Do you really need to invest money into your blog to make it work? Nope, you don’t. However, opting for that route will have it working for someone else. So, if you’re good with that then read no further.
Investing in you blog is crucial to your success. While there is nothing wrong starting out on a free blogging platform, you’ll soon realize that if you want to be seen as a professional and be able to monetize your blog, some investments will be mandatory. Those investments will help you establish your brand, build your credibility, and ultimately allow you to generate an income from your blog, which is often the end-goal for a good majority of bloggers.
Here are the top four investments you should seriously consider for your blog.
A Domain Name And Hosting
Starting your blog for free on blogging platforms like WordPress.com or Blogger is an excellent way to get your feet wet and familiarize yourself with how blogging works in general. It gives you a feel for the platform, but the downside is that you will be extremely limited in what you can do. Moreover, if your blog’s URL looks like yourblogname.wordpress.com, you’ll be seen as unprofessional - someone who doesn’t take blogging seriously enough to make even the smallest investment.
That’s why your first investment should be your own domain name and a hosting package that will suit your needs, and has the capacity to grow with you. Everything for your blog depends on the hosting package you choose. It puts you in control and allows you to be the true owner of your content. A free blogging platform might be free but if the platform decides to shut down their servers, your blog will be lost. You also run the risk of having your blog taken down because you inadvertently broke Terms of Service.
A self-hosted blog using the WordPress platform is your best bet. You can start out with a shared hosting plan from providers like BlueHost or DreamHost, but once your blog grows, you might want to consider upgrading to a managed hosting plan where most of the backend work is done for you, like performance enhancing caching, automatic updates, and a blacklist of harmful plugins. By choosing a managed WordPress hosting package, you can focus more on what you do and how you do it, rather than worrying about the finer details of keeping a WordPress site updated and secured.
The second investment
Then you should look into a powerful analytics tool. It might not seem like a big deal but being able to make decisions based on logical and proven numbers will be better than trying to guess what actually works and stalling yourself with things that don’t. All of your web decisions should be rooted in facts not speculations.
Creating a free Google Analytics account is easy and implementing it on your site is even easier with a plugin like MonsterInsights. Being able to see which of your posts are connecting with your target audience gives you a chance to make more of those types of posts. You can easily see which way you present your products does better, making it easy to make them uninformed. When you can offer a lot of services, you need to know which of them do better, and with analytics, it couldn’t be easier.
An Optin Form
Email lists are the lifeblood of every monetized website, and for a good reason; the ROI can reach as high as 3800%. Getting those email address may seem hard, but well-placed pop-ups, slide ins, or exit intent pop-ups will help you get those desired addresses. That’s why investing in an optin form that works with your chosen email provider is essential.
Opt in forms are the standard when it comes to getting email addresses. However, they need to be comfortable enough that you don’t have to hire out a designer. They should also be able to target visitors of your site at specific key points; like reaching the end of a post, going through your website, or leaving your site. Then they need to be comprehensive enough that they can segment your growing email list for a better chance of selling your product or service.
Be careful when implementing various pop-up types. Using integrated tools like A/B testing to see how well your ‘welcome mat’ pop-up performs versus your ‘exit intent’ can show you just how finicky your visitors can get. Getting the most out of your popups will take some time, as each website is unique.
To best convey your professional business nature you should get a premium theme or hire a designer to create one for you. While you could make almost any of the free themes in the WordPress repository work in your favor; you will find that a premium theme comes with more functionality as well a dedicated support from the theme author who can help you if you run into any issues or problems with your theme.
Make sure your theme is responsive so that your website can be seen on all devices. Mobile internet use is surpassing the home internet on almost all fronts. Being able to showcase your product or service on smartphones or tablets isn’t just good business; it is a must.
Summing it up
As you can see, it pays off in the long run to do a little investing in your blog. Having a great hosting provider will ensure that your website is always up and always fast. A powerful analytical tool will help you by giving you accurate and specific numbers so that you can make informed decisions about your best practices. Making use of a great opt in tool and your chosen email provider helps to grow your revenue stream. Tie it all up with a professional looking theme, and you have the perfect combination to get started on the world wide web.