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Blogging is like building a business and unlike any other businesses, it needs some regular cash flow to keep it going. Running a blog needs more than monetary commitments. It needs time, research, technical support and most of all, your special attention.
In this article I will outline how much does it costs to run a blog. I will also share how much money I am spending to maintain this blog.
Free vs Paid Blogging Platforms
Blogging can be done for free but when it comes to building a business and making it worthwhile, you will have to invest some money on a more reliable and professional platform.
I don’t suggest a free blog platform because all the free platforms are owned by someone else and not you.
Free blog platforms include:
When it comes to credibility in online business, hosting on a free site will make you look casual. Free platforms lack many of the top website features. However if you are short on money and you just want to test out the waters of blogging, then feel free to use a free provider.
If you use WordPress.com, you will then be charged for various paid upgrades like using your own domain name. It’s better to use the Self Hosted version when you are paying.
Self Hosted WordPress Sites
The best platform for a blog+website is wordpress found at wordpress.org.
This is an open source content management system that installs on your server.
For the rest of this article, I will be focusing on WordPress.org self hosted platform, since this is one platform all the pro bloggers use.
Web Hosting & Domain
Since we are going to have a “Self Hosted” blog. We need to arrange our own web hosting account. There are many good web hosting providers out there and almost all of them support WordPress.
Web hosting is an essential monthly expense. They cost around $10 per month. If you pay for a year, you can save some money upfront.
Two of the hosting providers I recommend is:
- BlueHost (have to pay yearly)
- HostGator (you can pay monthly)
A web hosting alone will not be good, you also gonna need your own domain name. When you sign up for any of the web hosting above, you can either purchase one from them.
If you get the domain from your hosting company, then there is nothing much to worry about. But a domain usually costs around $10-15 per year. I suggest you take advantage of some of the deals on GoDaddy or NameCheap
Please note that, these are entry level shared hosting plans, ideal for new blogs. For bigger blogs, you will need more. I will discuss more about this at the end of this post.
Premium Theme for Your Blog
After you have your blog up and running with WordPress, you wanna make it look beautiful. WordPress has themes to change the design of your blog. It has thousands of free themes to choose from. You can also get the BlogKori theme to use on your blog.
But if you want something more unique and eye catching, you have to get a premium theme.
Some of the premium themes I have used personally and on my client sites include:
- Thesis Theme
- Genesis Theme + Skin
- Divi Theme
Hiring a Blog Designer
To make a unique design for your blog, you may need to hire a freelance blog designer to save you some time doing it yourself. Freelancers are everywhere and varies in the fees they charge.
You can find a freelancer from Fiverr for as low as $50 to give you a unique design for your blog.
You can also find some top tier designers who charge from $500-1,000 and up for designs. It all depends on your budget and expectations.
Top bloggers like to delegate the design part of their blog to an expert.
Since I am a web designer and developer, I designed all my blogs and didn’t had to hire someone.
When the design part has been sorted out you will need a system to capture leads. Lots of people will visit your blog and then never come back. Email marketing software will be the ideal tool to capture them.
BlogKori uses Aweber to manage the email marketing. Here are 3 of my recommended email marketing solutions:
- Aweber email marketing ($19/mo)
- Omnisend (Free, standard plan starts from $16/mo)
- MailChimp (Free upto 2,000 emails, $10/mo)
- Feedburner email subscriptions (Free & no auto responders)
What’s The Total?
- Web hosting: $10/month or $120 a year
- Domain name: $15/year
- Email marketing: $20/month or $240 a year
- Premium theme: $80
- Hiring a web designer/developer (if you don’t want to DIY): $50-$1,000+
So that’s a rough estimate of the costs of running a blog (excluding the time and labor you will put yourself for content)
Advanced Costs for Bigger Blogs with Large Audience
All these estimates are for a new blog with less than 1,000 visitors a day. But what about for blogs like Problogger or Pat Flynn’s blog?
You see, a blog with thousands of visits a day needs much more web hosting juice. A regular shared hosting plan wont just cut it.
My friend Ryan Biddulph’s blog Blogging from Paradise recently seen a tipping point where his web hosting account just can’t keep up with the amount of blog visitors anymore.
Large blogs need dedicated web hosting account to manage the heavy load.
For a large blog with large following, it will need larger tier web hosting, email auto-responder and other media hosting fees.
What makes blogging a great online business is because you can really help people and make money from it. The entry level of blogging is very low meaning that it is much cheaper than starting a real business.
After you are up and running with your blog, it’s time to make some money from it. Feel free to check out my other posts where I have talked about blog monetization.
Let us continue the discussion, how much do you spend/planning to spend on blogging? How much resources are available to you for your next blogging venture?