So you’ve finally made the decision you’re going to blog for your business.
But you’re concerned about what it’s going to cost you to get this entire thing together.
That’s totally understandable.
You have a business to run. You probably have inventory to purchase, you have other marketing costs currently running.
So you want to know what you’re getting into.
Well there are one time costs, monthly costs and some annual costs.
Before you jump two feet in here are some options.
Option 1: Signing up for a FREE blog
If you’re really going to build a business there are just too many limitations to a FREE blog that will cause you to waste more time and LOOSE money.
Now notice I didn’t say “waste” money. Because frankly you’re not spending any.
But if you don’t have a blog designed specifically for business then you’re leaving money on the table.
And even these have merit to be turned into a viable online business.
But from a structural stand point you will have limitation.
Your limited to what the Free platform basically gives you in order to make money.
You don’t choose.
Now there’s another option.
So the cost of FREE isn’t exactly FREE. It’s actually Negative
Option 2: Purchasing a System Blog
Systems blogs although not your own blog are still a viable option for someone beginning to blog for their personal small business.
There are limitation with free blogs as we discussed earlier that do not allow you to do certain business operations on a FREE platform.
One huge disadvantage is NOT being able to build a prospect or customer list from a FREE blog.
So although you can blog; write and create content, you’re not really building a business on a free blog.
Now if you don’t take into consideration anything else that you’d be getting in the system you may think it’s quite expensive.
I can only speak for one system because I’m not one to “bar” hop!
Elite Marketing Pro has been the system blog of my choice for the last two years.
The entry cost to just get the blog and the ability to create landing pages (along with all the other benefits)$297/year
Now you’re thinking that’s a lot of money to spend just to get a blog.
Well you’re not just spending that money on the blog.
With most systems (MLSP, Elite Marketing Pro, Empower Network…..) they bundle benefits.
One of the biggest benefits is the online marketing training you will get from online business owners.
If you want to know how they built their empires then the $297 a year is worth every penny.
Option 3: Building Your Own
The biggest challenge most business owners face is building their own blog.
Their primary purpose of setting up a blog online is to get more business.
In order to get more business you need to have a way of generating more leads from your blog.
But you already know all of this.
You know why a blog is important in your business.
You know leads are important.
You want the raw figures right?
Well there are quite a few and it depends on what suppliers you use to what services you’re looking for.
Luckily you can make money from every single supplier which is great. (we call that affiliate marketing)
Your Domain Name:
It all starts with $12.97/year
So your domain name can run you anywhere $6.00 USD/year to $30 USD/year depending on how unique or highly sort after the name is.
It also depends on your provider.
Most businesses will pay on average $12 USD/year for a domain name.
Again this does depend on the provider. But this is where things start to get a little expensive.
Every provider will give you an introductory promotional pricing for the first year of hosting.
But you’re in business for the long haul (I’m assuming). So look at what the price is going to be after that first year.
Some providers give you hosting for as cheap as $9.88 USD for the first year. But it will renew to $38.88 USD/year after that.
Also examine what you’re getting with each level.
Some hosting companies like the one I’m with allow you to host multiple domains even on their cheapest plan. Which is great!
So I don’t have to buy hosting for each website I own.
So you can get hosting for $38. USD to $129.88 USD per year depending on your needs.
If you’re a small operation you will only need to host at most 3 websites.
If you’re a large operation and you need to host more than 10 websites naturally you’re looking at the higher end of the scale.
Now when you’re building out your blog you will want to install plugins to add to the functionality of your blog.
Every plugin provider has a free version and a paid version that will give you more functionality and more flexibility.
So choose these expenses wisely.
There are plugins that will assist with your ability to schedule meetings with potential clients.
There are plugins to boost your lead generation from your blog.
Then there are also plugins for the protection of your blog.
As I mentioned there’s always a free version and a paid version.
If you utilize the paid version of every plugin you install you can easily rack up a cool $200 USD/year on plugins.
Most wordpress.org blogs have available a variety of FREE themes.
But just like plugins there are paid versions of a theme as well as the free version.
A theme however is not something you will have multiples of.
It’s the sleeve you put onto your blog and then that’s it!
For $97 you get to install the theme and OptimizPress plugins on 3 websites.
If you need more you can always upgrade to the publisher version and get 10 websites.
Most time you will choose a theme and that’s it until you decide to completely change revamp your website.
The next cost I will say you need to consider is your email marketing provider.
Aweber is one of the many available email marketing services out there.
My husband’s business uses Mail Chimp at present but very soon will have to upgrade to InfusionSoft.
InfusionSoft is a CRM tool that goes beyond just email marketing.
It’s the most expensive option as compared with Mail Chimp, Constant Contact and Aweber.
So your options include.
Aweber – $20/month
Infusionsoft – $129/month
Constant Contact – $20/month
MailChimp is free but goes up to $25/month
You’re in business to make money.
I’m making a huge assumption here. And there’s a cost to making money.
So if you want to collect money from potential customers and clients you’ve got to have the mechanism in place to do that.
Now you have options from as cheap as Paypal buttons, to Checkout with Amazon to expensive shopping cart options.
Here’s where you need to decide what’s best for your business.
Using other merchant providers like Paypal and Amazon you’re limited to their shopping carts and you pay their fees.
You also have to remember the fees you will pay between Paypal and your bank account.
Developing your own shopping cart using other Merchant solutions like SamCart allow for building secure membership areas.
Remembering that the purpose of your business and your blog being to generate revenue you want an easy way of doing so.
SamCart will run you about $99/month
Over a year you’re talking $1,188, to collect money and create a membership page with secured content.
If that’s not the business you’re in the I don’t recommend solutions like SamCart.
Oh and by the way SamCart is one of the cheapest Merchant Account All-in-one solutions out there.
But Merchant accounts do come with advantages.
- You have quicker access to your earnings (unlike Paypal and Amazon)
- There are higher limits on what you can collect. (so as business grows you don’t have to worry about getting shut down)
- Seamless integration with your website.
So all in all if you’re looking at the total cost of setting up your own blog with everything we’ve talked about in this section you’re looking at
Building and maintaining your own blog can cost you about
Now remembering some of the cost were one time but that would just reduce your annual cost by about $100 USD.
So when launching into a new business, you need to know what you’re getting yourself into.
It may be easier to use something already built for you until you’ve reached a comfortable enough place to put out this type of expense.
But eventually one way or another you’re going to have to put close to $1500 USD/year to maintain your blog for BUSINESS.