The Best Investments I Made For My Blog (This Year)

January 4, 2016

Blogging is a wonderful way of sharing your passion with the world. It often results in a little extra money and new friendships. If you are looking to start a blog or improve your blog this year, these are some of the best investments I made this year to help my business succeed. 


THE BEST INVESTMENTS I MADE FOR MY BLOG in 2015


Over the past year, I’ve learned a lot about blogging. There are so many little tips and tricks that make a huge impact on the ‘success’ of a post. Last year around this time, I remember reading a similar post on a friend’s blog, and really enjoying it! 

So today I wanted to share with you, some of the things I’ve learned over the past year, in the case that you’re a blogger too! If so, make sure you leave me a comment below so I can hop on over and check your site out! 

A Marble Cutting Board

We have one of the world’s most outdated kitchens. I take nearly all of my photos using one of these! Plus, it’s great to be able to move it around in search of good lighting!

A 50 mm lens: 

This one AND this one! I will be sharing a post about the difference soon, but if you are stuck between one or the other, I suggest getting the pricier one. There is a huge difference in quality. If you use Nikon, the only 1.2 50mm they offer is fully manual, which is a bummer, but it’s very easy to get used to! (Click here and here for Cannon options.) 

A photography class:

You don’t have to pay for this. There are plenty of free resources out there. Visit my resources tab for some of my favorites! 

A Bounce/Filter and a Remote Control Shutter Release:

I honestly don’t know how I took photos without them! The remote control is AWESOME for days that Greg isn’t around to help me take photos. 

A Workshop:

This is not only a great way to learn, but also a great way to make connections. You are more likely to create a network with people in your ‘niche’ while meeting face-to-face, rather than over the internet. Even though writing is a great way to express your voice, there’s nothing like personal interactions. 

This lighting set:

For under $200, it saves me on days when the afternoon light is sub par. Not sure how to use it? Stay tuned ; ) I’ve got a great tutorial coming your way. [Also, so that I don’t feel terrible about myself for suggesting this product – please find a way to recycle all of the Styrofoam it comes packaged in!]

Props:

I love using interesting tea towels, plus it’s a great way to tie different posts together. I wouldn’t use the same towel for every food post, but I have a rotation of a select few. That way all of my posts have an underlying style that is recognizable. Other props I love include: vintage wooden spoons, simple white dishes, and sleek glassware.

Speaking of props, I call these guys my ‘models’ – It’s worth investing in some simple white dishes, a set of gold flatware, vintage silverware, modern cut glassware, etc… Special things that stand out in photos. You don’t have to buy the whole set, just a few to step up the styling of your photography. 

Planogr.am

Let’s face it, instagram is the new ‘portfolio’, it’s a way for readers and companies to quickly glance at all of our hard work. I use Planogram to make sure my posts flow together well. It’s definitely changed the way I gram! Search for Planogr.am in the app store. UPDATE 2018: I now use an app called Mosaico. 

Adobe Creative Cloud:

I know some bloggers use picmonkey etc.. and that’s totally fine too! I love having the options of Adobe’s other programs such as InDesign and Illustrator. I also have gotten so used to Photoshop, I don’t think I could switch over to any other program. It’s a great investment! 

And lastly…Time: 

One of the most important aspects of blogging is time. You truly aren’t going to see ‘success’ unless you spend time on it. Coming up with a great concept, writing, reviewing, rewriting, taking great photos, editing the photos, and creating the post. Then the work begins: tweeting, pinning, instagramming, facebooking, and sharing. 

In my opinion, lack of time is one of the biggest reasons bloggers decide to walk away from their online presence. That’s why it’s important to stay authentic, and only write about topics that make you want to jump out of bed in the morning.

In all, it’s been a great year. My first full year of blogging, and finally, I feel like I might have a teeny tiny little grip on this thing. It’s become my passion, and is definitely what makes me jump out of bed in the morning. 

Writing my thoughts down, and sharing my photos with all of you has been incredible. I am beyond thankful that you  carve out a little time from your day, and share it with me. Thank you for making it possible for me to continue to do what I love. 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Wonderful post! You have a few things listed here that are on my "to get" list :) I’ve been slowly accumulating props, I’ve taken a few great online classes, and I have Adobe Lightroom and love it. I really am looking forward to purchasing a shutter remote later next month. Your blog is great I’m definitely going to follow your blog!

  2. I think I may need to bookmark this page and come back.. these all sound like awesome investments! Best of luck for the new year!

  3. Oh my goodness Chloe! I do not know how I missed how amazing your blog is until now! I think maybe it’s because i’m fianlly starting to get serious about all this blogging stuff. It can be so overwhelming, but girl, I’d say you have this perfected! I love everything about it! Is your format through blog lovin? I’m starting to wish I had never gone with wordpress…
    Your tips were great! I’m slowly teaching myself how to shoot manual with my Nikon dslr…its tough so props to you there also! Is there anything you can’t do? I was a bit of a fanatic and entered the contest above by following everyone I could! My macbook "broke down" 2 years ago and I’ve been missing it ever since. And Kate Spade is pretty much my best friend, so there’s that! lol
    I plan on stalking you blog a bit more and soaking in as much of your talent as possible! Happy Wednesday Chloe!

    • Aw Becky!! Thank you so much! Your blog is on my "list" of blogs that I visit every week : ) So that means a lot to me! I use Squarespace – which is great, but has its quirks just like any other platform! LOL I like that a lot of the girls ask to follow on Pinterest/Facebook, because I’ve actually found a lot of cool bloggers through one of those giveaways I entered about a year ago! Thank you so so much for coming on over, and leaving some love!

  4. Your blog is extra beautiful so I’d say you’ve definitely found the right methods! I look forward to reading more. :)

  5. Thank you for sharing these little details. As a blogger I always find it interesting what other bloggers choose to invest their resources/time in. It is a unique balance of sharing inspirational content while remaining true to yourself. It is only the last year that I have started to expand my photography skills, and boy am I having fun as I stumble along- I definitely need to add a remote! Your blog is so fresh and beautiful! xoxo
    -Ashlea
    http://www.mamasdance.com

    • Ashlea thanks so much for your kind words!! I completely agree – mimicry isn’t always good in the blogging world, so it’s important to stay true to our own styles! Photography is such an amazing art, I wish I could take a professional course to get better at it, thank goodness for YouTube though!! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. These are all great ideas, Chloe! I have slowly collected my props over time, but since I don’t do much in the way of styling just yet they have just been sitting and waiting for me to use them. LOL! I agree that efforts need to be made to improve your photography skills as most people will be looking at what you have to offer before ever even reading what you have to say. And of course the dedication to allowing time for your posts, because oh boy are you right, we do all that before we post and then have to turn around and do even more. I’m still working on that part myself. Anyhoooo, I know these tips will help everyone, and I’m so glad you shared them! :)

    • Well put Iris – people will look before they read! It’s true! Especially in our world where there is SO much content, we’ve gotta stand out ;) I think you have AMAZING photography! I could learn from you! Thanks for popping over!

  7. I love this, thank you! I’ve been thinking about whether or not to renew my Photoshop subscription to save money… but I need it too much for my blog use and art. :)
    – Alexa

    • I completely agree, it’s a necessity! I canceled my Birchbox and Netflix, but saved the CC subscription! I use it daily!

  8. Great Post Chloe! I totally need a remote control… I was thinking that yesterday as I tried to run and set my pose before the 10 second timer went off.. HA

    • LOL been there! hahaha I love my remote! I have got this great trick where I click it with my foot (LOL) it’s great for days when you don’t have anyone to help you out!