Almost everyone has thought about starting a blog at one time or another. And in fact, these days, more people than ever are running their own blogs successfully. In this type of environment, you might consider starting a blog yourself, or maybe you are thinking of ways to upgrade a blog that already exists. Whatever your reason for seeking advice about blogs, there are a few things you should know that can help take your blog efforts to the next level.
One of the first things you’ll need to do, whether you’re just starting out with your blog or looking to expand, is to come up with a budget that can help you plan and allocate your resources properly. The right budget can depend on a lot of different factors, so it’s important to remember that there is no single best way to create a blog budget.
Depending on whether you are trying to grow your blog’s audience, increase revenue, or simply maintain its current pace, you may find that your blog is budgeted differently from others. It also depends on what topics your blog covers if you need to pay for travel expenses, videographers, etc. With that in mind, there are a few points you should keep in mind before setting out to create a blog budget that can help you in the long run.
How much revenue does the blog generate?
One of the first things to think about when plotting a blog budget is whether or not the blog generates revenue, or if that is an intended goal. If a blog has a big enough audience, it’s possible to generate revenue through a number of different ways. You could:
● Get paid to host ads
● Sell merchandise
● Have companies pay for sponsored content
If your blog does generate revenue, you’ll want to factor it into your budget. Especially if your blog is your primary source of income, it’s important to make sure you continue to earn more than you spend. Having a strong idea of your blog’s revenue will give you a good starting point for the rest of your budget.
How will you design the blog?
Web design is an important part of any online business, and running a blog is no different. In fact, eye-catching web design can make a huge difference in a blog’s potential popularity. But there are a few different ways you can tackle this task. One is to do the web design yourself. While this may be a more cost-effective option in terms of budget, if you don’t have much web design experience, you may want to consider outsourcing. It all depends on the type of blog and how customized you want to make it. You can design a blog using web design templates relatively easy on the cheap, but you might not be able to customize them as much as you would with premium templates and software. Or, you could outsource the entire web design operation to a third party. This might be the most expensive option, depending on the rates of the person you hire, but it could also yield the most professional-looking results.
Do you need extra employees?
Another area of potential cost is your staff. While it’s certainly possible and common to run a blog by yourself, if the operation grows too large, it may require some extra employees to handle things. If you employ other people to work for your blog, or if you think it might become a possibility in the future, include it in your budget so you don’t stretch yourself too thin.
What is a social media strategy?
Are you using social media to promote your blog? This is a great way to increase your audience relatively cheaply, but there are also ways to pay for a more enhanced social media presence. For example, you could:
● Purchase a “boosted” post that gets a higher number of impressions or views
● Pay for an influencer to share your blog with their followers
● Hire someone to manage/create social media content for the blog
If you plan on spending money to enhance your blog’s social media output, make sure to include it in the budget. These days, social media is a more important tool than ever before, so keep it in mind as you create the roadmap for your blog.
What web hosting service will you use?
Just like real estate in the real world, having your own space online usually isn’t free. It’s possible to have a free website through services like Wix, but you won’t be able to customize your site to the fullest ability. Generally, you’ll need to pay a web hosting service a monthly fee to house your website. Depending on the service you use and what tier you decide to go with, the price could be as low as a few bucks a month, or it could be much higher. Do some research to decide which web hosting service is best for your blog before you mark it down in your budget.
Does the blog need a premium domain name?
Having a great domain name can make a big difference when it comes to blogs. A catchy domain name that’s easy to remember might cause your blog to have a greater audience than a longer, more complicated domain name. Unfortunately, with domain names, you often get what you pay for. The most popular domain names usually cost more money, so think about your goals for your blog and what type of domain name would best serve those purposes. If you’re looking for a bargain, cheaper domain names often include lesser-used suffixes like:
Do you plan to attend any conferences or conventions?
Going to conventions or conferences for online entrepreneurs, influencers, and creators can be a great way to network and meet people in your industry. Plus, keynote speakers can provide valuable information that you can use to improve your blog. Of course, these types of events cost money, and there are also travel costs. But if you have the funds available, it can be worth the investment. Do some research to see if there are any relevant conferences or conventions that you’d like to attend, and be sure to set aside some space in your budget for them.
Making a budget may seem like a lot of work, and it can certainly be time-consuming. But it’s better to plan ahead now, so you have a good sense of your expectations before you decide to go all-in. Having a clearer picture of your finances and goals can help you adjust to surprises and expenses that may occur on the fly. Whether your blog is mostly just for fun, or if it is your primary source of income, making a budget is never a bad idea.
- Luke Loftin is a blog writer and an award-winning indie filmmaker. When he isn’t writing about himself, he specializes in finance and health, blogging about all sorts of topics including credit cards, personal loans, bank accounts, and the digestive system. He currently writes for LeadsMarket among other sites, and his articles are scattered all across the information superhighway.