The Essential Guide to Blogging (the crazy profitable kind)

 In Blog, blogging tips

As glamorous and exciting as blogging sounds today, (that is why you are reading this guide to blogging right?!) …the activity which is now a primary source of income for several people didn’t have such a bright beginning. Its over two decades journey has been one of evolution from just keeping web entries of technical data to running profitable online businesses.

Before you quit your job and choose to make a living blogging, you’d do well to read guide to blogging that covers the A-Z of blogging and much more. You can toggle the contents to go to the areas that interest you the most.

As glamorous and exciting as blogging sounds today, the activity which is now a primary source of income for several people didn't have such a bright beginning. Its over two decades journey has been one of evolution from just keeping web entries of technical data to running profitable online businesses.<br /> Before you quit your job and choose to make a living blogging, you'd do well to read this long post that covers the A-Z of blogging and much more. You can toggle the contents to go to the areas that interest you the most.

Choosing a Blog Type

Now you’ve decided to blog, you’ve got to decide what type of blog you should opt for. In choosing, you should consider some factors like what interests you, a topic with a large audience or gradually growing audience and a profitable blog. After all, that’s the bottom line for the blogging business.

Also, your aim of blogging would determine what type of blogger you want to be. I have listed them alphabetically and not necessarily because one is superior to the other.

1. Affiliate Blogs

For most people, when they consider making money via blogging, they go with affiliate blogs. These are blogs created for the sole purpose of gaining affiliate commissions for promoting other people’s products. Some promote different products on their blog or dedicate one blog to similar products. Affiliate blogs go heavy on SEO as ranking first is vital to gaining affiliate commissions.  So if your goal is to learn how to start a blog and make money you should consider affiliate blogging to begin with.

2. Business Blogs

When a business goes online by setting up a website, most decide to get customers through inbound marketing. Blogging is the most popular inbound marketing strategy used. These types of blogs typically covers topic that their target customers would be searching for online. A business blog features more on client focused articles and less of personal content, unless it’s a case study.

3. Freelance Bloggers 

Those who offer freelance services usually have a blog where they share information they wish their prospective clients to have. Or a blog where they showcase their expertise in the niche where they provide their services.

4. Media Blogs

Early days if blogging utilized mostly texts, and gradually images, audio and video were added. Now, we have blogs which lost their content mostly through media. Those who use videos, are usually called vloggers, and common among young people.  These are getting to be really popular blogs.

5. Niche Blogs

Blogs which focus on a particular topic are niche blogs. A blogger blogging about healthy food recipes for toddlers for busy moms is a niche blog. This is a way to monetize a passion or a hobby.  And it is great way to start blogging if your goal is to learn how to start a blog and make money.

6. Personal Blogs

These are the first set of blogs that were known when blogging started couple of decades ago. Just consider personal blogs a record of online journal entries. Bloggers with this type of blog typically blog about a wide range of topics that interest them, although some may choose to blog more about a particular area.

7. Professional Blogs

Those who blog with the primary aim of making money online are professional bloggers. Most times they run more than one blog. These people pick a profitable niche and generate traffic around the niche. What matters in a professional blog are the monetization strategies of the blog which could include selling digital products, promoting other people’s products or placing ads on their blogs.  This is the blogging I recommend if you are looking to learn how to blog and make money.

8. Reverse Blogs

You could call these type of blogs advanced forum posting. Reverse blogs aggregates contents from different writers and makes it available to a wider audience. So, while the owner would also create content, other content belong to other writers. A good example of a reverse blog is Medium.

Choosing Domain and Hosting

Number one rule of thumb when choosing a domain name is to try as much as possible to include a keyword in your blogging niche. While brainstorming on domain names, just enter “suggested-domain-name.com” (without the quotes) in the search bar to help you know if it’s available. Other things to note in choosing a domain name include: a short name that’s easy to remember and pronounce, going with dot com and avoiding a domain name with hyphens or repeated letters.

Using a free domain name is not advisable for branding purposes and future expansion. Although, most web hosting solutions would give you a free domain name when you purchase hosting. That brings us to hosting.

First of all, please resist the temptation to use free hosting. You would be hindered with several limitations which probably won’t be an issue when starting out. You can get hosting from places like Bluehost, HostGator, Dreamhost and several others. Factors you should consider choosing a domain name are security, quality of service, customer support and whether shared hosting,  dedicated hosting or VPS.

Get access to “Cheatsheet:  Essential Guide to Blogging” by joining our Free Resource Library, just CLICK BELOW!

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Managing Your Time as a Blogger

At one time or the other, everyone must have wished there was a way to increase our 24-hour days to say 50 hours. There is always so much to do. Running a blog is equally time consuming, especially if this is not a full time venture. Most bloggers are their own SEO doctor, keyword researcher, promoter, and don’t forget, they still have to write the actual posts! Improper time management could affect productivity and limit the success of the blog.  That is why it is so important to read a fabulous blog guide like this so that you know what to expect when you delve into the world of blogging.

Here are some blogging tips for time management:

  1. Set priorities and stick to them. A maximum of three priorities at once is ideal.
  2. Throwaway your To-Do list and take up meditation instead. Spending time in quiet deep reflection can help you achieve greater focus that gets things done faster.
  3. For those with an emotional attachment to To-Do lists, ditch the long-tailed To-Do list. Try this instead. Write out just ONE thing on your list. ONLY after getting that ONE thing done should you consider replacing with the next priority task.
  4. Utilize those unscheduled free time. Say an appointment at your 9 to 5 was cancelled? Now you’ve got 40 minutes of free time? Great, you could use that to work on an email, write a new blog post or schedule social media posts.
  5. Double spending time is also a great way to manage time. Are you driving? You could record an audio of a post which you could type out later or listen to podcasts for inspiration when driving.
  6. Batch your tasks. You could set Mondays for creating content for social media updates, Tuesdays for scheduling content and so on. It saves you time. You could come up with 20 social media content in an hour, rather than spending two hours thinking up one everyday.
  7. Be consistent with whatever process you adopt.

Hint:  These are my some of the best blogging tips, I could ever give you! (especially if you are blogging for money ;-))!!

 

Is Blogging Right for you?

It’s easy to get carried away with promises of a rich lifestyle, living on a beach and still earning money, always on the go, yet business travels with you, and other things you stand to gain from blogging. However, before you even get started, you must first determine if blogging is right for you.  That is why it is important to read items like beginners guide to blogging for money like this and by asking yourself the following questions. If your answer is no, then you might want to reconsider venturing into the blogging business.

  • Do you like writing? I’m yet to see a blogger who doesn’t write. Even if you happen to be a vlogger or a podcaster, you would still need to do some writing. (yup – this is blogging for beginners 101 – must be willing to write)
  • Do you have passion for what you blog about? It shouldn’t just be about the money, if a topic doesn’t interest you, then you have no business with it. #truth!  A lot of really popular blogs started this way – born from passion!
  • Do you like spending time researching online? Unless you’re an encyclopedia, you would need to research your blog posts.
  • Do you like spending time in front of a computer? Bloggers practically live online. The only thing they don’t do online is poop and eat
  • Are you disciplined and determined? Remember, passion gets you started but discipline keeps you going. It’s only through determination you can break the one post jinx yoke and achieve a successful blog. Wondering what one post jinx is? It’s that getting all fired up to start a blog, successfully sending out the first blog post, and then suddenly going AWOL.  Um, yah!  Even writing this kickass blogging guide I wanted to throw in the towel a few times….it isn’t for the faint hard.  But hey I have heard more than once that I am a type A personality!
  • Are you a flexible and fast learner? This trait is especially important when starting out and bootstrapping.
  • Are you able to handle the stress?  –  Don’t be deceived by images of some blogger on a beach with a glass of cocktail in one hand, telling you blogging is paradise. It is actually 80% work, yeah you still get to have fun.

That’s why managing your health is crucial, after all, you won’t be able to blog if you’re unwell! As we all know, most people, including me sometimes, ignore health care until they, well…collapse.

Don’t be such a blogger, maintain your health using these 9 tips on how to be a healthy and well relaxed blogger. Learn how to have some occasional “me” time. Keep to routines that help you stay productive and never cheat mother nature! Give sleep its due.

 

Common Blogging Mistakes to Avoid

When you learn from those who have gone before you, it makes your path smoother. Whether you’re a beginner or not, please note these blogging mistakes to avoid.   (hehe, don’t you just love all these amazing blogging tips?!)

1. Going broad rather than niching down would have you blogging about everything random that comes to mind. Unless your blog is a personal one, please do not have a general focus.

2. Writing self-focused instead of audience focused posts. Your audience are not interested in what you ate last night, unless of course you’re a celebrity which isn’t usually the case when’s starting out. Let your blogs be about what your audience would find beneficial.

3. Plagiarizing other people’s work. Not only is this bad for your SEO, your audience wouldn’t attach any respect to your blog.  Fabulous tip for those want to learn how to to start a blog and make money.

4. Writing blogs like a PhD thesis. C’mon, online readers don’t like anything boring, make your blogs engaging and captivating.  Another amazing blogging tip by good ol me!

5. Using blurry images. In another section in this article, you’ll find resources on where to get quality copyright free images.

6. Not optimizing content for SEO. Optimize each blog post for relevant keywords in your niche.

7. Not backing up statements with facts and statistics.  Yah you should do this.

8. Delaying publishing until post is perfect. Nike says, Just Do It!  This is important if you are really blogging for money & is is a must KNOW strategy if you are in the blogging for beginners category.

9. Not promoting blog content. How else are your audience supposed to know some awesome content exists somewhere?  Duh?!  For the newbie blogger – it is a blogging tip you can’t afford to miss!

10. Blogging occasionally. You can only afford to do that when you’ve gained a large audience and are amongst the really popular blogs. Setup and editorial calendar to help you blog consistently.

11. Focusing on analytics in the beginning. Unless you’re blogging about porn, you’re likely not going to have an impressive analytics when starting out. Better still, don’t even look at it.

12. Awkwardly introducing yourself with a bland “I’m a blogger.” Check out a better way here.

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Setting Up Your Blog

Purchasing a domain name and hosting is akin to buying the gas and pots to cook your meal. You would still need the ingredients and then the actual cooking. These ingredients include your theme, format if blog posts, pages, minimum word count,, SEO and others we would consider.

When setting up your blog, remember to avoid the mistake of delaying launch until it’s all perfect or you will never make really be blogging for money. You can provide the basics and then move on from there. Your blogs theme depends on the type of blog you choose. There are free and paid themes which you can choose from. Most are grouped in categories so you can easily select one that matches your blog type. For instance a news blog would probably use a magazine theme. Your blog theme’s color should also mirror the blog type, for instance, a blog focusing on depression shouldn’t have black as a dominant theme color.

For new blogs that wish to rank fast in SEO, a minimum word count of 2000 words is ideal. Although, to pass Yoast on word count, the threshold is 300, however that would make ranking happen later than desired. To optimize blog posts for SEO, do your keyword research and pick keywords with average or low competition, keywords density should be 1%, included in the title and subheadings if possible.

Install plugins that would help your blog function well. A must have are social media share buttons that make it easier for your audience to share your work. Also, keep your comments section open, it’s a way for your audience to engage with you on each post.  This is a blogging tip that newbies often forget.

Remember your legal aspects like privacy policy, terms of service, disclaimer and any other appropriate one that protects you. This is especially important if you offer digital products or collect visitors information.

 

Blogging Business as a Profession

Like we said when we started this article, there are people who falling into the category of  blogging business as a profession. For them, it’s not a side gig or a hobby, but a means of income which they are committed to full time. That’s not demeaning those who start blogging as a hobby or side gig. If you fall into that category, you can check out our 10 ways to go from blogger to business owner.

Rather than spending years “snailishly” trying to make money from your blog through AdSense or affiliate links, take the reins with other faster methods that instantly translate you from blogger to business owner.  Hehe then you will never be one of the ones who as “what is a blog?”

Some of these methods include creating consulting packages, digital products or courses, offering one-on-one coaching programs, setting up paid membership groups and hosting workshops/boot camps.

Even after deciding to take up blogging as a profession, many still don’t treat their blogs like their source of income. They still remain unprofessional as though it’s a hobby. You can learn how to change that mindset and treat your blog like a business. Simple steps like picking a niche, setting SMART goals and focusing on developing a brand around your blog will put you on a business level.  And if you are ever in doubt than reread this blogging guide.

Before we round up this segment of blogging business as a profession, we’ll touch a bit on how you should introduce yourself when asked that dreaded question “what do you do?” We have a post that discusses great creative ways you can introduce yourself as a blogger. When introducing yourself anywhere, always choose value over whatever fancy title that’s in vogue. A simple statement that captures how you help your audience and help them achieve the results they desire is sufficient.  And the truth of the matter is that simple is better.   People will then start referring you to other bloggers and you may get asked that good ol’ question “How to start a blog for free?”

 

Blog Content

*the king of my guide to blogging*

 

Your blog visitors are there because of your blog’s content. How should you craft your content in a way that keeps your audience glued to your blog? First of all, you want a catchy headline, one that is either controversial or induces desire to click. Then, your blog post itself should be fun to read, not necessarily full of humor, but interesting enough to keep the reader’s attention.

Apart from not doing what’s been said above, there are other reasons why no one is reading your blog. It’s important that first and foremost, your blog’s content should be useful, after all, that’s why your visitors would come there in the first place. Also, you shouldn’t blog about random things and should brand your blog properly. As you do the right things, stay consistent.  And ALL blogging guides that are any good will tell you content is king!

Adding a content upgrade to your contents most times increases readership. We have a detailed post on different content upgrades you can spin from one piece of content. A blog post could grow to produce a cheat sheet, an ebook, an e-course or even a webinar. So long as it’s something that gives your audience more value. And you can create these content upgrades with readily available free tools.

Basically, there is nothing new under the sun, what we have is just everyone saying what has been said before in their own words. But there are times someone else has expressed what you have in mind in a better way. In that case, ensure due credit is given. Whatever it is, be it images, videos, text, or GIFs, for which you are not the author, give credit to whom credit is due. Although, as we would list in our resources section for this post, there are some sites that have a collection of free images and videos which are copyright free that you can use on your blog and save yourself extra time and funds creating one.

To diversify content and readership, you should consider opening your blog to guest bloggers. While there are pros and cons of doing these, it could help you generate new content.

Using video as your blog content or in addition to text, helps drive more traffic to it by over 80 percent. Isn’t that crazy?!  And you can tell your other blogger networks that you learned that here in this amazing blog guide! Ensure your video content aligns with your brand, client needs and usefulness. You can theme your videos around feelings of inspiration, happiness, humor, excitement and amazement. There are other emotional themes, but these five do well compared with others. The ideal video should not be above 5 minutes maximum, it’s hard to sustain viewer’s interest after one minute. Remember to share your video on every social media platform, especially Facebook.

Still talking about videos, did you know you could use Facebook video to work less and earn more? As we saw in previous paragraph, internet users love relating more with video content compared to video. Considering the high ROI you can expect, it’s a great idea to promote your blog’s content using Facebook video. Facebook even allows you to boost your videos (after creating a business page) for 2 cents per view! How cool is that?

Your blog’s content is the fuel that powers your blog’s engine. Who goes to visit an empty blog? No one! After a brainstorming session coming up with interesting blog post ideas, there remains the task of writing and then publishing the blog posts. To achieve your end goal for each blog post you send out, there are certain actions you should do before and after publishing a blog post. These range from optimizing for SEO, adding catchy titles, subtitles and images, putting together a content upgrade, promote post widely and of course monitor your analytics.

Finding time to do all the endless tasks that comes with running a blog can cause burnout. It is thus smart to outsource some of these tasks from SEO to WordPress posting, email design, or even writing of the blog posts.

 

Marketing Your Blog Content

As we’ve mentioned earlier in this article, creating your blog content is just one aspect of blogging, for people to know such blog content exists, you need to spend more effort marketing it. Funny enough, those who opt for blogging to promote their business through content marketing, always focus only on the content and ignore the second part which is marketing. We have a more detailed post of almost 20 ways you can promote your blog. I’ll mention a few of some of those ways and other ways not mentioned, here.  

1. Social media: Of course, this is the first on the list. Most blog contents are shared on social media, either through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, Quora, LinkedIn and several others too numerous to mention. You can automate social media sharing, so don’t get freaked out at the long list.

2. Guest posting on other blogs that allow you a byline and a backlink to your own blog. Don’t just guest post anywhere that catches your fancy. Ideally the blog you guest post on should be more popular than yours.

3. Commenting on other people’s blog. Usually when you do this, your signature has a link to your blog and visitors to that site who come across your comment would see any latest blog post you’ve published. Smart right?!  This is perfect for people wanting to get more traffic and become one of the popular blogs.

4. Being active on forums and stylishly dropping links to your blog posts in response to questions or when making contributions. Only do this where it is allowed though.

5. Republishing your blog posts. Some big sites like Medium, Forbes and others allow this. Just be careful to set the canonical link to your site, so Google search bots knows where it was first published.

If content is king, then traffic is queen. You need both if you want to rule your blog castle. Good thing we have available top resources for driving terrific traffic to your blog. Number one resource is social media, if utilized efficiently, you would see your traffic double and triple. Other resources for driving terrific traffic include branding your blog into an authority, sharing content, relevant and consistent.

Building Your Blog’s Mailing List

This is an essential tool which could triple your blog’s income later in the future when you have a digital product to sell. Some ways you can build your list include creating a content upgrade and asking readers to download for future reference. For bloggers who love speaking in front of a camera, you could do a webinar for a particular topic and invite people to register for your webinar. Webinars themselves could be a content upgrade or just an independent content that also has a content upgrade. To register for your webinar or get the webinar’s content upgrade, they would have to drop their email, that helps grow your list.

Social media sharing can also help build your list. Simply sharing a helpful content in say a Facebook group and telling members if the group to subscribe to your list in order to receive other helpful content, is one simple way to grow a list via social media. This shouldn’t obscure the fact that your list’s opt in form should be on your blog posts itself.

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Monetizing Your Blog

I know, you’ve been waiting for this section since you started reading. You probably even jumped here first from the table of contents. There are dozens of ways to monetize your blog and we’ve extensively covered that in a previous article.

For those who would prefer something short and succinct, I’ll just discuss briefly on some top tips to earn money blogging. Affiliate marketing is the reason more than half of the blogs we have today were started in the first place. Here, people start a blog that focuses on selling a particular product or several products and when readers buy through their affiliate links, they get a commission. The more commissions, the merrier. To make things easier, most bloggers work with Ads Network which are just middlemen between bloggers and businesses who wish to place ads. But of course, they get their own affiliate commission. You’ll find a long list of reputable ads network here.

Blogs with a large following can afford to monetize through ad networks or even sponsorship of products or events. Their clients are paying for the awareness they hope to get from the large following.

Selling info products on blogs appears to be the most popular method at the moment. It works well though, for those with an already established presence, thus if you’re just starting out, you might want to consider building credibility first.

Like every other business, to monetize your blog, you need clients. Paying clients. This is especially crucial for those monetizing through info products, paid membership, one-on-one coaching or workshops and anything other than affiliates and ads.

Okay, so, you got your first 10 clients and then it suddenly seems your client well has gone dry! There are ways to get more clients and keep them showing up. The first thing to get right here is mastering your audience, i.e. knowing who you’re selling to. Unless it’s oxygen, you can’t sell the same product to every human on the planet.

Master the skill of following up potential clients who have shown interest, asking for referrals from past satisfied clients and of course exuding professionalism in selling your products or delivering your services. We have a detailed post on these points, complete with sample emails to adopt for different occasions.

 

Managing Blogging Finance

Unless you’re a mathematician or in the finance profession, you probably hate anything that has to do with calculations. Nevertheless, as you start making money from, and of course, spending money on your blog, it’s important you keep healthy financial records.  This is critical for those who are blogging for money.

As a beginner and even when your blog grows big, you should always consider blogging on the cheap or for entrepreneur bloggers, bootstrapping. That means, trying to find the cheapest professional solutions. For instance, instead of paying $$ for some graphics for a blog post, you could simply take a clear picture with your smartphone that relates to your blog post.  And if you want a super affordable but stylish place to get images, I highly recommend hautestock.co.

Utilizing an accounting software to manage your finances is not only smart, it saves a ton of time and gray hairs! You have some free options like Microsoft’s excel sheets, and paid options like Freshbooks, QuickBooks, Less Accounting and Outright.

In managing your blogging finance, bear in mind these few tips. Enter in transactions immediately (and accurately) rather than letting them pileup. Always keep a percentage for tax, reinvestment and emergencies. It’s wise to keep your blog’s account separate from your personal account.

 

Outsourcing Blogging Tasks

*one of my secrets in my guide to blogging*

If you recall, one of our tips for time management is to outsource some of your blogging tasks. This could range from social media management to finance management or even writing the blog posts. It frees up your time and let’s you focus on top priorities like meeting one-on-one client needs, networking at events or expanding the blog.

I’m sure you’re wondering, what exactly should I outsource? First rule of thumb here is, you can outsource those tasks that do not need to be personally done by you. For instance, designing an infographic or ebook for a content upgrade, does not need to be personally done by you, so that can be outsourced. However, recording a webinar or podcast, is not something that can be outsourced, but of course, you could outsource the transcription.

You probably would not need to shell out huge cash, depending on the expertise needed for the task being outsourced. Freelance markets like Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer, offer most of the tasks you wish to outsource at cheap rates. However, ensure you find someone who is a fit for the particular task. If used properly, you can also outsource through LinkedIn and Facebook groups.

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Blogging Resources To Help You Scale

Humans made tools for the basic reason of making their work easier. Blogging is actually a tedious job, although the income can make it fun sometimes, fortunately, there are available resources you can always fall back on to save the day and make blogging more fun.

Blogging Platforms

Once you’ve made the decision to blog, you’ve got to decide what type of blogging platform you should opt for. In choosing, you should consider some factors like a flexible platform that allows room for growth, one that allows monetization and of course, one that’s easy to migrate out of. As a beginner, you would obviously want an easy to use platform, however, it would be disastrous if as your blog grows, you get stuck in a platform that no longer meets you  and your audience’s needs.

Here is a list with a brief about each platform. Your aim of blogging would determine what kind of blogging platform to use. I have listed them alphabetically and not necessarily because one is superior to the other.

  1. Blogger: Provided by Google and let’s people set up a blog without technical knowledge.
  2. Blot:  A platform that let’s you blog through Dropbox, all you have to do is  create a folder and whatever you add to the folder is published as a blog.
  3. Exposure: As the name implies, it’s a platform for blogging photo stories.
  4. Ghost: A JavaScript based platform that offers basic blogging features.
  5. Joomla: The best WordPress alternative out there.
  6. Known: A social blogging platform that let’s one share notes, pictures, songs and other interests.
  7. Medium: A content aggregation site that allows people to blog to a ready audience.
  8. Postach.io: A platform from Evernote that let’s you turn your notes on Evernote to awesome ready made blogs.
  9. RebelMouse: A top content managing system used for storytelling.
  10. Squarespace: Drag and drop blog building platform for a fanciful website.
  11. Silvrback: An unconventional blogging platform that let’s you share your story, your view.
  12. Soup: a creative blogging platform that works partly like Tumblr and let’s people blog short text, images and video content.
  13. Strikingly: This platform promises you a strikingly beautiful website in couple of minutes! Best part? No coding skills required.
  14. Tumblr: Social media blogging platform.
  15. TypePad: Publishers here can customize their pages and share their content with a wide audience.
  16. Virb: They offer a one-stop shop for creative websites which can be built in minutes without touching code. Lots of themes and web hosting available.
  17. Weebly: Set up a blog in minutes by just dragging and dropping text and images.
  18. Wix: Drag and drop blogging platform for beginners.
  19. WordPress.com: Offers free hosting and domain for blogging
  20. WordPress.org: Most popular blogging platform that also supports forums, ecommerce store and other advanced features.

Blogging Domain and Hosting

As mentioned earlier in this article, stay away from free domain and hosting. You are addressed the way your blog is dressed (domain and hosting). Check out these options:

  • Bluehost: Most popular with bloggers and even recommended by WordPress. First timers are usually given a free domain and subsidized hosting.
  • Blogginger: A free web hosting platform for blogs. It promises large space, beautiful themes and mobile responsive, among others.
  • GoDaddy: Offers affordable hosting services ranging from web hosting servers, domain names, website builder, SSL certificates and a host of other services you need to get your blog idea online.
  • DreamHost: From newbie to pro, this hosting platform and meet all needs. It’s also affordable, with a free trial version and money back guarantee in place. It’s a favorite for many due to its offer of unlimited data transfer and numerous security features.
  • NameCheap: Largest site to get domain names for cheap. They have whatever TLD you’re looking for. Best part is, they will always have one promo or the other running, so be sure you can take advantage of one promo.
  • Page.ly: A dedicated WordPress hosting service that has been around for over a decade. It offers better services compared with other shared hosting solutions. It’s automatic updates feature endears it to many. Always saving the day when things suddenly goes wrong.
  • Postagon: Another minimalist blogging platform that offers hosting to those looking for a simple to manage blog. It helps take care of things like images or design.
  • Posthaven: A service that lets people blog using email. Member pay a small fee monthly to use the service.
  • WordPress.com: This is actually different from the WordPress software at WordPress.org. This is a hosting platform. They have a basic free plan and paid options to migrate and unlock advanced features.
  • WP Engine: A web hosting service dedicated to the WordPress blogging platform.

Plugins for Blogs

  1. All in one SEO: This is probably the first plugin a newbie would be told to get. It can also serve pro bloggers and even has API for developers. Complete solution for all your blog’s SEO needs.
  2. Audio Player: There are several audio player plugins. They help you play your uploaded audio files directly on your blog. It helps to increase time visitors spend on your blog.
  3. Anti-spam – free: Used to block out spam comments on your blog from bots or some soulless account from the ‘like factory’.
  4. CformsII: A free plugin for adding forms to your blog. The forms can be as simple as a couple of fields or as advanced as adding attachments. You can use this to create forms that seek to collate some information or give away lead magnets.
  5. Contact Form 7: Traditional contact form found on contact page. It’s customizable.
  6. CommentLuv: Manages comments on your blog which you can integrate with social media like faces or Twitter. It also manages backlinks for commenters and helps blog owner do things like set ‘Top Commenter’ or eliminate spam comments.
  7. Disqus Comment System: This plugin sets up the popular Disqus comment system. Makes managing of your blog comments easier. Imagine comments ranking on Google? That’s what this plugin can help you achieve.
  8. Google Analytics Dashboard: This free plugin is where you manage all data related to your blog. Once setup, you’re given a unique tracking code to place on your website. It’s from the dashboard you’ll analyze all the statistics collected by the tracking code. Applying data to your blog’s strategy means you’ll spend more time doing what works and improve on what’s not working well.
  9. Google XML Sitemaps: A free plugin which helps search engine crawler bots to properly index your blog when they are able to properly map out the blog, correctly placing the blog’s content in appropriate places.
  10. SEO Scribe: A paid plugin that helps in detailed research on keywords.
  11. VaultPress: For $5/month, you can back up your blog in real time. This security scanning and backup service plugin is from one of the best: Automatic.
  12. Widget Context: Used to manage and customize widgets on your blog.
  13. Widget Logic: Advanced widget control. Allows you choose specific pages for your widgets to appear on your blog.
  14. Wordfence: free and paid, top enterprise-class security plugin that protects your blog from threats, hacks and malware.

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WordPress Everything  (hehe I adore WordPress)

  1. Wordfence: free and paid, top enterprise-class security plugin that protects your blog from threats, hacks and malware
  2. WordPress Database Backup: paid, Used to restore database backup with just a click. There are manual and automatic options.            
  3. WP Editorial Calendar: Used to map out content strategies, schedule posts and also let’s you take a look at your overall content structure.
  4. WP Optimize: free, several options available to optimize images and other features of your blog.
  5. WP Touch: A must have plugin to optimize your blog for mobile views. This can help reduce high bounce rates.
  6. Yet Another Related Posts: Good for internal link building. YARPP links related posts, media and content for your readers to keep them on your blog longer.
  7. Yoast (WordPress SEO): free, most popular and frequently used SEO plugins. To show how useful, they’ve said the plugin can help your blog reach for the stars.

Images

  1. Pixabay:
  2. Flickr
  3. Adobe Illustrator: Must undergo professional training to be able to use.
  4. Photoshop: A bit complicated, but easy to learn.     
  5. Canva: perfect for a newbie. No technical knowledge needed.
  6. Squareready
  7. FreePik
  8. Snapsee
  9. Inkscape
  10. Skitch

Infographics PiktoChart Videos

  1. Lumens for video creation – Free and Paid.
  2. Viper’s Video Quicktag
  3. Animoto for video editing          
  4. Magisto
  5. Nutshell
  6. Videoshop
  7. Photo Dropper
  8. iMovie App for iPhones and Macs for video editing.
  9. YouTube for video sharing and live streaming.
  10. Snapchat for video sharing and live streamin
  11. Instagram for video sharing and live streaming
  12. Periscope for streaming

E-mail Marketing

  1. MailChimp – free and paid
  2. AWeber – paid
  3. Feedburner – free      
  4. Feedblitz – paid

Get access to “Cheatsheet:  Essential Guide to Blogging” by joining our Free Resource Library, just CLICK BELOW!
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Landing Pages

  1. InfusionSoft
  2. Unbounce
  3. Leadpagees
  4. Clickfunne           
  5. Instapages
  6. 5 Second test
  7. Userfriendly
  8. Launchrock
  9. Crazy Egg
  10. Optimizel
  11. Olark
  12. Browsershots
  13. Visual Website Optimizer (VWO)

Social Media + Automation

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. Instagram
  4. LinkedI
  5. Reddit
  6. Telegram
  7. Quora
  8. FBLike Button
  9. Sexy Bookmarks
  10. Twitter Tools for WordPress
  11. Tweetmeme Retweet Button
  12. CoSchedule
  13. Buffer
  14. Hubspot
  15. Hootsuite
  16. Sprout social

Chatbots

  1. Hubspot offers this for free as part of their CRM services.

Outsourcing

  1. Fiverr: Huge market for your outsourced tasks. Rates start from as low as $5, that’s why it’s called Fiverr
  2. Upwork: Formerly oDesk, they’ve got a large freelance marketplace for services ranging from eBook writing and design, proofreading, technical SEO, social media and so on
  3. Freelancer: Another popular place to find cheap services for your outsourced tasks.
  4. LinkedIn: You can get professionals to give ad hoc tasks to by posting about your needs. Usually, it’s best to include hashtags relating to your specific requests. When you receive applications, you can save time by only reaching out to those whose profile display the level of experience you’re searching for.
  5. Facebook Groups: So, far such posts are allowed, you can advertise your need for freelancers in Facebook groups you belong to.

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Project and Time Management

  1. Asana: Perfect for monitoring tasks when working on a huge project like your blog
  2. Evernot
  3. GSuite
  4. Focus Booster
  5. Google Calendar
  6. Google Drive
  7. Google Docs: Awesome collaboration tool when working with an external or internal person to produce content
  8. Microsoft Excel

Writing

  1. Grammarly for editing
  2. Copyscape for checking plagiarism
  3. Small SEO Tool’s plagiarism checker
  4. Zen Writer
  5. Scriven
  6. Hemingway App
  7. WriteRoom
  8. MarsEdit
  9. Windows Live Writer
  10. Focus Writerr
  11. Swayy
  12. Flipboard
  13. Spoken.ly and Recite

Keywords/Research

  1. Google keyword planne
  2. KW Finder
  3. Hubspot
  4. SERP Tool
  5. Keyword Tool
  6. Moz Keyword Explorer
  7. SEMrush
  8. Tweak Your Biz blog title generato
  9. SEOpressor blog title generator
  10. Portent Content Idea Generator

Analytics

  1. Google Analytics – free
  2. Clicky
  3. Crazy Egg
  4. Momently – free and paid (from $9)
  5. Sumo Heat Map
  6. Sumo Content Analytics
  7. Blog tracker
  8. Mint
  9. Performancing Metrics
  10. FeedBurner

Others

  1. Editorial Calendar
  2. LastPass for managing passwords.
  3. Google Authenticator: for secure access.

     

WE WOULD LOVE TO KNOW IF YOU FOUND ANY OF THESE IDEAS ON BLOGGING HELPFUL! PLEASE SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.

As glamorous as blogging sounds today, (you are reading this guide to blogging right?!) ...you might not be making the money you want! It can be extremely profitable & I am going to teach you how! Download this guide to blogging & get our free checklist! #bloggingguide, #bloggingforbeginners, #bloggingformoney, #bloggingtips, #howtostartablogandmakemoney, #howtostrartablogforfree #guideforblogging #bloggingguide
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Showing 18 comments
  • Sandra Lemming

    Some great tips information and advice here in this one article. So much info that I have bookmarked this article to return to and go over a few times. Thank you for you time and energy you put into this piece. Greatly appreciated.

  • Phill Slater

    Not sure my blog will ever make a huge amount of money but this was a really interesting read.

  • I can see this will be a post I will refer to over and over again! So much useful information! Thank you!

  • Madison

    Wow this is such a comprehensive list! I am blown away by how much I’ve just learned as a newer blogger. Thanks for sharing the info!

  • Tavish Williams

    Wow! this is such a massive, comprehensive, detailed post. Wish I had this when I started. Definitely am in the midst of grinding away and applying discipline to keep going. Still feel like I am missing something to make everything click together. Thanks for the read.

  • Nicolette

    This is incredibly comprehensive like the others said. I wish I had read this when I started my blog. I regret sticking with WordPress.com for my second year, it definitely limits my monetization. It was nice and simple for my first year but now that I have a better handle of things I really need to switch. Saving this for later!
    Nicolette | https://nicolette.co

  • Clair

    What a helpful guide! I wish I had this when I was first starting out. I felt like I was so lost and didn’t know where to actually start.

  • Anjali W

    Thanks for sharing all the important resources! I am a newbie and really needed this 🙂

  • Ivana

    this is so helpful and detailed! you covered everything. thank you for sharing 😀

  • Lisa Reinhart

    What a great article! I’ve bookmarked it for future reference!

  • Allison

    Love ALL OF THIS! So informative, bookmarking for reference.

  • Regina Lewis

    What a value-packed post, Angela! Thanks so much for putting it together.

  • angelagiles

    I am so glad that you wrote this sweet comment! Please feel free to email me at angela@angelagiles.com

  • Heather

    Blogging is the great thing I’ve ever done. It’s opened up doors for me and my family that I never knew existed.

  • Rahul

    Thanks for sharing all the important resources!
    I use most of the resources listed above but many are still I need to try for my travel blog.
    Thanks again for this lovely post.

  • There are so many great resources listed here! Thanks for putting this together!

  • jackson

    I was searching for this article for a while. Thank you very much, dear. You are really a creative article writer. This article is now my favorite one. Keep sharing more this type of informative article. I will try to reach you every day if you will write articles like this.

  • masonoliver

    Your information is very helpful to me. Which will help me improve my website and Your article is pretty good, which I will bookmark

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