How Much Does It Cost To Run A Food Blog?

Last year my food blog cost me $20,000 in expenses.
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A Taste of Koko

Photos by Assistant Editor Chelsea Bucklew

People ask me every week for advice on how to start a blog, and how to quit their full-time jobs and become a blogger. It takes much more than just launching a website and getting free food and products. I spent ~$40,000 last year, and ~$20,000 of that was for the blog. Shocking right? Imagine my disbelief when my bookkeeper and CPA told me how much I had to pay in taxes.

SEE ALSO: Where To Buy Succulents In Austin

I’ve partnered up with Texas-based Frost Bank to share how much it costs to run a food blog but more importantly, what kind of expenses are involved with running a business.

 

Frost Bank

The first thing you want to do when you start a business is open a checking account that is separate from your personal checking account. Frost Bank offers seamless online and mobile tools like their mobile app and prudent financial advice to help you make smart decisions with your money so you can achieve your business goals.

 

Frost Bank

Frost is all about having a relationship with you, and they have a service charge that is lower than the big banks and easier to waive. Here are a couple of things that make Frost different!

Technology That Keeps Improving

  • Constant new developments like See All Your Finances, Freeze Your Card, and the Frost App for Apple Watch.

A Safe and Secure Place for Your Money

  • Frost works hard to protect your information, prevent fraudulent activity and will alert you of any usual activity.

Easy Access To Your Money

  • Not only can you text, email, and transfer money, there is also easy access to your cash with 130 financial centers across the state and over 1,200 ATMs.

Award-Winning Service That’s Uniquely Frost

  • Customer support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and a Frost specialist is located right here in Texas.

Visit Frostbank.com/expectmore to learn more about how Frost can help you develop an empowered relationship with not only your money but with your bank as well.

 

So let’s talk about how much it costs to run a food blog. If you google “how much does it cost to start a food blog?” Google suggests to you that it only cost $9.99. Sorry Google, it costs way more than that.

 

How Much Does It Cost To Run A Food Blog?

A little bit about myself:

I’m 27 and live in Austin (currently considered the best city to live in the nation, which means property taxes suck), and not married (so I don’t have a rich husband who is helping me support my blogging “hobby”), and I bought my first house by myself when I was 24 (so I have responsibilities of paying a mortgage on my own). I started A Taste of Koko in 2010 when I was 20, and finishing up my degree in nutrition at the University of Texas Austin. I worked professionally as a social media manager for different agencies and companies until 2015 when I quit my job and starting doing my blog full-time.

So how did I start the blog with a college student budget of $0?

Aside from working 4 part-time jobs in college every semester, I chose to learn everything on my own. I learned web development, and built and designed my own blog (it looks obviously very different from what it was on day 1). I bought my first camera (currently on my 7th camera now), and pushed myself to practice photography every single day. I’ve actually taught several photography workshops since, not having taken one myself. I learned social media, copywriting, and marketing on my own too.

So blogging is expensive?

Yeah, it is. Let’s start with just the basic blogging expenses like building the website, web hosting, editing software, etc. If you’re a food recipe blogger, you need to pay for grocery ingredients and props. If you’re a food restaurant blogging, you need to pay for restaurant meals. If you’re a fashion blogger, you need to pay for clothes and the photographer who is taking your pictures.

 

Frost Bank

Here’s a rundown of my blog expenses from 2016, including general living expenses.

BLOG MAINTENANCE EXPENSES

Website hosting: $853, I’ve used WP Engine for 4 years now and they’re the best web hosting you could pay for.
Domain Renewal: $13.01, GoDaddy
Email hosting: $60
Internet: $650, AT&T U-verse
Software: $1200
Advertising: $1000, Facebook/Instagram advertising
Bookkeeper: $1500
Contractors: $1000
Equipment: $6000, purchased Sony A7Rii, 2 Sony lenses, & iPhone 7
Gas: $800, includes gas to drive to restaurant tastings, valet, and parking fees.
Restaurant meals: $6500
Office supplies: $600
Travel: $3000

LIVING EXPENSES

Housing costs: $13,690
Car expenses: $3,906
Parking: $375
Clothing & general household: $11,000
Health insurance: $2,400, self-employed health insurance
Pets: $1500

 

Frost Bank

Expensive right? Let’s take the 25 Best Spots For Vegan Food In Austin blog post – this blog post cost me around $300. Why? Because I paid for a majority of the food out of pocket. Why not comped you ask? Yes, I do receive invites from local restaurants to come in and try the food but I only accept 50% of those invitations. Honestly, there are just some restaurants that I’m not interested in eating at and a restaurant tasting can take up 2-3 hours. It’s easier for me to get in and get out when I’m trying to do research for a blog post.

My general piece of advice on starting a business or specifically food blog is to set aside finances, choose a bank that is going grow with you and help you manage your finances so you can focus on your business (like Frost!), open a separate checking account, and make a budgeting plan.

 

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Frost Bank. Thank you for supporting the brands that support A Taste of Koko!

  • love that you wrote this

  • Kristina @ MsModify

    Thanks for sharing this info! I agree, blogging is more expensive than people think. My only question is, how much do you make a year blogging? This would be helpful info with this post to see if the return is worth it!

  • Vi

    Wow, love this! VERY informative!

  • Tim & Nat ✈

    I’d be interested to know how much revenue the blog generates, maybe a follow up post?

  • Great post! I like that you are self-taught. Practice makes perfect 🙂

  • Girl… you’re not joking about taxes. It was a rude awakening when I started making significant side income for blogging and freelance content writing! Great post, I think a lot of people don’t realize how much time and money really go into food blogging!

    • Taxes were not fun this year 😭

  • Rachel

    Thanks for sharing this! I have a free blog now and have been contemplating paying for a wordpress blog now for some time but haven’t made the leap yet. Also, i’ve been following you for a while and didn’t know you got your degree in nutrition! I just got mine in December.

    • Congrats on your degree! WordPress is the way to go and I highly recommend WP Engine for hosting.