Have you heard the term skin in the game?
If you don’t know what does it mean, let me tell you. Skin in the game suggests, when you lose the game, you stand to lose something.
Like, you invested in a coffee shop, and unfortunately, things didn’t go too well.
What will happen? You may lose your investment; you may lose your standing in the market. Worse, you may default on loan payments.
Now, to avoid such worse things, you will ensure you are taking maximum efforts, to make your venture a successful one.
You won’t allow your credit, money, time and efforts go down the drain.
On the contrary, assume you are just helping out your friend’s coffee shop.
Will feel equally bad if that venture crashes? On a personal level, you will be a little sad, but will you directly bear the brunt of the failure?
This is what is skin in the game.
The same thing happens with your blog if you don’t have enough skin in the game. Let me get back to this point after I go through the following points.
A serious business vs hobby?
This is the first question you should be asking before starting your blog.
Do you want to be a serious blogger, or do you want to be a hobbyist blogger?
Depending upon your answer, many things will change.
On the other hand, if you want to blog professionally, then you will go for WordPress based websites.
The problem starts here when you want to be a professional blogger.
A professional blogger means serious business because you want to earn money through your blog.
Every for-profit business requires some investment up front. And blogging is not an exception to this. And here is where most of the bloggers go wrong.
Cheap out on hosting
Cost-cutting is required in every business. But it applies to unnecessary expenses or the expenses where you have some substitute available, that will not affect your business.
Now, hosting doesn’t come in the unnecessary expenses. For that matter, it is one of the most important things required by a blogger.
Choose a cheap hosting, and you will face several issues like
Lack of security features
Website going down repeatedly
Lack of support
Ads introduced in your website without your consent
These issues are just the tip of the iceberg.
The fallout would be much severe.
People won’t take you seriously.
You won’t be able to build your credibility
Regaining the trust of your readers would be difficult
This is where the skin in the game term make a reappearance.
If you are serious about your business, then you should have the skin in the game.
Do you want to be a serious blogger? Go for a decent hosting. Don’t cheap out and please be respectful of your time. You’re spending a lot of time planning your content and then researching and writing it.
Do you want your time to for a toss just because you used a poor hosting?
But go for a decent hosting.
But it’s not just hosting.
The reason for writing this blog is not just to tell you to get a quality hosting. Hosting is symbolic of what I am trying to convey.
When you want to run a serious blog, there are many tools you need to purchase. You need to make strategic investments, and good quality hosting is one of the services you need to purchase.
Just by purchasing a good quality hosting, you will ensure
Peace of your mind because the hosting will secure
The site won’t crash like a pack of cards now and then
The site will load quickly
Quality support at your disposal in case you require it
Once you have taken care of the technology part, you can focus on your core work that is creating new content and promoting it.
What else you need to purchase?
Now that you have quality hosting, you have to be mindful of one more critical thing.
Nobody will read an article that is full of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. No one!
If you want to take yourself seriously, your writing has to be free from small and big mistakes.
But, the thing is even the biggest of authors, the most popular publishing houses, even they make mistakes while writing.
How many times have you seen a spelling mistake in a newspaper? So many times, right? But as they have already established themselves, their reputation is not marred by such errors.
Unless they happen regularly.
We are humans, we make mistakes, sometimes due to software issues, the error will creep in your writing. There could be hundreds of reasons why the errors will enter your written piece.
So, to avoid such errors, you need to invest in some proof-reading application that will weed out such mistakes.
You can use Grammarly, Ginger, ProWritingAid, HemmingwayApp or anything else that you know.
Often these tools will have a free version that will show a few basic errors, but if you want to find out the errors in-depth, then you have to invest these tools.
You want to make money with your blog
See, the reason you are spending so much of your time, in finding topics, researching and writing on it because you are a professional blogger and you want to make money using it.
So, it won’t be just your written content; soon, you will start a podcast, you will create some videos, you will create some courses and many things.
And every time you have the option of going for the cheapest option or the optimum option.
For example, if you wanted to record a podcast, I am not saying buy a Rode mic but at least buy a decent mic. Don’t record with the mic of your laptop.
Point being, you will have to make several investments down the line, and each and everything that you do should say premium quality, then only people will be interested in what you are offering.
Then only people will take your blog seriously.
People will ignore you if you’re an affiliate for WPEngine which costs $30 per month and then you, yourself using some hosting that doesn’t even cost $20 per year.
Your disingenuous will come forth.
But, some people say you should be doing business without any investment initially
You must have heard this several times from multiple people. Start your business with zero investment when you are just starting.
Now, most of these people have either never started a business or businesspersons who are happy with being just average.
This is entirely wrong.
Yes, don’t go all out on investments but make optimum investments because unless you have skin in the game, you will never take your blog seriously. Then your readers won’t take you seriously.
If you are starting a blog with no investment, then you are not much worried about its failure.
You will not take time to plan your content, research various ideas, and write good quality content because you are not worried about the success or failure of your blog.
There is no skin in the game.
Imagine opening a coffee shop without renting the space or buying it. No, it’s not possible, right?
Same way, every online business requires an investment.
If you are a serious blogger, treat your blog as a business venture that will make money. And every serious business requires an investment.
The example of hosting I gave is symbolic of what I am trying to convey. When you are running a serious blog, there are a lot of other investments you need to make.
Strategic investments and not go all out on one product investment.
Finally, always remember skin in the game. Unless you have it, you are not bothered about the success or failure of your blogging venture.
Best of luck for the success of your blogging venture 🙂
P.S. I used Siteground as my hosting solution in initial days. I moved to WPEngine then to Kinsta and finally, I am on Cloudways.
Two reasons why I kept on making switches. First, after a few days, Siteground wasn’t able to handle the traffic, so I moved to WPEngine. And then I started to hear good things about Kinsta. So, I desperately wanted to try it out. And it is downright the best hosting.
But, I finally switched to Cloudways because it gives me greater control over my hosting. At the same time, I didn’t have to make any compromise on performance.