What to invest in your blog? If you’re just starting out as a blogger, there are a few key investments for your blog that you should budget for in your first year.
When you invest in your blog, you set yourself up for quicker success. This is one of the top reasons why you should spend money on your blog. Purchasing select blog tools and investing in blog resources can really make a huge difference in what you can do.
It makes scaling up from beginner blog to professional blog easier and faster. You go from a new, amateur blog to a professional blog quickly by budgeting for a few key resources and tools.
Most importantly, essential investments for new bloggers also help get started monetizing beyond Google ads. You want your blog to be profitable!
As the saying goes, to make money, you’ve got to spend money.
The question always arises: what should you invest in your blog? What will help me get to the next level faster?
Aside from time and hard work, there are several tools, resources and investments that every serious blogger should consider making.
In this post, I’ll share some of the recommended blog tools and resources that have helped me grow my blog and transform it into a business. These are all vetted by me and I use them regularly to achieve my goals.
DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you click on a product or service, and decide to purchase it, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. All recommended products and services are based on my positive experience with them. For more information, please read my Disclaimer.
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Key Investments For Your Blog
Investing in your blog can be with both tools, as well as resources.
Determine what you need help with first before you make any decisions. I hope my tips below will help you go from a new blogger to an emerging, successful and confident blogger!
Invest As Soon As You Can
I started my blogging journey using the free blogging platform Blogger. Very soon into my blogging career, I realized I was limited by this platform. My first big step was to start using WordPress.
It was a game-changer! It was one of the best blogging investments that I’ve ever made.
Sure, it was as scary as anything, trying to figure out all the settings and how to avoid crashing my site.
It was also so exciting because I could start exploring new ways of doing things. New opportunities to monetize and make money!
If you’re a new blogger, I want to see you excited about the possibilities as well.
So it’s time to look at your budget and read up on what are the essential, key blog investments for new blogs that will take your beginner blog to a business!
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The Best Investments For Your Blog
Before you start spending money, take a step back and consider your growth and monetization strategy.
What are the key blog tools and resources you’ll need to grow your blog traffic, your monetization opportunities and your blog community (via email newsletter, memberships, etc.)?
It’s best to break down your investments for your blog into several buckets:
- Investing in blog tools and resources that help you make money (not just make your site look pretty)
- Legally protecting yourself and your blog from potential lawsuits and fines
- Optimization tool that creates a great user experience that boosts your blog SEO and more
- Blog tools and resources that make blogging and marketing your blog easier
- Blogging resources that teach you the skills that you need to get to the next level or to overcome obstacles that are hindering your progress.
So now that we’ve got that all down pat, let’s see what you REALLY need to focus on in your first year of blogging.
1. Blog Tools And Resources That Help You Make Money
There are several key blog tools and resources that are essential to helping you make money with your blog.
Without them, you’re limited in many ways.
Here is my list of things to invest in your blog that help get you started in making profits.
A Self-Hosted Site That’s Set Up Properly
I can’t stress it enough. You can’t do much with a limited free blog platform.
It can get you used to some aspects of blogging as a professional blogger, but a self-hosted WordPress site can create so many more monetization opportunities.
Do you want to start affiliate marketing?
Most affiliate marketing platforms and programs require you have a self-hosted site to be able to add specific codes for verification.
Perhaps you want to set up a coaching business and add an easy feature for clients to sign up directly on your site. For this, you’d need a plugin. Again, you need a self-hosted site.
There are thousands of tools and plugins for online business owners for WordPress!
This is why I never recommend Wix, Squarespace or other platforms. You have much more flexibility to customize your site with WordPress.
To get started with a self-hosted site, you can start with the quality NameHero hosting services (affordable entry prices, top-notch customer service). This site is hosted on NameHero.
If you’re ready to invest completely in your blog’s success, go for a faster and better-managed hosting provider such as Big Scoots. Its shared plans for WordPress hosting are still affordable for most but have awesome services and fast, quality hosting.
To start a blog, read: Steps To Starting To Start A Profitable Blog or sign up for my free course:
| RELATED: How To Get Started With Affiliate Marketing – A Guide For Bloggers
15 Free Ways To Promote Affiliate Links And Generate Commissions
Upgrade To A Quality WordPress Theme
Another KEY thing to do when you’re purchasing your self-hosted site is to get a quality theme that runs fast and suits your blogging needs.
Here are my favourites:
Bluchic – if you’re planning to build an online business, sell products or services
Envato Themeforest – Thousands of WordPress themes, including my favourite CheerUp which I used for my SuburbanTourist.ca site.
Restored 316 – gorgeous themes for creatives and bloggers
Check out my whole list of awesome web designers with WordPress themes on my blog tools page.
READ my list of top 10 feminine WordPress blog and business site themes to elevate your website aesthetic and user experience.
2. Legally Protect Your Blog
The second on my list of key investments for your blog is legal pages!
Imagine if you didn’t have a seatbelt on and you hit the person in front of you. Would you have damage to your car? To yourself?
Most definitely yes. Now, what about insurance? YIKES. No insurance means you’re paying for not only your damage but also for the other vehicle and car occupants.
That can mean a whole lot of money!
Each of these helps protect you and your blog from potential lawsuits and fines.
Read more on why you need to have key legal pages for your site. Discover how to get easily customizable templates that work for sites in the US, Canada and internationally.
You can head directly to the templates – I recommend the Premium Legal Bundle as it includes several additional templates (like a contractor agreement) that are EXTREMELY useful if you’re starting your own business.
2. Optimization Tools That Make Your Site Fast
Nobody wants to visit a site that takes forever to load. People leave sites if they take longer than 7 seconds to load.
The best practice is to have a site that loads in less than 4 seconds.
Your website hosting is part of the reason. If you’re using the basic services, it may not be enough. However, you don’t have to break the bank.
Even with some of the lousier hosting providers you can boost up your site loading speed.
For example, make sure you’re using properly sized images that are optimized (saved at 70% quality – they still look great!). That’s easy to do with a free online photo editor such as Pixlr.com.
But the one thing that I don’t recommend you skimp on is your caching plugin. I highly recommend one key investment: WP Rocket.
Before I started using WP Rocket, my lifestyle site was getting on average a 39/100 score with Google Page Speed Insights.
Afterward, I started getting scores of 80+ on the mobile score, and over 90 for the desktop score.
In layman’s terms, this made my site load SUPER FAST!
It means people aren’t wondering why my site isn’t loading. They’re sticking around and reading my posts. My bounce rate has gone down too!
Using WP Rocket will help me improve my site in the eyes of Google as well. It is favouring sites that load fast. So this one plugin can really make a huge difference in your SEO.
4. Tools That Make Blogging Easier
Blogging can be time-consuming and hard if you don’t have the right tools.
To make it easier, here are some of my favourite key investments for your blog that make life just a bit easier.
Write Better With Grammarly
Grammarly helps you quickly review your text, with spelling. The PRO version helps you determine the best word choice, tone of voice, and more advanced grammar errors.
It’s a fantastic tool for anybody whose English is a second language, or who has trouble writing.
Design Assets Easily
Many know of Canva, but did you know that Adobe Express is a fantastic tool for creating gorgeous social media, blogging and Pinterest visuals?
There are many other fantastic tools to invest in that are photo editors and design tools. Check out BeFunky and Pixlr for their robust platforms and affordable plans.
| RELATED: How To Create And Sell Digital Products On Your Blog
Build An Email Community With Mailerlite
Mailerlite is an easy-to-use email marketing platform that can save you hours from trying to figure out automated sequences, and your subscription lists.
I personally use Mailerlite and love the features. Once you reach 1000 subscribers with Mailerlite, the next level up is a reasonable $15/month.
The upgraded version gives you access to a feature that allows you to send out emails according to a subscriber’s time zone. You also get access to many more templates that suit your needs.
| Read More: How To Grow Your Email List With Attractive Lead Magnets
Optimize Your Pins With WP Tasty
I like to work fast and smart. I hate doing things manually with HTML when there are faster solutions.
Struggling to figure out how to add Pinterest descriptions manually can be a painful experience. With Tasty Pins it’s easy to enter this information. You also get the pin button for images, making it easier for somebody to share your Pinterest images.
Schedule Pins With Tailwind
If you want to schedule a whole bunch of your pins well in advance, Tailwind is the tool for you!
It helps you figure out the best schedule for pinning your pins, based on engagement cues on your account.
Once you have your schedule figured out, you can set up pins to appear manually based on your optimal schedule, so your pins have a better chance of being seen by your audience.
Create Designs With Templates
Using templates can save you hours of time designing and preparing information.
From Canva templates for Pinterest pin design, a media kit for pitching brands, social media content, or even templates for email pitches for brand outreach. They will save you valuable time. Invest in them occasionally for fresh designs.
Check out my Pinterest templates and media kit templates for Canva to help you design beautiful assets QUICKLY!
Elevate Your Blog Brand With Quality Stock Photos
A site with beautiful photography can really create a fantastic first impression. If you don’t need to create original photography for blog posts or your site, use quality stock photo memberships!
These kinds of photos aren’t overused in comparison to free stock photos. So they stand out more and make your site look UNIQUE.
They can save you hours of searching for free copyright-free stock photos. My favourites include Styled Stock Society and Ivory Mix. I’ve used both throughout my site.
Read my list of top favourite stock photo sites, including the best membership-based stock photo collections.
| RELATED: Image SEO – How To Optimize Your Images
5. Education: Blogging Courses And eBooks
I wish I had done more courses when I was starting out! One of the best investments for your blog is to take courses and read as much as possible on the topic.
It’s because learning on your own can be time-consuming.
Learning from others who’ve done it all before, can really speed up your progress from a new blogger to a professional blogger.
Take courses! Read e-books!
You can start with my SEO e-book, which contains the essentials of SEO for bloggers.
It gives you an easy-to-understand introduction to SEO, what it is, why it’s important for your blog, and how you can optimize your site and your blog posts to start appearing in Google searches.
Get it here:
Organic traffic via Google and other search engines should be your number one source of traffic. When Pinterest gets wonky with algorithm changes, good organic traffic is always a way to maintain your momentum.
Secondly, delve into learning all about Pinterest! My Pin It course gives you all the key things you need to start doing to build a presence on the site and start driving traffic to the site.
For new bloggers who want to become professional bloggers… faster, there’s my Grow It Course!
How Can You Spend Money On A Blog When You Don’t Have Money?
If funding these blogging tools and resources is an issue, you may need to look at ways to make extra cash to fund your investments.
This means you’ll need to make an extra effort, most likely for a short period of time, to make at least an extra $100 a month if not more.
Learn how you can make $100 a month with easy online activities – from supporting others as a VA to short tasks and more.
Spend Wisely On Investments For Your Blog
You don’t have to purchase all of these tools at the same time.
You can layer them on. Some are more important than others. Some you can purchase later.
My top recommendations to purchase immediately are:
- Self-hosted site (recommend NameHero for quality)
- A quality theme (check out a list of my favourite WordPress themes)
- WP Rocket
- Legal pages
These are the essentials.
The next on my list of investments for your blog that I recommend purchasing is WP Tasty.
The rest you can get as you need.
FINALLY, one last thing I’d recommend you look into is Podia. I use this platform for my courses and templates. You can send them for free or SELL them, monetizing your content.
It’s a worthwhile investment when you’re ready to take things to the next level with your site!
Check out my other recommended blog tools and resources to boost your blog to the next level!
| Related: A Review Of Podia – A Top Digital Selling Platform For Bloggers And Service Providers
QUESTION: What’s on your list of investments for your blog to grow it into a business?
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