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Unless you are running a hobby blog on a free site, turning a blog into a business is going to cost money.
There's so much advice out there telling you to spend money left and right and on just about everything, but what do you actually spend money on?
Before I take a deep dive into money, the topic everyone loves to hate, I want to give you one caveat.
Everyone is going to spend money differently depending on their blog/business model as well as what niche they are in.
For the purposes of this blog post, I'm giving you a rundown of the blogging essentials that you should look into investing in, but at the end of the day, it's your choice.
Some of these tools are essential for starting a money-making blog, while others make your job and your life a lot easier while saving you time. And in business, time is money.
*This post contains affiliate links which means I make a small commission if you choose to use my links at no cost to you. I appreciate your support!
I lumped these two together because they can go hand in hand.
It's very enticing as a new blogger to just go with a free WordPress blog or even Blogger or a free Wix site or whatever.
This was one of the biggest mistakes I made and it cost me thousands of dollars in the long run.
Needless to say, your domain name is like the address of your blog.
You wouldn't share an address with your neighbor or the whole dang neighborhood, would you?
So why would you want another company's logo built into your domain name?
Instead of your domain name saying something like, thebestblogever.wordpress.com, spend the $15 a year and get your own domain name.
You can use name cheap, hover or anything else you want.
Next up on our list is hosting, another polarizing topic but I'm not afraid of a challenge.
Hosting is another one of those things that new bloggers seem to skimp out on (don't' worry, I did too, for years).
But just like the domain name, hosting is absolutely essential if you want to build a money-making blog.
Having your blog on a host gives you the freedom to do whatever the heck you want with your blog.
Use affiliate links, add plugins, build a store, whatever you want.
Everyone has their own opinion on what hosting site to use and while the prices vary slightly from host to host, they all round out to be the same.
But just because they're similar in price doesn't mean you'll get the same high-quality service.
My host of choice is SiteGround simply because their customer service is impeccable, they're easy to use, their price is right and I've used them for multiple blogs with no problems.
You can watch this video to learn how to set up your blog with SiteGround.
With all that set and done, having a host and a domain name that fits your blog is absolutely essential for a new blogger.
So how much with these two investments cost?
About $85-100 for the first year and about $145-200 for the second year and beyond (all hosting companies increase their prices after the first promo year).
Social media plugins are a much less talked about investment when it comes to blogging but they are just as important.
You can most definitely get away with using a free social media plugin at first but eventually, you will want to purchase one especially if you're using Pinterest to market your blog.
Social media plugins such as Tasty Pins and Social Pug come in really handy when using Pinterest and they make it super easy to add Pinterest and Twitter descriptions.
So that when someone pins your blog post, the descriptions are set up appropriately to your liking.
Social Pug costs $34 per year (after the first year they give you a 30% off coupon) and Tasty Pins costs $29 a year.
Tailwind is probably my favorite investment I've ever made.
Tailwind is a Pinterest approved scheduling app that actually pins for you, saving you a ton of time which inevitably, saves you loads of money.
I have used Tailwind for two years now and tested it out on a new blog just a few months again and the results where shocking. Click here to read my case study.
Tailwind really helps you take your pinning game to the next level and because the name of the game on Pinterest is to be consistent, Tailwind is one of the most helpful tools out there.
You can learn more about Pinterest marketing and how to actually use it to drive the right kind of traffic by reading this article.
The cost of Tailwind is $120 a year or $15 a month.
They also have a few add-ons that you can purchase like smart loop, Tailwind for Instagram and Tailwind tribes.
While this is a much more personal investment, investing in a coach, a mentor, an eBook or a course can be extremely beneficial for new bloggers.
There are so many things to learn and so much information out there it can be tough to know what direction to go in and who to listen to.
This leaves most people stuck and with a blog that never even got off the ground.
Courses and coaches allow you to learn from someone who has already made all the mistakes and can show you the quick way around instead of trying to do it all yourself.
Every course is going to be different and some are only going to cover one topic, while others cover many different topics.
I invested in Dare to Conquer (back when it was the Billionaire Blog Club) and it was a really incredible investment and one that continues to grow and expand.
*You can test out the $100,000 roadmap on Dare to Conquer for $1- click here*
Courses, eBooks, and coaching will not guarantee that you will have a successful blog.
This is of course, up to you.
But they will definitely help you save time and avoid some very costly mistakes.
These types of info products can run anywhere from $10-$5,000.
With most courses and eBooks you will get lifetime access so you only have to make the investment once.
All of these investments are going to solely depend on your blogging niche and not everyone will have to spend money on these things.
If you are running an online shop you can invest in Shopify or Etsy or any of the other eCommerce shops as well as any plugins you would need if you chose to host your shop directly from your blog.
For most blogs, there won't be any extra cost for materials but if you are running a DIY blog or a crochet blog or anything similar, you will need to buy supplies to make the DIY's that you're going to put on your blog.
This is, of course, a guesstimate as everyone will have different investments in certain places and the cost may increase or decrease depending on any courses, coaches or eBooks you invest in.
Hosting & Domain: $85-$100 for the first year
Social Share Plugins: $29-$35 for one year
Tailwind: $15 a month or $120 a year (not including any add-ons like smart loop)
Additional Courses, eBooks or Coaching: $10-$5,000 (usually lifetime access is given)
Average Total (with an average course amount of $600): $837 for the first year or $69 a month
This number could be much less or much more simply depending on the extra investments you make or don't make. But at the end of the day, these investments are necessary for running a money-making blog.
If you're feeling a bit of sticker shock, you can fairly easily make that back in your first year of blogging.
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Hi Emily, Very well written blog post. Newbie bloggers have misconception that they can start a income generating blog without spend money of the blog, however it far from truth. Reality is that in order to build income generating blog you have to put a lot of effort and time. You will also need to spend money on tools and software. without this invest it is going to be very difficult for a newbie to build revenue generating blog from scratch.
Thank you, Sajan. I really appreciate your kind words. I couldn’t agree more! Making money with blogging does require patience and work to accomplish and isn’t a “get rich quick” scheme. Very valid points, thank you for sharing and taking the time to leave a comment!
The misconception in blogging is that it’s free, but to set up and generate page visitors, a swell as creating an online presence needs to pay, glad that you are out in this bog the essentials in blogging investment.
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