My Blogging Expenses

I saw a post over at The Financial Blogger explaining that his online business is sometimes cash flow negative since they roll their profits back into developing their online niche sites and eBooks.  They made $5700 last month but spent about $6000 on business-related expenses like outsourcing.

This made me realize that I rarely mention the costs I have running my blogs and freelance projects.  I don’t invest as much back into my business as TFB, but I’m not operating at the bare minimum either.  Here are the past couple of month’s of my income and expenses:

June 2011

Income:  $5186.78
Expenses:  $371.08

Expenses Breakdown

Outsourcing:  $170.00
Paypal:  $134.08
Scribe SEO software:  $27.00
Love Drop:  $20.00
Technical Assistance:  $20.00

July 2011

Income:  $7007.50
Expenses:  $646.63

Expenses Breakdown

Outsourcing:  $285.00
Paypal:  $227.65
Podcast Mic from Ebay:  $51.98
Scribe SEO software:  $27.00
Love Drop:  $20.00
Business Card Design:  $20.00
Sponsored Giveaways at Other Sites:  $15.00

Outsourcing

The outsourcing I mention above is through two people.  When I am hired to create a sponsored post, which are very boring to me, I outsouce the post to Mark Riddix’s Article Writing Services.  They are good and they are inexpensive, but that is why my sponsored posts sound a bit different from my own posts.  I also outsource my blog carnival submissions to Jesse Michelsen from PF Firewall.  He is also inexpensive and saves me from the tediousness of blog carnivals.  :-)

Other Costs

I also paid $152.54 for unlimited hosting through Host Gator from 11/26/2010 until 11/26/2013 (about $51 a year) thanks to an awesome Black Friday sale last year.  :-)  My domains cost an additional $15 a year, so that’s $75 annually as well for Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, How I Make Money Blogging, About Life Insurance, Crystal Clear Thoughts, and Dog’s Life For Me.  I paid a few years in advance for all of them, so I already was able to take off the business expense in my 2010 taxes.  :-)

In short, my expenses have been between 5%-10% of what I make.

My Plan Going Forward 

This month, I’ve decided to expand a bit and hired Jesse to start helping me with all of my social media and to create and run my new BFS Newsletter.  He already submitted my BFS posts to blog carnivals each week and he was the one who created my BFS Android App, so it just fit to expand with him.  It’s nice to work with someone you trust.  His services will run me $200-$300 a month depending on how much of his time I end up taking up.  If you are ever in the market for some help, I’d highly suggest emailing Jesse *at* SplycedVentures *dot* com.  No, I won’t get a discount or anything for referrals, lol.  I am just very happy with his work.  :-)

I’m hoping that even with new expenses, I can keep my costs to 15% or less of my online income.  Since this is my full time job now, I need my monthly profits to hit $3575 no matter what to cover my 26 paychecks at $1650 each.  So yes, reinvesting in a business is a viable method of growth, but I simply can’t afford to reinvest a huge part of what I make quite yet.  :-)

What do your blogging costs look like?

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12 comments to My Blogging Expenses

  • MD

    Thanks for sharing this. I should start doing these.

    How do you plan on reinvesting in your blogging business moving forward?

  • Crystal, thanks for your warm remarks – I’m just happy to help! :)

  • @MD, other than hiring Jesse for the stuff I suck at, I don’t have many reinvestment plans. I may hire someone to perform some major SEO work on my older posts at BFS. If a great deal pops up on blogs that want to sell their site, I may do that. Other than that, I am investing more time into creating passive income streams, like writing my own eBook. Since we use my blogging profits as my actual income, I just can’t afford to reinvest too much.

    @Jesse, you earned the remarks, thank you for helping!!!

  • It looks like your expenses are well under control. I took advantage of the Host Gator Black Friday sale last year too. My hosting expenses will be very cheap for the next couple of years.

  • I am paying $9.95 for my hosting and that is it. Right now, I am doing this as more of a hobby than an actual business. I do, however, keep track of all the expenses and income for tax purposes. But since I am only making $20-$30 per month with AdSense, it is truly more hobby like.

    I have thought about reinvesting in the “hobby” but with a $20-$30 per month budget, wouldn’t really know where to start. Any ideas or thoughts about getting decent bang for the buck?

  • Well, I only pay $9.95 each month for hosting right now. I consider this more of a “hobby” than business since I am only making $20-$30 per month with AdSense and don’t have any advertisers yet. I do, however, keep track of expenses and revenue for tax purposes.

    I have considered reinvesting in the “hobby” but wouldn’t know where to start with a $20-$30 monthly budget. Do you have any ideas on where to get the most bang for the buck?

  • @Andy, woot for sales!

    @cashflowmantra, I didn’t start outsourcing much at all until I was making hundreds of dollars. In the beginning, it’s just about growing your blog the old-fashioned ways, lol. Commenting, regular content, joining forums, guest posting, and blog carnivals…

  • Hey Crystal!

    May I ask why you are not counting internet services in your expenses? I’m actually writing off both my blackberry and my internet access on my company.

    Do you have an incorporation or do you run this income on your own name?

    Do you do your bookeeping/accounting yourself? if you keep growing, I think that outsourcing your accounting could be a good idea as well. I personally send all my papers to my accountant in order to save more time!

  • @TFB, hi! Since I had a day job up until last month, I was only able to take a small portion of my internet off on my taxes last April. Plus, we’d have the service and our phones whether I blogged or not. :-) But for my taxes, I will be able to write off my $35 a month internet now, woot! And my smart phone would be another $70. :-)

    I run it as a sole proprietorship right now since the fees of an LLC in Texas only make sense to pay once I make $65,000 a year or more (that’s when we’d be in the higher tax bracket – right now we are still at the 15% level so being taxed as a sole proprietorship makes more sense).

    We do our accounting ourselves. But my very close friend is a bookkeeper and her work friend is a CPA. They will be sitting down with me in late September to show me what’s involved in the quarterly estimated taxes that I will need to do. :-) In the meantime, my regular budget in Excel keeps up with expenses like utilities that I will be able to write off now and I have a separate Excel sheet that I use to keep up with every cent spent or earned online.

    Thanks for reading!

  • I’ll be interested to hear how it feels to pay those quarterly taxes. You are making great money blogging, but it hurts SO bad to write big fat checks to the feds! :) (at least the state and local income taxes aren’t too bad)

  • @Amanda, I am expecting huge tax bills and am putting away 30%-35% of all of my income into a separate ING account just for the occasions, lol. I have no state taxes (we have a 8.25% sales tax on non-food), so yay for that. :-)

  • [...] am now outsourcing my social media, my BFS newsletter, blog carnival submissions to Melissa Batai at Mom’s [...]

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