I think you’ll agree with me when I say: you don’t want to waste any money when you start a blog from scratch. But with all the fancy tools and resources available, it’s difficult to figure out which blogging investments you really need.
But, it turns out, you can dramatically decrease the up-front expenses for your blog with a few simple tips. You only need to make a few essential blogging investments to help you set up your blog properly from the beginning. Focusing on what you really need will help you save tons of time and money in the long run.
In this post, I’m going to show you exactly which resources you should invest in when you start a blog from scratch. You’ll learn which blogging investments will pay themselves back and which ones you don’t really need.
I’ll also share with you the exact tools I use to start and grow my blogs and how you can start using them right away. You’ll get the best possible return on your money without wasting a single dime.
Here are a few related articles you should read, too:
- 8 Practical Tips for Starting a Successful Blog TODAY
- 9 Critical Reasons to Start a Self-Hosted Blog
- 4 Powerful Blogging Strategy Tips for Beginners
4 smart blogging Investments that help you make money
When you start a blog, you want to spend your money wisely. If your goal is to make money blogging in the future, you’ll need some patience. It’ll take a while before you start seeing substantial income from your blog.
The first thing you should keep in mind is this: your blog will be your business. Yep, it’s not a hobby, but a business that will allow you to make money online later on.
Therefore, as with any other business, you want to make a few smart investments to get things started.
And here’s another critical point you should remember: investing money is different than spending money. Thus, smart blogging investments pay themselves back in the future.
Every dollar you spend now should come back to you at some point. That’s why all the tools in this post will help you:
- Avoid disastrous technical problems – They’ll be expensive and time-consuming to repair!
- Boost your productivity – Get more done in less time
- Save time and money – Use your time more wisely for better results
Let’s get right to it!
Please note: This post contains affiliate links to products I use, trust, and recommend. If you choose to purchase a helpful product using these links, I may receive a small commission for referring you – at no extra cost to you. These funds help me keep this blog up and running.
1: Blog hosting and domain name
Imagine this: you’ve built a successful blog, you’re making a full-time income, and your readers love you.
Then, one of your articles goes viral and your blog gets thousands of hits. Your blog crashes, your traffic comes to a stop, and you can’t monetize that insane traffic spike at all.
Not only will you lose a bunch of readers, but your reputation will also suffer. I mean, if your blog isn’t working in the first place, why should anyone come and read it?
Thus, when it comes to the technical setup of your blog, you don’t want to make any mistakes.
You want to make sure your blog can handle all the traffic it gets without any hiccups.
Also, you want to go to sleep every night knowing you won’t have any nasty technical surprises waiting for you in the morning.
Especially if you’re not comfortable or experienced with the technical side of running a blog, you want to avoid any costly problems from popping up altogether.
Now don’t worry, setting up your blog the right way isn’t as difficult as you may think.
Even if you’ve never started a blog or a website before, I know you can get it right from the beginning without wasting your money on things you don’t really need.
Here’s what you should do:
Among all the blogging investments in this article, finding the perfect blog hosting provider is the most critical one.
The trick is to find a blog hosting provider who offers a high-quality service at an affordable price. You want to look for a few key qualities:
- Easy but solid technical setup:
You want to make sure everything is set up properly without you having to worry about any technical jargon or cryptic terminology.
- Quick support and help desk 24/7:
You should always be able to contact their helpdesk with any questions you may have.
- Affordable packages to choose from:
When you’re just starting out, you only need a very basic hosting plan, nothing fancy. But you also want to have the option to upgrade to a more powerful plan later on.
Now, there are dozens of good blog hosting providers you can choose from.
Also, I always recommend getting both your hosting and your domain name from the same provider. It’s just much more practical and easier to have everything under the same roof when you start a blog.
Recommended post: How to Find the Best Blog Hosting to Start a Successful Blog?
How to find the best blog hosting to start a successful blog?
Whenever I start a new WordPress blog, I always turn to Bluehost these days. I’ve tried a bunch of different providers for myself and my clients, but Bluehost just delivers the best value for my money.
Of course, they’re just one hosting provider among others. Yet, I’ve had the best overall experience with them during the past few years of blogging and building websites.
If you’re new to blogging, you’ll appreciate how easy Bluehost makes everything for beginners.
Even if you’ve never started a blog before, you only need 10 minutes to sign up and register your blog domain with them.
Bluehost will take care of the rest and you can start writing your first blog post right away. No confusing technical jargon or cryptic setup procedures to make things harder than they are.
To help you start your blog without wasting any money, I’ve negotiated a special blog hosting deal for my readers.
Through Blogging Explorer, you have access to an exclusive hosting plan starting at just $2.95 per month.
So what about a domain name for your blog?
Well, as a little bonus, Bluehost gives you a FREE domain name when you sign up for blog hosting with them. Thus, you’ll save a big buck on both your blog hosting as well as on your domain name. Not too shabby!
2: Blog design and WordPress theme
When I started my first blog, I was an absolute blogging beginner.
And I had a big problem:
I had no idea how to design a beautiful, professional website.
My blog looked like a trip down memory lane in the 90s. Not a pretty sight.
I tried every trick in my sleeve to improve the design but nothing seemed to work. About half of my experiments broke the entire layout, the other half just drove me insane.
But the thing is:
I was using free WordPress themes. Their customization options were absolute rubbish and I couldn’t find a proper helpdesk or customer support to give me a hand.
Until one day, I decided to sacrifice one dinner night out and spend the money on a premium WordPress theme instead. And I’m not kidding – doing so saved me hundreds of hours of work.
How a premium WordPress theme will save you tons of time:
Just like that, a whole new world of possibilities opened up for my blog design. I had a full theme documentation in my hands to learn the customization features step by step. I even had a professional team of friendly reps to help me out with any questions I had.
In just two days, I was able to get close to my initial design concept – all by myself. I felt so stupid having spent all those hours trying to make a free theme do what it was never supposed to do.
Had I been a bit more liberal with getting out my wallet sooner, I could have used the time for more productive tasks like creating new content for my blog.
Even worse: I had spent hours and days learning how to use my old theme. And now I would never use it again.
In short: if you want to save heaps of money and time in the long run, use a premium WordPress theme from the start.
Where to find the best WordPress themes to save time
We’re not talking about an astronomical investment here. You can find powerful, beginner-friendly themes starting at around $30 – $40.
Check out Themeforest, for example:
You can’t go wrong choosing one of their most popular themes. Because the more users a theme has, the more information and help you’ll find online.
The theme I’ve had the best experience so far is the Divi Theme.
I use Divi for all my website projects these days, both my own and those of my clients.
And hear this: not a single client has had problems learning how to use Divi. It’s super easy to use even if you’re not tech-savvy at all.
3: Social media automation tools
When you start a blog to make money, you have a lot going on. And since time is money, you don’t want to waste your time on tasks you can automate.
Once your blog gains some traction and starts to generate more traffic, you’ll find yourself spending a lot of time on promoting your content.
For most beginners, the best platform for generating blog traffic is Pinterest. But the truth is: The only way to succeed on Pinterest is to pin consistently. You should pin your blog posts several times a day, evenly throughout the day. And on top of that, you should pin at the right time when your followers are active.
Sounds like a lot of work, right? If you need to pin at least 20-30 times a day, how are you going to manage to do anything else during the day?
Well, as it turns out, there’s one tool that allows you to cut down the time you need for Pinterest at least by 50%. Let’s take a look:
Here’s what you should do:
The best way to minimize your efforts while maximizing the returns is to use a Pinterest automation tool. You want a solution that allows you to:
- Schedule your pins
- Pin at times when your audience is active
- Pin to multiple boards with one click
In short: Your automation tool should come with a bunch of features that will all save you time.
Thus, instead of spending an hour pinning manually every day, you can schedule your pins in just 30 minutes a week!
But which tool gives you the best return on your investment?
How to find the best social media automation tool?
I’ve tried a few apps so far, but I’ve seen the best results with the Tailwind App.
I don’t think any other social media automation tools comes even close to what Tailwind can do for you. It’s the most powerful and beginner-friendly automation tool for Pinterest and Instagram these days.
The trick with Tailwind is that it makes Pinterest marketing super easy and fast. All you need to do is create your pin images and add them to your pinning schedule. Tailwind will take care of the rest.
While you’re writing your next blog post (or taking a nap!), Tailwind will make sure your blog gets the attention it deserves on Pinterest. The app always pins your content at the best time of the day without you having to lift a finger.
You’ll pin your posts consistently and your Pinterest followers will see your pins at the right time, every time.
I sometimes used to pin manually for hours on a single day. With Tailwind, I can schedule my pins for an entire month in advance in just 1 hour. Definitely one of the best blogging investments you can make!
But does it work?
To test how (and if!) it works, I used Tailwind on a technology blog I’ve been running for a few years now. My traffic was pretty good already, but I just wanted to see if I could boost it though Pinterest.
Although it took a while to see any results, at the end I was having an avalanche of traffic through Pinterest with this Pinterest strategy.
After using Tailwind for just 2 months, I had almost tripled my blog traffic:
So, just start with the basics, watch the intro video below and click here to publish your first 100 pins for free!
If you’re not familiar with Tailwind, watch the intro video below and click to schedule 100 pins for free – no strings attached!
4: Learning new skills
Ok, so I saved the best for last I see…
When you think about blogging investments to start a blog, the best ones obviously allow you to make even more money blogging in the long run.
In other words, the money you spend today will come back to you in the future. And if you make smart investments, you’ll get back more than you spent initially.
And as big of a cliché as it, one of the best blogging investments is education. Learning new skills to improve your knowledge and efficiency is the best way to make sure you spend your money wisely.
Learn these blogging skills to boost your business:
So, what should you learn exactly to improve your blogging skills?
Let’s look at a few useful skills you could learn while you’re blogging. For best results, remember to focus on one area at a time:
- Writing and content creation – Learning how to write better content for your readers is by far the best skill to learn. Especially if writing isn’t your strongest suit, a copywriting course will do wonders on your blog posts! You’ll learn how to create content that helps you increase reader engagement and make money blogging faster than you think.
- Video marketing skills – Blogging is mostly about written content – for now at least. But in the future, we should expect to see a bigger focus on video and audio content. That said, the best time to learn video editing skills is now – before everyone else does it before you!
- Web design: HTML and CSS – Customizing and designing your blog is just another way of giving your readers exactly what they need. You can learn basic HTML and CSS in a matter of hours, trust me. Knowing how to adjust your blog design yourself can save you tons of money in the long run; you don’t have to find a web designer to do everything for you.
- Graphic design – If you love tweaking on the aesthetics and appearance of your blog, why not take those skills to the next level? Learning some basic graphic design will help you create a more distinct branding for your blog, for example.
Where to learn new blogging skills without wasting your money?
Again, you want to make sure you find the best resources and tools without wasting a dime. You can learn everything you need online these days. But with dozens of learning platforms to choose from, which one’s the best?
I can only speak from my own experience here. I learned my current profession online just by teaching myself the skills I needed. Using the right online resources, I became a self-employed Web Designer and Web Developer without ever going to school to learn any of it.
And in a matter of months, I quit my previous job and started my own business.
And here’s what I can say:
The best, most powerful online learning platform is Udemy. They have an enormous selection of courses for anything you want to learn. The courses are very affordable as it is, but Udemy often offers massive discounts of up to 95%.
Here are some of the top courses on Udemy you may want to take a look at:
- Top Blogging courses
- Copywriting and content creation
- Video marketing courses
- HTML and CSS courses for bloggers
- Graphic Design courses for beginners
Investing a few bucks in learning new, powerful skills gives you a huge advantage over other bloggers out there.
Depending on your blog niche, you can stand out from your competitors with even a few basic skills in copywriting and content creation, for example.
Trust me, investing a few bucks in an online course will be one of the best investments you can make as a blogger!
Final thoughts: Smart blogging investments to start a blog in 2020
Starting a successful blog doesn’t have to be expensive.
You simply need to know which blogging investments will actually help you along the way.
Let’s do a short recap – here are 4 smart blogging investments for starting a blog and making money online:
- Blog hosting and domain name – First, find your niche and pick a blog name. Then, register a domain name and sign up for blog hosting.
- Design and customization – Use a premium WordPress theme to create a beautiful, professional design for your blog. My #1 recommendation for beginners is the Divi Theme.
- Social media automation – Save tons of time and generate massive traffic to your blog with social media scheduling tools. I use and love Tailwind – no other automation tools comes even close to it.
- Learning new skills – Amp up your blogging skills with the right learning resources. Make sure you keep learning as you start your blog. Your readers will love you for stepping up your game!
Alright, I think you’re all set now! Whenever you feel ready to start your blog, head over to my 10-minute step-by-step tutorial on how to start a WordPress blog from scratch. I’ll see you there!
If you enjoyed this post on blogging investments for starting a blog, just drop me a line in the comments below! Which tools have you invested in for getting your blog on its feet? Did they deliver what you expected?
P.S. If you liked this article, please share it with others, too! Thanks for your support!
I’ll see you in the next post! Happy blogging!