I’m sort of laughing as I write this post, because I’m not really a ‘blogger.’ When people hear that word they think subscribers, readers, sponsorships, instagram followers. I write things and I put them online because I like to do it, and if a couple people read it, (hi mom!) it feels nice. I have, however, been blogging for a little while now. There have been highs and lows- I’ve fought with a lot of code- and I’ve discovered five investments I feel every blogger must make. Even if you’re doing this for you, in the long run, these purchases will make your life so much easier.
ONE// A Website Host
For those of you who don’t know- in order to have your own website (caitlinwirth.com vs. lifewirthliving.wordpress.com) you have to have a website host. I have hosted my website for two years now and it costs about $12 a month, which I find really reasonable. I use Siteground as my host because I heard they have incredible customer service, and let me tell you, they deliver. One time, I put a totally wrong, totally random line of code in my theme and crashed my website. I went into full panic mode and reached out to Siteground. Within ten minutes, my website was back up and running. I didn’t have to lift a finger other than to type a BIG “thank you.”
TWO// A Responsive Theme
Hosting your own site, as I mentioned above, allows you to apply a responsive theme to your blog. For years, I jumped back and forth between free WordPress themes, never truly satisfied with how my blog looked. Then, I found EmPressThemes and fell in love with their designs. The themes are incredibly reasonably priced (when I was researching, I was finding some with costs in the thousands) and beautiful. I can edit almost everything to be just the way I want it and they provide you with widgets and plugins that fit perfectly with your site. While my blog is first and foremost for my writing, I really enjoy taking time to perfect all elements.
THREE// Camera Equipment
Blogging these days is visual, as well as conceptual. Pictures pull people in before interest can keep them around. I take my photos (or more specifically, my sister does) on my Canon Rebel T3i which I have had for years. It’s not the most expensive, fanciest camera there is, but it works. One thing I have learned however, is that more often than not, your lens matters more than your camera. I almost never use the kit lens that came with my Rebel. Instead, I switch back and forth between two pancake lenses. They are compact and easy to use- consistently producing amazing images. For portraits, I rely on my Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens and for wider landscapes I utilize the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens. I find for the price points of these lenses, the images they deliver are incredible.
FOUR// Adobe Creative Cloud
Camera equipment has a huge impact on the images you create, however, I didn’t realize the power of editing software until I invested in an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. I get a 12-month card off Amazon and use Lightroom to edit all my photos. I’m not an expert, by any means, but I find it incredibly valuable to have a responsive software to easily adjust light, shadow, color, etc.
FIVE// A P.O. Box
This is a new one and I haven’t actually invested in it myself- yet. However, I recently learned that to create a subscription service or to send emails from your blog, you have to post an address for those in the public to see. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of that, but a P.O. Box should easily solve that problem.
Are you a blogger? Do you spend a lot of time reading different blogs? If you’ve got a favorite, let me know below!