Updated November 16, 2017
Over the years, I have spent lots of time and money growing my blog. I am proud to say it is now a part-time job for me that I take seriously. I love being an entrepreneur and a business owner.
I have made some good investments and some bad investments. It’s really hard to figure out where to invest and where to save, but at the end of the day you have to do what is best for you. I decided it would be fun to write about what I invest in for my blog. This is both for time and money.
I am the kind of person who wants to learn and hustle. Building a blog takes time, effort, money, blood, sweat, and tears. I feel like a lot of bloggers start a blog and then after one month, they wonder why they’re not making money. Here’s a truth bomb for you – you’re not going to make money for a while. You have to love it. You have to want to work for it. You have to build amazing content and be passionate about what you’re sharing. If you are only worried about what collaborations you will secure, what free stuff you can get, and what contacts you can email, you’re missing the point of this whole thing. Blog, and love it.
Now that I’m off my soapbox, let’s talk about what things I invest in for my blog.
If I were to pick one thing out of this list to focus on immediately, I would say photography. The digital space is a visual place (dude, that is so poetic), and your content is more likely to be seen if it appeals to the eye. About two years ago I made it my mission to really master my camera and photo styling.
I took classes, courses, watched countless YouTube videos, and practiced every single day. My photography has drastically improved and I am very proud of it. I really think it was a turning point for not only my blog but my Instagram account. There are so many filters and apps you can use to try and fix a photo, but my goal is to take a great photo right off the bat and use minimal editing.
I invest money into making sure I always have great photos. I have spent money on classes, photo gear, and photographers. I try to do as much as I can on my own, but I have also hired photographers (or asked friends who are great with a camera to help me… thanks Dawn for helping me with these photos!) for projects that I can’t shoot by myself.
This goes a little hand in hand with photography, but I really love making videos. I invest in a camera that not only takes great photos but video. I just upgraded to the Canon 80D, and it is a dream! I used to sit on the floor of my master bedroom, but now I have a whole studio setup! Between my lighting and backdrops, I feel like a real YouTuber now. I also started editing with Final Cut Pro, which has really helped me take my videos to the next level.
I feel like I need to do an updated gear post, outlining everything I use for photography and videos!
Social Media Schedulers & Management
I am a one woman show around here (I’m seriously considering hiring some help!). Anything that will make my life a little easier, I am all about. Investing in Board Booster for Pinterest has helped me grow my account from 5,000 to over 40,000 in less than a year. I also use Post Planner for Facebook and Twitter. I wish I were better at scheduling shares for those platforms, though! For Instagram, I love Iconosquare, and I also use Kickstagram for automating some of my liking on hashtags.
Maintenance and Design
Let’s face it – if you want a nice looking site, you’re going to have to fork out some cash. I am addicted to WordPress themes (I’m itching to switch things up around here yet again!), and it can get expensive. But having a site that is branded to you, visually appealing, and easy to navigate is key. I also love the Milotree popup for my site and I love it!
I also spend money on domain and hosting fees – owning my content on WordPress and my own domain is of utmost importance!
When I started out and still felt I had a lot to learn, I invested in conferences and online courses. I’ve been to some great ones throughout the years. Now that I’m looking into more advanced learning and strategies, I go to less conferences. I absolutely recommend investing in those when you’re still learning. If you need a Pinterest coach, be sure to hit us up!
This is the thing where I focus the most of my time. And if it isn’t, it’s where I should be spending the most of my time. Think about what you invest the most time on for your blog. If it’s pitching brands, constantly applying for sponsored posts, or doing back end work, you may want to rethink your strategy. When I find myself in really busy weeks having to do things that are not photographing, filming, writing, and posting, I feel like it’s counterproductive to the success of my blog. At the end of the day, you are writing and creating for an audience that wants to hear your voice. You are doing your readers a disservice if you ignore them!
I think that about covers the big items! I also spend money on networking events and marketing and small maintenance items. I do spend way too much time on my email. Oh, that dreaded email inbox! I have to say though, maintaining a blog isn’t extremely expensive in the grand scheme of things, and I am so happy to call this my business.
Bloggers, what do you invest in the most for your blog?