***This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you choose to purchase anything through the links I may earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting my blog!***
Since being in the blogosphere, I have learned quite a few things. One of those things, is that the more research you make, the more you start to realize that blogging will eventually call for some $$ spending.
Let me paint a picture of the typical new blogger. Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest. You read absolutely every blog article you can find on Pinterest. Although I am extremely grateful for all of the great information found in these articles, I want to be entirely real with my readers and admit that it can very intimidating. Here’s why…
The more information you get, the more you realize that if you want to take blogging and turn it into a serious business, it will cost you some investing. From going self-hosted, to high quality images, to the design of your website. It quickly adds up!
In fact, I was the person that took all that advice, and invested. I went self-hosted within my first month of blogging, spent way more than I should have designing my website, and I now own a professional camera for my blog pictures.
I personally believe that the best way to learn, is through trial and error. And well, I have made some costly mistakes, as well as some great investments.
I want to let new bloggers know, do not get discouraged. It is entirely possible to create a beautiful blog on a budget. In this post, I am disclosing my 3 must know tips for bloggers on a budget.
I will share with you my affordable camera equipment, website design alternatives, and my best advice on going self-hosted and if I think it is a blogging must.
Okay, it’s time to be real. We have all stalked some bloggers page and wondered if they hired a photographer, or if they have some expensive photo editing subscription. How do they get such flawless images each time?
Truth is, the quality of your images is one of the most important features of your blog. It can make your page appear professional, even if you’ve only been blogging for a week.
We all know that Olympus Pen camera that every blogger seems to lust over. Although it is a beautiful camera, that takes beautiful high-quality images, it is not a must-have.
I have never been a believer of great iPhone image quality, until I purchased the iPhone 8 Plus. If you are in need for an upgrade, do not even think twice about it. The quality of the most recent iPhone’s are perfect for bloggers on a budget.
Personally, I prefer using my iPhone for flatlays, as well as photos for Instagram. You have instant access to the images and can quickly upload them onto socials, and edit on photo-editing apps.
Recently, I was fortunate enough to have been gifted a professional camera from my husband. Although iPhone’s are sufficient photo quality, I truly wanted a DSLR for outfit shoots. Some images of which you can find in one of my most recent posts or click on this link here.
I have decided to include this camera because it is under the $500 range and (I believe) to be the perfect camera for beginning bloggers who want to invest in high-quality images on a budget. I will link my all of my camera equipment, including my lens, in the images below.
The website design is one of the most important factors for any blog. You want it to be representative of you, of your brand. Yet at the same time you want it to look clean, professional, and be easy to navigate.
To be quite honest, when I first began my blogging journey, I had no idea how I wanted my page to look. I knew all of those things I mentioned above, but was not quite sure what look said “this is me”. And as I stated earlier, the best way to learn is through trial and error.
In the beginning stages of my blog, I played around with a variety of website templates. I was simply determined to find one that spoke to me. I know, that sounds a little silly, but I just cannot express the importance of a website that is representative of YOU.
The design of your page, is the first thing readers notice when entering your blog.
The mistake I made was investing in templates too quickly. I thought the only way to have a beautiful website, was to purchase a fancy template. Except, I would quickly get bored of a certain theme, or it just didn’t feel it was “me”.
I later discovered there are other alternatives to purchasing one single theme. I am talking about Pixelgrade. If you have never heard of them, they are a little different than your typical template website.
Pixelgrade offers a subscription to various website designs for WordPress users. Meaning, you not only have access to professional themes, but you don’t need to settle for just one. Pixelgrade allows you to switch themes as many times as you like.
This is perfect for any blogger who hasn’t quite found that template that feels as if it was made for you. I recommend them for all bloggers because if you are anything like me, you don’t want to spend $50+ on a template, only to later change your mind.
Now here is why this is perfect for my my fellow bloggers on a budget. Pixelgrade offers a 14-day free trial and their subscription is only $9.95/a month. This will grant you access to professional templates, that you are free to switch up as much as you like.
You can sign up for their 14-day free trial using this link here.
I constantly see people on Twitter asking the million dollar question, is it worth the $$ to go self-hosted? Is it worth the investment? Is it the only way to possibly make money from your blog??
I asked myself these exact same questions not too long ago, before I took the plunge.
Here’s the thing, if you’re expecting magic to happen as soon as you make the switch- that’s not going to happen. If the sole reason you want to make the switch is to monetize your blog (make money), then I would not recommend the switch.
Some of my favorite bloggers who’s full-time job is blogging, still use free website hosts such as WordPress.com or Blogger. So, guys and gals, if you are on a budget please do not feel the you HAVE to make the investment.
The reason I made the switch was because I wanted to know I had complete ownership of my blog- and of all my content. I simply despised the idea that my content could be revoked from me, or that one day Blogger could shut down. Yes, I was on Blogger.
Although that wasn’t likely to happen -I mean you never know- I had the money to invest at the time, and I wanted complete ownership. Not to mention, I wanted the ability to design my website however I want, without any restrictions.
So there you have it, without over-complicating, the truth is self-hosting is NOT a must. If it is not in the budget, please don’t feel that your blog is any less than, and remember there are successful bloggers who still use free website hosts.
If you are ready for the transition, I 100% recommend SiteGround. This is the host I chose for my self-hosting endeavor and even as a “newbie” blogger I had no issues whatsoever. Everything went smoothly and quicker than I though it would, and even now I have never had any issues.
Alright my lovelies, there you have my 3 must-know tips for bloggers on a budget. Truth is for any blogger, there is so much information everywhere. I have been there, and I know how intimidating it feels when you first start your blog.
You don’t know where to start, and you don’t know what is worth the money and what is not. Each blogger is at a different stage, so please do not compare your blog to others. There are so many tools out there that help you save money and I hope this post can help you decide what is actually worth it, and help you save some $$.
Thank you for reading and supporting my blog!!