So I have a confession. You’re not going to find a definitive answer to that question in this post. Sorry. But what I can give you is my own personal experience. The question ‘how much does blogging cost?’ doesn’t really have an answer as so many variables come into play for each and every blogger, from their own personal financial situation to their personal reasons for blogging.
But if you’re a new blogger wanting to make a real good go of this, then there will be expenses involved. Which is something you definitely need to consider but not something that should put you off pursuing your dream further. How much does blogging cost is just another factor you have to add to the list of factors you need to consider when either creating a blog or thinking about taking your blog further.
So, how much does blogging cost? Let’s look at the factors and what expenses you might be looking at. As well as being totally transparent in my own expenses.
Self hosting, WordPress packages, domain names
This is a big one for when you want to start taking your blog seriously or think about taking your blog to that next level. To turn your hobby blog into a business or an income then you’ll need to be thinking about at least getting your own domain name. And that’s the very least.
I currently pay for the Business package on WordPress, which sets me back around £260 a year. It’s quite a daunting figure to look at but over the course of a year, I think that’s okay. But that’s my personal situation. So using that as a guideline, self hosting, WordPress packages or domain names might set you back between £10 – £260 a year.
The reason I chose this option was simply because I’m not technically minded and I don’t have the skills to go self hosted by myself through an external company. If this is something you’re considering, check out the WordPress plans here or this post by Glow Steady about her switch to Lyrical Host, which is very informative!
Blog themes, graphic designs etc.
Thankfully, the Business plan comes with a ton of themes you can install for free. I didn’t have to pay anything extra for my current theme and I absolutely love it! Come to think of it, I’ve never personally paid for any theme I’ve had. Which, looking back was probably a mistake. Because the design of your blog is SO important.
Despite the fact you can get loads of lovely free themes, many bloggers pay for themes which have more customization options and reflect their blog and their brand. The same goes for graphics.
You can make great free graphics on Canva (I made a whole free media kit on Canva!) but if you don’t have the graphic design skills (like me) then you may have to pay someone to do that. My old blog header was £20 and my new one was £75. I’m perfectly happy to pay these prices to people who run small businesses and who excel at what they do.
Of course we all have a phone and most of us have a laptop or a computer so you don’t really need to pay out anything extra in that respect but it also depends on your blog and what you might need. Last year I realised my photos weren’t up to scratch and compared to others I followed, they were incredibly low quality.
So for that reason, I had to fork out on a new camera, which set me back £500. *Screeching tires*, yes I know. I wasn’t entirely happy either, especially considering this camera is super big, heavy and bulky so I can’t even take it when I go out for the day but alas, needs must.
If you’re really looking to up your blogging game and take your blog to that next level, it might be worth investing in extra resources like eBooks or coaching. Of course these are all extra expenses but from experience, most resources from experienced, reputable bloggers are well worth the money. Plus it’s always nice supporting a blogger you love!
I pay £9 a month for my Grow & Glow subscription and recently paid £10 for an eBook.
Here are some handy resources to consider:
Beginners Guide to Blogging eBook – Jenny in Neverland
Beginners Guide to Growing an Engaged and Authentic Blog Following – Jenny in Neverland
Pinterest With Ell eCourse
Blog Growth Toolkit – The Bloglancer
Grow & Glow Community
Pitch Perfect: A Guide to Pitching Products, Payments and Press Trips – Kirsty Leanne
I mean, this isn’t exclusive to bloggers I know but thought it was worth sticking on the end because it’s still an extra expense for a lot of bloggers. If you’re a part-time or full-time blogger then you’ll be registered as self employed (and if you’re not you seriously need to get on that like NOW) and depending on how much you earn, you may have to pay tax at the end of the financial year.
So, how much DOES blogging cost? There will be many more expenses along the way but I think I’ve covered the main ones here. Have you been surprised at the expenses you’ve encountered whilst blogging?
Wanna get involved? Join my supportive Facebook bloggers group, Starlight Bloggers!
Blogging is definitely just a hobby for me but it has also cost me a fair amount! I don’t think that is too bad though, when you consider how much some people pay for golf memberships or so on. I pay a tenner a month for Lyrical Host and with themes, domains, my camera etc it’s definitely cost me money but I don’t resent it at all!
Beth x Adventure & Anxiety
That’s true – lots of hobbies cost money!
Honestly over the years blogging has cost me so much money! From bits and bobs for photos, to getting to events, camera equipment and website costs. Thankyou for sharing this gal!
Kayleigh Zara | http://www.kayleighzaraa.com
It’s crazy how much the costs add up!
Blogging can be such an expensive thing to do x
It really can.
I pay as little as possible for my blog because it is a hobby and I can’t see it growing into a business. You can probably tell by looking at it ha.
I think if you don’t need to splash out, then you shouldn’t!
It can certainly be an expensive hobby but luckily it doesn’t turn me off. Saying that, my blog is so basic ha.
Such a real post and one that would be good for some negative nelly’s to read. Blogging can come with so many costs and caveats! People seem to forget this!
All this money is freaking me out LOL I’m not self hosted yet but I want to be soon!
Don’t let it freak you out!
This was really interesting for me. If someone asks what my blog costs I automatically say £115 a year, because that’s what I pay for domain + hosting but I never consider things like themes and cameras etc. Food for thought 😂. And thanks for the mention! x
You’re welcome! The costs can really add up without us really realizing!
Blogging can cost quite a bit all at once as I pay for my hosting in 1 hit for 3 years!
Love, Amie ❤
The Curvaceous Vegan
That’s a good option!
Oooh, never thought to try a theme from WordPress but I’m still trying to figure where to buy one from! I kind of hate what I have right now but fingers crossed! I also need to save up for a new camera.
Daisy xoxo | TheDeeWhoLived
WordPress have lots of great free and premium themes!
As log as you’re not getting any money from it, you don’t have to register as self-employed, right ? That’s only for those for which blogging is a part-time or full-time job ?
You have to register as self employed when you’ve made your first £1,000. If you don’t make anything else after that, it doesn’t matter, you still need to register.
Love that you have shared this lovely, I think it will help a lot of people out who are thinking of starting a blog or wanting to go blogging full-time. You’ve written this post really well. I’m sending you all of my love 💜
With love, Alisha Valerie x | http://www.alishavalerie.com
Thank you – I hope so.
I’m not spending a penny and since it helps me grow as a person I can’t even complain about the time it takes.🙂
Unfortunately blogging as a job requires you to pay out but I’m so glad to hear it’s helping you grow!
I found Sophie’s post so helpful! Although I’m a hobby blogger, I want my space to look more professional & knew that at some point I wanted to get my own domain & go self-hosted for that reason. This post is so helpful & gives a lot of insight in just how much cost varies from blogger to blogger!
Sophie’s post is amazing for people who are just getting started – so glad you found it helpful!
I’m SERIOUSLY considering purchasing the premium WordPress plan instead of trying to self-host on another site. Plus I won’t have to worry about navigating it by myself because I’m not that tech savvy. Thank you so much for these helpful tips! I’m literally reading all the posts you have about self-hosting 😄👏🏾
Natonya | https://justnatonya.wordpress.com
I loved the Premium plan when I was on it 🙂 x
Blogging can become SO expensive. It’s really something that starts well as a hobby when you have a full time job, and you have to work incredibly hard to turn it into a full time job that actually makes a profit. I’ve been struggling the past few months just paying off my taxes from it from 2018!!
It really can. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly either!
I’ve tried to keep the costs minimal, but to be taken seriously you do need to invest in things like your own URL and a professional theme. I think my biggest cost as a book blogger is well, buying more books! haha
Hahaha I don’t blame you!
Such a great informative post! I’ve been considering trying out a few ebooks etc for blogging recently so this was great for getting an idea for costs x
The eBooks I’ve tried have been really valuable!
Blogging is different for everybody in terms of how much it costs. That’s absolutely true. Apart from my hosting and theme, I have monthly subscriptions to ConvertKit, Tailwind, and an anti-spam service.
Yep absolutely. You can give someone a ballpark figure but never really a set amount of how much it will cost.
I blogged on WordPress for free for years, just for fun. Recently upgraded to have my own URL and still waiting to see if it is worth it.
An unexpected hassle – once I got the new url, Norton Antivirus flagged my site as, ‘suspicious’. It thought it was a new site and, “fishing for personal information”. I am currently disputing this! Obviously its s bummer if anyone with Norton installed goes to visit my site and gets told its scammy! I am pretty cranky, actually!
That’s annoying! I think I’ve heard this happen to other people before too.
It is doing my head in because it is right as I am taking my writing seriously and sending various links of my posts to different places for work ect and how will it look if they click the link and, WARNING SCAM comes up!!!
Great post Jenny! 😀 I definitely outlay more each month, actually WAY more than I ever earn from my blog. It has always been a hobby though for me, so I guess it’s no different than say if I took up card making or jewellery making – they all take money. I’ve still only ever used my mobile phone to take photos. I’d love to splash out on a camera but I just can’t afford one and I’m not sure I’d be able to hold one either. lol
Sarah 🌺 || Boxnip || Latest Post
Your photos are amazing from your phone!
Thank you so much for this information!
I’m really glad you’re sharing this! I always wonder how much other bloggers spend on blogging. My main costs go into courses and e-books atm cause I’m trying to learn as much as possible, so I can grow my blog and make it better 🙂 They can get very expensive though! I’m lucky to share a hosting with my boyfriend, which cuts the cost a little 🙂
They can but if they’re benefiting you then the costs will definitely be worth it in the long run!
I definitely didn’t realise that was any cost to blogging before I started it! I went self hosted with lyrical host and have my own domain name so that’s what I pay out for at the moment, but it’s definitely worth it! Thank you for sharing, it’s handy to know how much money can go into blogging for sure.
I didn’t either – I didn’t pay anything for ages because I didn’t know what I was doing haha!
Love this! Blogging definitely has a cost and isn’t as free and simple as people think. Great post!!
This was really insightful! Nervous about going self-hosted now as I’m not technically-minded either but I really want to go with InMotion…perhaps an online course is due. As well las these expenses I’m also hoping to go premium with Buffer and ConvertKit, and looking at my prospective budget the costs definitely add up! I guess it’s the same with any entrepeneurial business though, and it all pays back further down the line (hopefully). This of course also isn’t including all those travel expenses and other costs from actually visiting things to write about them!
I went with the business plan on WordPress instead because it literally does everything for you and I am so rubbish at the techy stuff!
It’s the costs that are preventing me from diving into a self-hosted site. I have some storage with the free version so I am planning to keep the free version until I run out of storage and must upgrade at that point. I didn’t commit to blogging before 2019 and honestly, now I don’t know how I am going to maintain it when I go back to school in January. I calculated that I will need to schedule at least 43 blog posts in advance for next year if I hope to keep the same momentum going, which is overwhelming to think about.
43 posts over the course of 1 year is totally manageable if you schedule in advance!
There’s a bunch of school-prep I need to finish before January so I’m working on that these days. I calculated that if everything goes to plan, I should finish the school-prep by December.
I might have to write them a week in advance or during “down time” once school starts. Last time, I did not allow for any fun whatsoever and I was very miserable. Writing is a good outlet so I’m hoping to keep blogging during the school year. 🙂🌺
I wish that I figured out how much I wanted to spend on my blog before I started! It can be expensive and you have to make sure it is worth it.
You sure do!
Brilliant post Jen …
I put so much money into my blog recently. It’s interesting to hear what others spend on.
It’s crazy how much I spend on my blog – when I started I really didn’t even think about it. It’s an expensive ‘hobby’ but a good one xx
Same, I didn’t think about costs when I started either!
Before I started my blog I didn’t even think about the cost of just having one and I also have to add the price of products I buy the review and all other bits and bobs. It does all add up. This was a really interesting post, I’m sure new bloggers will definitely get use out of it! X
I do hope so! I can imagine for you, beauty products can definitely add up!
The domain name and self-hosting are definitely the biggest costs – especially as they are ongoing.
I know at some point I’m going to need to invest in a better camera if I want to get serious about my youtube channel, but I’m putting it off more from technology fear than cost concerns.
It’s interesting to hear about registering as self employed! I didn’t realise I would need to do that unless I successfully monetized my blog? That has me a bit panicky now actually :-/
I hear that – I’m rubbish with technology too! As far as I’m aware, you need to register as self employed when you’ve earned the first £1,000 from your blog. Once you’ve hit that, it’s illegal not to be registered so definitely something to think about!
A really interesting post but I think it’s important to point out how different niches can cost more than others and some can be more lucrative than others too. An example in book blogging there is more cost than reward in a financial sense but can be incredibly rewarding. At the moment the only thing I pay for is my domain though I would love to go self-hosted so that I could get a theme that I like and had my eye on for a while.
That’s very true. Although in book blogging, there’s always ways to limit the costs with libraries and second hand books!
Really great information!
This is so weird, I have a blog post in my drafts with almost the exact same title, haha. (Although it’s not about the £££s). Anyway, I enjoyed this post, Jenny. I don’t think many people (some bloggers included) realise the cost of blogging: hosting, cameras, software, subscriptions, it all adds up. And when you realise how much we invest in our blogs, it’s no wonder that we need to hustle to break even, never mind turn a profit. Thank you for your honesty X
Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com
Can’t wait to read your post! And yep I totally agree, I had no idea either!
This is such a great post! Blogging do cost quite a bit, whether it comes to self hosting, domain name, equipment, etc. But it is an investment as well, like in all sort of venture, and hopefully, you get a good return.
Yes absolutely – if you take it seriously or want to turn it into a business then it certainly is an investment which hopefully will pay off!
Great post as always Jenny and super useful! I’ve bought my own domain this year and I’m loving it, next year though I want to up my plan and go for the business one so this post helped me out in more ways than one (: Thanks so much for sharing and being so transparent about the costs x
I love the business plan – I don’t know what I did without it!
This is a great run down and includes some things I never thought of! I feel like setting up with self-hosting and buying a theme was the main costs for me at first but it now doesn’t have to really cost a penny if you don’t need!
loved this read. as someone who is just making a comeback to the blogging scene I found this incredibly helpful! xx
I’ve definitely put a fair amount of money into my blog – from my domain name each year to my custom blog design and camera x
It can definitely add up!
Great post! The biggest expense that shocked me is time. I had NO IDEA how much time was needed, especially when you’re starting up and trying to build a following!
I think so many people still don’t realise how much goes into blogging behind the scenes including how much it can cost at times. I definitely need to invest in a new theme soon! xx
Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk
Oh they definitely don’t!
A lot of people don’t realise that blogging can be an expensive hobby! We have to put the money into it to make a big success of it. People just assume we start a blog and we get freebies for it which is completely untrue! x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
It is hard to put a price on it like you said as it depends if you go self hosted and if you buy a new camera or use your phone! xx
Everyone’s figures will definitely be different!
When asked this by a friend recently I said that blogging is as expensive as you want to make it like any hobby/job the more you put in the more that starts to come back. You don’t have to buy fancy domains and cameras to create a successful blog. Great post as always Jenny x
That’s very true! These are all potential costs – you can blog COMPLETELY for free, if you want to!
This was very helpful! I am loving your blog 🙂
Thank you very much!
A great post, I currently spend nothing but a shed load of valuable time.
This post serves to prove that we have to invest in ourselves if we want to succeed.
Thanks for sharing x
Very true – whether that’s with time, money or both!
Thanks for sharing this Jenny! I’ve been contemplating investing on a theme and a few other things myself lately. This is a helpful post!
It does cost a bit to do it properly ugh. The domain and then server storage and all that. But the packages they have are good if one takes them for 3 years or so. Works out to be much cheaper😊
You can definitely get some good deals!
I can totally relate to this and can’t but help to smile when people assume blogging is all about making profit. Sweet ignorance!
There are an awful lot of misconceptions!
At the moment, the only thing I am paying for is my domain. Once I am back in full employment (I’m just temping at the moment), I want to change to WordPress and pay for a few more things. I’m also looking into Adsense which should hopefully bring it a little money!
Ellyn x | Life Of A Beauty Nerd
I love WordPress! I’d also recommend WordAds too 🙂