Just like with any business, it takes money to make money. If you’re trying to build a blogging business, or even if you’re just a blog in general, you’ll come across some expenses that you may totally have not counted on.
So to keep you from feeling unprepared for these unexpected expenses, I’ve decided to list down four of the top expenses bloggers usually don’t expect. This is a short list, but if you’re looking for a more extensive list of what I typically see in my own business or in that of my students or peers, you can look up the lesson and an entire handout I prepared by becoming a member of the Blogging Business Club.
In the meantime, here are the top expenses you have to prepare for as you get ready to roll into your blogging business.
This post contains affiliate links but I only recommend things I use or love! You can read my Disclaimer here.
1. CUSTOM E-MAIL
One way to do away with this expense is to use a Gmail account with something like: email@example.com.
However, when you’re getting ready to represent your blog on a more professional level you need to get a custom e-mail (i.e.: Hello@myblogname.com or firstname.lastname@example.org ) because it shows you're an actual blogging business to readers and subscribers.
I got my custom e-mail through GSuite which costs about $5 or $10 a month. It’s not so expensive but it tends to be an unexpected expense because it rarely gets mentioned- nobody just thinks of telling you that it’s going to cost you to get a custom e-mail!
If you’re running your blog on Wordpress there are tons of free plugins. So if you’re just starting out, in the early days of your blog, you’re probably not going to spend a hundred bucks on any sort of plugin.
However, as you grow and realize that you need specific features to create a more exclusive experience for your readers, you’re going to have to start paying for those plugins. Plugins vary but let me give you a ballpark idea: just in the past month alone I spent about $50 on a certain plugin.
The cost of $50 in the long run is not a ton of money but it is an additional unexpected expense. No one warns you when you’re starting your blog that, “Hey, by the way, in 6 months, you’re going to need to buy a plugin. Just thought I’d let you know."
3. EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE
This item isn't something you’re going to need right away. I don’t think I had to buy an external hard drive until around after my blog’s one year anniversary.
However, as I started integrating different forms of content (creating courses, doing videos, etc…) my files started to eat up more storage space on my computer. Now, I don’t know about you, but I have a Mac Book Air. All of my pictures, graphics, and all the things I’ve been creating for my blog just ate up my storage in a snap.
A hard drive isn’t that expensive (I think I got my 1TB for somewhere around $60 to $100) and it’s totally worth it. Here’s my favorite hard drive!
You don’t want to be deleting all the content you created, like subscriber incentives and graphics, just so you can make room for new stuff. You’ll want to save all that because you might need them later on.
When I started my blog, I was so confident that it going to instantly look professional. I was sure there was a theme out there that I could just grab online. But no, that’s just not how it works.
It turns out that you really need to pay to look good.
When it comes to themes and designs, you can get pre-made ones or you can get custom ones. If you get a custom design, it’s going to cost you a lot of money.
Personally, I like to save money, even though I know other people may have a similar theme on their own blog. You can opt to customize some colors and fonts with pre-made (cheaper) themes so you can kind of make it your own. Doing so will probably run you anywhere from maybe $60 to $100. It may just be the basics, but that’ll last you at least a year or two.
However, if you’re really looking to get a custom design, get ready to spend some dough. From what I’ve found (at least from my area) it’s going to cost you at least $500 for the most basic package possible.
And if you’re looking to work with somebody who has a really good portfolio and a lot of experience, you’re definitely going to spend four figures. So start saving, girlfriend.
Meanwhile, here my favorite pre-made (and more affordable!) Wordpress and SquareSpace designs/templates here (this company has social media and blog graphic templates to match each blog design too!).
MY FAV WORDPRESS DESIGNS
1. THIS ONE...
3. THIS ONE IS GOOD TOO...
MY FAV SQUARESPACE DESIGNS/TEMPLATES
1. THIS ONE... (WHAT I USE ON ALLISONLINDSTROM.COM)
So there you have it! It’s a short list but definitely the most common expenses that hit us by surprise. It always helps to be prepared so now you know what you need to start saving your pennies for!