows your readers that you’re deeply familiar with the topic they came to your site to research. The other obvious benefit is people will spend more time on your blog rather than searching for information on someone else’s site.

How to Develop a Content Ecosystem Graphic in Blogging

  • Optimize Your Blog for Google Search Rankings: I won’t go into depth here about Search Engine Optimization, but it’s an extremely important aspect of getting more readers to your blog. Do your keyword research, pay attention to the recommendations from your Yoast plugin and use smart blog SEO strategies.
  • Reach out to People (and Brands) You Mention in Your Posts: Bloggers are far more successful when they have a strong network. One way to grow your network is to include other bloggers in your content. If you quote someone or link to their content, reach out using my blogger outreach email templates and let them know. They may share your article with their audience—and even if they don’t, you’ve still made a good potential connection.

Minimum Side Hustle Blogger Advertising Costs: $0 – $100 (for Experimenting)

Full-Time Blogger Advertising Costs: $0 – $1,000/year

It’s tempting to think that at this level of full-time blogging, you should spend more money on advertising.

And while a sponsored guest blogging opportunity may actually be a good opportunity to grow your audience a bit (if you land the article on a site with a large target audience that you also want to reach), that’s about the only other paid advertising experiment I’d personally recommend when you’re still early on in your blogging journey. Especially if you don’t much by way of monetized content on your blog at the moment.

All of this being said, I’m a big believer that you can grow your blog without hemorrhaging money. Here are some more ways to build your audience that won’t cost you an extra arm and a leg:

  • Teach Online Courses For Your Blog Readers: Offering free online courses will mostly cost you time, rather than money. Whether you charge for a course or offer some free online classes as an incentive for people to join your email list, it’s a great opportunity to get to know your audience. It also gives you the opportunity to establish yourself as an authority in your blog niche.
  • Use Quora: This question and answer forum traverses many different topics. It’s used by a diverse group of users and it gives you the potential to connect with many different kinds of people. You can find questions that people ask about a topic within your niche. Look at which questions keep coming up again and again—then answer the most popular ones in a way that highlights your expertise. You can tactfully include a call-to-action that directs them to your blog for additional reading too. Here’s an example of a search result for “blogging” on Quora. Even in this quick search you can see that people primarily want to know how to start a blog, how to promote it and how to make money from it. If my blog didn’t already cover those topics, this would confirm to me the importance of writing about it now.

Quora as a Traffic Source to Grow Your Blog and Interact with Readers

  • Be a Guest on a Podcast: Another great way to reach new audiences is to be interviewed on a somewhat popular podcast within your niche. You don’t have to own a podcast in order to be a guest on someone else’s, either. With their growing popularity, you have the opportunity to reach a lot of new people.

Personally, I recommend getting as much mileage as possible out of free marketing channels before diving into paid advertising tests. Once you start adding paid ads into your mix, the answer to your version of how much does it cost to start a blog? can rise pretty dramatically.

Minimum Full-Time Blogger Advertising Costs: $0 – $1000/year (to Start Experimenting)

Content Creation Blog Costs (Outsourcing & Admin): $0 – $500/mo

Will you be writing all of your own content or will you contract some of it out?

In the beginning, it’s smart to write all of your own content—but if that’s difficult for you, seek ways to outsource the most challenging aspects of the content creation process.

For example, if writing is difficult for you, consider hiring a freelance writer who can take audio recordings of you talking through a particular topic, and let them compile a first draft of an article that you can then be an editor of.

Hobby Blogger Content Creation Costs: $0

If you’re blogging simply because you enjoy the subject matter—and not because you want to make money, it really doesn’t make sense to hire outside writers or admin help. So you can go ahead and check the “free” box for this one and remove it from your equation when it comes to answering, how much does it cost to start a blog?

Minimum Hobby Blogger Content Creation Costs: $0

Side-Hustle Blogger Content Creation Costs: $0 – $250/mo

Even at this level of blogging, the majority (if not all) of the content you publish should be written entirely by you.

It’s worth investing the extra time into finding your voice, developing your style, exploring the tone your content takes—and reacting to the feedback of your earliest readers. If you start out by publishing content that’s written by others, then you’ll skip this very important stage in your development as a writer.

You may want to outsource some content as your blog grows, but at the very beginning—I highly recommend not skipping this important developmental phase.

As you solidify your approach though, it’s safe to start outsourcing either the first drafts of your articles or finding some admin help to handle formatting of your own drafts by finding talented freelance help on freelance jobs sites.

Minimum Side Hustle Blogger Content Creation Costs: $0 – $250/mo

Full-Time Blogger Content Creation Costs: $0 – $500/mo

Even if you’re all-in on growing your blog from day one, my recommendation from above still stands—hold off on hiring external writers when you’re just getting started (even if your blog budget is of no concern), as it’s absolutely crucial to develop your own writing style at first.

You may still want to bring on some extra help with various steps of the content creation process though. If you absolutely have to hire some writing help—get an editor first. They’ll be extremely helpful in shaping your style, correcting mistakes before you publish and generally teaching you a lot about writing.

I’ve always had great luck finding strong editors, writers and even admin assistants through the ProBlogger Job Board (where you can post about your job for just $70).

ProBlogger Job Board Content Writers How Much it Costs to Start a Blog

Now, as you start to get the hang of your own voice, and you want to ramp up to a more ambitious content schedule, consider first hiring a guest blog post writer (to help promote your content and get published on other sites).

A guest post writer can help create content that you can then pitch around to other blogs (in order to attract targeted readers and build up your domain authority).

If you do want to hire a freelance writer for your content, think about what you want your budget to be and if the content will be worth the expense.

The cost of hiring a freelance writer can range widely depending on knowledge, experience and skill. It also depends on what you want them to do, but it’s safe to budget for a minimum of $500/mo in writing-related costs if you’re expecting to get 1-2 articles completed by a good writer each month, but if you want to pursue an endeavor like learning how to write an eBook with one of your freelancers, that’ll be a higher-budget project.

Minimum Full-Time Blogger Content Creation Costs: $0 – 500/mo

Accounting Blog Costs: $0 – $500/year

Accounting is one of those hidden fees that you may not immediately think about.

It’s obviously not important if you’re not planning on using your blog to make money, but it will be a line item in your equation of how much does it cost to start a blog? if you’re looking at your blog as a future business.

Hobby Blogger Accounting Costs: $0

It goes without saying that as a hobby blog, you don’t need to treat your site like a business—and expenses should remain ultra low. Ultimately, you shouldn’t need to factor accounting into your question of how much does it cost to start a blog?

Minimum Hobby Blogger Accounting Costs: $0

Side-Hustle Blogger Accounting Costs: $120/year

Paying taxes on your blog income (or any side hustle business for that matter) is a lot different than claiming income with your typical 9-5 job.

In any sense, once you start making money from your blog, it makes sense to consider hiring an accountant to keep track of making sure you utilize your write-offs and properly track revenue (and pay taxes on it).

The cost of an accountant varies widely, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics says the average hourly rate of an accountant in the United States is $40 an hour.

My advice though? Pick up an inexpensive tool like Quickbooks Self-Employed that can link your bank accounts and credit cards to help you categorize all of your income & expenses as they come in the front door.

Quickbooks App Cost to Start Blogging

If your numbers are relatively low at the end of the year, you could probably get away with using an online filing tool like Turbo Tax to loop in your side blog income to your normal tax return filing process.

Minimum Side Hustle Blogger Accounting Costs: $10.00/mo (Quickbooks Self-Employed)

Full-Time Blogger Accounting Costs: $500/year

At this level, once your blog starts generating enough income, you’ll probably want to hire an accountant for more than just your quarterly filings and end of the year tax returns.

You may want them to advise you about the structure of your business, offer insights into ways you can maximize your revenue and get the most of your potential tax write-offs.

A good accountant will likely run you somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 to keep on retainer and stay in touch with throughout the full year.

Minimum Full-Time Blogger Account Costs: $500/year

Additional Blog Costs You May Not Have Considered: $0 – $370/mo

There are a few extra expenses that you may not consider when calculating your version of, how much does it cost to start a blog? You could call these hidden costs.

Some of them you may already be spending for personal use, unrelated to your new blogging efforts. For instance, you probably already pay for the Internet at home, right? The only difference now, is that you may need a faster Internet plan in order to keep up with your blogging goals.

Internet Upgrade in How Much it Costs to Blog Budget Breakdown

Hobby Blogger Additional Blog Costs: $0 – $40/mo

For one, you’ll want a reliable Internet connection.

Even though you probably already pay for this service at home, you might want to upgrade your connection speed in order to load pages faster on your blog.

How much you spend on the Internet depends greatly on where you live and which plan you choose. It’s safe set this cost estimate between $40/mo and $60/mo as an upgrade rate—although your local plans may be different.

Minimum Additional Costs for (Most) Internet Providers: $0 – $40/mo

Side Hustle Blogger Additional Blog Costs: $0 – $160/mo 

The side hustle blogger is definitely going to want a fast Internet connection. In order to achieve maximum speeds, let’s set that cost at somewhere between $60/mo and $80/mo beyond what you’re already spending today.

Additional costs include gas money, office supplies, extra data storage, and lots of coffee. Although it’s almost impossible to calculate exactly what your expenses will be, we can guesstimate what it might be.

  • Internet speed upgrade: $60/mo – $80/mo
  • Office supplies: $20/mo – $40/mo
  • Extra data storage with Google or Dropbox: $10/mo
  • Coffee shop drinks and snacks: $50/mo

Minimum Additional Costs for Side Hustle Bloggers: $0 – $160/mo

Full-Time Blogger Additional Blog Costs: $0 – $370/mo

We’ll quickly run through this list of potential additional costs for full-time bloggers, with some slight tweaks above the side hustle blogger.

  • Internet speed upgrade: $60 – $80/mo
  • More regular office supplies: $100/mo – $300/mo
  • More extra data storage with Google or Dropbox: $20/mo
  • More coffee shop snacks (more frequent visits): $80/mo

Remember that these aren’t just the only additional costs you can incur—as your blog grows and you get more traffic to your site, you’ll likely want to deploy and upgrade more of the blogging-related tools we’ve covered above (in the pursuit of better monetizing your blog).

Minimum Additional Costs for Full-Time Bloggers: $0 – $370/mo

Doing the Math: How Much Does it Really Cost to Start a Blog? (Blog Costs Summary)

How much does it cost to start a blog? (And keep it growing your first year).

That’s a good question. What it costs to start a blog actually depends greatly on what you want to get out of it.

Minimum First Year Cost to Start a Blog for Profit: $65.40.

You can truly get started as a side hustle blogger (building your blog to become a source of income one day) for as little as $65.40 for all of your first year costs.

This doesn’t take into account buying a new laptop or paying for Internet. So, if you need to budget for purchasing a basic new laptop and consider home Internet a blogging-related cost, then you’d be looking more like spending a minimum of $714.40 for your first year of blogging. That number can also rise quite a bit as you add more tools, upgraded themes or plugins and even contract-based help into your blogging efforts.

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Blog This Year? Infographic Answer

The real variables when it comes to how much it costs to start a blog, are in the “nice-to-have” expenses like tools, upgrades to your blog layout and design, contractors and such.

If you’re interested in seeing the real-life expenses of a professional blogger (me), check out my monthly income reports. Each month, I break down exactly what I spend on my blog business in full transparency.

Since my blog is my primary source of income at this point, I even include expenses like health insurance costs, legal fees and all of my other business expenses that detail everything it takes to keep my blog running each year.

👋 One thing I don’t want you to feel at this point is intimidated or discouraged.

I want you to have a good idea of the real cost to start a blog, but I also want you to understand that you’re investing in a business for yourself.

Like any startup, you can expect to spend money today… in order to make money in the near future.

Remember that you personally hold the power to manage these expenses the way you see fit.

So, how much does it cost to start a blog? The answer is really up to you… and if you keep your budget as lean as possible, then $65.40 should be doable for your first year.

If you like some of the blogging tools I use and recommend—but aren’t quite ready to invest in them yourself, then you don’t need to yet.

Especially as you’re just getting your blog off the ground. Focus on the fundamentals:

Add new features, tools and expenses (that are justified) to your blog business as it grows and starts to make an income.

No matter which way you look at it though, some initial investment is necessary in order to get started—and succeed with your blog.

Want to Start Your Blog (the Right Way)?

Check out my ultimate guide How to Start a Blog (on the Side).


Check Out the new MINI JCW GP on the Nurburgring

MINI John Cooper Works GP Green Hell 05

The new MINI JCW GP is now out and the first drives of the hardcore hatchback have taken place on the famous Nurburgring earlier this month. This is the most powerful hatchback the MINI brand ever made and it seems to rise to the kind of expectations people had of it.

That said, the guys from MINI decided to shoot the car on the Green Hell during the first press drives and the video above is the result of their efforts.

Only 3,000 units of the  new MINI JCW GP will be made as the brand got us used to when it comes to cars wearing the ‘GP’ logo. This is the brand’s fastest, most powerful model ever approved for road use. It takes extreme driving pleasure in a MINI to a whole new level.

Testers even managed to drive a prototype of this extreme athlete round the almost 21-km track in less than eight minutes. However, MINI didn’t provide an exact number, even though we heard it was around 7:52 minutes.

MINI John Cooper Works GP Green Hell 04 830x553

This beat the predecessor model’s best time by almost half a minute. They equipped the production vehicle with all the qualities necessary to ensure that even Nordschleife novices can have a good time straight away. Whether the new JCW GP MINI will be able to trump its rivals on the “Green Hell”, remains to be seen. But for now, things are looking rather quick.

As for the specs, there are some key elements you should be aware of. The 2-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine under the hood is the most powerful ever made, with 306 HP and 450 Nm (332 lb-ft) of torque. It allows the MINI to reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.2 seconds and a top speed of 265 km/h.

The JCW GP is also lower by 10 mm compared to the non-GP model and comes with different tires and a new aerodynamic profile.


How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy in 2020 (Free Guide)

I might be a little biased, but I believe in the power of a content marketing strategy to bring in new customers, educate users, drive revenue and help build a powerful brand for any business.

Hell, I’ve been doing it for years and have seen first-hand just how effective content marketing can be. And I’m not the only one…

How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy in 10 Easy Steps

  1. Define Your Content Marketing Goal
  2. Research and Understand Your Audience
  3. Set Up Your Blog (If You Don’t Already Have One)
  4. Update Your Current Content (If You’ve Already Been Publishing)
  5. Start Building an Email List and Know How You’re Going to Use It
  6. Brainstorm Content Ideas and Use Keyword Research to Find Opportunities
  7. Decide Which Format of Content You Want to Produce
  8. Outline Which Content Marketing Strategies You’ll Experiment With
  9. Use Social Media to Promote Your Content
  10. Use Paid Ads to Get Extra Eyes on Your Content

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission. Know that I only recommend products and services I’ve personally used and stand behind. When you use one of my affiliate links, the company compensates me, which helps me run this blog and keep all of my in-depth content free of charge for readers (like you).

What is a content marketing strategy?

A content marketing strategy is a roadmap that not only tells you what content pieces you’re going to create, but how you’re going to create them, promote them—and ultimately use your content to attract, retain and convert more readers and viewers into customers for your business.

Creating a successful content marketing strategy is a big task, but one that you shouldn’t be afraid to tackle.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 70% of B2B marketers surveyed say they are creating more content this year than they did in 2016, with the trend showing no signs of slowing down today.

Content Marketing Strategy is on the Rise in 2017 and into the future

However, while pretty much every small business and startup understands the value of content marketing, it can be a scary thought to dive right in. Your competitors or the people you look up to are regularly posting long-form, in-depth blog posts, launching podcasts, or dipping their toes into the world of video, and it seems overwhelming.

Today, we’re hoping to get rid of some of that pressure you’re feeling and simplify the process of creating a foolproof content marketing strategy.

Each part of your content marketing strategy has its own unique nuances and details that you won’t want to miss. So, let’s look at each part of the process and I’ll be adding my own expertise along the way. Now, let’s dive in!

1. Define Your Content Marketing Goal

Before you look at what you’re going to create, you need to answer why you’re making it.

Every content marketing strategy starts with the goal. How are you going to measure the success of your campaign? Is it with traffic? New subscribers? App downloads? Conversions? Social shares and engagement? Video views? Podcast downloads? Sales?

In his Skillshare class The New Business Toolbox, best-selling author, prolific marketer and entrepreneur Seth Godin explains the importance of understanding your why early on.

Content Marketing Strategy Seth Godin Class

“You have the freedom to make these choices at the beginning when they’re free, fast and easy. Not later on when you’ve made commitments to other people and yourself.”

It’s easy to get caught up in all the tactics of content marketing, but without a unifying strategy—a strong why, no matter what you create it will fall flat.

Understanding your goal early on will guide other important decisions as you develop your content marketing strategy.

Such as, what are we making? And where are we going to distribute our content? As Godin explains, your strategy is like building a ship. You need to know where it’s going to sail before you can start nailing planks of wood together.

As Godin emphasizes, “Matching what you build to where you put it is more important than what you build in the first place. That’s why we need to start by understanding what is this for?”

When I’m brought on to build out a content marketing strategy for one of my clients, whether it’s a freelance gig or through my side project, Pro Content Marketer, we always start in the exact same place—with defining an ultimate goal and then backing into smaller mini-wins that ladder up to the bigger picture achievement.

Most often with content marketing, that ultimate goal is email signups or free trial signups.

Essentially, attracting new readers through clever blog post ideas (content), then converting them into email subscribers who can later be warmed into paying customers as the rest of the marketing team works to build relationships and make money blogging.

Once you have this larger goal in place, it’s easier to determine—based on your average conversion rates—how many readers or listeners, viewers, users, you need to attract to the content you’re publishing, in order to hit your signup goal.

The number of people you need to bring to your blog is your traffic goal.

And in order to bring in enough of the right traffic to hit your conversion rates, you’ll need to promote your blog content—landing syndications to publications, getting mentions in major industry blogs, having influencers share with their followers, and so on down the line.

It’s not an exact science per-say, but the more you execute, build a portfolio of content and promote it, the more you’ll see what your baseline returns on content marketing are and you can make tweaks & experiment moving forward.

2. Research and Understand Your Audience

Once you have a clear connection to why you’re making content, the next step in building out your content marketing strategy is to understand exactly who is going to see, hear, or watch the content you create.

Effective content is not produced in a vacuum from a list of topics you personally want to write or talk about, it’s made out in the open with the involvement, feedback, and direction of your audience. The best content marketing strategy is designed to answer the most pressing questions your target audience has—to educate and transform them.

Content Marketing Strategy Create for Your Audience

However, the only way that your content will connect enough with people to have them share it and help you reach your goals is for you to speak directly to them. You need to have empathy and understanding for their situation.

Andrea Goulet, founder of BrandVox, breaks the process of defining your audience down in her Skillshare class Become a Better Blogger.

The first step is to understand the demographics and psychographics of your ideal audience.

Demographics are the quantitative traits, or things you can really dig into and measure.

Think age, gender, location, job title, etc. For example, you might say you want your content marketing to speak to executives aged 30–45, or 20-something seekers of remote jobs just out of college.

Psychographics are the things we can’t measure.

Attributes like attitude, belief systems, values, and interests. So in our executive example, we could go a step further and say that our content speaks to executives who want to take their business to the next level but can’t find a way. Or maybe that they believe in hard work and doing the right thing and value family and strong morals.

Creating Your Audience Personas

Now, let’s talk about buyer personas—the fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers. These personas are constructed with the goal of internalizing who your ideal customer is, and gives you an idea of how to relate to these people as real humans.

For each of the audience personas you’re creating, write out their (demographic and psychographic) attributes on a bulleted list.

Next, you want to visualize exactly who this person is. Goulet suggests using a stock photography site like Unsplash or Pexels to find a photo of the person you’ve just described. It might seem a bit silly, but this will seriously help solidify your vision and create more of a connection between you and your ideal audience.

Lastly, you want to take that photo, the bulleted list and write a story about them in paragraph form, that really describes the environment and the feelings that your persona lives in. Give them a name and describe their day-to-day activities.

How does your content not only fit in, but get found and recognized by this person?

  • Are they searching for it on Google or do they use community sites like Quora or Reddit to source answers & ideas?
  • Are they heavy Facebook users or do they spend most of the time on apps like Snapchat?
  • Maybe they don’t spend much time online at all, and prefer attending in-person events, industry conferences, group discussions?

Developing a clear understanding of who your audience is, will help immensely in crafting the right messaging and nailing the storytelling in your content marketing efforts.

Be present where your audience already exists.

These are all critical questions to address during the creation of your content marketing strategy, so that you can maximize your opportunities for getting your content in front of your ideal audience—where they’re already spending their time.

Also, it’s important to remember that you can have more than one audience.

While you don’t want your ideal audience to be too broad and diverse, especially in the early days of your business (readers might get confused about who your solution is for). However, as long as you understand who your audience is and go through this step you can create great content for them.

3. Set Up Your Blog (If You Don’t Have One Already)

It’s time to move from the tactical to the technical part of your content marketing strategy.

If you haven’t set up a blog or found a place to host the content you’re going to create, now is the time.

The good news? You’ve got options.

Luckily, there are tons of great (and easy) options for setting up your own website that go from ready-to-use platforms to fully customizable templates.

But before we start, we need to answer an age-old question for content producers.

Do you want to build your own platform, or use someone else’s?

What I mean is, do you want to build your own blog on the WordPress platform (which I personally do and recommend), through a ready-to-go content management system like Squarespace, or do you want to simply host your content on an external domain like Medium (writing), YouTube (video), or Apple (Podcasts)?

The bad news? There are pros and cons to each of these avenues.

While building your own site gives you the flexibility and freedom to make it exactly how you want, it also means a more upfront and ongoing time investment and potential development costs. You’re also starting with no audience, which can make it tough to get your content noticed.

On the other hand, using a pre-existing platform like Medium, YouTube, and Apple Podcasts for publishing your content means less customization, but lower startup costs of blogging (especially when it comes to the time investment if you’ve never used WordPress before).

This route also means instant access to an audience that’s already present, and actively looking for content.

However attractive that sounds though, keep in mind that you’re not in control of what that platform does in the future, which means they could get purchased, hacked, change their policies or even shut down any day they choose.

In the end, the choice is yours.

However, I’m personally biased towards starting from your own blog domain from day one—hence why I always recommend new startups to kick their content off with a WordPress-powered blog. And if you’re not sure what to name your blog, then start with one of these domain name generators to find your ideal site title & choose a domain name that works best for your niche.

If you’re looking to make a long-term investment in your content marketing strategy, you should follow the advice of GrowthLab editor Sean Blanda.

And as a side benefit, having your own blog will also open you up to inquiries about coaching, consulting, teaching or other work from home jobs once you’ve built a bit of an audience.

If you’re looking for some options of different companies to use for hosting your blog, check out these comparison guides here on my blog:

4. Update Your Current Content (If You’ve Already Been Publishing)

There’s never a bad time to re-evaluate your content marketing strategy and shift gears if something isn’t working.

Content Marketing Strategy Update Existing Work

If you’ve already been writing or producing other types of content for a little while, now is a great time to bring your published content into the style of your new content marketing strategy.

To do this, you need to know exactly what kind of content ‘types’ you’re going to produce.

Now, we’re not talking just about the format—whether that’s blog posts, videos or podcasts—but rather which topics are you going to produce on a consistent basis?

BrandVox founder Andrea Goulet calls these ‘Content Pillars’—topics that’ll be the foundation of your blog (and content marketing strategy).

For example, if you’re building a finance blog, your core content pillars might be:

  • Personal finance tips and tricks
  • Interviews and stories about people who found financial freedom
  • Industry news and what it means for you
  • Finance basics

With these pillars in place, you’ll want to make sure you’re hitting 3 key content types, which Goulet calls the 3 E’s.

  • Engagement: Content that’s meant to start a conversation (like it or not, conversational marketing is here to stay, people), like your own opinion on a popular topic.
  • Evergreen: Content that is based around key terms for your business and that you can refer back to and update for years to come.
  • Events: Content around a particular event or occurrence, like some big piece of news or industry event.

If you have content already published, go through it and see if it fits into your new content marketing strategy.

Does it speak to your audience and work towards your goals? If not, can you update it or change it or should you scrap it altogether?

5. Start Building an Email List and Know How You’re Going to Use It

Whatever content you’re creating, you want to put it in front of the right people.

But before we get into distribution, leveraging social media and all of that, we need to talk about the most important piece of your content distribution puzzle: Email.

Email lets you communicate directly to your subscribers and gets you into their inboxes—where so many of us spend countless hours each week. Starting early with list-building is a great way to amplify the content you’re creating.

In her class Getting Started with Email Marketing, MailChimp product marketing lead Allyson Van Houten runs through some of the basics of how to create meaningful email campaigns, answering some of the biggest email marketing questions that need to be sorted out & aligned with your content marketing strategy.

Which Tools Do You Need?

An email service provider (or, ESP) allows you to send emails, build and maintain your subscriber list, and check reports and analytics on how your campaigns are doing. An ESP will also make sure your emails stay out of spam folders, keep your list healthy and in check, and make sure you’re adhering to all relevant laws around emails.

Here’s a screenshot of the dashboard from within my own ESP ConvertKit, showing stats on how many new email subscribers I’m getting over time, including which forms/offers they sign up for—which helps me keep track of what’s performing best.

There are lots of options, but some of the most popular ones for marketers—and also happen to have lower startup costs are ConvertKit vs AWeber vs Mailchimp.

Here are a few other top email marketing services to consider:

Check out my detailed breakdown of ConvertKit vs AWeber vs Mailchimp for a full analysis about which is the best email marketing tool for bloggers.

Like any “tool” decision, it can always be changed or undone if it’s not working out after a month, and each of these ESPs do a great job of making migration easy.

My advice? Choose the cheapest option that gives you the bare minimum functionality you need in order to achieve your email goals and move on. You can always switch things up and move over to a tool with more options in the future. This echoes the sentiment all of the world’s top bloggers have shared in my roundup of the best blogging tips—keep a tight budget in the early days.

And don’t forget—it’s crucial to ensure you maintain a clean email list in order to ensure high deliverability to your subscribers. Using a good quality email verifying tool can help immensely with this process.

What is the Goal of Your Emails?

Your strategy for email marketing needs to relate back to your business goals.

What you’re trying to accomplish for your business over the next couple of weeks or months should really dictate what you’re doing in your email campaigns and newsletters.

As Van Houten explains: “Some of the goals you could be trying to hit with your email strategy could be brand awareness, awareness about your products, loyalty to your company and your brand, as well as driving people to your website to consume your content.”

What Content Should Your Emails Include?

The content you’re creating for your blog is a great place to start with what you could send to your email subscriber list.

Van Houten suggests taking that content and using parts of it to create email campaigns that’ll drive people back to your blog to read the rest of your post, watch the full video or listen to the entire podcast episode.

This is exactly what I do with my own weekly (sometimes twice weekly) email newsletter. Here’s a screenshot from last week.

Content Marketing Strategy Blog Post Email Update

I push out a preview of the week’s new podcast episode and new blog posts when they’re published, so that my subscribers can dig into the full piece of content (if it’s a match for what they need at the moment).

What Types of Emails Should I Send?

There are 3 main types of emails you can send to your list, in a way that supports your content marketing strategy:

  • General campaigns and newsletters: These are sent to your full list. They’re great when you’re just starting out and your list isn’t really huge (as you know that pretty much everyone on the list wants to hear about your company and the content you’re releasing).
  • Communication that gets sent to targeted segments on your list: As you grow, you’ll want to make sure you’re sending the right messages to the right groups of people on your list. Your ESP should let you select segments based on demographic information or what links they’ve clicked on in the past, so you can send more targeted campaigns.
  • Automated messaging: These are messages you’re going to send out to multiple people over time. Think welcome emails, delivering an e-course, or lists of your top content.

How Often Should I Send Emails?

There are no hard and fast rules about sending once a week or once a month, according to Van Houten.

Rather, how often you send is going to depend on how much time you have to spend on email and how often you have news or valuable new content to share.

As you’re just getting started, she usually recommends small businesses aim for 1 email a month.

You want to be consistent and talking to your subscribers as often as you can without overwhelming them. And you also don’t want to go 4, 5, or 6 months without them hearing from you, because they’re likely to forget how they even got onto your email list and your chances of getting marked as spam increase significantly.

6. Brainstorm Content Ideas and Use Keyword Research to Find Opportunities

Content Marketing Strategy Keyword Research

Alright, at this point we know our why we’re creating content and who our audience is.

We have a blog setup and our email service provider is ready to go. Now, it’s finally time to talk about the actual content you’re going to create and how it aligns with your content marketing strategy.

This is where the fun begins.

You probably have a ton of ideas for posts you can write or videos you can film at this point. However, that initial excitement can wear off quickly when other things get in the way.

For your content marketing strategy to be successful, you need to make sure you stay strategic in what you’re creating and avoid falling into the trap of simply reacting.

As Seth Godin explains in The Modern Marketing Workshop:

“Great marketers set their own agenda. This means getting out of reaction mode and focusing on your strategy.”

To set your own agenda, you need to create a content marketing editorial calendar that isn’t reactionary.

Rather, one that’s is filled with repeatable content that is directly tied to your business goals.

Free Download: My Content Marketing Editorial Calendar Template

Your pillar posts or content types we discussed earlier will help tell you the kinds of posts you’re going to write, but what about the actual specific content of each?

For this, we turn to keyword research (here’s my guide on how I’ve grown my blog to 584,958 readers/mo using keyword research at the foundation of my content marketing process).

Here’s how Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz, explains the basics of using keyword research in Introduction to SEO: Tactics and Strategy for Entrepreneurs.

Rand shares, “When you’re thinking about your audience, we want to take a look at the folks we know are in the group we want to target and ask ‘what are they searching for today that they can’t successfully find or aren’t being well exposed to?’”

Once you start thinking about your audience’s needs, Rand offers a 5-step process for coming up with the specific topics and keywords your audience will be looking for. This will be the foundation of your content marketing strategy.

  1. Brainstorm topics and terms: Start by writing down as many blog post ideas your audience may be interested in. It’s good to involve people who work directly with your users at this point, like a customer service or sales rep.
  2. Use a keyword research tool to gather results: Now, it’s time to plug those terms into a tool like Google’s Keyword Planner, Moz, Twinword Ideas or any other to see what comes up.
  3. Expand and refine your list: Take that big list and refine or group them together. What looks good? What doesn’t make sense to your business goals?
  4. Build a spreadsheet and prioritize terms: Now, it’s time to get organized. Build a spreadsheet with the data you got in your tool, such as keyword, estimated search volume, difficulty and opportunity and assign a priority to each one. Which is most important to your business?
  5. Outline content that hits the 3 key needs: Take your top terms and craft a blog post outline content that will serve your goals, the user’s needs, and the keyword targeting. This is the trifecta of killer, SEO-friendly content.

Rand’s final piece of advice? Make sure you’re not just aiming to match the content you see ranking #1, but blowing it out of the water:

He elaborates, “What’s the thing where when you read the first few search results you say, ‘This is great, but I wish they…’. If you have great answers to that, don’t ask ‘how do we make something as good as this?’ but say ‘how do we make something 10X better than any of these?” That’s the bar that’s been set because it’s so competitive to try to rank for terms today.”

7. Decide Which Format of Content You Want to Produce

Blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics—they all have their place in your content strategy and it’s up to you how you use them. What’s non-negotiable, however, is that they tell a story.

As Seth Godin says: “Marketing is the act of telling a story to people who want to hear it. And making that story so vivid and true that the people who hear it want to tell other people.”

To hit that mark, Godin says there are 4 qualities your content needs to have:

  1. Emotion: What emotion do we want people to feel?
  2. Change: How are you changing people with your product or content? Does that emotion change them in a way that helps your brand?
  3. Alert: Once you’re changed someone, how do you build the privilege of being able to tell them when you have something new?
  4. Share: How can you get people to tell each other?

With that in mind, let’s look at the specifics of putting together some of the most popular content formats: blog posts, videos, and podcasts.

Blogging in Your Content Marketing Strategy

Blog posts are a great place to start with your content marketing strategy as they have the lowest barrier to entry, by far.

You don’t need a designer or special equipment. Just start writing and you’re ready to go.

Here’s how Single Grain CEO Eric Siu explains how to build a blog post in Content Marketing: Blogging for Growth:

Start with an outline: Start with just a skeleton of what you want to say. This means having a few lines for your intro and why people should care about your topic, as well as outlining the main points or sub-headers you’re going to use throughout the post. Read through this. Does it make sense? Does your outline quickly answer What, Why, How and Where?

Add the meat: These are the details, the statistics, quotes, images, or case studies. If you’re making claims in your post you need to back it up. Use Google to find statistics around your topic. And when you link out to studies or references, these are great people to reach out to later on when you’re distributing your content.

One-up the competition: At this point you’ve got a good post, but not a great one. Take the next step and see what the competition is doing. What’s the #1 result for your topic and how can you make yours better? Can you go more in-depth? Add more images or resources?

Write a great headline: The last, and almost most important part of writing is your headline. You only click on things that catch your eye when you’re scrolling through social media, and your audience is the same. There are great resources on writing headlines on Copyblogger and Quicksprout.

Add an effective featured image: People love images and adding a featured image before the post has been shown to give you 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites, and 150% more retweets on Twitter alone. Check out sites like Unsplash for better-than-stock photos and then use a tool like Canva to add extra elements like text or icons.

Videos in Your Content Marketing Strategy

According to recent research, 51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI while social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined.

Content Marketing Strategy Videos and YouTube

However, making videos can seem like a monumental task if you’re used to watching the highly-produced content from people like Gary Veynerchuk that have entire teams dedicated to producing his content.

You need specialized gear, a studio, lighting, sound, right? Not exactly, in DIY Viral Video: A Mini Class on Making iPhone How-To Videos, Darby Smart founder Nicole Farb explains how to create one of the most popular video styles out there—hyperlapse videos—with just your iphone.

If you’ve watched cooking recipes or DIY How-to videos online, you know the style. Present what you’re going to make, the ingredients, process, and end result, all in 60 seconds or less. Here’s how she does it:

    • Keep it short: Under 60 seconds at the most. If you can keep it under 30 seconds you’re killing it!
    • Have a plan: Think about your ingredients or props you need or how you’re going to show the steps
    • Use hand signals to communicate to your users: The majority of videos are watched without sound, so think of other ways to communicate what the user needs to know.
    • Use your tools: Skillshare uses the Hyperlapse tool, Box to store our videos, and a video stand, which you can create with something as simple as two stacks of books with a plank across. Place your camera on the edge of the plank and fire up your camera app. You can set a ‘stage’ for where you’re filming by taping it out on the table.
    • Gather your resources: Either bring them in one at a time or have them all laid out in your center stage.
    • Start with a compelling image: Either an impressive ‘finished product’ to arouse interest, or some unconventional ingredients.
    • Don’t worry about it being perfect: DIY videos go viral every day. If you can tell a compelling story in a short amount of time, it doesn’t matter if you shot it on your iPhone or a professional camera.

Podcasts in Your Content Marketing Strategy

Podcasts are super hot right now as a content form, and for good reason—it can fuel your content marketing strategy with relatively low effort compared to writing 7,000+ word blog posts like this one. 😂

With how busy your audience is, giving them a way to passively listen to your content is fantastic for lowering the barrier of entry.

However, like video, you’re probably thinking you need all sorts of specialized gear and skills. And while yes, audio is a whole other beast, you can get started with just a little bit of effort. In his class Getting Your Podcast Off the Ground!, Neil Patel, host of The Indian Startup Show (the #1 tech podcast in India) runs us through the basics of podcasting.

Step 1: Pick Your Topic or Niche

If you already know your audience and your topic, this should be a no brainer. However, you’ll want to pick a niche to blog about in order to get people interested. There are currently over 100,000 podcast shows out there, so get specific!

A few tools to help you research niches are cast.market (a research page for podcasts), iTunes charts (to see what’s popular and where there are gaps) or even Google Trends.

For my podcast, I chose the topic of side hustles because that’s been a consistent theme on my blog for the past several years, and it’s been the cohesive topic that bonds just about everything I write about together—so it made sense to talk about it on my show.

Step 2: Gather Your Tools

A basic podcasting setup consists of a microphone and software for recording your voice. This can range from as simple as your built-in mic (which I don’t recommend due to the poor sound quality) to an external USB mic, audio interface, and professional recording software.

Personally, I use an ATR2100 USB Microphone that sounds great, and you can pick up on Amazon for around $65 right here.

Content Marketing Strategy Podcast Recording Mic

It’s super affordable, has awesome audio quality for the price, and is small & portable which makes it perfect for taking on-the-go.

Check out Skillshare’s own page with examples of audio setups here.

Step 3: Find your Guests (or Script Out Your Own Episodes)

If you’re doing an interview-style show (like mine), you’ll now want to start getting some guests involved.

Podcast Content Marketing Strategy

You can use your existing social network to reach out to people you already know or are connected with on Twitter or Facebook. You can also head to Medium or Amazon to find authors or experts on topics specific to your niche.

Once you’ve gathered a list, put together a template outreach email (as you’ll be doing this over and over) that’s short and clear with expectations. Tell them who you are, what your podcast is about, and what you’re asking of them.

Step 4: Edit Your Podcast and Add Music, Sound, and Other Elements

Audio editing is a form of art. Luckily, there are tons of affordable options for hiring a sound engineer or podcast producer (like mine) to stitch your episodes together. To start, all you really need is 4 files: your main interview, introduction, outro, and jingle/music.

Next, upload these files to Google Drive or Dropbox. Here’s a screenshot of my Drive folder with episodes for my podcast, The Side Hustle Project.

Content Marketing Strategy Using a Podcast

And heres a snapshot inside of an actual episode folder, so you can see all of the different assets I ship to my editor:

Content Marketing Strategy Podcast Folder Assets

Note that when you’re just getting started with your podcast, I recommend leaving your episodes (or interviews) very lightly edited without too much storytelling weaved in throughout (that takes a lot of time) unless you have a knack for it—or if podcasting is poised to be your biggest content marketing strategy that you’ll be going all in on.

Either way, after you’ve recorded your conversation, listen back to main interview and note down what needs to be done and when.

Afterwards, you’ll want to send an email to your sound engineer asking them to improve the sound quality and levels of the interview if necessary, and do the follow edits:

  1. Add intro music (add a link to your file and how long you want it to play for)
  2. Add new intro (add link to your intro)
  3. Add main interview (add link to your interview recording)
    • With the following edits (tell them where you want cuts or edits)
  4. Add outro (add link to your outro)
  5. Convert into MPR
  6. Save as <whatever you want the file name to be>

Step 5: Upload and Promote

Congrats! You now have a podcast episode that’s ready to be uploaded to iTunes, SoundCloud, or anywhere else and promoted alongside the rest of your content!

Be sure to hit your guests with some copy & paste social copy that they can use to promote their episode, and it helps immensely if you have visually appealing graphics to go along with it.

8. Outline Which Content Marketing Strategies You’ll Experiment With

Now that you’ve got your content together, how are you going to promote or distribute it? You have to be productive with your marketing efforts, because if no one sees, listens, or reads the content you’ve put so much time into creating, was it even worth writing it in the first place?

In 10x Marketing: Content Marketing That Stands Out & Gets Results, CoSchedule CEO Garrett Moon runs through a couple specific tactics and strategies you can try.

Find Your ‘Competition-Free Content’

With so much competition in the content and social media spaces, Moon says it’s important to find your ‘blue ocean’ opportunities—places where you’re not fighting with existing markets and can do your best work.

“How can you create content that’s free from your competition, so that what you’re creating stands out and is actually impactful and meaningful?”

One example he gives is Groove—the help desk software—who decided to shut down their already successful blog to focus on something only they could talk about: their numbers, metrics and own startup story.

They went from producing the ‘me-too’ content that everyone is creating, to something that is unique and have been rewarded with massive increases in traffic and users.

This content marketing strategy focuses on utilizing their core competencies, but here’s how you can find those same kinds of opportunities within your own business:

  1. Observe your competitors: What are they doing, where are they publishing, and how are they using email? Understand what your customers are already seeing.
  2. Search relevant topics on Google: Look at the top 10 results and see what’s there. How long is the content. What images are being used? What’s consistent or stands out?
  3. Ask yourself what are you and your team really good at? What are the patterns that your competition are falling into that you can disrupt? Are there people in your audience that you aren’t serving? What have you created that you’re the most proud of?

From these 3 steps, you should be able to start seeing opportunities where you can excel that aren’t already crammed with competition.

Prioritize 10x Opportunities

Another tactic that’s crucial to any content marketing strategy is to always prioritize the highest impact content. Moon calls this the 10X vs 10% test. Which opportunities could potentially provide 10 times the growth to your audience size, traffic, or subscribers, versus just 10%?

To do this, there’s another simple 3-step process:

  1. Dump all your ideas onto a board. There’s no bad ideas here, just let it all out.
  2. Bring in the rest of your team to help. Identify all of the real 10X opportunities and put them in one column.
  3. Rank the difficulty of your 10X opportunities on a scale of 1–3. If you have a 10X opportunity with only a level 1 difficulty, you should jump on that right away and prioritize it within your content marketing strategy.

At this point, you know what you should be focusing the most on. But remember, your 10% ideas aren’t bad so don’t throw them out. There could be a time in the future when they do become a higher return activity.

They just don’t have the same potential impact today—and thus should be a lower priority in your overall content marketing strategy right now. Regularly revisit your idea board to re-evaluate priorities and stay on your toes.

9. Use Social Media to Promote Your Content

Content Marketing Strategy Gary Vaynerchuk Care About People

It’s pretty much impossible these days to separate your content marketing strategy from your social media strategy.

As motivational quote master Gary Vaynerchuk, founder and CEO of VaynerMedia says in Context is Key: Social Media Strategy in a Noisy Online World:

“I love social media because it sells shit.”

Social media has become an integral part of getting your content in front of the right people. But you need to do more than just post to Facebook and Twitter once or twice. Gary’s strategy is called jab, jab, jab, right hook. Which breaks down to give, give, give, ask.

“My social media strategy is to give as much value as possible that you basically guilt people into buying what you’re selling. So when you finally ask them to buy what you’re selling, they do.”

What this comes down to is not simply talking about your content and asking people to click a link or subscribe to your newsletter. Instead, you need to show that you’re a trustworthy source of educational resources and earn their attention for when you do ask for something in return.

At the core of your content marketing strategy needs to be the belief that it’s a long-term (lifetime) investment in building your worth.

Moving from the big picture of social media to the actual aspect of building posts, Brian Peters, a digital marketing strategist at Buffer, and fellow content marketer with me in my new project, Pro Content Marketer, explains his process in Introduction to Social Media Strategy.

Find your voice: What are the words and graphics and visuals that you’re going to post? Are you going to be quirky like MailChimp or more buttoned up like IBM or Cisco?

Choose what platforms you’re going to use: When you’re just starting out you simply can’t and shouldn’t be on every platform. Pick what makes the most sense for your brand and where your audience is more likely to hang out. Does that mean Facebook or Snapchat?

Generate platform-specific content: You can both create original content from your blog posts or other content, or curate other people’s content like relevant links or videos. Both have their place and should be a part of your strategy. Every platform has its own nuances and subtleties to how they get used and people share. If you want to learn Gary’s secrets check out the rest of his class here.

Set up your social media ‘stack’: Which blogging tools are you going to use to support your social media strategy? Peters suggests Trello for planning posts in advance and making sure you have all the content you need. Canva and Pablo for making graphics. And Buffer or Hootsuite for scheduling posts to go out at the right times.

And as your blogger outreach efforts begin to pay off, you can eventually scale the number of emails you’re sending (and relationships you’re building) by using outreach automation.

10. Use Paid Ads to Get Extra Eyes on Your Content

These days, a lot of social media platforms are moving to a ‘pay to play’ model. Meaning, even if you have a huge following and great engagement, you’ve got to pony up some ad dollars to get your content seen by everyone.

When you’re just starting out and building a new content strategy it’s probably a little scary to invest in paid ads. More than $72 billion was spent on social ads in 2016 alone, with that number expected to rise to $113 billion by 2020.

But, as Peters describes in another course—Introduction to Social Media Advertising—you don’t have to throw huge chunks of cash at social media to get a return. Instead, $5 is all you need to start experimenting, especially with channels like Facebook Ads…

Content Marketing Strategy Paid Ads Creation via Buffer

(Gif courtesy of Buffer’s Ultimate Guide to Getting Started with Facebook Ads)

Here’s how Peters breaks down setting up social ads across Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram:

Step 1: Define Your Goals

Paid ads all come down to working people from the top of your marketing funnel, where they haven’t heard of your brand, through to the middle and finally the bottom where you ask for the sale and they hopefully become a customers.

So, start by asking yourself, who is my audience and what is my goal with them?

Is it to run an awareness campaign for your top of funnel audience and build your brand awareness?

Or, are you going after people who already know who you are and asking them to click through to a blog post or to a landing page?

Once you define your high-level goal, you need to be specific about how you’ll measure its success, whether that’s impressions, engagement, or clicks. To do this, there are 2 things you need to do:

  1. Set up Google analytics and UTM parameters on your links: These are simple tools that let you track where your traffic came from and what it did once it got to your site.
  2. Set up ‘Pixels’ on your site: This is a small snippet of javascript code that you can add to your website to track social media advertising efforts specific to each individual platform. For example, a Facebook snippet opens up the lines of communication between Facebook and your website that gives them information about the people who come to your site and lets the social network know if a user has done a certain action.

Step 2: Targeting

Next, you need to decide who is going to see your ad. As Peters explains, targeting is the whole reason social media marketing works as well as it does:

“Targeting capabilities are at an unprecedented level. Social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest give you an incredible wealth of information about your customers, which let you create highly targeted ads that are tailored to our audience.”

There are 3 ways you can target your audience:

  1. Develop personas of your intended audience: Ask why would someone want to click your ad? Who are they? What problem are you solving for them?
  2. Retarget people who’ve seen you: You can also target people who visited your site or watched a video for a certain amount of time or went to another site. Custom audiences let you target people who already know who you are, which means that you can target top of funnel users with ads and then create custom audiences based on what those users do, pushing them further down your marketing funnel.
  3. Competitor or lookalike targeting: These are groups of people who the social network believes like similar things to your current users (and therefore might like you), or who like a competitor’s page.

Step 3: Budgeting

As we said before, you don’t need a big budget to be successful with social media advertising. In fact, you can start with as little as $5 a day.

When you’re starting with a small budget, you want to focus on your top of funnel audience, as they’re cheaper to get in front of. You’re not asking for a sale or a click, you’re simply getting them to see your brand and engage with you.

Once you move on from that stage, you’ll start to look at things like cost-per-click (CPC), meaning how much are you willing to spend for someone to click on your ad. Or, Cost-per-thousand (CPM) views. While budgeting for big social media campaigns can get complicated, it all comes down to a simple question:

“Ask yourself, am I willing to spend this money on this specific goal? It all comes down to what you’re willing to spend your money on and what are your goals going into social media advertising so that $100 or $1000 isn’t going to waste.”

It doesn’t matter what the budget is as long as what you’re actually paying for is paying off in the long run.

Step 4: Copy & Visuals

Finally, it’s time to put your actual ad together.

For this, Peters says there are just 4 elements you need to include:

    1. What do you want your ad to say? As in, what emotion do you want your audience to feel when they see your ad? Do you want to shock them, delight them, intrigue them?
    2. How do you want your ad to look? Is it video? A stock image? Just text? What colors are you going to use? Is it on brand?
    3. What action do you want your audience to take? Where should they go after seeing your ad? To a landing page or blog post? Entice them with a freebie like I’ve done with my blogging books and blogging courses.
    4. Where do you want your ad to be placed? Is this an ad for mobile users or desktop users? Is it in their news feed or somewhere else?

If you want to dig deeper, there are some great courses on this, such as Facebook Ads & Facebook Marketing Mastery Guide or How to Create a Killer Instagram Ad in a Few Minutes.

Final Thoughts on Creating a Content Marketing Strategy:

By now, you should know pretty much everything you need to plan and execute a killer content marketing strategy this year (and which blogging mistakes to avoid along the way). Keep in mind that your content marketing efforts should roll up into your greater blog business plan, too—so that you’re driving thoughtful traffic that has the potential to convert into real revenue one day.

If you have any questions about getting your content marketing strategy off the ground, drop them in the comments below and I’ll answer every single question you have 😊

Want my free editorial calendar template to help create a content marketing strategy like mine?

Click the button below to download it right now, and I’ll send you a link to my own copy & paste content marketing strategy template that you can start using for your content efforts today.

Remember, your content marketing strategy will only be effective—if you have a plan.

Then, it’s all about execution (and getting that freelance contract signed before you start working for a client).

Let’s get to it!

And remember if you’re ready to get started with your content marketing strategy today, then pick up my free content marketing editorial calendar template right here.

Free Download: My Content Marketing Editorial Calendar Template

Want to get more out of your content marketing efforts? Here's 10 Steps to Create a Content Marketing Strategy (and Execute) in 2018 and Beyond



On the eve of the Public holiday and the beginning of the month, Lobo Marinho travels today to Porto Santo with 708 people. This is the first trip on a Tuesday which is normally a rest day for the ferry. 

This trip is one of those included in the special 10 euros round trip package, helping to explain the huge demand registered.

From Jornal Madeira


Madeira reopens in July – 5 reasons why it is the best place to visit post-COVID

Just to let you know, I have updated the first post on the homepage, and Peter is keeping his article updated which you can also click through to in the post.

Starting July 1, Madeira Islands will be reopened for tourism. The destination positions itself as a safe destination to ensure good practices across several sectors to minimise risks of COVID-19.

Madeira Islands are working with SGS and travel companies are identified by the logo, designed under the umbrella “MADEIRA SAFE TO DISCOVER”. Most local companies are also adopting the “CLEAN & SAFE” stamp, created by VisitPortugal.

Furthermore, Madeira was a pioneer in the development of a good practices document to deal with Covid-19. These measures will provide comfort to those who travel, and are ultimately for the wellbeing of all.

Below are the five health and safety protocols to be implemented to tourists arriving in Madeira Islands:

Free COVID test

All travellers are recommended to be tested within 72 hours prior to arrival for faster checkout. Passengers who were not tested will do a free test upon arrival at the airport. Children ages 12 and younger do not have to take the test, except for suspected cases.

Quarantine is not mandatory

While confinement is not mandatory for those who took the test upon arrival, they will be informed of the results within 12 hours. It is recommended for travellers to go to their accommodation while they wait for the results.

Travellers will be monitored via app

As part of the pre-travel requirements, travellers have to fill out the health questionnaire and upload the COVID test into the app MADEIRA SAFE TO DISCOVER or web for faster airport check out. All tourists will be monitored through the app via their contact details.

All-expense paid confinement

Passengers that test positive and their direct contacts will be quarantined in a designated hotel with all costs, including medical, accommodation and meals, paid by the local government. After seven days, tourists will have to take another test. If the result is negative, visitors can finish their holidays without additional restrictions.

A lot to discover

Madeira Islands open a number of tourist products and services such as bars, restaurants, spas, and tourist spots implementing health and safety protocols like social distancing, proper hygiene, and wearing of mask.

From Travel Daily Media