Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank
You’ve probably heard the saying, “you gotta spend money to make money.” And while it is true to an extent, some people seem to take it to the extreme with their blog investments. And in many instances, I’ve seen it lead to utter failure.
Mostly, this is because I’ve seen professionals and clients spend money on the wrong things. And in a few occasions, it lead to completely shutting down businesses.
Because the wrong investments can start a downward spiral that is ultimately difficult from which to pull up.
In the grand scheme of things, 80% of blogs fail within the first 18 months. This means you have a year and a half to gain some momentum.
Now, not all blogs fail because of poor spending habits. In reality, there are several key things that play into a website disappearing into the ether of the Internet.
However, many will get discouraged as they spend more than they make. Let’s go over some of the elements that are necessary for a blog to succeed, though.
5 Blog Investments That Are Necessary
In reality, the Internet is full of developers who claim their tools are necessary for successful blogging. But, not all of these tools are going to work the same for your specific situation.
Every website is different with a unique audience. This means you need to explore your options thoroughly before dumping a bunch of money into something that may or may not work.
However, there are a few things that are absolutely necessary when considering blog investments.
1. Web Hosting and Domain Name
Obviously, the first stage is to have good web hosting and a proper domain name. And who you choose for hosting is going to make a big difference in how well your site performs.
Now, you can get a bit of notoriety and success using free blogging sites. But, search engines often prioritize self-hosted sites over those free systems.
Besides, you have far more control over a self-hosted site than you would using something like Blogger.
2. Content Development
The second most important aspect of blogging is the content. Because without something to read, you’re not going to attract visitors.
However, it takes more than just slapping words on a page and crossing your fingers.
Aside from proper hosting, expenses that center around creating content are probably one of the most important. That’s because content is the most vital aspect.
3. Security Platforms
Even the smallest of blogs can be the target of hackers and bots. It’s common for malware to steal parts of your site to create a “phishing page” to collect info from unsuspecting users.
If you use WordPress, there are a lot of incredible free security tools you can add that will protect your site from bad folks. But, it’s never a bad idea to dump a bit of money into them for premium services for even greater flexibility.
Given the nature of the Internet, security is something you don’t want to skimp out on.
4. Backup and Recovery Methods
Part of keeping your site protected is having good backup and recovery tools and plans in place. Whether it’s an attack from malware or because you made a massive mistake, a backup can keep your site alive.
Again, WordPress has plenty of plugins that will do an incredible job for free. However, some websites may be too large for the free services.
In any case, a good backup method should be just as high of a priority as overall security.
5. Marketing and Social Media
Although the vast majority of traffic to your blog will come from search engines, marketing methods can easily help increase traffic to your website.
Things like social media, paid advertisements, and email campaigns can keep the audience engaged and boost site reputation.
Even if you don’t sell anything from your website, there are plenty of tools that can streamline marketing or sharing on social media. Personally, I like using Buffer to schedule posts throughout the week.
How to Grow Your Blog without Breaking the Bank
A lot of us don’t have the money to dump into tools that cost $100+ per month. Some of us work full-time jobs and are hoping to turn blogging into a replacement income.
While some experts tell you that certain tools are absolutely necessary, also ask yourself if they’re trying to sell you something. Because in reality, you can grow a successful blog without emptying your bank account.
So, what can you do to grow your blog without spending an arm and a leg?
Treat Your Blog as a Business
First of all, consider treating your blog as its own business. Even if you’re not selling goods, you’re still offering information. And getting into a business mentality can help you remain focused.
The reason I say this is because a lot of new bloggers don’t take the process seriously. It’s easy to get sidetracked or develop a lack of motivation.
By viewing your brand as its own entity, you can get a sense of urgency to keep working on the site. It’s all about motivation and keeping yourself moving forward.
Things like setting up a publishing schedule can help keep your mind in the right mentality for operating a great website.
Utilize Freemium Platforms Before Spending Money
Freemium platforms are those that have free versions that are usually limited compared to the paid variant. Using freemium platforms lets you test the app before committing to making a purchase.
Unfortunately, not all freemium systems work the same. So, you’ll want to test out as many as possible. This way, you can determine which method works best for you.
Then, weigh what the premium version provides against what you really need.
Start Blog Investments with Productive Elements
Before you start flinging money all over the Internet, begin by considering production value. You want to recuperate the money you spend as quickly as possible.
Productive blog elements can include:
- Hiring a freelance writer to help you write content.
- SEO tools to help your content rank higher in search.
- Marketing methods that can bring in more traffic.
- Courses to help you write better content to engage your audience.
- Tools that help you figure out what your target audience wants to read.
Out of all the investments you can make, though, perhaps time is the most valuable. The amount of effort you put into building your blog will determine its success.
Always Watch Income vs Outflow (ROI)
Keep a close eye on your return-on-investment, or ROI. The success of any platform, whether operating a blog or maintaining a grocery store, income needs to surpass outflow.
Otherwise, it just becomes an expensive hobby. One which you may not necessarily afford.
I keep track of the estimated income throughout the year minus what I spend for services, apps, or tools. If the estimation goes red, I dump what I don’t necessarily need to continue.
Perhaps I’ll upload the spreadsheet I use to give you an idea of how it all works.
Always Keep Focused on the Content
Content is the most vital element of any successful blog. It doesn’t matter what kind of marketing or SEO strategies you have in place. Without well-written material, you still won’t draw an audience.
In fact, when it comes to blog investments, anything that improves content delivery is always the highest priority for me.
Things that will help you with content include:
- Keyword and phrase tools to help you with search intent.
- Anything that improves readability, such as Yoast SEO.
- Paying for writers or accepting guest posts to grow your library.
- Analytical tools to help you determine what people want to read.
As I said before, without content, your blog will go nowhere.
Have Some Patience
And lastly, and another critical element of having a great blog, have some patience. Overnight success is more rare than winning the lottery.
Keep in mind it can take anywhere from four to six months for your articles to really gain momentum in Google. And that’s if you write some amazing content people want to read.
No blog investment will help you generate quality traffic overnight. I’m talking about visitors who will actually spend time reading your posts, clicking ads, or making purchases.
It will take time. Successful blogging relies on the long-game.
What’s Made the Biggest Impact for My Blogs?
Perhaps the biggest reason why my blogs are continuing to grow every year is because of my dedication to content. Especially recently.
Once I made the decision to actually put in the effort to put out a helpful website, things have taken off. And the way things are looking, February may be another record-breaking month despite having fewer days.
This is especially true for WriterSanctuary. Since June of 2019, there has been a steady flow of content. And just a few months later, the website is consistently breaking monthly records.
This, in turn, has made an increase in how much I make through AdSense with serious inquiries regarding the selling of eBooks.
As for blog investments, getting the premium version of Yoast SEO and hiring a new writer has lifted a ton of burden off of me. This means I can focus on pushing the blogs forward with content and functionality.
As it stands, I am on the fence about what to invest in next. There are some nice SEO tools available, but I need to find those that the blogs can afford. This is where I start weighing options.
Will the benefit from a premium service actually increase the amount of traffic the blogs receive? Will they help me create content more than the free tools I use now?
Or, should I see if I can afford one more writer to free up more time so I can work on video content for the YouTube channels?
That’s one of the most difficult parts, actually. Trying to determine what is going to benefit you the most without depleting the cash flow.
Because in the end, it’s all really a gamble. You just need to hedge your bets as best as you can.
Blog Investments Should Benefit, Not Hinder
I’ve seen far too many people spend money on building websites that go absolutely nowhere. If you’re just looking for a hobby, that’s fine. But if you don’t put in the effort and money to build up a nice website, you can’t complain if it doesn’t get a lot of traffic.
Before you spend cash you may not have, make sure to ask yourself if the blog investments are actually beneficial. Because not all premium services are going to make an impact on your site’s success.
Carefully weigh your options.
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