5 Affordable Ways to Manage Your Blog
The goal of most blogs, whether they’re for a cause or for entertainment, is to make money. In order to make that a reality, you need to have affordable ways to manage the costs of your blog. It’s the simple mathematics of more money coming in than going out.
But it’s not always that easy. Getting the services you need to keep things looking great sometimes sets you back on cost. Unforeseen security problems can also end up costing you a ton, particularly if your blog involves affiliate services or product sales.
So how can you mitigate those costs? While it may not be as simple as waving a magic wand, there are a few blogging basics you can do to make it easier on yourself.
- Use Original Content
One thing that helps a blog gain notoriety is quality content that isn’t found anywhere else. It boosts your power in search engines and also makes you more valuable to readers. It’s also an area that some bloggers try to cheat on.
Taking another site’s content is a big no-no for several different reasons. Unoriginal content does very little for your page ranking, and it can also result in legal action. That includes taking images and videos without permission. In general, it might even save you money to pay a small fee for rights to use something rather than having to deal with legal costs.
Most of the time you’ll just be better off generating your own content. Take photos, edit pictures, or use images with Creative Commons rights. In situations where you can’t be around to generate content, there’s a clever service called WP Robot that lets you automatically generate posts. We don’t recommend abusing this service, but it can help fill in gaps.
- Shop Around
The costs of your blog depend greatly on the host you utilize. Your choice should be based on your needs; even if you want more options, the cost may not be worth it until your blog generates the revenue to justify the cost.
Also consider what it is you want to do with your blog. If you’re marketing products, it may be best to avoid free services as they could limit your sales potential. The same is true in reverse; if you’re working off affiliate links or are just using your blog to advertise something else, you’re likely better off going cheap.
Themes are another consideration, but they’re also potentially a risk. Utilizing outdated themes can lead to security risks and cost you money down the line.
- Secure Your Access
Security is something you should take care of quickly and early. It’s the area most neglected by bloggers and can end up costing thousands of dollars to fix if handled after the fact. In some cases it may even be the end of a blog due to loss of trustworthiness to followers.
Start by ensuring your administrator logins are properly secured with difficult passwords. Strong passwords are a bare minimum of eight characters long, consist of numbers, symbols, uppercase and lowercase letters and omit words in the dictionary. Longer passwords are better, but changing the password frequently (a few times a year is best) is just as crucial.
Bloggers tend to utilize public space frequently enough to be at risk for a common hack over public WiFi. The hacker uses a sniffer program to search for unsecured devices and proceeds to gain control over the device, granting them the opportunity to steal just about anything (including access to your saved accounts). They can even plant malware.
The solution is to protect your devices with a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Utilizing the service will aid your devices by connecting them to a secure server before the rest of the internet, encrypting your connection and preventing intrusion. They’re affordable and completely shut down public WiFi hackers.
- Be Your Own Moderator
Keeping your blog moderated can be a full-time job. Hiring someone else to do it for you might mean big costs, so one way to save money is to learn how to moderate your pages without spending too much time doing it.
Reading every last comment on a busy blog just isn’t reasonable. What you’ll be more responsible for is seeking out malicious posts and spam; eliminating those will help keep your blog healthy and thriving, and doing it yourself will keep costs low.
While you’re moderating, you can also take the time to respond to posts selectively. Keeping your responses brief will allow conversation to flow more naturally while posting too much can stifle creative debate. Remember you’re the authority on your blog; what you say weighs much more than visitors’ points.
- Feature Guest Posts
Working together with other writers can not only expand the coverage of your blog, but it can also cut down your workload. Time is money, and offering to feature free guest posts on your blog can afford you plenty.
Instead of spending all of your time writing, you can periodically be host to other writers’ material. This will draw in different audiences and allow for conversations that otherwise wouldn’t happen. It can also stimulate your creativity and help you learn new things.
Just be sure to be selective in the posts you feature. Remember that section on liability? Unoriginal posts from guest writers can hurt your ranking, so be sure you check that their content is unique (or at least different enough from similarly titled posts).
Pinch a Penny
If film is any indicator, spending lots of money isn’t always a surefire way to success. By being frugal with your expenditures and carefully curating content, you can cut costs and maintain a quality blog all at the same time.
This way, when something really jumps out as being worth the cost, you can afford it. So save those pennies and be ready for opportunity!
Have some ideas of your own? Feel free to leave a comment below.
About the Author: Caroline is writer and long-time blogger. She writes for a variety of audiences and has a lot of experience with managing blogs. She hopes these tips give you some ideas on how to save a little bit of money.