How much does it cost to run a blog?

How much does it cost to run a blog?
How long is a piece of string?
The best thing about blogging is that there’s no barriers to entry, you can open up a wordpress or blogger site and start typing. You just need access to a computer and the internet…
The rest is up to you – you could spend a pound, or 10,000 pounds.
I thought it might be interesting/scary to share how much my blog costs to run. I probably spend more than the average small blogger on their site, I have taken the decision that almost any money I make from this blog, especially in the early days, I reinvested back in. It’s only been in the last year that I’ve started making money from it, most of which goes on sports kit, some goes on living expenses.
Blog design – I used the amazing Phil at Pipdig (honestly, the BEST – I’ve recommended him to Zoe, Ashley and Leah in the past too) about £100 to design my blog, and move everything over from Blogger for me.
Hosting – I use Bluehost and spend about £12 a month on hosting…I think. I remember it all came out of my account at once for 3 years worth of hosting, not a cool day when I wasn’t expecting it!
How much does it cost to run a blog?
WordPress plug ins – I LOVE CoSchedule, it’s the best money I spend on my blog (other than photography) it allows me to schedule my social posts, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest when I write my blog posts all in one go. No faffing with any other websites, it’s so quick and easy! If you take anything from this – get Coschedule.
Blog photos – this is the number one expense on my blog right now, and it’s definitely worth it. My regular photographer has upped his rates a little due to increased popularity so there’ll be more self-timer pics, photos taken by my Mum, and maybe some other photographers in this space but I will continue to try to share high quality images both on the blog and on social media.
Advertising – I’ve dabbled a little with Facebook advertising and putting ads on other blogs – I don’t think either work that well with my limited budget. I usually save the Facebook ads for a post I really want to promote, spending about $10 max a time.
Workshops – I loved the ‘Write this Run’ workshops that I attended a few years ago, which I thought were great value. I was also given a ticket to the Blogcademy for my birthday two years ago, which was a lot more expensive but unfortunately not so valuable – more expensive does not always equal better content!
Camera kit– I bought a new 50mm lens when I started getting serious about blogging, and use it a lot for blog pics. I also bought Tom a GoPro (that I knew I’d use too) for our anniversary one year! There are so many pieces of  kit that I have my eye on right now…
Fit Kit – it’s true that I spend a lot on workout gear, either to wear to classes/out on runs, but also on photoshoots. You can never have too much kit when you’re a fitness blogger, right?
How much does it cost to run a blog?
Expertise – I use an amazing lady in the US to ‘spring clean’ my blog every year, she goes through my SEO, helps pick up mistakes I’m making, optimises popular posts and social media posting. This costs between $75-250, depending on the hours and the work needed. I find this really helpful, and definitely gives me a lot to work on every time. This can seem like a big expense, but sometimes it takes an outsider to see the issues that need fixing.
Hope this has been interesting, would love to know how much you spend on your blog? A lot, a little, nothing?

17 Comments

  1. April 7, 2016 / 7:53 am

    I haven’t spent any money on my blog up until 2 days ago when I decided the self host. This is a really interesting read as I could imagine it could easily spiral into being quite expensive!

  2. April 7, 2016 / 7:57 am

    Love this post Charlie – really interesting to see another blogger’s costs! I love the idea of the Spring Clean lady! I didn’t know you could post to Pinterest from CoSchedule either? Pinterest is something I definitely under-use and always forget to go to! I’ll have to look into that!

    My costs are similar to yours – I pay for hosting (though mine works out just over £7 per month – VidaHost, can’t recommend them enough), CoSchedule, photography, then camera equipment, I bought my video editing software too. I also count travel costs to events in on my blog expenses – so train tickets, etc. Though fitness kit still remains probably my biggest outgoing!

  3. Caven O'Hara
    April 7, 2016 / 8:27 am

    Great insight as I think people assume it’s all about the free stuff and forget about all the hardwork that still has to be done. Keep the posts coming.

  4. April 7, 2016 / 10:20 am

    Super interesting post. Food has to be my biggest expense at the moment as I try to test out new recipes and products where possible – but at least I get to eat it!!

    I’m definitely going to look into CoSchedule – I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants in terms of social media. Maybe it’s time I upped my game!

  5. W. Purves.
    April 7, 2016 / 10:34 am

    Yes, very interesting – you are getting very professional. G.

  6. April 7, 2016 / 11:15 am

    This is such an interesting post. As a really new blogger it’s interesting to see where the money needs to be spent. I hadn’t even thought about half of these things!

  7. April 7, 2016 / 11:18 am

    Such an interesting post. As a really new blogger it’s interesting to see where the money needs to be spent. I hadn’t even thought if half of these things!

  8. April 7, 2016 / 12:59 pm

    Gym rest post! I pay for my domain, hosting, WP Sitecare (for backend maintenance) and CoSchedule.

  9. April 7, 2016 / 3:38 pm

    I think when people ask how much it costs to have a blog it’s kind of like asking how much does a house cost, um… it depends! I use bluehost like you, and also use vaultpress to backup everything in case of a crash or someone hijacking my site. I also have 3 different domain names that all filter to the same site so I pay for those, too. I got a new camera lens for christmas but sadly haven’t had a lot of time to play with it!

  10. April 7, 2016 / 3:40 pm

    I try not to think about hosting haha. Since it’s every 3 years, I just turn a blind eye when I paid that bill 😉

  11. April 7, 2016 / 4:40 pm

    Loved this to the point article! Can I ask who you use to ‘spring clean’ your blog once a year??

  12. April 7, 2016 / 5:26 pm

    I love the spring clean idea and hiring someone to take a fresh look at your site! I think I need to do that! I don’t spend much right now… just hosting fees. I bought a blog design on Etsy for about $20 i think – it is not customized exactly for my site but it works!

  13. April 7, 2016 / 8:01 pm

    This is a very useful post, thanks! I never thought about paying someone for SEO expertise. I’ve been off and on with spending money on my blogs, I’ve never spent much. Right now I’m not making much (seriously, we’re talking pocket change) so I’m only paying for my domain name. If and when I start making more, I’ll put more into it, but maybe it only works the other way around?

  14. April 9, 2016 / 1:17 pm

    Great post! Just inspired me to finish and post my Behind The Screen: March Report!

  15. April 9, 2016 / 4:23 pm

    This is really interesting! I went self hosted last autumn, and bought a premade theme from Etsy. I’m not entirely sure how much I spent on that (it wasn’t loads, probably £30 for the theme, and maybe the same again for the domain and hosting). I bought a Samsung NX1100 a couple of years ago, so it isn’t really a blog expense, though I would like another lens, but I want to get better at the photography side of things before I invest. My big expense this year was my Blogtacular ticket. It’ll be my first proper conference (do you have any tips for what to take/expect?).

  16. April 9, 2016 / 4:52 pm

    I pay for hosting & domain name and once upon a time paid for Photoshop Illustrator so I can edit photos. And I pay for themes as I like to change them all too often 😉

  17. April 10, 2016 / 9:35 pm

    Thanks for the Pipdig recommendation. My blog is getting an upgrade as I type this. I’ve been looking for something like this for a long time. 🙂

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