And the benefits of this are numerous. A profitable blog can allow you to work more flexible hours, and because all you need is a laptop, you can run it from pretty much anywhere in the world, meaning you’ll finally have the chance to travel the world.
However, running a blog is not free. And if you’re not careful, it can actually end up being quite expensive. And just like any business, the key to success is in keeping overhead down, as this maintains higher profit margins and helps make it easier to invest in growth. So to help you get to this point, here are seven ways to help you keep day-to-day costs down.
For some people, working from home is great. But for others, it can be a real challenge; there’s something about leaving the house that makes us feel more productive. Yet leaving the house means spending money. Whether you rent office space, pay for coworking space, or just buy coffee at the local Starbucks, these are all expenses that add up significantly over time.
Try to get used to working from home more often. Consider setting up a space that’s strictly an office. This will make it easier for you to create boundaries, helping you get over the mental block that sometimes prevents us from being at our productive best when we’re home. And this will mean spending less to work, increasing the profitability of your blog.
2. Be Smart About Equipment
Every blogger needs at least a laptop. Many others also need webcams, monitors, microphones, etc. And even though they’re necessary, this doesn’t make them less expensive. As a result, you need to be smart about the equipment you buy.
For example, it’s normal to think you need the best of the best. After all, it’s your business. But if all you do is write and call people on Skype, then maybe you don’t need a $2,000 laptop. Many major computer brands offer refurbished equipment that is often better than what you can buy new, but for much cheaper. Consider options such as this to help you keep expenses down.
3. Get a New ISP
Next to a laptop, internet is the most important expense for any blogger. It needs to be fast, and more importantly, it needs to be reliable. But this doesn’t mean it needs to be expensive. An increase in competition recently has helped bring prices down, meaning there are likely real savings just sitting there waiting for you. Do a search of broadband internet service providers in your area to find out if you can reduce your internet bill and limit the expense of running your blog.
4. Change Hosting Services
Your blog needs hosting to run. This is the service that makes it possible for others to easily access your site. Many bloggers start out using free hosting services, but this always means adding something to your URL, such as “.worpress.com” or “.blogspot,” which looks unprofessional.
To get rid of this, many of us simply upgrade with whatever hoisting service we’re using. But this isn’t always the best option. There are a lot of different hosting services out there, so it’s quite likely you can find one that’s cheaper and better. Here are some things to look for when shopping for hosting services:
Does the service automatically optimize your site for mobile browsers?
How many visitors does your service support?
How fast does your site load? Google penalizes sites that take too long to load
How many email addresses can you have?
How much storage are you allowed?
Find out what you’re paying for now, and then do a search to find out if there’s something better. But try to go beyond the first few hits on Google. Top hosting sites, such as BlueHost, have extensive affiliate programs, meaning they are going to get the most attention, but they are not always the best option for your site.
One of the biggest expenses bloggers must absorb actually has nothing to do with money but rather time. Everything you do for your blog takes time, and the more time you spend on non-income producing activities, the less time you’ll have to drive revenue, reducing the profitability of your blog.
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Consider using automation to solve this. For example, you can use HootSuite to automate your social media posts. This allows you to “set it and forget it” and then focus on other aspects of your blog. You can also automate some content creation, such as infographics, which will save you tons of time, and money, on a day-to-day basis.
In cases where you can’t automate, consider outsourcing. It’s true outsourcing means spending money, but you need to think of the time savings that result from outsourcing.
For example, if you need to write a 3,000 word cornerstone SEO piece, but you also need to meet with affiliate partners and design Facebook ads, it might be smart to find someone to write the article for you. This is because if you try to do everything on your own you run the risk of the work being subpar, which will end up costing you business in the long run.
However, be smart when outsourcing. Calculate what you would expect to get paid for a similar job, and then only hire people who will do it for less. It’s also smart to go after people with a good reputation and work history, as this reduces the chances of you needing to chase people down for rework, which can get expensive quickly.
7. Use Free Software
Lastly, a good way to save some money is to make use of free software. For example, instead of paying for Microsoft Office, you could use Libre Office. Slack is a great tool for communication, and you can easily get away with using the free version. Google Drive is another good one, as it allows you to create and share all types of documents for free.
It’s true that paying for some services will get you away from ads, and it might get you some increased functionality. But it’s likely that these expenses aren’t going to be worth it, so try to avoid them wherever possible.
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You can make all of these cost reductions right away, and this will have an immediate impact on the profitability of your blog. As a result, spend some time digging into how much you spend to run your blog. You’ll likely find several areas where you could be doing better, and this will help turn your pet project into a rather profitable business.
About the Author: Kevin owns and runs Broadbandsearch.net. He’s a successful digital entrepreneur who got his start in blogging and is always looking for ways to help inspired bloggers turn their project into a lifestyle.