Becoming a successful blogger is all about building credibility. Credibility is the quality of being convincing or believable. In order for your readers to trust you as a blogger, your site needs to come across like you know what you are doing and that you’ve got this blogging thing down (even if in reality you’re still trying to figure it all out!). In order to look credible, there are 5 blog investments worth making that will absolutely add to the value and credibility of your blog.
Let’s take a look at what they are:
#1 Buy a killer domain
The domain is your custom site address. It makes your site easier to find and lets you look more professional in the online world. It is one of those blog investments which should be done at the very beginning of your journey.
Whether you realize it or not, your domain will impact the success of your blog. If you’ve set up a free blog on WordPress.com or Blogger, simply losing the worpdress.com or blogspot.com extension on your URL will add so much credibility to your blog.
Where can I buy a domain?
Bluehost is a great place to search for and purchase a domain. Although harder to find these days, try your best to use a dot-com domain as they come off as more credible. If the dot-com extension isn’t available, you can also get away with a dot-net extension or dot-org (if you are non-profit), but try to keep away from all the other extensions as they tend to diminish credibility.
Remember that you get a FREE domain when setting up a website or blog with Bluehost. Check our ‘How to Start a Blog‘ for step by step guide.
How much will I need to pay?
Most domains are inexpensive to purchase, however, don’t be surprised if it costs a little money to secure the golden dot-com domain. Some domains, especially good ones, may cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. The designerblogs.com domain, for example, was a several hundred dollar investments when I purchased it 9+ years ago. I remember how scared I was to drop that much money into the purchase of a domain, but it has proven to be one of the best investments I could have made.
What else should I know?
Lastly, make sure your domain is simple and something that can be easily remembered. Nobody will ever remember your URL if it is too long. Using strong keywords in your URL is a great way to get an easy boost in your SEO, but only use keywords if they make sense and fit your brand. Using a completely original name for your blog and URL is also a great way to go.
Your domain is a representation of your blog and brand, so don’t be afraid to invest a little time and money to secure the perfect one.
Do you have a blog on Blogger? Make sure to check how to Use a Custom Domain on Blogger guide.
#2 Invest in Hosting Plan
Getting a hosting plan (a.k.a. moving to self-hosted WordPress) is one of the best blog investments you can make because it allows for unlimited growth.
Free blogging platforms like Blogger and WordPress.com are great, but very limited when it comes to design, customization, and potential for growth. If you are a serious blogger, self-hosted WordPress is where you need to be.
I know it might seem a little overwhelming, but hey, that’s what Designer Blogs is here for! Hire us and we’ll transfer all of your content and help you make the move as seamless as possible.
As with any new thing, there is always a bit of a learning curve, but once you settle into self-hosted WordPress you’ll love it and be so glad you made the switch.
Where should I start?
Visit our guide on ‘How to Purchase a Hosting Plan and Install WordPress‘ and it will walk you through the steps of purchasing a hosting plan (we highly recommend Bluehost) and installing WordPress. From there, if you need help transferring all of your content, contact us and we’d love to help you!
#3 Make your blog look perfect
You only get one chance to make a great first impression with your blog, so make it a memorable one for your visitors with an impressive blog design.
Yes, content is key, but if someone finds one of your blog posts on Pinterest and then clicks over to your blog to read the full article and your blog design is unprofessionally slopped together, it’s going to detract from your content instead of enhancing it like a good blog design should.
Think of it this way: The content of your blog is like a cake, but the cake isn’t going to look that appetizing if the icing on the cake is a disaster.
Your blog design is the gorgeous icing that entices your visitors to want to delve more deeply into your content. It is definitely the blog investment worth making!
Having a great blog design shows you are committed to your blog and adds to your credibility as a blogger. Readers are going to make more of an effort to visit and re-visit your blog when they see the effort is being invested into it. Having a stunning blog design will also positively increase your blog traffic because people are more likely to link to, share, and pin blog designs they find impressive.
Blog design doesn’t have to be expensive!
Here at Designer Blogs, we have a huge selection of very affordable (& not to mention gorgeous) blog templates for Blogger & WordPress that start as low as $15.
Or you can invest in a more semi-custom premade theme, which includes our most popular add-on items and installation.
If you want to really impress your readers, you can opt for a 100% unique, fully custom where you’ll work closely with a designer to create your dream look.
We have design options available for every budget to make sure that this blog investment will make your site grow rather then ruining your budget. Check out each of our shops below for more info:
#4 Images as a great blog investment
You no longer need to be a photographer or own an expensive camera to make your blog or site successful (unless you are a photographer!). You can use your phone to snap perfect photos and edit them online. However, it doesn’t mean that there is no room for improvement here.
Take advantage of styled stock photos
If you struggle in the photography department or simply lack the time to do constant photoshoots, take advantage of the thousands of professional stock photos available to you online. You can find a list of free stock photo sites here. They are great for everyday use, however, if you want your blog content to be unique and eye-catching consider investing in premium images, for example from Creative Market.
With so many great resources available, there really is no excuse not to be using high-quality photos on your blog.
It will not cost you much but you will see the difference in the quality of your posts. I personally buy images for posts that are important for me or if I can’t find something I like from free sources. It is one of those blog investments I can recommend to all of you who do not really have time to shoot photos on your own.
Edit your photos!
Learning how to edit and add text to your photos is an important part of creating a great blog packed with pinnable images. You can use any software you want for that however I personally recommend Canva as it is free (with a premium version available) and will allow you to post images directly to your social media from there.
It includes hundreds of free materials and preset sizes to make your work faster and easier.
#5 INVEST IN KNOWLEDGE
It’s impossible to build a successful blog without investing in knowledge. Things in the blogging world are constantly changing, so even bloggers who think they’ve mastered everything still have much to learn!
If you don’t have a lot of money in the beginning, start by searching for blog tutorials and tips by knowledgeable and experienced bloggers. We have a whole slew of blogging tips you can start with that will share the basics of growing a successful blog.
Even though there are endless amounts of free information available to you, to really take your blog to the next level may require you to spend a little money on a good eBook, webinar, eCourse, and/or attending a good blog conference. It is one of those blog investments which will last you forever.
Be sure, however, that you implement what you learn as you go. Some people get so caught up in learning, learning, learning that they overwhelm themselves with knowledge and end up not knowing where to start. Learn a little, then implement. Learn a little more, then implement. Implementing knowledge all along your blogging journey is the key to growth and success!
What blog investment can you recommend?
What other blog investments have you found to be worth making? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Esther @ Chosen & Cherished says
Wow, your website is a well full of helpful blogging info!! Great job, Erin!
Very helpful tips and enjoyable to read!
Thank you 🙂
I am still learning a lot about blogging, though I have been doing it for almost 3 months now. Thanks for sharing. x
Really helful post! I have question: Do you think it’s a good idea to invest in a professional looking blog design despite the number of followers I have?
Thanks a lot❤️
Sure it is! You do not need to purchase custom made design at the start. Adding nice and professional premade template will not only make your blog look more appealing for your visitors but it will also give you more motivation for creating even better content 🙂
Great thank you so much for your advice
Ben Kilfoil says
Great post, And really helpful.
This is probably the best, Step-by-step guide.
I have also written a blog if you would like to read.
The First Killer Investment