Over the last couple weeks I have been focused on collecting receipts for the past year and getting my financial ducks in a row as I begin to think about the end of the year. It’s been a pretty good 2012 financially with a lot of positives happening. It’s still kinda amazing to me that I can make a decent living with my laptop, but I am one of the lucky ones, and I thank you all for being part of it.
But these last weeks, I’ve had to stop and pause a bit as I figure out how much money I spend to be a blogger … it’s not so cheap. They always say blogging is free, well … sorta. Here’s what it has cost me.
Bloggers need a laptop and you can get away with a cheapie one if you choose. We’re a mobile lot … we hunt for coffee shops, we travel, we need to be able to write anywhere, anytime. Low-end PC versions are in the $750 range, but if you want to really be considered a “member of the tribe,” you’ll want an Apple, likely a MacBookPro, and those start around $1,100.
Everyone can benefit from broadening their skill set. I’ve been blogging four years now, but I wanted to expand into online video. Then there was the whole Pinterest thing and I wanted to dust off my Photoshop skills. I spent $950 on a three-day Photoshop class and $197 on Video Traffic Academy, a great course on how to be effective on YouTube. (I highly recommend it and that’s not an affiliate link …)
Conferences are important for learning new things, but are just as crucial for connecting with people you know online. I love, luv, lurve FitBloggin and Roni Noone does a great job getting everyone together on an annual basis. There are other health and fitness conferences too, and this year I decided to once again attend BlogHer because the ticket was cheap ($197) and I had a free place to stay in New York City. Overall between travel, food, and the conference pass, I spent about $550 and that was cheap. I skipped FitBloggin in 2012 as it would have cost me an airline ticket and a hotel … more than I had budgeted this year.
Now that I have my own YouTube channel, I’m suddenly having wardrobe issues. While I am lucky to get quite a few things for free thanks to my relationship with ActivewearUSA, I also have found myself regularly going to Target to pick up tank tops or lusting over some new cool item that will “look great on camera.” I’ve easily spent over $1,000 on clothing this year!
For YouTube, we’ve been shooting with the third version of the iPad ($499) and an iRig microphone ($47) and it works well enough, but we’d really like to take it up a notch. So we invested in a Canon 60D as I already have Canon lenses. That meant we only had to buy the body which I found on sale for $1,099. Pricey, yes, but the price has dropped since, and it was recommended by a lot of people who shoot with it. Oh, yeah, the boom mike for the 60D was $129.
Are you keeping track? I’m well over $5,000 and the year’s not done yet. I’m sure I’ll pick up a few more pieces of clothing, I’d really like to take an SEO course (if you know a good one, let me know), and I want a wireless microphone that I can use on the 60D after seeing Sarah Dussault’s last week. Yes, I have mic envy.
How about you? What have you spent this year? If you’re a budding blogger, does this scare you a bit? I can tell you, I’m making a very healthy five-figure salary from blogging and other related revenues, so to me, the investment is totally worth it. :-)