When I started blogging last year (2018) I had no idea what I was doing and what I needed to run a successful lifestyle blog. If you read my last post about my first year of blogging then you know I did little to no research before joining the lifestyle bloggers club. *facepalm* That's okay because I did have some kind of idea of what I needed by watching YouTubers and general common sense.
During this time I knew I needed a laptop, camera, and a tripod to start out. I know there are a lot of lifestyle bloggers with ring lights, backdrops, and basically a whole production studio, but let's get real... that's not realistic for everyone. With that being said, I knew my budget and that you can get by with a few basic tools when you start out and then continue to upgrade as you go along.
So today I'm going to share with you the basic equipment I started out with and still use. I'm going to give my honest opinion and hope that by the end of this article you have a better idea of what equipment you will or can purchase.
You'll Need A Good Computer
It's plan and simple, you need a high quality, durable computer before you even think about blogging. Hopefully you already have one and that's one less expense. For me, that wasn't the case and I had to go out and purchase a new laptop within a couple of weeks after starting my lifestyle blog. With Freelance writing, the age of my previous laptop, and the limited storage it had, it was time for an upgrade.
I already had a brand in mind that I wanted to use. Over the years I've had Gateway (do they even sell those anymore?), Dell, HP, and now Mac. I had the sales associate help me pick out the perfect MacBook that would fit my needs. So when you go to the store, make sure you still ask a sales associate their opinion. Basically, all you need to do is tell them what you plan to do with your new laptop or desktop. That will give them a better idea of which model computer you should choose out of the brand and that will fit your needs in the long run.
I picked out Apple's MacBook Pro and have to say it is one of the best computers I've had thus far. It is definitely reliable and can handle any kind of digital work I thow at it. Before I had the MacBook Pro, I had the HP elite. It's a really good computer and I had it for years. However, once I started needing more storage space for my writing and photos I would be taking for my blog, it crashed. My Mac has excellent storage and doesn't get bogged down by multiple applications running or large files.
The price may be steep for many lifestyle bloggers who are just starting out, but I feel like Macs are worth it. Your return on investement will come from the length of time you'll be able to use it, how it functions, and eventually when you start monetizing your blog you'll get the money back.
A Quality Camera Is Necessary
Using your cellphone is a big no. If you absolutely have to then I understand, but I promise you'll see a huge difference in the quality. Keep in mind that, that could be the difference in you keeping or losing a reader. For that reason, I recommend getting a DSLR camera. You can't go wrong with them. They give quality photos every time you snap a picture and can give you the professional, sleek vibe you're going for. It can achieve this result way better than a cellphone or point and shoot camera.
So you're wanting to go ahead and invest in a DSLR camera for your lifestyle blog, but with all the options out there you're confused. I can personally recommend the Cannon Rebel T7i as a good starter camera. It has been super reliable and the photos turn out awesome. When I see the photos on my computer it reminds me of HD. You can see everything which sometimes I feel is bad for me, but I digress. Check out the photos I took of the DBU campus using my Cannon by clicking here.
Plus A Memory Card
Don't forget, you'll need a SD card that can store all the eyecatching photos you'll be taking for your website. You don't want to worry about having to delete photos everytime you take a shot or be in the middle of a shoot when you get the "memory is full" message. That's the worst!
I personally use the SanDisk 128 GB SD card, and it hasn't failed me yet. It allows me to store tons of photos on it and I don't think I've ever gotten the memory is full message since I got it in Fall of 2018. Recently, I deleted majority of those photos not because my memory was low, but because I got tired of scrolling through all of them.
That brings me to my next point. If you're using a smartphone such as an IPhone then you risk not having enough space to store your photos and having issues with getting the photos to format to PNG, JPEG or JPG. You also can't add additional space on a whim without having to delete other memories or important files. It's best to keep your smartphone for your personal photos and a DSLR or even a point and shoot for your lifestyle blog.
Invest In A Tripod, You're A One Woman (or man) Show
When you're first starting out you don't have a team of people helping you create photos to go along with your articles. If you do have a team, or you have at least one other person to help you take photos from 9 - 5 then you're lucky. Most of us don't and never will have that luxury. So to compensate for those times you can't get a friend or S.O. to help you, you need to have a tripod on deck.
There are many reasons why you should invest in a good, sturdy tripod. Here are a few I think really help:
Acts as steady hands if you are doing aerial view photos
Helps you take action selfies or full-body selfies in general
An easy way to give your hands a break from carrying the camera all-day
Better photos overall
Here are two photos I took of myself using my tripod:
As lifestyle bloggers, we have to some times take matters into our own hands to create great content. You won't always have a friend or a crew available and it's important to learn how to be self-sufficient in the creation process. You'll find that the hallmark moments you create by yourself can be your best work. The tripod I use is the Manfrotto Compact Action Smart 61" Tripod.
What All Lifestyle Bloggers Should Consider
Before you purchase any of the 3 (really 4) basic items, consider your goals for your blog and your budget. You want to consider your goals because that will determine how much you should invest in the blog. If you're just doing this as a fun hobby without ever having monetization in mind then don't spend a grand or more on equipment. You also want to keep track of your budget and be smart about your purchases. Remember it takes time to figure out what your ROI will be in the end. Don't go into major debt without the security that your blog is actually going to monetize.
So to wrap it up, you want to purchase a quality camera with an SD card, a sturdy tripod, and a dependable laptop with tons of storage. These basics will get you through your first year and the rest of your years blogging. Okay, with a few upgrades along the way. The last thing, make sure you subscribe to my email list on the right sidebar!
*This post is not sponsored and all items were purchased by me.