Bloggie Wednesdays: The Cost of Running My Beauty Blog

Bloggie Wednesdays: The Cost of Running My Beauty Blog

Tax season is upon us, so what better time to itemise my blogging expenditure, eh? ;)

Tangible Costs:

  • Domain fees (~US$12/year)
  • Web-hosting fees (~US$120/year)
  • WordPress theme – Thesis framework (one time payment – US$164)
  • Image site subscriptions (~US$40/year)
  • Ebooks to learn more about blogging (so far, approximately $100)
  • Photography equipment – camera, tripod, lightbox, etc. (so far, approximately $600)
  • Artwork – fonts, Photoshop PSD templates, images (e.g. the ones I use for creating collages in the blog) (so far, approximately US$30)
  • Blogging conferences – entry fees, transportation, and sometimes accommodation (I think this came up to almost $1000, especially after the Australian Beauty Blogger Weekend in 2011)
  • The 863724129 beauty products I buy and services I try, all in the name of “research” (way too much to count!)

Intangible Costs:

  • Breakouts on skin from bad reaction to new beauty products
  • Time spent for research, photography and writing
  • Stress

Return of Investment:

  • Loyal readers
  • Support and encouragement from perfect strangers
  • Improvement in writing and photography
  • Improvement in people skills
  • Networking with people and brands, something I never thought possible years ago
  • Friendships
  • Skill-up in web design, HTML, CSS, etc
  • The satisfaction in being able to help readers and fellow bloggers out in whatever issues they faced.
  • (and more)

Conclusion:
People think I’m nuts to blog *almost* for free, especially with the costs involved. It’s not cheap (and certainly not free) maintaining a blog.

Ultimately, the ROI is worth every cent. :)

PS: Please don’t let the figures above scare you. It’s just how I run my blog. You certainly do not have to spend that much to blog about your passion.

Bloggie Wednesdays is a series of articles just on blogging. They contain tips, how-tos, discussions about anything and everything you need to know about blogging and how we can be better bloggers. If you have any suggestions, tips and tricks about blogging you would like to share with us, or if you have any questions you would like me to address, please let us know in the comments.
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49 comments… add one

  1. Xsy

    Aack! so costly! LOL. I’m new to blogging so it’s good to know that early on. I started this so I can gain more friends by connecting through common interests and express my thoughts/feelings openly. It’s just sad at times when I feel I’m not connecting to people and I’m not moving upward to reaching my goals. Any tips/advise? :)
    Xsy recently posted..Review: Revlon Photo Ready ConcealerMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Xsy: Haha it just costs that much to me. You don’t have to spend that much to be a good blogger. You have a great start, so do keep it up. Social media like connecting with people on Twitter and Facebook helps. Don’t worry if you’re not getting much comments but people are still connecting with you on social media. I’m always happy if I’m connecting with someone, even if I get zero comments on posts :)

  2. Jess @ Miss J. Shopaholic

    Good post lovely, but scary to list all the costs like that! It’s something I def don’t wanna think about lol. I totally agree about the ROI though, makes it all worth it :)
    Jess @ Miss J. Shopaholic recently posted..Estée Lauder Pure Color Blush in Pink Ingenue!My Profile

    1. Tine

      Jess: It freaked me out too when I started to list the costs down. In the end I was like, woah, I spent that much?!
      But yeah, ROI? Completely worth every cent :)

  3. LeGeeque

    The investment will be well worth it. If and when the day comes that you’re no longer getting the returns to justify it, then, that’s another totally different story.

    There’re also plenty of taxbreaks for small businesses :) Talk to Mr. Abe ;)
    LeGeeque recently posted..Favourite 5 Beauty ItemsMy Profile

    1. Tine

      LeGeeque: I’ve talked to Abe about this before, but he said shampoo and conditioner ain’t income. Damn :P

  4. rinnah

    I don’t want to think on how much I’ve spent so far in upkeep for my blog… :P
    rinnah recently posted..World Gourmet Summit 2012My Profile

    1. Tine

      Rinnah: Hahahaha all for the blog, yo, all for the blog :D

  5. Nikki

    I know what you mean, the effort we put to share information, at the end of the day, its the joy of sharing what we know and meeting new friends is one push that I hold on to! Imagine, I get to know the #EVURL girls! That’s worth more than enough! I wouldn’t exchange it for anything in this world!

    1. Tine

      Nikki: My sentiments exactly, Nikki. The friendships we forged through blogging are so precious. No amount of free products, publicity, events, money spent, etc will ever be worth as much as that. Go #evurl! :D

  6. AnneJ

    I’m actually a silent reader of yours. You’re my inspiration on how to blog better. I can see it’s quite costly to run your blog, but it come to passion, I think, it’s almost negligible. I hope I can be like you one day. Right now I’m just a student.. Keep it up..I never miss your updates. :)
    AnneJ recently posted..After School(애프터스쿨) – Flashback MV Review (with lots of sexy word in it)My Profile

    1. Tine

      AnneJ: Hello hello! Glad to see you here :) It’s such an honour to be your inspiration, and it really encourages me to want to do better. Keep up your blogging work! :)

  7. Michelle Beh

    It’s certainly a quite big sum of money but everything will be worth it~~ You are able to share your interests with your readers out there =) This definitely already make up your days =D

    1. Tine

      Michelle: Oh most definitely Michelle. I’m glad to be able to share my interests with people who has similar interests as I do :)

  8. Kaye

    Thanks for sharing :) I agree with you 100%, costs are a side note. The joy of blogging and connecting with readers is well worth the trouble! And you know what? Your costs were actually surprisingly less than I would have guessed. Well done!

    Bloggie Wednesday’s rock.
    Kaye recently posted..Hands Up If You Like Market Shopping…My Profile

    1. Tine

      Kaye: Hahahaha how much did you think I spent? :P Whatever the figure is in your head, I bet your bottom dollar I’m reaching it soon :P

  9. xin

    for all the friends we made, it’s worth every single cent! ;)
    xin recently posted..Colorful Wednesday: Paddlepop Nail Art TutorialMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Xin: You said it sister. Go #evurl! :D

  10. Harshleen

    You amaze me sometimes with the bloggie wednesday post ideas and this is def one of them!! Love it :)
    Harshleen recently posted..Anastasia See And Be Seen Kit Review and SwatchesMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Harshleen: Hee hee, aww thanks Harshleen. Writing the figures out freaked me out, quite frankly :P

  11. giddy tigress

    That’s a very interesting list, Tine! For me, I know I’d have to add the cost of purchasing a Photo Recovery Software to that! :P
    giddy tigress recently posted..Superhero Father’s DayMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Giddy Tigress: Oh, in that case, I should have added the cost of my annual Dropbox subscription for my blog-related stuff backup :P

  12. Issa

    That’s why I am so thankful to bloggers like you who shares their knowledge for free! Thank you so much Tine :)

    1. Tine

      Issa: My pleasure Issa. It really warms my heart to know readers like you appreciate what I do :)

  13. gio

    What an interesting post! Blogging can be pricey sometimes but just connecting with people and making new friends makes it all worthwhile. :)
    gio recently posted..QOTW: Do You Like Cream Eyeshadows?My Profile

    1. Tine

      Gio: You said it Gio. I’m so happy to have made friends all around the world, like you. Makes everything worthwhile :)

  14. Bun Bun Makeup Tips

    Yeah I agree with the costs involved, but more so with the ROI! :D I’ve made so many friends and received support from total strangers, and then made MORE friends and met more strangers who became friends… Haha! The second last (or maybe the last if you don’t count the ‘and more’) is the best part, really. Being able to help and give advice is truly satisfying.

    I wish we had such blogger events in Singapore. It would be so much fun to connect with other bloggers on a larger scale.
    Bun Bun Makeup Tips recently posted..I’m Involved In Singapore NDP 2012!My Profile

    1. Tine

      Bun Bun: Oh I know, right? That bit about support from total strangers, it really warms my heart. I mean, you don’t know me from Adam, but you’ve supported me in what I do, when I faced negative comments, etc. It’s amazing. About being able to help and give advice; it’s satisfying indeed :)

  15. Paris B

    Teehee for those of us who are perfectionist control freaks (not saying you are… ahem!) it can get pricey ;) But a new blogger can cut some corners too :-

    - use a free hosting platform (blogger, wordpress.com)
    - use a free wordpress theme (loads to choose from!)
    - use a good (not necessarily expensive) point & shoot camera & hone your skills
    - buy products when they go on sale or online where it maybe cheaper

    Ultimately, the gains from networking, making friends and personal satisfaction will outweigh the costs… but realistically, if the costs aren’t necessary then there’s no need to spend them. Just my 2 cents (which can’t buy you much in blogging terms…)
    Paris B recently posted..How Do I use a Bronzer? Top Tips on how to apply Bronzer by Maxime Poulin, Guerlain International Makeup ArtistMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Paris B: Hahahaha I AM a perfectionist, as you can tell from the amount I’ve spent. Happy to admit it :D

      Those are good tips for new bloggers. Unless you go into blogging from the very start with the intention of making it a business, it’s definitely not necessary to spend even a quarter of that much. Start small, and see where you go from there. It’s very easy to start a blog, not at all to sustain one ;)

  16. Swati

    I have seen so many blogs who spend so much amount of hard work and money ont heir blogs and of course,t he returns are equally amazing :) I do monetize but I don’t spend on it much other than time and effort on the posts!!! I do plan to get a domain though, double minded about it right now!!!
    Swati recently posted..Enter Oasap Giveaway!!My Profile

    1. Tine

      Swati: My monetisation is lousy, I tell ya. But I’m happy that it’s at least enough to cover my domain and web-hosting fees, which is already considered very good in my books.

      Get a domain! You gotta have your name on the internets :P

  17. Megan

    I don’t think I’ve ever sat down and added up how much I’ve spent on my blog. I definitely spend way more on products than anything else and I was very lucky to find a website designer who does all of those aspects for free, I just pay the bills. It is definitely rewarding though in other ways and I feel I get a lot of personal satisfaction from it.
    Megan recently posted..Hello Melbourne!My Profile

    1. Tine

      Megs: That’s so great that you found a website designer who designed your website for free (did a great job, by the way). I’m so particular with what I want that I figured it’s better for me to do it myself, even if I have to burn the midnight oil studying the damn codes till my eyes pop out. Don’t think any website designer can stand my crazy requirements :P

  18. sesame

    Interesting analysis! I’ll encourage all bloggers who are series to get their own domains and to invest in hosting fees. In fact, the bulk of my cost goes to hosting and it’s expensive! A good theme is also something to look at. I don’t spend on images and neither on equipment. I use a basic point-and-shoot camera but I do have the appropriate software for tweaking my images.
    sesame recently posted..Beauty blogging: 5 things to avoid as a better bloggerMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Sesame: I think it’s worth investing in domains and a good webhost too. Oh I definitely hear you on the good theme. Find a good frame, decide on theme colours, and stick to it. You can make changes to the layout, play around with the theme colours as time goes by, but it’s best to stick to the basic framework and theme colours because it becomes the blogger’s brand. Like what you did. Over the years your layout changed, banner changed, but they’re not drastic ones. It’s still your brand, and people know it :)

  19. MyMy

    Hi, Tine!

    All I can say is…WOW! You really are serious about beauty blogging! But I do understand since I share the same passion. I would like to draw inspiration from you, most especially when it comes to your dedication and creativity. I’ll be visiting your blog more often and hope that I will one day become as successful as you as a beauty blogger. More power! (BTW, I’m from the Philippines and right now, I’m still trying to figure out how to create a name for myself in the beauty blogging scene)
    MyMy recently posted..Weekend Reflections: Freedom Through ForgivenessMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Hello hello! Apologies for the late reply; I only just saw this when I was going to reply to the comment after yours! Sorry about that.
      Thanks very much for your lovely comment and all the best to you. The beauty blogging scene in the Philippines is phenomenal. It’s growing tremendously. :)

  20. itspinkpot

    Hi Tina :)

    Thanks for this beautiful series, so helpful for newbie bloggers like me ! Love love your blog! :)

    I just wanted to know what exactly is Web hosting? Is it the space you get for your website?

    Thanks :)
    itspinkpot recently posted..D.I.Y: Rose Water Mist- A drink for your skinMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Hi and thanks so much for your lovely comment!

      Web hosting is where you host your website on a server. For example:
      1. You have a blog – http://itspinkpot.wordpress.com/
      2. This blog is currently hosted on Wordpress.com. This means that all of your blog content, data, images, files, etc are placed on Wordpress.com’s servers. Your data is dependent on Wordpress.com. If Wordpress.com is down, your blog will be down.
      3. For blogs on Blogspot, their blog data are placed in Google’s servers. Their data is hosted by Google.
      4. Let’s say you want to get your own space where you can control where your files go, where it’s located, etc. That’s when you buy your own webhosting space. Mine is hosted on Hostgator. By renting a separate webhost, I have more control over my blog content and data.

      I hope this answers your questions and didn’t too technical :P

      1. itspinkpot

        U r such a sweetheart! i understood every bit. In fact it was slightly dumb of me to ask this being a computer engineer myself , LOL! But just that i din’t expect the cost for web hosting to be that high!

        anyhow, i just began blogging 2 weeks ago, so i can wait a bit to get my domain & web hosting .. right?

        Do check out my blog, Tine :)
        itspinkpot recently posted..Inspiration: Applause Please, Italian ArtistryMy Profile

        1. Tine

          Haha it was my pleasure! That’s the reason I run ads and the occasional sponsored posts on the blog. I just need to at least make enough to cover hosting fees, domain fees and all sorts of fees required to run the blog :)

          As you’ve only started 2 weeks ago, you don’t have to get your own domain or web hosting if you don’t want to. Although I would try to secure the domain name as soon as possible before someone else nicks it if you plan to blog for at least a year or so. I get mine from Godaddy. Not the best company to buy from but they’re cheap (mine is about US$10-13 for a year). As for web hosting, nah, plenty of time. I only went on the self-hosting route after 3 years of blogging :)

  21. itspinkpot

    Also just a small question. what will happen to the old posts , comments and followers when i move from wordpress to my own domain? Will they be still there or will i lose them, tine?
    itspinkpot recently posted..Inspiration: Applause Please, Italian ArtistryMy Profile

    1. Tine

      They’ll still be there. A domain name change is just changing the URL. The permalinks will differ though so you’ll have to make any changes to the references in your blog posts. This is the reason I suggest getting your domain early to avoid amending any links in your posts. When you have over 1000 posts and say in each of your post you referenced a product that you’ve already reviewed before in a link, that link will need to be changed from say http://itspinkpot.wordpress.com/2013/11/06/inspiration-applause-please-italian-artistry/ to http://itspinkpot.com/2013/11/06/inspiration-applause-please-italian-artistry/. See what I mean?

      Anyway, even when you change webhosts, you’ll import your blog content from Wordpress.com to your self-hosted Wordpress (or any other platform you choose). Everything (images, comments, etc) will be imported over.

      1. itspinkpot

        Thank you thank you so much Tine :)
        itspinkpot recently posted..Inspiration: Applause Please, Italian ArtistryMy Profile

        1. itspinkpot

          Talking to you just got me thinking and i came up with more questions! My site is on wordpress.com now, so i have limitations with respect to my theme etc.

          Now lets say i secure the domain for my site : itspinkpot.com and i also want to change the theme of the site and many other things. So i want to build a wordpress.org site myself.

          So essentially, i will move from wordpress.com — wordpress.org code wise.

          To do this, will i need to get web hosting?

          I am really sorry for asking these many questions. i just couldn’t find a better way than to ask you :)
          itspinkpot recently posted..Inspiration: Applause Please, Italian ArtistryMy Profile

          1. Tine

            Wordpress.org only works self-hosted. Wordpress.com is free and is hosted on WP’s servers. You can have a domain name itspinkpot.com and still stay with Wordpress.com.

            When you want to go on the self-hosting route, that’s when you’ll purchase webhost space and then install WP files (which you get from Wordpress.org) on that webhost’s server.

  22. itspinkpot

    Thanks so much hun :) That was very helpfuL! And again so sorry for the trouble !
    itspinkpot recently posted..Inspiration: Applause Please, Italian ArtistryMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Haha that’s all right. All the best in your blogging journey! x

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