Thinking about starting a blog?
Do it! Do it! Chanting makes it happen!
Starting my blog in 2017 was easily one of my best decisions of my life. It has opened up a whole new outlet of creativity, connected me with hilarious and inspiring writers, and created a new business. In short, I love it.
If you’ve been thinking of starting a blog I’d love to help! Consider me your blogging basics tour guide. Below are blogging resources that have helped me navigate this fabulous little world and will help set you off on the right foot. (affiliate links below)
SiteGround – First you need a host for your website. Buy your domain name here at Siteground and set up your hosting. Like any great host, SiteGround makes a really nice spinach dip and has excellent customer service. Pricing starts at $3.95 which I afford by buying the store brand granola bars.
If you are hoping to turn your blog into a business, setting up a self-hosted site through SiteGround instead of using WordPress.com is the way to go. You’ll have more control over the look and feel of your site and can monetize through affiliate marketing and advertisements.
But if you just want to get your feet wet, go with WordPress.com for free!
WordPress.org – The site that lets you build your self-hosted blog and manage your content. Like the architects in Inception. Kind of. More like Microsoft Word but for the web. Super user-friendly, blog themes to make your site look professional, and a community of WordPress bloggers. Two enthusiastic thumbs up.
Make sure to keep your content backed up too!
The Write Stuff
Helene Sula has a lot of great blogging advice in her posts and webinars. As a full-time blogger and world traveler, she knows her stuff. Start here for some basics, and then read everything she has ever written on the subject if you get hooked.
Find a tribe of like-minded bloggers who can support you along the way. Promote your posts, read others’ posts, make connections. It’s a really great community of people who truly just want to see other bloggers succeed.
Another fantastic tool helpful for blog writing, or any writing! Download the Grammarly extension and it will check your emails, blog posts, and Word Documents for spelling and grammar mistakes. Worth its weight in gold, and it’s free.
Once you’ve set up your blog, figured out what you want to write about and how you want to say it, then start learning SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
You’ll hear from so many bloggers that they wished they had learned SEO earlier and I’m in that camp too. That’s because SEO is how to make sure people can find your amazing content on Google. And you want people to find your stuff! While I wouldn’t let learning SEO hold you back from starting to write about what you love, learning it can help you get results (eyeballs on your writing) much faster.
Kelly at Sticky SEO taught me the tricks of the trade and her course is worth its price in gold! Definitely check it out.
Yoast is a plugin available once you set up your self-hosted site with WordPress. It essentially tells you if you’re making your writing hard to read or search for.
I think of it as a good friend who is willing to say “Um, Bec. That sentence is 400 words, in a passive voice, and is just kind of dumb.” Also, you need to use your keywords more effectively.
Looking to create a pretty Pinterest pin for your blog post? (Which you should, Pinterest is amazing for blog traffic!) Canva is a super easy and free tool. Think PowerPoint, but easier.
You can use the tool for free, or upgrade for access to resizing features and more stock photos.
Blog posts LOVE pictures. And I don’t always have the right pictures. But these sites do, for $Free.99.
See this pin? I made in Canva, with no design experience at all, and with a stock photo. In 5 minutes.
Making Money Blogging
Check out some simple affiliate marketing tools to start making money with your blog. It’s like Ebates, you get paid for marketing stuff from these sites through advertising or linking to a product you are talking about anyways. And it doesn’t cost anyone more money to buy from your link. Cool, cool, cool.
I know, I know. No one likes ads up in their grill. But, if you find a way to do them well then you can create a steady stream of income from your blog without annoying your readers. I have used Fomo Publishers for advertising and had a great experience. The ads are very small pop-ups at the bottom of the screen and tailored to match with your blog niche. Plus, no page view requirements!
Now that my blog has grown I also use Monumetric which has also been fantastic. The Minimum page view requirement for Monumetric is 10,000 per month.
Like the idea of working with brands to give your honest opinion and share great products and services with your readers? That’s sponsored posts, yo. Whenever I do a sponsored post it is always, always, ALWAYS, in my own voice and never feels off-brand from my other stories. Find opportunities here:
Pinterest for Your Blog
All I ever needed to know about life I learned in kindergarten. Except blogging, they didn’t teach blogging. So I’m learning about that on Pinterest.
Automation station! Much of my blog traffic comes from Pinterest since it works as a visual search engine. So I create a lot of pins for my posts using Canva and then tailwind auto schedules your pins for you which saves a lot of time. Get a free trial and $15 off if you decide to upgrade after your first 100 pins.
Monica over at Redefining Mom is a Pinterest ninja. She is a super successful blogger and taught me all kinds of Pinterest stuff. Check her out!
I’m pinning new blogging tips on my Blogging Tips Pinterest Board all the time, follow along!
Let me know if you start a blog! I want to read about all your hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets. Or your cheesecake recipe. That too.
P.S. While you’re here, come stay a while! Check out the Writing category for more on blogging.