I’ve hesitated to put this post out for months because I wasn’t sure how it would be received. I finally decided I needed to be honest and explain how things work around here. I love sharing my thoughts with you through my blog, but it comes at a cost.
Today I’m sharing the business of blogging and how you can support the bloggers you enjoy reading. I’ll use A Well Styled Life as an example. There are plenty of “hobby” bloggers who don’t fall into this category, but most professional bloggers business works similarly.
I spend between 50-70 hours a week working on this blog which makes it a full-time job. If I’m not writing content, getting pictures taken, changing my clothes in the car for a photoshoot, editing photographs, making graphics for Pinterest, staying active on social media, or planning content, I’m shopping online or in the stores to keep on top of what’s new.
Why I Started Blogging
When the economy crashed several years ago, people began to hold on to their dollars, so my Image Consulting business crashed with it. I decided to start a blog to connect with other women and share style tips I’d learned as an image consultant. I began on the Blogspot platform, which was free and didn’t require me to purchase a domain. My posts were emailed for free, but I soon realized that Google could take my site down at any time. I had no ownership or control over anything I was producing.
I bought a domain to maintain ownership of my name, and things began to multiply from there. As my blogging expenses mounted, it quickly became apparent that the blog needed to cover itself.
What it Costs to Run a Blog
Here are some of the current costs associated with running my blog.
- I host my website on a platform that charges me a monthly fee based on the size of my audience and the amount of data stored. Because my blog is image-heavy, I need lots of storage.
- My posts are emailed by a service provider who charges me a monthly fee based on how many emails go out.
- I pay an annual fee for access to a site where I size and edit my pictures so they won’t slow my site down, and the pages won’t open for you.
- I pay a technical person to help me with the nuts and bolts of my website. I’ve had it go down enough times to learn I should never mess “under the hood” of this thing 🙂
- I pay smaller amounts for plugins, apps, and widgets, which add to the total expenses.
The result is it costs just over $1,100 a month to float this boat and keep my blog on the internet.
And that gets me to how I pay for all of this.
How I support this business
- Sponsored content. Brands hire me to promote their sale, product, or service. I only work with brands I like, or I think will resonate with you. I want to share things that will increase your confidence and make your life better in some way. They’re paying for access to my audience (you), which I value and protect. I turn down multiple offers a week because the product is cheesy, not something I would use or just plain dumb.
- Ads. People hate ads. The truth is they’re a passive way for me to earn income to pay my blogging expenses. Do I like them? In a word, no. They distract from my content. I’m fortunate to have an Ad company that works with me to help them run smoothly and be as unobtrusive as possible.
- Affiliate sales. I’m a member of several affiliate networks and earn money if you purchase through a link on my blog. This doesn’t increase your cost of anything. If you click a link on my blog and put something into your virtual shopping cart, then pop over to another blogger and click a link to the same website, then make your purchase, the other blogger earns the commission because they were the last link you used. It’s just the way they work.
Ways You Can Support Bloggers
Don’t keep them a secret. If you like their content, share it with women you think will also enjoy it. Subscribe to follow their blog. Comment and engage with their content which “tells” Google it’s worth showing to other women on the web. Share their images to your Pinterest boards, so more people find them. Follow them on social media. Whenever possible, purchase through the link of the blogger who inspired you.
I appreciate you all more than I can say. Reading your comments feels like visiting with a favorite girlfriend.
Thank you for being here and taking the time out of your day to read my blog.