The Hidden Costs of Starting a Blog

coin dropping into piggy bank, blog costsOne of the reason why so many bloggers choose WordPress is because it’s free. Other blogging platforms may cost hundreds of dollars per year, but WordPress is completely free to download and use with no strings attached.

However, there are other, more discreet costs to blogging that shouldn’t go unnoticed.

Blog Images

There’s a reason why every blog post we publish has at least one image: because images improve user engagement while boosting traffic in the process.

If you plan on starting a blog, you’ll need to find a suitable source from which to acquire images. Copyright laws prohibit bloggers from simply copying and uploading other sites’ images.

So, where can you find them? One option is to purchase images from a royalty-free stock photo website, such as iStockPhoto. Sites such as this sell images for roughly $1-$10 bucks a piece, which can add up quick when you include them in each post. However, there are a lot of free sites too, such as Pixaby and Flickr, but make sure you attribute your sources if required.


Unless you plan on relying strictly on free methods to promote your blog, you’ll need to invest some money and resources into paid advertising. This may include Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, or various media buys through third parties. By using paid advertising platforms such as this, you can drive more traffic to your blog while building a bigger following in the process. Just remember to keep a close eye on your campaigns, optimizing them for a higher return on investment (ROI) when needed.

Domain Name

Of course, another cost that comes along with running a blog is the domain name. Thankfully, domains are relatively cheap, with dot coms often costing just $12/year. And if you opt for a dot info, you can score a domain name for even less. However, if you want to conceal your personal information from public WHOIS databases (this is recommended), you’ll need to purchase privacy protection as well. The cost for privacy protection varies depending on the domain registrar, but most places sell it for roughly $10 bucks/year.

Premium Plugins

There are literally thousands of different WordPress plugins available, some of which are free while other are paid/premium. Using paid plugins will obviously increase the total cost of running your blog. The popular anti-spam plugin Akismet, for instance, costs between $5/month and $50/month, depending on the plan. If you are working with a tight budget, however, you can always choose a free alternative instead.

Premium Themes

There are also premium themes available for WordPress. Themes generally cost more than plugins, and for good reason: a lot of work goes into creating and maintaining them. Some themes may cost upwards of $100, sometimes even more. Theme developers must constantly update their themes to fix vulnerabilities and add new features, and they must also offer support for users.

Did we leave out any other blogging expenses? Let us know in the comments section below!

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The Hidden Costs of Starting a Blog
Even if you use a free blogging platform like WordPress, there are some costs associated with running a blog. Here we explain what else you should include in your blogging budget.

3 thoughts on “The Hidden Costs of Starting a Blog

  1. Donte Rimmel says:

    I think you covered just about everything, unless someone is interested in a branded header banner. Otherwise, I still think blogging is one of the least financially straining opportunities that an entrepreneur can pursue.

  2. Annette says:

    I wasn’t aware of the expenses when I started blogging, but in the grand scheme of things, I have to agree with Donte – you can’t start many business opportunities for the costs associated with setting up and maintaining a blog.

  3. S. Klingensmith says:

    I made the mistake of initially starting off with zero cost by using free WordPress, etc. When all was said and done, I switched and found that the investment was worthwhile. Yes, there are costs involve; no, the costs aren’t really all that much, if you’re looking to make money off of your blog.

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