Five Investments To Make As a Blogger
As always, welcome back and happy Tuesday!
In today’s Blogology-101 class we are chatting a bit about our side-hustle aka our blog. If you have been here before than you may have seen our Blogology-101 series before and if you haven’t then that is totally cool too. We are here to help you and are excited to chat about investing in yourself as a blogger.
If you are super new to blogging, that is okay but you may want to start here: How to Start a Blog and then come on back to here.
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*Brace yourselves because these posts tend to be a little longer than the norm.
Why should you invest?
If you are going to invest in anything, why not invest in yourself or your business? I am a firm believer that there are very few people in the world you can count on time and time again but you should always be able to count on yourself. Investing in your business or blog in-turn means investing in yourself. You know what you are capable of. You know your worth, drive and determination so at the end of the day you need to invest in yourself [especially if you are serious about your business].
Five Investments To Make As a Blogger:
1. Your Domain + Web Host: I know what you are thinking, “Kara what the heck is a domain and web host?!”. It wasn’t long ago that I had no idea what those terms meant and since I am a self-taught blogger, it took me reading a minimum of 35 articles to fully understand the terms. Luckily for you, I am here to save you the time and break it down in non-techy terms. Your domain is your “www”. The thing that people type in the URL/Search box to find your blog. For example our Blog name is “Fit Chick Nextdoor” however our domain/url is www.fcnextdoor.com. Make sense? Okay so why do you need a good domain? So it makes it easier for people to find your blog/business. For starters, there are tons of free platforms that you can start your blog with. However, most like to add a little extra to your domain. For example, if you choose to go with a free WordPress platform, they add .wordpress.com to your domain so it would be fcnextdoor.wordpress.com vs fcnextdoor.com. See what I mean? The free platforms do have an option to upgrade your page to have your own domain [without the wordpress.com added] but the cost is around the same as going with a hosted website or blog. Don’t get me wrong they have smaller packages that cost a little less but you still aren’t able to fully customize your website unless you pay for a premium theme. Starting out, I chose to start with the free WordPress software and then move on to a hosted WordPress with GoDaddy. Think of the web host as a picture frame. The frame supports the photo and the photo is your blog. GoDaddy hosts my blog and is there for support whenever I have any ‘techy’ questions or concerns.
2. Camera + Lighting: This is so important! Luckily for most, cell phone cameras have evolved so much that if you can’t afford a beautiful DSLR camera when starting out, it is okay and you can still take great photos. I talk a lot about this in my photography tips post so I won’t go into crazy detail here but make sure you have some form of a good camera and if you have a DSLR or digital camera then you should learn or know how to use it. Seriously! Taking great photos can instantly separate you from the pack in the blogging and influencer world and simple editing tools like PicMonkey can make a world of difference. As far as lighting goes, if you work a full time job [like me] you might not always be able to get those stunning natural light shots. In fact, majority of my photos are shot on the weekends and at night. If it rains or is gloomy outside I also need some extra help and certain posts have deadlines that can’t wait for the sun to shine. I prefer the FancierStudio Lighting Kit but there are other kits available. I always have one of the three softbox lights set up and ready to go at all times.
3. A professional design: Ohh child! This is so important! As I said earlier, when I started blogging I used the free WordPress platform which also came with a ton of free themes. If you are first starting out and have no idea about blogging, starting with a free theme is okay but eventually you will want to graduate to a paid theme or design that looks more professional. I seriously wish I still had images from my first blog design so I could show you the difference. I cringe just thinking of what it used to look like. I believe my colors were some form of yellow and salmon and the whole design just screamed amateur. It was okay because I was first starting out but as you can see we have come leaps and bounds from our first design. Also, with free designs, you are very, very limited in the scope of how you can customize your page. I currently now use the StudioPress Genesis themes which have really taken my website to a new level [which I love!]
4. An E-Course: I was very hesitant to add this to the list but I feel it is necessary since after I decided to invest in myself I took a course that rocked my whole blogging game. If you are serious about running your blog as a business then I highly recommend a solid e-course. When I took my blog from hobby to business about a year and a half ago, my world had completely been rocked by my incredible pal Kimra Luna’s course. I remember reading her story and it just struck me that if she could do it, anyone could and that she was going to be able to help me get my tush in gear. A few months after I took Kimra’s Be True Brand You course everything changed. I started to get all sorts of emails from brands about sponsored posts, free products, and the list goes on. Literally the only thing that had changed – aside from my professional new layout – was that I was now looking at my website as a business. I was more selective in my posts and started advertising. I started writing better copy and created more helpful content. I realized that yeah people may care to hear about my day-to-day in posts but what they care about more is me helping them solve a problem so I changed my blog from a ‘fitness journey’ to a lifestyle website with a focus on beauty, style, blogging, career help and more. As a self-taught blogger, knowledge is power and I needed the help.
5. Social Media Advertising: Who runs the world? Girls… and social media. No but seriously, social media platforms have changed the game for bloggers and influencers like myself. Social media has really opened up opportunities because brands are recognizing that influencers are a more effective marketing tool than most celebrities. This investment tip isn’t required however, if you are serious about your brand and business then you should definitely look into advertising on the different platforms. With all of the new algorithms out there [that are ever changing], it can be hard to keep up. Facebook has over 1.9 billion users so chances are your target audience is on there somewhere. They also promote video content over any other kind of content so depending on your marketing strategy and your content should determine which platforms you choose to advertise with. Pinterest is another quick and easy way to promote your posts. I would say about 70% of my traffic comes through Pinterest. Obviously look into the platforms that work best with your audience but the advertising often doesn’t cost much and they provide insight to how your posts perform.
*Bonus: Investing in a good email marketing platform like MailChimp should be at the top of your list too. Recently, about a month or so ago, MailChimp announced that their automated feature was now free for all users [which used to cost $10/month]. Their platform is easy to use and now that the automated emails are free, it is a platform any new blogger should look into.
Want more? How about What We Wish We Knew Before We Started Blogging?
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What do you want help with next: Social Media, Media Kits or Advanced Photo Editing?
Have more questions about my tips?
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