Hi, friends! 😄
Recently, CW @ The Quiet Pond has shared on her blog several stories by different bloggers on their views about money spent on the bookish community and how much they actually spend. Every time I used to see a post about how to blog that involved money spent, it would make me want to quit, since it seemed impossible for me to thrive in a world that required so much investment.
Now, yes, usually professional bloggers do invest in their business, and people who can afford it usually prefer to as well, but that was a big no for me. I’m a jobless college student. I can’t afford to spend it on my small corner – especially because 1/ it is small and not exactly worth it, from a business perspective, to invest into; and 2/ it’s merely a hobby for me. So, on CW’s post, – that you can read here, – I shared how much money I’m spending yearly on my blog (and that number has been decreasing!).
And on this post, I’m sharing with you how I’ve survived on a budget! This will be specially targeted to people who are just about to start a blog or have just started or are currently in the middle of a blogging existential crisis, just like I was. Enjoy!
Replace Money with Time
Sometimes I’m unmotivated to continue blogging because when I’m that deep down, I truly believe that I’ll never be successful without financially investing on my blog. Successful, though, means different things to different people, so the first step would be to define what success means to you and stick by that and the second step would be to accept you won’t be able to invest money on it. Therefore, you’ll be able to come around and see that it’s about what you can do. What if you invest more time instead? I know, it’s exhausting, but since you don’t own a domain and you’re not paying for ads, every follower and view will have to get to your blog organically. This means more content, consistency, promoting, time spent on commenting, … Yes, it is hard, yes, not everyone can stick to this schedule – I know I can’t – so remember: it’s about what you can do! Please sleep eight hours per night and stay hydrated 💛
Learn how to do it yourself
You might feel lost because you really have no knowledge of blogging or editing or photography and that’s why you wanna spend money and hire someone else to do it. On a budget, that’s money you can’t afford to spend, at least not right now. So learn how to do it yourself! Blogger friends are super nice and no one has denied a piece of advice – and Google is a life saviour.
Use what you have
Define a strict line on what you’re willing – and can afford – to spend money on for your blog and what you can’t. And then use what you have at home!
If you can’t afford a camera, use your phone. If you can’t afford professional editing programs, search for free editing apps and websites (I’ve used Photoscape for ages and I’m now trying out Canva). If you’d like to learn ANYTHING and can’t afford courses, subscribe to e-mail lists of people who are experts on what you’d like to learn (they usually always share nice tips) and search on Youtube (if you’re on a budget but would be willing to spend money on learning, lots of people recommend Skillshare, that I would love to try out myself).
And don’t hoard things at home, please, especially if you know you’re likely to never pick them up again! Like I’ve stated on CW’s post, back when I was on bookstagram, all of my props would be things I already had at home. I’d get a nice candle, someone would give me flowers, I’d be drinking tea … those are things I need for other purposes in my life. Search around your house and see what you can do with the random objects you find!
Here’s a great example of me using what I have: a book from the library and my cat with a witch hat from a Halloween costume on its tail. It’s a terrible picture, but it did the job!
Still about props and seeing what you can do with what you have, get a bit creative! You need a place to put your camera/phone on and don’t have a tripod? Use a stack of books! Or a chair! Or both! You’re tired of the same props you’re using for every picture? DIY some! Great idea I just had: if you’re throwing a party you can do one of those things you hang in the wall as a piece of decor AND take pictures before your guests arrive! Do your own bookmarks!
My friend did this bookmark for a Giveaway and obviously, I used it for tons of pictures!
I’m terrible at this. I need things done by yesterday!
When it comes to things you can’t avoid spending money on – let’s say books, as we’re book bloggers – sometimes it’s (extremely) hard to get your hands on every new release because there are so many and it gets stupidly expensive! So try and go around the problem. This is how I’ve done it:
1/ I started reading in English, since it’s cheaper than reading in Portuguese (let’s say a difference of around 4€);
2/ I started ordering online, since it’s cheaper than buying English books in Portugal (a difference of 3-4€ from the same book in the same language but in Portugal);
3/ I read mostly e-books right now;
4/ I’ve made a habit of comparing prices in several websites and wait for it to get cheaper;
5/ I use and abuse of NetGalley and always try my luck in giveaways and arcs and digital copies (most times, it’s not rewarding, but it’s worth trying).
I could also mention libraries, but mine isn’t well-equipped (I’ve mentioned somewhere before it relies heavily on donations so it has few books, they’re rarely recent – and their English options are very limiting) and there are even countries where libraries don’t even exist. But if that’s not your case, go for it!
If everything else fails, keep in mind you don’t have to write only reviews to write about book-related topics. There’s more inspiration out there! 💛
And these are my tips! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading!
🐠 How much do you spend on your blog monthly?
🐠 What are your tips to stay on a budget?