I’ve been blogging for almost 8 years now, and as I’ve grown this blog into a space that goes beyond being just a creative outlet, I’ve learned a thing or two about what a blogger should invest in. Obviously, your own domain name and web design are priorities, but I wanted to share 3 other things that bloggers should invest in if they want to take their blog to the next level.
In my opinion, this is the number one investment I think bloggers should make, especially if they’re fashion or lifestyle focused. Great visuals is what moves your readers to share your content, so if nothing else, invest in your photography. If you can afford to hire a photographer, find one that has a shooting style and aesthetic that you like (not all photographers shoot the same). If you can’t pay someone to shoot with you regularly, save up to get a nice camera and lens. It doesn’t have to be a full blown professional grade camera, but it should produce images that are clear, crisp and professional looking. Yes, your smart phone can take great photos as well but at the end of the day, 99% of those bloggers that you follow and love (and share!) are creating content with a dslr and there is a reason behind it. My personal recommendation? I’m a Canon girl, so anything from the Rebel Series and then the Canon 50mm f/1.8 will help upgrade your photos. Can’t afford either right now? Find some great stock photos that are on-brand with your blog.
Whether you attend in-person workshops or sign up for a class via sites like Skillshare and Teachable, don’t be afraid to invest in education related to blogging. Yes, you can use Google (trust, I spent many, many, many nights with 30 tabs open researching different things), but sometimes you still can’t find out what you need, and/or you don’t have the extra time to look for it. Do your due diligence in vetting workshops, conferences and courses before you pay for them, though. Make sure you understand what their program is about before you invest in something that won’t help you. There are books, podcasts and guides out there that you can use before you pay for a $500 course. A key thing to remember is that when most bloggers offer courses that will help you make money from blogging, it’s to show you how to set up an email funnel system geared towards other bloggers, so make sure there is a clear outline of what they’re teaching and that it lines up with what you’re actually trying to learn. They’re NOT making money from blogging (which is done via ads, sponsorships and brand partnerships); they’re making money being an infopreneur, which is something that is totally different. Some books I’d recommend: A Beautiful Mess: Photo Idea Book, Capture Your Style, Leave Your Mark, Pro-Blogging Secrets : Strategies, Tips, and Answers You Need to Grow Your Blog and Earn More Money, Worth Every Penny. Blogging is about more that just blogging, so it helps to read up on things related to marketing, advertising, business, photography, and social media.
Editorial Calendar + Content Strategy
While this isn’t a financial investment, this IS a time investment and at the end of the day, in order to compete with a lot of the other bloggers out there, you have to invest your time in planning out your content and how you want to share it. Yes, you can blog whenever and however you want, but if you’re interested in becoming a Pro-Blogger there has to be some rhyme behind your reason for blogging. And it doesn’t have to be that hard. If you know who your target blogging audience is and you’ve narrowed down your niche, now it’s time to brainstorm content ideas and plug it into your Editorial Calendar. If you have a posting schedule (those that are trying to grow traffic organically but quickly usually post to their blogs between 3-5 times a week), input when you want specific posts to go live so that you have an idea of what you need to be working on. Once that’s done, plan out your social media sharing schedule, and be sure to include filler content (related content from other blogs/sites that your followers might also enjoy) to keep it diverse. If you need ideas on how to do this, look at the social media accounts from Camille Styles, Lauren Conrad and The Glitter Guide. In addition to sharing links to their own fresh content, they also share links from other sites that are related to their niche. It will require a little bit of batch processing but it CAN be done. Not only will will it help you stay organized, but it will also help your audience know what to expect from you.
Hopefully these tips will help you to create even better content for your blog! Interested in more blogging tips? Click here.