It’s no secret that building a business or blog takes an investment. Find out what you should be spending your money on, when getting started, in order to get the most bang for your buck in Episode 13!
When you’re first starting, you have to be frugal. You have to spend money to make money, as they say, but you don’t want to spend all of your money so you don’t have any savings. In reality, businesses and blogs fail. Most bloggers don’t make it to 6 months blogging, by the vast majority. They think that they’ll just start typing and sharing their thoughts and it’ll go viral. That’s not usually the case. That’s the same with small businesses as well. Sure, some people have went viral after a couple of post; but that’s the exception, not the rule.
What To Spend Money On When Starting A Business Or Blog
Your Own Website:
There are a few successful bloggers that are on the blogger or blogspot platform hosted by Google or other similar sites and are successful, but that’s general not the case. You want to have your site hosted on a site that YOU own so you own the space. You don’t have to worry about getting shut down or violating TOS. It’s all yours.
- Domain: First and foremost, you want your own domain. Ours is www.sandboxtosuccess.com. If were were hosted on another site it would be something like: www.sandboxtosuccess.blogspot.com. As you can see, the second just doesn’t look as professional. Your readers or customers are going to want to go somewhere they think is a professional place.
- Hosting: WordPress.org sites are the most popular and require your own hosting. We use Green Geeks and we love it. We pay about $5 a month for this. Once your site increases traffic you may want to go up to a higher plan.
Please, please, please get professional logo! They can cost anywhere from $5 to $1,000’s of dollars. 99 Designs is one people recommend. For a couple hundred dollars people compete and you can choose the vibe and/or style you like. Fiverr is another place you can get logos. Good logos usually land around $20 on this site. You can use different groups like VA groups on Facebook and find people to create a logo for you there. When I first got started I used Logo Inn and spent around $130 for a logo. With someplace that offers a logo for that price range, it’s probably going to be super frustrating customer service. It likely won’t be English speaking designers so you may find yourself going back and forth a bit more in order to relay your vision.
So now that you’re on your own domain, with your own hosting and logo… you’ll likely need a theme. If you’re on WordPress, you will certainly need a theme. You can change these as often as you want so don’t worry if you aren’t ready to spend too much money on this. If you’re techy, you can purchase a professional theme and do the installation yourself. When we first started, I used a free theme and it was very glitch. We paid someone $800 to do our blog theme afterwards and it lasted around a year. After that time frame our theme became outdated, and became a security nightmare. We stopped it and I bought a professional theme from Restore 316 (who I highly suggest) for around $50. We then hired someone for around $160 to do some fairly simple customization and changes and we were very happy!
Those are the main things you need! From there you can use different free programs and such. I use a free program called Audacity and invested about $50 in a decent microphone and headphones for about $15 (which have subsequently broken, so you may want to invest a bit more in those). You need to have that professional look and feel to you, but you don’t need to “spend away the farm”.
When we first started Thinking Outside The Sandbox we had a friend do a logo for us. She wasn’t a professional logo maker, although she did well for her skill set… we likely violated some commercial copyright rules and such, so we had to change that.
The most important thing is that you need to portray yourself and your business professionally at all times.
Anything you want to spend over and above these things are complexly up to you. I look forward to hearing what you think. Is there anything above and beyond this list that you feel definitely needs to be purchased? I’d love to hear it. Also, be sure to check out the plenty of resources available at Thinking outside the Sandbox!