If there’s one thing every tech blogger loves to point out, it’s that starting a blog is not only easy – it’s free!
With the exception of domain hosting, which is pretty inexpensive anyway, it doesn’t cost you a penny to start a blog. Simply install WordPress, pick a design from the theme library, and start publishing. Easy stuff.
But what if I told you that it often is worth it to spend money on your blog? That there are a few exceptions to the seemingly dominant “blogging should be free” perception?
Even if you’re a social blogger – not a business blogger – it could make sense to make a few small purchases that will seriously improve your blog. Here are a few of them:
If you’re using WordPress, there are some pretty attractive free themes at your disposal.
That being said, none of those free themes offer the following:
- Unlimited support from the theme creator(s)
- Design options that save you from writing code
- Regular updates that keep your theme compliant with new WordPress versions
These are features you definitely definitely want. A lot of us need them.
It might not be until you’ve spent hours fooling with your theme’s code only to hang your head in utter defeat that you decide to take the plunge and click “purchase theme,” but you’ll be glad you did.
Check out theme frameworks that have lots of design options. Thesis and Genesis are among the most popular, but many theme designers have created excellent out-of-the-box solutions.
Most premium themes cost less than $100 for a single site. If you’re truly dedicated to your blog and know you’re in it for the long haul, get one.
A large chunk of your audience will reach your site via a mobile device.
If you aren’t using a mobile WordPress theme, there’s a good chance those visitors are having a hard time getting your blog to display correctly – especially on smaller screens.
Thankfully, there are themes that automatically display a version of your site that looks good on any mobile device. You don’t have to change the theme you’re already using. Simply install the additional theme as a plugin, and it works.
And it’s not very expensive – less than the cost of a premium theme. While some mobile themes offer a free option, the paid versions usually give you more flexibility when it comes to content display, and some even offer mobile browsing formatted specifically for iPad.
If you sell anything on your Website – even ads or affiliate products – it can be hard to locate relevant images that are licensed for commercial reuse. And when you do find them, they’re usually pretty ugly.
If having great images is important to you, why not purchase a membership at a stock image repository?
You’ll never have to hunt through Google Images again or worry about finding quality photos. While stock images definitely aren’t the answer for everybody – travel and photography blogs come to mind – they make it easier for many bloggers to make every post look “just right.”
They’ll save you time searching for photos, too. And who wouldn’t drop a few bucks on that?
This article is written by Jon Green. He is a freelance writer and avid blogger. He also keeps up with R hadoop, NoSQL, and database “stuff.”