When I first starting blogging on WordPress, I was thrilled that you could do it for free. ARHtistic License has its own domain, so I did pay for that, but otherwise, there were no expenses.
The free plan on WordPress included 3GB of storage for images. I like to use a lot of images on ARHtistic License, and soon (I can’t remember how long it took; maybe a year or so? The group blog my critique group started in 2014 has only used up 15.7% of its 3GB so far.) I used it up. I upgraded to a personal plan for $4 a month, which included 6GB. Soon I filled all that and upgraded to a Premium plan for $8 a month, which includes 13GB of storage. So much storage, reasonable price.
Which leads me to today. I have filled all 13GB of storage. I have gone through and deleted many posts and images, but it didn’t seem to free any storage.
My next option is a Business Plan, for $25 a month. It comes with 200GB of storage.
There is no intermediary level. I’d be happy to pay $12.50 a month for 100GB. That would keep me going for a long time. But $300 a year for the privilege of blogging?
Not gonna do it.
I never had any desire to monetize the blog. I never wanted to be an Amazon affiliate. But last year I did become a Bookshop.org affiliate, because they are committed to supporting independent booksellers. (If you click on “My Bookshop” at the top of this screen, you’ll find a link). I haven’t earned a penny from it yet, because I’ve only added 16 books to my shop so far. And I’m not promoting it very much. Which is why I resisted being an affiliate in the first place—I want to write about the arts, not convince people to buy stuff.
Anyhow, I had a live chat with a rep from WordPress, and he/she was sympathetic, and had a suggestion that I never even thought of—it’s possible to embed images from Flickr. Did you know you could do that? So I opened a Flickr account.
Of course, I can continue to reuse the 13GB of images I already have on my blog, and I’ve actually been doing that for a long time.
But for some of the things I do, like my memes, I use images from other sources, like Unsplash and Stocksnap. I really don’t want to put those on my Flickr if I didn’t shoot them. So my “In the Meme Time” posts will be a thing of the past. And if I need new illustrations for a post (because the thousands I have already aren’t quite right), I’ll have to shoot them myself.
I know a lot of people abandon their blogs when they get too expensive, or they make a new blog, and I actually thought about it. I’ll have to make an “author blog” someday. (Or not. It is my hope to need an author blog someday.) I’ve known people who have moved their content to Patreon. (I really don’t want to pay to read your blog. You really don’t want to pay to read mine.)
So there it is.
There have been times I’ve wondered if it’s even worth continuing blogging. But I would miss it if I stopped.
So, I’ll continue, but it may look different.
Now it’s your turn. How do you feel about the cost of blogging? Did you ever abandon a blog—for cost or for another reason? What are the pros and cons of blogging? Share in the comments below.