Top 5 Investments to Make in your First Year of Blogging

KeciaBlogging47 Comments

This post may contain affiliate links.

Investments. Something many bloggers don’t like to discuss. While it’s totally possible to “bootstrap” it all, at a certain point, you will want to make your life easier by investing into your business.

But, where should you put your money?

If you are still in your first year of blogging, or the first year of investing in your blog, the following 5 things are probably the most important for you. They will ensure you look professional, get more done in less time, and find success with your blog!

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Top 5 Investments to Make in your First Year of Blogging

1. Reliable Web Host

In order for your blog to stay up and running, you need a quality web host. Free blogging sites aren’t recommended by most because you don’t truly own your space. The blog could be deleted at any time without a notice or reason. It’s happened to many people on Blogger or the free WordPress.com.

Note: A free WordPress.com blog is not the same as the free WordPress.org platform. With WordPress.org, you have to install it on a hosting plan – see what I mean in my “How to Start a Blog” tutorial.

I recommend Siteground for web hosting. They offer super fast loading times for your blog as well as superior customer service.

With Siteground, you can get one year of hosting for about $48. Siteground will give you a free domain name too!

2. Professional Theme

If you want to be taken seriously as a blogger, you have to look the part. A high quality blog design is important. It needs to be clean, easy to navigate, and have your blog title prominently displayed at the top. Avoid too many bright colors or the black ground with white text. It’s just difficult to read – and downright annoying to the eyes!

I have used a number of themes in my 9 years of blogging, but there are a few I recommend. Genesis Themes are great for beginners. You can customize these without knowing any fancy coding. Plus, there are many styles to choose from! I like Lifestyle Pro to start out with, myself.

StudioPress Premium WordPress Themes

3. Pinterest Scheduling Tool

If you are only going to choose one blogging tool to help you gain traffic and readers, let it be something for Pinterest. Most bloggers can’t be on Pinterest throughout the day (for a total of 2-ish hours), pinning their content as well as quality posts from other bloggers. However, that’s what your account needs in order to stay active and be pumping out useful pins that others want to re-pin.

The solution? Tailwind!

Why Tailwind? I recommend it as the best Pinterest tool for a number of reasons. It’s the only approved Pinterest Marketing partner, so I feel safe using it. It won’t get my account banned, as long as I am using it as it’s recommended.

tailwind-tribes-dashboard

Also, the Tailwind Tribes feature has been amazingly useful in exposing my content for more repins as well as finding content I can share with my own followers.

And the analytics in Tailwind?! They are insane! It’s important to see what pins are doing the best to get your blog more page views. The number lover in me gets a little excited every I look through my stats on Tailwind.

SCHEDULE 100 PINS FOR FREE WITH TAILWIND NOW!

4. Email List Builder

In orer to engage with your readers, you need to start building an email list. FROM DAY ONE.

This is the only way to ensure your loyal followers get notified of your new posts. Sharing them on social media isn’t a guarantee, especially with the way that Facebook only shows you the posts they want you to see. It’s very easy that people can miss your posts, even if they would like to read them!

convertkit

Having an email list lets you place yourself right in the inbox of your biggest fans. You can email them each time a new blog post goes live. Plus, you can communicate with them on special deals, exciting contests or challenges, or offer subscriber-only content they will find super helpful.

ConvertKit is my top choice for building my email list. I started with Mailchimp, but ConvertKit was designed with bloggers in mind. The automation, segmentation, and tagging just can’t be beat! With ConvertKit, you won’t pay for the same people multiple times, even if they sign up for every different freebie you offer.

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5. One eBook or Course

In order to grow your blog, you need to invest in your education. Just like you would go to college to get a fancy job, you need to learn all you can about online marketing, blogging, web traffic, and conversions.

Why do I say to only get ONE ebook or course your first year of blogging?

Because it’s SUPER easy to get overwhelmed. There are so many books and courses out there, you can easily buy them up and then not know where to go next. It’s called “info overload” and it is seriously a real thing.

Choose one area where you’d like to grow your blog. Maybe you want to grow your email list. Or increase your page views. Or start monetizing with affiliate links. No matter what your goals, stick to one course until you have finished and implemented it.

I have a few helpful blogging ebook and course recommendations on my Resources page if you’re interested!

Wrap Up

Of course, there are many other things you could invest in for your blog. Some may buy plugins, a professionally-designed theme, services, or coaching. The options are endless to what you can purchase in order to grow your blog. However, I do think the 5 listed here are the most essential if you are starting out.

What investments are you considering? If you’re not new to blogging, what investments do you think are the most important in a blogger’s first year?

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47 Comments on “Top 5 Investments to Make in your First Year of Blogging”

  1. I use Boardbooster and love it. I highly recommend either that or Tailwind. It has made such a difference. What great tips!

  2. I am loving Pinfinite Growth. I’m just now looking at ConvertKit. I am also just now looking into Boardbooster or Tailwind. Thanks for the list. I’m always wondering if I’m missing something.

  3. YESSS to Tailwind. My clients and I love it! I plan on splurging on my own subscription hopefully before the year is up. Thanks for sharing!

    1. It’s a great investment, and if you get it before the year end, it’s a 2016 business deduction on your taxes!

  4. wow, these are great tips. I felt more organized just reading it!
    I have not tried Tailwind , but am going to look into it.
    Thanks so much for these ideas!

  5. I totally agree with you about a professional theme and pay to host. I haven’t tried tailwind, I’ll have to look into it.

  6. I switched hosts this year, and so worth it! Cant deal with my blog being “down” or with a connection error or some other AAAACK situation!

    1. Finding a reliable host can be difficult! I’ve been happy with mine for a year and a half and I hope it continues.

  7. Finding a reliable host is a MUST. I had an awful host initially and it cost me thousands of page views!!! Tailwind and Buffer are my favorite investments!

    1. Oh yeah, that’s a good one. I will admit, though, I use my iPhone camera for 90% of my blog photography.

  8. These are fantastic tips. I think number one is the most important. I remember how excited I was the first time I had a post go viral. It reached 10,000 social shares in a few hours and then my site crashed. It was so stressful figuring it all out.

    1. Yes, you have to have a reliable host if you get a viral post. I couldn’t imagine the stress of that, Lesley!

  9. I really want to make more investments in social media scheduling. I’ve been using Later for Instagram and I love it. I know they’ve expanded to other platforms, but I haven’t looked into it yet.

  10. Really great post. I’m a new blogger and found this really helpful! The next thing for me to tackle is Tailwind. And information overload is a real thing!

  11. Very cool!! I have definitely invested in wordpress and hosting, plus a good theme. I also try to keep myself updated on SEO and other things via online research and being involved in groups!

    1. Have you considered taking a Pinterest course, Taylor? Pinterest is a beast, but once you’ve figured it out it can greatly grow your blog!

  12. These are smart advice! This is my first time to heard about your hosting and it has a great deal! Tailwind is my tools when it comes to Pinterest.

  13. Such a fantastic ideas! I had no idea about these tools and it’s a pleasure to know all of these. As a blogger, I should have good tools.

  14. So many great ideas and ones that I wish I knew about when I started blogging 8 years ago. I still don’t use tailwind but I have heard great things..I should check it out. 0

  15. It’s really important to find a good web host because it’s something that you’ll rely on as you go. I think these are all spot on! Each one will contribute to your blogging greatly.

  16. This is very helpful. I always see very conflicting info out there and this is very clear and concise. Definitely will make a new blogger less stressed out!

  17. Honestly I wish I would have learned a bit more about blogging 4 years ago, but things have changed so much since then. I am now working on a new website and self hosting service. I have learned a lot during these four years and It was time to upgrade and get more professional. These are some awesome tips and great Ideas.

    Thanks!!

  18. Kesia,
    Thanks for all the great info. I am new to blogging and WP and have been on a crash course to learn all I can as I plan to start my blog in January. I was on ASO’s website and I noticed that they have a WP optimized plan for extra.
    If Im going to have a WP blog, do I need to purchase both plans or will the regular “small” plan suffice for now? I don’t understand what Im getting with the WP optimized plan and how necessary is it for one like me just starting out. Is it something for bloggers with a huge audience/traffic?
    Im a little suspicious of all the bloggers out there who push for HostGator and BlueHost. It seems they have the market cornered for bloggers and I like to help the “under dog” when I can.

    Have a great 2017!

    Kelly

    1. Hi Kelly,

      Welcome to the world of blogging! With ASO, you only need the “small” plan. I honestly don’t know what the WP optimized plan is as I have never used it. And yes, ASO discounted their affiliate program. I am now recommending Siteground for beginning bloggers, as their customer service has been excellent and they offer very similar packages to what ASO does. Good luck!

      1. Thanks Kecia! I signed up with them but having a really hard time with passwords and WP. I might have jumped the gun with them. I will keep working on it.

        It stinks they got rid of their affiliate program.

        Thanks!

        Kelly

  19. Also, I can’t find anything on a affiliate program for ASO. When I did a search online, the links were dead. Am I missing something or have they discontinued it?

  20. Pinterest has recently made me hop back into the world of blogging and I first thought of you! I searched for your blog but couldn’t find you! Then I decided to use my brain and look on Facebook and I’m glad I did because you have two blogs now! We should catch up sometime, lady.

  21. Ahhhh I so need to get with Pinterest scheduling!! I’ve heard so many great things about Tailwind, it seems I have no choice but to give them a try! 😀

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