If you are thinking about starting a blog, there are a number of expenses you should take into account. Though, with so many bloggers spending vastly different amounts of money, it can be hard to nail down an expected cost. So, for all you prospective bloggers out there, I want to provide you with a straight answer to the following question: how much does it cost to start and run a blog?
In general, you should plan to spend $100 – $250 for the initial development of your blog, and $50 – $150 per month for ongoing maintenance, email, hosting and other blogging services. These numbers assume you will do the initial development yourself, and focus the majority of your promotion efforts on free marketing channels like social media.
The thing is, when starting a blog, if you don’t know what you’re doing, the expenses can get a little out of hand. When you’ve never been through the process before, it is hard to know what you should spend your money on, and what you shouldn’t. And that’s exactly why I decided to put this article together.
As a web developer who has helped a number of bloggers start their journey — and having been through the process myself — one thing is for sure, I know how much it costs to start and run a blog.
So, for the rest of this article, I’m going to dive deeper into the expenses that come with blogging. That way, you’ll have a better understanding of what products and services you should spend your money on, and how much you can expect it all to cost.
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Domain ($12 – $25 Per Year)
One of the best parts about starting a blog is picking a domain name. It’s fun to set up your social media channels, think about all the cool things you can do with your branding, and maybe even get some t-shirts and hats with your new name on them. But before you do any of that, you will need to secure your domain name. And that will run you around $12 per year.
On top of that, I highly recommend purchasing domain privacy with your domain, which typically costs about $10 per year, and it’s worth every penny. Domain privacy keeps your personal information hidden when people look up who owns your domain, which will in turn, keep you from getting bombarded with spam emails about web development services.
When you purchase a domain, I recommend buying it through your web host. This will take some of the technical headache out of linking it to your website once it’s set up. And, if you haven’t decided on a web host, don’t worry, that’s what we are about to cover.
Hosting ($3.95 Per Month)
Hosting is a critical decision when you start your blog. And if you want to do it right, then I highly recommend building your site in WordPress, and purchasing hosting through SiteGround or Bluehost. In both cases, you can get shared hosting for as low as $3.95 per month, which is all you’ll need when you’re starting out.
I have built a bunch of websites in my career, and these are the only two web hosts I recommend. In my experience, no other web hosts have come close in terms of customer service, price of hosting, reliability, and website speed.
They hit web hosting out of the park, and in the long run, you’ll be extremely glad you went with either of them.
Theme (Free – $50)
As most experienced bloggers will tell you (including myself), when you’re just starting out, you shouldn’t worry too much about the design of your website. Rather, you should spend 90% of your time developing content.
However, I also realize that part of the fun of setting up a blog is making it look really cool. So, if you are dead-set on purchasing a theme, then I recommend CSSIgniter. Their WordPress themes are the easiest, and most complete I have ever worked with. Not to mention the fact that they look awesome!
The best news is that you can buy a single CSSIgniter theme for less than $50. So, if you do decide to pay for a theme, you won’t have to break the bank for it.
WordPress Plugins (Free – $50)
There are quite a few plugins that I recommend when you set up your WordPress blog, and most of them are free. However, if you want to step up your game a little bit, there is one plugin that I recommend paying for: Grow By Mediavine.
It is a social sharing plugin that allows you to easily add pinterest-specific descriptions to your images, and at the time of writing this it costs $34 per year. If you want to harness the power of Pinterest for your blog, then Grow By Mediavine is a plugin you should consider buying.
Email Services ($29 Per Month)
If you want your blog to turn into a business that generates profit, one of the most important things you can do is build your email subscriber list. This is one by far the most important asset you can build as a blogger.
With that in mind, you should consider paying for an email service that can help you manage and market to your subscriber.
My favorite email service is ConvertKit. It costs $29 per month, and it was built specifically for bloggers. ConvertKit offers all sorts of functionality like email automation, subscriber segmenting, and even professionally designed landing pages to fuel your email list-building power.
You can sign up for ConvertKit here
If you want to speed up the timeline of your blogging success, then marketing is going to have to play a role in your attack plan. And while I am a big advocate for focusing the majority of your effort on creating new, original content, spending a little bit of money to market your business isn’t a bad idea.
What follows are a few of my favorite paid services to help you spread the word about your blog.
Canva ($12.95 Per Month)
Canva is one of my all-time favorite blogging services. I create nearly all the imagery on this blog, using Canva, which makes this one of the most valuable things we pay for here at Be The Budget.
If you want to include awesome imagery and infographics in your blog, then I highly recommend signing up for a paid Canva membership.
Tailwind ($15 Per Month)
Many new bloggers don’t realize this, but Pinterest is one of the best marketing vehicles on the web right now. And if you want to make the most of Pinterest, then you should really sign up for Tailwind.
Tailwind is a Pinterest app that allows you to schedule your pins for days, weeks, and months into the future. Additionally, they offer the ability to loop pins, and give you access to a specific feature called Tribes.
Tribes are basically Pinterest communities on Tailwind that allow you to share your pins with other bloggers so that they can promote them to their followers. It’s an unbelievable concept that can expand your reach by the millions, and therefore, increase your blogging success.
Tailwind costs $15 per month, but you can start with a free trial to make sure it’s right for you.
How Much Does It Cost To Start A Blog: Summary
If you want to start a blog, it’s important to consider the costs that come along with it. And in this post, I covered a few paid services that you may want to consider.
Summary Of The Costs To Start A Blog:
- Domain: ($12 – $25)
- Web Hosting Through Bluehost Or SiteGround: ($3.95 Per Month)
- WordPress Theme From CSSIgniter: ($50)
- Grow By Mediavine: ($34 Per Year)
- Convertkit: ($29 Per Month)
- Canva: ($12.95 Per Month)
- Tailwind: ($15 Per Month)