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The Price Tag of Blogging

by Megan Totka

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The blogging business is booming, but with every success story, there are thousands of failed blogs and disappointed bloggers. There’s a key to making it in this industry, however. The more prepared you are before you begin your blogging journey, the more likely you are to build a successful blog. Taking an honest inventory of your skills and abilities is vital, but it’s also necessary to consider the price tag associated with managing your own blog.

Before you can get a figure, you first have to decide how serious blogging is to you. Is it a hobby, or will you be doing it for a living? For hobbyists, it’ll be a less expensive venture—but also less lucrative. Career bloggers, on the other hand, must invest a lot of money to start their blog and to maintain it on a monthly basis. Here are three of the main ways you’ll be spending your money as a full-time blogger.

Item 1: The Equipment

First and foremost, you have to have the tools of the trade. If you’re relying on your computer for your livelihood, it can’t be an old hand-me-down laptop that’s been sitting in your closet for a few years. You might spend anywhere from $1000-$2000 on your desktop or laptop, not including the cost of your necessary software.

Additional costs depend on the nature of your blog. Food bloggers, for instance, will need a top of the line digital camera and photo editing software. Video bloggers will need a professional webcam, video camera, and other photographic equipment. This may run you as high as $4,000 depending on your needs. You have the option to start slow, of course, by buying middle of the road equipment to test the waters of your blog. Know your costs ahead of time so you can budget for future costs.

Item 2: Blog Maintenance

Initially, you’ll need to purchase your domain name, which is usually around $10 (or free with a hosting package). Then comes blog hosting and email hosting. The more reliable your service, the higher the cost. This can be done very affordably, often for around $350 a year. Many companies like MailChimp offer free mailing lists, so take advantage of these opportunities when you come across them.

The more transactions you do on your blog, the more security you’ll need. Spam protection and SSL encryption will become necessary costs as you grow, costing you around $100 per year. Add the cost of plugins and add-ons ($200), and you’re looking at $210 in startup costs and $450 in annual costs to maintain your blog.

Item 3: Design Elements

Looks are everything, and the blogging world is no different. You want your blog to be attractive and uniquely branded to you, as the foundation for your blogging community. Of course, this costs—and often costs a lot. You can buy a theme from your CMS for around $100, or you can hire a freelance designer to code a theme for you (around $500-$1,000). You’ll also want your own logo and custom designed graphics, which can cost between $250-750. If you have the skills yourself, this can significantly cut down on your final costs.

By factoring in these three areas, career bloggers can expect to spend between $2,000-$7,000 in upfront costs (this including the essential hardware already), and at least $450 a year in long term maintenance fees. If you’re prepared to spend money to make money—and can build lucrative relationships with advertisers—blogging can become a very lucrative career for talented and creative writers.

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Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources and business news. Megan has several years of experience on the topics of small business marketing, copywriting, SEO, online conversions and social media. Megan spends much of her time establishing new relationships for ChamberofCommerce.com, publishing weekly newsletters educating small business on the importance of web presence, and contributing to a number of publications on the web.

Megan has written 24 articles at iBlogzone.com

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