Over the years, I’ve learnt that the more you invest in a blog, the better it can become. The biggest investment in blogging is obviously time. The more time you can commit to running a blog, the more successful that blog will be. But it’s not just time that has taken my blog from strength to strength and I still have goals to achieve on both of my blogs. I’m always striving to improve and there are a number of pieces of kit I have either invested in, or want to invest in, to bring the standard of my blog up higher. If you’re a newbie starting out, you might be wondering what is the most essential equipment for bloggers? What kit do you need to run a blog and what is just a waste of money?
There are a lot of people who will say that you need this, that and the other, and you can end up forking out on equipment that you don’t really need. For example, a lot of bloggers sell e-courses where actually, if you look around, you can find all of the tips included, for free on another blog.
Most Essential Equipment for Bloggers
I thought I’d write a post on what I consider to be the most worthwhile pieces of kit for bloggers, these are the things that have improved my blog considerably:
A Good Laptop
When I first started blogging, I had a tatty old laptop with a few keys missing and I spent a lot of time staring at the blue screen of death, as it crashed a lot. Now my version of a “good laptop” and other people’s, may well differ. My brother would probably say my laptop is “not-so-good” (actually I think he’d use somewhat more colloquial language). I spent about £250 on an Asus laptop which I bought in Argos. But it’s what I find easy to work with. It does everything I need, has a lot of storage space, is fast enough for me and has been my faithful companion for a number of years now. If you have more money to invest, then by all means, go for the biggest, best and most robust laptop that you can.
Antivirus is a must. Spending a lot of time on social media, other peoples blogs and doing research on places and items that I review, means I am open to viruses with every web page I visit. It’s important to minimise downtime as it’s really irritating when you sit down to write, with a head full of inspiration and the laptop won’t play ball because it’s full of viruses. Don’t compromise on internet security. It’s worth it’s weight in gold. I personally use Kaspersky, despite all the propaganda about it in the news recently. It’s what I’m used to and what I’m comfortable with.
A DSLR Camera
Buying a DSLR completely transformed both this blog and my travel blog. If you pop over to my family travel blog, you will see that nearly all my photos are from my DSLR. On this blog I do sometimes use my mobile pictures, but the quality simply doesn’t compare. Better pictures make such a difference to the look and feel of a blog. I invested around £600 in my first DSLR. It’s lasted me the last six years and although it’s a little battered now (and probably screaming out to be used in manual mode), it still has tons of life left in it. I use a Nikon DC3200 in auto, with the original lense that it came with.
Photo Editing Software
To really make those high quality photos pop, it’s well worth investing in some good photo editing software. Choose a software that is user friendly to your own level of geekiness and has lots of options. I still haven’t gotten around to purchasing or using photo editing software and I really do want to learn how to make the most of my photos through editing. Photoshop is really expensive, but I’ve heard some really great recommendations for Adobe Lightroom, so that’s what I’m going to sign up to later this month.
Good Quality headphones
If you live in a busy house, with lots of distractions and find it hard to concentrate with all the buzz around you, some decent headphones are a must. Noise cancelling, clear sound and a comfortable fit. I plug my headphones in if my husband is watching tele and I want to edit video or simply listen to some music, rather than hearing a Top Gear narration over the top of my writing voice. Beats by Dre headphones are reportedly the best you can get these days.
Video Editing Software
My oldest daughter loves vlogging and I really want to up my game in the video stakes. To do this, I’m going to need some video editing software and possibly even a video editing course. Explore by Ed is a blog which gives me huge video envy as his videos are amazing. I hope to one day be able to shoot and edit video to that standard.
A Clear Microphone
In order to get better sound quality on video, particularly where there is talking, I plan to invest in an external microphone to improve clarity. I’d love some tips and recommendations from other bloggers on which microphones are the best to buy.
Search Engine Optimisation is one of the most important ways of generating traffic for your blog. I used to think it was enough to just use Yoast for SEO. Based on advice in blogger forums, I’ve recently decided to invest in KeySearch, which is an SEO tool to help you choose stronger keywords. With the help of this, all my new blog posts will have stronger SEO and I am also gradually going back through all of my old posts, to improve their visibility on search engines too.
So there you have it, my list of what I consider to be the most essential equipment for bloggers. I’d love to hear suggestions in the comments from other bloggers, of any pieces of key kit that they couldn’t blog without. And what brands do you use and recommend?