The old saying goes that it costs money to make money. If you want to have product to sell, you must first purchase your inventory or otherwise invest in the infrastructure and materials required to manufacture your product. If you want to make money on the stock market or in real estate, then you can expect to spend money on all sorts of transaction charges and other fees. These costs are simply a part of doing business and they largely cannot be avoided.
But what about the costs you can avoid? What if we were to look a little more specifically in the world of Internet marketing and professional blogging? Just because you can get something for “free,” should you?
So You Want to Make Money Blogging…
Let’s use launching and running your own blog as our hypothetical example. Let’s also assume that the goal of the blog is to make money directly from advertising, affiliate marketing, and other related income streams. The way that the Internet works these days, you really can get started with a blog practically for free.
You don’t have to pay for a custom domain, because you can set yourself up with a free subdomain on a site like wordpress.com or blogger.com. You don’t have to pay for hosting when you use one of those free blogging sites too. And you don’t have to pay for any sort of blogging software, because that’s free too.
But in trying to save yourself a few dollars a month on hosting and a custom domain, you could be literally leaving hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month in lost revenue. Having your own domain provides you with far more legitimacy than using a subdomain on a free blogging site. Using your own hosting gives you far more control and flexibility into how you can maximize profits on your site.
Saving Money Costs More Money
Let’s say you do get your own domain and you pay for a basic hosting package. Let’s say you install WordPress and now you’re ready to design your site. You pick up one of the free themes from the WordPress theme directory and use it straight out of the box to save some money. And again, you’re leaving money on the table. Your blog looks generic and its design has not been customized at all. By saving a few dollars on your theme, you’re leaving money on the table.
So, you decide that you want to customize your WordPress theme, but you don’t know the first thing about PHP, JS, CSS, or any of that kind of stuff. You spend hours, days and even weeks reading through countless tutorials, trying to figure it out for yourself. The net result is a customized theme, sure, but the code is crude, messy and inefficient. The theme itself is rather hideous too. And you’ve wasted so much time tinkering with it that you could have spent on creating great content and working on your promotion.
Instead, it would have made a lot more sense if you had either invested in a premium theme that is more easily customizable by the non-technical end user or if you had hired a web designer to create a custom WordPress theme for you in the first place. This relatively small investment would have freed up so much more of your time and the end result would’ve been a theme that is both better designed and potentially more profitable than whatever Frankenstein’s monster you created.
And this doesn’t stop with the theme of your blog either. The exact same argument can be made about designing your blog’s logo and header image, for example, or for hiring a freelance writer to write some great content for you (or to help edit the content that you want to create yourself). It can apply just as easily to the paid or premium plans for the software you might want for social media, keyword research, or search engine optimization.
Success Is a Team Sport
The fact of the matter is that you can’t and you shouldn’t try to do it all yourself. As John once put it, “If you want something done right, let Michael Kwan do it.”
By strategically spending and investing your money in the right places, you not only give work to the people who need it (and these people are hopefully a lot better than you are at the task you’re hiring them to do), but you also save your own time and maximize your income potential. That’s how you work toward the dot com lifestyle.