The Blog Investments You Need To Make When You Start a Blog

by | August 2020 | 21 comments

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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.

8 Blog Investments Worth Making

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The Best Blog Investments for Starting a Successful Blog

Search and buy domains from Namecheap

1. Custom Domain Name

Let me ask you something… which URL looks more professional: 

nextdestinationunknown.com

OR

nextdestinationunknown.wordpress.com

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!)

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?).

Pricing for SiteGround Web Hosting Plans

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

Divi WordPress Theme

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! 

I use and absolutely love the Divi Theme by Elegant Themes for all the customization options. The visual builder makes it easy to completely customize a website without having to know any code.

It also comes with two awesome WordPress plugins as added bonuses – the Bloom email opt-in plugin and Monarch social sharing plugin. These handy plugins make the Divi Theme even more worth it!

>>> Get 10% OFF the Divi Theme here! <<<

COST for the premium WordPress Divi Theme as of writing this = $89/year (or $80/year with the 10% OFF Discount!

You may also like: Top 10 Blogging Tools Every Blogger Needs

WP Rocket - WordPress Caching Plugin

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

GTmetrix Site Speed Score BEFORE Site Speed Optimization

Site Speed AFTER

GTmetrix Site Speed Results AFTER Site Speed Optimization

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’ve been using the free version of Canva. But the next investment on my list to make is a Canva Pro membership! I’m counting down till I can upgrade!

>>> Sign up here to try Canva Pro FREE for 30 days! <<<

COST for designing with Canva Pro as of writing this = $9.95/month when paid annually or $12.95 when paid monthly

*PRO TIP: You can currently get CASH BACK on Canva with Rakuten! Sign up for Rakuten for FREE here to start earning cash back on your purchases!

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 try Tailwind for free with your first 100 Pins.

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 = $9.99/month when paid annually or $14.99 when paid monthly

You may also like: Pinterest for Blogging Ultimate Guide – Here are the Best Tips & Tools for How to Use Pinterest to Drive Traffic to Your Blog

Pinteresting Strategies Course Pinterest for Blogging Tools

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

MailerLite email marketing for small business

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.

And to top it off, MailerLite integrates with other tools I use, such as the Divi Theme and Bloom email opt-in plugin. This makes it super easy to manage everything!

COST for emailing with MailerLite as of writing this = FREE up to 1,000 subscribers then starting at just $10-$15/month

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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!

Leave a question or comment HERE!

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8 Blog Investments Worth Making plus Free Blogging Tools Checklist
Blog Investments You Need To Make When You Start a Blog To Have Blogging Success
8 Blog Investments Worth Making When You Start a Blog
Briana Nickas

Behind the Blog

I’m Briana Nickas, a part-time RVer who loves RVing, hiking, visiting National Parks, and taking photos. My happiest days are spent on the road with my hubby and our fur-baby Saucy (a 7-lb maltipoo) exploring the country and meeting fellow adventurers along the way… READ MORE

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CANVA – Canva makes it super easy to design eye-catching graphics and Pins for your blog. Sign up for a FREE Canva account and try Canva Pro FREE for 30 days HERE.

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Leave a Comment!

21 Comments

  1. David

    I’ve been slowly adding bit by bit to my blogging armoury, was massively lucky to get an offer from Bluehost for a year for 1 quid which is amazing! Think I’m either gonna treat myself to a Pinterest course or a stock image website subscription next! I’ll be moving down this list bit by bit! Thanks for the post

    Reply
    • Briana Nickas

      There you go… treat yo self! 👍😄 Reinvest those savings into another worthy blogging tool! Check out the Pinteresting Strategies course (very affordable for a course!) and definitely consider Canva Pro for stock photos since it also doubles as an awesome design tool. Hope they help!

      Reply
  2. Benedetta from The Planning Geek

    I love this post! I saw spending money on my blog as an investment from the beginning, and I know it will pay off! I don’t know where I would have been without Canva😂 (even though I use the free version); it made even someone like me enjoy graphics and design!

    Reply
    • Briana Nickas

      So glad you like the post, Benedetta! That’s great that you treated your blog as a business and saw the value of investing in it from the start. And isn’t Canva the best?! 🙌 😁

      Reply
  3. Karen Chen

    Oh my goodness, I’m in love with the beautiful blue hues in your blog! I also agree completely with having your own domain name. I recently started taking blogging seriously and made the leap, and I wish I had started with a custom domain! I’ve been so much rapid growth that has not happened back in the Blogger days. Thanks for sharing x

    Reply
    • Briana Nickas

      Thanks so much, Karen! I’m always questioning my branding color choices and thinking about changing them. 🤦‍♀️ It’s so nice to know that you like them! I guess I’ll leave them as is (for now… haha!). 😊 And better late than never with your blog. That’s awesome that you’re treating your blog as a business now with a custom domain name and seeing growth. 🙌 Keep it going!

      Reply
  4. The Online Course Hub

    What a brilliant post! I’ve been thinking about Pinterest scheduling as an investment for a while now, so it’s good to see it in someone’s must-haves for investments!

    Reply
    • Briana Nickas

      Thank you! I went back and forth for a while on whether or not to invest in Tailwind. But I finally did it, and it’s been a huge help!

      I do a combination of both manual and scheduled pinning. I like having scheduled pins in case I don’t get a chance to pin manually throughout the day or want to take a day off.

      The times I haven’t had my pinning schedule full with Tailwind, I’ve seen drops in my Pinterest views. So I know it’s helping! I also really like the Tribes feature to get my posts seen and pinned by more people.

      By combining Tailwind with the manual pinning strategies I learned from the Pinteresting Strategies course, I’ve been able to increase my Pinterest monthly views to over 500k! 😁 Hope this info helps!

      Reply
  5. Holly

    Love this! These are such great points. I still need to implement a few. Thanks for sharing this! So helpful! 🙂

    Reply
    • Briana Nickas

      Thanks, Holly! Glad you found the post helpful. 🙂 Definitely give these blog investments a try when you can.

      Reply
  6. Linda Egeler

    I launched my blog a few months ago and thought I had everything covered. Now I realize I need to look into WP Rocket. Thanks for the tip!

    Reply
    • Briana Nickas

      Congrats on launching your new blog, Linda! WP Rocket is a game-changer! Hope you’re able to try it out. 🙂

      Reply
    • Briana Nickas

      Hope they help you decide on the best options for investing in your blog. 🙂

      Reply
  7. Amy

    I can agree with all of these! I had taken so long in deciding whether I needed an ESP when I was first starting out, that I was missing so many opportunities to connect with my audience earlier on! Wish I had seen this when I was first starting, thanks for compiling this handy list!

    Reply
    • Briana Nickas

      Thanks for your comment, Amy! Better late than never getting set up with an ESP (Email Service Provider). 🙂 When I was researching how to start a blog, I came across so many other bloggers who said they wished they had focused on email sign-ups from the beginning. So luckily I was able to learn from their mistake and hope to help others do the same.

      Reply
  8. Nissa

    These tools make a bloggers life so much easier! Also makes one look prepress up all in the blogging world. The only one I haven’t done is a Pinterest course. Still figuring out which one will benefit me. 🙂

    Reply
    • Nissa

      *professional** lol 😂 hate autocorrect

      Reply
    • Briana Nickas

      So glad you clarified because I could not figure out what you meant by “prepress up all”. Haha! 🤣 I totally agree about wanting to look professional from the start.

      As for a Pinterest Course, there are a lot out there. I chose to go with Pinteresting Strategies because so many other bloggers swore by it, and it’s so affordable. I’m all about being frugal and saving money when I can! 🙂

      I like that I always have access to course updates. So when Pinterest makes any changes (which happens A LOT), I can stay on top of them. There’s also a helpful Facebook Group for the course.

      Reply
  9. Jess

    I am thankful to have this info! Thank you!!

    Reply
    • Briana Nickas

      Happy to help! 🙂 Hope this info makes it easier to determine which blogging tools are best to invest in for your blog.

      Reply

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