If you’re going to be successful as an affiliate you’re going to need a strong blog. Maybe even two or three (eventually) if you really want to tackle affiliate income full time.
For many of us, we’re looking to start a blog free, and then only after the blog shows some traction are we interested in shelling out a few bucks to improve it. Such thinking is understandable, but not always in your best interest.
Note: these tips apply to websites geared towards launching a scalable, professional blog.
Here are a few tips for a successful blog launch:
Buy a good hosting plan
Hosting is not that expensive these days. If you have even a small budget (under $10 a month will get you started) I strongly recommend buying a professional domain hosting service.
There are free options out there, but in my experience they’re usually too much of a headache to deal with, not always very reliable, and almost always slower than their subscription based counterparts.
Some of my personal favorites are DreamHost, BlueHost, and HostGator, but there are plenty of hosting companies to choose from.
Premium Themes Can Wait
A lot of new bloggers are seduced by sexy-sounding features offered “exclusively” by certain premium themes.
Of course, there are also hundreds of high quality free themes and templates to choose from, many of which include the same features packaged together by the premium themes. So why waste the cash?
While some premium themes can be worth the price tag in the long run, this is definitely one area where I’d save my money to start. You can always go back and readjust your theme later. You’ll probably end up changing your layout seventeen times anyway.
Plugins are another area where you may want to consider purchasing an upgrade right out of the gate. In my experience I usually hold off to upgrade until I have an active blog running, but there are circumstances when you may want to go premium immediately.
For example, if you anticipate an aggressive launch and want to have comprehensive email list-building techniques and tracking from day 1, a premium plug-in may be worth it. But, for most of us, these things happen over time, so don’t feel pressured to buy if you’re unsure if you need it.
To help decide what’s right for you, the best approach is to create a list of features you need to have on your blog and then separate those features into “immediate” and “future” needs. Basic SEO optimization and mobile friendly layouts are often immediate. Extensive analytics can usually be pushed back
What tricks do you use to save money when starting a new blog? What products and features do you think are worthy of a little splurge upfront?