That One Time I Bought A $10 Ebook & Other Ways I've Invested In Myself
I started my blog in 2014 on a FREE platform called Blogger which is operated by Google. I couldn’t customize my blog too much other than background and text color. Any of the website templates they offered were “basic” templates and not like my blog today. That's how I got started blogging. I was new to all of it: writing a blog post, adding images to my post, importing videos, etc. It all new to me.
For about four months after starting my blog, my URL was www.nykseries.blogpost.com. As a newbie, I was comfortable with having this website URL, but to a veteran, this was a big no-no. Having a long URL like this meant you didn't bother paying for your own custom URL. Once I learned about this it, I had already been blogging for four months.
So, it took me four months to officially by my own website URL (www.websitename.com) from GoDaddy.com and when I did, I found an online coupon that allowed me to buy the domain URL for only .99 cents. I was cheap about being a blogger and I knew that. I didn’t “have” the money to actually invest in myself or so I thought.
It took me a full year to actually spend money on myself as a blogger. For the longest, I was downloading FREE resources about growing your blog, building your audience, and making money from it. I was reading up on ways to use money to grow your blog, but, I wasn’t spending a dime. Finally, I found ThinkandGrowChick.com. Courtney Sanders, a personal life, and business coach runs that website and helps women achieve success through mentoring and coaching. I found her “Get What You Want” Workbook and just off the title I knew I wanted to get the workbook. At the time, it was only a few pages that helped me get clear on the life I wanted to live. I thought it was my ultimate way to “finally” getting the life I wanted.
The book was a “pay what you want” price, meaning, I could pay whatever I wanted for the book. At first, I wanted to pay $1, but I couldn’t go lower than 5$. I told you, I was cheap. So I said to myself if this is something that I want, I will pay something reasonable for it, so I paid $10. I was nervous as hell because I only had $20 in my bank account at the time. I thought to myself this $10 could go to gas, to food, to anything else important, but then I thought to myself if blogging is something I really wanted to do then making this $10 investment is important.
That one investment eventually led me to buy an $11 dollar ebook on creating a decent experience via customer service. After that I was buying tickets to events, I moved my blog from a free platform to a paid one. I even bought another domain URL. I spent money on an email platform to collect emails for when people download my free products. This is just a few of the many small investments I made for myself. Some investments went as high as $300, such as my Canon t5 camera that originally cost $500. Slowly, but surely I was realizing that in order to get where I wanted to be as a blogger and now as a coach, I had to invest in myself.
There are only two types of investments: time and money
You have more than one of the other. If you don’t have the time then you should have the money. If you don’t have the money then you should have the time. What does this mean? When I first started out, I didn’t have the money or enough of it to really invest in myself, but I had the time to sit around and figure out how to start my blog, write blog posts, learn how to use social media, etc. I was doing all that I could with my time to learn more about what I wanted to do.
As time went on and I started making more monetary investments the time got shorter. With being a mom, significant other, and still working a day job, it’s hard to come up with the time to do a lot of things in “real time”. I couldn’t imagine scheduling blog posts, promoting on social media, and sending out emails all in “real time” while I feed a baby, change diapers, and make dinner. Right now, I’m using an absolutely free service for email automation through MailerLite. If someone was to sign up for my emails, a freebie is automatically sent to them. Before I had email automation, I would have to get my computer, write an email out and attach a freebie to it. It was too much work.
Managing more than one social media account was even harder. Social media is constantly updating, so imagine trying to post on all my platforms at the same time. It was exhausting. I would have to write a custom post on Facebook and link my recent blog post to it, but sometimes I would forget to promote that same blog post on Twitter. Now, I pay $10/month to schedule up to 100 posts daily on all my social media accounts, so I don’t have to waste time or struggle to try to promote on every single platform at the same time.
Paying for automation is just one of the many things I pay for on a monthly basis. I pay Squarespace, Adobe, and Gmail. Squarespace for my website platform, Adobe for photography and graphic design, and Gmail to have my own custom email address which is more professional than having “@gmail.com”.
Out of all these “paid” investments, I take advantage of FREE resources as well. I have a library account with my local free library and they have a database of skills that you can learn for free and on your own time. Since I use Adobe Photoshop almost every day, I took a free workshop on learning the basic of Photoshop to better my design skills. If it’s something that I couldn’t learn through the library, I signed up for a free account on SkillShare, a website that teaches you skills and techniques on anything from marketing, website design, coding, etc. And, if I couldn’t get anything from SkillShare, I would simply use YouTube. YouTube is the ultimate free resource that can teach you how to do anything. If I want to know how to do something but short on time, I would go to YouTube and watch a 2-minute video to show me how. It’s that simple.
Investing in yourself is key to getting where you want to be. While investing in yourself comes in many forms, remember that you must have time and/or money. Think about it, if you have the time to better your craft, do it. But if you’re short on time, you better have the money to either pay someone to teach you or for it to be done for you. Either way, you can’t expect to not spend money on yourself, but expect to reach certain levels in your life. You have to make the investments and do so on a regular basis.