When it comes to money and blogging it’s all a bit hush-hush. We don’t like talking about how much our collaborations are worth, or how much we’ve spent on x, y or z, and I get that. However, there are certain things that many bloggers do spend money on, and whilst you can definitely make a successful blog without spending money, there are certain things that have real benefit to your content. I thought it would be fun to go through a few of them and talk about why I think they’re useful. Obviously this is just my opinion etc. so take it as you wish.
I personally think everyone should invest in their own domain. Mine literally cost £2.50 for the first year with GoDaddy, and I got it when I was still using Blogger. It was so easy to set up and makes you instantly look more professional. Obviously some people do just blog for fun (myself included to an extent) but having your own domain is kinda cool even if that is the case. A .com is often more expensive than a .co.uk, but if you look for deals you could end up getting a pretty good bargain.
Having a personalised domain also ensures that you’re being original. If you can’t have a certain domain, it’s likely that a business or blogger shares your blog name, which could pose problems further down the line if you decide to get more serious with it. It’s also worth saying that you can buy a domain and not use it straight away if you don’t want to. The amount of time you’ve owned a domain can help improve your DA, so if you know you’re going to want it eventually, it might be worth making the investment sooner rather than later.
Another must for me is a theme, though there are hundreds of free themes out there too, especially for Blogger users. Themes let you inject a bit of personality into your work, and give your webpage its own personality. If you’re new to blogging I would 100% suggest starting out with a free theme, but many of my Blogger themes only cost around £10 – £15 when I did start spending money on them. Search places like Etsy and Creative Market for unique ones.
Similar to this is getting your own logo design. I designed my logo myself, but if I couldn’t have I would have paid someone else in a heartbeat. If your design skills aren’t as great as you’d like, I’d really suggest paying someone to make you one. Again, look on Etsy or Creative Market, or ask around on Twitter.
Paying for hosting was one of my best blogging decisions. I don’t miss Blogger at all (save when I’m struggling to do something super easy on WordPress that seems near on impossible but I could tell you exactly how to do it on Blogger) and I love being self-hosted. My first year of hosting was super cheap, but this year it’s only increased to around £30 for the year. This may not be feasible for everyone, and if you’re happy on the platform you’re currently using it’s certainly not a necessity, but it’s something that I personally feel has been money well spent.
If you’re a blogger who takes their own photos, I think investing in some key props is such a good idea. You don’t have to spend loads (plenty of places do free wallpaper samples for backgrounds, for example) but just having a few pieces to fall back on when you’re getting your camera out is going to really help you. I wouldn’t say I’ve necessarily bought any props specifically for photos, but I’ve definitely made purchases with my blog in mind.
This falls under the same category as hosting in that it’s not really necessary, but I’m a huge believer in the power of the camera over the iPhone. I’ve said before that I have seen some amazing iPhone photos, but personally I just can’t get the same results as I can from my camera. You certainly don’t have to invest in a DSLR, and in fact there are plenty of excellent bridge cameras out there that I would almost suggest you don’t unless you’re really going to make an effort to improve your skills. I love my Olympus PEN, but my DSLR definitely has a place in my process too.
So there you have it, five tools that I think are worth investing in if you’re a blogger. I know these aren’t going to be for everyone, but I’d still like to know what you think!