One of the most difficult questions I face when I’m starting or improving a hustle is where should I spend and where should I save? I’ve wasted a lot of money on things I believed were important and equally, I’ve lost out by being cheap when I should have spent.
Today is a learn from my fail type post and whether you’re a newbie or you’ve been hustling for a while and are facing the choice of spending money, I hope this post is helpful!
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The essential purchases for your blog or business
I thought I’d start this post with what I consider to be the essential things you shouldn’t scrimp on as a blogger or small biz owner. Of course, seeing as I think they’re the most essential, they also happen to be the tools people go cheap on the most. Funny how that works.
Blog and Biz Must Buy – domain name
As soon as you decide you want to start a blog, a business, or a project, I suggest buying your domain name. Why?
Procrastinating on purchasing your domain name means someone else can easily snap it up. There are no laws against who can buy what so leaving your domain name to chance is pretty foolish. These things are affordable.
Pro Tip: if you’re not ready to start your blog or website you can hold onto your domain name for as long as you want until you’re ready to begin.
Blog and Biz Must Buy – blog or website hosting
Right up there with your domain name is your site hosting.
Think of hosting as the step that puts your blog or website on the internet. Hosting is especially important because running your blog or site through a free platform isn’t professionally sexy.
Purchasing hosting allows you to run a self-hosted blog or website and I talk about why this is so crucial in this post.
A lot of newbies opt to run their site on free platforms like WordPress.com or Wix beause they cite being unable to afford hosting. Truthfully, I think that’s a cop out.
Hosting costs the same as one latte per month.
If you spend at least £/$10 a month on treats, junkfood, clothes, makeup, movies tickets, Netflix, yuo can afford to pay for hosting. I will never start a business or project site on a free platform. Ever.
As for bloggers, if your blog is a hobby it’s okay to use a free platform. However, if you catch yoruself worried about using Twitter RT accounts, worried about views and attending blogger network events – you need to go self-hosted.
Blog and Biz Must Buy – Quality blog themes
When I was a newbie blogger I made the tragic mistake of only using free themes. My blog looked like crap. Save yourself the headache and invest in a professional theme.
Free or cheap themes lack the power that you need to really trasform your blog or website into your vision. I share what to look for when purchasing your next theme in this post.
Another reason why you should spend when it comes to your theme is you want this to be a purchase that lasts. Investing in a quality theme means it can grow with your brand and it’s not money going down the drain.
I buy all of my themes from Themeforest and they’ve never let me down. While I do recommend some other sites, Themeforest is my first love.
Recommended purchases for creatives and bloggers
In this category I’ve placed all the things I usually end up buying but I might wait a bit before making the purchase. They’re still essential in my opinion but you can get away with not going for them asap.
A Designer / Content Creator
I might a bit biased because this is what I do via Coco Creative, but having someone to help bring your vision together is a game changer. With the invention of easy tools like Canva a lot of people think they’re designers, Digital Marketers, etc. No. You’re not.
Having someone who knows what they’re doing can elevate your hustle. Paying for a professional photographer, designer, copywriter, etc. can be an investment that pays off.
Even having someone set your blog up for you (yep, I offer that too) can be a blessing.
It’s also helpful for those who realize they don’t have the skills to do their project (blog setup, social media posting, etc) and they don’t have the time to try and piece it together.
I receommend investing in this area because it’s going to catapult your hustle to new heights.
A program you use regularly
My recommendation is try the free version of a tool or program first. If after 30 days you’ve used it continously or you’ve used it through the month and it’s improved your workflow, upgrade.
My most recent free to paid tool is Grammarly; I know you’ve seen the commercials on YouTube but they really are that incredible. I use this tool for my writing jobs as well as blogging and everything in between so it’s paying off. The free version is awesome so just imagine how stoked I am about the premium version!
One more tool I enjoy is Tailwind. If your Pinterest game isn’t poppin, Tailwind helps to schedule your pins (you can also schedule Instagram)! Pinterest is a great platform to attract traffic to your site so this is a tool I’d recommend trying before buying. Get your first 100 pins free on me!
It might seem weird that I’m not putting education as a must spend, especially with my Branding Workshop coming up but I feel this is something you shouldn’t be forced to purchase.
You should def attend a class, course, workshop, etc if you feel a connection to the material, if you believe it’s helpful for and if it’s something that’s worth the investment. As much as I want the whole of the UK to attend my event, I know it’s not the right fit for everyone. That’s okay.
I try to attend workshops at least once every quarter and I always make sure it’s a good fit for me and my blogs.
Areas where you can save
- Fancy co-working spaces – I wasted a lot of money buyng into hotdesk/co-working spaces. Even working from Starbucks can dig into your budget. I took that same money, bought a cute desk from Ikea and created a workspace in my room. Plus, your kitchen table is always free.
- New equipment – You don’t need expensive cameras, computers or other tools to start blogging, vlogging, or creating your business. Use what you have until you’re making money from your blog/business to upgrade.
- An assistant – sometimes you’ll get swamped with work and it makes sense to hire a bit of help but most of the time people who say they need an assistant, don’t. Save your coins and get organized. Usually a lack of organziation is the cause for you feeling so overwhelmed.
- Name brand anything – this is similar to needing expensive tools but specifically for upcoming influencers, you don’t have to have namebrand clothes, makeup, items to make a mark in the influencing world. Rock your Walmart, floss your Target, show your thrift store and start your hustle.
Still wondering where to spend and where to save?
You know I’ve got you covered! Check out my deals page for a full rundown of my fav savings on resources for creatives. If you want more info on the tools I recommend for creatives, grab this Free Resource Guide! Either way, you’ll be sure to save some coin.