As you travel down the road of growing your blog you're bound to run into product after product that you "MUST HAVE" for your blog. But, like most growing bloggers, you likely don't have an expendable income to invest into your corner of the internet.
One thing is certain if you want to really grow your blog and take it to the next level, at more than one point you're going to make an investment in it. Just like with all businesses if you want to make money you need to spend money when it comes to your blog.
But...what the heck is worth your money?
I know you work hard for your money and throwing it away on pointless tools or products is irritating and upsetting. So, today I'm sharing 5 investments that are 100% worth the money. And, don't just take it for me - I chatting with a few other of my successful blog friends to get their perspective as well.
E-Courses & E-Books
One person can't know it all and if you're like most growing bloggers you're learning a lot of it along the way. There is so much to learn and know, so enrolling in the right e-courses and reading helpful e-books can help you gain the edge you need.
"When I first started blogging, it was pretty disheartening to spend so much time putting together content and realize that no one was seeing it," explains Chelsie, the blogger behind Hey There, Chelsie. "I decided to invest in some e-books and e-courses so I could learn how to grow my blog and use platforms like Pinterest to make sure my content was getting in front of the people who I was writing to. By investing in my knowledge, I was able to grow my blog and learn how to approach my business from a whole new viewpoint."
Helene of Helene in Between reiterated this same point. "I invested in a course. This course was expensive but it helped me streamline my blog, figure out my purpose, and was able to constructively understand how to succeed with my blog. It helped illuminate the path that I should follow and helped me better understand my audience. "
Finding the perfect e-course or e-book for you can also be a hurdle so ask your other blog friends. Whenever I chat with fellow bloggers one of the questions I always ask is if they've taken any courses or read any e-books that were worth it. Also ask around and get references before you take a course so you don't waste your hard earned money. You can also try a free e-course like the one here one Caffeinate and Conquer: A Better Blog in 10 Minutes a Day.
If most e-courses still feel a little our of the price range you're willing to spend, consider starting with a few e-books. They are typically much more affordable and the perfect way to get your feet wet before making a bigger commitment.
If you're looking for an e-book about growing your blog traffic, check out my e-book Explode Your Blog Traffic. This book is for anyone looking to get more traffic to their blog, whether you're a new blogger or have been blogging for many years but finally want to understand how to get organic traffic to come to your site every day and in a sustainable, evergreen way.
You've probably heard it a million times but a mailing list is a must have when you're ready to start actively growing your blog and your audience to really monetize your work. "My email list is the main way that I was able to communicate with my audience in order to sell my course and have a direct connection with them about new posts," Helene from Helene in Between told me.
Usually getting started with mailing lists is a small investment. If you start on MailChimp it's free until you hit a certain amount of subscribers. But, look around and find the right provider for you. If you plan to grow your mailing list and use it as a means to sell, you may want to also consider ConvertKit.
Camera & Lens
In my course Conquer YouTube I make a very strong statement that you do NOT need to have a fancy camera and equipment to get started...and I 100% believe it. But, when you're ready to take the next step with your blog and your blog's photos, it's time to invest in a good camera.
Good photos on your blog will immediately take it to the next level and allow you to create more engaging and authentic posts. Rachel of The Confused Millennial says, "It definitely changed the way I bring my posts to life on the blog. It's helped me infuse more personality into my posts by actually putting a face to the name or making the posts more personal."
The higher quality images are going to make you look more professional and give your blog a higher status level. This is going to help you attain more deals with brands and other sponsored content. "Photography is a major key when working with brands," The Confused Millennial explained. With the ability to offer higher quality images, the number of brands willing to work with you will begin to increase quickly.
For my work on But First, Coffee I use a Canon Rebel with a handful of lens. My favorite lens for portrait or outfit photography is a prime lens, either my 28mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens or my 35mm f/2 lens. Additionally, I have a Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8. Rachel uses the Nikon D5300.
Click to Shop these Cameras & Lens and learn more.
One of the best investments to make that I think many bloggers neglect is coaching, support, and feedback on their work. You can take a ton of great e-courses and spend a lot of time self-learning, but occasionally it's worth it to take a step back and have another professional take a look at your blog and work and provide best tips and suggestions. You need to be investing in yourself and your own knowledge first and foremost. Helene from Helene In Between told me, "Investing in yourself is the best way to succeed. As soon as I did, it helped me leaps and bounds."
Here at Caffeinate and Conquer we offer the Blog Audit. This is a customized check-up on your blog along with personalized tips and tricks on how to improve. The blog audit is designed to be customizable to your blog and your needs. It's a one-time consultation to help you identify your strengths, pinpoint places for improvement, and discuss pain points.
For other coaching opportunties, turn to Rachel from The Confused Millennial.
Most bloggers need help with it comes to the technological side of their website. Many bloggers aren't also coders or web developers, and those who are usually don't have the time to spend maintaining the backend of their site.
There are a handful of ways to get this tech support you might need. You may have a friend who knows how to do it and you can hire them. Places like UpWork or Freelancer allow you to hire freelancers in the industry who can do one-time fixes on your site or provide ongoing support. Helene in Between suggests WP Help, "Whenever my website goes down or I have something I don't understand they help me and help me understand what went wrong."
Inside this same bucket, paying for a professionally made blog design is also a great investment on the tech side of things. When you have a designer or team who built your layout, you have the support you need if you need to make a small change, edit a link color, change an aspect of the mobile design, etc.
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