You’ve probably heard the old adage, “You have to spend money to make money.” This adage is just as true for the blogging business as any other business. If you want to turn your blogging hobby into a legitimate business, you have to invest a little bit of money to make it happen. However, that doesn’t mean you have to throw your money at every opportunity that comes along.
Here are a few smart ways to invest in your blogging business without breaking the bank:
- Domain name. In order for your blog to be recognized as professional, you’ll have to ditch the “.blogspot” or “.wordpress” in your domain name. Sites like BlueHost offer domain hosting for as little as $3.95 a month. If you don’t want to pay a monthly fee, buy multiple years worth of hosting up front. Most hosting sites will refund you if you cancel your subscription early.
- A professional look. Whether you choose to hire a graphic designer, web designer, or simply do it yourself, you’ll need to spend a little money to get your site looking beautiful and working properly. A logo helps brand your business and helps your following recognize your blog. This investment ranges anywhere from $50 to thousands, depending on your budget.
- A nice camera. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to get a crisp photo for your blog posts. However, a nice camera that can produce high-quality photos is a smart investment for your blogging business. You can deduct your camera purchase on your taxes all in one year, or if you spent a bit more on it, you can depreciate it over time.
- Conferences and trainings. If you read part one of our Business of Blogging series, you know not to expect to make millions of dollars overnight. There’s a huge learning curve to blogging, and you need to know what you’re doing in order to make money. Blog conferences are a great way to learn the basics and are a smart investment for your blog business.
- Professional headshots. Other than your logo, your headshot is the representation of your blog. Most bloggers use their headshots for their social media profiles, so it’s important that you’re happy with it. You can take your own, but if you don’t know your way around a camera, it’s not a bad investment to hire a professional.
- Business cards. Not everyone you meet who is a potential supporter of your blog will actually be through your blog. Having business cards handy will is a great way to advertise your blog and keep you at the forefront of potential sponsors’ minds. Business cards are also great to hand out to other bloggers, especially at conferences. They’re a relatively inexpensive business investment, but critical to success.
- Editing software. Free programs such as PicMonkey are great, but many bloggers choose to invest in professional editing/designing software such as Photoshop or Illustrator. Adobe subscriptions range from $20 a` month to $50 a month, or you could even purchase one of the older CS versions on a disc for your blog business.
- A professional accountant. Not just because you’re here reading an accounting blog! When you start making money on your blog, tracking expenses and filing taxes properly can become a huge hassle. This is especially true if you have multiple streams of income for your blog. Consider investing in the services of an accountant to help make your blog as profitable as possible.
While this is not an all-inclusive list of smart investments for your blogging business, it’s a great start for the novice blogger. The best part about all of the above investments is that they are tax-deductible and will reduce your taxable income at the end of the year.
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Ben Sutton is the founder of Mazuma USA, an accounting firm providing tax, bookkeeping and payroll services to small businesses. Since founding Mazuma, Ben has established himself as an expert in the small business world. He’s still driven by that same desire to provide accounting help to all small businesses – from photographers, bloggers and creatives to lawyers, doctors, and dentists, everyone needs affordable accounting help. Ben is a Certified Public Accountant, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. But Ben considers his greatest achievement and credential to be his happy wife and four children.