If you’re a fellow blogger (or want to start a blog of your own), here’s an inside look at the resources I rely on to run my site. I’ve been blogging since 2011, and my method has always been to keep things simple and my expenses low. Everything I spend money on is carefully considered. And I’ve found a lot of great free resources, too!
I hope you will find these recommendations helpful in your own blogging endeavours!
Note: I’ll be adding to this page in the future, so keep an eye out. You can also subscribe to my Blogging Interest email list, where I share musings on the blog world, how I run my business, etc. I don’t have a regular schedule for sending out emails to this list…it’s pretty informal. Sign up using the form below:
My Recurring Blogging Expenses
There are dozens–hundreds–of blogging tools and services I could spend money on. But I only pay for 5 things on a recurring basis.
1. Hosting: $5.99 per month
I use Black Chicken hosting. If I could only spend money on ONE thing blogging related, it would be this. After an unsatisfying hosting experience with GoDaddy, I’ve learned that a good host is GOLD! Black Chicken is a small company with stellar customer service, and they are very knowledgeable in their industry.
2. Domain Name: $15 per year.
I get my domain name (richlyrooted.com) through Black Chicken as well.
3. Email service: $190 per year (comes to $15.83/mo).
I use Bird Send to send out emails to my subscribers. You pay monthly rates depending on how many subscribers you have. I started with MadMimi and used them for years, but Bird Send has more features I need for this stage of my business, and it’s currently cheaper…so it was a no-brainer to switch! If you want to explore Bird Send, check out their guide to fixing email marketing mistakes.
4. Sharing plugin: $29 per year.
Social Warfare is the plugin I use for the sharing buttons at the top and bottom of my blog posts. It also gives me the Pinterest button that appears when you hover over an image. You can see it in action on this post. Social Warfare is the only annually-paid plugin I use on this blog. There are tons of different social sharing plugins out there, but Social Warfare looks the best aesthetically (in my opinion), and it’s very lightweight. Some sharing plugins, like the ShareThis plugin I was using before, are resource hogs and will slow your site down–which is bad for users, Google, AND advertisers!
There is a free version of Social Warfare, but it has very limited features. However, if you’re just getting started with your blog it’s a great option.
And that’s all of my regular blogging expenses! If I was a brand-new blogger, I would spend money on the first 3 things, and add the other two after I had more posts published and income and traffic coming in.