It is fair to say that blogging is one of the cheapest businesses to start, with low overheads and no stock to buy. As my blog has grown into my business I have invested more money into it, and I thought it would be interesting to let you know what my regular blog related costs are.
This is a great way for me to let you know what I value spending money on with my blog, and what I don't spend money on. Below is my list in order of importance, and in order of when we added the costs to our business.
Website Hosting & Domain Name
If you want to blog seriously, and earn a decent income from your blog then you really need to consider going self hosted. It doesn't cost too much, you can start from as little as £2.75, but it gives you control of your blog. A domain name, the .com, .info, etc also looks a lot more professional to potential advertisers.
I started using ConvertKit a few years ago to host my email list. Not gonna lie, they are NOT the cheapest out there, but I have really enjoyed using ConvertKit. The biggest feature for me is being able to deliver courses via email, like my free 6 week money making course.
Being able to reach my subscribers with a regular newsletter, or special offers, has really helped me to grow my business. I am looking forward to using ConvertKit to help me with sales funnels.
Automating your social media is a complete game changer, and previously I had been using Buffer. I needed something that gave me more control, so I switched to SmarterQueue.
SmarterQueue lets me create a bunch of categories for different things, and then a schedule to share updates from those categories. For example, I have categories for my YouTube videos, my blog posts and even affiliate links.
SmarterQueue is quite the annual investment, and the plans depend on how many social media accounts you want to connect. It starts from just £13.99 per month, and you can get an extended trial from this link (30 days instead of the usual 14 days).
Tailwind & BoardBooster
Like many bloggers, I utilise Pinterest to bring traffic to my blog. Pinterest can take a lot of time, so I use both BoardBooster and Tailwind to help to automate my pinning.
I had this really big issue with my emails for the longest time. Basically, I wasn't receiving them! I had created my email address just for free in the cpanel of my web host and I thought it was fine. I was spending time pitching to Brands or signing up to things and I wasn't getting my activation emails or I wasn't getting replies from the PRs. I wasn’t getting error messages, but I was convinced I wasn’t getting my emails.
I Googled the issue but I couldn't really find much about it, so I asked in Facebook groups and no one really knew what to suggest. Then I must have asked in the right Facebook group because someone explained to me that I needed Gsuite email from Google. I'm not going to pretend to have any understanding as to why this is the case but once I switch to G Suite for my emails I was suddenly getting a lot more emails coming through, thus proving that my previous emails weren’t getting through.
Gsuite does come with a small monthly cost, but this has been imperative to getting more money from my blog! Both with affiliates and sponsorships.
Use the following codes to get 20% off:
Q7MAWRWEFDMJU9L – basic plan
47FYFEDLA3MQTJP – business plan
Last year I launched my first online course, Turn Your Dreams Into Money: How To Build a Six-Figure Blog and Live the Life You Want, and earlier this year I launched another course, How to SMASH Affiliate Marketing as a UK Blogger.
Both of these courses are hosted on Teachable. I must admit that I didn't do any research when it came to finding somewhere to host my courses, and Teachable is a bit clunky at times. Due to wanting to process my own payments, my plan costs $99 per month.
Sometimes you need to admit that you can't do it alone – or sometimes you need to outsource jobs that you really don't enjoy doing!
A virtual assistant is someone who works from their home on any jobs you need completing. For me that involves things like editing videos, approving comments (yes, sorry nasty trolls, I don't actually see your comments anymore!), creating images and keeping me sane.
Canva for work
Canva is a great free website for creating images for your blog, social media, YouTube, etc. I have been using their free version for years, and a few months ago I decided to try their free trial of Canva for Work.
I was absolutely blown away! There are so many great features, like resizing images to putting all your branding (colours, logo and fonts) in one easy to access place.
Having accountants is still fairly new to use (that's why they are this low in the list – not because they aren't important) and although this new monthly fee hurts me, they have been so invaluable already!
Sucuri & Vaultpress
Sucuri is a new cost for us, after we found that my blog had some malware a few weeks ago. This is a pricy annual subscription that monitors my blog in real time for any malware, etc and then they fix it for me! Vaultpress is the blog back up system that I use.
Other blogging costs
There are some other costs that come with running my blog that don't really deserve their own category. We pay for monthly broadband and a bank account fee (which I am looking forward to replacing soon). I have also purchased lots of online courses, ebooks, etc to help me along my blogging journey.