Many of you dream of running a successful blog and for good reason! With the right strategy, blogging can fulfill you both creatively and financially. Plus, a career in blogging gives you flexible hours, a strong sense of purpose, and a rewarding career path. But, you guessed it, getting started is not that easy.
To run a blog, you’ll need to work hard and spend a little money on start-up costs. In order to truly evaluate how lucrative running a blog could be for you, we don’t just need to evaluate the cost to start, but the regular cost to run as well. Knowing how much you’ll be spending on your blog regularly will help you determine when you’ll make money blogging and if it is the right career choice for you.
Today, we’re reviewing all the recurring costs associated with your blog. This will help you predict monthly spending and profit so you can get to your blogging dreams faster. Let’s take a look at the true costs that come with blogging!
True Costs of Running a Blog
One of the first blog costs you’ll encounter is the price of web hosting. A hosting company does all the work of getting your website out on the world wide web, so you can focus on blogging. Some of these hosting services even specialize as a blogging platform like Bluehost or HostGator.
Luckily, this process is really easy and inexpensive! This will cost between $3-$15 a month. So, once you’ve made your website, get your blog hosted to release it to the world.
Once you come up with a blog name, you’ll need to reserve it. Your web address will be how you establish your brand and how followers access your site. Make sure you check availability first and then grab your domain on a site like GoDaddy or Bluehost. You can get a domain for free or pay up to $15 a year.
Even if your website is available, it doesn’t mean people can find it. With good search engine optimization (SEO) your website will pop up with a simple Google search on your topic. This is vital for gaining web traffic and growing your brand!
It’s not impossible to manage search engine optimization on your own with resources like InfluencerSEO, but there’s a lot to know! It can be complicated and frustrating. So, we recommend using a service that will optimize your blog for search engines! Our SEO services range from $99 – $399 for full SEO optimization. This way, you can focus on the content creation while we take care of all the technical stuff!
And, if your niche is specifically suited for Pinterest, we have a Pinterest SEO package as well! Pinterest is a self-contained search engine, so it requires optimization specifically for its platform. You can read all about that here to determine if it’s something your blog needs.
You probably started a blog because you have something to say. Maybe you love writing and maybe you don’t. If you don’t love writing, pumping out regular, quality blog posts can be really difficult. It might be nice to have someone that can take your knowledge and passion and convert it into engaging SEO-friendly posts.
Or, maybe you love writing, but the demand of regular deadlines has left you burned out with some serious writer’s block. This can make managing a blog exhausting. You still want to write when you feel like it, but not every few days!
If either of these sounds familiar, you need to outsource some or all of your blog writing! You can do this through platforms like UpWork, on social media writing groups, or through cold outreach to experts in your field.
The best way to get quality copywriting, though, is through a copywriting service. They’ll have the expertise and technology to provide you with the most competitive post. This will range from $100 – $400 per month depending on the length and topic. Copywriting services aren’t a necessity, but they can definitely take your blog to the next level!
If you are crafting a lot of your own blog content and website copy, proofreading software is a great way to check your work without paying for an editor. Every blog post will have your niche expertise AND fantastic writing with this helpful tool!
ProWritingAid is a popular proofreading selection for bloggers. It has a Chrome and Google Docs extension. So, no matter where you’re writing, ProWritingAid will check your grammar and spelling. No extra steps required! Proofreading software will cost between $12-$20 a month.
On the internet, you’re always competing for your followers’ attention. Yes, your own followers! You’re not the only blog they follow, you know? To keep your readers perpetually engaged, you’ll need a good email marketing strategy with stimulating newsletters. These will announce new content, product releases, and any other news related to your brand.
Email marketing platforms will help you manage your extensive email list and build your newsletters. This takes a ton of time out of the newsletter process, and it prevents your emails from going to spam! The price of email marketing depends on the length of your email list, but starting out it’ll cost $30-$60.
Plug-ins help your website do more for you! You can do all sorts of helpful things with plug-ins. They’ll help you grow your brand and gain helpful insights while taking tedious tasks off your plate. Many are free, but here are some paid plug-ins we think are a MUST.
MonsterInsights is an all-in-one reporting plug-in that uses the power of Google Analytics. It’ll report real-time website insights, user behavior, and SEO ranking. This one is super important for content planning! You’ve got to know what’s working and what’s not to grow your blog. MonsterInsights costs $99 per year for small businesses.
Jetpack is an app that packs a powerful punch. Its primary purpose is security. Jetpack will prevent spam comments, identify threats, and back-up your entire website. And, the bigger packages increase your performance and traffic through SEO boosts, auto social media posts, and site search functions. Depending on your package, Jetpack is $5-$40 a month.
Do you know the difference between HTTP and HTTPS? If not, that’s okay, we have a whole post dedicated to explaining, here. For $30 a year, RealSimple SSL will host your enhanced security certificate, which will encrypt your follower’s information.
This will protect them from hackers and make sure your website continues to grow. Many search engines mark websites without an SSL certificate as unsafe. So, it’s a vital plug-in to have if you want visitors to keep pouring in through search engines!
Research by Google found that if a site took 5 seconds to load, the bounce rate of that website increased by 90%. Wow! Speed is super important to the user experience. WP Rocket helps keep your website fast for $50 a year through clearing your website’s cache, GZIP compression, and more! To keep your site fast for your future followers, grab the WP Rocket plug-in.
As a blogger, you’ll be sharing a lot of links! Whether you’re adding affiliate links to your blog posts or adding links to your content on social media, you’ll be copying and pasting URLs often. Pretty Links helps you create short branded links that will easily fit within the character limit of a tweet AND represent your blog! It’s $80 a year for all your linking needs.
Photo Editor and Graphics Creator
We know that adding photos to blog posts is great for SEO and readability. Plus, image creation around your blogs makes it easy for you to share your content on social media. Depending on the type of blog you have, you’ll need good photo editing or graphic design software.
We recommend Photoshop for more advanced graphics and photo editing capabilities, and Canva for those of you looking for a more user-friendly experience! Plus, these programs are really popular. So, there are a ton of free online training tools to make yourself a pro! Editing and graphics software will run about $12-$20 a month.
Social Media Post Scheduler
We’ve discussed in the past that social media and SEO are both essential for a successful blog. The problem is, both social media management and operating a blog are full-time gigs. So, how can you do both? Well, social media posting tools like Sked Social and Plann allow you to set it and forget it.
At the beginning of the week, set your schedule and let the app post your content. The applications will also provide helpful insights and content strategy tools to further develop your social media plan. There are free versions of social media post schedulers, but the features are often too limited to be useful. So, plan to spend $9 – $150 a month depending on your plan.
Lastly, for any blog to be successful, you’ll need to spend money on advertising. Organic blog growth is great, but most prefer a little nudge with sponsored posts. This will help you develop brand awareness, drive people to your site, and gain new blog followers. The trouble is nailing down this number. The amount you spend on advertising is totally up to you!
However, the general rule is small businesses should spend 7%-8% of their gross revenue on advertising. That’s a good start. And as your blog grows, the need for advertising could increase or decrease depending on your preference and plan.
Starting and running a blog doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg, but to build a successful business, you’ll need hard work, a good strategy, and a passion for your niche!
As you can see, the total monthly costs of managing a blog isn’t much! Especially when you compare this monthly cost to other start-ups. This makes blogging a super lucrative and attractive career path for creatives everywhere.
And, though blogging won’t clean out your bank account, it’ll take a lot of time and effort to get it monetized and self-sustaining. But, don’t worry! We’re here to help you every step of the way! Head over to our blog or Instagram for more blogging tips. You’ll be making more than enough to cover your costs in no time!