6 investments all beginning bloggers will have to decide to make (or not)
As a someone new to blogging for profit you will soon find out that there is so much to learn. If you are a fresh faced newbie like I was to the world of blogging for profit you may begin to feel as if you have to invest in all the things. But there are some things that are definitely necessary to purchase on the front end, while many you can hold off on until you are bringing in income. This is especially true if you don’t have a ton of money laying around to invest into a new blog like the majority of people starting out. Let’s look at 5 of the biggest investments you will make.
Time is one of your most precious assets and although you don’t pay money for it, it does cost and it can be extremely expensive! That is why it is critical that you decide how to spend your time wisely when building your blog. There will be so many things to do and create that prioritization is key. For example, you may want to prioritize investing time in learning more about search engine optimization over prettying up your site for now.
You will dedicate a lot of time to the life of your blog, but the the things you do on the front end will cost the most. When I started my blog I had (and still do have) a full time job and another business on the side so I understood that there would be many sleepless nights as I began to blog for profit. In reality, I had no idea the amount of time and dedication it would take to create a profitable blog. It truly is like having another full time job!
You will most likely be your own web designer, marketer, social media manager, and branding specialist. If you’re blessed enough to have the funds to delegate those tasks to a professional then by all means but most likely you will be your blogs everything for a while.
If you’re going to spend money on anything, invest in knowledge! If you have a couple hundred to sometimes thousands of dollars to spare, I would begin by investing in focused, quality workshops and courses that will teach you how to propel your business forward. I talk a little bit more about the main type of courses you’ll want to have under your belt. Before I began blogging as more than a hobby, I invested a lot of money into a big gulp course, the price was difficult to swallow and before I pressed purchase I took a couple of rather large gulps. I talk a little bit about the course here. Spending hundreds to thousands on good quality courses may seem extreme, but will prove it’s worth in the outcome.
You will need a self hosted website and a hosting platform to accompany it if you are building a professional blog. This will cost you average a couple of dollars a month (normally billed annually). So, you will have to spend some money, but at this point don’t spend a lot on the frills of upgrading plugins or customized themes. Unless you have money to burn I would hold off on purchasing a fancy theme because most likely you will be changing your mind in the future. I was not that savvy when I started and threw money at making my site pretty instead of making it functional. My site was beautiful, but my subscription sign ups were not working so even if someone wanted to subscribe to my email list they couldn’t and as we all know email lists can make or break a business.
Hiring a web designer is also a good purchase if you are not tech savvy at all or just don’t have the time to invest in building your website. In today’s world of drag and drop, it is pretty simple build your own, so I would hold off on paying someone and power through building your own site. If you find it impossible, then I would seek out professional help.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
You don’t actually have to spend much money on SEO unless you want to hire someone to optimize your website for you. There is a ton of truly helpful, free information on the internet that you can find about the subject. Free masterclasses or low cost workshops are also pretty prevalent on the web. There are also free plugins that you can purchase with an option to upgrade when you are prepared to invest further. I would always start with the free version of the plugin and stick with that until you are bringing in money from your site.
I’m no fortune teller, but I can tell you that you will change something major about your business within the first 6-12 months. It could be the name, focus or website theme (I changed all three a couple of times) but as creatives we often fall in and out of love with our choices. For this reason I would hold off on spending tons of money on branding when you’re initially starting out. Wait until you are set on something to begin throwing money at branding as if you are consistently changing your mind it could also mean money down the drain.
Logo design is where I would make an exception. Once you have a color palette chosen and name use a low cost design website to have someone make a logo for you. These designs can cost as little as $5 so although it’s an investment, you aren’t breaking the bank. Once your blog becomes profitable then I would speak to a professional about taking your branding further.
There are plenty of free or low cost ways to advertise your blog, the first and most obvious is word of mouth, make sure you are telling everyone you know to tell everyone they know! You can also get fliers or business cards made with the detailed information about your blog and go grassroots marketing style. You can read more about free and low-cost ideas to market your blog here.
Although the bulk of the time you spend on social media should be building your presence, you can also use their ads to promote your blog. It is also common knowledge that most social media sites have scaled advertising that you can purchase, you just have to ensure that the information is getting to your target audience.
These are all things that early on, I found I had to spend money or wished I hadn’t spend as much money on. What things would you add to the list?
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