Today we’re talking blog investments!
Note: This post contains affiliate links. This means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links provided. You will never see me post a link to a product or service that I don’t use myself or truly love! (Learn more here)
Part of the process that I LOVE about becoming a great blogger is educating yourself along the way.
I’m kind of an education-freak, from a girl who pursued 2 masters degree (what!).
I love to learn about new things, especially stuff that will benefit me. Part of why I’m so crazy about Pinterest.
I mean, where else can you learn to make a from scratch Texas sheet cake, clean your house spick and span with vinegar, and organize your whole entire life!
Investing in yourself is so key to becoming an amazing blogger. I’m going to share 6 blog investments to make in the first 6 months that will put you on the path to upping your blogger game.
6 BLOG INVESTMENTS TOTALLY WORTH IT
A PAID THEME
Yes, I said it! There are a lot of awesome themes out there, some free and some paid. If you really wanna stand out in the crowd and create a super professional-looking blog, go with a paid theme! Take my word for it.
Paid themes range from $20-$150 roughly.
This is for a template theme which means you get a skeleton of the theme and you get to customize it with your logo, your photos, etc.
Custom themes can be more costly, going into the thousands. For a beginner blogger a template theme ($20-$150) is just fine.
When you become a professional blogger and blogging is your sole income source, you can definitely opt for a custom theme. Just my advice 🙂
Ok, soooooo…monetizing a blog is not every blogger’s goal but I think it should be. I mean, if you love to blog, educating your readers, spreading a message, why not get paid for it, right?
One of the ways you can earn money blogging is through affiliate marketing. You promote offers on your blog and get paid on successful lead or sale.
Easy, peasy, right?
Don’t get me wrong, affiliate marketing is not a concept that is hard to wrap your head around or even practice but to start making income from it regularly can take some practice AND you wanna make sure you are doing it the right way (yes, there’s a right way).
THE COURSE to help teach you all about affiliate marketing is the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course.
I started seeing the course creator, Michelle Schroeder all over Pinterest when I first started blogging. $72,000 monthly income reports, $30,000 monthly income reports, etc. All from her!
I couldn’t believe it!
I joined her newsletter right away and when the course came out, I jumped on it!
What you’ll learn?
- The ins and outs of affiliate marketing
- How she made $300,000+ from one post
- How to get traffic to your blog
- The right way (actionable strategies) to do affiliate marketing
Plus, some really incredible bonuses. It’s $197 and there’s also a payment plan. Grab yours here.
Most of the plugins I use are free but there are a handful of paid ones that I simply cannot live without.
They make it easier for readers to share my content, subscribe to my newsletter and more! There are definitely an investment that has paid for itself, several times over.
My paid plugins list:
- Social Warfare: This is for social sharing. It adds a strip of social sharing buttons to your posts. Must have! There are a bunch of designs and I just love everything about this plugin. Only $29/year (for the basic package)
- SumoMe: This plugin has it all. There are a ton of features available and you have the flexibility to turn on and turn off what features you’re interested in. I love the welcome mat and list building tools plus it has a header banner with a ton of customizable options. Only $25/month.
- Milotree: An amazing little tool that pops up a “Follow me” popup for an easy follow to my Pinterest account. Works with other social networks too! Several affordable options ranging from free to $29/month (or higher if you have custom needs)
EMAIL FOR YOUR BLOG
Having a professional email just for your blog is a total must. I used Gmail for the longest time before I took advantage of domain email (hello@drinkcoffeeandprosper (dot) com) from my hosting provider.
A helpful nugget: Get a professional email signature with Wisestamp. I use the free version for now but the paid version is only $4/month.
Check out my signature:
If you upgrade you can get the “Click here” section removed (at bottom). My domain email came with my hosting plan. If you have Bluehost or are thinking of switching to Bluehost, they have deals ALL THE TIME!
Check if it’s an option. If not, it might be worth it to pay for your domain email. It’s pretty affordable. Usually just a few bucks per month.
Graphics are totally an investment you want to make. Good graphics can make or break your blog post and be what the secret ingredient to help your post go viral.
I use a mix of free and paid graphics. When I first started blogging I did a 3 month membership with Haute Chocolate.
Her photos are gorgeous and there are literally 500+ of them to pick from when you are a paid member. It was $25/month (3 month increments) which was a little too rich for my blood as a new blogger so I transitioned to free graphics.
I’m also part of a handful of newsletters that send me free stock photos all the time. Get my list here.
As soon as I started blogging, I launched 2 ebooks. I was new to blogging but I had a TON of knowledge about business, running an online store, social media, and more.
I did absolutely no promotion and still do very minimal promotion (mentions in a few posts here and there) but I still manage to get sales every month. It’s awesome!
- Skyrocket your Instagram Following: I share how I grew my former Instagram account to nearly 100K followers in a short time and 3 accounts total to 150K+. Instagram was my bread and butter for my former store because I had social media flash sales. I featured products on sale and sold right from my Instagram account so it was super important that my Insta-account was constantly growing. All my strategies and secrets revealed in this book. $20.
- Website Flipping: My Secret Formula: I talk about my journey to building up my online store and flipping it for a profit. I flipped it THIS YEAR (2016). I tell you how you can do the same. $20.
Both books, along with a few services I offer like Pinterest Makeover and Blog Coaching are hosted with Sendowl. It’s just $9/month and I can have up to 30 products! This is the basic package. There are upgraded packages too. Definitely a worthwhile investment.
That’s it! 6 must have investments for your blog in the first 6 months.
What is your must have blog investment?
PRODUCTS YOU WILL LIKE
PINTEREST STRATEGY GUIDE: A crazy good guide filled with tons of actionable strategies to help you get traffic and make money using Pinterest! From super blogger herself, the creator Rosemarie Groner of The Busy Budgeter reveals all her secrets to rockin’ Pinterest and getting hundreds of thousands of visitors each month, all from Pinterest!
BLUEHOST: Amazing web hosting starting at as low as $1.95/month! Streamlined set up and easy integration with WordPress. Check out The Foolproof Way to Start a Blog. Bluehost is currently the host used for this blog, Drink Coffee & Prosper. Highly recommended.
CONVERTKIT: Newsletter services to your subscribers AT ITS FINEST! I have to admit, I am not a techie, AT ALL! ConvertKit makes it all so easy. Lots of easy tools, streamlined newsletter creation, affordable packages. It takes me a few minutes to shoot out a newsletter to the blog’s thousands of subscribers. Easy peasy. You’ll love ConvertKit!
BOARDBOOSTER AND TAILWIND: I’ve tried these Super Pinning tools separately but I have BOTH! The minute I made that change, my repins increased by 200X, no joke! I love the features and tools from both. You’ll like the simple, easy navigation of Boardbooster. Not too complicated at all. Tailwind has tribes! Another awesome way to connect and grow your pins exponentially. They are both very affordable. A must have and my secret weapon for exploding my blog pageviews!
MAKING SENSE OF AFFILIATE MARKETING COURSE: Join the ranks of Michelle Schroeder and be on your way to earning $50,000/month in affiliate income like she does! In fact, she had a record SIX FIGURE MONTH in July 2016! Learn from the very best. Read my full review of her course on my post, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Reviewed.