Have you been wanting to start a blog but you’re not sure how much it costs to run a blog?
In this article, I will break down costs for different tools and items you might need.
But the truth is that the cost can vary based on your needs and skills.
I definitely believe that everyone should start a blog.
So let’s talk about how much it costs to run a blog, the tools you’ll need for your blog, and how bloggers make money.
Typically you have to spend money to make money.
Ever heard that one?
I bet you have.
So be prepared to spend money on your blog if you want it to generate income for you.
While it is possible to start a personal blog for free with a site like WordPress.com, I’d recommend setting up a blog using WordPress (it’s free) with a theme (free & paid), and hosting (paid).
With this option, you’ll be able to name your website what you want with a domain name (paid).
So, how much does it cost to run a blog?
While the total cost for running a blog professionally may be a little higher than expected, it is not something you need to be scared of.
You can choose to invest very little and put in more ‘sweat equity’ (work).
Or you can invest more money upfront and reduce the number of hours you’ll need to personally invest.
So launching your blog the first few months could cost as little as $50 (cheap domain name, cheap hosting, and a free theme) up to thousands.
The following are some estimated costs that you will eventually incur at some point with your blog business either from the very beginning or as you begin to grow.
This is the first thing you’ll need.
It’s the part between the www. & .com
In order to keep your costs down, buy a domain name for your blog from Namecheap.
Price Range: $15 – $20/yr.
Your domain name will need hosting on a server for worldwide accessibility.
To get this service, you need to contract a web hosting company.
These service providers charge a monthly rate from $3/mo up to $30+/mo.
You can start with a less expensive option while you’re figuring up your budget and how much it costs to run your blog.
As your blog business grows, you can consider upgrading to other plans as necessary.
A good host will keep your site from going down, so choose wisely. And if your web page isn’t to be found, at least add some humor to your 404 pages!
Below is a list of some top website hosting service providers, their starting rate as well as links to their websites.
Wpengine –Starter – $25/ month
BlueHost – Shared – starts at $2.95/ month
Siteground – Startup – $6.99/ month
Hostgator – Shared hosting – $ 2.75.
These plans come with other benefits that differ from one host to the other. Therefore, before deciding on the cost, you need to look at the other benefits coming with the plan to ensure you have selected the best offer.
Price Range: $3 – $30/mo.
Blog Website Theme
Your audience needs to have a taste of your creativity.
You’ve only got one shot to make a first impression.
A blog that runs on a generic theme will not attract the necessary traffic.
But of course if you don’t have money to invest, you are free to do this.
But you need to be unique.
Create your own style.
Even if it’s an out of the box theme, you can still customize it to your own branding and stand out from the crowd.
For theme you can easily customize, I recommend you check out Elegant Themes (Divi) [this is the theme we use for this website!] or Themeisle.
If you are not confident in designing your own website, you can also use an all in one builder, such as Wix or Weebly.
Price Range: $0 – $250
Logo and Website Design
Now you want to design a unique logo but don’t have the skills?
Hire a company like 99 Designs or TailorBrands.
But if you want to try your own design skills, I highly recommend Canva.
Canva makes me feel like a professional graphic designer.
Price Range: $0 – $1,000
Building a blog is a long-term game.
There are millions of blogs (more than 600 million according to Oberlo).
It’s a game of 24/7/365.
Your competition is out to kick your butt.
To outrank you.
But you’re out there to do the same.
Make it a game.
Choose to make it fun.
You need to be strategic with your research, keywords, and content.
Great free tools exist.
Google’s keyword planner is a great one – you’ll just need to sign up for an account.
Another solid example is Keywords Everywhere – it’s a google chrome extension.
If you want to invest in a tool that the pros use, then have a look at SEM Rush.
Price Range: $0 – $400/mo.
Hiring Writers For Your Blog
Writers are optional for your blogging business.
Maybe you’re an expert writer and/or you love to write.
But writing isn’t my strength.
If you’re like me, then hiring writers that have a similar knowledge level as you and are able to write in your voice is necessary.
They will be great for doing SEO research and helping write a great first draft of articles for you to work from.
I have found that you can hire writers from $.03 per word up to $.30 per word (US dollars).
But keep in mind that you will absolutely get what you pay for.
My sweet spot is between $.05-$.10 per word for written articles.
This will include a quality article with some SEO strategies.
There are a lot of platforms to hire from.
You can hire directly on a platform like Fiverr, but the downside is that they may have a lot of clients that they are working with.
If you want a dedicated writer, you need to begin networking and go find them.
Maybe you begin on Fiverr, but you get more of their time as you can increase their workload.
I would also ask you here how you are intending to monetize your blog.
Have you already thought this through?
If not, one option is to recommend products and services to your readers – it’s called affiliate marketing and here is a list of great leads for beginners of affiliate marketing.
Price Range: $0 – $1,000+
You may or may not need this skill.
It may not be a cost you have to run your blog, but it’s something to consider.
As technology improves, you are able to do more and more without any coding involved.
But if you need something complex created or if you come across website edits that you’re unable to do, you can hire.
You will pay from $10/hr. and up to $100/hr. depending on their experience and location in the world.
Freelancer (you get $40 with that link) is a good solution if you are in need of a coder.
Price Range: $0 – $2,500
A/B split testing
This is where you can test different items to see what works best.
Is one image better than another?
Does one form convert better than another?
This is not a required cost to run a blog and is an advanced technique.
It can definitely be something that you can use as you begin to grow, but don’t let it be the reason that you don’t get started.
Range: $0 – $500
Project and Time Management
Time management may seem like an item that shouldn’t be included as a cost to run your blog.
As your blog grows, you might need help.
Will you be writing all content yourself?
What about marketing? Networking?
Are you self-motivated?
Can you easily segment your time in order to get everything done that needs to be?
You’ll probably want to use a project management tool like Clickup, Monday.com, or Todoist.
These tools can help you track and manage your time and your projects.
Price Range: $0 – $100
To have a successful blog, you must have traffic.
And you should collect email addresses so that you can directly communicate and build community.
I read Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income say that one of his biggest regrets was not beginning to grow an email list sooner.
Don’t make this same mistake.
Start collecting emails now.
What will you need to do this?
You need a tool that can automatically collect and send emails for you.
There are lots of tools out there.
I recently switched to ConvertKit and love it.
Other choices include companies like Aweber and Get Response.
The most important thing is to get started.
Not necessarily which one you choose.
Price Rage: $0 – $250+/mo.
Social Media Marketing
Social media might be another cost to run your blog.
You need look at the ways that you want to promote your content.
Do you intend for SEO (search engine optimization) to do its trick and eventually send you traffic?
Or do you intend to add your content to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok (see how to make money on TikTok), Pinterest, or others?
Once you have a plan, you’ll want to decide on tools that will help you operate these.
You can create and post everything yourself.
Or you can hire help.
You can also use tools like CrowdFire, Social Pilot or Buffer to assist your efforts.
Social media is an ever-evolving field.
Be sure that you’re watching trends and that you know where your audience hangs out.
Price Range: $0 – $500
Manage Your Finances & Bills
You need money to generate money.
If you don’t your blog will either die or you will remain a hobby blogger for life.
Nothing wrong with that if it’s a passion.
But I personally prefer passions that I can also get paid for.
So you’ve figured out the cost to run your blog.
Let’s make sure we’re tracking the money will a solid tool as well.
In the early days, a spreadsheet will be easy and simple, as you won’t have anything serious to track.
But as you get going you’ll need a real software.
There are plenty out there, but the solid choice is QuickBooks.
Tried and true, they can easily help you track all of your income and expenses for your blog.
Will you track the expenses yourself or will you hire the help of a bookkeeper?
This too will affect your costs.
Price Range: $0 – $500
How to Make Money Blogging
I wanted to add this section because if you’re just starting out and learning about how much it costs to run a blog, then you probably need to figure out how in the heck to make money from it.
Let me give you a few ideas.
You might be thinking advertising.
This is definitely an option, but not until you have thousands of monthly website visitors per month.
One of the fastest ways to generate revenue while you’re growing your blog business is from affiliate marketing.
If you’re not familiar have a look at my affiliate marketing for beginners article where I’ll provide you a number of options for affiliates programs for beginners.
In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is where you get paid to refer business to another business product or service.
It’s like getting paid from that restaurant that you rave about and tell your friends they need to try because their tacos are so great or the service is excellent.
Same idea, just digital.
But I would argue that the fastest way to a paycheck from your blog would be consulting with the expertise that you have. This is how Adam Enfroy began monetizing his blog that now reaches 500,000+ readers and teaches them how to blog.
Are you an expert on social media marketing and this is what your content is about?
Then target businesses with the content.
Not only might they use services that you recommend as an affiliate, but they might want help now!
This could lead to a consulting gig representing thousands of dollars per month for your new blog business.
I hope this gives you a good idea of how much it might cost to run your blog.
I know, I know, you’re thinking “but you left me a really wide range in costs!”
This is because I don’t know how much money you have to invest.
And I don’t know if you’d rather spend a lot more time (sweat equity) rather than your money.
Be prepared to spend a good chunk of money ($$ thousands) and work hard.
Or be prepared to spend very little money ($$ hundreds) and work really really hard.
Either way, it will be hard work.
But you’re up for that, right?
You like a good solid challenge?
I look forward to learning what your blog is about.
I can’t wait to see what you decide to produce.
So choose a nice healthy balance between the amount of time and money that you’re willing to invest.
If you’re in need to make money a bit faster, you will want to hold off on a blog. Instead, check out how to make 200 dollars in one day.
Like it or not, figuring out how much it may cost to run your blog is not easy, because the situation for each blog owner will be different.
It will range from hundreds to thousands.
Have a close look at each section above and decide what you will need and not need additional help with.
And either way, you’re going to do great.
Can’t wait to read your work.
And if you want to grow faster, take a course and join a group that can help. One example is Adam Enfroy’s (a 7 figure blogger). I review his course here. Good luck!