How Much Blogging Costs – Blogging Expenses Explained

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There’s a LOT of posts that explain how to start a blog and how you can start a blog by just buying yourself a domain and hosting.

That is true. You can start a blog with as little as $60-$70 / year expenses. That is doable, and I was thinking of doing that at the very beginning too. Keeping my business and blogging expenses to the minimum.

However, if you truly want to make your blogging a business and something that gives you back more than takes. Then you have to start investing in it.

It’s not how cheaply can you blog but more like, what you truly need to blog like a business.

 

How Much Blogging Costs - Blogging Expenses Explained

 

There’s a bunch of options where you can save money, like hosting, email service provider, plugins, social media schedulers, etc.

I tried to blog by spending as little as possible only to find out that if I wanted to grow my blog and become successful with it. I need to invest money in it.

I had to buy services that delivered what I needed. By purchasing specific plugins and services, I am building a business. You need different services and as we know, what is free is rarely the best.

In this article, I will be going through what blogging truly costs and what to expect from the blogging world.

You see, blogging is not just about writing blog posts IF you want to build a business out of it.

You need premium services, premium plugins, and you need to educate yourself. Those things, and it’s ok. Because with premium you get something out of them.

 

Let’s start from the first things you need for your business:

 

Domain

Domain name is the first thing you buy for your business. It’s the thing you need to have your blog somewhere.

Quickly explaining what domain is:

A domain is the same as a web address. It’s the site that your users will eventually visit when you have your blog up and running.

If you want to create a real blogging business for yourself. You need to have your own domain. You do not go for the free ones. And you certainly don’t choose Tumblr for example.

I have bought my domains from GoDaddy.com and will continue to buy them from them. Easy to use and somewhat trusted domain service.

 

The main benefit of using a domain service rather than buying a domain and hosting from the same company is that you can more easily change the hosting service.

 

This is the second most important decision you are making when building your business assets.

Domains don’t cost too much for the first year or two, but eventually, they cost around $20/domain/year. So even though you might get a free domain when signing up with Bluehost example. I still suggest getting it from GoDaddy.com for instance.

 

Total costs: 1 x Domain $20/year = $20/year

Yearly costs sum: $20/year including

  • Domain

 

Hosting

Hosting is the place where your domain is hosted. As mentioned before in my other articles like in the How to start a blog. Hosting is like a house and domains are the ones living inside.

So you can use one hosting company to host all of your domains.

While I do recommend using Bluehost when you are just starting out. There are some things you should know. Bluehost does not offer the best server response times (in the shared plan -which is the cheapest plan they offer) which affect the overall access time to your blog posts.

And this affects how fast your content is visible to the visitors. And as we know, Google appreciates fast loading pages as do your users. So you might want to make sure your hosting service provides excellent loading times for your content.

Loading times comes from the fact of what kind of server hardware and other settings they have placed for they shared server service.

 

Siteground

I currently use Siteground to host my blogs and have been VERY happy with the performance of their servers. They also use SSD drives which speed up the loading times and improves access to your blog posts.

However, Siteground is relatively expensive. And when you are just beginning with your blogging career. You might want to get yourself the Bluehost deal. You get to save money but also receive somewhat good service and experience from the hosting.

Even though you get Siteground for a perfect price for the first year, the future years will be expensive.

I will be using Bluehost for the cost calculation but just to mention, the SIteground would cost you around $250/year. Whereas Bluehost would be about $70/year.

 

Total costs: 1 x Hosting $70/year = $70/year

Yearly costs sum: $90/year including

  • Domain
  • Hosting

 

How Much Blogging Costs - Blogging Expenses Explained

 

Business email G Suite

As you are a business and not just a blogger. You need a business email for yourself.

I like to use Gmail for my personal email, but I also want to use it for my business. You can quickly get yourself a G Suite account and personalized business email with it.

For example, you can create a business email like name@myawesomebloggingbusiness.com, and all you need to do is configure G Suite for yourself.

G Suite comes with G Drive and G Mail and other business benefits (which I don’t use currently). You can use G Drive to share content and freebies for example and G Mail to send and receive emails but to also create your other business-related accounts towards it.

I created G Suite as soon as I had the domain and hosting. You need both to set up you G Suite account.

G Suite is verified against your domain name, and you need hosting to make specific settings to your website and cPanel. These are not so complicated as they might sound. Pretty easy to use as there are very clear guides available online.

 

Total costs: 1 x G Suite $8/month = $96/year

H3 Yearly costs sum: $186/year including

  • Domain
  • Hosting
  • G Suite / Business email

 

Premium plugins

As you now have your website and hosting set up. You are ready to build your blogging business and start creating that content. However, you need plugins to make your WordPress more powerful and feature rich.

The reason why I didn’t list WordPress here was that it’s free to use. You don’t have to pay anything for it. Just make sure you are don’t start with WordPress.com.

But back to plugins. Now, plugins are the thing that makes WordPress the best blogging platform ever. There’s a reason why roughly 33% of websites in the world are built with WordPress. It’s so easily modified to please the needs of many.

 

Plugins quickly explained

Plugins are “apps” that you install inside WordPress to get more features to the program. You can think WordPress as Windows OS, and by installing a plugin, you are installing software to it. Plugins are what makes WordPress so damn impressive!

 

What plugins do you need?

So, there are tens of thousands of plugins available today but how do you know what you truly need? I will give you some plugins which I think are essential and ones you can’t and should not live without.

First is, of course, Elementor Pro. Now, this plugin has saved my blogging business. Elementor Pro is a drag and drop website builder and the best there is. I know there are competitors like Divi and Thrive Theme but seriously. None of those can’t beat Elementor Pro, it’s that good. It’s the best you can get.

Then you need a backup plugin to save all your stuff inside WordPress and also your database. UpDraft Plus is the one I recommend wholeheartedly. It’s the plugin that once saved my whole website when all things went to hell.

This is a must have before you start creating any content to your website. You are good with the free one, thankfully.

You also need a caching plugin, and WP Rocket is the industry leader in my opinion. It’s the cache plugin to have. And yes, W3 Cache and Super cacher don’t stand a chance against it.

You see these are premium plugins (excluding the UpDraft Plus) and they cost money. Luckily the competition is pretty fierce in these markets, and people can use free ones, and these facts make the plugins affordable.

I will do a rough calculation as prices always fluctuate. So no reason to use exact values here.

 

Total costs: 2 x plugins $37/year = $74/year

H3 Yearly costs sum: $240/year including

  • Domain
  • Hosting
  • G Suite / Business email
  • Premium plugins

 

Email service provider

Next thing you need is an email service provider, and yes this is not the same as G Suite. You might have heard that building an email list is essential. Yup that is still true, and for that reason, you need a service that you can use to send broadcast emails to your subscribers.

You also need one to build that email list of yours. You need one to get those email subscribers, and I think the best one out there is ConvertKit.

ConvertKit was built with bloggers in mind. So it has features that are highly relevant for bloggers. Tagging, automation, rules, sequences, etc.

It has features that help you build trust with your subscribers and help you manage the overall communication with your list.

 

Why you need an email list?

I have said this before but getting traffic to your site is vital but building an email list is the second most important thing you need to do. The reason is that what if Google, Facebook, Pinterest or other traffic source decided to change their algorithm and you lose your traffic?

When you have your email list, you always reach out to your followers and talk to them. Your source of income is not wholly relied on traffic but on your list. Which you own.

And the owning part is the key here. You don’t own Google traffic, you don’t own Pinterest traffic, but you do own your email list. So if traffic won’t bring you income, your email list will.

The reason why I recommend ConvertKit and not a free one like MailChimp is because I think a paid service is always better than a free one. A free one can fail you, free one only allows you to grow to a certain point after which you have to start paying anyway for the service.

So why not build your business to a solid base from the ground up? Using a service like ConvertKit I can be sure that my emails are delivered and that they look like mine. ConvertKit also enables me to automate things to a great extent.

 

Total costs: 1 x Email service $25/month = $300/year

Yearly costs sum: $540/year including

  • Domain
  • Hosting
  • G Suite / Business email
  • Premium plugins
  • Email service provider

 

Pinning tool & growing that blog traffic

I think this is optional but at the same time, something that is very important for a beginner blogger.

At the beginning of your blogging career, what you need is traffic to your site. You just need it. You need to get traffic to build your email list, for you to get affiliate income and get your blog to success.

Traffic is the thing every blogger needs, and if you want to spend your time wisely, you let tools do the hard work for you. So you can spend that time creating content rather than pinning new pins to your boards.

Tailwind is THE scheduling tool for Pinterest, and I have to say I love it. It automates pinning for me so I can concentrate on creating new content. Tailwind is not cheap, but I think the time saved with this tool makes up for the price.

A Tailwind is primarily a tool for you to schedule pins to your boards and by doing that Pinterest slowly starts to send traffic to your site.

 

Total costs: 1 x Pin scheduler $120/year = $120/year

Yearly costs sum: $660/year including

  • Domain
  • Hosting
  • G Suite / Business email
  • Premium plugins
  • Email service provider
  • Pin scheduler

 

Education, courses, ebooks

Even though you now have kind of the technical things set up and your blogging business is running. What is crucial to your success is education. You need to educate yourself to be successful.

I, for example, buy new ebooks on a steady basis. One book I purchased was Tony Robbins Awakening the Giant Within. It is by far one of the best books I have read (and still read it). This is not a blogging ebook, but it is about personal development.

So you see, if I can educate myself, I can better help you. It’s not about telling the same things that others have already said. It’s not about that. You are bringing your own view of the world and tell me about your experiences.

So for you to evolve yourself, you have to educate yourself with online courses, ebooks, reading blog posts, and attend to different forums, etc.

 

Educating yourself is the single most important thing you can do to yourself!

 

When I was in high school, I hated studying, I hated everything about it. I didn’t like to learn new things that didn’t interest me. When I finally understood that it was always about the subject and not about studying. Everything changed.

When that changed happened, I realized that by developing myself mentally and physically I can, and I will reach new heights in life. It’s just a fact.

When you know more about things, you are more suited to do other things in your life. You are able to succeed in the areas of your life that you have studied about. It’s that simple.

 

So do make a great effort at educating yourself and developing your mental and physical wellbeing.

 

Total costs: 1 x Educative thing $20/month= $140/year

Yearly costs sum: $800/year including

  • Domain
  • Hosting
  • G Suite / Business email
  • Premium plugins
  • Email service provider
  • Pin scheduler
  • Education/ Ebooks, eCourses, Self-development

 

Time

While time itself doesn’t cost anything. It costs everything. Time is seen as something that we have almost endlessly. However, time is finite and your time comes when it comes.

So instead of thinking that you have all the time in the world. You don’t. I like to think that when I’m free to do whatever I want, then and only then I can live like I have all the time in the world.

Use your time wisely as it’s the only currency you have that you control fully. If you are working a full-time job and would like to turn blogging into a full-time business of yours. Then you have to make sure that you use your time wisely, every-single-day. No exceptions.

Time is a resource that enables you to do things. Energy is the second one. Time and energy combined make you do things. Surely you need motivation, passion, energy among other things but in essence, you need time and energy.

You shouldn’t spend your life daydreaming and wishing things to happen. They don’t. You don’t progress just by buying stuff to yourself, you have to apply the teachings you get from every single ebook and ecourse you get yourself.

Time enables you to do that.

 

A final note

So we covered the real blogging expenses that so few talk about. Yet, I think it is essential to bring forth as you get lost very quickly when bills start to pile up.

 

Total costs for blogging: $800/year including

  • Domain
  • Hosting
  • G Suite / Business email
  • Premium plugins
  • Email service provider
  • Pin scheduler
  • Education/ Ebooks, eCourses, Self-development

 

As you can see, it’s not that you can start your blog under $100 and get rich thing. Blogging business is a business like any other. And the sooner you understand that the sooner you are willing to spend to money towards your business.

Now, in the name of honesty. I am a cheapskate. I rarely buy things for myself, and I like to keep money close to me. However, the only thing that I think is worth spending your money in is self-development.

 

You are investing in yourself, and I think that is the best investment you can make.

 

Then again blogging is also something that just needs your money. You can always go the free route but don’t wonder if your site looks cheap or things break apart.

By paying a premium for a service that is highly recommended, usually brings you advantages over the ones that are using free services.

I only buy essential services, plugins, ebooks, and online courses. It’s not like I buy everything that is out there. I wisely choose and select the things I need for my business and things that I know help me in the long run.

Still, if you think about the costs. Around $900/year. It’s still nothing. Like it’s truly nothing, compared to some small businesses that have physical warehouse expenses, merchandise manufacturing expenses, employees and so on.

Even with $1000/year or $2000/year, blogging is still something that is highly cost-efficient. Again, extremely inexpensive. Though, it might not be that golden $100/year expense. I’m pretty sure you can still save $1000/year and use it on blogging and build a business for yourself.

 

Pin this image to your favorite board so you won’t forget and so that others can find it too.

 

How Much Blogging Costs - Blogging Expenses Explained

 

Bring in the discussion

Do you like to buy things for your business? Did you first think that blogging is almost free to do? Is there some expense that wasn’t listed but you feel should be listed as well, leave a comment below and share your thoughts. Do also this on social media with your friends if you liked the post!

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