Blogging can be an expensive business! These days, blogging is more than just writing a post and hitting “publish”. There are tonnes of resources marketed to bloggers, all promising the moon and stars if you invest. Every day I receive e-mail pitches from other bloggers and creators asking me to invest in their resources, blogging courses etc etc.
Over the last year I’ve made some investments that have been completely game-changing for my blog. Others…well, not so much!
To help you guys out, and make sure that your pennies are spent wisely, I’ve put together a list of blogging investments that I’ve found have been TOTALLY worth making!
Let’s get to it!
*This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase. This is at no cost to you! I will not endorse any products or brands which I do not believe in or use myself*
I genuinely couldn’t recommend Siteground as a host enough – I’m really glad that I decided to invest in their hosting package. There are SO many reasons to go self-hosted, here are just a few:
1. If Blogger or WordPress.com shut down one day, you’d lose everything as you don’t have access to your server to back-up your site. Imagine all your months and years of hard work being gone without a trace within the space of a day?!
2. It makes your site look more professional and you have full creative control
3. If you have a hosted blog – WordPress choose the ads that are featured on your site and where they’re placed. Or you can choose not to have any ads on your site at all!
4. You can monetise and use affiliate links
5. Optimise your SEO – A self-hosted blog has far more opportunities to optimize your content for search engines like Google. Google places greater trust in custom domain names than in a free blog.
6. Storage – When you’re running a free blog, posting regularly and using lots of images – it won’t be long before you get that dreaded notification that you’ve run out of storage. My self-hosting plan with Siteground made sure I have enough storage space for the content that I want to create.
I recently re-branded my whole blog by following the Leverage e-book by Summer from Coffee With Summer step-by-step. I’m so happy with the results, my blog feels more authentic and true to the brand I wanted to create. I would definitely recommend Leverage to someone who wants to start a successful lifestyle blog, but especially to someone who has lost their way in blogging (just like I had). Even though my re-brand is complete – I still find myself referring back to Leverage each time I come up with a new idea for my blog, just to make sure it fits my brand. This e-book really helped me to get back on track, it’s the best online blogging resource I’ve bought. It’s only $25 – which is a tiny investment compared to the results!
If you’re going to invest in any blogging course, these are 100% worth the tiny investment of $20 (£14.41 – for my UK readers) each. Both are by Ell from EllDuclos .
There are some MUCH more expensive courses out there that don’t teach you anything beyond the basics. I learnt my whole Pinterest strategy from Ell. It’s important to remember that just because some courses are more expensive, it doesn’t guarantee that you’re going to get more out of them! Do your research and make sure that you read GENUINE reviews before you invest in something that isn’t worth your money.
Tailwind is an app which allows you to schedule your pins on Pinterest, both to your own boards and to group boards.
There are a few different plans for Tailwind – ranging from free to paid plans. I pay around £9.00 per month in my plan and it’s worth every penny. My traffic has doubled and by scheduling your pins – you don’t have to sit and manually pin 60-odd pins per day. Winner!
Plus, now that BoardBooster is no more – Tailwind have created SmartLoop. It’s currently in the Beta stage but it will eventually be rolled out to all Tailwind users! SmartLoop allows you to “loop” your pins – so that all your evergreen content is shared to your group boards on a “loop”.
It basically makes sure that you appear active on Pinterest – without you having to spend a lot of time on there. WINNER.
Your Blog Theme
My first ever blog had the same theme as 45896785358 other blogs out there – because my options were basic and limited. Self-hosted blogs have literally THOUSANDS of customisable themes to choose from so you can make your blog truly stand out from the rest.
Having a slick, customised theme will help your blog to look more professional to your readers AND to brands that you could potentially collaborate with in the future.
I always buy my themes from either Etsy or Pipdig. One of the great things about paid themes is that they are usually already optimised for mobile. With so many people accessing the internet from their phones/tablets these days – it’s ESSENTIAL that your blog displays well on every device.
I attended the Only Just Media Summit in August 2018 and I can honestly hand-on-heart say that it has been the BEST investment I have made for my blog and brand so far. I met amazing people, formed friendships, listened to incredible speakers and I even have some exciting collaborations in the pipeline too. As someone who suffers from anxiety, going to events has always been something I’ve avoided but now I can’t wait for my next blogging event. Travelling to events can be pricey but the connections and lessons you’ll gain from attending are INVALUABLE.
What’s the best investment you’ve made for your blog? I’d love to hear in the comments!