My Blogging Expenses | Behind The Scenes
Blogging For Business Costs Money
If you’ve read a few of my posts before, you might already know that I didn’t start blogging as a business. I started it because I love writing, and I wanted to do something constructive whilst I was really struggling with my anxiety. It’s helped massively and I would definitely recommend it if that sounds like you.
Blogging quickly became a huge passion of mine, and I decided I wanted to take it further. All the way! Once I had made that decision, I knew that I would need to do a few things to get my blog off the ground. There were a few original purchases, and I’ve bought things along the way to help. I’ve also got a few subscriptions that are sooo helpful! Blogging expenses end up being a necessary element of running your blog as a business.
I thought to myself that it might be fun to share these with you guys! So, I’m going to explain all the things I’ve paid a one-off cost for, and the subscriptions I have that help me run AIMH. I hope you find this useful when it comes to your own blog. If you’re sitting on the fence about purchasing one of these things, then I hope I can give you the info to make a good decision!
*This post may contain affiliate links. This means I may earn a small commission from purchases made, at no extra cost to you! For more info, see my full disclosure policy*
When I first decided I wanted to take All In My Head further, I knew I needed some things to do that. Firstly, I looked at self-hosting. It’s an important thing, because it meant I owned my website.
Recently I changed my hosting service, because I’d had a few issues with my SSL certificate that my old host just couldn’t solve, no matter how many times I hopped on live chat with them.
I moved across to SiteGround, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision! They transferred my site across completely free, and the whole process was super simple. I read this amazing post from HerPaperRoute about switching, and it 100% helped me make the decision.
It really was that easy to do, and I am so glad I did it. My site is already a lot quicker to load, which is really important when it comes to growing my blog. SiteGround also has a free SSL certificate which is up and running perfectly. If you’re looking to go self-hosted, or update your hosting, then I definitely recommend giving SiteGround a try!
Prices start from £2.75 a month.
Total Spend = £34 for a year’s hosting
I started off with a free site on Blogger. When I decided to go self-hosted, my obvious choice for my platform was WordPress! I went self-hosted straight away because I didn’t want to wait and have to sort it out later on. I went all in!
Once I was up and running, I used free themes for a little while, before deciding I wanted to purchase a premium one. The free ones were too basic, and didn’t have that professional look I wanted. After much deliberation, I decided on the Daisy theme. It was around £40 [it’s $59], and I haven’t wanted to change it since! I love the customisation you have that comes with it. I like to make sure each element looks exactly how I want it to, and the Daisy theme lets me do just that!
You can get the Daisy theme from the Mojo marketplace. There are so many different themes out there, so spend some time before you commit to one. It’s a whole lotta hassle to go in and completely update everything to a new theme further down the line…
Total Spend = £39.11
Awin Set Up Fee
A really important part of my blogging income is from affiliate marketing. I use Awin, simply because they’re awesome! They connect me to thousands of different brands, from all different sectors. I’m currently affiliated with Superdrug, Benefit, Rimmel, GHD, The Body Shop, Manuka Doctor, and more via Awin! I wrote a full setup guide for Awin which will make it simpler to get started yourself!
If you’re looking to make money from your blog, affiliate marketing is a great place to start. You don’t need to create products, advertise them, run an e-commerce shop and ship them!
They have lots of great tools that you can use to start making money from your blog using your favourite brands. If you’re already talking about products in your posts, then you need to start affiliate marketing. It makes sense to be able to refer your readers to those products directly, and earn a small commission for doing so. It doesn’t cost the person any more than it normally would to purchase after clicking your links, so don’t worry about that!
I’ve also been in contact with Awin via email a couple of times since I joined, and they are always so friendly and helpful. They really take care of the Publishers that work with them, and make you feel respected as part of their team.
Total Spend = £5.00 [which you get back in your first payout if you’re successful in being accepted. I was a new blogger when I joined up and there wasn’t any problems!].
I pay for a couple of monthly subscriptions that help keep my blog running efficiently. These are things that I feel help me run my business, and add certain elements to AIMH. These have grown since I started, and weren’t all set up at once! I’ve found as time went on that I needed things to help out, and they’ve made a massive difference. If there are tools there, definitely use them!
Canva For Business
This one is an absolute must for me. I’m obsessed with Canva! You can use it to create so many types of graphics, and I love using it. It’s so user-friendly, and makes it super easy to build the graphics I need for my blog. I designed quite a few different parts of AIMH using Canva:
- my blog header
- the photos at the top of my blog, promoting my most important click-through elements
- my logo
- my media kit
- blog graphics for posts such as this one
- pins for my posts for Pinterest
- social media headers
- my e-book cover
As you can see there are so many different ways that you can use Canva. It’s an amazing tool, and makes life much easier for someone like me! I’m not particularly artistic, and it just makes it easy for me to create the beautiful designs that I need for my blog.
Total Monthly Cost = £8.00
This is a plugin in the WordPress directory, and I stumbled across the features of the Pro version one day. I decided that it would be really useful to have on my blog. Jetpack pro provides me with lots more protection for my site. It gives you daily backups of your site, filters spam, and you get priority support from their team.
I’ve been really happy with using Jetpack Pro, and feel reassured that they’re handling the safety of my site. I don’t have to stress so much!
It also provides you with a great stats dashboard, that shows you lots of in-depth info about how many views you’ve had that day, where they have come from, what they clicked on, and your overall totals. Making keeping track of everything an absolute breeze!
Total Monthly Cost = £8.00
This was a really great find, and I’ve used it countless times on my blog! Haute Stock provide stunning, feminine images that you can use on your blog and social media accounts. They literally have so many amazing photos, and I’ve loved every second of subscription with them.
They upload new photos on the 1st and the 15th of each month, and so I’m always so excited to check and see what they’ve got! You can even find perfectly sized Instagram quotes to pop on your feed! I also love the little icons and frames etc that they do – they are really pretty and can be used in thousands of different ways.
There are various types of subscriptions to Haute Stock – I pay quarterly for mine because it seemed the most effective way for me personally.
Total Quarterly Cost = £76.61 [works out at £25.60 approx a month].
I’ve only very recently joined up to Tailwind Plus, and it’s been a great move for my business already. I’m already seeing a leap in my referral traffic from Pinterest! I’ve got it set up so that Tailwind pins around 25-40 pins a day of my own content to my boards. They include my own blogging and business boards, and my group boards.
I’ve also joined 10 Tailwind Tribes. These are basically places where you share your pins, and then repin each others to your own boards. It helps spread your pins around and get them out there! The reach on some of these Tribes is literally hundreds of thousands of people, so definitely worth getting involved with!
I have paid to upgrade my Tribes subscription so that I can share up to 200 posts in them, and join an unlimited amount of Tribes.
If you would like to join my Tribe, Blogging For Business you are more than welcome! This is your invite + you also get your first month of Tailwind Plus free by clicking my affiliate link 🙂
Total Monthly Cost = £22.50
Buffer Awesome Upgrade
Buffer is also a scheduling tool, similar to Tailwind. I use it for my Twitter and Facebook page. It’s simple to add the updates you want to send out, and set it up on smart schedule that posts when you like. It helps me keep a regular fix of my posts going out, without manually getting them added everyday.
This gives me more time to actually engage with the people who comment back to me, and I can focus on other more important things. Building my community, for example! I’d prefer to spend time talking to people than typing out posts all the time for each social media platform!
You can use a free version of Buffer, but it only lets you put 10 items in your queue. I wanted to be able to fill it up, and so I upgraded. I can add 100 things to each of my social media queues now, which makes it much easier to set it up and leave it to run! You also get better analytics of your posts, and a breakdown of how they perform.
Total Monthly Cost = £7.65
Domain Fee – Google
I paid for my domain name through Google, and it’s pretty cheap. I just pay £10 a year for laurajacquesaimh.com, and I’m happy paying that much for it! Obviously there’s not much else I can say about it, but it’s a necessary purchase for my blog. I might have been able to get it cheaper, but it’s now! It’s less than £1 a month, so not exactly expensive…
Total Yearly Cost = £10.00
As you can see there are quite a few different blogging expenses that I pay out. I need to if I want to run my business! Each has a different element to it – some are design related, some social media, and some the technical running side of things.
They all work together in harmony together to help me run my blog! I love the set up I have going at the moment, and the expenses I’m paying out. As time goes on, and things reach further heights, I might need to have a tweak of them! But for now, I’m happy with everything as it is.
Do you pay out for any of these subscriptions? Are there any others that I could be using? I love to hear from you in the comments!