The Most Valuable Black Friday Deals Beginner Bloggers Need to Take Advantage Of
What most people don’t realize about starting a blog is that it can be costly at first. There are pros and cons to going the free route – you will get a taste of the blogging life but have very little options to monetize your blog. This is why many seasoned bloggers recommend going the self-hosted route from the start. I’m going to share with you some of the most valuable Black Friday deals beginner bloggers should take advantage of to get their blog up and running without blowing your budget!
Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post, you can read my full disclosure here!
Breaking it Down: The Difference Between Self-Hosted and Not
Before I launch into valuable deals for Black Friday, I want to shed a little light on what I mean by self-hosted for those who are new to the blogging game.
Self-hosted means taking the leap to purchase a domain name and choosing a web hosting provider to host your blog on. What does that mean? In simple terms, you are setting up your own server and network to run your own website. Essentially, you are the boss. You have free reign over how you can design, set up and monetize your site.
Why Self Hosting
To take the plunge and start to blog seriously (by seriously, I mean as another stream of income or to take it to the professional level), investing in a self-hosted site sets you up to appear more professional. It means you have invested in creating your own spot on the internet and that you are committed to becoming your own brand.
The Trouble With Free
At first, the free route sounds enticing especially when you’re new to blogging, scared it won’t work out, or not sure you’re ready to take the plunge. The free route is fine in all of those scenarios, however, when you decide to take your blog seriously and make it more of a business, you will quickly find the free route does not suffice. What you sacrifice when you go the free route:
Ability to Customize
When you have a free site on a blogging platform, there are a lot of customization sacrifices you will end up making. A lot of free sites don’t allow you to download custom themes or widgets, which can aid in helping you design your blog to be on brand (aka, a reflection of you and how you portray yourself and blog).
Ability to Monetize
There are very limited options (if any) to monetize while on a free site. Most free hosting sites do not allow you to place ads on your site (a way of earning passive income) and a lot of them discourage the use of affiliate links (another way you can make income from your blog). This is okay if your blog is a hobby blog, but if you have any intention of turning it into a business for yourself (or a side hustle), this won’t fly!
If you're scared to take the plunge, this may be the sign you were looking for to take the plunge and go self hosted! Click To Tweet
When people are scouring the internet for valuable information for whatever they need to find, they are more likely to take that information from a credible source, aka a proper domain (.com, .ca, etc.). When you have a free blog, you adopt the free blog domain set up (ex., I used to be www.cynspo.wordpress.com). Having the free platform’s domain inside of your domain not only detracts from your blog name, it clutters it up and also makes it appear as if you’re doing this as a hobby.
Disclaimer: There is nothing wrong with having a free blog (and that is not at all the message I’m trying to convey). If this is your hobby, all of the power to you. If you’re just starting and trying to figure it all out, hang in there. When I first started, I was www.cynspo.wordpress.com. I knew from day one I wanted to take the plunge and go self-hosted, but I took a whole month to get my ducks in a row, and kind of ‘practice’ on the free domain. Since I’ve gone self-hosted, I’ve never looked back, and have loved the ability to create freely and monetize. Trust the process, wherever you’re at, you’re meant to be there for now!
The Most Valuable Black Friday Deals Beginner Bloggers Need to Take Advantage Of
Below, I’m going to share with you the most valuable Black Friday deals beginner bloggers need to take advantage of, especially if you’re getting your blog up and running. If you’re scared to take the plunge, this may be the sign you were looking for to take the plunge and go self hosted!
This is pretty much the first step when it comes to going self-hosted! Your domain name is what appears between ‘www’ and ‘.com’ (example, www.cynspo.com). Ideally, you want to go with the name of your blog or site so people are able to recognize you (and your website reflects you)! Often, hosting sites offer domain names when you decide to self host, or you can check out other domain name sites that often run cheaper.
I swear by Namecheap – I purchased my first ever domain from them and haven’t looked back! I was able to snag my domain name for less than $15, a minor investment that has taken Cynspo to what it is today! Click here to check them out and get started today (while taking advantage of the Black Friday deals)!
Of course, it would be kinda pointless if I just gassed you up to go self-hosted without providing a deal! Your hosting site is often the first big investment you will make (monetary wise and mentally). It is the one leap you will take that changes everything. Going self-hosted is the step that allows you endless customization, monetization and freedom over your site!
I personally use and swear by SiteGround. They have been Cynspo’s home throughout my whole blogging journey. Not only are they reliable, their live chat service is absolutely amazing. Any question I’ve ever had (and that is a lot because I’ve never been a techy person, nor had any prior knowledge of setting up a website prior to blogging!) they’ve been able to help me solve, and have provided endless support on their end. Click here to take advantage of their Black Friday sales (up to %75 off select plans)!
What is a theme? A theme is essentially the template of your blog – aka, what it looks like (see how mine is white background with script at the top, black boxes in the sidebar and the post carousel on the front page?). Your theme is an excellent way to set your blog apart and align it with your brand (think colours, fonts etc.) Creative Market is a great spot to pick up themes, especially with sales of up to %75 off! You can grab a new theme and give yourself a fresh start, or simply pick your first theme ever to give your blog it’s identity!
Check out Creative Market for their Black Friday deals (they carry more than just themes, you can purchase stock photos, graphics, fonts and more!). Click here to get shopping the sales! My theme is Olivia by Bella Creative Studio, you can shop it here! Below, I’ve linked a similar theme you can check out as well!
Deciding to level up your blog is a big step, and honestly the game changed when I decided to use stock photos. Not only do you have access to high quality images and album collections, you can use these photos over and over again (think blog posts, pins, emails, Instagram posts, etc.), simply by downloading them once! Crazy right? Stock photos can make your site look clean and polished – adding to the professionalism you want to portray!
My personal favourite is Styled Stock Society – I splurged last year and purchased the lifetime membership and have never looked back. It is the best deal going – a one time payment and you have unlimited access to all of the content on the site (you don’t have to worry about recurring payments either). It pays for itself once you start seeing the traffic to your site increase! Click here to check out their Black Friday sale and snag the best deal of the year on their lifetime membership!
Often, a lot of bloggers will have sales on their courses for Black Friday! This can be a great way to scoop up a deal on a course you’ve had your eye on for some time, and save yourself some money! Courses are a great way you can learn from and implement blogging strategies to grow your blog and increase your traffic!
Starting a blog can be stressful when you’re first starting out – you’re putting money and time on the line for something you haven’t even really created yet. It’s scary and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! Take the leap and check out some of these Black Friday deals to save you some money if you’re a beginner blogger! This may be the sign you needed to start a blog!