The Best Investments I Made For My Blog
Happy Fri-YAY, folks! I am so excited for today. I don’t often talk blogging on my site (not my cup of tea) but I have been getting some requests to talk about the best tools and investments I’ve purchased for my site over the years. I have put a lot of money into my business and for the most part, it’s paid off. I am no stranger to the fact that to make money, sometimes you have to spend money. It’s part of the deal. Check out which 10 items were MOST worth it to me over the last five years.
The Best Investments I Made For My Blog
This was one of my most expensive purchases I have EVER made for my business. And it was a big one. My computer was $3500 and it’s the largest screen and memory size available for iMacs. I waited until it went on sale, and was able to save $1000 on it. I put this off for so long – I had been working off my laptop (and still do when I travel) but the laptop I have is no longer capable of processing my videos or saving my videos anymore to the capacity I needed it to. I knew I wanted a desktop so I could work more comfortably at my desk and when it came time to splurge – I’m really glad I went with this one.
Two: DSLR Camera + 50mm Lens
I couldn’t do my job without this camera and lens combo. I think my husband and I spent a total of $700 on both of these when I first started blogging on this. It is the camera I take all my blog pictures on and film my videos with. It was the very first big purchase I made when I started my blog. It’s been a total lifesaver over the last few years. The lens is the best for blog photography because it gives that really nice blurred background effect. I really like how easy the camera was to learn, and my mom was able to pick up on all the manual settings easily and the photos are crisp and professional. I WILL be updating this body over 2019 – but this is an amazing start. I also love this tripod!
Three: Professional Website Design
This was the second biggest investment I made in my blogging career and it just launched a month ago!!! I am in LOVE with my new website – it feels fresh and VERY me. I had designed my old website myself using google tutorials, and while it got the job done, it wasn’t what I wanted my brand to be. I think of this website as the big sister to my old website. It’s got a beautiful home page, a brand new sparkling shop page, fun new features – and it’s everything I wanted it to be. It set me back about $3000, but I am now confident when brands and readers come to my site.
*I used Alpine Lane Creative for my design. She was a dream to work with.*
Four: Adobe Creative Cloud
This costs me $10 a month. I get Photoshop and Lightroom, and the ability to put it on more than one computer. I have it on my phone, desktop and laptop for easy editing wherever I go. My photos are backed up and easily compressed and I’m able to create my own presets so that I can edit with my own style, and it is the most comprehensive photo editing system available.
Five: BossPitch & GramSlam
BossPitch was the course I took to learn how to pitch at the beginning of 2017. It was the first course I ever paid for for my blog. It completely changed the game for me. I was able to start earning enough money blogging to support myself full-time and quit my job after 3 months. If you are a new blogger and looking to create an income stream for yourself – you can sign up HERE. It costs $497.
*this is an affiliate code – but I wouldn’t share it unless I absolutely recommend it*
I took GramSlam earlier this year – and it REALLY helped me to up my Instagram Story game. I’ve been wanting to take the next step with my IG stories, and while I totally slacked on it over the holidays, but now I’m ready to be back in action. I love the idea of a structured story schedule with a little flexibility for each changing day – but curating the content to be what my audience is looking for specifically. I found my story views and reader conversion sky rocketed after implementing her strategies! I know the course isn’t currently active – but you can sign up on the email list to be notified next time it is! Check it out HERE. I forget the exact price I spent and can’t find it on her page – but I’m pretty sure it was around $200.
Six: Self-Hosted Website
This was one of the very first things I did once I decided to become serious about blogging. I switched over from a WordPress.com account to a WordPress.org account with a self-hosted site and domain name. Basically – I went from blondeandambitiousblog.wordpress.com to blondeandambitiousblog.com, which is not only more professional, but opens up a whole realm of possibilities when it comes to being able to design your site to look the way you want. I spent several hundred dollars a year keeping this up and running, with my own personal email attached to my site as well.
I do suggest keeping the free hosting until you decide to make the decision to go all in – because it is quite an investment, but purchasing the domain name you want to go with eventually if it does take off. I say this because you don’t want to spend a year creating your brand only to find out the website you want is already taken. Secure the domain first, and then buy your hosting.
I personally host with GoDaddy! You can sign up here.
Seven: Trello Gold
Trello is a lifesaver for organization. I love it for scheduling my days down. It is manageable, and easy to use. I love Trello Gold because I can add team members and get power-ups to assist my board organization, you get custom backgrounds to make each board unique, and my favorite part: you can upload videos and pictures without worrying about space. It costs me $5/month.
If you want to know how I use Trello to organize my life – check it out here.
Eight: Blue Yeti Microphone
I love this microphone! I feel like I haven’t even USED it to it’s full capacity yet. One of these days – I’m starting a podcast (it’s on my “eventually” list LOL) and I can’t wait to have it for that. But for now, it’s great for video voiceovers and Skype business calls. It’s saved my audio a number of times and it is so easy to set up and use. If you podcast, record any kind of audio, do video, etc. it’s a must-have. It costs $95.
Nine: Neewer Ringlight
This ring light has also saved my tush on a number of occasions. I use this light to film, so I don’t have to rely on perfect window light and when I want to do IG lives or videos, and to shoot indoor photography. It’s adjustable and I can easily carry it from room to room. It’s simple to change the light bulb and it isn’t astronomically expensive for artificial light, costing around $100.
Ten: Hiring A REAL Accountant
Oh boy. This one is a kicker. It’s not super cheap to hire an accountant but it saved me BIG time. When it comes to doing taxes, I didn’t have the first CLUE on how to do them for a small business. I had no idea how to take the appropriate deductions, or how to write business expenses off. It was a foreign language to me (still is). Hiring my accountant to take care of that for me was one of the best decisions I ever made. He made it SO easy on me. I think last year we spent $400 on having our taxes done.
PIN THIS FOR LATER:
This year, I want to invest in a few more big things for the blog like a new camera and lens duo (I want a better camera for video and on-the-go photography), a few more courses to better my business, finally getting Tailwind pro, a new vanity to film at and more. I plan on making a big list of large purchases here in the near future.
I hope this list helps you make some choices on which items to invest in for your own business. What has been most worth it to you in your business? Let me know in the comments below!