A few people have asked me: “How much does it cost to start a blog?”. So at this point in life (unfortunately), I think we all recognize that nothing is free. So it’s pretty much a given that there are both startup and maintenance costs to running your own website/blog.
This post is a continuation of our Blogging 101 Series. I feel like this is going to be less of a series.. and more a corner of my blog where we just have ongoing basic tips… A place where the answers to your beginner blogger questions will live.
That being said, I don’t think the cost of running a blog is that outrageous, considering you you get the opportunity to carve out your own little corner of the internet. And if your goal is to eventually monetize your website, the costs will be covered in the long run.
For context, there are a few different website-building platforms you can run your blog on, where you pay monthly for both the hosting and the website-building. But as I recommend (and use) WordPress, the price-outs below will be modelled on my own experience.
You can read up on the pros and cons of the different platforms here.
*This post contains affiliate links. This means, at no additional cost to you, if you click them and make a purchase, I may make a small commission (which helps support the growth of this blog).*
The Basic Start-up and Maintenance Costs of Running a Blog
If you are using WordPress.org (a free software), really all you technically need to run a website is a domain (your website name), and somewhere to host it.
Breaking down the costs is a little tricky because most hosting companies will give you your first domain name free. And then almost all of them have a million enticing extras you can pay for.
That being said, you can get the most basic level hosting relatively cheap.
(Payable monthly, quarterly, or annually, depending on your subscription.)
I use Bluehost, and have not looked back since getting it.
Bluehost works extremely well with WordPress, to the point where they are one the top-recommended hosting providers by WordPress themselves.
Their plans range from $3.95 USD/month for the basics (one website and limited storage), to $6.95 USD/month (unlimited websites, storage, and extra goodies).
I opted for the latter because I keep making websites like a total weirdo… and it was really handy to be able to build out our wedding website without having to upgrade anything!
The above is the basics. You’ll find that depending on your plan, different add-ons are available like SEO assistance, Domain Privacy, and Backup systems, which vary in cost.
Cost of just a domain
If you wanted to get your domain separately, or maybe you aren’t ready to build a website, but want to buy a domain you like so it doesn’t get stolen by anyone else, you’re looking at an average $10 – $25 per year.
Did you know, that many people buy the domain of their name (i.e. FirstNameLastName.com), just so someone doesn’t get it first? It’s not a bad idea in case you ever want the option to launch a brand around yourself.
And that’s it. When it comes to launching your blog, and the ongoing costs…. That’s really all there is to it.
That being said, there are a lot of tools and subscriptions out there that heighten your blogging experience in different ways.
The extra (less-necessary) costs associated with running a blog
So the above would have given you an idea of the basic start-up and maintenance costs of running a blog, but
I plan on doing a more in-depth blog post on the different subscriptions I have to support my blog, but right now, I’ll just list out what I consider essential to running my blog, give a quick blurb, and provide the cost.
Note these are not critical to the running of your blog, but at this point, I couldn’t imagine giving these subscriptions up.
(one time only, start-up cost)
While I personally recommend paying for a good theme right off the bat, it isn’t necessary in order launch your blog. You can get by pretty decently with one of the free ones out there, but your customization options are usually pretty limited.
Your theme (or the set up of your website) is what will eventually become synonymous with your brand. It’s something worth investing in.
Themes range on average from about $20 – $70 dollars, and are a one-time payment. That being said, I have switched up my theme a few times so far on my blogging journey. Things can change, and that’s okay too.
Did you know you can find some stunning and unique themes on Etsy?
Adobe Creative Cloud (For Lightroom & Photoshop)
Adobe Creative Cloud was probably my first ever subscription investment as a blogger. As I take a lot of my own photos in RAW with my DSLR, I wanted to be able to properly process them.
There are a bunch of different plan options available, depending on your needs, but I make out pretty okay with the photography plan, which includes both Lightroom and Photoshop for $9.99 USD/month.
Read more about Adobe Creative Cloud HERE.
(Monthly or Annually)
I’m an unapologetic Pinterest stan. Pinterest is the number one traffic-driver to my website, and because there is no way I’m about to post pins manually every day, I rely heavily on Tailwind, which is an automated pin scheduler tool, and so much more! (In fact, they are an official Pinterest partner!)
In fact, if you’re interested, I wrote an entire blog about how both Pinterest and Tailwind leveled-up my traffic.
A benefit is that you can combine different plans with different features in order to find something that works for you, but their base plan Pinterest runs for $9.99 USD/ a month.
Read more about Tailwind HERE.
Canva is honestly one of the biggest game changers for content creators, as it makes graphic design so much more accessible. Arguably, you don’t need this if you are quick and efficient at Photoshop, but if you’re like me, you still might want to have it on hand for it’s ease, simplicity, and ability to sync with the mobile app. (I love that I can design something on my computer, and access it on my phone when I’m on the go).
Also, if I’m being honest, you can probably get by for a long time on just the free version. But if you’re like me, and taste the features of the Pro version… it’s hard to to go back.
Canva Pro is $9.95 USD/month when paid annually or $12.95 USD/month when paid annually.
Some of my favourite perks are:
- Ability to make backgrounds transparent (perfect for making custom Instagram stickers)
- Access to 60+ million premium stock images, photos, videos and graphics
- One-click design resize (I can design a Pinterest Pin, and turn it into an Instagram story with one click)
Read more about Canva Pro HERE.
Okay, now we are really getting into the level up. I’ve been using Keysearch for about a year now to assist me in keyword research and SEO for my blog posts.
It makes recommendations for similar keyword searches based on my query, tells me the volume of searches a keyword gets a month, as well as how competitive it is.
If you are want to start ranking on Google, and strategically getting your blog posts in front of the right audience, you’ll want this subscription. This is especially the case if you want to incorporate affiliate marketing on your blog.
The basic Keysearch plan runs for $17.00 USD/ a month, but you can get 20% off if you use the code KSDISC
Read more about Keysearch HERE.
And there you have it: the start-up and maintenance costs of running a blog on WordPress! (Both the necessary, and the less-necessary expenditures). Have you looked into starting a blog or started one? What costs popped up for you? Leave a comment below!
- 15 Things You Need to Set Your Blog Up for Success
- How to choose a website-building platform (pros and cons of Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress)
- How I grew my blog-traffic using Pinterest and Tailwind
- 5 blog-related tasks for when you don’t feel like blogging
- How much time does it take to run a blog?
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