If you would like to know the REAL numbers of running a blog every month, and if you would like to know about cheaper or free alternatives, this post is jam-packed with everything you need to know about!
BTW, If you are just looking around and didn’t start a blog yet, this will give you the real picture of blog expenses.
When we are just starting our blogging journey, one of the most important things we want to do is save as much money as we can! Right?! (I know that because I was like that as well! 😉 )
In this post, you will find paid services and tools (which I personally use and highly recommend them. Because they will save you a lot of time and hard work!) And you will also find cheaper alternatives (some are even FREE) so that you can start a blog with minimal expenses on it!
The REAL NUMBERS of blog expenses for a successful blog:
Domain – $10.69 (per year)
If you decided to start a blog, and you want to have a unique domain, i.e., the “www.YOURDOMAIN.com” – I recommend using NameCheap for checking if your domain is available. NameCheap is great! I use them since 2009. The domain is your “personal residence address.” You will need to have a “house” for it! 😉
Hosting Account – SiteGround ($47-$103/year)
After you purchased your unique domain, you will need to connect it to a hosting account – that’s the “home” of your blog.
I use SiteGround for my hosting services.
Why? Becuase they have AMAZING customer Service! I used to host my sites on HostGator, But their customer service wasn’t great at all!
Themes – ($49 – $89)
There are endless of themes you can find online! And because of that, it took me a week or two to find something that I like! I mean, I got so overwhelmed that I just didn’t know what to go with! To be honest with you, you probably will change your theme a few times! Why? Because as you grow your blog, you will want to change your design a few times (Yep, this really happened to me too!) A great theme that you can use, that will allow you to really create a theme that you love, is the Divi themes!
But if you don’t want to design your own theme, I recommend these lovely feminine themes:
ConvertKit – Email service provider (Starts at $29/Month)
This is what I personally use, and I think that they are GREAT! Why? Because ConvertKit was specially created for bloggers in mind! As you can see, MOST of the successful bloggers (I am talking the ones that earn 6 figures a month) use ConvetKit. Their forms look nice and clean! Highly recommend them! 😉 BTW, their customer service is excellent as well!
Tailwind – ($15/month or $119/year)
WOW! Now Tailwind is absolutely A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! If you want to save yourself a whole lot of time, I highly recommend you try and use Tailwind for your pinning strategy! The options are endless! I must admit, that I started using them only recently (oops!)! And I can’t recommend this fantastic tool enough! Click here to try Tailwind for free
*If you choose to make monthly payment with Tailwind, you should know that you are allowed to pin ONLY 400 pins per month!
In my upcoming post, I will share create an easy guide on how to use Tailwind. Stay tuned! 😉
BoardBooster – ($5 – $10/month)
BoardBooster is a great tool for “Looping” your pins!
If you are asking yourself, “What in the world is “looping”?”
Well, it basically takes an “older” pin from your board and repins it to be a “newer” pin (exactly the same pin but newer!).
This is awesome because it does it automatically for you, and you don’t have to go into all your boards and find the “older” pins and repin them yourself!
Then, BoardBooster will run a check (it can be based on your own setup time for checking the pins) and see what pin has the most “saves.” BoardBooster will automatically delete the pin that has the less “saves.”
PicMonkey – ($7.99/Mo or $47.88/year)
I LOVE LOVE LOVE, PicMonkey! This tool allows me to create STUNNING pinnable pins! It’s so easy to use! They offer a variety of templates you can choose from to make your life a whole lot easier! 😉 But, I personally design mine! 😉 I highly recommend using this tool!
Stock Photos – Bosslatina.com ($12/mo) / Color U Bold ($20/month or $95/year)
For my pins, I use professional Stock Photos. Why?! Because it makes your images pop out more! And when you create pins for your blog, your main goal should be to create “Pinteresting” pins! What I mean by that is that you want to make your pins interesting enough so that people will click on them!
When people see a pin that has a “non-professional” photo, most likely it won’t get “Saved,” and you will barely get any traffic from it.
Therefore I highly recommend using professional Styled stock photos. The ones that I personally use are “BossLatina” and Color U Bold. Which offer reasonable prices for their members! And their photos are STUNNING! 😉
Total amount paid annually: $313.57
*you have the option to pay Tailwind and Picmonkey with a monthly payment. If you do so, your annual price will be $146.58
But, let’s not forget to calculate the monthly expenses as well! 😉
Monthly payments amount: $68.99 (*12)
*you have the option to pay it annually and not monthly! If you pay it annually, the monthly expenses go down to be $46 (*12)
So, it all adds up to:
$313.57 + 46*12 = $865.57 per year! (Which includes the Year + Monthly expenses in total!)
$146.58 + 68.99*12 = $974.46 per year!
Now, this is AMAZING!
You can have a successful business that costs you less than $1,000 per year!!! Now, which other successful business can you have for years, and it will only cost you less than $1,000 per year?!
This just amazes me! 😉 Doesn’t it?
Free Blog Platforms
With these FREE platforms, you have limitations! For example, you can’t place any ads on them! The ads that come with them are default ads, and the earnings belong to those platforms.
So, if you plan to monetize your blog with ads in the future, it’s recommended to use a self-hosting account.
Also, when you use these free platforms, you don’t own the content! The content belongs to those companies! Yep! Yikes!
And…you don’t have a personal domain! Your domain will contain “www.yourdesiredname.WORDPRESS.com” or “www.yourdesiredname.BLOGGER.com”. If you do want to attach your own domain name, you can, but you still will need to pay for a domain!
If you are using one of these free platforms and want to transfer to a self-hosted account, you can! I recommend moving to SiteGround! 😉
When you use a free platform, or if you do use wordpress.org, you have a variety of free themes you can choose from. The downside of these themes is that you can’t really customize them to be the way that you want it to be. (Some come with customizable options, but they are limited!)
But, if you are just starting a blog, you can definitely do fine using a free theme!
Because you are just starting your blogging journey and if you aren’t sure if blogging is for you, you are good to go with a free theme! And only after you see that you are consistent with your blog, and you are growing, you can change your theme to a pro theme.
FREE Email Service Providers
MailerLite / MailChimp
At the beginning of my blogging journey, I used MailerLite. Why because I didn’t want to invest money in my blog if I had no income from it. So it’s totally fine to start with a FREE email service provider! MailerLite is GREAT! I loved how easy it was to create web forms with it and also sending emails! Great Tool!
MailerLite allows you to have a free account up to 1000 subscribers. After that, you will need to pay. But the prices are lower then ConvertKit.
Free tools and techniques
If you don’t want to invest in the automation pinning tools recommended above, then I highly recommend you start manually pinning your own pins.
If you would like to learn a great strategy for manual pinning, I recommend Carly’s “Pinning Strategies” ebook where she teaches you EVERYTHING you need to know to start a fantastic pinning strategy that will grow your blog traffic!
This tool is GREAT! I personally use them! Yep, I use the free option.
With Canva you can create amazing BEAUTIFUL PDFs for your readers! This is great for freebies!
Yes, you can also create Pins using Canva! 😉
Canva offers many templates, icons, elements, etc. you can choose from! It’s GREAT! 🙂
If you don’t want to purchase professional stock photos, you have a vast variety of free images on the Pixabay website.
It is highly recommended that when you find a free image you want to download, then you should (probably “must” is the right word here) take a screenshot of the download image page.
Why? Because there are stories that bloggers downloaded free images from free websites (like Pixabay) and after a few months/years the got a lawsuit because they used a picture that wasn’t for free (well that’s what the photographer claimed!).
So, please, do yourself a big favor, ALWAYS take a screenshot downloading the free image from the free images websites! (this will help you with proof if you need it!)
This turned out to be one of my LONGEST post on my blog! Haha.
I hope that after you read this post, you know the REAL NUMBERS of the blog expenses.
You should know that if you decide to go with the “free option,” it still will “cost” you money in the long run!
What I mean is, you will have to spend a lot of your time on the things that you can actually automate with a paid tool (for example Tailwind).
TIME EQUALS MONEY! Yep, even though you think you are “saving money,” in the long wrong, you might be losing money.
Why, because instead of working on tasks that will help you grow faster (like creating your own course for example). You are putting a lot of time and hard work into manual pinning (which is VERY time consuming! Been there…done that!) and in the long run, this will cause you to “lose” money.
If you can’t afford anything at the moment, PLEASE don’t feel bad about it!!! You can ALWAYS add the tools and services as you grow!
Really, don’t feel bad if you can’t afford to invest in your blog at the moment. I know the real struggle when it comes to not having money to spend on your blog!
But, when you do have the money to invest in your blog, I highly recommend you add the tools and services I suggested above! 😉
Please let me know in the comment’s below what you are using, and if there is any other awesome tool that I didn’t mention, please let me know so I can add it to the list! 😉
Hope you enjoyed this and found it to be helpful!