Let me preface this by saying that you can have a blog and not spend a dime on it and have it be a space that you are proud of. Blogging does not have to cost you a penny. For me, that was the beauty of starting out on Blogger. I wanted to try blogging but didn’t want to risk making an investment in anything only to find out that it wasn’t for me or that it was going to be a short-lived hobby. Once I had been blogging for a bit I started making decisions about where and how I was going to invest in my blog. As time goes on, I am constantly weighing the pros and cons of making further investments. The beauty of blogging? You make it what you want and you get from point A to point Z how you want. Everyone’s journey differs and what works for one person may not be the best case scenario for someone else. I am always looking for ways to improve my blog and streamline my blogging process. I have found that the following blog investments, though not necessary, have helped me along the way and have been worth every penny.
Blog Investments Worth Every Penny
I may have started out on Blogger but I opted from the get go to purchase my own domain name. Blogger provides you with a domain but I felt that the “blogspot” detracted from my blog. I wanted my blog to start out on its own two feet so to speak and have its own name. I stated above that I didn’t want to invest much in my blog at first but this was a minimal financial investment that I felt that if blogging wasn’t for me, I was ok being out that money.
Kudos to those of you out there that can do this on their own. I lack the knowledge, experience, and confidence to do much so I opted to purchase a blog template. You know that saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”? Let’s be honest. We often do just that when it comes to blog designs. A site that is hard to navigate, aesthetically un-pleasing, and poorly organized leads readers to be frustrated and therefore decreasing the chances of them returning to your site. Etsy is a gold mine when it comes to searching for blog templates. You will find a variety of prices so there is bound to be something that fits in your budget. Clearly not everyone has the same tastes and your design should reflect your tastes. Having said that, truly focus on navigation and ease and making your blog a welcoming space. You want readers to be able to easily locate things and not strain themselves to read light print or be distracted by loud colors and designs.
WordPress, by far, has been the biggest investment for my blog. Along with this platform comes needing hosting, a domain name (if you hadn’t already purchased it), a theme and in my case, a person to conduct the transfer from Blogger to WordPress. It is the most I have spent on my blog and I have yet to regret a penny of it.
Now that I am on WordPress there’s the whole new world of plug ins. I only pay for one plug in and it is worth it. CoSchedule allows me to schedule my social media promotions for my posts right from my dashboard. I can use it as an editorial calendar as well and with a click, drag, and a drop I can schedule posts. I can also schedule promotions for my sponsors as well.
I tried Photoshop. I just couldn’t wrap my head around it and therefore couldn’t justify the monthly payments. Pic Monkey, on the other hand, allows me to easily create graphics for my blog. I opted to upgrade to the Royale version for the added features (more fonts, more overlays, no ads, more collage options and more).
Wisestamp is a recent investment for me. I love the professional look it gives my emails. If you are trying to reach out to other bloggers and businesses it’s a nice added professional touch.Your blog can be a great investment. How do you invest in yours? Click To Tweet
Board Booster and Tailwind
I attribute my Pinterest growth to Board Booster and Tailwind. I did a post comparing Tailwind and Board Booster for scheduling pins earlier this year. I can spend 10-15 minutes a day scheduling pins and sit back with confidence knowing that Board Booster and Tailwind are doing the work for me. Looking to grow your Pinterest presence and drive more traffic to your blog? Try using either one of these tools!
Sick of me talking about my blog planner yet? I could not blog without one and knowing that I could personalize and design one that fit my blog’s needs was worth every penny I spent on it (and believe me, they could charge more for it in my opinion because it is that amazing). Even better? That discount code I gave you at the end of that post still works til the end of the month. Treat yourself and your blog to the gift of organization this holiday season.
Styled Stock Library Memberships
I recently shared the best kept secret in styled stock photography. For those of us that choose to let others’ photos grace their blogs this is money well spent. Don’t want to commit to a monthly subscription? That’s ok. You can purchase photos individually from any one of these great resources.
In my opinion, there is only so much self promotion you can do. After awhile it seems like you are preaching to the choir. You may choose to spend a bit of money to widen your reach. Sponsoring other blogs can bring new readers to your blog and expand your blogging community. Bloggers set their own prices so you are sure to be able to find a sponsorship option within your budget.
What investments have you made in your blog? Are there any you can recommend?