Blogging as a hobby doesn’t have to cost anything. All you need is a good idea and one of the many free blog hosting services. But, if you’re looking to make your blog into a business, there are most certainly some start-up costs involved. Just like if you were making any other hobby into a career, you’ll need a good infrastructure to help your business grow and succeed!
The amount of cash it takes to start a blog depends on the type of blog and your goals! If you’re planning to blog full-time, you’ll want to speed up your path to monetization. This might mean a higher cost to start. Travel blogs might have hotel or plane ticket expenses. A fashion blog may need to purchase clothing. The main point is – each and every blog will have different start-up costs.
But, don’t worry! That’s not our full answer to the question, “How much does it cost to start a blog?” Today, we’re breaking down every product and service you might need for your blog. We’ll also go over the purpose of each item and whether or not it’s absolutely necessary for your blogging goals. So, let’s dive right in!
How Much Does it Cost to Start a Blog
Starting a blog is so exciting! You’ve had this voice in your head for years, and you’re finally ready to get the message out. If you’re not sure how to get started, this list will be a great breakdown of all products and services to consider! Oh, and don’t be intimidated by our cost analysis, either. You can always start small and build your blog overtime.
Here are all the potential start-up costs that may come with launching your dream blog:
Depending on your niche, you might be lacking some necessary hardware to start a blog. If you’re a food blogger, you might need a camera. And, if you’re an influencer, you might need a mic! With any blog, you will definitely need a good laptop. Though these products come in a wide price range, we’ll only be discussing those that will give you professional-level results. Here is our summary of potential hardware costs:
As a blogger, you’re going to be doing a lot of writing, web management, marketing, and maybe even a little graphic design. Because of this, you will need a reliable laptop that will make it easy for you to hit your deadlines.
Look for a laptop that is an optimal size for you. If you’re mostly blogging at your home office, consider a larger screen where you can easily view two windows at once. If you are a travel blogger or someone that blogs often out of the house, consider something more compact!
You’ll also want a larger hard drive and RAM capacity to hold all those files and smoothly operate all of your programs. Personal preference matters too, especially since you’ll be spending so much time with this device! Pick an operating system you’re comfortable with and ensure the keyboard and track pad layout is to your liking!
A good laptop can range anywhere from $400 – $1,300. A PC will run cheaper usually, whereas a MacBook will be pricier. You might be tempted to get a Chromebook option that is only a couple hundred dollars, and this is great for drafting. But, it has limited program capabilities due to the lack of internal storage. Due to this fact, we recommend you stick with a traditional laptop!
No matter what you’re blogging about, you’ll probably need to grab your reader’s attention and add clarity to your posts with images. It’s true that you could use stock images for some niches, but if you’d like to create your own visual content, a good-quality camera is a must!
When people travel to your blog, you want it to display quality in every way. The web design, writing, and images must all show the value in your content. Luckily, many phones nowadays have a good enough camera to take high-quality images. But, if you’re not in that camp, consider upgrading your phone or purchasing a professional camera like the Panasonic Lumix 4K Digital Camera or the Canon EOS 6D Mark II Digital Camera.
Whether you go with a phone upgrade or a camera, you can plan to spend between $400 – $1,400. Before purchasing, look at your current tech and your niche and determine what is necessary for you.
This is another piece that might not be necessary if you have a good phone or are not planning to go the influencer route. If you won’t be face-to-face with your readers through live events and vlogs, you can skip this one. But, for those of you that are planning live-stream events for your blog, a good-quality webcam will run you anywhere from $50 – $100.
This one goes along with the webcam! Though many webcams have a built-in microphone, they often have poor audio-quality. We recommend investing in a USB mic like this one for as little as $30 or the popular Blue Yeti USB mic for around $100.
Next, we’ll discuss your website! Getting your website to a professional standard will be super important for your blog’s success! Not only will readers pass by a site that takes too long to load or looks spammy, but search engines will not put your site at the top of the SERPs if it is not user-friendly!
Diversifying your website tools make all the difference on your journey to becoming an influencer. From hosting services to plugins, here are a few expenses associated with your website:
WordPress is one of the most popular website builders and hosting companies out there. It’s widely used because it is tailored for bloggers and totally user-friendly! WordPress offers a few package levels, but their hosting costs just $3 – $15 a month. Hosting services differ based upon the needs of the website. So make sure you know what you need before building up your brand site!
Have you come up with your blog name yet? If not, check out our article on choosing the perfect name! Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to purchase a domain name. This is the web address people will use to travel to your site. Be sure to check availability before you settle on your blog name.
Purchasing a domain is relatively inexpensive. You can find a free domain or purchase one at about $10 – $15 a year – depending on your package. You can purchase domain names through sites like GoDaddy or Bluehost.
Plugins are totally optional, but they can definitely enhance the user experience and help you manage your site. There are hundreds of WordPress plugins to browse, and some are free and others are upwards of $200. There are plugins to do anything from displaying your Instagram feed on your homepage to helping you manage your search engine optimization!
Having a good logo is key to great branding and a successful blog. There are many places that help you design a logo for free. But, if you’re looking to get a logo from a professional, it may cost anywhere between $10 and $800. Your designer, depending on their experience level, will take knowledge of your audience and specifics of color psychology to develop a perfect logo.
Theme and Design
The last thing to consider for your website is the design and theme! Again, for WordPress, there are tons of inexpensive resources and templates you can choose from. Plus, WordPress themes are super customizable. So, you never have to worry about others using the same one. You can browse thousands of themes and they start free and can cost up to $100.
As you grow your brand through your site and social media, you’ll eventually find the need for some kind of website analytics tool. Tools like Google Analytics report your most important statistics through your website. You can find data like site traffic, length of site visit, or even any activity while on your site. Google Analytics is one of the most popular free-to-use web analytics tool. So the only cost involved is the time it takes to learn how to use it!
Now to the fun part—developing your content! You can easily type up WordPress-friendly articles in Google Docs or Word Online, so no need to spend money on expensive writing software. But, there are other products and services that can enhance your one-of-a-kind content! Let’s take a look at a few!
If you’ve written a lot as a hobbyist but lack formal training, taking a course on blogging will help you refine your craft! Blogging courses will help you develop other parts of your brand too, like marketing and web management. Both of which will be useful in the long run!
Remember, if blogging were easy, everyone would do it. So, it’s not a bad idea to spend $20 – $400 to give yourself a leg-up as you begin this journey!
Even the best writers can’t keep track of every little grammar mistake. Purchasing proofreading software will help you ensure your writing has high readability and correct grammar. With one of these super helpful softwares, you can have confidence in the quality of your content and writing!
Maybe you have a lot to say, but writing really isn’t your strength. That’s totally okay, and you can still have the blog of your dreams! There are lots of ways to outsource blogging. But, using a copywriting service is the most beneficial way of getting that content!
Here at InfluencerSEO, not only will we develop high-quality content in your voice and in your niche, but we will also optimize all the content for search engines! We’ll even provide weekly SEO consulting and strategizing to ensure you’re on the right track. That means you don’t have the headache of writing or SEO! And the best part is, this stellar service only costs between $100 – $400 a month, depending on your package!
The last category we’ll consider is marketing! Marketing, to some degree, will be necessary even for a casual blogger looking for success. Running a blog is hard work, so you’ll need help to gain blog followers and reach those monetization goals. Here are some of the best tools for beginners:
Email Marketing Software
Once you gain a follower, you’ll need to grab their email. And, once you have their contact info, you can send them your newsletters or blog post announcements to keep them coming back for your new content!
This engagement is vital to maintain your audience and it only will cost you $30 – $60 a month to start out. As you gain subscribers to your email list, the rate will go up (but, hey, you’ll be making more money, too).
Photo-editing and Graphic Design Software
No matter your blog type, you’ll need to do some kind of basic graphic design. If you feel like editing photos and creating graphics is totally beyond your skill level, don’t fret. Programs like Photoshop and Canva are super user-friendly and have lots of built-in templates for you to follow. Thus, limiting your need for graphic design skills!
You won’t want to spend money right away on a professional graphic designer and with these programs, you won’t need one! This software can range in price depending on the level of editing you want to do. So, you can expect to pay anywhere between $12 – $20 a month.
Social Media Posting Scheduler
Social media is one of your most important marketing assets! Building a good following on social media and engaging with your audience there will help you create a big, loyal fanbase. To keep up with Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook, we definitely recommend using a post scheduler.
A post scheduler will allow you to sit down and schedule out lots of content for a given week or even a month! This way, you can set it and forget it and focus on your content creation. Missing even one day of engagement is harmful to your blog. So, these will help you keep up healthy engagement at just around $10 – $50 a month. There are also platforms out there that offer free plans. But, these will come with limited features.
Blog Startup Costs
For ease of viewing, let’s take all these products and services into consideration and calculate the start-up costs for the first year of career blogging! If you’re looking to do a fairly simple, but still professional, blog, you’ll spend around $446. If you’re looking to go big right away, you could easily spend upwards of $11,180 by investing in all the best products and services.
But don’t worry, you can use other sources of income like running ads through your site or having any affiliate links related to your brand. More on affiliate programs HERE and more on blog monetization in general HERE.
Your passion, paired with these products and services will give your blog a great start and an even greater chance at success!
Blogging can totally be more than a hobby. With passion and determination, it can be a fantastic career! If you’ve always dreamed of blogging full time, be sure to go through this list item-by-item and determine what items you need. Then, pick the best product in that category for your goals. And finally, add up all these products and services, and you’ll have your total start-up cost! We encourage you to use this blog as a blueprint for your blogging business and to use it to launch you toward a bright and successful blogging future. If you have any additional questions or comments, feel free to drop us a comment below! And, for more super informational blogs like this one, be sure to head on over to the InfluencerSEO Blog.