If you’re making money from your blog or just want to elevate your hobby, it can be worth investing in a few things to help you look more professional, or make your life easier. You can definitely make a successful blog without spending money, but I thought it would be fun to go through a few of the tools I’ve invested in and talk about why I think they’re useful. Obviously this is just my opinion and may not apply to you and your blogging needs!
If you’re planning on making any money from your blog, I personally think it’s worth investing in your 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. Even if you’re just blogging for fun having your own domain can be pretty cool. 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 domain authority (something brands often look at before pitching collaborations), 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 blog, and give your websie 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. My current theme is from Code + Coconut* (AFFILIATE LINK) who offer lovely clean, contemporary WordPress themes at a reasonable price.
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 (except when I’m struggling to do something super easy on WordPress that seems near 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.
I’m passionate about photography so already owned a professional camera before I started blogging. This isn’t a necessary purchase, but if you’re serious about creating content a camera can make the world of difference. You can also get great results with phone cameras, and I’d recommend doing some research to make sure you’re getting the most out of them.
These are my five tools that I think are worth investing in if you’re a blogger. What are your must-have blogging tools?