Besides blogging, what’s your favorite hobby? Is it running, painting, reading or something else? Whatever it is, I bet you spend a few dollars now and again to do that hobby, right? Well, today I’ll share with my favorite paid blogging tools that are worth every cent.
If you’re a runner, you buy new shoes when you need them or a cute new running outfit when you see one. It’s an investment in something you love to do, something that makes you feel alive.
How about if your favorite hobby is reading? You don’t only read free books; you also buy ones that catch your interest. When the new installment of your favorite series comes out, you’ve got to have it because the written word is your passion.
Perhaps you’re a painter, and you enjoy putting brush to canvas every chance you get. You need to purchase paints fairly often and brushes from time to time. You’ve even paid to take a few classes to learn new techniques. Of course, it’s how you express yourself.
Makes sense, right?
So, why is it so different to spending a few dollars here and there on your blog, even if you’re blog is a hobby, and it’s not monetized?
Do you make money from any other hobby? Running? Painting? Reading? Probably not.
Does that stop you from buying a new pair of running shoes when your current pair is worn through? No.
Have you said that you can’t buy any books ever again, even though you’ve had your eye on a particular title that your local library doesn’t and won’t carry? Of course not.
Do you buy more paint when you run out and replace brushes when they’re worn? Without a second thought.
Why is your blog different?
Then why, even if you consider your blog “just a hobby,” let alone an opportunity to make income, would spending a few dollars on your blog be any different.
You see, potential blog coaching clients tell me all the time that they’re not allowed to spend any money on their blog.
Many people say that they can’t spend a cent on paid blogging tools or resources because their blog isn’t making them money yet. They call it a “hobby” and that logic just doesn’t hold water.
Are you ready to cash in?
Especially if your hobby blog is something that you want to turn into a way to make income, you’ve got to be strategic, and you’ve got to have the right tools and systems in place.
Can you do it without a few paid tools and systems? Well, sure. If you’ve got a ton of time, patience and are in no particular hurry… you can do it for less, but not free. It just doesn’t work that way.
How do you know which paid blogging tools are worth the money?
This is the age of the internet, my friends, so use it. Although opinions may vary from person to person, I’ve been in the blogosphere off an on since the 90s and have been doing it professionally for awhile now. I know what paid blogging tools work, both for my clients and me.
Here are 5 paid blogging tools that are worth every cent
1. Hosting and Domain
If you’re looking to run a blog that is full of features, gives you full creative control, plus the option to monetize at any point, you’re looking for a self-hosted WordPress blog. This is sometimes referred to, somewhat erroneously, as using WordPress.ORG.
The only hosting company that I use and recommend to my clients currently is Siteground. For $4/mo you get set up for success right from the start. You can read all about why I’m so in love with them in an epic 1800+ word post on The Most Embarrassing Mistake I Made as a New Blogger. Go ahead, and I’ll wait.
Crazy stuff, right? Yup.
Anyway, if you go with another hosting company, do me the favor of checking into a few things first:
- Are they independent or who is the parent company? (Do your research here!)
- What about 24/7 live tech support via chat & phone?
- Do they have simple WordPress install?
- Do they include a free domain for a year?
- If you’re hosted elsewhere, do they professionally transfer your site for free?
If you happen to hate WordPress or are scared a bit by having to figure out a little of the tech stuff from time to time, go with Squarespace. It’s a little more pricey than $4/month with Siteground, but it’s a simple and easy way to build an elegant blog. They are currently running at $18/mo special when paid annually or $26/mo when paid monthly. If you’re going to go with Squarespace, skip ahead to number 4.
Do not skimp on a theme. Yes, there are free themes that look nice but even when that’s the case, you don’t see what’s going on from the backend.
Between sloppy coding, that means your site is basically duck taped together — major security holes and updates that just don’t happen often enough. It’s just worth the $30-60 you’ll spend on a good theme.
Can you have all of those issues in a paid theme? Sure, but that’s why you need to do your research first!
There are two companies that I have used and recommend for well-built, consistently updated, and fantastically supported themes and other blogging tools:
If you want to be a consistent blogger, CoSchedule is a total game changer. It’s the best, all in one social media scheduler, editorial calendar, headline analyzer and more. Used correctly, it can have a dramatic effect on time saved scheduling your social media channels like Facebook, Facebook Groups, Twitter, and Google+. Works well for curation, time-sensitive social posts and sharing your new blog posts.
Plus, you can get 50% off the cost just by writing a review!
Pinterest is a massive source of traffic for bloggers when it’s used properly and with purpose. Although you can easily grow your Pinterest traffic manually, using a scheduler like Tailwind will take your pin game to the next level with minimal effort.
Why Tailwind? Because it doubled my traffic after 30 days and tripled my traffic around 90 days out. How’s that for a reason?
Also, Tailwind is a Pinterest API partner so you know it’s an approved tool. They have a spectacular suite of tools including Tailwind Tribes, account and domain analytics, as well as optimization of the timing on every single pin you schedule.
Did you know that we have a variety of special members only group boards and even a members only Tailwind tribe? Join today!
Bloggers are writers! Unless you only do video, you write. Take that responsibility seriously and edit your posts carefully. My favorite tool for editing is easily Grammarly.
Now, I’m not saying that you have to apply academic standards to your blog posts, but you shouldn’t be making sloppy or careless errors. It sends the wrong message to your readers if it happens more than every once in awhile.
Grammarly does have a good free version, but the premium version is spectacular. It catches things I didn’t even consider and even suggests revisions based on word choice; that’s how wonderful the premium version is.
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Find a balance
Now, it’s quite possible, and shockingly common, for bloggers to swing too far in the other direction as well. They throw money around at every one of the blogging tools, class, coach, etc. out there. That’s just as bad as refusing to spend anything.
Instead, find a happy medium. Invest in paid blogging tools that make your blogging journey easier and have a high return on investment.
Do you have favorite paid blogging tools that are worth every cent to you? Go ahead and share it with us in the comments section below.
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