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Creating a Budget for Your Blog in 2014

By Dec 16, 2013July 9th, 201423 Comments

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We spend a lot of time coming up with blog posts, social media promotion and organizing our editorial calendar. The one area that usually gets overlooked is your blog’s budget. Running a blog requires money and if you want to run your blog like a business then creating a blog budget is crucial.

Over the next couple of weeks, take some time to plan out your 2014 blog budget. Creating your budget will allow you to foresee expenses and ensure you can maintain your blog all year.

how to create a budget

Creating Your 2014 Blog Budget

The budget below is sample of the things you might want to consider budgeting for. Your budget will probably look different than this and that is okay!

Required Spending: $100 to $200 Per Year

Domain Name: $14/year
If you pay for your domain name on a annual basis this will run you about $14 a year. Sometimes registering your name for longer periods at a time will save you money. You can also look for online coupon codes to lower this expense.  If you opt for domain privacy that will run you and additional $10 to $20 per year.

Hosting: $60 to $200/year
If you are running your domain on a self-hosted platform, you will need to factor in hosting costs. These costs are going to vary based on the company you are obtaining your hosting through.

Optional Spending

Web Design
Some bloggers are able to make their sites look beautiful on their own. However, some opt for hiring a web designer. If you plan on having your site designed by a web designer, you will need to factor in this expense. Web Designers can run you a couple of hundred and on up into the thousands of dollars.

If you plan on advertising this should be factored into your budget early on. Advertising consists of running ads on Facebook, purchasing ad space on other blogs or maybe even promoting your site on Twitter. The amount you will spend on advertising will budget from blogger to blogger.

There are some wonderful plugins available for free, but some do cost money. Even if you don’t use any paid plugins right now, you might want to create a budget for these paid plugins in case you decide to use one. If you set aside $25 to $50 for plugins, then you should be covered.

There comes a time when we need to hire help. You might need to hire someone to help with kids, schedule social media updates, handle the technical side of your blog or write content for you. Take some time to see what people are charging for these services and plan this expense into your budget if it applies to you. You might even want to factor this into your budget if it doesn’t apply to you. You never know when the help might be needed.

Blog Conferences
Attending a blog conference is an investment that can take your blog to the next level. Start thinking about what conferences you want to attend during 2014 and set up a budget for the conference ticket, travel, lodging and food.

Business Cards
Every blogger should have a set of business cards! If you don’t have business cards then make sure you start pricing these out and add them into your budget.

Lastly, you will not want to forget about maintenance on your computer, internet service, self-sponsored giveaways and taxes.

And don’t forget about the things like internet service, notebook or desktop, and your business license. If you reach a point where you want to determine if your blogging business is making money, then you’ll have to take these into account as well.

Your Turn

Let’s hear from you!

What are your big expenses for your blog in the new year?

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  • Jim Kansas says:

    I’m setting aside a budget to include social network advertising this year. It will be worth it.

  • This is great.. Something I desperately need help with. Thank you!

  • Great listing, definitely something to look into year round is a budget and itemized list of expenses. I used Uprinting for my business cards. I would love to try Moo as well. I also found having some neat hand-out cards with some tips on them are a great way to get people in tuned to my blog.

  • Maintaining a mailing list (Aweber), internet service provider, food magazine subscriptions to keep up with food photography and recipe trends, my phone plan (texting to verify my Twitter logins, Instagram and access to email when I travel, for example), PicMonkey subscription, additional cloud storage, online computer backup, forum memberships, photo equipment like lenses, photography backgrounds, props, food for recipe development, office equipment and supplies, home office expenses, postage, PayPal fees, banking fees, county business license, mileage, travel expenses (taxis, plane tickets, hotel, etc.), online classes, Rafflecopter, promotional expenses like participating in group giveaways, food when you’re traveling or meeting with a client, etc. There are a lot of expenses in running a business not just a blog!

  • Business cards are next on our list….thank you for the reminder!

  • Adrian says:

    When I saw this, I thought I don’t really PAY anything for blogging, but after reading some of this, I guess I pay more than I thought. I buy business cards, pay for blog conferences, pay for upgrades and designs for my site, pay a monthly fee for Feedblitz to distribute my posts, pay for a smartphone to check Facebook and answer Emails, take pictures, pay for extra storage and backups for my photos, virus software for my computer, transportation and sometimes fees for local blogger events (although I usually get swag or other freebies). I’m debating paying for PicMonkey’s premium content. I guess I do spend quite a chunk of money for blogging!

  • Very useful tips, Kristi! I actually do not carry or use business cards – I ask people to connect on Facebook if they want to. I also find that I do not use the business cards that I get, with a few exceptions maybe. Most of them I throw in the garbage immediately.
    Great point about blog conferences!

  • Deb says:

    Great post. I haven’t been to a conference yet and I’d love to go.

  • What a fitting time for this post with the new year right around the corner. I’m always assessing the price of blogging, and actually have a post coming up on it very soon. I’ve only been blogging for about 7 months, so I haven’t incurred too many costs. At this point I’ve about broken even with the money I’ve invested vs money I’ve earned. I’m looking forward to tipping the scale a bit more towards the earned vs invested in 2014.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Ann says:

    Maybe it would be considered part of your advertising budget, but sometimes give-aways & contests will have expenses to consider as well. As Penelope said, photos can be expensive; but even if you buy yourself a camera–that’s money to put into the budget too.
    When you’re properly tracking & accounting for your costs, you’ll have a better record for your taxes at the end of the year too!

  • Penelope says:

    I agree that stock photos are an overlooked expense. I also spend money on widgets; Rafflecopter & LinkyTools. Also you might need extra equipment such as microphones, editing software, or photography gadgets that you might not use if you weren’t blogging.

  • jennifer says:

    I am really hoping to attend a blogger conference this year! I do not make very much blogging yet (maybe $25/mo) but making an effort to only spend blog revenue on blogging expenses. It’s a good goal at least!

  • Being a new food blogger I didn’t realize the cost associated with recipe development…good thing I have a few chow hounds in my home who don’t let it all go to waste. One thing I will do different this year is separating our normal grocery budget and my food blogging budget…I can get a bit obsessive which leads me to the grocery store a few times in a day. Great list!

  • Sarah says:

    My biggest expense is my blogging conferences – I just love going. It is worth it, I feel so inspired after.

  • merrie says:

    Hi Ladies,
    I just discovered your blog and it’s great! I’m new to blogging and need all the advice and tips I can get 🙂 I’m working my way through your archives and really appreciate all the posts on the business of blogging.

    Keep up the great work!
    – Merrie

  • Mary says:

    I’m interested to know more about business cards for bloggers. I don’t have the time or money to attend conferences right now, so what other reasons would I want/need/use business cards? It would be great to know how to use them effectively before buying some. Thanks!

    • Sarah says:

      I often meet people in day to day life who when they find out I blog, want to know my sites! So I carry cards every day, in my wallet. You are your best PR, never miss a chance to share! PS: Moo.com is my fave for cards.

  • Kristen says:

    Great tips, thank you! I will definitely be needing these tips in the next few weeks and being a new blogger would have overlooked a bunch of these!

  • Kam kay says:

    Budgeting is the first foremost thing to be considered while planning to start any business, so why not for blogging! Thanks for sharing some good tips and for reminding that like any other business, blogging requires investment too!

  • Magda says:

    Hi Kristi,
    as far as I know, budget consists of costs and incomes, which are missing in your post. I hope next post will cover the second part 🙂 Anyway, thank’s a lot for stressing the importance of this commonly omitted aspect of blogging.
    As for costs, I have to point graphics – stock photos can be really costly.

  • I am just starting my blogging journey so I am very conscious about budgeting. Blogging materials is a huge cost that you didn’t think of. Craft materials, baking ingredients… it all adds up!
    Thanks for your article. It’s very informative, as usual!