Honest truth: Start-up cost of blogging to make money

blog post honest truth_ startup cost in blogging to make money the greatest digital creatives

When was the last time you had a breakthrough? Mine was in 2016. Blogging to make money never crossed my mind. I was a full-time college instructor, working my ass off because I needed money to pay for my tuition. At that time, I was taking a Master’s degree in English Language Teaching. I was exhausted. Working from Mondays through Fridays, and studying during weekends. I thought that’s what you do to achieve your dreams, right? Then, I realized:

Originally published on January 16, 2020

Updated on June 19, 2020

Am I really pursuing my dream, or someone else’s?

You see, I’ve always wanted to teach. For me, it’s what I do best. 

I love talking to my students about literature, movies, music, and art.

I enjoy reading their essays and short stories. 

And I also love how they open up their hearts and minds to me when there’s no one else to talk to. 

But, here’s THE THING.

I’m an introvert. 

When it comes to fitting in, I fail miserably.

I hate gossiping about colleagues.

I don’t kiss ass.

Most of all, I don’t show off. 

I just have a unique way of teaching.    

Believe me, others hate it when you’re DIFFERENT.

So, I left. 

I left the only job I know that gives me purpose. 

Fast forward to January of 2016. 

I checked an email from Jobstreet that a company is looking for a course creator. 

the-greatest-digital-creatives-email-lead-magnet

And that’s how my career as a freelance content writer started.

I created my profile on various platforms:

Essays.ph

Onlinejobs.ph

Freelancer

Upwork

Workana

LinkedIn

The best part, I get to work from home wearing an oversized t-shirt with no pants on. (wink)

Life’s good. 

But then, remember what others say that you have to make money while you sleep?

I can’t. 

I don’t make money if I step away from my computer.  

Ergo, I have to do something. 

So, I scoured the internet for information.

But, I REALLY want to stick with what I’m already doing. 

My clients earn millions for my blog posts.

There goes my wake-up call. 

I want to make millions. This time, for me.

So, I started The Greatest Digital Creatives.

Because of my blog, I landed premium high-paying clients.

I was able to meet more people online who are in the same line of business.

Lastly, I was able to create my own platform where I can still teach. This time without being judged about why I do things differently. 

Sweet. 

But let’s go back to our main topic: 

How much is the startup cost in blogging to make money?

First, let’s go over the essentials. : 

To be a seriously-legit blogger who makes money, you will need:

  1. A website
  2. Social media accounts 

Wait. That’s it?

Well, essentially. Still, there are tools you need behind the scenes.

Let’s go over that in a little bit. 

Mind you, the start-up cost for blogging to make money varies depending on what kind of blog you are starting. 

For example, if it’s a beauty blog, you need to buy products to review.

If you’re starting a travel blog, of course, you will spend money on transportation, hotel accommodations, itinerary, etc.

A food blog will have to spend money on ingredients for the recipes.

A pet blog will have to spend money on supplies, food, and medicines. 

Or if you’re really dead-serious about blogging to make money, start with marketing research, like I did.

I organized an informal meeting/free seminar about freelance writing.

It was held in a coffee shop in Shaw.

In fact, I did it twice. 

Our first meetup in November 2018
Our second meetup in December 2018

That’s how I knew I have a market for this.

Below is a list of my expenses after blogging for one year

You will need Brand/Description Amount
WordPress Website Domain name Namecheap - 12 months $8.88
Web hosting Interserver - 12 months $54.00
wordpress.org Website content management system Free
Elementor Web page builder Free
Olsen Light WordPress theme Free
Gadgets Condenser mic Neweer-700 $32.98
Webcam Bought from Lazada $5.72
Soundcard For the condenser mic $26.98
Productivity tools Google Drive File storage Free
Trello task management Free
Zoho mail Business email address Free
Planoly Scheduling Pinterest posts Free
Hootsuite Scheduling FB page and IG posts Free
Ubersuggest Keyword research Free
Coschedule headline analyzer For writing SEO-friendly headlines Free
Canva Image layouts Free
Pexels Stock images Free
Whiteboard Task management $15.00
Traffic analytics Google search console Checks visibility of your website in Google Free
Google analytics Reports website traffic Free
Ahrefs SEO tool, 7-day trial $7.00
E-learning Udemy SEO course $10
Skillshare Annual premium membership $63.36
Marketing Facebook page Soc med marketing and management Free
Instagram Soc med marketing and management Free
Pinterest Soc med marketing and management Free
Facebook group Soc med marketing and management Free
Mailchimp Soc med marketing and management Free
Facebook ads To get more page likes $5.39
Business cards 100 pcs. $5.00
Video editing For YouTube $10.00
Free seminars Name tag and reg form For seminar attendees $1.00
Coffee for 2 $6.00
Dinner for 2 $16.00
Christmas giveaway Stationery set Gift sets $30.88
Grab express Send the giveaway to the children $2.80
Total as of January 16, 2020 $300.99
Amount declared in this table is in USD.

Okay, now that we’re seeing the numbers, I know you have questions.

Is it worth it?

Abso-fuckin’-lutely.

Like I said, I was able to land high-paying clients because of my blogs.

No need to write unpaid blog samples on the spot. I just send them the URL of my website, and then comes the offer. 

I was able to get help. Last year, my self-care blog can’t keep up because I’m too busy. So, I hired content writers to fill in.  

Sometimes, I get prospect clients from Linkedin and Facebook. They said they’ve read my blog and want to know how we can work together.

Are you going to spend more this year?

For sure.

The business expenses are leverage to grow a business.

Right now, my blogs can survive with free tools.

Eventually, I’m going to switch to Elementor-pro, and Mailchimp premium. I’m also thinking of letting go of Hootsuite, and pay premium on Planoly instead. That way, all my socials will be managed in one place.

It’s a lot of work.

But again, IT’S WORTH IT.

What will the future bring?

Plenty.

the-greatest-digital-creatives-facebook-group-1

Blogging to make money is like other careers. You have to build your foundation.

I am praying for more business deals in the days (and years) to come.

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16 Comments

  1. This is super helpful! I’m currently turning my hobby blog into something more serious so great to get a cost breakdown plus I’m more motivated to keep going now!

  2. I loved this article! The images and details are so helpful. There’s quite a few things on here that I know I need for my blog, and I agree that blogging is abso-freaking-lutely worth it!

  3. This is a phenomenal post. I am one of those who needs to see it in black and white, so that it will make sense. Your post has also given me some excellent suggestions on tools/programs I may want to consider utilizing for my blog.

    1. Thanks, Kimberlie. Yeah, most of my tools are still free. And so far I’m thriving. You can do it, too.

  4. Thank you so much for this post. I had a similar background and just made my way into the world of professional writing, so hearing about your success was gratifying and motivating. Thank you!

  5. I love that you mentioned that being different doesn’t make you popular and that’s really sad in our society when we should be embracing it! Freelance writing is an amazing career and our longest commute is from the bed to the coffee pot right? I love this post because it’s a transparent look into your blogging journey and this post is incredibly helpful! Thank you!

    1. Hello, Heather. Yeah, sad and true. But we’re coping, right? We don’t care about what others say anymore. We do what makes us happy. We do want we think is purposeful. Take care.

  6. Thank you for the honesty. I am determined to go the low-budget route, well, because I’m country and learned that you don’t really need to spend money to make money, you just need elbow grease. I will be checking out the resources labeled free on your spread sheet and keep working hard.

    1. Hello, Sissy. Yeah, Two things that you need to buy first: domain name and web hosting. That’s it. The rest are free. Good luck. You can do it. 🙂

  7. Wow! This is reality! Thank you for putting it out there and sharing a behind-the-laptop look at blogging. This is such valuable information. Bookmarked it!

  8. Thanks for breaking all that down! I find that so many “how to start a blog” posts make it sounds like you’ll be up and running for free and making thousands within days.

    1. Hello, Jenny. Ah, that’s so true. A lot would say how they earning six figures in something-something months. But they didn’t really say how much it cost investment they made to earn that amount of money. And not all of us have the luxury to invest A LOT.

  9. This is a really good breakdown! There are so many options and so many things to think about when you first start blogging. It’s hard to wrap your head around what it might ACTUALLY cost to make the leap!