Blogging is expensive! Even if you don’t blog about items, like interiors or fashion, the expenses really add up when you own your own piece of the internet. Many people think blogging is easy and free, but in order to maximize your return, it does cost money. Here are a few of the surprising expenses (and their costs) associated with blogging.
Web Hosting + Domain Fees
There are free blogging sites out there, like Blogger and free WordPress, which is what most of us started on back in the day. However, to get the most out of what the internet offers and most importantly to truly own your site, you’ll need to be self-hosted. With this comes a slew of domain and hosting fees. From purchasing your domain name to choosing a web host and provider, these costs are typically dependent on your file storage size, traffic numbers, security and capabilities. My hosting fees are around $300+ per year.
Hosting Fees: $300/year
Domain Fees: $13/year
Camera + Shooting Equipment
Despite what some think, you can’t steal other’s photos and repurpose them as your own. (Unless you’re using creative commons stock photography.) As we move towards a more creatively competitive atmosphere, custom content and assets are more important than ever. While the latest iPhone models are producing increasingly higher quality images, at some point you may want to upgrade to a DSLR or quality Point-and-Shoot camera.
Luckily, there are many quality, affordable entry-level cameras that you can invest in at the beginning of your journey and upgrade once you’ve saved or learned the ropes. I’ve upgraded my camera 4 times since starting my blog and they’ve each lasted quite awhile!
I highly recommend investing in an entry-level Canon or Nikon DSLR camera when you’re starting out. You can get a very high quality camera kit with lens and memory card for about $500 at any camera store or electronics store, Amazon or Target! I also invested in a smaller, mirrorless camera for the purpose of filming video and vlogs on the go or while traveling.
You will likely need a couple of lenses, probably two memory cards and a tripod and remote. These tools make shooting on your own so much easier!
DSLR Camera Kit (with basic lens and memory card): $500
Portrait Lens: $150
Extra Memory Card: $40
Tripod + Remote: $25
SHOP MY KIT //
If you’re not interested in shooting your own content, you can also hire a photographer, but this tends to add up quickly. I hire photographers for certain projects and love collaborating with them. Pricing depends on the photographer’s experience level and is usually billed by the hour or by the outfit change. In Atlanta, you’re looking at around $100-$300 for about 4-5 outfits shot with a photographer (typically in an hour or two).
Hourly Photographer: $100/hour
Social Media Tools and Subscriptions
The main (paid) social media tool I use is Lightroom CC. There are free versions of this, but because I use it so frequently along with Photoshop, I pay a monthly fee. Lightroom is truly the best editing tool for your photos. You may also want to purchase custom Lightroom presets (now selling here!) or premade presets (shop mine here!) to give your social media channels a choesive look no matter the photo. If you also edit videos, there is a subscription which includes Premiere Pro, the best of the best for editing video for YouTube.
Other tools I’m looking to invest in for the New Year are social media scheduling tools. Later is a great tool for scheduling social media posts and laying out your Instagram grid to see how your profile will look with your published content. Coschedule is an amazing tool that I used to use to organize my blog content and schedule social posts around them throughout the year. Airtable is a great project management tool used to organize your content calendars and to-do lists, and is also great to use if you have a Virtual Assistant or Social Media assistant. Tailwind is incredible for using Pinterest to your advantage.
Props and Accessories
Obviously this one is optional if you don’t blog about shopping, outfits, home goods, cooking, etc. And obviously you can already use what you own, however, it can be difficult to keep up with linking your items if they’re not recent buys. (It can be done… I’m just saying it takes more time!)
If you’re taking styled shoots or photographing your daily outfits, you’ll likely need to buy photoshoot props and accessories. I am pretty thrifty, but it adds up depending on how in-depth your shoot is. For example, if you’re writing about entertaining for a party, you may want to purchase goods for an entire tablescape, meal and decor.
While blogging can certainly be achieved on a tiny budget, investing more in your business will help elevate your content and confidence in your work. I’ve noticed a change when I put more effort into my content and when I present a more professional aesthetic to brands and followers. Of course, it’s always a good idea to make a budget and stick to it! Just have fun doing it.
If you’re a blogger, what can you not live without? Share in the comments so we can collect all of the best tips!