The Secret to Starting a Blog When English Is Your Secondary Language

Have you ever had a dream pop into your head that you immediately discard, because of x-y-z reasons? What if that dream was starting your blog and that reason was not being proficient in English? Worry not, I’m here to help!

Suggestions

First of all, there’s no point in starting a blog if you’ve nothing to write about. It could be anything, really, but it can’t be nothing. A blog has to be consistent, whether it’s about the weather, you, or specific guides on how to asphalt your local playground so that parents wouldn’t have to denounce their children for bringing sand into the house.

A good rule of thumb is to write about something you know or a topic you’d like to know more about. Take this very blog as an example: I write about personal development because I know a bit about it, but I also want to know more about it. Or Thomas Frank from College Info Geek: he started out writing about study tips and college hacks while he was in college. Both reasons are apparent in both examples, but you can also follow your passion and write about that.

Secondly, you need to choose a title for your blog and a domain name to go with it. The title should ideally be short, descriptive and unique. I went with “Journey to Perfect .Life” to emphasise that this blog is about the process of creating the life you desire step by step. The dot in “.Life” represents the domain name: journeytoperfect.life.

Speaking about the domain: the most common top-level domain (TLD) is “.com”, while we have “.life”. If you’re writing to an older crowd, you should stick with “.com”. However, if you target a younger audience, you can use something more unique. It should be easily pronounceable, spellable, and understandable.

Thirdly, you need to buy the domain and find a place to host the blog itself. If your readers were the visitors in your “store”, then the domain name is an address to your store while the host is the physical store you rent. Technically, you could host the blog on your computer, but you wouldn’t want to do that for the same reasons you wouldn’t want to run a store from your own home. Your location (internet connection) wouldn’t be great, you’d have to let strangers into your home even if you’re not there (your computer would have to be online 24/7) etc.

Numerous providers will get the job done, but I suggest you find someone reputable and affordable. Don’t be hasty, though – many providers will tout low prices, but charge you more when the initial term ends. Also, it’d be easier for you if you picked one that sells both domain names and web hosting. If you’re new in the space, I suggest using WordPress as the content management system (CMS).

And finally, the secret: let someone else handle the grammar. If writing grammatically correct and readable text isn’t your strong suit, use a digital assistant. I use Grammarly, but there are other services as well. You could use the help of an actual editor/proof-reader to check your posts before publishing, but that’s way too expensive when you’re just getting started.

Choosing the Host

Don’t get tricked into temporarily low prices – it often requires buying a couple of years upfront or is not including essential functions such as SSL or domain. I don’t recommend purchasing multiple years at once when you’re just getting started. However, you shouldn’t use a service for less than a year either – the minimum period for purchasing a domain name is a full year. Furthermore, money-back guarantees would often still charge you ~$15 for the domain.

I suggest you go with the host that provides the clearest pricing. If you don’t, you might get a better deal, but you also might get duped. Most hosting providers offer special discounts for the first order, but some have costly monthly fees after the affordable discount expires. I’ve spent a whole day researching different hosting providers and trying to chew through their pricing options.

Since the minimum period for buying a domain is one year, I’ve done the calculations based on the assumption that you’ll use the service for that period. I compared only WordPress hosting plans, i.e., plans that feature straightforward one-click WP installations.

I researched different providers for a full day – so you wouldn’t have to – and here’s what I found:

ProviderWordPress blog
(per month)
Domain name
(.com, per year)
HTTPS supportPrivacy guard
(per year)
First year
(blog + domain + HTTPS)
First 3-4 years
(blog + domain + HTTPS)
Hostinger$7.99
($1.95 – first year)
($0.80 – first 4 years)
$10.99
($8.99 – first year)
$11.95/once
(free – special offer)
$5.00$46.344 years:
$94.31 ($23.58/yr)
Namecheap3.49€ (~$3.89)
2.24€/~$2.50 – 1-year plan
(1.72€/~$1.92 – first year)
10.02€ (~$11.16)
(8.15€/~$9.08 – first year)
7.99€/yr (~$8.90/yr)
(3.49€/yr [~$3.89/yr] – first year)
free32.22€ (~$35.87)4 years:
165.01€ (41.25€/yr)
~$183.77 (~$45.94/yr)
DreamHost$4.95
$2.59 – 3-year plan
$15.99
(free – first year w/ annual plans)
($9.99 – first year)
freefree$47.403 years:
$125.22 ($41.74/yr)
HostGator (EIG*)$14.95
$9.95 – 3-year plan
($5.95 – first 3 years)
$17.99
($12.95 – first year)
free$14.95$114.643 years:
$263.13 ($87.71/yr)
A2 Hosting8.98€ (~$9.91)
7.19€ (~$8.01) – 2-year plan
(-51% – one-time discount)
13.45€ (~$14.99)free8.95€ (~$9.97)60.99€ (~$67.95)3 years:
167.10€ (55.70€/yr)
~$186.16 (~$62.05/yr)
iPage (EIG*)9.49€ (~$10.57)
7.49€ (~$8.35) – 3-year plan
(3.75€ [~$4.18] – first 1 month – 3 years)
~15.24€ ($16.99)
(free – first year)
free~8.97€ ($9.99)45€ (~$50.14)3 years:
165.48€ (55.16€/yr)
~$184.39 (~$61.46/yr)
SiteGround9.95€ (~$11.09)
(3.95€ [~$4.40] – first 1-3 years)
13.95€ (~$15.54)free23.40€ (~$26.07)
(11.70€ [~$13.04] – first year)
61.35€ (~$68.36)3 years:
184.05€ (61.35€/yr)
~$205.21 (~$68.36/yr)
Bluehost (EIG*)7.92€ (~$8.83) – 1-year plan
7.04€ (~$7.85) – 3-year plan
(2.60€ [~$2.90] – first 3 years)
15.85€ (~$17.67)
(free – first year)
free13.11€ (~$14.61)52.32€ (~$58.32)3 years:
125.30€ (41.77€/yr)
~$139.66 (~$46.56/yr)
GreenGeeks$9.95
$2.95 – 3-year plan
$13.95
(free – first year)
free$9.95$59.403 years:
$134.10 ($44.70/yr)
A Small Orange (EIG*)$8.00
$7.17 – 1-year plan
$15.00
(free – first year)
$39.95/once$7.00$125.993 years:
$328.07 ($109.36/yr)

* Beware – EIG is considered by many a great evil in the hosting world. Do your own research whether you really want to buy from a company like that.

Prices were correct as of 30.07.2019, but they are subject to change. I did my best to find the accurate figures, although many of those sites didn’t make it easy. Prices do not include taxes.

I’ve highlighted the cheapest regular monthly fee in the second column and yearly cost when purchasing the lengthiest option for the first time in the last column.

Namecheap has the lowest fixed monthly fee when purchasing a yearly plan. It’s followed closely by DreamHost and GreenGeeks, who also have low monthly cost when using their 3-year packages.

However, Hostinger has the best one-time deal: you can get everything you need for four years for only $23.58 per year! If you feel like running a blog for longer than a year, Hostinger might be a good option for you. When the 4-year term is over, you can move to a cheaper alternative, because if you don’t, staying is going to cost you $7.99 per month.

I’ve only used Namecheap in this list, to buy the very same journeytoperfect.life domain. Do your own research, read the reviews, and decide for yourself. I’ve only compared prices. Also, you don’t have to limit yourself to the providers that offer all-in-one service, like the ones in the comparison. You can also check out other providers like Cloudways.

The Secret

There’s no need to postpone starting a blog or writing in general simply because you’re not comfortable with grammar rules. With today’s digital technology, like machine learning, you can have your every word checked by a grammar robot. Since I’m using Grammarly, I’m going to talk about that.

Simply put: it’s incredible. The premium version, I mean. The free version is only useful to check for typos and simple errors, maybe synonyms as well. The premium version helps you to go from stumbling over every word to feeling somewhat competent and happy with your writing.

Not only does it help you fix your errors, but it also empowers your growth as a writer as well. I know I sound like an advertisement (which it ultimately is), but after using the premium version, I genuinely notice some of the common mistakes I make even before letting Grammarly check my writing. For example, the previous sentence is way too long.

Before I started Journey to Perfect .Life, I felt insecure about writing in English. But now, after I’ve written three posts using Grammarly, I feel more confident – someone has my back. I can focus on the content and let Grammarly handle the form.

Try out the free version to see if it fits into your writing flow. Then, get the premium version if you get paid as a writer or you need to write anything professionally (reports, customer service, etc.). It’s not cheap, but if you pay annually, it’s not expensive either: under $12 per month. It could come in handy if you’re a student as well.

Should you use the premium version to write the posts for your new blog? Depending on your financial situation. If it’s too expensive for you, then you should stick to the free version. But whenever your blog starts to earn some revenue, definitely invest in better writing and get the premium version.

Resources

If you’re new to this blog, you might want to check out our introductory post. Posts in this blog may contain affiliate links that earn us a small commission fee if you sign up or buy something. This is at no extra cost to you.