This week, we’re going to take a little closer look at the real costs of business blogging.
Like a brick and mortar business, there are still investments which need to be made. These investments can be made in personnel, tools, or in site costs.
Basically, you do need to spend money to make money.
If you’re doing it right and outsourcing in the right places, you’ll be making FAR more than you spend and it will be worth it.
By paying these trivial costs and outsourcing, you’ll be able to devote your attention to more value driven and passion driven tasks, rather than being weighed down by the day by day.
Which do you value most: time or money?
Ideally, the whole point of getting a blogging blueprint that will blast you profits to the stratosphere is to save both time *and* money on your blogging business.
As an expansion from the last post, 7 Reasons Why Your Blog Isn’t Making Money there are at least seven places where you might be spending money on your website.
• Domain Name / Hosting
Once I’ve chosen the type of business that I’m running and have discovered my niche, I get my domain.
This domain typically has something to do with the products that I’m selling, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be keyword matched. Ideally, the domain should be a dot com because that is the most widely accepted, but you can choose to have other extensions depending on the purpose of your site.
Pricing on your domain will vary according to the extension and the provider that you get it from. For a standard dot com domain, you can expect to spend around $15. For other domain extensions, that price tag can vary up to $100.
If you are purchasing a domain from a site like Flippa or SnapNames, the price tag could lead you well into the thousands. If the domain is perfect, however, it might be worth it.
After the domain name has been purchased, you want to choose a hosting provider. For standard service, the price is generally around $10 per month. The price will vary according to the traffic that you have on your site, the features that you enjoy, and other extenuating factors.
For purchasing a domain, you can go to GoDaddy and pick up a traditional domain or one of the new domain extensions. For hosting, I’ve been using Bluehost for years and years. Click here to set up your Bluehost account.
Total cost for Domain and Hosting: Domain: $15 (yearly), Hosting $10 (monthly)
• Website Design
If you’re just starting out, the best thing that you can do is choose a template and install WordPress on your site.
While most every professional site is custom designed, you want to have yours for at least three months before changing it. Doing it that way, you will save money because you are able to exactly pinpoint the changes that you want.
When it comes to designing your website, literally anything can be created, but the costs will skyrocket if you don’t know exactly what you want.
Even if you aren’t feeling tech-savvy, take a couple of hours to do a Google search for ‘WordPress templates’ to see what you want in your site. Once you’ve chosen something and purchased the template for it we will even build your WordPress site for free.
If you have a crystal clear idea of the design that you want, you can get a website designer to work on your site from between $50 and $100 an hour. It’s rare that you will see a project take less than a couple of hours, but it’s definitely possible.
WordPress Template: FREE to $150
Website Design: FREE to $100 an hour
• Lead Pages / Squeeze Pages
The most valuable part of your website is your lead capture system.
This is the mechanism by which you get email addresses, names, and other information from your readers in exchange for the privilege to send something to those readers.
Many marketers will tell you that it’s all in the list, and I can certainly attest to that. There are very few free tools out there which are not only functional, but look good in the process of building an awesome mailing list.
During our research for this site, the best application that we’ve found is Leadpages.net.
The price for using Leadpages varies according to the service that you are receiving. You will generally not spend more than $100 for the use of their service which keeps track of all of the opt-ins and popups on your site.
Everything which has a place to put your email or other information on this site was created through Leadpages. In fact, LeadPages will help you create flabbergastingly huge mailing lists.
Lead Pages / Squeeze Pages: Under $100 / Month
The leads that you’re capturing have to go somewhere, and usually there’s a separate application which takes care of that.
For many pros, the autoresponder is the key to the entire operation.
From the autoresponder, you can send out newsletters, tell people of exciting events at your blog, create simple and effective sales funnels, and more. If you choose the right autoresponder, it will be worth its weight in gold.
The best autoresponder that I’ve found is GetResponse. I am able to keep track of over 10,000 subscribers for around $50 per month. I have several automated campaigns running, and I am able to use it to get people interested in my seven page sales funnel (which is the heart of any money-making website).
When you have the autoresponder and the email campaigns in place, it frees up quite a lot of time to lead the lifestyle that you deserve.
Autoresponder: $50 or less / Month
• Research / Coursework
If only it were possible to know everything about everything!
The trouble is that the art of getting your message in front of people is constantly evolving. The techniques that worked very well in 2006 when I first started don’t work today.
That timeline is growing shorter, too. You might find that techniques that worked five months ago might not work today. The best way to keep ahead of the curve is to do research and take courses on what techniques work now.
For instance, if your company’s sales are based on affiliate marketing, wouldn’t you like to know affiliate marketing’s best techniques?
This is an investment in yourself and the future of your business. The tidbit that you learn today might be worth thousands of dollars in the future because you implemented that plan or saw that idea come to fruition.
The coursework that you take today will better prepare you. And, while these courses do cost money, they are well worth it.
Research / Coursework: Varies. FREE to $$, depending on the scope and the information.
• Content Creation
Visitors return to blogs to find out new information, to discover new ways of looking at things, or to purchase products. The content on a site, whether it is white papers, articles, blog posts, or videos drive those visitors to the sales funnel.
Creating epic content for your site takes time, effort, and a skill level which has usually been cultivated over the course of years. Hiring a freelancer can make you money. They have worked hard to hone their craft.
The monthly costs for content creation can vary wildly from blog to blog. You may choose to write and post everything yourself. You might also choose to have a small team of people do the work for you.
The prices for quality can also vary wildly – some blogging business owners choose to have something that is meant purely for SEO purposes while others add more value into their blog posts to make them more multimedia oriented.
Basically, the price of a freelance writer is determined by many factors. I’ve seen great articles produced for peanuts, and I’ve seen bad articles produced for hundreds. The real testament to the quality and the price of the content is how effective it is for your purposes.
Content Creation: FREE to $500 / Month and beyond. It depends on the type of content and the quality of the freelancer.
After learning how to create and distribute your content, the next step is to analyze the results.
There are several free analytics programs available, including Google Analytics. To dig down a little deeper, you will need to get an analytics program.
One of the best analytics packages on the market right now is at Moz. Their pro package includes an analytics program, a way to improve your Twitter following, ways to help you track your SEO, and more.
You want something which will be able to adequately handle all of the metrics that you have set, as well as help you make some new insights.
Analytics: FREE to $100 / Month
The biggest consideration when outsourcing your work is the quality of the work that is provided. Once you find the quality, there are many areas where you can outsource and invest to you’re your life a lot easier.
During the course of your blogging business, you might need:
• Research assistant – For reaching the people you are targeting as well as doing research for your articles
• Graphic designer – To make your site look better, designing logos, creating infographics, and more
• Social Media Magnate – To distribute your content everywhere. A good Social Media Magnate will generate enthusiasm for your posts.
• Virtual Assistant – Takes care of the day-to-day, sometimes answering email, sometimes making sure everything stays on track.
• Video creator – Video provides another way for our audience to interact with you. It’s also used with sales funnels.
The costs of hiring these individuals varies according to the quality and the knowledge of the individual. You should be results-focused. Is it worth it to spend $100 to make $1000? You bet. And if you don’t have to spend hours upon hours learning a skill that you’ll use once? Priceless.
While making money online doesn’t require as much money per month as having a brick and mortar store, there are still costs involved with hosting, content creation and distribution, web design, and more.
Despite that, professional blogging is one of the most cost effective ways of making money today. Where else can you have a store with great products that is open 24/7 and spend less than $1000 a month?
I’d love to teach you how to make $100 a day so that you can offset the costs of running a website. It’s time to start your blog today!
What are some costs that you’ve incurred from blogging ? What were some of the tasks you’ve outsourced that has help elevate your blogging business ? Leave a response in the comments below …