If you blog full-time, then you are sure to have a lot more to deal with on top of writing posts, managing comments, and marketing; such as expenses associated with running your blogs.
If your blog is hobby-oriented, you likely don’t want to expend more money than necessary and have a small budget to work with. With yet another tax year behind me this is one I won’t soon forget, as it involved paying a rather large sum of money to the IRS. As you might imagine, it was quite an unpleasant experience. After recovering from the shock of it all, I started to go through my receipts and expenses to see how I could get back to blogging on a shoestring budget by determining what I really needed. Below are a few ways I was able to shave off a few bucks from my blogging expenses.
Domains & Services
I went through all my domain names and let go of quite a few that I owned but hadn’t yet used. It may not sound like much, but depending on how many you have, it’s a good idea to get rid of the ones you don’t use. Some domains may be worth selling if it’s a catchy name and you just haven’t gotten around to putting it to good use, while other names might make you ask yourself what you were thinking in the first place. Nevertheless, do some research and don’t act in haste.
When I buy a new domain name, especially if I need privacy guard, I use NameCheap because the privacy is free for the first year and minimal at renewal time. However, GoDaddy offers renewal coupons that NameCheap doesn’t, so it’s a matter of comparing the two to find which will better save you money in the long run.
For web hosting, as affiliate marketers and bloggers with multiple sites, we are often used to using a couple different hosting plans at best. Sign up as an affiliate and use the link on your website and also see if you can consolidate any of your sites onto one account, if possible.
I have an Aweber account, but truth be told, I haven’t put it to good use yet and it has been deducting $19.95 from my bank account each month. I was able to put the service I have now on hold for $4.95 a month so I can retain my current pricing that I wouldn’t get later if I was to cancel my account. Definitely a plus. Go over all your services and see which you use, which you don’t, and see if there is any way to negotiate a price different such as what I was able to do with my Aweber service. If you don’t ask, you won’t know.
As an aside, while saving money is the goal, don’t sacrifice a domain name and hosting. It might sound good to start out with a free blog, but it’s a hassle to transfer later. Having your own domain name and web hosting has more pros than cons.
I’m a long-time BlackBerry lover and addict. My life is inside my phone, quite literally. While I don’t do a home office deduction, I do deduct the cost of my monthly BlackBerry charge on my taxes, which helps out at the end of the year.
Wi-Fi calling has helped to keep my data plan down due to my BlackBerry being a Wi-Fi calling-enabled phone. So basically, it’s free to use Wi-Fi when you are in Wi-Fi areas, including your own home, through use of your wireless router. If you are a longtime customer with your phone service provider, call them and ask if they have any new specials for longtime customers. I was recently able to switch two of my lines to unlimited minutes and it saved me money.
Skimping on the Extras
We all need a little extra sometimes. For me, that tends to be my foo-foo coffees from Starbucks, aka a Skinny Caramel Macchiato. But, they do tend to add up (in cost and calories!) so I have slowed down getting them everyday. I associate my coffee habit with my blogging because I am usually up late working and need the boost in the morning.
Another extra for me is books. I am a complete book nerd, but I have finally gotten to a point that if I don’t have an immediate reason to use the book, then I won’t buy it. And, when I really do need some books on niche topics, I use BookCloseouts due to their extremely low costs. I have books ranging from wine to blogging to write and more. While books may not be your weakness, the same thought process applies–if you don’t need it for immediate use, don’t buy it.
Surely there are several more ways to save money, but these are some of the changes that I recently made and I will continue making more. What’s the point of working so hard if more money is going out than coming in?
This is a guest post by Chrissie Cole, a freelance writer for various blogs, including Speedy Incorporation, which helps new small business owners learn everything they need to know about how to form an LLC as well as offering advice and information about running their business successfully via their small business marketing blog.
Photo by Gayle L. Falkenthal/Flickr
3 thoughts on “Blogging on a Shoestring Budget”
Thanks for these helpful tips. I have had to re-evaluate my blogging/business strategy this year as well, and these bit of info are definitely helpful. Thanks so much for sharing!
I never really thought about the actual business side of blogging until this year. And those coffees DO add up. Thanks for the advice. =)
Good advice! I do think in terms of businesses, blogging definitely falls in the category of minimum overhead, but that doesn’t mean we can’t all find a few more way to save!