6 months ago I started fully committing myself to blogging: creating content, building an email list, and sharing my story with the world. I thought it would be simple especially since my daily routine consists of journal reflection. I jumped into the blogging world unprepared for the financial expenses that come with blogging: hosting, photos, graphics, systems, etc.
For my blog, I wanted it to be done right so I hired someone to design my website and take my photos for my official launch. I spent over $800 just to get my blog started and now, there are monthly expenses that come with keeping my blog site live and active. Because I am able to design graphics and even take pictures for my blog now some of my expenses are cut. However, if you are not able to design and photograph for your blog, then you will need to spend money to maintain a consistent blog and brand for not only yourself but for your audience.
Here are the expenses for a blog:
Having a custom domain is important for your online brand. Custom domains are an excellent way to brand your business or yourself and increase visibility. It shows that you believe in your business/brand and takes it seriously. With a custom domain, you can create a custom email.
Price: $14.99 per year
Hosting is all about ownership of your work and being responsible. When you use free hosting, it is their name you are using. They can shut you down and you can lose all of your contents. Free hosting also lacks some features that paid to host offer.
Price: $13.95 (bluehost) or GoDaddy (up to $19.99 depending on plan)
Your logo is the face of your brand. It distinguishes who you are and reveals your identity. Your logo can be placed on any marketing materials to promote your brand at events, in stores, or online. It is a graphical design that displays your company identity through colors, fonts, and images.
Average cost: $250 but could cost more than $1000 (one-time fee)
My Design Logo:
It is important to position yourself with a good online presence that functions easily and offer customers easy navigation that engages them enough for them to want to do business with you. And, 79% of Americans now shop online.
Price: $600-$3000 but could cost more (one-time fee)
Social Media is becoming heavily important in the business world. You have to be providing content that keeps your audience engaged. Most people create social media headers, templates, and photos to maintain consistency with their brand and provide high-quality images. All these cost money but there are also free tools for you as well.
- Social Media Templates: If you hire a graphic designer to create social media templates for you, they can cost over $50 for one. The good thing is you can reuse them for multiple purposes.
- Social Media Headers: Every social media site you’re active on must communicate the same message and your brand must be consistent. A header communications who you are and what you do. Social Media Headers could cost over $50 as well, but is a one-time fee and can be reused for multiple purposes.
- Photos: High-quality photos are what attract people to stop and look on Instagram before they even read your capture. Photography helps tell a part of your story and give your readers a glimpse of your life. A quality photographer is important but you can take your own photos on your iPhone. A photo session could cost more than $200 but a good package would allow you to have images for months.
(Free tool for making social media graphics and headers is Canva.)
Your email list is powerful. First, you need a custom email because a few mail list subscriptions don’t allow emails from Gmail and Yahoo. You can purchase an email with your domain or even hosting platform. After you purchase your email, you need a platform that allows you to create forms to capture emails, a platform that allows you to send emails, a platform that allows you to send a weekly or monthly newsletter, etc. Your email list is your power and your money. There are a few free tools and there are a few paid tools. Again, some paid tools offer more features than others.
Price: up to $100 (ConvertKit, Mailerlite, Mailchimp, MailMunch)
While these are not the whole list of tools needed to run your blog and build a consistent brand, the tools above will be your foundation. There are others such as scheduling tools that help save time, events to build a network, and classes or books that pushes you to continue learning. Blogging isn’t free. You have to invest in tools for your blog and continue to build valuable content.