Guess what? Everything costs money! Yes, that is the secret to business and most of life. A blog is no different! These topics regarding financials will help keep you on a successful path.
Create a spreadsheet (Or Download This One) and write down everything that costs. and any Income you generate. I also recommend logging your time spent as well. Knowing how much time you spend working is great for factoring in your wages and knowing where you are financially after all of the business expenses are paid. Understand that this IS a business, even if you are enjoying it. If you spend $300 on hosting, software and such and make $100, you aren’t $100 in the positive, you are $200 in the negative. A common rule for most businesses is that they typically don’t actually start profiting until after 2 years. If you put forth extreme effort, you can profit within a year, but it takes knowing your budget, grinding out the work and being frugal with expenses.
2. Logos and Branding
Investing in a great Logo and brand are probably the 2 most important aspects of your business after quality content. If you think you can handle this, awesome! With my personal branding and logo experience, I can help you build your brand, design a logo and put everything into motion to get you started. There are also several freelancer services out there Such as:
With these services, you should be able to find someone that can help you design a logo and other artwork for cheap, just know that these designers often reuse designs and images which may cheapen and dilute your brand. It is best to go with a quality Graphic designer if you actually want to build a business from it. It is OK to create a temporary logo for cheap, and have a professional design a permanent logo after you start making some dough. If you want a quote, just shoot me an email. If you mention that you have been reading this series, I will gladly throw in some discounts!
3. Hosting and Domain Names
I recommend going with top quality hosting. Low quality or discount hosting will end up costing you more in the end with lower customer conversions, high bounce rate and down websites. I recommend a high quality host such as Becorath or NameHero. For your domain name, many services offer roughly the same pricing for domains. I recommend getting your domain from either your host or GoDaddy ( I despise godaddy hosting, but they have some of the best domain prices in the industry).
4. Website CMS & Theme
Just like your Logo, your website look and feel is important for your overall brand. Having a dynamic and responsive website is more important than ever. With many users browsing from Smartphones, Tablets, laptops, and desktop computers, your website should be easy to navigate for all of your users. I recommend a Self Hosted WordPress.org Site with the Divi Theme from Elegant Themes.
5. Promotional Swag and Business Cards
Yes, even an online business can benefit from offline marketing. Once your Logo and Branding are hammered out, you should have some high quality business cards made. There are a few ready to go templates from Vistaprint.com or you can hire a professional graphic designer to design a business card for you.
6.1 Monthly Fees
You would likely already pay for internet, but guess what? that is now a business expense and ou should put this into your business budget as an expense. Other monthly fees, such as web hosting, software subscriptions, marketing and tools, and ads.
6.2 Initial Business Expenses
Setting up your business properly and legally does cost a little bit. Depending on your country, state, or province, this can cost anywhere from a few bucks to a few hundred. You want to make sure that you declare your income and expenses properly for tax purposes.
6.3 New purchases
Be sure to log any purchases for the business. Buying items like computers, software, Cameras, and other peripherals. You also need to purchase Office Supplies like paper, notebooks, pens, sticky notes and more.
6.4 Ongoing expenses
Depending on your niche, you will likely be buying things as you go. ingredients for a cooking blog, clothes and such for reviews, travel plane tickets, uber, lyft, taxis, and meals for a travel blogger. You may eventually get sponsors to send free items, but not in the beginning. So, be sure to record all outgoing expenses.
7.0 Calculate ROI
This is, for some, the best part. With a well run blog, this will be the part that gets better and better! In this part, you need to calculate all of your income. every single stream coming in. as well as everything that is going out.
Income – Expenses = Net Profit
For a hypothetical example, lets say you invested (or spent) $1,000 on your blog all year long. and your total income was $2300.
$2,300 – $1,000 = $1,300
You profited $1,300 on your business this year! WooHoo!
Net Profit / Expenses = Return on Investment
$1,300 / $1,000 = $1.3
What this means is that for every dollar you spent, you made $1.30. or a 130% return on your investment. (Your bank probably is earning you 1 or 2%… Think about that!
The game is reduce your expenses while increasing profits and trying to help some people along the way. But remember, it often takes money to make money and spending some along the way is necessary to grow.