Are you afraid to invest in your blog? That was once me. I used to say “I don’t want to invest in my blog unless I’m making money.” But the truth is, I didn’t start making money until I started investing in my blog. Maybe you’re sitting there thinking, YEP! THAT’S ME! But guess what! Once I changed my negative money mindset I started seeing an increase in my blogging income. Today I want to share with you how much I invested in my business last year and where I invested that money.
Before I dive into the blog investments I made, I want to talk about mindset and how it affects the amount of money you make blogging.
If you are guilty of thinking,
“I don’t want to invest money until I make money” Then you need to switch it up RIGHT NOW.
I used to think this way and let me tell you…it is a very limiting belief. The moment I started investing money into my blog was the moment I began to try harder. I really wanted my blog to work out because I knew I had invested money into my passion. It motivated me THAT MUCH MORE to make sh*t happen. I am a huge believer in “you have to invest money to make money.” I’m so thankful I did invest in my blog because if I didn’t, it wouldn’t be my full time job today.
How much money did I really invest in my blog?
Disclaimer: affiliate links are used and you can read my full disclosure here.
Blog Investments Worth Making In 2020
In 2019 I made $49,780 before taxes and I invested $6,127 in my blog. Now I’m going to show you where I invested that money. I was overall very happy with all of my purchases.
1. Self Hosting
The first blog investment I ever made was self hosting. This is the foundation of my blog and I truly believe it’s important to create a solid foundation if you plan on ever making money blogging. When I first started my blog I was on a free WordPress account. This was extremely limiting and I couldn’t customize to my liking. I was also limited on the ways I could monetize my blog.
Eventually I upgraded to premium WordPress. I quickly learned that it was a waste of money. I was still limited and didn’t have access to plugins or an email list builder which I find ESSENTIAL to a solid blog.
That’s when I learned about self hosting. Essentially when self hosting a blog you have complete ownership over your blog. If you use squarespace, blogger, wix or WordPress then you do not have complete ownership over your blog.
When self hosting you are able to customize your blog however you’d like. You also get access to plugins which are extremely helpful for SEO and email list building. The self host I use is Siteground. I love Siteground and have been using them for almost 3 years.
Their live chat has been helpful numerous times. They even helped me transfer seamlessly. If you need a site transfer you can sign up for their grow big plan starting at $5.95 a month, OR if you are starting a blog fresh you can use their start up plan which starts at $3.95 a month. I suggest signing up for at least a year to save the most money. After the initial purchase renewal does increase because you don’t have that initial discount!
-> SIGN UP FOR A PLAN NOW <-
It’s also necessary to invest in having your own domain name. It looks professional, clean and allows you to rank better in search (good for SEO purposes) If you want a clean domain name that doesn’t have .wordpress.com or .blogger.com at the end of it you need to purchase your own domain name. You can get it when you purchase your Siteground self hosting or you can use Namecheap. I personally love Namecheap!
3. Stock photos
If taking photos isn’t your forte then you will love investing in stock photos. I find some stock photos (especially free) can be tacky so I made sure to invest in beautiful, feminine stock photos to use on my Boss Girl Bloggers blog.
Some of my favorite stock photo sites include:
- pixi stock (the annual subscription is what I use because you also get access to hundreds of canva templates! Pin templates too)
- Creative market
- Styled Stock Society
One of my favorite blog investments is Tailwind. If you’ve been following my journey for a while now then you know Tailwind and Pinterest were absolute GAME CHANGERs for me. 80% of my blog traffic comes from Pinterest.
Most months I receive 70,000 – 90,000 blog views from Pinterest. I wouldn’t be able to make this happen without my Pinterest strategies combined with Tailwind. If you don’t already know, Tailwind is a Pinterest scheduling tool. It makes it so easy to pin consistently everyday. If you don’t know how to use Tailwind to grow your blog traffic, then Pinterest with Ell will help you take your blog traffic to the next level in 2020!
The next blog investment I made was a blog theme. In fact, I purchased a few blog themes. Since I own 2 blogs there have been multiple themes and theme changes! I recently got into genesis themes and REALLY find them to be worth the cost. They are a pain to customize and put together but if you have patience and can teach yourself how to customize them, then it’s worth it.
OR you can invest in a web designer. I am a huge self learner so I have yet to invest in a web designer BUT it’s definitely something I’d think about for the future.
Some of my favorite themes include:
6. Instagram giveaways
This was something I decided to newly invest in this year. I know a lot of bloggers have a negative view on Instagram giveaways, I get it. However, I was stuck for the longest time with no IG growth. On top of that I felt like all I could attract to my lifestyle Instagram was other bloggers and business owners (NOTHING against that) I wanted to attract the average instagram user too.
I saw other bloggers growing around me at a faster pace and I really wanted to know HOW?! That’s when I start to notice most of them were participating in Instagram giveaways.
At first it left a sour taste in my mouth but then I decided to give Instagram giveaways a try myself. It’s a great way to market to an audience who isn’t all business and bloggers. I learned that in a way, it’s like advertising your Instagram! The best part is that a follower will receive a prize. Love giving back to my audience.
I don’t invest in really large, expensive giveaways because I find the targeted audience to be too wide of a range. I’d rather invest my money in giveaways that are niche related, targeted audience with an affordable buy in. These giveaways are easier for me to monitor. If I notice spammy followers I will go into my following and remove them.
Here are some giveaway accounts I have gone through in the past that I enjoyed:
7. Canva Business
I invested in a few Adobe products in 2019. The first was Adobe Lightroom which is a photo editor. I also invested in Adobe Spark for a short while to create a video cover for my Pinterest profiles. Lastly, I invested in Adobe PDF Editor for a little bit to use for my coaching program at the time.
9. Instagram ads
Since brands still value Instagram, I find the need to invest in growing my reach on the platform. I did invest a handful of times in Instagram Ads to try and grow the reach of my posts. Sometimes I found it to be worth it, other times not so much. I’ll be testing out new ad strategies in 2020!
If you didn’t know, I started a podcast in 2019 called The bossgirlbloggers podcast. I decided to host my podcast on Podbean for about $15 a month. My podcast can also be found on Itunes! I took a break from podcasting BUT, I am starting it back up in January 2020 so stay tuned! Would love for you to folllow so you can be notified when the next episode goes live!
I also purchased Instagram presets! I found presets to be a game changer when it comes to Instagram. Having my Instagram feed aesthetically pleasing to the eye makes me feel more inspired to post. I found it was easier to grow my Instagram following when using presets too.
You can find awesome presets on Creative Market.
I love Teachable! It’s what I use to create my digital courses. It costs $39 a month for my courses to be hosted on Teachable. The reason why I love it is because I don’t have to deal with payments and credit cards. They take care of all the backend shiz. I just have to create and launch the product! I can even create affiliates for my Pinterest with Ell course! If you’ve taken my Pinterest course and want to be an affiliate be sure to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org you get 30% commission.
Last but not least, my email list builder! I love Mailerlite. It’s so easy to create and grow an email list. They also make it easy to create landing pages and automate your freebies! It’s free for up to 1,000 subscribers which is a great perk! A goal of mine is to get better at Email marketing in 2020.
14. Legal templates
Although I didn’t purchase these this year, I always recommend purchasing legal templates if you haven’t already. I have a privacy and disclosure policy thanks to Amire! She’s an awesome blogger and lawyer who sells her own legal blog templates. I use these templates to make sure my blog is protected legally. If you use affiliate links, collect emails, do sponsored posts, or have ads on your blog then you NEED to have disclosure and privacy policies. Do yourself a favor and invest in Amira’s legal templates bundle! It’s better to be safe than sorry! It’s a one time purchase, no reoccurring monthly fees.
These are the blog investments I made in 2019 that I believe are worth investing your money into for 2020
I also want to share what I’ve been eyeing and wanting to invest in come 2020.
I will definitely keep all the above blog investments the same BUT additionally
I want to invest in:
- Fixing my SEO: I was never good at SEO. I can rock Pinterest SEO like a pro but I find blog SEO to be a huge time killer and pain in the butt. I’m considering hiring someone to fix my SEO for me. I’ll let you know when I do and who I use!
- A Mindset business coach: I am huge into mindset! I love using my mindset and law of attraction to grow my business. I would love to invest in a business mindset coach in the near future.
- Pinterest ads: I am really great when it comes to growing on Pinterest organically but I think I’m ready to REALLY dive into learning how to use targeted Pinterest ads successfully to grow my blog traffic even more!
- A Virtual assistant: This is a tough one for me because I am such a control freak and hate letting go, however, I think it would be wise to invest in a virtual assistant to do some of my small tedious blog tasks! This will help me free up my time to dedicate to more content creation and client work! If you know a good, trust worthy VA, let ya girl know!
I hope you found this helpful! Let’s crush 2020!