Bloggers have to pay for GST
What does (€) blogging cost? Here are the numbers
Let's talk about money. Even a hobby costs. And if you want to make it big one day and make a living blogging, then not only will you have to invest, you also have to calculate with regular costs.
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Blogging is free if you want it to be.
But if you have ambitions or want to build a resilient business, you can't avoid investments and ongoing expenses. After all, others have already recognized that there is business to be done here.
So what are the costs? What do you have to expect?
Here comes the detailed overview.
A lot can first be applied from within your own portfolio. Tools, services and apps are often available free of charge - even if sometimes only in a stripped-down basic version. But with success, so do the demands that you place on yourself. You see opportunities and possibilities, want to try new things. Already you can't avoid spending.
The good thing is, you don't have to rush anything. Also, think about the possibility of income. And let it grow.
My example calculations should show what can be expected. But every blog is to be viewed differently and individually. You don't have to spend anything, but you can leave some thalers with you. Naturally, there is quite a gap between hobby and company bloggers.
What I am showing here are examples that should enable an assessment. There are no fixed values. See also: What you can do for your blog with 100 euros
0 to 69 EUR (realistically calculated)
It's free, you have many options via blogger, Tumblr, Medium and similar platforms. If you want your own vehicle, you have to pay. A web space with a blog system like Wordpress is cheap to have. For example with hosters like All-Inkl or Alfahosting. They are all-rounders who also run blogs.
It only gets really good with managed Wordpress hosting. Then you have the unleashed power, the Ferrari, so to speak. It costs you between € 16.95 with Raidboxes (Affilate Link), but only for a single blog and € 1000 and up per month at the other end. That's how much enterprise WordPress hosting at WLWP costs for the really big pants. But you can also come into play there for a comparatively modest 69, - € / month and have several blogs appear.
€ 0 to € 150 per year
Own domain for blogging? Doesn't have to be mandatory. But hey, the costs are really limited if you have no special requests and stick to a classic .de or .com domain or opt for a modern special offer. It is even likely that you will get a domain with the web space, so you don't have to pay anything extra.
Once you have started with domains, others will be added quickly. For projects that you wanted to start but didn't make it. Or domain names that you absolutely wanted to have plus all those that you just registered so that potential competition would not have access to them. Usually you pay for 1 year.
Think about how useful this is. You will never use these names, it is not helpful to connect them. But you have to pay for them as long as your project is running. So if you want your project name across the board as .com, .org, .net, .uk, .info, .pro, .at, etc., the costs add up. 10 additional domains can cost you around 150 euros per year, depending on the provider.
0 to 300 euros
The secure transmission of data (HTTPS) between the server and the visitor's browser requires an SSL certificate. This has long been indispensable for shops. Wherever sensitive data is exchanged, it must be protected.
Do you have to have this for blogging? No. But:
Since our all friend Google has meanwhile raised this practice to a ranking factor, the possession of such a certificate has become interesting for all websites and of course also for bloggers. An HTTPS connection could soon become the norm on the web. That also means: it will be cheaper. Maybe the hosters will try to gain a competitive advantage.
There are different providers. What you can take ultimately depends on the hoster's offer. He is your contact person. Prices start at around 11 euros. Depending on the provider, its reputation, purpose and equipment. In addition, there are professional offers. For example the Secure Site Pro Wildcard Certificate, which pounds into the office at around 5,000 euros a year. No blogger needs that, and no small business either.
There are also independent providers such as SSL Market (in German) or here at the PSW Group, who broker certificates from various providers.
A free solution also exists. The Lets Encrypt initiative successfully provides free certificates. It is supported by various internet companies. But that's nothing for laypeople. You need to know about servers and what you are doing there. Or the hoster joins the initiative. Then the certificate comes at the push of a button.
It is estimated that this will prevail and more or less every host will jump on the bandwagon in order not to fall behind. If your hoster doesn't offer a free solution yet, just ask!
With existing blogs, the conversion does not go without work. If the blog is already running, paths must be adjusted and settings changed. The devil is in the details.
My provider for these cases, Raidboxes, (still) requires 50 euros per year for the certificate (from Komodo). I didn't have to worry about anything for that. So it can also be comfortable. Also read: This is how I switched my blog to SSL
EUR 0 to EUR 300
The range is huge, as is the selection, which doesn't make it any easier. You will likely need several themes before you are really happy and ready to go. This is normal and still considerably cheaper than having something tailored by a web designer. Which is basically only possible for companies and ambitious projects.
Originally, themes were almost always free. But there weren't many. It was even worthwhile to have themes created and then to give them away, because that's how you got backlinks and attention.
This development brought more and more themes to the fore, quality deteriorated, spam and dangerous stuff became a huge problem. One could no longer trust freely available themes. What happened? Marketplaces established themselves. There the themes were only available for a fee.
Bestseller at Themeforest
For this they had been tested beforehand and the authors provided support and help. The documentaries got better - there had rarely been any before. The thing transformed into a lucrative market. With ever more opulent themes.
I always had to buy several themes before I found the right one. That's why I'm making the expenses for themes a little more generous. The prices have also increased in the meantime. Despite the immense offer.
0 to around 300 per year
Programs don't have to cost anything either. But can. But more convenience is also associated with a certain amount of money.
The typical workhorses for graphics and text, i.e. Photoshop and Microsoft Word, are now available on subscription. This is reflected in monthly recurring costs. They seem acceptably low, but add up over time. There are alternatives. Photoshop Elements, the small version is unfortunately no longer available. Rely on Libreoffice.
- Libreoffice is free
- Microsoft Word in the office package with other programs and cloud storage: € 66 per year
- Photoshop CC is available from Amazon as a prepaid version for 1 year. It then costs € 11.67 per month.
There may also be popular helpers such as Evernote (0 to 120 euros / year), Wunderlist (0 to 4.49 € / month) or Trello (0 to 8.33 / month). And a neat stack of apps for your smartphone, right?
Premium and Pro plugins if you blog with Wordpress
0 to several hundred euros per year, depending on requirements
Tens of thousands of plugins are available for free. Some particularly attractive fillet pieces, the Pro versions, cost extra. Premium plugins are only available for cash. It doesn't have to be. Usually there are always alternatives. Premium is luxury blogging.
So-called pro versions, i.e. extended payment options (see also plugin overview) have spread over the past few years and can now be found in numerous plugins. They promise extra functions for money. Plugins are not expensive, but there are now subscription versions for which you have to pay for them at regular intervals.
Examples of popular Pro and Premium plugins:
- WP Rocket (Cache): from around 35.45 per year
- Leadpages (landing pages, pop-ups): from around € 22.70 per month
- Sumome (social bars, pop-ups): from € 0 to around € 91 per month
- Vaultpress (backup): from around € 8.20 per month
Statistics and Similar Services
0, - to depending on the traffic and provider
Google Analytics is free. But not everyone can cope with it. Are you using a service like Stetic or Clicky is also only available for free to a limited extent. The courses there depend on the traffic you get.
- Google Analytics (German): free of charge
- Statify plugin for Wordpress: free
- Matomo (formerly Piwik) self-hosted is free, cloud solution costs
- Stetic (from Germany): from € 9.99 per month up to 100,000 user activities, after that € 39
- Clicky: free of charge up to 3,000 page views per day, then around 9 euros per month up to 30,000 page views per day
- Woopra: free up to 30,000 user activities, thereafter at least 72 euros per month
Similar services that one could indulge in are heat maps or analysis or test tools. The same applies here: at best, the base is free.
Social media tools
0 to just under 10 euros per month for household use
Social media is work if you really want to use it. That can cost hours every day. Helpful tools are therefore welcome. Check out what's out there for Twitter alone.
Common universal tools are: Hootsuite: free for up to 3 social media profiles. Enterprise version from 7.99 euros per month. Buffer: Free with 1 account per network and a maximum of 10 planned posts. Otherwise around 9 euros per month. Stacker does it in a similar way. Coschedule starts at $ 15 a month. There are dozens of alternative offers for agencies. Most of them are in a different price range.
You can also buy advertising with 10 euros. There is no upper limit
Leisure bloggers don't buy ads. Not on principle, and because you don't want to afford it. Corporate bloggers have a different relationship to it. What that costs depends on what you want to achieve. A topic in itself. But even the ambitious self-employed blogger will advertise in one way or another. This is also possible with a tight budget.
There are several ways to do this. The classic is the advertising banner. It was never popular. Its sheer frequency makes life difficult for him, as does ad blockers. Nevertheless, visibility can also be bought on small platforms, such as related blogs. The tariffs for this should be in the two-digit range per month - depending on the traffic, it can also be three-digit.
Facebook and Twitter are also ready to open up to those on a tight budget. Social advertising is already available for 5 euros and can help a posting on the jumps.
Advertising in search engines, on the other hand, is pure rocket science for me. Bing and especially Google Adwords have evolved into complex systems. But even here you can play with small stakes.
0 to several thousand euros per year
You will only want to pay money for photos as a corporate blogger or if you work for paying customers - who pay the bill. Because commercial stock photos offer legal security. You don't necessarily buy the better pictures this way, but the selection is much larger in any case.
Typical prices are:
A small-format stock photo 830 x 578 pixels costs 6 credits from the Adobe-owned company Fotolia. What these credits mean in euros depends on various factors, including the total amount purchased, discounts, subscriptions.
With two posts a week, you need 104 photos a year for corporate blogging. If we assume that two further illustrative images are used in every second post, we come to 208 photos. Let's round that up, because occasionally pictures have to be changed because you are not satisfied or have come across a better motif. Let's reckon with a requirement of 230 photos per year. This would result in costs of almost 300 euros.
At the competitor Shutterstock you would have to buy 4 packages (only small and medium-sized JPEGs) each with 60 images for 179 euros each. Which would cost a whopping 716 euros.
iStock from Getty Images at the other end of the price range is more powerful, where 1 photo = 1 credit (Essentials Collection) applies. The 230 credits required for our example can be exchanged for around € 1,440 via the virtual counter - and only for one month. But you also have high resolutions, which you don't need as a blogger. It is better to stick to cheaper providers or use the free image straight away. Where to get the best free photos
Contests and promotions
0, - with full sponsorship. Otherwise 200 to 300 euros
To liven up a blog, there is a competition. You shouldn't give away your own products, they should be sold. However, you can also organize the items in a raffle. Books are popular, they can also be conveniently sent. Digital goods such as software or tools, access, e-books are even better.
Such products may be made available for promotions by the manufacturers and authors free of charge. After all, there is a welcome advertising effect when the matter is cleverly brought up. Your blog must be of a relevant size and fit thematically well.
If you want to remain independent, you have to purchase the products yourself. But even then, the expenses are kept within limits. Let's imagine an action every two months. What does a book, an app, a voucher cost? Let it be 30, - or 50, - Euro ... Any postage costs are negligible. 200 to 300 euros per year should be sufficient as a stake.
0, - for home use, professionals pay from around 100 euros per month
You don't necessarily need search engine optimization for blogging. Unless you want to get the most out of it. Of course it's not free. You have to calculate with a lot of work and the necessary tools are not always available for free. The arsenal of more or less free tools is full, various lists are circulating. Professional tools, on the other hand, are really expensive and are essentially only suitable for business users.
- OnPage: 99.90 to 1299.90 (there is also a free version as an appetizer)
- XOVI Suite: from 99.00 per month
- Sistrix Toolbox: 100.00 per month for 1 of 6 modules. Discounts and promotions possible.
0 to a few thousand euros per month
Guest bloggers don't cost you anything. The system only works if your blog is attractive enough to attract writers. If that is not the case and you want to have your blog filled, then you have to pay. You can get cheap texts from blogger jobs or from providers such as Textbroker. See list here. Such work is typically used in SEO projects. A living blog is not created that way.
For regular collaboration, you need people you know. Depending on the niche, it should be possible to find co-authors and colleagues with whom you can agree something individually. But that is only worthwhile if there is a corresponding income. Or you have a big account that you can dispose of.
Anyone who writes in English could get their bloggers in India and get useful texts for little money. Some people even earn a living in this way with eBooks that they do not write themselves.
If you want to attract professional writers, peanuts are not enough. Professionals charge in fixed prices, by words or lines + extra effort. Probably nobody will write to you for 100 euros. Calculate from 150 to 500 euros per article. This quickly accumulates considerable amounts, even if you only want to publish one article per week. This is normal, in most companies it is the personnel costs that represent by far the highest cost item.
Proofreading or editing
1400 to 2400 euros per year
As a blogger, you usually don't need proofreading. Because that would mean changes to your style. This hardly works for reasons of time, although the learning effect could be significant. It also costs more than proofreading.The latter takes care of misspellings and eliminates them.
That sounds good, but it is an organizational problem. Which proofreader is already working directly in Wordpress? That makes it a little awkward. In addition, the process requires time, which must be planned for when it is published.
Proofreading usually bills according to standard pages. A standard page consists of 1500 characters including spaces. The prices for this should be between 1.50 and 2.50 euros. Some providers want to be paid by the number of words.
This article is extra long and consists of around 21 standard pages (without the images). Let's take 10 standard pages as a basis, which, by the way, would also correspond to around 1500 words. The cost of the correction would be 15 to 25 euros, depending on the provider and plus sales tax. With two postings per week you would get 120 to 200 euros for a month.
from 0 to ... Free entry is possible. Then depending on the size of the list
Your own list is a must when it comes to making money. But it is also worthwhile in other ways to stay in contact with the readers. You can even make your own format out of it and realize yourself in it.
A service provider is always required for shipping. Never send newsletters via your web space or from your Wordpress. Even if it is technically possible. Anyone who sends mass emails is quickly suspected of sending spam. Your emails would be blocked somewhere on their way and ultimately not reach their recipients.
As a service provider, the market leader Mailchimp is on the right track. Because the basic offer is free. The only downside I discovered is that Mailchimp enforces link tracking. This is useful when you want to know how often people click links. On the other hand, the link targets are obfuscated.
I don't like that, but I have to accept or pay for it. You don't have to endure advertising. As a user of the free version you can have up to 2000 subscribers and you can send 12,000 e-mails per month. From then on it costs.
Up to 5000 readers would then cost 46.33 euros per month. In return, you can send as much as you want to this group. The bigger the list, the more has to be paid. Logical and fair. Mailchimp adapts the rate to the circumstances.
Competitor CleverReach, which has a branch in Germany, allows 250 recipients and 1000 emails per month without having to roll coins. Up to 5000 recipients, the cost is 45 euros. At Clever Elements it is 50 euros. They are close together. Comparisons should still be worthwhile if it is clear what you need.
0 to a few thousand euros, depending on your needs and requirements
Now it's really going into the money. Perhaps you would like to have your theme customized or have it visually enhanced with the help of a graphic designer. Now you have to expect hourly wages. They can cover the range from 10 to 200 euros per hour. The experience of the service provider and the country in which he operates are decisive.
Thanks to the English language, paid help can now be organized around the world. Countries like Kosovo or Bangladesh are the cheapest. You can think of this as a kind of colonism, or you can think of the livelihoods you give people that way.
Here is a list of jobs and project sites where you can find people.
It is also possible that you need help with the server or your Wordpress installation. You should also be able to find support quickly in this country. Even tax and legal advice can arise as a cost item. And don't forget to set up reserves for a warning. It should be a few hundred euros.
Computers and hardware, photo and video
No special technical equipment is required for blogging. You can basically use anything that is tangible. Even if it is worth investing in a mouse and keyboard if you use a lot. Your hands will thank you. The same could be said about the monitor.
Fortunately, nobody has to develop photos and buy films anymore, so there are no running costs. Nothing has to be spent on equipment - especially at the beginning. A smartphone does it too. You can borrow a camera, someone in the family or among friends will already have one. The first videos can also be produced in this way.
Workshop report 🔧
In the featured image above, I am using the Google Font Marcellus. I found the public domain photo at Pixabay.
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