Want to know how much it costs to start or run a blogging site?
This blog post is not supposed to scare you…
How Much Should You Be Spending on Blogging? Let us say you already have a smartphone and a laptop, get ready to spend around a hundred dollars on setting up your website? That is… if you are the one going to set it up. Setting it up yourself means a lot of work. Whether you have coding skills or none, there is plenty of work when you start a blogging site.
If you want to take all the stress out and hiring a web designer is best for you, get ready to spend $5,000. That is already a stress-free package, and all you have to do is write. But do you know that you can control your spending? And you don’t necessarily have to spend five thousand bucks to set up a website.
How about maintaining a blog?
To give you a rough estimate, maintaining and running a website may cost you $500 to $700 per month. Those figures are at a bare minimum. If your website is already running, subscribed to essential tools, and you are already outsourcing your work, it’s usually more than that.
But all those expenses are all worth it when your website is already growing and making money. You will understand the worth of productivity tools you’ll pay for— smooth workflow and more possibilities.
Knowing how much you should spend on blogging depends on your goals as a blogger and how much you are willing to pay.
The three types of bloggers and why the expenses vary
There are three types of bloggers, and their expenses vary, depending on how they view their blogging journey.
Do you take blogging as an outlet for creativity?
If you are a hobbyist, you take blogging as a passion and a platform to document your experiences without the need to monetize your website. You may opt not to spend much. You can take the free plans of website builders. However, this is usually not advisable since the website builder’s name will always be associated with your chosen website address.
Do you take blogging seriously as a side hustle?
If you have plans to grow your website, you still have other commitments and are not ready to do it full time, start taking steps one at a time as any side hustlers do. It is a preparation to invest your effort in meaningful activities until you are ready to become a full-time blogger.
If you are this blogger, you want your website to work. So free hosting and domain plans are not an option. The free plans have no features to monetize a website.
Do you see blogging as a business?
If you see it as your sole source of income, you will invest in everything needed to make it earn. You may not employ people when you start, but you will surely need to invest in marketing integrations.
Why should serious bloggers not start blogging for free?
- You can hardly earn with a free blog.
- So many limitations come with a free blog.
- Hidden charges start to appear when you have invested more in your blog.
- Slow growth
- Free blogs can be less motivating since you haven’t spent cash on them.
- Unprofessional website layout
- Every little thing you need to pay when you start a website
First off, you will need a platform to publish your content. You will need a website builder, a domain name, and a website hosting service.
Website Builder or a Content management system
A website builder is a platform you will use to create your blog. Here is where customization takes place. From drafting to creating responsive buttons to uploading media content, there are many features in a website builder. And creativity has no limitations. But to express your creativity with how your website pages should look comes with a price, and this is the primary reason you should not opt for a free page builder.
The problem with website builders is they have creativity limitations, which depend on the plan availed. But if you are starting, you do not have to pick the most expensive business plan.
However, you can start from scratch if you have a coding background. There are endless WP plugins in Wordpress.org than their website builder version, and it’s free. However, starting from scratch will cost you time and so much effort.
Some website platforms include hosting and domain name in their packages.
WordPress.org is free. Did you know that WP powers almost half of the internet’s content?
Wordpress.com starts at $5 a month. However, the starting price has no options to earn. So start with the Premium option, which is $10 per month.
Wix.com will not require coding skills. You will have the Wix name on your website address if you avail of the free version. So it’s necessary to upgrade your plan. The personal one starts at $14 a month. But for added features, the Unlimited Plan will do for the monetized blog, and it costs $18 a month.
Squarespace offers beautiful designs, and its plans start at $14.
You also have other options like GoDaddy and Weebly. On average, the price range is $5 to $49 per month.
So you decided to secure a name for your website address?
You have to register your domain name through a domain name registrar, which costs about $10 to $20 a year. That’s only for a year. So you have to be aware of its expiration date, or you will lose your domain name. It makes sense to avail auto-renewal options if you do not want to lose your domain name. Also, most domain registrars offer discounts in the first year and will jump to the regular rate in the second year. In the second year, know that these registrars will ask you to pay for one more year or up to five years (or more) upfront.
Remember that there will be different price sets for domain names that end with .org, .com, .net. It will depend on how professional you want to present your website address.
If you want to make more from these expenses, set up a few more websites. Having more websites means more sources of passive income.
Website builders offer domain name registration, or you can register your domain name. Your choices are Domain.com, GoDaddy, Namecheap, or Google Domains.
You want your website to become always available for users. Ideally, you want a hosting service that puts your website live for 99.9%. Some hosting services include SSL certificates, domain names, free email, unmetered bandwidth, and more. This is already a wise package to avail, and the amount varies, depending on the tools you need
WPX is the world’s fastest WordPress hosting service which is independently tested. we use them
Moreover, the amount starts at $3.99 per month to $79.99. The serious blogger would choose more than a basic plan. And practically, your website becomes faster with fewer inconveniences the more you pay.
Also, be aware that when you avail of hosting services, you will have to pay for 12 to 36 months upfront. And it makes sense to pay for an entire year if you want to keep your website live without hustle. After all, you don’t want your website to disappear in the long run.
Now that you are down with the must-haves, let’s see how much you should pay for extra features.
The website theme is the face of your website. You can opt to make one from scratch. But if you have no experience creating one, get a pre-made one and customize it. And if you can afford it, you can always hire a professional to build a responsive theme, following your preferred design.
There are over 9,000 free WordPress Themes, and you can take advantage of this by simply customizing one. The cheapest pre-made theme can go for about $30 to $60. However, remember that you’ll probably have the same design as some websites that availed it.
In all honesty, hiring someone to make a custom website theme would cost about $1000 and up. Designers come up with this price, not because the design is unique for your website. You will pay for the expertise, features, creativity, and functionality of the website theme.
Wix has an amazing drag-and-drop menu for customizing themes that are easy to use. They have over 800 free customizable themes. And it’s more practical to use the free ones and play with them until it matches your website’s branding.
Logo and custom header
Although it’s not needed, a logo helps establish an identity for your website. A business logo is the work of a graphic designer, and the decent ones can go for $20 or more per design. Although you can get one in under twenty from freelancing platforms, be ready to get a subpar design.
Also, creating infographics and social media layouts is the job of a graphic designer, so it makes sense to establish a connection with a reliable graphic designer that takes your branding seriously.
Plug-ins help you make your content more manageable. There are over 50,000 of them in WordPress, and Wix has 55,000. Your monthly costs depend on how many applications you will use.
Hint: Most plug-ins for bloggers are free.
But if you want to spend on added features, you may have to spend up to $300 per month.
Here’s a list of frequently-used WordPress plug-ins for bloggers:
Social media scheduler (Social Autoposter, Blog2social, WP Ultimate Social)
Landing page builder (Elementor, WP Lead Capturing Pages, WP Profit Builder, Insta Builder)
Forms builder (WP forms, Ninja forms, Type forms)
Table builder (TablePress, Ninja Tables, wpData Tables)
Analytics plug-in (MonsterInsights, Google Analytics, Exact Metrics)
Opt-in builder (Pop-up maker, Thrive Leads, MailOptin)
WP SEO plug-in (Rankmath,Yoast, All In One SEO for WordPress, SEMRush)
Spam protection (Clean Talk, Akismet)
SSL and HTTPS plug-in (One-Click SSL, Really Simple SSL)
Caching plug-in (WordPress Rocket) Read Our Review
You will need an email customized to your website. Any blogging business should communicate with its audiences through a business email. Google provides business emails, and prices start at $6 per user a month. It would be practical to avail of domain hosting that includes custom email in their package.
Email management tool
When leads start coming to your website, you need automatic email responders. For this reason, there are email management tools that work for bloggers. This tool is necessary if you use landing or opt-in pages and run a membership feature on your website.
Some email management tools are free but with limited features. Or, if you’re just starting, you can still manage responding manually or avail of the free version.
On average, email marketing tools start at $9 per month.
Content writing and web admin services
When your traffic grows, your jobs on the website will increase, and writing can be time-consuming. You will hire a writer that matches your writing voice. You can avail of these on content writing or freelance platforms, and their rates are priced per word. Content writing services start at $10, and prices depend on their experience.
On the other hand, you will also need the help of an admin to help you with publishing and researching tasks. Depending on the work you will assign, the lowest you can get is $300 per month for full-time. If you decide to pay by the hour, you can get VA services on freelance platforms starting at $5 per hour.
Blog images and infographics
You will have to be careful with the stock photos sourced online. Search engines penalize websites that use stock photos. Although, there are free sources of stock photos like Pixabay. You can only use them to an extent, and using them for monetary purposes is not advisable. You want to avoid lawsuits, right?
You can either buy your DSL photos or use your smartphone’s camera to create your images, or subscribe to stock image sites. While you probably own a smartphone, subscribing to stock photo sites starts at $4 per month.
Keyword and SEO tool
You will need an SEO or keyword tool separate from your WP plugin. An SEO tool is beneficial in competing with similar pages on search engines. It will help your pages get recommendations from search engines by putting your pages on the first page of search results.
Tools like Ahrefs, Answer the Public, SEMRush, and Moz Pro are the most popular ones. Their price starts at $99 per month. This necessity goes for the serious blogger who treats it as a business. They offer reports for auditing your website and also analyzing your competitor pages.
However, there are free tools like Google Ads keyword planner or Woorank’s. The amount you’ll spend here depends on how you view your website to increase organic traffic.
Blogging training and education material
You can buy a blogging course for guidance if you’re a complete beginner and the price goes up to $500. Or you can also opt for a mentor, which costs about $50 per session or more. It all boils down to how much guidance you need.
How Much Should You Be Spending on Blogging?
Of course, you can avail yourself of the free options. But it will all depend on how serious you are in growing your blogging business.
You will spend $500 in the first year. If you are blogging right, you will start earning more at the end of the first year. By that time, your website has reached a decent amount of traffic. Working with an admin is advisable and will increase expenses to $700 and more.
But don’t worry. All these expenses will be paid off once your website starts earning. If you want to cover much of these expenses, you may set up a few more websites. Some blogging tools use one plan for multiple websites. Having more websites means more sources of passive income.
Here’s a roundup of the expenses you will spend at a bare minimum for a serious blogger.