Entering the blogosphere can seem overwhelming at first. There is so much to learn, and so many options in terms of resources to help you successfully grow your blog and business.
No more putting all your work and effort at your 9-5 building someone else’s dreams. It’s time to start building dreams of your own. If you are serious about blogging for business, first and foremost you should definitely make the small investment to start a self-hosted blog.
By starting your self-hosted blog with a monetization strategy immediately, you can start earning money immediately.
I personally recommend starting with affiliate marketing. This is the simplest way to earn passive income on your blog (passive income – the type of money that comes in while you sleep). Now, how do you blog successfully? We put together a list of great blogging resources to help you build a great business! Don’t be afraid to bookmark this page for later.
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Get Started Blogging
Learn About Blogging
- How to Start a Profitable, Self-Hosted WordPress Blog
- What’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
- Affiliate Marketing for Beginners
- Blogging 101: Building Your Digital Empire & Boosting Your Blog Traffic with Ana from The She Approach
- Siteground: A self-hosted blog is essential for those who want to monetize their blogs. We use Siteground as our host. You can buy a domain and hosting at Siteground with plans starting as low as $3.95 per month!
- Bluehost: Bluehost has offered our readers interested in hosting a special starting price of $2.95 per month for hosting! Plus, with your first Bluehost plan, you get a domain for free!
- Namecheap: If you do end up buying a domain, we recommend using Namecheap for their cheap and affordable domain prices (we bought RerouteLifestyle.com using Namecheap!).
- Google Analytics: Don’t skip installingGoogle Analytics on your website so that you can track accurate page views to your blog, your audience demographics, and even bounce rate. All this information not only helps you improve your website in the long run, but will be what companies will ask for when they want to work with you in the future.
- Jaaxy: What’s great about Jaaxy is it tells you which keywords you should be using, and which may be a waste of your time. This is essential when it comes to improving your website’s search engine optimization! Simply type in keywords when you’re trying to brainstorm a headline and it will help you decide whether or not your headline will benefit you in the long run.
- Themeforest: A wide selection of affordable and customizable WordPress themes.
- Divi by Elegant Themes: Customizable drag-and-drop theme features that will rock your world.
- Cityhousedesign on Etsy: Affordable, feminine WordPress themes.
- Customized Divi Theme: Don’t want to dedicate all your time to blog design when you could be creating content? We develop customizable Divi blogs based on the vision you have for your blog.
Ebooks & Learning
- Career in the Making ($25): Get access to monetization and marketing strategies that will help you turn your blog from hobby to business.
- The She Approach to Boosting Your Blog Traffic ($25): Read detailed growth strategies to help you grow your blog’s traffic.
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing ($197): The best affiliate marketing course for beginner bloggers. This course takes you step-by-step through all the new vocabulary that comes with learning affiliate marketing (like deep links).
- Audible: Get in the blogger mindset & listen to books on the go. Sign up for a 30-day free trial.
Monetize Your Blog
Affiliate marketing is one of the simplest ways to passively earn money from your blog. To learn more about affiliate marketing, read this in-depth article. Here are a few affiliate networks that connect you to brands in every niche:
- ShareASale. Our favorite affiliate network to use is ShareASale. They have a huge marketplace of affiliates to work with for every niche. And, it’s easy to customize your links with ShareASale so you can track “link performance.”
- Awin. Formerly Affiliate Window, Awin is hands down another one of our favorite affiliate programs. Their interface is very easy to use, and they work with a variety of brands worldwide including Etsy and Fiverr. They ask for a $5 deposit to sign up, but you receive that back in its entirety with your first payment!
- Maven. Just like Pinterest but on steroids. You can pin products to boards and share the boards on social media. Then, if someone purchases from your board, you get a commission! (click here to read a step-by-step tutorial on Maven)
- Flexoffers. Another huge affiliate program, Flexoffers is a must-join! They work with advertisers in travel, beauty, business, career… the list goes on! No matter what your niche, you’re sure to find partners here.
You can also monetize your blog by showcasing advertisements on your website:
- Media.net. If your blog is populated with articles, and you want to implement advertisements on your website, try Media.net! They even give you an extra 10% of the revenue you earn for the first three months if you use my link.
Alternatively, you can join networks to connect with companies and write sponsored posts:
- Linqia. If you have at least 1,500 followers on Facebook or Twitter, use Linqia to connect with campaigns that companies run. You can find sponsored post opportunities here!
Grow Your Reach
- Tailwind: If you’re trying to grow your reach on Pinterest or Instagram, you should use Tailwind. Tailwind’s Pinterest scheduler makes creating a pinning schedule easy, and their annual Plus plan gives you unlimited pinning for one year. Alternatively, they have an incredible hashtag generator that will help you effortlessly find hashtags to use on your Instagram posts! Use this free trial to try Tailwind and get your first 100 pins (and/or Instagram posts) all for free!
- Mailerlite: If you are serious about blogging, you will not regret starting and maintaining an email list. You don’t have to send out newsletters daily or even weekly. But, it’s important you start growing your email list so you can connect with your readers! What happens if someone stumbles upon your post, loves it, but chooses not to follow you on social media? You just lost a potential dedicated reader. For your first 1,000 email subscribers, it’s free to sign up with Mailerlite.
- ConvertKit: When we started using ConvertKit we kicked ourselves for not using it sooner. It is a super easy to use email marketing service. It can track how your audience responds to every email! Click HERE to try ConvertKit free for 14 days!
Start Selling Products & Services
- SendOwl: Use SendOwl to securely sell and send digital products, like your brilliantly written eBooks! Honestly. All you have to do is take a little bit of time to upload your products, and SendOwl takes care of the rest! You can even start using SendOwl free for the first 30 days.
- Freshbooks: As you start to bill clients for services you offer on your blog, you’ll probably look for a way to bill your clients. You’ll love Freshbooks. You can easily track your time, bill blog clients, collect payments, and create automated recurring invoices with Freshbooks. Click here to try Freshbooks for free for 30 days.
- Hena’s Toons: Market your product with a fun, imaginative animated video. Videos are the future of marketing and Hena creates fun, animated videos to market your product at an affordable cost.
There are so many plugins you can use to customize your blog. These are the my favorite plugins that I consider essential to my blog!
- Yoast SEO: This plug-in is essential for every blogger! While it takes some time to rank on search engines, the Yoast SEO plug-in helps optimize your posts. Search Engine Optimization is one thing I feel doesn’t come naturally to bloggers (or maybe it does), so using this tool helps naturalize the process for you. As you write posts, this plug-in gives you advice on how you can improve both SEO and readability.
- jQuery PinIt: With this plugin, your readers can hover over your images and see a “Pin It” icon. It makes your images easily pinnable! Since Pinterest is the main driver of traffic for most blogs, I consider this plugin essential for those who want to succeed.
- Pretty Link: Pretty Link turns your long, ugly affiliate or referral links into pretty ones! It allows your to track how many times your links have been clicked. I like to put notes regarding my commission rates for each link using Pretty Link, too.
- W3 Total Cache: Do you ever try to load a website, and close it if its loading time is far too long? It’s amazing how slow your loading time could be without this plugin! You don’t have to do anything except install W3 Total Cache, and your site load time improves! You should not be losing potential readers because of slow loading times.
- Simple Social Icons: A huge part of your growth strategy should be connecting with your followers on social media. These days, everyone lives on social media. So being able to connect with them on social media, build your influence, and direct them to your blog is huge. Simple Social Icons helps you accomplish that by allowing you to place social icons on your blog.