This is one of the widely asked questions – how much does it cost to have a blog? At the first glance, it shouldn’t be very expensive. Someone who views blogging as a hobby can start for a fairly small price. But blog prices for those, who want to make blogging their main source of income, are quite different. There are lots of hidden costs that someone who has no experience in the field does not know about.
If you are asking “is blogging free?” the short answer is NO. My friends, of course, it’s not!
Well, it CAN BE FREE if you post on a third-party platform just for the enjoyment of writing. But if you want to make something bigger of it, there are many things to take care of.
What are those blog costs?
In this article, I will cover all blog costs and give the range for beginners to full-time professional writers.
Please note that exact numbers vary widely depending on what services and providers you choose. Treat these numbers as approximate estimations.
So let’s break blog expenses into different types:
When people talk about the cost to start a blog they often forget about this stage. Sure thing, if you want to begin this journey, you probably have a PC. But there are some other hardware tools to consider.
- Laptop. If you are a hobby blogger, you’ll be fine with the laptop or PC you already have. There are also quite affordable options, like the ones about $200. You do not need a lot of power and memory, especially if you run a third-party page on services like Wix, Weebly, or Medium. But if you launch your own website, you’ll need a better computer to manage it, which can cost from $600 to $2,000.
- Smartphone. You’ll need it to check updates, analyze how mobile-friendly is your website, take pictures, and answer comments on the go. It is not necessary for hobby writers, but full-time ones will need a good one for $100-$300.
- Camera. The main reason is that you can take high-quality pictures for your page. But if your phone has the excellent quality, there is no need for that. So it is rather an additional tool.
- Microphone, headphones, web camera for professionals that want also to ad podcasts or live streaming to their blog. It all can cost about $200-$500.
So how much does it cost to start a blog in terms of hardware? The range is from $0 to $2,800. Beginners can avoid investing so far, full-time writers might spend $1,100 – $2,800. Luckily, those are one-time purchases.
Are blogs free to start? Well, only if you post on third-party platforms. But it is a bad idea as you’ll have no domain name and you’ll have very little control of it. And if the site goes down, so is your page. The best idea is to launch your blogging website.
The best combination, for now, is WordPress (free) and BlueHost (affordable hosting option). Why BlueHost? Well, it is cheap, effective, has great customer support, and gives a domain name for free. It also has in-build security solutions, like a free SSL certificate.
The hosting blog price depends on the type of subscription you choose with BlueHost, for example:
- Basic for $2.95 per month;
- Online stores for $12.95;
- Managed WordPress for $9.95;
So a beginner will be fine with $2.95 but a full-time blog cost is $9.95 (with advanced features).
If you decide on another hosting, you’ll have to pay for the domain name separately. How much to start a blog with your name? Well, it depends on the provider:
- GoDaddy – $10-20;
- Name Cheap – $9;
- Google Domains – $12.
Other costs to start a blog
The cost of starting a blog also depends on what features of the website you are interested in and how custom your design will be. Some might be good with plain text, others need to incorporate multimedia and various infographics. There are hundreds of free themes on WordPress which are good only for hobby writers. They are not very functional and often do not allow even to change the color.
More custom and advanced themes can cost around $30 – $60.
Customization of a standard or paid theme without any changes in structure can cost about $500. If you want something truly unique and functional, the price goes up to $2,500.
If you want to add more plugins to your site, they will also come at a separate price. Plugins add features to the website, like WooCommerce, SEO, or advanced security. Some plugins are free, but the best ones are, of course, not.
The free ones are:
- Instagram feed – directly adds your feed to the site;
- Google Analytics (must-have for everyone);
- WooCommerce (it might add costs if you process a high amount of orders later but it is free to start);
- Envira Gallery Lite.
How much does a blog cost if you want some advanced features? Well, here are some plugins you might need:
- Yoast SEO ($89 annually);
- WP Forms ($79 annually) – adds any type of forms to your site;
- WP Rocket for fast caching ($49 per year);
- Zero BS CRM for customer management ($204 per year);
- Live Chat ($192 per year).
There are tons of various plugins and the final cost depends on which one of them you need.
So beginners can do fine with $0 and free themes, but those who want to grow their blog and earn money with it may pay up to $1,173 ($3,173 if you order custom theme development).
Is blogging worth it? Yes, it is. Let those prices do not discourage you. It is a valid way to earn money and even make it a full income source. But no business can go far without investment. And content creation is another factor in blogging services pricing.
If you are an enthusiast who writes for fun and no commercial purpose, you do not need authors and editors. Just skip this part. But if you want to turn it into a serious business, if you want to work in some great writing niche full of competition, you’ll need to understand that you won’t be able to provide so much quality content on your own. Especially if you add podcasts, videos, courses, etc. And you’ll need to take care of brand collaborations, content plan creation, social media, etc.
An hourly rate for a copywriter in the US is about $25. Depending on the type of content, you can hire someone for the range of $15-50 per hour. A content editor will also cost about $26 per hour. The monthly budget for copywriting and editing can be about $250 to $500.
This is another step that is not crucial for hobby writers. But for those who want to earn money with blogging, it is a must-have to create some advertising budget.
- Mailchimp is free to create emails lists but only up to 2,000 addresses;
- ConvertKit is the optimal choice for professionals and email marketing – $41 per month (automated emails, tagging subscribers based on their interests for audience separation, great metrics on the audience);
- Social media ads ($0.16-1 per click));
- Google Ads ($1-$50 per click);
Overall, the marketing and advertising budget for a full-time blogger is in the range of $49-$1,000 per month.
A lot of useful software is free, for example, Google Docs. But if you are serious about growing your business, here are some solutions to consider:
- Grammarly – proofreading tool, from $0 to $12 per month;
- Buffer – social media scheduling tool – $10 monthly.
There are also a lot of other tools out there, for voice recognition, photo, and video editing, or digital drawing. It all depends on what programs you personally need.
If you’ve chosen BlueHost, you’ll get basic security for free. It is quite enough for those who do it as a hobby. But more advanced security will cost a bit more:
- WordFence plugin ($99 annually);
- CloudFare Pro Plan (the most advanced measure) – $240 per year.
To Sum Up
I hope, I’ve fully answered the question “Does blogging cost money?”.
For a conclusion, let’s break down costs into three tiers.
A beginner can save lots of money on free solutions and pay about $50 to start with basic hosting and a paid WordPress theme.
A part-time blogger in the middle will spend about $1,200.
And a full-time professional that wants the most ROI might spend from $2,500 and up.
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