Short answer: yes and no.
Firstly, let me say that I do spend a lot of money on my blogging business. Like a lot. And I do review my expenses periodically to keep me in check. As a self-employed entrepreneur, I want to keep as much moolah as possible for myself. Fortunately, I make more than enough to cover what I pay out.
Some of my blog costs are for plugins, like Social Warfare, tools of the trade, like Haute Stock for stock photos, and schedulers, like Tailwind. I deem theses things necessary to keep my blog shareable, looking crisp and running efficiently.
Then I have my hosting costs, which are incredibly high compared to what others may pay. I have a cloud plan because my monthly pageviews are often over 150k a month. Sure, I could probably find a cheaper plan with another host but honestly, I have been through many, many hosts and I have found Siteground to be the most reliable in terms of uptime. Even more important to me is that their customer service is fast, friendly and go above and beyond. I am shocked how many times I have asked them to do something for me and they have, without complaint or citing that it isn’t their job.
On top of all that, I also pay people to do work for me. From writing to handling social media. I must admit that hiring VA’s has been the most problematic and exasperating experience for me. I’ve admitted before that I am a lazy blogger but I also know what I am doing and what I want. I have to balance that with an understanding that things in the blogging world (like social media platforms) are constantly changing. Can I really stay on top of everything or do I hire task specific people that know their shit and keep on top of trends for me? Finding good, reliable people is harder than you think.
The one thing you rarely see on my expense list are courses. No, it isn’t because I know it all. It’s because I know me. Especially if it is a big, expensive course. Usually, I’ll only really need a fraction of the material. I get frustrated wading through the content looking for what is relevant to me, and never complete it.
For me, courses are a waste of money.
- I’m lazy. (Have I said that already?)
- I have the attention span of a 2 year old.
- I’m a, learn from my own mistakes, blogger.(It tends to stick better for me this way. Lol)
Does this mean I don’t think bloggers should buy courses? Of course not! Just know yourself and what you need from a course. You are spending your hard earned money. Make an informed decision, whether you are spending $10 or $1000.
- Do you need to learn something specific and detailed or all encompassing?
- Can you find this information elsewhere for free?
- Are you purchasing during the excitement of a webinar or due to a limited time availability or as a result of researching what you need to learn?
- Will the course creator be available to answer questions as you go through the course?
- Is the review post about the course you wish to purchase littered with affiliate links?
- Have you talked to any non-biased bloggers about the course and their experience?
- Are there any guarantees?
- Will you give the course the time and effort required and complete it, in full?
- And most importantly, can you afford it?
For Pete’s sake, please don’t go into debt or cripple your finances for any course or membership site. If you can’t afford it, don’t do it. Period. Ever.
So now you know…I spend money to make money but do I think every blogger should?
Do You Need To Spend Money To Make Money Blogging?
My answer really depends on where you are in your blogging journey.
If you are just starting your blog, it’s ok to start with a free platform like WordPress dot com or Blogger. Especially if you have a tendency to start new projects and lose interest and move on. Until you know for sure that blogging is for you, invest as little money as possible. Believe me, if time is money, you’ll spend lots that way. And listen, it is super simple to move to self hosted when you decide that blogging is for you. So don’t worry. Just enjoy writing, connecting and learning by experience.
Once you start to make money, then you can look at ways to up your game and invest back into your business.
Check out these posts about making money blogging:
- 5 Legit Ways To Make Money On Non-Self Hosted Blogs
- 10 Affiliate & Ad Programs That Accept New Bloggers
Personally, I believe that all bloggers eventually hit plateaus with their traffic and income unless they change things up, learn how to blog more efficiently or scale their businesses. The key to surpassing a plateau and continuously growing, is recognizing the difference between, is this as far as my blog can go OR do I need to spend money to go to the next level?
Blogging is a struggle but year after year, you should be seeing an upward momentum. If after 2 years of consistently working on your blog, you still can’t seem to make it work or make money, you may have to accept the fact that it may never grow beyond what you have brought it to now. Ask an experienced blogger(you may have to pay) or a non-blogger friend to do an honest blog review/critique. Throwing money away on your blog will not miraculously give it new life. It has to have value there on its own first.
If your blog is growing and making money, I do believe spending money can help you make more. And that can be anything from courses to VA’s. Can you do it all on your own without spending any money at all? Of course you can. The only thing you have to ask yourself is, could I make more if I did?
Ready to open your wallet? Check out this post as well: