How To Start A Blog Without Spending A Single Peso
Pundits will be quick to point out that blogging might be facing its death what with the advent of social media. Heck, even our friend David Guison shared his being saddened by the state of (fashion) blogging and talked about the convenience of instead posting on Instagram in a post. Yet, why is it that so many people still aspire to build their own blogs? Gurus say they are obsolete, yet there in their offices, marketing teams sit, scrambling to work with blogging if they’re not trying to build their own blogs. Why is it?
The answer is short and straightforward: your blog is your own property. And your social media, believe it or don’t, is not.
“By having your own blog, you have a place on the internet that’s yours and yours only, unfettered by algorithmic changes and bureaucratic decisions.“
Your Facebook Page is owned by Mark Zuckerberg, like your Twitter account is owned by Jack Dorsey. You have no control should they choose to change their algorithms and drastically compromise your engagement and content. By having your own blog, you have a place on the internet that’s yours and yours only, unfettered by algorithmic changes and bureaucratic decisions. Social media is convenient and easy to scale, sure, but if you’re thinking long-term as a blogger/content creator, a blog isn’t only necessary but an essential.
However, there’s a common frustration among aspiring bloggers. And that’s money. Building a blog takes time, effort, and of course, money. To get the perks of having a blog I’ve mentioned above, you need money. I get it. Hosting your own blog or website is pretty expensive still and if you’re looking to start blogging as a hobby, it’s probably an unintelligent move to invest money so much money from the get-go.
In line with, here’s a quick tutorial on how anyone can start blogging without spending a single peso. Yes, you read it right. Not a single peso. Zero. Free. Libre!
How To Start Blogging Without Spending A Single Peso
Plan out your blog
Even if you’re trying to build a personal blog, blogging is still a significant project. As such, proper planning is required. Start a document and jot down your ideas for the blog you want to build. I would suggest getting these details pinned down.
- Blog title
- Content + Publishing schedule
The above details are key. Your blog title is the first thing your readers will remember, so deciding on a unique, catchy blog title is important. A blog concept, while not required, can help your blog stand out better. For example, The Soshal Network is known for its satirical posts aimed at socialites.
If you’re blogging to get read, it’s important to know who’s going to read you. For my blog, Just A Quippie, I knew very early that my readers are into storytelling, creativity, and art, so I built my blog around that. I also committed to at least a bi-monthly posting schedule. What people don’t tell you is that you don’t have to blog every day. You just have to put out great stuff and people who’ve read your stuff will come back on their own.
Pick the best free platform for you
This is completely up to you and is predicated on the needs of your blog. For example, we’ve built Typist Philippines on self-hosted WordPress (which means we pay for web hosting and run the site on WordPress) because we know self-hosted WordPress is flexible enough to handle the needs of publications our size and scale. For bloggers who are just starting out, however, the following are more than sufficient:
Each platform has advantages unique to its own. The free-hosted WordPress has the core features of the self-hosted one; I find it sufficient for almost all beginning bloggers. Medium.com, meanwhile, is perfect for writers because of its gorgeous formatting and typography; plus, it’s built with a community of writers, so if writers are your target audience, it’s a perfect place to start. Blogger has a bit more flexibility in terms of what you can do with the free plan, but I find that the tech behind it is a bit outdated now. However, if you wish to try it, by all means. The Beauty Junkee runs a pretty successful blog on Blogger. Tumblr, finally, is still the Tumblr that we know and love. Limited in features and functionality, true, but pretty and has a pretty wide and diverse community already.
Once you’ve picked where you’ll situate your blog, you can now start the next step, which is…
Create + Engage + Promote
Create the best content you can muster. However, don’t let doubt and frustrations wear you down. Those can spread you thin fast. I know that finding ideas for content—especially without a budget—is a hard ask, but if you think hard enough, there are heaps of content ideas you can come up with. One of our top-performing blog posts is one about the free app Huji. We didn’t spend anything on that post except time, effort, and creativity.
Another important thing is to engage your readers. When there’s feedback, entertain. Your readers will be the backbone of your blog; they’ll help you propel it to the right direction. My advice is to get the work done, be proud of it, and share it with your target audience as planned. Look forward to positive remarks but brace yourself for trolls.
Finally, promote. Take advantage of the convenience of social media and promote your stuff out there. And don’t do this just once, too. What I find co-managing the socials for Typist Philippines—we’re on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!—is that readers don’t always find your content online. This doesn’t mean your content isn’t important to them, it’s just that they missed it in the sea of noise that comes before them every single day. Meaning, reposting multiple times is completely valid, just don’t overdo it.
I hope this gave you a rough idea of how blogging works and why doing so without spending a single penny is completely feasible. If you have any questions, suggestions, and/or remarks, drop them in the comments and I’ll be sure to get to them. You can also reach me on Insta and on Twitter.