When you make the decision to refocus your blog as a business, you’ll find that going the next step doesn’t come free of charge. Although anyone can start a blog these days, scouting the difference between blogging as a hobby & blogging as a business becomes more obvious to the naked eye based on the investments made by the latter.
Despite the added expense, making strategic investments for your blog will only benefit your growing business in the long-run. You’ll find more doors opening with opportunity when you have a website that best represents the brand you’ve put your blood, sweat, and tears into. Ultimately the investments you make for your blog today will be paid off AND will provide you with return on investment/ongoing profit.
Here are 5 investments I made for my blog when I decided to refocus my brand as a business:
1) Self-Hosted Website Platform
If you’re making the decision to blog as a business, then you’ll have to set up your website as self-hosted in order to best represent your brand in a professional manner. Self-hosted websites have a multitude of pro’s; for starters, it’s open to everyone & free to use – all you need is a purchased domain name & a purchased web hosting platform/service. Self-hosted websites enable its user to fully own the content published & all of its data. It offers endless customization options and can be monetized without having to share revenue with a 3rd party ‘server.’
Due to the flexibility of customizing your own website, from its design to how its content is displayed, you will be expected to put money down for several components to establish your blog as an independent brand appealing to prospective clients who want to work with you:
- Domain Name ($10-$20)
- “WP Engine” Personal Plan ($29/month) + flexibility to upgrade to Premium Plan when you need more storage down the road ($99/month)
- Theme/Layout for website ($20-$50)
- Gmail for Business ($20+/month)
2) DSLR Camera
The quality of the photographs you post on your website will make or break your business. Brand clients want to work with blogs that will best represent their products with aesthetically pleasing, high-quality imagery that they, themselves, can re-use for their own promotional needs. As great as those iPhone cameras are now, they will never be able to take the place of using a DSLR Camera to capture your content.
New DSLR Cameras can range in price from $500 – $1,000 (not including the lens) – aka VERY PRICEY. However, you can find gently-used starter camera bundles on websites such as eBay for getting started. Once you’ve become comfortable using it & understand what you need to enhance your images, then I would look into purchasing the next model type or lens size.
3) Adobe Editing Software
With a high-quality DSLR camera, you will need to edit your photos using a professional editing software program. Many bloggers, including myself, use Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop to edit our photos that will be published to our websites & blasted on social media. The best part about Adobe is that it allows you to experience a Free Trial period per software before you commit to purchasing, and the overall cost of both these programs are not as expensive as you’d think.
Adobe Photoshop plans start at $19.99/month as part of the Creative Cloud.
Adobe Lightroom plans start at $9.99/month as part of the Creative Cloud.
4) External Hard Drive
High-quality images & their edited versions using Adobe Software will lead to large files to be saved onto your hard drive. Overtime, you’ll find your computer asking you to make room or delete files in order to maintain storage for other applications on your website. This means you will have to invest in an external hard drive in order to transfer your edited photo files rather than deleting them permanently.
I used this external mobile hard drive during my years in college and the next 2 years following graduation. Once I ran out of room on that drive & started using my desktop computer, I switched over to using a ‘My Book’ external hard drive.
Last but certainly not least is the most crucial investment I made when deciding to blog as a business – My Time. I wanted my blog to become my career and in order to do that I would have to sacrifice free time during the week and most of my weekends to working on my blog’s content. I kid you not when I say that I’ve pulled more all-nighters out of college simply working on my blog. Sometimes I feel utterly exhausted, unmotivated, and flat-out drained from the hours spent staring at the computer screen.
Would I change it for anything? Absolutely not. Despite all the work that goes into blogging as a business, this is the only thing I want to spend my time doing. My passion for it overrides all the challenges faced and struggles encountered. If blogging is something you want to pursue as a career, then you need to be prepared to spend 95% of your time dedicated to it.
The best part about devoting your time to something you love? It never truly feels like work & every day has you excited to get back to it.