The cost of starting and running a blog are two different things. While it’s easy to start a blog at a low cost but to maintain a blog you need to keep a lot of money aside. If you want to do things quickly, you will need a lot of money.
In blogging, you either need to invest your time or money. And, sometimes even if you invest both you may still fail! But that’s another story. You need different budgets, which will depend on how much faster you want to succeed.
Right now my expense of running this blog is under 100$ per month. Which is due to many reasons like it’s still in an early stage, and because I do most of the work by myself. The more things you do on your own, the less your costs.
I prefer to invest my time and efforts. There are some blogs which require tens of thousands of dollars per month to operate. These big blogs have a big staff of writers, marketers, and designers which cost them a lot.
Of course, you won’t need to spend hundreds of dollars from the first months. Even if I’m spending some actual money it’s after months of blogging. Or, if you have the budget you can spend as per your requirements.
In this article, you will know what’s the cost to run a blog. So now let’s look at how much amount you will need to get started and keep it up.
The Minimum You Need i.e, Necessities!
These are the costs which you will have to incur (pay) while starting a blog. As you know, selecting the right blogging platform is important so you should use – WordPress.org, which is a self-hosted platform.
There is a difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com, which makes it confusing for most people. There are many reasons why you shouldn’t use hosted blogging platforms. (They come with a lot of restrictions.)
Here are the things that you will need to start a self-hosted blog –
Selecting a domain name is an important task, in fact, it’s the very first step you need to take to get your blog online. While it’s important to select a domain name it will take a lot of time. There are a lot of things to consider while selecting a domain name.
To make things easier you should read our guide, it has some tips on selecting a good domain name. A domain name will represent your blog and brand. Thus, it’s necessary that you don’t mess up because it’ll stay with you for a long time.
After deciding, make sure you use the right domain name registrar to purchase your domain name. There are a lot of sites from where you can buy domain names. The ones we recommend are – Namecheap and GoDaddy.
Purchasing a .com usually costs 14.99$/Year, but there are some web hosts who provide a domain name for free if you purchase web hosting from them. In the end – it’s your choice from where you want to buy domain names.
Choosing a right web host has a lot of importance. After you have purchased your domain name, the next thing you need is to purchase web hosting from a reputable company. There are a lot of web hosts but only some are great!
You should avoid bad web hosts, if you choose them you will face a lot of problems like – downtimes, slow loading speed, poor support, etc. It’s very hard to find good web hosts as many not-so-good web hosts do a lot of promotions.
Also, there are different kinds of web hosting providers. Some only provide only managed WordPress hosting while some provide every kind of web hosting. Again, it depends on what kind of hosting you need and your budget.
You can get shared hosting from 2$ to 20$ per month. However, using shared hosting is only good when you’re starting out. As your site grows you will need to purchase costlier hosting plans. Buying web hosting from a good web host is a must.
Paid WordPress Themes & Plugins
Free WordPress Themes and Plugins are good only if you’re blogging as a hobby. The use of these free themes and plugins is very much limited. They are only good when you want your blog to look kinda okay i.e, not so great.
This doesn’t mean that all free plugins and themes are of no use. Some of the free plugins are amazing, most of the plugins used in this blog are free ones. But some premium themes and plugins are a must, they are just too good!
There are a lot of premium WordPress themes, and one usually costs around 60$. It’s not that hard to find a perfect theme for your blog. Some of the best theme providers are – StudioPress, Thrive Themes, Elegant Themes, etc.
Premium WordPress plugins usually cost around 60$ but the actual price depends on what the plugin does. The more powerful the plugin, the higher it will cost. Premium Plugins can do what free plugins can never do, so you should buy them.
The Additional Costs To Take Your Blog To The Next Level!
The above costs mentioned were the necessities, which are going to happen if you wish to start a blog. But the costs of running a blog are way too higher than what it costs to start a blog. You will learn soon why these costs are higher!
Mainly, these are costs which happen when you want to increase your blog’s growth. And your blog will only grow when you start investing in it. Your mindset should be to – treat your blog like a business.
As every business needs investments, blogging also does. You can’t become an authority blogger if you’re always being afraid of investing your money. Sure blogging is risky, but the reward is bigger if you can use your head.
Here are the additional costs that you have to incur if you want to take your blog to the next level –
Email Marketing Softwares
Building an email list should be one of your top priority from the first day of blogging. One of the biggest blogging mistakes you can make is to not build an email list from the start. “Money is in the list” is a popular saying among digital marketers.
And even if getting email subscribers is hard, you should not ignore it. For every 1$ spend on email marketing the returns are over 44$ i.e, 4400x returns. That’s the value of email marketing and it’s not going to be dead anytime soon!
But to send emails you need to use email marketing services. There are many email marketing software but only a handful of them are suitable for bloggers. Most of them don’t allow affiliate links, which is the best way in which bloggers make money.
Using an email marketing software will cost you around 19$/month but depends on the size of your list. The bigger list you have, the higher you will have to pay. The email marketing service we recommend is AWeber.
Paid SEO/SMM Tools
We understand that investing in paid tools is not possible for everyone as they cost so much. But once you start earning money from your blog, you will need to invest in these paid tools. These tools are worth every penny!
There are two kinds of tools that you should invest in – SEO tools and SMM tools. As the name suggests, SEO tools are helpful for your SEO strategy and SMM tools are helpful for Social Media Marketing. Both are important.
However, these tools are very costly. The average starting costs of these tools are 99$/month and depend on your needs. The price of these tools can go as high as 999$/month, so you should select your plan according to your needs.
Some of the must-have tools are SEMRush, Kw Finder, Brand24, BuzzSumo, Sendible, etc. There are also free tools but they are not as accurate as premium ones. In the end, it’s your choice what you want to use but paid tools are much useful.
No matter how good you are – you can’t do everything by yourself! That a fact, you can be an expert writer but can’t be an expert designer or anything. There will be times when you will need help, this is the time you will need to hire someone.
In the past, hiring someone was a difficult task, you needed an office and many other things. But now, with the internet, you can hire anyone to do your work. These people are called freelancers (people who can work on short-term projects).
The price that these freelancers charge depends on what kind of your work is, and their experience. If your work is complex and the freelancer has an experience of 5 years then expect to pay 60$/hour. Even if costly, it will save you a lot of time.
Of course, you can get freelancers at a lower price who are having less experience. There are many sites where you can hire them. Some of the popular ones are – Freelancer, Upwork, etc. It’s good to hire someone and get your work done easily.
There are a lot of ways in which you can promote your blog for free (but will require hard work). One thing that most bloggers ignore is paid advertising. They think that paying for traffic is a wastage of money. But they are wrong!
Making organic traffic a priority is good but doing so while ignoring other sources of traffic isn’t. Paid traffic converts the same as organic traffic, if not better. There are many ways to advertise your blog.
Some of the sites to get paid ads are – Google (Ads), Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Out of these options, Facebook is the best, you can get traffic for low pay-per-click and it also converts well if you are able to target your audience well.
The expense of getting traffic totally depends on your budget and the site you want to advertise. It also depends on how well you can target your ads to your audience. There’s no rule of thumb to know how much it can cost you.
By now you would know that the cost to start a blog is almost 100$ to 150$, with premium themes and plugin it comes down to 200$ to 300$. The maximum amount you need to start a blog is almost 300$ and the minimum is 100$.
Recommended Hosting/Themes/Plugins –
- Domain From Namecheap (10.98$/Year)
- Hosting From SiteGround (3.75$/month or 45$/Year)
- Premium Themes & Plugins From Elegant Themes (89$/Year or 249$ one time fee.)
With these, you can easily start your blog and your blog will also look great. This was the cost of starting a new blog which is really low when comparing it with the cost to run a blog. Now let’s see the costs which will incur later as you progress.
These are costs you will have to pay once your blog grows –
- Email Marketing Software i.e, AWeber (19$/month or 228$/Year.)
- Paid SEO/SMM tools (99$/month or 1188$/Year.)
- Freelancer Costs (Depends on the issue you are facing.)
- Advertising Costs (Depends on your budget.)
So the minimum amount you will need to run a blog will be almost 1500$/Year. This is the bare minimum, as your blog grows more you will need to spend more money in managing it. There’s a big difference in the cost of starting and running a blog.
These were the costs which you have to incur, most of the blogs won’t tell you this. Before starting a blog you must know about the many costs which will happen. So, keep blogging with your head!
What’s the biggest hidden cost do you think a blogger has to make? What do you wish – you knew before making the financial decisions related to your blog? Let us know in the comments section below.