5 WAYS TO INVEST IN YOUR BLOG - By Erika Batista

5 WAYS TO INVEST IN YOUR BLOG

Hola and happy Monday! It's been a great super productive weekend for me. So while I have this ball of energy burning inside, let's chat about blogging - the business aspect of it. Today I want to share some ways I've invested in my blog and how I am learning to be a little riskier all in the name of growth and success. Let's make this week a productive one and a motivational one. I am ready to end the year with a bang and get all my goals wrapped in a box to make room for new ones this coming 2018, who's with me? Let's talk about investing in your blog... 

I am so happy to finally be able to write out this post because I've had it sitting in my draft box for a few months. I've been trying to gather my thoughts and share some good blogging advice with you guys. This time around I am sharing ways to invest in your blog; things that have worked for me and/or things that I am putting in practice as I go along. So let's get right into it:
1. HIRE THE PROFESSIONALS

My husband has been my photographer all these years and he learned the gig because he loves me and he wanted to help me. We've made some great progress along the way, he's been an essential part of my blog's growth and I love him eternally for that. Reality is that schedule wise it was getting really hard for both of us. Normally he would shoot my looks and campaigns and I went and edited the images... truthfully it's a lot. And it all was taking a lot of my time. 
That's when I made the decision to hire Diana from Love Print Photography. I met Diana at a blogging event and loved her work. She did our holiday pictures last year and ever since then I've been obsessed with her. Hiring a professional photographer has truly been life changing. She shoots, she edits... it's perfect and so easy on me. This is by far the best investment I have made on my blog. 

My advice is to research photographers in your area and pick someone you are super comfortable with. Shop around for prices but be sure not to sacrifice quality. I love how great Diana and I work together and we are super comfortable with each other, I think that is key. Now I get my pictures ready to post and I have enough content for a month or so. 
2. INVEST ON YOUR BLOG LOOK

Now that you have professional photos, let's talk about the style of your blog, the face of your brand. Now I am not telling you to go and hire a graphic designer (unless you have the funds!), Etsy has some amazing blog templates - my is from Etsy and I paid about $30 for it. There are endless designs you can choose from for both Blogger and WordPress. 
It's very important to choose a design that fits your style and voice. In my opinion, I recommend to choose something that is clean and easy to navigate. Having an user-friendly blog makes readers want to come back, I know when I go on a website that's not organized and gets complicated, I am completely turned off and probably won't visit it again. 
Keep your readers coming back and make sure to have a mobile version included in that blog template bundle. You can even match your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media channels to your blog's style and template. And if you prefer to have the designer install it, they normally do this for a minimal fee. But just so you are aware, they are super easy to install and come with instructions. 
3. SEO HELP

Did you know you can hire people to help you with your SEO? Yup you can. And this is something I am still researching but did want to put it on here so that you also start adding this to your list. You can hire SEO professionals, that can work on your blog, Pinterest or other platforms. They pretty much help you and advice on the best SEO practices and how you should be writing your posts so that they rank high on the search engine results. 
SEO is one piece of the pie that is actually extremely important. Your blog's title is as important as your content. Be sure read a little bit about this and ways that you can improve how you are writing your posts. It will help you tremendously in landing more views and getting more traffic into the blog as well as other platforms, like Pinterest. And remember you don't have to hire them forever, just until you are comfortable with your own SEO skills. Here is a good place to start.
4. EDITING PROGRAMS + APPS

Even though I love having my photographer and I no longer edit my blog photos myself, it is important to note that you can absolutely have great photos without the pro-photog (if you don't have the budget for that). Programs like LightRoom and Photoshop are a great investment to make if you are looking to edit your own pics and learn the software. 
As far as phone apps, I use Facetune and love it. Here's an example of a photo I shot on my iPhone 8 Plus and edited on Facetune for an Instagram campaign.
You can see that even though we shot this early in the morning with sunlight it still looked a little dark and the whites look a little yellow due to shadows and all. On FaceTune I mostly just use the whitening and smooth features which can make a big difference on a photo.  I don't over of it with editing and I only use this one app and the editing options on Instagram for brightness and contrast. For $2.99 FaceTune is the best photo editing app to have!

5. SIGN UP TO BLOGGER TUTORIALS + BLOGGING 101 SITES

It is true that most of the things I know I have learned along the way, trial and error! But now a days there are so many resources and a few bloggers who are willing to share their tips and tricks (like me on this post!). So I've learned to invest time in learning doing research on what practices work best for a full time blogger like me. 

One of my favorite bloggers is Marianna Hewitt, I love her style and I love her even more now because she always shares everything you need to know about who to be a successful influencer or blogger. She recently launched Blog With Me; an extension of her blog Life with ME. On Blog With Me she shares tips and tricks and her social media tactics and advice on how to grow and be successful. I love her for that and mostly because she does it for free.

There are also places like Bloguettes, where you can buy workshops and classes that you can study at your own pace and on your own time. You can enroll and learn how to edit photos, write pitches, get ideas on topics to write about, etc... I love the Bloguettes. Learning new things and taking classes in your trade is an important and necessary investment.
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I really hope these five tips on how to invest on your blog helped at least one of you. I am trying to post more of these because I know how helpful they are too me and I am really happy passing along the information if it can help any one else. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or comment on this post below. There's so many more things I have to accomplish and grow so much more and I, in no way, consider myself an expert but I do love to share what is working for me.

Love,