While blogging doesn't have to cost a lot of money, it can be easy to get sucked into paying for things we don't need just to keep up with what everyone else is doing. Last time we talked about places you don't want to skimp out on when it comes to your blog. Today we're going to talk about 5 areas to look at to save money on your blog.
1. Your Camera Gear
As a photographer, nothing makes me sadder than seeing a blogger pull out a $2000 camera with a $1500 lens on it and the shooting mode is set to auto or the built in flash pops up. If this is you, you have spent way too much money on your photography gear. You're better off investing $100 in a photography class and learning how to use your current camera properly.
Unless you shoot professionally on a regular basis, you don't need a professional grade camera. A mid-range DSLR ($500-750) will do just fine. Think of it this way - a brand new mid-range DSLR is more technologically advanced than anything Ansel Adams ever used. If he could create masterpieces with what he had, you can do it with what you have.
You can take perfectly respectable photos with a point and shoot or newer model smart phone. Don't believe me? Check out the gorgeous work Renee at Sweet Sugarbean does or our iphoneography post by Tim Clinch. Still having trouble resisting the urge to fork over huge amounts of $$$ for gear? Then you need a dose of world renowned photographer and author, David duChemin and his often quoted "Gear is good - Vision is better" mantra. He'll have you so inspired to photograph you won't care what kind of camera you have in your hand.
2. Expensive Editing Software
You don't need Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop is expensive because it's extremely powerful software that lets graphic designers do everything from creating composite images to 3D renderings and medical imagery. Most photo editing that bloggers, and even professional photographers, do, can be done in Adobe Lightroom, or Adobe Photoshop Elements . For much less money. And if the price tag on either of those is still too steep, there are great free options to check out like picmonkey or gimp.
3. Custom Web Development
Fancy recipe indexes and beautiful, flexible layouts are expensive because they often require custom programming. They're wonderful to have but if you're not earning an income from your blog, they can be hard to justify. When you're starting out, you might want to hold off on some of these items. Check out the premium theme sites like Elegant Themes, Woo Themes or Theme Forest.
However, once you get to a point where you are earning a reasonable income and you're ready to go to the next level with your blog, you will want to make your site as user friendly as possible - that's when it's time to consider a custom theme.
it can be easy to get sucked into paying for things we don't need just to keep up with what everyone else is doing...
4. Photography Props
I love Anthropologie. They have great stuff. So do Pier 1, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel and a lot of other lovely stores. But they're not cheap. It pains me to pay more than $5 for an item that will be a prop. If I'm going to pay more than that, it's got to be an item that will see regular rotation in my own home.
Dollar stores, thrift shops, flea markets, garage sales, etsy, ebay are all places to look for fantastic finds that can cost you as little as a quarter. The other bonus... if you shop at Anthropologie, you're going to have the same props as everyone else. Shop at a flea market or thrift shop and you'll have something unique that will stand out!
5. Posting Less or Posting Differently
This goes against all the rules of blogging but, creating recipes and/or dining out is expensive - ingredients cost money and testing takes time and multiple rounds. Why not post twice a week instead of three times? Some of my favourite blogs with the best recipes or writing only update once a week! Or, alternatively, do a post once a week that isn't a recipe or a night out. Wordless Wednesdays (just photos) are a great option. Or focus on a food related story where your words and images are the star.
Have you got a great money saving tip that helps you keep your blogging costs in-line? Share it with us in the comments!
5 Ways to Save Money on Your Blog, was written by FBC co-founder Melissa Hartfiel. Melissa is a freelance web designer and photographer at Fine Lime Designs by day. She lives and breathes CSS and HTML. By night she writes Eyes Bigger Than My Stomach as well as being the all round FBC design & technology gopher.
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