While you can start a blog at a relatively low cost or even for free, you will need to make some necessary investments to keep the blogging gig going and grow gradually.
Goes without saying, time is an essential investment you need to make. 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, 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.
7 important blogging investments
1. Custom domain and self-hosting
Purchasing a custom domain (www.bloggingexplained.com) was one of the best investments that I ever made to build this blog and my online identity.
Having your own custom domain develops an incredibly professional identity rather than 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 to get a custom brand domain name for yourself.
Let’s talk about web hosting.
When you use free hosted blogging platforms, you will be held to limitations in blog customization, functionality, and monetization. It means that you own nothing on the Internet estate.
So is the reason I always suggest people go self-hosted to have complete control of your blog. Without a second word, Bluehost is the name I’d suggest to start a self-hosted blog.
Want to learn more about Bluehost? Then check out my Bluehost India review.
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 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, with 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, the 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 a 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 magnificent 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 opting for a paid theme like Thrive to save hours of work and make it easy to customize your blog to look the way you want.
If you find it hard to figure out the design part, you might want to hire a designer.
Most popular WordPress themes cost you $50-150 depending on the design features they offer.
3. Blogging tools
Having the right tools help you blog better and stand out from the crowd. Most of these come with 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:
- Elementor – Drag and drop page builder with readymade and custom templates
- Grammarly – Writing
- SEMrush – Keyword research, and all in one SEO tool
- Yoast – On-page SEO optimization
- Mailerlite – Email marketing
- Freepik – Stock images
- Canva – allows you to quickly design graphics for your blog
- Tailwind – Automation tool for Pinterest and Instagram social media
- Hypefury – Twitter engagement
- Quuu Promote, Triberr, Viral Content Bee, Zest.is – Content promotion
At some point in time, you may feel overwhelmed 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 simply hire help from reputed agencies like Igloo – view website or freelancers using websites like Freelancer.com, Upwork, Fiverr, PeoplePerHour, etc. You will have quality outputs and safety throughout the process.
There’s so much competition for content marketing, it is hard to be SEO-rewarded with 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, you must think like an entrepreneur and start outsourcing.
Help has always been available at super affordable rates – just look around.
5. Learning resources
As you scale your blogging efforts, you must 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 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 an Instagram course from Lisa Sicard of Inspiretothrive on Udemy. Since then, I’m applying the learned theory tips to practice to make myself Instagram-ready.
See, it is that easy. So when you’re ready to learn a lucrative skill that you’ve been thinking of, Just input the name and get the topmost recommendations in no time – Bingo!
6. Paid ads
Paying for ads can be one of the best investments you could make 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 the right peers and influencers as much as possible to reach a massive audience, build trust for yourself, and get more conversions.
As a newbie, you don’t necessarily need to pay big money for an Influencer who has millions of followers. Start small targeting smaller audience groups by partnering with entry or next-level influencers. As you start achieving decent R.O.I (Return on Investment), you can expand the strategy anytime.
Final thoughts on blogging investment
Free has its limitation, and you don’t get everything for free. So be willing to invest in the things mentioned above and take your blog to the next level.
So who are you in the 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.