Welcome to the Blog Essentials on a Budget series! I know money can be tight when you're just starting out building a blogging business. So, this series will show you the best things to spend your money on that will make the biggest impact. Throughout the series, we will explore different budget points and where your focus should be for each one.
Let's dive into our first budget - $5.
That's right! We're going to start off with the $5 blogging essentials budget. Why? Because I was a new blogger before too.
I understand what it's like when you pay bills, buy diapers, pick up groceries, and don't really have extra left over for a blogging business. I know what it’s like blogging on a budget.
I've been on the $5 budget before and honestly, there's not a lot that you can get for that price. But, you CAN invest in a logo at Fiverr.
Here are a few reasons why I recommend buying a logo:
When you're just starting out you shouldn't invest a lot of time into creating the design
I've used Fiverr before, and can recommend it
There are a lot of ways to use a logo
Let me explain a little more.
How to start a blog on a budget... a $5 budget!
It's a really small budget. If you have $5 to spend on blog essentials, what should you buy? You have to be super strategic.
If you use Fiverr, $5 can get you a logo. And, when you're just starting out, you shouldn't be spending a ton of your precious time on design.
You need to be focused on building the foundation for your blog—your content. Your focus should be on blog posts and/or creating videos.
It’s an absolute waste of time to constantly tweak the font size or to try a million different shades of the same color!
Yes, branding is important. But, for $5 you can get a good simple logo that can carry you through the beginning.
This doesn't have to be the logo that you hold onto for decades. Your branding will change over the years. It simply lets you get started.
Tips for Using Fiverr
I've used Fiverr myself and find that it's great for small and simple projects.
But, it can occasionally be a hit or miss. I'm not sure that I would use it for a major rebranding or something I was spending a lot of money on (perhaps anything over $50?), but it's great for the $5 blogging essentials budget.
When working with a designer (on Fiverr or anywhere), you have to know what you want. The belief that you will just "know it when you see it" is a designer's worst nightmare. It's best if you have honed down on your niche and know who your target audience is before you get started.
But, if you really aren't sure exactly what direction you're going to go but know you want to get started, be honest with the designer. Let them know that you want to stay more neutral. The logo can get you through the first year or two while you figure out the rest and narrow down on a niche.
One last thing that you need to remember when buying a logo from Fiverr is that you need to make sure you are getting an image with a transparent background.
If you don't, your logo will have a static background color. This totally limits you on where you can place your logo.
Here’s what a PNG file with a transparent background looks like vs. a JPG file without a transparent background.
Wondering "What should I blog about?"
If you know you want a blogging business but don't really know the exact niche you want to blog about, I have something to help.
I created a list of 160 blog niche ideas that aren't boring! Take a moment and read over the list. Something may jump out at you that you hadn't thought of before. Or, the list might get your wheels turning in a different direction.
It can be helpful to have your niche before getting a logo. But the main thing is that you don't allow yourself to get stuck in the decision-making process. You can always keep it more generic at first. So, if you look over the list and are still feeling stuck, get a neutral logo on Fiverr and move forward.
Ways to use your blog logo
You are going to use your blog logo in a lot of places! Since your logo is a big part of your branding you want to make sure that people see it.
Here are some places you will use your logo:
Anywhere you need a little branding
The ability to put a logo on things can instantly help people to think of you as more of a professional.
There are a lot of blogs out there where owners don't really invest time or money into their site. Even a logo for a $5 blogging budget can help boost you above that crowd!
Choosing a Blog Name
Before you have a logo created for your blog, you'll need a name for your blog. If you're lucky, the name will just come to you easily. But, if you're like most bloggers, it will be more a struggle.
You want to invest some time into naming your blog. I know you want it to be perfect, but you don't want to get stuck there.
There are four things that you need to remember when naming your blog:
You want people to be able to remember it easily
It should be something people can easily spell
There should be a keyword within it
It should stir emotions within your reader
If you want additional help coming up with a name for your blog check out this blog post: Easy Way to Come Up with a Blog Name and Domain.
Final Blog Logo Reminder
I want to stress one final time—don't get caught up too much in your logo when you're just starting out.
As I said earlier, this is your time to build your blogging foundation from the ground up. Some bloggers get so caught up in trying to make their blog design "just right" that they never move past that stage.
Don't be that person!
A simple $5 logo can help you cross an item off your to-do list and move forward with building your blog.
What makes a successful blog?
If you haven't setup your blog yet, that's your first step. You can't have a successful blogging business without having a blog.
There's a lot of debate out there about whether you should use a free blogging platform or not. The honest answer is that if you want to build an actual blogging business, and not just a hobby blog, you need to have a paid platform.
The blogging essential budgets that we are going to discuss in this series are budgets for when you have your blog established. But, it doesn't cost as much to get started as you might think.
There are two areas where you'll absolutely need to spend money to get your blog started:
After those two things, there are plenty of other areas to focus on when it comes to starting and growing a blogging business. You can find out more about it in my blog post: How to Start a Blog in 2019 So You Can Work From Home.
There are many options when it comes to hosting. But, you want to avoid any of the free hosting sites. They come with restrictions that you don't want when growing a blogging business.
It's worth paying for hosting, and there are plenty of affordable options, even if you're on a budget.
You also need to buy a domain name for your blog. This allows you to have a URL like blogname.com instead of blogname.wordpress.com.
What is the best software for blogging?
A constant question that I'm asked by new bloggers is, "What's better? Wordpress.org or Squarespace?"
If you want to see how they stack up against each other in detail, you can do that here: Wordpress vs. Squarespace.
There really isn't a clear-cut answer to this question, and different bloggers have different opinions. But, I know that these are the types of questions that bloggers get stuck on. So I did a comparison of the two in order to help you decide what would be best for you.
There are several categories where I compare Squarespace vs. Wordpress including:
Get ready for more blogging essential budgets!
You can start a blogging business on a limited budget! I know because I did it myself. Having a smaller budget just means that you need to be more strategic with how you spend that money. Things like a custom designed website aren't things that you need when you are just starting.
Five bucks might not go a long way, but it can get you a logo to get started on. Remember that it's important to know what you're looking for so you can give the Fiverr designer some direction. And, don't expect the world out of your $5 logo. It's just a starting point to get you up and running.
Throughout this series, we are going to look at other budgets for blogging essentials. I'm going to cover a range of budgets so there will be something for everyone no matter where you are in building your blogging business.
If you have a specific budget and are asking yourself what should you buy for your blog, feel free to leave a message in the comments for me. I'll do my best to address it in the series!