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Blogging on a budget?

Blogging on a budget?

So, after blogging for just over a year I have managed to pick up a few tips and tricks from reading various articles, Google searches and being part of a mentorship programme through the Official UK Bloggers facebook group (massive thank you to my mentor Georgina for all the help you have given me over the last few months).

Granted some of the tips do involve money, and sometimes not in small amounts either BUT I have managed to find a few ways around to make my blogging venture a bit cheaper than if I went all out. Don’t get me wrong if I had the money to spare I would be buying so much more equipment and would be buying all of the top end products but as I don’t have thousands of pounds waiting idly in my bank account I have found a few bargain alternatives so thought I would share my money saving ideas alongside the pointers I have been given.

Only going to give a few ideas but there are many other things out there, these are just to help start you off 🙂

 

The Blog

Once you’ve decided to start a blog and thought of topics, names etc, make sure you buy your domain name- this makes sure it is yours, cannot be used by anyone else and makes you feel like it’s all becoming official ^_^ it does cost but it is usually an annual fee and not too expensive.

Next choice is whether to go self hosted or not, I did my first year hosted by WordPress but have recently changed to self hosted. Using the site as the host saves money but it does mean you have a little less freedom within your blog. Self hosted you have to pay for, this is usually either a monthly plan or annual fee and prices depend on the package chosen but if you’re doing a regular blog and are hoping to monetise it at some point or want to be able to use Moz (see later section) you will need to be self hosted.

Next is deciding on the theme you want to use. There are free themes available (that’s what I started with) but a lot of them do charge, prices seem to range from £30-£100 in most cases so it depends what look you’re going for, your budget and the options available to you within the styles you are after.

Content and Photography

The easiest way to save money is to use your own skills. Rather than paying for others to write content for you write your own blog posts, instead of paying for stock photos use your own pics or there are sites such as Pixabay that provide free photos that others have added to their portfolio for anyone to use.

If you do want to use other peoples content ask permission first, a lot of people will allow you to use their content in exchange for a small fee or even just a mention/tag- some of them may become a regular connection for you to share each others content in the future too, some may decide to collaborate with you.

Want to make your photos look a bit more professional but can’t afford a standing ring light or fancy professional camera? I’m in the same boat, I have instead bought attachments for my mobile, most for £5 or less, I now have wide angle, macro and fish eye lenses which came in a set, a polarising lens and a ring light. When I have the money I will invest in a really good camera and lens sets but for now this is doing a good enough job for my blog photos and instagram posts. Filters are also a way of saving money, there are so many apps you can purchase for them or just use the ones built in on your phone or load pics via instagram and then use the filtered photos on your website.

If you want a few photography tips to improve your basic skills before you get all fancy with filters and attachments check out the guest post my friend Summer has written for me.

Backdrops for photos can also become expensive, what I do is find surfaces around my own home; blankets, clothes, bedding, walls etc as long as you’re happy with the photo, you think it looks good and it’s good content you will get a positive response no matter how much or how little you have spent on it.

 

Social Media

A great way of getting your posts to more people and to get a larger following of your work is to use social media. You can manage your own sites to save money or pay for others to look after them for you, there are sites you can use to look into statistics and regulate certain things within your various media but as I’m only recently starting out I have not invested in any of these yet, I’m trying to get as much as possible going solo and will put more money into things once it has started getting off the ground.

You can pay to boost posts on several social media platforms or can encourage your current followers to share your content to grow your community, if you market yourself instead of having to pay for additional help you will save yourself a fair wad of cash.

I currently have accounts for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linked In and looking into starting a Pinterest account as I had a personal one I started years ago and remember finding so many things on there and seeing other bloggers using it recently within their posts makes me want to get back into it too.

There’s always ways to get connected to more people, online is a great way to start but face to face connections and other networking will work wonders for you as well. I am hoping to start being able to attend blogging, marketing and networking events to connect with more people, that’s one of my aims over the next year or so.

A fab blog I read, and happens to be by my blogging mentor so you know it’ll be good, is this link about growing your blog and social medias.

 

Domain Authority or DA

Now this is something I’m not that great at, I have been looking into articles and things to improve mine but in all honesty I’m not 100% what exactly it is yet. I know it helps with how high you rank on search engine results pages I’m just not sure on how this 0-100 scoring is calculated, but that is where MOZ comes into it, it shows you your score so you can easily check it that way 🙂

The easiest things I’ve seen as methods on how to increase it aren’t too time consuming and don’t cost monies (other than if you upgrade your moz account to access further information). Most articles about increasing your DA say to post regularly, comment on other peoples blogs, get comments, likes and shares (basically get people talking about your posts and talk about others’ too), use tags and guest posts. Obviously there are other methods too but these are the ones I’ve seen cropping up in the articles I’ve read.

For a few more tips why not check out Upyourvlog‘s ebook? for 99p it’s 14 pages of helpful hints written in a way that even the most clueless blogger can understand, it’s great, I bought it myself and I’m already seeing results! Try this link, why not check out her blog while you’re there too, there so much stuff on it!

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Moz

Anyway, I think that’s enough to get you started, the easiest way to save money is to do as much of it all yourself rather than outsource. Good luck with your blog whether it be new or old and hopefully this gave you some useful tips 🙂

 

Until next time, TTFN,

 

 

Did you find these tips useful? Do you have any other tips for blogging, saving money as you do it or for increasing DA? Have you downloaded the e-book? Let me know in the comments.

 

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