Blogging can be an expensive hobby or career if you want all the bells & whistles! Some of us (like me when I first started) have very small budgets so it’s best to know exactly which areas are important to spend money on! I’ve written this blog post for those of you out there who have a small blogging budget and want to know where it’s worth spending a little extra!
A custom domain
A custom domain is when your URL is displayed as www.myamazingblog.com instead of www.myamazingblog.co.uk. It ultimately makes you and your blog look much more professional to those that view it, and it gives the impression to both your readers and PRs that you’re serious about your blog. My domain cost about £20, and I know you can get ‘.co.uk’s for around £8 – so it’s affordable!
I recently changed from running my blog via the Blogger platform to going self-hosted. I use WordPress.org and Siteground to self-host my blog. I think going self-hosted is one of the most essential things for making money from your blog. Beforehand, I made money using Blogger, but only through Sponsorships and AdSense. Having a self-hosted blog leaves me with no design restrictions and no restrictions for streams of income. Moving to self-hosted gives you so much more control over the theme you use, your design options, and the plug-ins you want to use. Anything you want to do with your blog, I bet you there’s a WordPress plugin for it! The most basic hosting packages can be as low as £2.99 a month! I’m currently paying £4.99 per month for my hosting with Siteground (though I pay yearly). Branding
Your branding is basically your blog’s personality. It ties everything in your blog together, and even aspects outside your blog like your social media channels. If you don’t have the means to DIY your branding, its worth while paying someone who knows what they’re doing to create your branding for you! Hiring a designer doesn’t have to cost you the earth either, I used to have a sketched, illustrated look to my header, icons and logo, which cost about £20 from an Etsy seller!
The design of your blog is one of the most important factors for improving your bounce rate. Someone could come across your blog and, even if the contents amazing, click away because the design is ugly. Blogging is one of the few times where looks really do matter. Again, you could hire a designer to help you out if you have something specific in mind, but I think there are a lot pre-made templates out there which work beautifully! Mine is from Solopine, and cost around $49. The theme is really easy to customise, which are the themes you want to go for as you can make it unique to your brand.
Social media schedulers
Social media schedulers are just a few pounds a week (I use Buffer for £10 p/m) and is can make the difference between thousands of pageviews and 0. It’s all well and good creating amazing content, but your time has been wasted if you don’t let people know it’s out there for them to read. Social media is one of the most simple and easy ways to direct people to your platform. Furthermore, to set yourself up for success in blogging, you need to be growing your social media platforms just as much as you grow your blog. They support each other, but they can’t do that without growth. Most bloggers (including myself) use every social media platform and it can be an absolute nightmare keeping on top of it all. That’s where social edia schedulers come to the rescue. Take time out at the weekend to schedule some posts. I like to use Saturday as Social Saturday where I spend the day scheduling all of the week’s social media posts and then go out in the night time. I’d completely recommend the premium version of Buffer (though the free version is a great start too) as you can add as many pages as you need and alter the timeslots to suit your most optimal times for posting!
To keep attention on your content, fill up your time slots with as many social media posts as you can. Get your audience to engage!
So, if you have a small budget to play with and you’re not sure where to put your money, these are the places I 100% recommend injecting a little money into. I hope this post helped at least one new blogger out there and you learned something new!
I hope this blog helped some of you low-budget bloggers out there! Let me know what items you think are worth investing in down below!