Last Updated on September 5, 2023 by andrewtk
How much does it cost to start a blog?
The answer, of course, is just the same as always…
It depends on the purpose of your blog, and whether you are going to be a hobby blogger, a side-hustle blogger, or a full-time blogger.
Because each one of the above options tends to come with a different level of required resources.
Let's start at the top…
- How Much Does It Actually Cost To Start A Blog?
- Cost Of Hardware
- Cost Of Domain Name
- Cost Of Hosting
- Cost Of WordPress Theme
- Cost Of WordPress Plugins
- Cost Of Email Marketing Services
- Content Creation Costs
- Additional Blogging Tools Costs
- How Much Does It Cost To Start A Blog – Wrapping It Up!
How Much Does It Actually Cost To Start A Blog?
Let's take a real quick look a the main different broad approaches people tend to take to their blogs…
…with regards to how much time and money they commit to it, and how much they expect to get back from it.
The approach you take will play a big part in what it will cost to start a blog.
1. Hobby Blogger
Hobby blogs and personal blogs are those bloggers who just love to share their experiences and knowledge.
They don't really have any view to making money from their blog.
It's a love thing!
They love their hobby, they love whatever it is they spend their time getting up too, and they love to share.
Setting up and running this type of blog is pretty low cost because you only need the bare essentials.
2. Side-Hustle Blogger
The side-hustle blogger is different.
They definitely have an eye on monetising their blog.
But for whatever reason, they're not quite ready to go in all-guns-blazing.
The side-hustle blogger is committed to spending a bit of money up-front, because they see their blog as a small business start-up, more than just a hobby blog.
3. Full-Time Blogger
Now, the full-time blogger is going in all-guns-blazing, right from the get-go!
They want this to be their full-time gig, with a very decent income…
…and they know they're going to have to invest some decent money right from the start.
Without doubt, the full-time blogger sees their blog as a business, and businesses require capital to run.
Now we've got that all cleared up, let's take a look at how much it costs to start a blog…
…cost by cost.
Cost Of Hardware
Let's kick off with the bit people tend to forget about…
…the cost of the hardware you need for blogging.
I think it gets forgotten about because most people interested in getting into blogging already have most of this kit.
But if we're trying to figure out the real costs of starting a blog, they have to be included.
So let's take a quick run-down.
To get started as a hobby blogger, I would say you only really need a computer.
Either a desktop or a laptop will do. Although most bloggers tend to prefer laptops because it doesn't tie you to working from the one space.
So for this one we're just going to take the cost of a basis laptop.
Hobby Blogger Hardware Costs: $250
Because we're getting more serious here, there is a little more kit required.
Realistically you'll be looking at needing a fairly powerful laptop, and a decent smartphone with camera.
Let's say you go for an entry level MacBook Pro, that'll cost you roughly $1,300.
And if you go for a fairly standard smartphone, say $500
Side-Hustle Blogger Hardware Costs: $1,800
You're going to need even more processing power yet as you commit to full-time.
So you're looking at a much beefier MacBook Pro, or PC equivalent, if you don't do Mac!
And we're going to add the cost of a slightly better new smartphone in.
A high-end MacBook Pro will set you back in the region of $2,000.
Smartphone, roughly $900
Full-Time Blogger Hardware Costs: $2,900
Cost Of Domain Name
Thankfully this one is not a huge expense…assuming you're not buying an aged domain of course.
So let's bag them all up together for this one, and call it $12 per year.
Domain Name Costs: $12 per year
Cost Of Hosting
There's an absolute ton of website hosts to choose from.
But they're certainly not all created equal.
It really is worth putting some time in on research here.
Because it's real easy to just go for the cheapest deal, but if things go well for you, you may find yourself needing a bigger and better provider sooner than expected.
And switching hosts is just a massive pain in the butt.
For the hobby blogger who genuinely believes they will only ever be a hobby blogger, I'm not sure I'd look much further than at the real budget end of the market.
And for this, you're only going to need to shell our something like $5 per month.
Hobby Blogger Hosting Costs: $5 per month
As a side-hustle blogger you're going to want better security, more disc-space, automated site backups, faster hosting.
And that's going to cost you a bit more money.
But not a whole lot more.
Something like $10 per month should get you the required boost.
Side-Hustle Blogger Hosting Costs: $10 per month
I think what I would say here is to pick a web host that has a range of plans so that you can grow with them, and avoid the hassle of moving.
So there isn't really a need to go straight in with an expensive hosting plan, you can just upgrade when you start getting a ton more traffic.
So you can easily keep the cost of hosting at exactly the same costs as for the side-hustle blogger above…
…until you're actually getting the traffic that requires a bigger plan.
So with that in mind, we'll price this two ways:
Full-Time Blogger Hosting Costs: $10 per month (minimum)
Full-Time Blogger Hosting Costs: $50 per month (once upgraded)
Cost Of WordPress Theme
I've always quite enjoyed picking a new theme for a new blog.
And this is another area where a bit of time spent making a great choice will save you massive time down the line.
Changing a theme once you're already up and running is a bit clunky, so avoid having to do that if you can.
There's a fair amount to consider when picking a WordPress theme for your new blog.
You need the look and feel to be what you want, and you also need it to perform well.
The great news for hobby bloggers is that there's an absolute ton of great free themes out there waiting for you.
And because you are not looking to monetise, and therefore theme performance is not of paramount importance to you, you can just about go with whatever takes your fancy.
Just to some homework on making sure it gets regular updates, has existing satisfied users, that kind of thing.
Hobby Blogger WP Theme Costs: $0 to $10
Without doubt, i would say that as soon as you have aspirations to monetise your blog, you should be looking at getting a premium theme.
And unless you have web developer skills, you might want to go with a theme that plays nicely with a great visual theme builder.
Something that enables you to build a great looking site that also performs well.
They don't cost the earth.
Side-Hustle Blogger WP Theme Costs: Costs: $75
Exactly the same as what we have said above for the side-hustle blogger I think
Full-Time Blogger WP Theme Costs: $75
Cost Of WordPress Plugins
A plugin, just in case you're not familiar with them, is just a snippet of code that can add extra functionality to a WordPress site.
You buy them all nicely wrapped up, as ‘plugins' so that all you have to do is upload them onto your site.
Plugins are super useful, and as a new site owner, it's pretty easy to get a little carried away , and to start adding them you your blog left-right-and-centre.
It's probably unlikely that the average hobby blogger is going to ever need anything other than the odd free plugin.
And there are plenty of great free plugins available.
If you don't know much about plugins, maybe read up a little, so that when you do need one or two, you have a better idea of what to go for.
Hobby Blogger WP Plugin Costs: $0
Just about every side-hustle blogger is going to want to add some carefully chosen plugins to their blog.
Plugins for SEO purposes, plugins for caching, , plugins to look after affiliate links, plugins to hook Google Analytics up easily.
See what I mean, you haven't even chosen your WordPress theme yet, and you already need four plugins.
And as a semi-pro blogger, it's more than likely you'll be opting for the premium versions of each plugin you install.
Side-Hustle Blogger WP Plugin Costs: $250 per year
Once again, I think we can say that full-time bloggers will likely to spend fairly similar money on their range of plugins as side-hustle bloggers.
Full-Time Blogger WP Plugin Costs: $250 per year
Cost Of Email Marketing Services
Essential for all bloggers wanting to monetise.
The money is in the list, as online marketers love to say.
And they love to say it, because it's true.
Start building your list from day one.
Hobby bloggers can pretty much skip this one.
If you are real committed to blogging on the regular, with no view to monetising, then your blog is how you will communicate with your audience.
No real need for an email marketing service provider as far as I can see.
Hobby Blogger Email Marketing Costs: $0
There is no shortage of email marketing service providers that's for sure.
And they all have an extensive range of different plans available, usually priced dependant on the number of subscribers to your list.
Aweber, Mailchimp, ConvertKit are just but three of the big players you might want to consider.
My simple advice is…
…get started with email marketing right from your first week as a blogger.
Side-Hustle Blogger Email Marketing Costs: $10 to $50 per month (based on list size)
Well, here's a big time saving…just about the same as above!
Full-Time Blogger Email Marketing Costs: $10 to $50 per month (based on list size)
Content Creation Costs
Most new bloggers start out writing all of their content themselves.
And if you're a hobby blogger, I would think this is how you'll continue.
Personally, I think that all bloggers should aim to get maybe twenty posts up that they have written before looking to outsource to content writers.
I've not had great experiences with content writers, so I pretty much write every word myself, but as much as i enjoy it, that's a big draw on my time.
You're definitely going to be writing all of your content yourself, otherwise, what's the point of you starting a hobby blog?
Hobby Blogger Content Creation Costs: $0
Your blog needs to find its own style.
It needs to have a unique voice…
And for this reason alone, I don't think you should be too quick to start outsourcing your content creation.
Once you have some decent articles up that you have written, maybe start thinking about outsourcing a few each month.
Ten new articles a month of average length will probably cost you something like $20 each.
Side-Hustle Blogger Content Creation Costs: $200 per month
As a full-time pro blogger, with your blog up, running and populated with a ton of your own great content, you may decide to try and find some high-quality content writers to work with.
It's going to cost you more money but you'll save massive amounts of time by working more closely with a couple of decent content creators.
Honestly, I would still say that you should still be writing at least half of the content yourself, so that the blog has your voice, but maybe that's just me.
Say you're looking at getting one new article up every day.
You write half of them, and you're outsourcing the other half.
So you're putting about fifteen articles out to content creators each month.
As a full-time blogger, you should be using one of the better content writers available, someone like ProBlogger for instance.
Each article is likely going to cost you something like $75.
Full-Time Blogger Content Creation Costs: $1,125 per month
Additional Blogging Tools Costs
There are a few extras that don't fit into the areas we've already covered.
- SEO/Keyword Research Tools
- Content Optimisation Tools
- Blogging Training
- Logo Design
I don't think you're going to have a lot of need for any additional tools as a hobby blogger.
Hobby Blogger Additional Blogging Tools Costs: $0
Side-Hustle Blogger & Full-Time Blogger
SEO/Keyword Research Tools
If you want to maximise your chances of creating content that will rank well on Google, you will need to be investing in a good SEO/Keyword research tool.
They do tend to be quite expensive, but they are generally well worth the money…
…well, most of them anyway!
The well known ‘Ahrefs' is a market leader in this area, but it's anything but cheap at $99 per month for the ‘Lite' plan…and it is very ‘Lite'.
And $199 per month for ‘Standard', or $399 for ‘Advanced'.
SEMrush is another favourite, starting at $119 per month.
Or you can go more budget with Mangools at $29.90 per month for their ‘Basic' plan, or $39.90 for ‘Premium'. Personally I think this is a great value option.
So as you can see it's going to cost you.
Side-Hustle/Full-Time Blogger SEO/Keyword Research Tools Costs: $360 to $4,800 per year
Investment in Training Course
If I were you, I would invest in a high-quality blogging course.
Sure, you can learn a lot from searching on the internet, because there are some great blogs about blogging, but if you want to get out the gates quickly…
…and start making money before most new bloggers do, you should give this some thought.
Be careful though, there's a lot of garbage being touted in this space!
Side-Hustle/Full-Time Blogger Training Course Costs: $200 to $2,000
How Much Does It Cost To Start A Blog – Wrapping It Up!
Obviously the blogging costs quoted above are for guidance, because they are all subject to change from time-to-time.
But I hope this article has given you a pretty solid idea of the cost to start a blog, and what sort of budget you'll need.
You can for sure get a blog up and running for almost nothing.
It all depends on how much you want to add in, so as to boost your chances of ranking well and becoming profitable quickly.
As you can see, you spend close to nothing, or you can spend thousands.
Generally, and I say this with caution, the more tools you employ, the more you invest in your training, the faster your road to blogging success.
As I said…generally.
Whatever you do, spend your money wisely.
Research the products, services, tools that you're considering, before handing over your hard earned money!
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