So you want to start a blog? That’s awesome! But first, you have to ask yourself if you’re willing to put some money into your blog with essential blog investments.
There are so many blogging tools and services out there. You might be overwhelmed and wondering which ones are actually worth their cost.
If you’re blogging just for fun as a hobby, maybe they’re not worth the money. But if you’re blogging as a business with the goal of making money from your blog, you’ve gotta spend money to make money.
With any business, there are start-up costs involved. The same goes for blogging. But you have to look at the costs as blog investments.
You’re investing in your blog/business with the goal of those investments paying off and eventually supporting you financially.
Luckily, one of the (many) great things about blogging is that the entry cost to start blogging can be very minimal compared to starting other businesses.
You’ll save money by not having the overhead costs of a storefront or inventory. (Did you just hear the Cha-Ching! of money being saved?!)
However, there are a few blog investments worth the cost if you want your blog to be successful. I’m a very
cheap frugal person.
So if I bit the bullet and spent the money on these blog investments, it’s because I firmly believe they’re worth it! If you’re ready to invest in your blog business, keep reading for the blog investments you need to make.
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The Best Blog Investments for Starting a Successful Blog
1. Custom Domain Name
Let me ask you something… which URL looks more professional:
And which one is easier to remember?
Domain names are cheap and well worth the cost to have a professional-looking, custom blog URL. To get a custom domain name, you’ll first need to choose a blog name and make sure it’s available as a domain name.
You can check to make sure the custom domain name you want is available here:
Find a domain starting at $0.88
powered by Namecheap
If the name you want is available, great! Go ahead and purchase it. You’ll be glad you did! I previously purchased several domain names with GoDaddy. But I ended up transferring them to Namecheap and am so happy I did!
Namecheap offers super affordable pricing that includes free personal data privacy. Other domain name registrars charge for that! Plus, they’re easy to use. And their customer service rocks!
I highly recommend using Namecheap for your custom domain name. Most web hosting providers (see below) will also offer you the option of purchasing a custom domain name through them.
However, I found that they were more expensive than Namecheap. And I like to keep them separate, especially since it’s easy to point your domain name from Namecheap to a web hosting provider like SiteGround.
COST for a custom domain name with Namecheap as of writing this = $8.88/year (I told you it was cheap!)
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2. Web Hosting
Sure, you could go with a free blogging platform like WordPress.com or Wix. But if you want to become a pro blogger, you need to go the self-hosted WordPress route and pay for web hosting. This will give you unlimited customization options and blog monetization opportunities.
I chose SiteGround for my web hosting after doing A LOT of research on different web hosts. I kept seeing other bloggers switch from another popular web host to SiteGround. That sealed the deal for me, and I’ve been a happy SiteGround customer ever since!
SiteGround’s web hosting plans start at $6.99/month for the StartUp plan. But I sprung for the GrowBig plan ($9.99/month) for the extra features. My favorites are the back-ups and caching to boost site speed. Plus, it gives a blog more room to grow (which is the goal, right?).
Yes, there are cheaper web hosting options out there. But you get what you pay for. When choosing your web hosting provider, make sure you do your research first. Look at reviews as well as the data.
Is the customer service responsive and helpful? What’s their uptime, site loading time, and security? If you want your blog to be successful, these are all important things to consider.
COST for web hosting with SiteGround as of writing this = starting at $6.99/month
You may also like: 10 Ways to Look Like a Professional Blogger (Even When You’re Brand New)
3. Premium WordPress Theme
There are a ton of WordPress themes to choose from out there, even free ones. But a premium theme that you can fully customize is one of the blog investments that’s well worth it!
You may also like: Top 10 Blogging Tools Every Blogger Needs
4. Premium Caching Plugin
Have you ever visited a website only to sit for what felt like forever waiting for it to load? Did you stick around or give up and bounce?
Site speed is critical for keeping visitors on your blog. It’s also an important factor in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to get your blog to show up in Google search results.
A caching WordPress plugin is a must to help speed up your site. There are many to choose from, but the absolute best is a premium plugin called WP Rocket. It’s one of the best blog investments I’ve made!
By pairing WP Rocket with the SiteGround caching plugin included in my web hosting plan, I was able to drastically improve the site speed of my blog! The results speak for themself!
Site Speed BEFORE
Site Speed AFTER
Still wondering if WP Rocket is really worth the investment? I wrote a detailed WP Rocket review with my personal experience and opinion to help you make an informed decision.
COST for the premium caching plugin WP Rocket as of writing this = $49/year
You may also like: 10 Free Essential Plugins to Use for Your WordPress Blog
5. Design Tool + Stock Photos
Blogs need graphics and images. That’s a given. But how are you going to design them? I don’t know how I got by trying to design anything before Canva. This online graphic design tool makes designing graphics for your website or social media a joy!
It’s easy to use and the pre-made templates are super handy! You can use Canva for free. But there’s also a Pro version to kick your design level up a notch with custom fonts, transparent backgrounds, GIFs, and more!
With Canva Pro, you also get access to 60+ million premium stock images, photos, videos, and graphics. Whoah! The premium stock photos alone make Canva Pro worth it. You can even sell Canva templates with a Canva Pro account, which I plan on doing eventually.
I’ll be honest. I used the free version of Canva for awhile. But a Canva Pro membership was at the top of my list for the next investment I wanted to make. I was so excited when I was finally able to upgrade and am never looking back! #worthit
COST for designing with Canva Pro as of writing this = $9.95/month when paid annually or $12.95 when paid monthly
6. Pin Scheduler for Pinterest
Pinterest is a huge source of traffic for bloggers! In fact, it’s my number one referral source. Countless bloggers credit Pinterest for their success in getting their content seen and driving massive traffic to their sites. And the best part, Pinterest is free!
If you don’t want to spend all day every day Pinning on Pinterest to try to get people to visit your blog, I recommend using Tailwind to schedule your Pins and automate your Pinning.
In addition to saving time with bulk scheduling Pins, Tailwind also has other super helpful tools, such as Tribes, interval scheduling, Board Lists, and more. Definitely check it out! You can use Tailwind for free with the Free Forever plan.
If you want to stick to manual Pinning or try a mixed strategy with both manual and scheduled Pinning, the Pinteresting Strategies Course is a huge help (see the next blog investment I recommend)!
COST for scheduling Pins with Tailwind as of writing this = FREE with the Free Forever Plan, or starting at $9.99/month for a paid plan when paid annually (paid plans start at $14.99 when paid monthly)
7. Pinterest Course
Pinterest is one of those things I’ve spent countless hours researching. I thought I could figure out Pinterest on my own to drive traffic to my blog. Epic fail!
After months of pitiful blog traffic numbers, I finally decided to invest in the Pinteresting Strategies course other bloggers were swearing by. I didn’t know what it could possibly teach me that I didn’t already know. But… then I took the course and WHOAH!
There was so much helpful information I had never even heard of or thought of before. And the course is super affordable. I highly recommend it!
COST for the Pinteresting Strategies course as of writing this = $57
8. Email Marketing Service
Emailing can be a lifeline for your blog income. So you want to make sure you’re focused on growing your email list as well as nurturing it. What’s the point of getting thousands of email subscribers if you don’t keep in touch with them?
Once you build an email list, you need to keep in contact with your subscribers by emailing them regularly. When I was looking for an email marketing service, it felt like they were all missing something and/or too expensive.
Many bloggers love using ConvertKit and highly recommend it. But when you’re not making much (if any) money from blogging yet, the higher price tag can be a major deterrent.
Luckily, CovertKit came out with a free plan you can try. But the features and functionality are pretty limited since automated funnels and email sequences aren’t included (you kinda need that).
So if you want a super affordable (even FREE) option with all the features you need to get started with email marketing, go with MailerLite! Aside with the fact that you can start using MailerLite for free, it also allows you to create visually appealing emails and segment your subscribers easily.
The free version gives you up to 1,000 subscribers. But the paid plans beyond that are still super affordable! You can also create landing pages, popups, surveys, and embeddable opt-in forms with MailerLite.
COST for emailing with MailerLite as of writing this = FREE up to 1,000 subscribers then starting at just $10-$15/month
Wrapping Up the Blog Investments You Need To Make When You Start a Blog
I get it. It’s hard to justify spending money before you’re making money. But you have to think of the costs associated with blogging as blog investments.
If you plan on blogging for the long haul, you should see those investments pay off. By investing in your blog, you’re investing in your business.
As someone who hates spending money when I don’t have to, these are the blog investments I decided to make. And I don’t regret a single one!
Have you made any blog investments you’re happy you spent the money on? Share them in the comments below!
For a full list of all the blogging tools and resources I use and recommend, be sure to download your free Ultimate Blogging Tools Checklist with over 70 Blogging Tools to take your blog to the next level!
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