So you’ve been blogging for quite a while now and figured you could use an upgrade to your blog but you are not sure how much and what to spend on. Frankly speaking, you do not need to spend money on blogging unless you have some money set aside for your blog. I know not everyone thinks that having a brand spanking new design or domain name are worth it and some might think they’re a complete waste of money but to each their own, though. You do you, boo.
If you can’t see yourself committing to a blog for the next few months, then I think spending money on your blog will be a total waste. However, if you’ve been doing it for quite a while and you are really enjoying it and you don’t mind spending a little bit for it, then I hope this post will be useful for you.
Blog design (one-time payment)
Quality contents are important to me but I’m the type of person who judge a book by its cover and I always remember blogs with beautiful design so contents and design are equally important. You can always code your design by yourself if you know how to code but if you don’t, there are a lot of premade templates available that will suit your need. My favourite place to find template is Etsy or any other web developer websites that I couldn’t find on Etsy. Here’s what to remember before you buy a template:
1. Decide on your budget. You can get a simple and beautiful design for as low as RM20 or a more complicated design for RM100 and above.
2. If the template that you’re planning to buy looks like something you can get for free from ThemeXpose or SoraTemplates, then choose another template or just download the free one. However, I do not recommend purchasing templates from both websites as you can get them for free.
3. If the design is very basic but priced at RM80 and above, choose another template.
4. If you bought 5 RM20 templates because one after another did not satisfy you, you might as well purchase an expensive one that you know you will be satisfied with for a long time.
5. Don’t buy ugly designs. If you’re as fussy as I am, you will know that not all premade templates are beautiful.
I created a template recommendation page on Etsy so if you’re clueless about where to start searching, you can visit the page and have a little browse to get you started. Here’s my recommended shops according to budget:
Domain name (RM45 per year)
I recommend getting a blog design first before investing in a domain name because you will have to renew your domain every year. If you do not renew your domain, it can’t be used after it has expired and you will basically lose all your SEO thingamajig and when people type in yourdomainname.com, they will not be redirected to your yourdomainname.blogspot.com. You will see decrement in pageviews.
Get a domain name that suits your blog. Don’t choose anything too long and hard to remember. To be safe, pick your own name. My first domain that I purchased in 2013 was www.syazanasyazreen.com (my real name) but it’s too long and the spelling is too hard to remember so I did not renew it. However, if you do use your own name, make sure to use the full spelling.Don’t worry — your readers will be directed to your new domain even if they type in url.blogspot.com and your followers will still get your latest blog posts on dashboard.
IMPORTANT: If you change your blogspot url from erinazmir.blogspot.com to erin-azmir.blogspot.com, you basically lose all your followers and they won’t get your updates anymore unless they re-follow your new url so it’s better to purchase a domain than to change your blogspot url.
Some of the example:
Avoid using shortform, for example:
FatinaMdzfr = use FatinaMudzafar.com instead of FatinaMdzfr.com
Lenne Zulkiflly = use LenneZulkiflly.com instead of LenneZlkfly.com
You certainly do not need a fancy camera to blog as long as your phone camera can take great photos so don’t go around whining to your dad saying “dad can I have a new camera for my blog because this blogger chick I know named Erin says we all need a camera” 😭
I suggest purchasing a compact camera than a DSLR because you can bring it everywhere with you as it’s not as bulky as DSLR. However, if you already have a DSLR at home, then you don’t need a compact camera unless you really want to.
For compact camera, I really like Olympus PEN and Sony NEX. Their designs are so feminine! Mind you that I know nothing much about camera but I do know us bloggers like pretty things including our gadgets. Am I right? 💅
For DSLR, I suggest getting one with free-angle monitor as you can adjust the LCD screen if you’re taking flatlays. You don’t need a professional or semi-professional cameras, an entry-level DSLR is just enough. You can check out this article for the best entry-level DSLR for 2016.
I personally use a Canon EOS 60D because I’m a Canon trash and it’s either that or Nikon D5000. I’m more familiar with Canon than Nikon and my brother likes Nikon more so it’s a win-win situation for us. My dad purchased both when they came out years ago but he didn’t use it so I took one for my blog.
Other equipments I have:
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens: My favourite lens! Perfect for taking close up photos but I broke it. 😭
Sony Wide Conversion lens: To be used on top of 50mm lens. Gives you that nice close up shot with wide angle.
Canon EF-S 18-55mm lens: Your standard kit lens. I use it for flatlays (which I have no skills of).
Tamron AF 18-200mm lens: My favourite all-rounder lens. I can use it for every shot but the lens is so heavy.
Canon EF 90-300mm lens: I have no use of this lens. Nak tangkap gambar burung 50 kaki above can la..
Canon Speedlite 430EX II flash: Because the built-in flash on my camera is not very nice.
SteinZeiser Sz-02 tripod: Your basic tripod.
You would think that with all these lens I have my photography skills would get better but haha nope. You don’t need all these lens. I would recommend the 50mm lens, 18-55mm lens, and a tripod. The Tamron 18-200mm is a nice addition too.
Two more equipments that I would like to have for taking photos:
Ringlight: Comes in handy when you’re taking photos at night or during sweater weather days like for the past week in my area. No sun = in bed all day under the blanket = no beauty posts
Softbox: Ringlight and softbox go together. Softbox will diffuse the light giving you a soft, even light. It reduces harsh shadows in our photos.
Basically, all you need to have for your blog is a laptop and something to take photos with such as your camera phone but there’s no harm in spending some money to make your blog and contents better.