While you can start a blog at relatively low cost or even for free but you will need to do some necessary investments in order to keep the blog gig going and grow gradually.
Goes without saying, time is an essential investment you need to do. You got to be disciplined to block out time to learn and implement the strategies that help you sustain.
Apart from time, you will need to make ongoing monetary investments to build a professional and profitable blog, more specifically in content marketing and design.
In this article, I am going to talk about the blogging investments that will pay themselves back. Let’s dive in.
1. Custom domain and self-hosting
Purchasing a custom domain (formerly nettyfeed.com, now bloggingexplained.com) was one of my best investments that I ever made to build this blog and my identity, I am glad that I did.
Having your own custom domain develop incredibly professional identity than having a free blog attached with an extension like a .blogspot.com or .wordpress.com.
By doing so, you can also enjoy the perks like SEO rankings, collaborations with brands, and many more that come along the way. So don’t hesitate on getting a custom brand domain name for yourself.
Let’s talk about the web hosting.
When you use free hosted blogging platforms, you will be held to limitations in terms of blog customization, functionality and monetization. It means that you own nothing on the Internet estate.
So is the reason I always suggest people to go self-hosted to have complete control on your blog. Without a second word, Bluehost is the name I’d suggest to start a self-hosted blog.
Usually a custom domain would cost you $10-20 per year depending on the TLD extension you choose.
But as you go with Bluehost, you get a little bonus when you sign up for web hosting ($2.65/month) with them. Not to be neglected!
Beyond all, Bluehost is cheap, reliable and beginner-friendly hosting with which the blog setup process gets automated and easy, no technical process involved.
2. Blog design
To have a presentable blog appeal is important for you to build authority and grow readership in the long haul.
Foremost, theme plays a major role in that. It should be well designed, clean, easy-to-navigate and SEO-friendly.
When I started out, my blog would look crap – full of colors and unnecessary elements. Not a pretty sight. I was using a free theme and their customization was poor.
Until one day, I decided to go with premium theme called Astra. And doing so helped me a lot in shifting my focus to other blog growth strategies.
It doesn’t mean that you too should buy one.
It is perfectly fine to design your blog with free versions of themes like Astra or GeneratPress while you launch the blog. As you scale, you can upgrade to their premium version.
But hey, if you have money to invest, I’d suggest to opt a paid theme like Thrive to save hours of work and make it easy to customize your blog look as the way you want.
If you find it hard to figure out designing part, then you might want to look into hiring a designer.
Most popular WordPress themes cost you $50-150 depending on the design features they offer.
3. Blogging tools
Having right tools help you blog better and stand out from the crowd. Most of these come with the free and paid versions, so it is your choice to pick up the right ones that add value to your blog.
Here are some you will want to try:
Also check out, 17 best WordPress plugins for your blog
At some point in time, you may feel overwhelming with all the work that you do alone – writing, designing, SEO, and networking.
That is when you will want to outsource some of the work and feel the relief. You don’t have to be everything for everyone.
Consider outsourcing content writing work. You can even hire them at websites like Freelancer.com, upwork, fiverr, peoplesperhour, etc. You will have the quality outputs and safety throughout the process.
There’s so much competition for content marketing, it is hard to be SEO-rewarded with a great content alone. You also need quality backlinks as upvotes to your content, so consider outsourcing the link building job as well.
Your blog’s overall quality can go up if you hire quality freelancers, you will start to see better results, more traffic, signups, better SEO rankings – simply because more work is getting done.
If you want to scale your overall efforts and transform your blog into a business, then you must think like an entrepreneur and start outsourcing.
Help has always been available in super affordable rates – just look around.
5. Learning resources
As you scale your blogging efforts, it’s important you invest in learning next level growth strategies. They could be available in the form of online courses, eBooks, etc.
I can speak from my experience, in a matter of months or even days, you can learn any new skill that you want, master it and put it to generate money for you. There are hundreds of jam-packed resources that are full of actionable content to help you succeed as a blogger.
The best, most trusted online learning platform is Udemy. In fact, I recently purchased Instagram course from Lisa Sicard of Inspiretothrive on Udemy. Since then I’m applying the learned theory tips to practical to make myself Instagram-ready.
See, it is that easy. So when you’re ready to learn lucrative skill that you’ve been thinking off, Just input the name and get the top most recommendations in no time – Bingo!
6. Paid ads
Paying for ads can be one of the best investments you could do to grow your blog as a beginner.
“Depending on one’s budget, spending some money on ads to get your blog some early recognition can be wise. Just use the money wisely and target the right spaces (social media ads are great), says Anthony Gaenzle.”
Some of the most effective ad network platforms are:
- Social media ads (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc)
- Display ads
- Google ads
- Paid content discovery with platforms like Outbrain, Taboola, Zest.is, etc
Prepare paid traffic strategy that suits your goals – You just want to achieve traffic, or you want to make affiliate money by drawing traffic to landing pages?
7. Collaborating with Influencers
You partner with (pay) popular bloggers and marketers of your niche who usually have a big, engaged audience to promote you.
As Pedro Okoro mentioned in a comment, collaborate with right peers and influencers as much as possible to reach massive audience, build trust for yourself, and get more conversions.
As a newbie, you don’t necessarily need to pay a big money for an Influencer who have millions of followers. Start small targeting smaller audience groups by partnering with entry or next level influencers. As you start to be achieving decent R.O.I (Return on Investment), you can expand the strategy anytime.
Final thoughts on blogging investment
Here are some of the handpicked resources you may want to take a look at:
Free has it’s limitation and you don’t get everything for free. So be willing to invest in things mentioned above and take your blog to the next level.
So who are you in blogging industry?
Aspirant? beginner? mid-level blogger? Have you made the jump for blogging investments yet?
Drop me a comment if you enjoyed reading this post and have anything to say about it.