A lot of people have asked me: “How much does it cost to start a blog?”.
At this point in life, I think we all recognize that nothing is free. It’s a given that there are both startup and maintenance costs to running your own blog/website.
That being said, I don’t think the cost of running a blog is that outrageous, considering you get the opportunity to carve out your own little corner of the internet. And if your goal is to eventually monetize your website, the costs will be covered in the long run.
For context, there are a few different website-building platforms you can run your blog on. This is where you pay monthly for both the hosting and the website-building. But as I recommend (and use) Wordpress, the price-outs below will be modelled on my own experience.
*Some of the links included in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on them and make a purchase, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you.*
The Basic Costs of Starting a Blog
To start a blog, all your really need is a domain and something to build it on.
If you are using Wordpress.org (a free software), all you technically need to run a website is a domain (your website name), and somewhere to host it. Both of which usually cost money.
Breaking down the costs is a little tricky because most hosting companies will give you your first domain name free. And then almost all of them have a million enticing extras you can pay for.
That being said, you can get the most basic level hosting relatively cheap. The rest is add-ons that make your life easier.
(Payable monthly, quarterly, or annually, depending on your subscription.)
When I started blogging I used Bluehost (before switching to Siteground) and I think its still a great place to start.
Bluehost works extremely well with Wordpress, to the point where they are one the top-recommended hosting providers by Wordpress themselves.
Their plans range from the basics (one website and limited storage), to more advanced (unlimited websites, storage, and extra goodies).
I opted for the latter because I keep making websites like a total weirdo… and it was really handy to be able to build out our wedding website without having to upgrade anything!
The above is the basics. You’ll find that depending on your plan, different add-ons are available like SEO assistance, domain privacy, and backup systems, which vary in cost.
Cost of just a domain
If you wanted to get your domain separately, or maybe you aren’t ready to build a website, but want to buy a domain you like so it doesn’t get stolen by anyone else, you’re looking at an average $10 – $25 per year.
Did you know, that many people buy the domain of their name (i.e. FirstNameLastName.com), just so someone doesn’t get it first? It’s not a bad idea in case you ever want the option to launch a brand around yourself.
And that’s it. When it comes to launching your blog, and the ongoing costs…. That’s really all there is to it.
That being said, there are a lot of tools and subscriptions out there that heighten your blogging experience in different ways. This is where the operating, start-up and maintenance costs of running a blog really comes into play.
The extra (less-necessary) costs associated with running a blog
So the above would have given you an idea of the basic start-up and maintenance costs of running a blog, but I plan on doing a more in-depth blog post on the different subscriptions I have to support my blog.
For now, I’ll just list out what I consider essential to running my blog, give a quick blurb, and provide the cost.
Note these are not critical to the running of your blog, but at this point, I couldn’t imagine giving these subscriptions up.
(one time only, start-up cost)
While I recommend paying for a good theme right off the bat, it isn’t necessary in order launch your blog. You can get by with one of the free ones out there, but your customization options are usually pretty limited.
Your theme (or the set up of your website) is what will eventually become synonymous with your brand. It’s something worth investing in.
Themes range on average from about $20 – $70 dollars, and are a one-time payment. That being said, I have switched up my theme a few times so far on my blogging journey. Things can change, and that’s okay too.
Did you know you can find some stunning and unique themes on Etsy?
Adobe Creative Cloud (For Lightroom & Photoshop)
Adobe Creative Cloud was probably my first ever subscription investment as a blogger. As I take a lot of my own photos in RAW with my DSLR, I wanted to be able to properly process them.
There are a bunch of different plan options available, depending on your needs, but I make out pretty okay with the photography plan, which includes both Lightroom and Photoshop for $25.99 CAD/month.
Read more about Adobe Creative Cloud HERE.
(Monthly or Annually)
I’m an unapologetic Pinterest fan. Pinterest is the number one traffic-driver to my website, and because there is no way I’m about to post pins manually every day, I rely heavily on Tailwind, which is an automated pin scheduler tool, and so much more! (In fact, they are an official Pinterest partner!)
A benefit is that you can combine different plans with different features in order to find something that works for you.
Read more about Tailwind HERE.
Canva is honestly one of the biggest game changers for content creators, as it makes graphic design so much more accessible. Arguably, you don’t need this if you are quick and efficient at Photoshop, but if you’re like me, you still might want to have it on hand for it’s ease, simplicity, and ability to sync with the mobile app.
I love that I can design something on my computer, and access it on my phone when I’m on the go.
Also, you can probably get by for a long time on just the free version. But if you’re like me, and taste the features of the Pro version… it’s hard to to go back.
Canva Pro is $16.99 CAD/month or $149.99 CAD when paid annually.
Some of my favourite perks are:
- Ability to make backgrounds transparent (perfect for making custom Instagram stickers)
- Access to 60+ million premium stock images, photos, videos and graphics
- One-click design resize (I can design a Pinterest Pin, and turn it into an Instagram story with one click)
Read more about Canva Pro HERE.
Okay, now we are really getting into the level up. I’ve been using Keysearch for about a year now to assist me in keyword research and SEO for my blog posts.
It makes recommendations for similar keyword searches based on my query, tells me the volume of searches a keyword gets a month, as well as how competitive it is.
If you are want to start ranking on Google, and strategically getting your blog posts in front of the right audience, you’ll want this subscription. This is especially the case if you want to incorporate affiliate marketing on your blog.
The basic Keysearch plan runs for $17.00 USD/ a month, but you can get 20% off if you use the code KSDISC
Read more about Keysearch HERE.
And there you have it: the start-up and maintenance costs of running a blog on Wordpress! (Both the necessary, and the less-necessary expenditures). Have you looked into starting a blog or started one? What costs popped up for you? Leave a comment below!