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Have you ever wondered how much influencers, Creators, or Online Coaches pay every month to run their business?
In this post, I’m going to share every tool I pay for to run my business and how much it costs to keep up with all the subscriptions.
Since there’s a lot to cover, I’ll break the post into 4 parts:
- Tools I use for my website
- Everything I used to create and sell all my digital products
- Tools I use for my online courses/memberships
- What I use for email list hosting and sales funnels
When I first started my journey I used the GoDaddy & Squarespace combo. This was great for a while because it’s super cost-effective and simple.
But I noticed Squarespace was charging me three separate charges every month and I was ready for a rebrand. That’s when I switched to GoDaddy, ShowIt & WordPress, which is what I currently use.
Let me explain what each tool is for and how much each one costs my business.
Now, just because I own a domain, that doesn’t mean the website will magically appear!
You still have to build the actual website: you know, like the home page, about, contact, etc. That’s where ShowIt comes in.
ShowIt + WordPress
I switched to ShowIt because Macey, the gal I hired to do my branding and website building, sold ShowIt templates and I heard Jenna Kutcher talk about ShowIt a lot back then, so it was an easy yes.
ShowIt also has templates you can use on their website if you don’t want to hire someone to build for you.
I pay $29.99/month for ShowIt + Basic Blog subscription to make my website look as pretty as it is 😊.
That “+ Basic Blog” subscription is important so that I can post on my blog! With that ShowIt subscription, a limited WordPress subscription is packaged in with it. My guess is if you’re reading this, they did a good job integrating their tools!
So, what’s WordPress? WordPress is a content management system that basically hosts my blog posts. It has crazy customization and flexibility to help my posts rank on Google.
For full transparency, WordPress was really hard for me to understand. I’m not the most patient person when it comes to figuring out tech stuff, so Macey integrated WordPress for me because it was too complicated for me to figure out…
Since the limited version of WordPress I’m using is included in my ShowIt payments, the total cost of website tools comes out to be:
$32.50/month (or $390/year).
When I say “digital products”, I mean specifically the products that can be purchased on the ‘Shop’ tab on my website. These are E-Books, Templates, Guides, etc. Not my courses.
For the creation process, I made all of my digital products in Canva from scratch. There is a free version of Canva, so you don’t need to have a purchased version to make any digital products! I used the free version for the first two years of my business.
I only updated when I needed to add my team to folders and create a branding kit.
Currently, I’m paying $12.95/month for Canva Pro, which is probably my MOST USED tool out of all of these. I use Canva weekly, if not daily.
Now, to actually HOST the digital products I’m currently using Shopify and have been using Shopify since I first started selling products in 2019.
I love Shopify. I’ve never run into any issues with them. It’s great, simple to use, and I recommend it for anyone who wants to get started with selling e-commerce.
Now, I will say, for full transparency, over the past few months my team and I have been considering switching to SamCart, simply because I hired a Funnels Strategist and she has a few “upsell” ideas she wants to test out and SamCart offers more flexibility for that… we’ll talk about that later.
So depending on when you’re reading this, I might be on Shopify or SamCart. We’ll see!
I currently pay $29/month for the Basic Shopify subscription.
The next tool that has helped me with product sales (and another reason why I don’t want to leave Shopify) is Blyp.
Blyp is a Shopify app that gives you 24/7 real-time, 360 insight into your Shopify store and performance!
Basically, once I integrated Blyp with my Shopify I started getting 3-6 weekly “blyps” (sent via email). These blyps include actionable insights into your store, customers, products, and marketing.
For example, Blyp alerted me that 7 of the campaigns running are directing leads to 404 pages. It even sent me an Excel sheet with the links I need to fix and where I placed them. But that’s not it! Blyp even offered to FIX IT FOR ME. That was life-changing since as you know, I hate techy stuff.
If you have a Shopify account or will have one soon, I definitely recommend syncing your shop with Blyp.
They have a free option, or if you’re a business that gets up to 500 orders a month, you can upgrade to their starter package at $29/month. (And the money you’ll save with Blyp will more than cover this fee.)
Alright, SO the total cost for tools to help me and my team sell digital products comes to:
Let’s now talk about the tools I use for my online courses and memberships.
WebinarJam & EverWebinar
I use these two tools hand-in-hand.
So basically, somebody can watch my training whenever they want and I don’t have to be there live. They get the replay, watch my webinar and still have access to my view and pay for my online course afterward.
For WebinarJam, I started at $999/year, but now I’m at $4,000/year… which I don’t remember why so I need to reach back out to them…
For EverWebinar I pay $297/year.
With Thinkific, I’m on their monthly pro + Growth plan at $150/month.
This is where I host all my courses and workshops and all my students’ information is there.
I chose Thinkific because I love its interface from the student’s perspective. I’ve been a student on a few courses hosted on Thinkific and as a student, I loved how their platform compared to other ones I’ve used.
PayPal & Stripe
Pretty sure both of these are free. So that’s easy math.
If you’re into spoilers, you’ll love this one.
I’m launching a new membership in 2023 and I’ll be using Kajabi to host it. That price will be $199/month.
Total business expenses for just starting out with course hosting and having a webinar (no evergreen) are:
$1,149/year (or $95.75/month).
NOW, including the membership I’ll be launching and evergreen webinars, the cost is:
$8,485/year (or $707/month).
Email hosting and funnels
For those of you who don’t know, email hosting is when you have an email list and you send emails to that list. Yes, simple as that.
If you don’t have an email list yet, what are you doing? Read this post here on starting and growing your email list. You’ll see how important an email list is for your long-term growth.
When I switched from Squarespace to ShowIt, I started using Flodesk for email hosting.
Again, Flodesk is another platform I love and recommend to everyone. It’s beautiful and very user-friendly for us non-techy people.
For Flodesk, I pay $38/month.
However, I’m currently using ActiveCampaign.
ActiveCampaign is another email hosting platform. Their pricing is kind of like a “pay-per-subscriber” membership.
I pay $686/month for ActiveCampaign to host up to 25,000 people on my email list.
If you’re wondering, there are a couple of reasons I switched from FloDesk to ActiveCampaign.
The first being it integrates with all the other tools I use: WebinarJam, Thinkific, etc. Also, it has a lot of really cool functionalities/options for setting up proper funnels in the backend of your business.
SamCart is a platform you can use to replace Shopify.
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been thinking about switching from Shopify to SamCart. If I do, I will be paying $950/year.
The cool thing about SamCart is they have “upsell” options.
For example, if you go to my website and want to buy my “100 Instagram Caption Templates,” you can do that as is. With SamCart, when you add an item to your cart, there will be a little popup saying, “Would you also like this product?” and can help increase your overall sales.
Have you ever seen those countdown deals on the checkout page of a website? They usually say something along the lines of, “Get $100 off if you check out in the next 24 hours!” and there’s a clock counting down.
With Deadline Funnel, you can have that feature and they will actually track each user and remember when they first visited. If they try to purchase with the discount after the deadline, they’ll let you know the offer is expired and redirect you to the right page.
With Deadline Funnel, I pay $99/month for their Create plan.
In total, my business expenses when I was starting out were simply $38/month.
Today with all the additional tools I’ve started using, it’s:
How Much I Pay in Total For My Business
Let’s take a look at the total amount my business spends on my main tools and software:
- WEBSITE: $390/year – ($32.50/ month)
- PRODUCTS: $503.40/year – ($41.95/month)
- COURSE/EVERGREEN: $8,485/year – ($707/month)
- EMAIL/FUNNELS: $10,369.92/year – ($864.16/month)
Total: $19,748.32 yearly or $1,645.61 monthly
This doesn’t include other business expenses like my team, contractors, one-off projects, smaller tools that cost $1 or $5, taxes, etc. These are just the main business expenses.
I also want to add that you do not have to pay this much to run a successful business. When my business started, I used the free versions for every tool I could.
These are simply the tools I found best fit my needs for my business and team. That could look completely different for you, and that’s great!
If anything, my hope is this post at least gave you ideas on where you can start to grow your business and website.
Follow your joy!