5 Things Worth The Money For Serious Online Creators

Jul 06, 2021
Photo of the author by the author


I utterly failed to prepare for what happened if I was successful online.

I started my side hustles believing they’d never go anywhere. I held off investing money as long as I could and when I caved in, I’d buy the cheaper option every time.

What was the point in wasting money if I would be a nobody in a couple of months anyway?

I was wrong and my health and wallet have suffered because of it.

I’m now a full-time creator and I’m spending even more to buy what I was too cheap to invest in before. It’s worth paying more for good quality that will pay off in the long run so don’t make the same mistakes as me.

Even if I end up going in a different direction, I won’t regret any of these purchases. Luckily these also count as business expenses ;).


A proper desk chair

I’m 29 and used to assume back problems were for old people. Yet a year of sitting on an Amazon Basics chair taught me a brutal lesson.

In hindsight, it feels like insanity to try to save a few hundred dollars on a chair I use for several hours every single day. A good chair could last a decade and I’d use it for tens of thousands of hours. The per-hour-sat cost becomes negligible.

We only get one spine and it’s priceless. You’re going to pay to keep it healthy regardless. Either paying for proper equipment like a quality chair or in medical appointments years down the line.

I went for the Secret Lab Omega SoftWeave as it’s rated as the number one gaming chair on multiple comparison sites. Herman Miller and Steelcase are other brands with great reputations.

Be smarter than me, don’t wait for the problems to start before switching to something good for your health.


A powerful laptop

You need to be honest with yourself about your ambitions. If you’d like to do video content or diversify then you need a laptop that can handle this with ease.

I bought a budget laptop last year based on my relatively simple needs but it still cost over $1000. Yet I used it for thousands of hours and the small issues added up over time. The slowness when running multiple applications. The poor screen quality. The decaying battery.

I’ve replaced it with a Dell XPS 15 with 32GB of RAM (affiliate) which is a dream to use. I can run several programs at once without any performance degradation. I also use it to stream shows with the full visual experience.

It’s probably overpowered for what I’m currently doing but I’m confident I will be happily using it in a few years’ time. Future-proofing is worth the money. It speeds up my work and makes it more enjoyable so the extra cost is a no-brainer for me.


Online courses

I never paid for an online writing course. I did it the old-fashioned way with hundreds of hours of obsessively reading free advice.

In hindsight, it would have been better to part with some cash and save time.

I see online courses as accelerators. You can always do without them but you’ve got to make the decision how much your time is worth. You’ll always need to learn new skills to thrive online as platforms rise and fall and algorithms contort themselves. Life is too short to do it the manual way every time.

I love Skillshare personally and it’s a bargain at $10 a month. You get access to hundreds of courses about all things creative in one subscription. I used the courses for Adobe Premiere Pro and to create compelling video content myself. I made my own course about how to grow on this platform with a 2-week free trial.


Ergonomic keyboard and mouse

I have an unfortunate habit of waiting until a problem is too big to ignore before doing something to fix it.

It was only when I could barely write without soreness and tingling sensations in my wrists that I decided it might be time to get a better-designed keyboard. Even then it took months for my wrists to return to normal.

Backache from my cheap chair and arm ache from my cheap keyboard was not the most fun combo.

A decent ergonomic keyboard and mouse set isn’t expensive and it’s more than worth it to slow down wrist damage. You might feel invincible now but your wrists are accumulating tiny problems you might not feel for years. Prevention is always better than cure.

I went for a Microsoft-branded keyboard (affiliate) that comes with a mouse. One of the odd perks of the layout is it forced me to stop using my dominant right hand for more keys than it should. After a short period of adjustment, I can type faster this way now!


Quality audio and visual equipment

Even if the bulk of your work is the written word, you’ll eventually want to talk to your fans or potential clients and collaborators. There are many big names online who use potato quality cameras and their loyal audiences don’t care. Great equipment isn’t absolutely necessary if you’re that good.

Yet when someone has a proper setup, it makes them stand out from the oversaturated market. Take Nicky Wolny for example. When you see him on camera, he looks like a star because of the incredible quality of his recordings. It makes him seem more professional and trustworthy which has helped him to land bookings across big media brands.

My aims are slightly different from Nick’s so my investment is lower than his $1,950. I have a TONOR microphone (affiliate) and a Logitech c920 camera (affiliate). These are enough to give me a sense of professionalism without breaking the bank. I could later upgrade my camera and use my existing one for other angles so it wouldn’t be wasted.

You can grow your audience without spending money on the things above and I did. I wonder how much faster my progress would have been if I believed in myself and invested in quality much earlier in my journey. I know I’d have suffered fewer aches and pains.

These are suggestions and you need to be realistic with what you can afford. It doesn’t make sense to buy a high-end laptop if you need to take out an expensive loan to do it.

Did you cheap out on anything and later regret it? If nothing else, please invest in your health!

Amar's Letter

Real talk on driving impact as an imperfect human.