People are always asking how much money do you make blogging? But few ever ask how much does it cost to blog? Every hobby, and yes, blogging is a hobby, few bloggers are lucky enough to turn their hobby into a business, comes with a price tag. From albums for stamp collectors to binoculars for birdwatchers, every hobby requires essentials, time and financial investment.
When I first started blogging I never stopped to think about how much it would cost. I registered for a free blog with blogger.com, I didn’t have a domain name or custom template, and my header was a PicMonkey do-it-yourself job. All my photos were taken on either my phone or my point and shoot digital camera and every product I reviewed was something I already had laying around or had paid for out of my own pocket.
Blogging for free is do-able if you’re just looking to share your passion for something if you’re looking to connect with a community and stretch those creative muscles. If you have no interest in making a penny (which is fine!) then you can probably go pop the kettle on and put your feet up.
But if you ever have the inkling to push your blog a little further, maybe look at making a penny or two, you find yourself reaching into your purse to expand on your little corner of the web. Things like;
- domain name (I paid £15 to have my domain name for 5 years)
- custom layout (easily £10+ depending on who does it and what you want)
- branding (£10+, again depending on who does it and what you want)
- advertising (£2+ per month, the bigger the blog you’re advertising on, the more they're likely to charge)
- business cards (I paid £10 for 100 business cards, but the fancier the card the high the price)
- hosting (can be from as little as £3 per month)
- camera (anywhere from £100 - £1000 if you want to get really fancy)
- photo editing software (the creme de la creme being Photoshop - you’re looking at £200)
- photo props (£1+ per prop. Don’t forget, you’ll probably be propping seasonally too!)
- computer/laptop (same as the camera, you could literally throw all your money at a new system)
- products to review (whatever you’ve got left after you’ve purchased all of the above!)
And of course, one of the biggest investments; time. In the UK, the minimum wage is £6.70 (for those ages 21+). If you're looking at turning your blog into a job unless the stars magically align or you sell your first born to the dark side, it’s going to be a long time before you start making anything near that per hour you spend slaving away over your keyboard. Realistically it’s not going to happen overnight, or even over a couple of years.
And that’s all before you take into account all the little extras you end up buying because you’re a part of the blogging world. Reviews by some of my favourite bloggers have led to me making new, unusual and random purchases I would never have even thought of. Then there's the bandwagons. When you see every blogger and their dog blogging about the latest must have holy grail of the skincare world, you do find yourself wandering past it several times in Boots before finally giving in and chucking one in your basket - and FYI - blogging justifies every purchase you’re in two minds about.
Blogging doesn’t have to cost the earth, their are always alternatives, free software, online editors, cheaper designers etc. However, with an ever-growing, over saturated market, if you want your blog to stand out it’s going to end up being less about content and more about how it looks, that first impression you give a new visitor. Unless you're a dab hand at the ol’ coding and graphic design skills, you’re going to find yourself reaching into your pocket to get that wow factor look you’re after.
So, how much does blogging cost? As much as you’re willing to throw at it.
How much money do you throw at blogging? Has it cost more than you ever thought it would?
Until next time,