Today, the blog is 6 years old ! I never thought that when I started my first blogs in university, then my first Youtube videos, I would still have so much fun (if not more) creating content. As I like to share my experience with you, today I wanted to tell you about the cost of a blog. If you’ve ever thought about getting started, here are the essentials to keep in mind.
Cost of a blog : the basics
When we start a blog, we don’t necessarily have to invest a big bunch of money. Wait and see if you like this activity before investing too much money in it.
To get started, you will need :
- Internet access : I am probably pushing open doors but having Internet access is essential. While I am writing these lines, my internet box is “broken” and I am using the data from my smartphone. So, yes, having internet access is essential to create a blog. For some, it will be their mobile subscription, for others their personal and/or professional Internet service. Having fiber is a game-changer, especially when you import videos to Youtube, for example.
- A camera : some have started with their smartphone camera again. If you have a good device, the result can be quite satisfactory for content creation. After that, the operation of a smartphone camera will never be equivalent to a conventional camera – especially when you go on a reflex.
- A content management system : like Blogger, WordPress, etc. These are platforms that will allow you to get online space. Initially, you can use the free versions which will give you this typical url : nameofmyblog.system.com for example. Personally, I will recommend WordPress by default. Initially, I was on Blogger with Marshmallowor(l d except that this interface has limitations – especially since I blog in French and in English. I couldn’t have a multi-language menu and if you were already following me at that time my items included both the French version and the English version. Which blocked me from evolving my SEO for a while.
- Editing Software : Before you think about Photoshop, there are decent free software out there. For example, I used Photoscape on my MacBook for a while. In the free version, you have what it takes to edit your photos.
- Time : we tend to forget it, but time has a value and therefore a cost. The time investment that we put into a blog requires making choices. When do I finally blog ? Most of us, when we start out, use our free time. But I won’t hide from you that to create content every day on social networks + three articles per week, we are approaching 30h/40h of work depending on the content created.
Cost to start = Internet package (around 40€) + camera (from 150€ to 1000€).
Cost of a blog : the most professional
When you want to professionalize your content, your digital image, etc., investments are necessary. Personally, the money that I started putting into this blog has been made gradually. Now I have monthly/yearly subscriptions to meet my needs.
To go further, you may need :
- A computer : to start, it may not be essential but the more time passes, the better to have a computer to blog.
- A domain name : the domain name is a space that you buy on the web to have an address like it follows www.nameofmyblog.com. There are several sites that offer this service. I have tested Gandi in the past and today I am at SiteGround. Per year, it costs around 10-15 € per domain name. Renewal can be done automatically.
- A professional hosting plan : SiteGround (or Gandi) also offers “plans” to optimize your site, protect it, have a certain amount of space available on the web, etc. Per year, it is a real investment. This year the prices have increased quite significantly. In September, I paid more than 300€ to renew my services (knowing that I have this site www.marshmalloword.com and my psy site www.studiopsyparis.fr).
- A personalized design : when you start to professionalize, you also want to have a visual identity of your own. For the design of your site, you can call on an independent developer. Personally, I go through a company called Pipdig, which is an Anglo-Saxon company that offers ready-made blog themes. You buy it on the site, they install it for you free of charge if necessary. The company also offers the possibility of creating a fully custom made-to-measure design. For a design already made, count between 40 and 70 € approximately. It is also through this company that I made the migration from Blogger to WordPress. I recommend their service which is very qualitative.
- A semi pro or pro camera : personally, I bought my SLR after a year of blogging. It is a “beginner” model I want to say – quite easy to use. It allows me to take good quality photos and videos at the same time. The camera and lens pack cost me around €700. Later I bought a lens with a fixed focal length which cost around €150. Roughly speaking, for a “good” device, it takes at least €500, after that there are no budget limits ! Besides that, there are the accessories and the insurance (which I recommend if you use your equipment outdoors).
- Editing software : since this summer, I switched to Lightroom, it comes at a cost ! The subscription costs €11.99 per month.
- External hard drives : for storage. It is not possible to keep every photo of every post on your computer. It slows down your device and creates a mess. At home, I have several hard drives which have a specific function : backup, media storage, etc.
- An online storage space : Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud. Especially if you use your smartphone to create content, having an online space to store it will be as useful as an external hard drive. This ranges from $10 to $20 per year, if not more depending on how much storage you need.
It is for all these reasons that blogging, creating content has become a job. This requires both material and time investment. Having internet space isn’t free, and the cost of a blog doesn’t come down to zero. On average, a professional blog costs around €500-600in terms of fixed costs per year (host, domain, subscription for storage). When you add the equipment, you go up to around €2,500 (I am taking my equipment as a reference). Obviously, this price range is an average based on the minimum you need. It doesn’t count props you may need to shoot some project, transportation, etc.
Collaborate with bloggers
I would like to finish my article on collaborations with bloggers – which will introduce a future article.
With the rise of digital, blogs, social medias, press agencies and brands have understood that there is a pool of potential customers, greater visibility compared to traditional media (television, written press and radio ), etc. Suddenly, brands are invited into the game and have come to offer work to bloggers. And this “work” can be paid and sometimes unpaid…To tell the truth, most of the time, it is not !
Indeed, if a job between a brand/agency and a content creator is paid, we speak of operation or collaboration. If it isn’t, we’ll hear about partnership. If you’re a blogger or whatever, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
I often receive requests to receive products in exchange for an blogpost or social media post. Personally, I no longer accept this kind of “partnership” because a blog represents a cost, the blogger’s time also, his/her skills too. The brands make this choice because, it represents much less investment than going through a classic path with an artistic director, photographer, assistant, etc. There is no cost of location, staff, etc. Except that this is completely unfair and not very legal.
This is why sending a product does not condition the creation of content. In this environment, the “PR sample” is part of the job, must be part of the budget of brands/agencies. So, of course, now that this area is “saturated”, they are not going to send products to 10,000 people. This is why brands will select a pool of content creators with whom they will have a better chance of being mentioned, even just as a story.
For the record, I had a brand at the beginning of the year who asked me how much a post with recipe creation would cost. I take out my rate – which is a reasonable rate that I calculate with the number of people reading my blog etc. The answer I got is that they are an independent brand and they don’t have the budget for me. Except a few days later I see that they are sponsoring content for a blogger with a lot more K (subscribers) than me. In summary, they have money but only for some people.
It is in this sense that this world is ruthless. In fact, no matter how well you make quality content, both visual and textual, if you don’t have the subscribers that go with it, brands will refuse costed work. However, 1000 subscribers or 100,000 subscribers, the work done remains the work done. So, yes, paying more to get more, okay. But having the logic of “I don’t pay small content creators” means relegating us to the rank of intern – a well-off intern who takes care of everything !
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