It’s no secret that in business you have to spend money to make money, why should your blog be any different? It’s a business, you make money from it (or at least that’s the goal), you want it to succeed… so why not invest in your business to make it bigger and better? With that being said, I’m not sitting telling you to spend spend spend, nor am I telling you that everything you spend money on will have a huge return. Through my experience both as a blogger and a blog consultant, I’ve found that a few blog investments can go a long way.
Blog Investments That Are Worth the Money
I purchased my blog theme from CreativeMarket.com and have had zero regrets. The first few times I created my blog site I tried to do my best with what was free on WordPress… I quickly learned that the options were pretty limiting when it came to creating a space that was easy to navigate- and on brand for me. Creative Market offers thousands of design options for various sites. You can find themes for $20, you can find them for $200, and of course everywhere in between.
2. Self Hosting
BlueHost is one of the more affordable options I researched when I made the switch to a self hosting site. There were dozens of resources that helped me make the switch from using WordPress.com or WordPress.org + self hosting. But why self hosting? First off, it makes you appear more professional. More professional also equals more reputable. But perhaps even more importantly, you have the ultimate control with a self hosted site. You can monetize your blog, install plug ins, change code and so much more. Also, if you plan to use LTK, then you must you self hosting.
I use a Canon T6I for my body (it has wifi + bluetooth capability, which is a HUGE perk) and typically a Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens. I also own the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens. I started with the 50mm lens and for the first year of owning my camera, I never used another lens! Having a lens that doesn’t break the bank (if you’ve ever looked up lenses, you know the price tags can be in the $1,000s), but still gets the job done is CLUTCH. Using a camera instead of your iPhone will truly help you bring your blog game up a level. It also makes editing the photos 1000x easier (so make sure you shoot in RAW!).
Gone are the days of not being able to afford Adobe programs! You can now spend $10 a month (and yes you read that right) to have professional photo-editing tools at your finger tips. You can edit RAW images from your camera like a pro. You can do some advanced editing on an iPhone photo. And you can create graphics that stand out from the crowd. Both the desktop and mobile versions come in handy depending on the project. Truly one of the best blog investments you can make.
One of my favorite photo editing apps is A Color Story. There are both mobile and desktop versions, but I have only used the app on my phone. It’s the final stop in my editing process. You do have to pay for the different packs and effects- or you can pay monthly for the service. The monthly payments is pretty new, so I have already invested in the packs and effects that I love. Don’t forget, these are a tax write off, so don’t feel too awful spending $2.99 to get some fun filters.
For $105 a year, you can have a terabyte of space. For those not super tech savvy, that is a LOT of space. You would have to pay an obscene amount of money to have that much space on your computer directly. Dropbox is a fantastic investment because it’s essentially an external hard drive that comes with you everywhere. You can access it from any computer, or phone for that matter. You can also set Dropbox up to automatically back up any images you take on your phone. I even use Dropbox as the way to send content for blog approval. Worth every penny.
Pro Tip: Download the Dropbox App to your phone!
The only way to keep your head above water is to be organized, ya feel? You can create content calendars all day, but if you don’t have a scheduling tool to plan ahead digitally, you’re going to feel overwhelmed. I love using Tailwind to schedule out my Pins. Whether it’s pinning posts from my blog, my Instagram or other people’s pins, it’s the only tool I trust when it comes to Pinterest.
I have used both Later and Planoly for Instagram. Each have pros and cons. For example, Later is a cost effective way to schedule posts for multiple accounts, but I feel that Planoly is more user friendly. I also enjoy using Preview for a more fluid way to plan ahead. I don’t use it to schedule posts, but more of a way to lay out my grid and keep future posts and captions saved.