Yay! I’m glad to know you are excited about learning how to blog, too!
Blogging is so much fun! I have been blogging since 2012, when I started a (really bad) blog of just random thoughts on Blogger. But I knew I wanted to use my website and blog to help as many people as I could get organized, do awesome DIY projects and crafts and create yummy family-friendly recipes. And I simply couldn’t do that with my bad blog! After reading as much as I could, taking endless webinars and classes, and doing a lot of trial and error on my own, I have come a long way, baby!
I certainly don’t have all the answers, but this page is where you’ll find the tools I use for my blog. And I want to share them with you, so you don’t have to spend a ton of time and money researching what makes a blog work, like I did.
Because you gave me your email when you signed up for my organizing newsletter or when you signed up to see this page, be on the lookout for occasional emails from me when I hear about sales on these or other blogging items of interest so you don’t miss out. Okay?
Now, before I go any further, just so you know, this page contains affiliate links for some of the tools listed. That means if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). However, I only ever mention products I love and would recommend whether I was being compensated or not. Click here to see my full disclosure policy.
How to blog: How to “do” blogging
I absolutely recommend Elite Blog Academy as your first step. I have done A LOT of research on how to start and run a blog, taken a TON of courses, and read countless blogs and books, and this is by far the best course out there. It is run by Ruth Soukup, a fantastic blogger who now has a successful multi-million dollar business. This course teaches you everything about blogging. I took it this year and it was fabulous! I am actually going to their live conference, Activate, in September in Orlando! I. Cannot. Wait!!! Elite Blog Academy is only available once a year in the Spring, so go ahead and get on the waiting list NOW! Once you are on the list, you will get some great free mini courses throughout the year, too. I simply can’t say enough about this program. It’s amazing!
As I mentioned, Elite Blog Academy also has some great information you can check out for free! Woot! Check out these resources:
Blogging Made Simple
The Secret Blueprint for Blogging Success Ever wish you had a road map to blogging success? This Secret Blueprint shows you the exact steps you need to take to grow your blog fast and monetize successfully. It’s a game changer, and right now, for a limited time, you can get it absolutely free!
EBA® Assessment for bloggers Do you have what it takes to become a successful blogger? Take this assessment to find out!
Goal Setting Workbook for Bloggers A great resource to help you work smarter, not harder!
8 Bad Blogging Habits & How to Break Them Are your bad habits holding back? Packed with practical tips you can implement right away, this super helpful mini ebook will help you identify and destroy destructive behavior so that you can grow your blog more quickly than ever.
EBA Blog Structure Blueprint How to organize a clear structure to your blog so that your readers can always find exactly what they’re looking for.
7 Surefire Ways to Boost Your Blog Income Overnight Packed with practical tips you can implement right away, this super helpful mini e-book will help you maximize the revenue you are earning from the audience you already have.
120 Awesome Blog Post Ideas Struggling to come up with new content for your blog? Here are 120 awesome blog post ideas to help you beat writer’s block and bring killer content that builds your business every time. It’s a game changer, and right now, for a limited time, you can get it absolutely free!
Blogging trends 2018 Overwhelmed with all the blogging advice out there? Our team has sorted through all the latest blogging trends and we’ve narrowed it down to the only 7 you need to try for massive momentum. It’s a game changer, and right now, for a limited time, you can get it absolutely free!
10 Steps to Take When a Blog Post Goes Viral Want to know how to maximize a popular post? This super helpful guide shares the exact steps you need to take to make the most of a traffic surge and build momentum that will last. It’s a game changer, and right now, for a limited time, you can get it absolutely free!”
The New Blogger’s Guide to Guest Posting Packed with practical tips you can implement right away, this super helpful guide will help you grow your audience with guest posting and make sure your content is a hit every time.
How to blog: For the technical part of the blog
You need a name!
You will need a domain name to get your blog up and running. I got mine through GoDaddy. It’s easy to use and very inexpensive.
My blog runs on WordPress. That is place where I created my blog and where it lives. WordPress has a .com and a .org version. If you think that now or at some point down the road, you want to monetize your website, you really should start with WordPress.org self-hosted site. The WordPress.com version, like Blogger, is free but much more limited. So, if you are just doing a blog to update your family and friends, those may be okay. But, you need a self-hosted site in order to add ads or monetize links. So choose wisely… Now, although not expensive, you will need to pay for your self-hosted site. There are also tons of themes to choose from. The theme I use, Yoko, is free and works great for me. Click below for more info on WordPress.
Once you have your WordPress website, you need a hosting company, and I use BlueHost. It’s only $3.95 per month. (Even though that is not very expensive, they do require you to pay for the full year at once, so be forewarned.)
Set up Google Analytics to track your traffic. It’s free. You spent a lot of time writing your posts, so use Google analytics to see how well they are doing. you will be able to see your top posts, how long people spend on your blog, which countries people are visiting your blog from, what time of day they are viewing your site, demographics of your readers, what type of devices they are using to see your website, and much more.
How to blog: For communicating with your audience
ConvertKit is what I use to send my newsletters. It is very easy to use and allows you to track and add tags to your audience, according to the different links they click on in your newsletter. It really helps you send the right information to the right people, without bombarding everyone on your list. (Like the link you clicked on to see all these blogging tools.) Now that I know you are interested in blogging, I can send blogging info directly to you instead of in my organizing/DIY e-mail. You get the info you are interested in, but the others don’t. Nifty, huh? There is a monthly fee to use ConvertKit, but I have found it worth it for the extra features.
And you can get a free 30-day trial to check it out.
Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for Business
Change over your personal accounts to business accounts, so you can add your blog name, URL, and see your analytics.
Pinterest for Business: https://business.pinterest.com/en
Facebook for Business: https://www.facebook.com/business
Instagram for Business: https://business.instagram.com/getting-started
Twitter for Business: https://business.twitter.com/en/basics/create-a-twitter-business-profile.html
How to blog: Create awesome graphics
So much about blogging is visual. You can take your own pictures to create your graphics, or you can use stock images that have Creative Commons rights (so you can use them without penalty). There are a lot of stock photo sites out there, but it’s hard to find images for free.
My favorite stock image site, hands down, is Pixabay. It is easy to search, almost all of the images have creative commons licensing, and, best of all, it’s FREE! (I do recommend you create an account on there, though. It makes it much easier to download images.)
Once you have your images, you need to create your graphics.
My FAVORITE editor program is PicMonkey. It is super easy to use. I created 99.5% of all the graphics you see on my blog and my social media in PicMonkey, and I highly recommend it. There is a yearly fee to use it, but I think it is worth it!
Canva is what I’ve used for the other 0.5% of my blog graphics. Personally, I find it a bit harder to work with, but many, many top bloggers prefer Canva. There are paid sections in Canva, but you can do a decent amount using the free tools. So, play around in it, and see what you think. I just like PicMonkey better.
How to blog: Scheduling your social media
It can really eat up a lot of your time pinning pins on all your Pinterest boards and posting to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram manually. I know. I have been there, done that! These days I use Tailwind to schedule out everything for Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. I also have reminders to post on Instagram. Tailwind is fantastic! It is easy to use, you can create pins right in your dashboard, and the analytics are outstanding, with tons of great insight to how your social media is performing. Again, there is a small yearly fee, but you can try it out with a free trial. I highly recommend using Tailwind.
How to blog: Make some money! $$$
Of course, this is one of the perks of running a blog. And there are lots of ways to make money with your blog. You can sell digital or actual products. You can teach courses. You can write books or e-books. You can guest post or write sponsored content. But, one of the easiest for beginning bloggers is putting ads up on your site. Here is some good info to get you started.
Many new bloggers start with Google Adsense. I did. It is easy to set up and a good way to let your audience get used to seeing ads on your website.
This is what works best for my own blogging niche. I can list the supplies for the organizing or DIY projects or ingredients for recipes right on my blog post, so all my readers have to do is click the link so they can purchase the same items I used. And even if they buy other items once they’ve clicked on Amazon through your link, you will receive a commission for those items as well! I love this program because it doesn’t cost your readers any more than what they’d already spend, and you get rewarded for sending them to Amazon’s site.
Okay, I know this is a lot of stuff to wrap your head around. But I promise it is worth it. So, take your time and check out these sources. You have something to share with the world, so start now so you can get your blog up and running!
*Note: This page is a work in progress. I will continue to add more resources for you as I find them!
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