April 20, 2016 Career 5 Ways to Invest In Your Blog Last week I talked about a few of the main takeaways that I got from the RewardStyle conference. One of the biggest and the one that stuck with me the most was that social media will come and go, but at the end of the day, you have 100% control over your site. It’s the only thing you truly own and it’s the place where you should be investing your time and money. So today I thought I’d share a few ways you can invest in your business to take your site to the next level! Self-Host: I just said that your site is the only thing you own, but that’s not always true. If your blog is on Blogger, you don’t own that, Google does. I highly recommend self-hosted WordPress. If you haven’t switched, it’s not as scary as it sounds and I’ve got a tutorial for setting up your hosting and installing WordPress here. It only takes about 5 minutes and is totally affordable! If you have any plans for turning your blog into a business, this step is an absolute MUST. Reliable Hosting: When you decide to self-host, make sure you buy reliable hosting. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive, but it probably shouldn’t be the cheapest either. I use Bluehost and have had a really great experience. There are plenty of other hosts out there, just make sure you do your research! Blog Design: First impressions are important and your site should be clean, user-friendly and also mobile friendly. If a full custom design isn’t in your budget, there are tons of premium themes out there with great features and beautiful designs. I have my own pre-fab themes here and I also recommend checking out ThemeForest — there are sooo many themes on there! Protect Your Site: One of the most terrifying thoughts can be having your site hacked and losing all of the content you’ve made over the years. Make sure to take regular backups of your site and install a security plugin to help prevent this. Also make sure that always keep your WordPress installation and all plugins up to date! If you don’t do that, you leave your site vulnerable to attacks. Invest in a Good Camera: If photography is a big part of your site, investing in a good camera and learning how to use it can be a game-changer. Once I learned how to properly shoot on my camera and edit in Lightroom, my photos became so much better. I’m always learning new things, so hopefully they’ll only get better. Here’s what they looked like when I first started! Have you invested in your business? What investments did you think were worth it? Any you wouldn’t do again?