Friday, February 27, 2009

Yep, Even Blogging Can Be Frugal


Every once in a while I get a question asking how much it costs me to run my blog. I usually blink a lot, tilt my head to the side and think, "Well.....um, nothing." I mean really, what kind of frugal woman would I be if I had to pay to do this?

I have gone both routes. I've paid for a blog design on my personal blog that I was pleased to purchase and absolutely loved. And I've also done some research to add things myself. Oh...but the headaches of having to figure out HTML. Yikes!

Blogging could easily cost alot. There are certain hosts that charge, numerous designers who can make your blog look fancy for a reasonable price, tricks and tools that cost money...but there are also just as many free resources to trick out your blog. And while I only know of a few, I thought I'd pass them along to you.

Blogger as a host is FREE! It costs absolutely nothing to start your blog. While Typepad, on the other hand, has a monthly fee as do some others.

For an easy to install blog design, Cutest Blog On The Block is the way to go. You can change up your design without messing up your sidebars all as simply as cutting and pasting. And they have bunches to choose from.

Statcounter keeps track of # of visits, who visits, how people are finding you and all sorts of other stuff. It's kind of fun to figure out who is talking about you and sending their friends over to check out your blog.

Mr. Linky has a free service too. If you want to host some sort of central-linking post for a subject, then their basic services cost nothing.

Random.org is a free site that can help you pick the winning number for a giveaway you may be having. It's so much easier than writing 400 names down on a piece of paper and then drawing one out of a hat. Believe me.

Here's a site that shows you how to remove the navigation bar at the top of your blogger blog. I really didn't like having that thing up there.

Flickr is a great photo hosting site. You can use their site to create graphics or buttons from photos, with borders, writing, and other special photo features, all for free.

While I'm not opposed to spending money on my blog, I'd rather not. So hopefully these links will help you customize your little spot in blogland without the cost.

18 comments:

chickadee@afamiliarpath said...

me too! love blogger with its freeness and how you can change it to look all fancy. i recently added my own dot com to blogger and it costs about $7 a year for even more fancy.

MamaMay said...

I am actually surprised that you did take your nav bar out. I thought it was in the terms of use with blogger that you HAD to keep it in or suffer deletion of blog. Of course I signed up LONG before Google bought them out (In fact I started blogging on blogger before Google EXISTED!) and haven't really kept up to date with what changes Google has made.

onemotherslove said...

I've actually missed your nav bar when I wanted to search for something I knew you had on your blog somewhere. Then I found your other search box. Sure is handy at the top, though. (and I thought blogger required it, too)

Tracey said...

Thanks for your tips! I have only been blogging for a few weeks and have been amazed at all the free stuff that is out there. I've learned a little HTML, but am always scared to death I'll ruin my template when I go in to adjust things!

The Bertone's said...

Oh the headaches from HTML! Thanks for some of the pointers. I actually was trying to find out how to make buttons. :) Thanks again!

Kat said...

I've always loved the layout and header on your personal blog, too :) Your personal blog is very cute!

momstheword said...

HTML scares me, lol! I actually won a free blog makeover so I didn't have to pay for mine.

But I paid the designer $5 to make me a button for a Monday meme I'm doing. I found a website on how to create your own button but sometimes it's just easier to pay someone to do it, lol! That freed me up to do something else.

Anonymous said...

http://www.google.com/analytics/ is also a great way to tack who is coming to your site from where, etc. it is also free and very easy to use.

PJs Til Noon said...

We're fairly new to the blogosphere, so this is a much appriciated post. Lots of good info. Thanks.
I'm glad I'm not the only one chewing fingernails over HTML.

Cents in the Cities said...

Thanks for a great article. I am pretty good with some basic HTML, and I have had good success with Blogger as well--I'm only two weeks into my blog.

Blogging might be frugal, but it sure ain't free! The real cost: TIME! I know this isn't the focus of this post, but just wantaed to share. I have definitely paid with my time, and need to learn how to balance this blogging thing with living my life and caring for my family--my poor family these last two weeks! Just my 2 cents! Jen

Better catch it! said...

I'm curious how much you spend for internet service???????
We are paying 24.95 a month but that will go up to 42.95 in April.

Lisa B. said...

I also love blogging for FREE. Free is what I live for. hehe

Cindy in Ferndale said...

Thanks Gayle for the information. For us who know NOTHING this is sooo helpful. Your the greatest!

Frugal Homemaker said...

I've chosen you for a Kreative Blogger Award. Please visit my blog to read about it and pick it up.

Frugalhomekeeping said...

Thank you so much for the tips. I'm a new blogger (this year) and I'm not technically inclined. This will help me. Thanks for sharing.

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Great resources!

Erika said...

Hmm, like others have mentioned, I would double check with Blogger to make sure that Nav bar is not part of the terms of agreement. When I used to use Blogger, I had a template with no Navbar, and then someone told me about the agreement. I totally freaked out- I couldn't imagine having all that hard work being deleted on me.

I've since bought my own domain, but I would definitely double-check on the Navbar thing.

gina said...

I am trying to set up a blog for our Church. I have figured out all of the instructions you provided (THANKS A MILLION-so helpful), but how do you get the blog to show up when doing a google search? I'm sure somewhat else has this answer. I'm just unsure what to do next after I set it up so that people can find us!

Thanks so much