Nothing in Life is Free?
On this week’s Book Girls Don’t Cry we’re talking money! Is blogging free? Is any hobby free? Very very few of them are, unless you are a very boring person whose hobby consists of staring at walls… or something. To me, blogging is a hobby just like car modeling, hunting, gaming, etc. Blogging is cheap in comparison to those – if it costs anything at all, other than your time of course.
Some consider buying books a cost of blogging, but I don’t agree. Books is a cost of being a reader in general. And actually, since I started blogging and have started to get books for review, it has cut down on my cost of books a lot. When I do buy a book it’s not a blind purchase anymore, it’s either one I loved when I read the ARC, or one that comes highly recommended by blogger friends. On that note, don’t you hate hearing bloggers are freeloaders or ARC hogs? Uurgh! These people do not know what being a blogger/reviewer entails. Reviewing books take a lot of time. Maintaining a blog takes immense dedication and effort. I don’t consider ARCs as being free at all. They’re given in return for our review which is one of the most important marketing tools of any product. Poo to anyone who says bloggers don’t work for this privilege!
Blogger and WordPress offer completely free blogging platforms. This means less control and a website that is not actually owned by you, but I was on Blogger for close to 2 years without a single problem so I definitely think its a great option for those starting out. If you want to pay, however, it’s hardly an arm and a leg. You can get web hosting for 5-8$ a month, some even less. And a domain name is 10-15$ a year. If you want a nice design, you can find great themes for 35$. Ask around on Twitter and shop from the recs. For WordPress I recommend the Tweak Me theme at CreativeWhim. If you really want a custom one, expect to pay anywhere from 75&-400$. A web design is likely one of the most expensive investment of blogging, but like I said, there are free alternatives so these costs are for those who can afford it, and those who are serious about blogging long term.
Giveaways are another blogging expense that is completely optional and not an all a necessity. Here in Canada our shipping is crazy expensive (15$ for 1 book) but I hear shipping a book in the US is fairly cheap? If you want to get rid of books that are taking over your living space, you can always throw a giveaway for them. If you want to gain a few followers which can give you a good boost especially at the beginning, The Book Depository is free to ship anywhere to a winner. This is good for giveaway hops which are fun especially around holidays and such. Bloggers have many opportunities to host giveaways without having to fund it, as well. Some authors will offer a giveaway copy to go along with your review in a review request. Once you get a little established, publishers might also start offering giveaway copies and they ship to your winner for you. In the meantime, you can join blog tours and book blitzes (*cough* like at Xpresso Book Tours *cough*) which often allows you to host your own giveaway or share a pre-made Rafflecopter of a larger prize.
Because I like to talk about me sometimes:
When I started blogging I didn’t want to spend money on it right away. I didn’t even know what the heck blogging really meant at the time. I stayed on Blogger with a crappy self-made design (I was new to blogging coding then >.<) for a while. When I realized how much I loved it and it was going to stick, I payed to prettify it, and I ran a few self-funded giveaways. That was fine by me because by then I had already saved tons from not having to buy the 20 books a month I used to read. I know about libraries, but ours is pretty lame – small town nowhere and all. It took almost 2 years until I moved to self-hosted WordPress. And still, it’s not something I consider expensive. I also don’t consider it wasted money whatsoever. Now… the 40$ my husband spends on a game that he finished in 10 hours… *glares*
The biggest cost of blogging is not money: It’s time, effort, dedication! But the biggest gains: being part of a wonderful community of amazing people, some who might become close friends!
We’re looking for topic suggestions for future BGDC posts! What would YOU like to discuss (can be anything from vents to advice)?
Leave a topic suggestion via this form!
XOXO, Book Girl