The number of people with an internet access is continuously growing. If in the year 2000 the number of people with means to access the global network was a mere 400 million, today it has exceeded 3 billion (and counting). Since the release of the iPhone in 2007 the number of internet users has doubled. Today's number represents almost half of the world's population.
This means that over 3 billion people around the world are reading the news, checking social networks, playing all slots online casino games and communicating online as we speak. And their numbers will continue to grow. This means an ever increasing number of potential readers for your blog.
How much does it cost to launch a blog in 2016?
First of all, you'll need to consider the basics: a domain name, a hosting plan and an identity for your blog.
A domain name can cost you anywhere between $3 and $500, depending on what you choose. The most popular generic domain extensions - .com and .net - cost around $10 to $15 for a year. A decent hosting plan can be as cheap as $5 a month, or around $60 a year (hosting service providers will usually offer a discount for a yearly pay). And if you choose WordPress, the most popular (and free) self hosted blog platform of the world, a premium theme will cost you between $30 and $60.
Counting all of the above, you can launch a blog with an initial investment of about $70 to $100 (and this will have you covered for your first year). You can also choose a completely free variant - a hosted blog on Blogger or WordPress.com - but this option is far less flexible and respected than the paid one in the long run.
SEO and promotion
To be able to grow, you'll need to let the most important parties (Google and your potential readers) know about your blog's existence. But it's not enough to merely let them know - you have to convince them to return to your blog as often as possible.
When it comes to Google, things seem easy at first - be unique, don't spam, respect their rules and generally be a good guy. But this will only ensure the search engine to return to your page regularly, which is far from being enough for success. Building authority and backlinks can be a long and hard journey, which is often best left to professionals - and this will cost you quite a lot. But you can learn a great deal about optimization and link building reading online resources at first - and improve your rankings once your blog starts making money.
Reaching your potential audience is the easiest through social networks and online marketing. Facebook ads, for example, are flexible and can deliver results quite quickly. You can set up a Facebook campaign with a great variety of budgets and durations, targeting not just countries, but genders and age groups as well.
Also published on Medium.