When I first started blogging, I didn't want to make very many bold investments. I started on Blogspot, used the point and shoot camera my dad gave me for Christmas. But as time went on, I found myself making more and more investments. So how much does it cost to actually blog?
While I am a life-long Apple customer, I realize that most people buy PCs. If you were to ask me on the street what computer you should buy, I would say to buy the 13″ MacbookPro for $1199 because that's what I've been using for the last 10 years (well, I'm on my third one). But if the price tag is a bit steep for you, the Toshiba Portege comes in at $749 and has great reviews on CNet. The cheapest netbook I saw was the Acer Aspire Netbook at $199, which had great reviews, but I don't know how it would hold up for everyday blogging.
While many of our readers think a point and shoot is the way to go, I'm going to be stubborn here and recommend getting a DSLR. I use the Cannon EOS Rebel T3i which can be purchased used at $550. Many photo bloggers use the 50mm lens, which can be purchased separately for about $96. I was also able to find a refurbished Canon Rebel T3 for $349. While the Nikon Coolpix rolls in at $249, I think it's worth it to hold out and make the extra $100 investment in an SLR.
Smartphone $189 + Data
Your life as a blogger will be infinitely easier with a smartphone. The mobile space is booming in commerce, apps, and using tools like Instagram will help your presence while you're on the go. I have an iPhone 4S for $199 and love it, but there is a great market for other smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy is taking the smartphone industry by storm and comes in at $189. You'll have to pay data fees, which vary, but once you get it, it becomes a must-have.
Custom URL $12.99 per year
While the debate about going with a free blog service like Blogspot or going with self-hosted WordPress will go on forever. I really don't have a recommendation one way or another what platform to blog on, but I do recommend buying your URL. That way, you can move your blog to whatever platform without losing traffic. I have been using GoDaddy for years and years and it's been great for managing multiple URLs.
Internet Connection $45/month
You can be resourceful about finding internet connections, your boss may not like you blogging at work, and going to Starbucks every day can rack up an internet connection of $120 a month, having your own internet connection at home might be your most reliable and cost-effective way to go. It may take some wrangling with your internet provider to separate the internet package with cable and landline, but it's doable. Welcome to the 21st century.
Business Cards $19
You can get free business cards around from places like VistaPrint, but you can also get really nice cards for relatively small amounts of money. MooCards are great and start around $19. Having a business card will increase your credibility, and help the people you network with get in touch with you.