The Cost of Content Creation
Back in July 2017 I wrote a blog post about how monetising your content fundamentally changes the relationship you have with your audience and how that isn’t always a good thing with regard to maintaining ones creative independence. I then went on to describe how I see both my blog and podcast as personal “indulgences” and that I had no intention of using Patreon or having a virtual tip jar. This remains the case and I’m not looking to my readership for funding of any kind. However, it is spring and for me at least, that means that a lot of yearly costs associated with my content creation are up for renewal. Therefore I thought it an appropriate opportunity to discuss the subject of the cost of blogging, podcasting, streaming and other forms of content creation.
Rather than use a free service such as WordPress, I host Contains Moderate Peril via Squarespace which is a subscription service. The infrastructure is robust, secure and the service has several advantages over others that don’t charge. Squarespace has its own statistical package which affords me more than an overview of my website traffic. My current subscription also allows me to host my podcast, which saves me using another service such as Libsyn. At present I choose to pay monthly, so if my circumstances quickly change (and as a carer they certainly can) I can simply cancel the service. At present, the subscription costs £11.14 per month. I also recently renewed my domain, which I do via Go Daddy. It currently costs £23.38 per year, which is about £1.95 per month.
Although there are free alternatives, I still use Microsoft Office and subscribe to Office 365. Last year I bought year’s subscription for a little over £30 from a third-party key seller. Sadly, I couldn’t find such a deal this time, so I have opted to pay £5.99 per month. This is not the most economical option, but it suits my current needs. I have always been a strong advocate of both Microsoft Word and Outlook and rely heavily on the functionality they provide. I use Word for more than just blogging, having a great deal of administrative work to do. Similarly, I manage multiple email accounts and find that Outlook is by far the best tool for this. Email for Contains Moderate Peril, along with a second domain linked to my former business, are both handled via a hosted Microsoft Exchange service costing £17.86 per month.
Overall, it costs me £36.94 to maintain a blog and produce a monthly podcast. That may not sound like a lot of money, but how you view what is and what isn’t expensive is highly subjective. As a carer on a fixed income I’ve had to think long and hard about such expenditure and I’ve briefly considered cheaper options. However, I do not like to dependent on free services and prefer to have the safety net of customer support and legal recourse that comes with paid third-party vendors. So for the present I shall continue to pay in the manner I’ve described. I’d be interested to hear from fellow bloggers and content creators regarding their expenditure or whether they manage to get by without spending anything. Is there a price limit on your hobby or have you been tempted to look to a service such a Patreon to cover costs?