The products featured in The 5 Best Blogging Investments I Made in 2016 were purchased by me. Affiliate links may be included. All opinions are 100% my own.
This past week has been a crunch week in so many ways. I had multiple deadlines, places to be, and most of all I finally got my tax information together. Admittedly I was a bit late and I don’t think my tax preparer is very happy with me, but I was glad to be able to take a look back on how I spent money in 2016. Besides being a creative outlet and something I enjoy immensely, blogging is a small business and allows me to provide for my family.
While I’m not following any firm guidelines, I do believe in looking for ways to improve on a continual basis. Throughout the year I’ll invest in things as needed or that I see would be helpful for the blogging process. Here are the 5 best blogging investments I made in 2016, which are services and products that improve my workflow.
Carbonite is an online cloud storage system that automatically backs up your documents and photos from you computer that you can then access on the Carbonite website or through an app on your smart phone, making it another one of my favorite apps. I am so glad I did this because it’s sure come in handy when I’ve needed to find photos when I’m away from home. Also, I love that my photos and documents are secure as I don’t always take the time to back up on an external hard drive. Several years ago I lost a ton of photos on a laptop that crashed and I’m thankful for having this insurance for $55 a year – a great price!
A couple of years ago I had the goal of sending out a newsletter, which is something I procrastinated immensely. Really, no one has procrastinated putting together a newsletter more than me! Mad Mimi is so easy to use with easy templates that are easy to figure out and their price plans are reasonable. The return on this investment has been worth it and then some.
I am sooooooooo glad I purchased this ring light. While I had a ring light I purchased from a random seller on Amazon, it wasn’t the greatest for a few reasons. First, the base that it came with was really flimsy and I had a hard time keeping the light attached to the base. Second, when the light came tumbling down from the base and the actual light broke, getting a replacement from my Amazon seller was a challenge as the light bulb isn’t sold by any other retailer. With the Stellar Light the bulb is more powerful, the bulb is standard, and the base is extremely steady.
No, I’m not giving up my beloved Nikon, but for a while now I’ve known that videos are becoming more and more important and wanted a camera that would make it easy to create beautiful and high quality videos. I’m so glad I took the jump, because this camera does everything I want. When it comes to taking still photos, I’m still not 100% comfortable with the Canon and have been using my Nikon for 99% of my blog photos. I know the Canon makes gorgeous photos possible, so this year I’ll take the time to properly learn how to use it!
Various Photo Props
In 2016 I got a lot more creative with the products I use to display products in my photos and have built up quite a little arsenal of props. I won’t spend more than $20, and look to the $1/$3/$5 section at Target as well as Michael’s. The glittery backdrops are from eBay or Amazon.
On a weekly basis I’ll pick up a fresh bouquet of roses or other flower from Trader Joe’s, which are very reasonably priced at $6 and I love adding them to photos.
I’ve been thinking about what I’m looking to invest in next and I definitely want to take some lessons on Photoshop and Lightroom to improve my photo editing game. I also haven’t taken the time to properly learn my Canon, so I’ll look for some tutorials. Other things I’m pondering include professional lifestyle pics to include in future posts,a virtual assistant to help with behind-the-scenes upkeep, and I’m wondering if I should invest in an Apple laptop.
It was really interesting to take a look back at what’s helped move things forward. As always, thank you for reading Painted Ladies and for supporting this blog on social media!