Eeek! I’m scared to talk about this one! But I’ve had a few emails regarding advice on the financial end of blogging, and lots of questions about how much money it takes to be a blogger. So. Let’s get honest and just talk about it. Zoinks. How much does it cost to blog?
First of all, let me start by saying that I’m guessing I blog in a really cost-effective (read: cheap) way when compared with some of the bigger bloggers out there, and even probably with some of my contemporaries. I don’t have major expenses like an office space (I work from my home office) and things like that. But there are obviously expenses that do come along that I can speak to, so this information is coming purely from my own experience. The numbers below are based on the way my business functions, and the materials I use. These by no means have to be a part of your process. And I hope the other bloggers out there reading this leave bits of advice in the comments! And obviously, please don’t consider any of this official financial advice, as I’m no expert.
If you’re looking to start a blog and want to do it right from the get-go, there will be some startup cost involved. You can do it on the cheap, i.e. design your own site or have a friend help with code (I designed my own blog). But if you go the route of hiring a team, here’s a rough look at what you can expect.
Blog Design and Build……….$1,500 & up (way, way up)
Web Hosting Fees……….$350+/year (more for higher traffic volume)
Blogging Platform……….Free (WordPress, Blogger, etc.) or $8+/month (Squarespace)
Domain Name Fee……….$15/year
So now you’ve got your own little corner of the internet. Now what? Now you blog. And what do you need? (A good note on this section: be sure to hunt for deals on these items! There are often student discounts, refurbished materials, and sales that can save you hundreds of dollars. These prices are based on current retail numbers.)
A Good Computer (I prefer working on an MacBook)……….$1,200+
Photo Editing Software (i.e. Photoshop)……….$700+
After you’ve got all of your tech components, you start putting together posts. For me as a DIY and lifestyle blogger, that means I need to purchase materials to craft with, props and styling items to put together photos, and so on. Lots of bloggers now will also hire photographers, stylists, models, and assistants. Lovely Indeed is still run almost exclusively by myself and Mr. Lovely, so I don’t run into any of those costs. A few things to keep on your list:
Setup and Styling
After all of that’s taken care of there are more advanced expenses like business cards, promotional materials, travel to conferences, and so on. When you are running your blog like a business, there will be expenses that surface constantly, just as in any business. But don’t be scared! It doesn’t have to cost piles of money to start to blog. Most of the bloggers I know, myself included, started on a wing and a prayer and a couple of bucks. I didn’t march out my first week of blogging and rack up debt buying everything on this list. Things come gradually. But to me, the bottom line is that if you want to have a successful business, you have to invest in it.
Another note: I keep track of the money that I make and the money that I spend every month on the blog. I have spreadsheets and programs that I use to keep track of all the financials involved in the blog. Once you’re at the point where you’re making and spending money, you should definitely track it, whether it’s in QuickBooks, Freshbooks, or just on an Excel spreadsheet.
Like I said earlier, I’d love to add knowledge to this post in the comment section, if any of you bloggers out there have things to add! Chances are I’ve forgotten something, so let’s keep it rolling. xoxo