Look, I don’t pretend to be someone you can turn to for help in learning how to blog, how to use WordPress, when to post to social media, how to monetize, or what people might want to read. Translation: I DON’T KNOW A DANG THING ABOUT BLOGGING. I’m learning as I go. I’m finding lots of resources out there, some very useful.. others, well… maybe not so much..
Below is a list of stuff I learned and stuff I found really helpful. I try to stick as close to free as possible, as I’m sure you do, but sometimes there’s just no way around it. Some of them, I found so helpful, I asked about being an affiliate. (Those items will be marked with a *, full disclosure HERE)
As I was writing content for my blog, I wasn’t sure if what I wrote would connect with people. Someone gave me some really good advice, and I was able to finally wrap my brain around it. Turns out, I couldn’t connect with an audience because I hadn’t defined them. I wrote up some notes, and made this as a PDF to share with you.
The thoughts here really did help me to focus, and I hope you find it beneficial as well.
Content: Technically, you can “go live” with nothing, but that’s not a good idea. I “went live” with only 3 posts, and looking back, I wish I would have had more. Maybe 10-15. My suggestion to you is to have about 10 posts ready to put on your blog the day you go live, and at least another 10-20 done, to schedule. When your blog is new, you’re going to be spending a LOT of time learning WordPress, among other tasks, so the more content you have already prepared, the better off you’ll be.
Social Media Accounts: OK, the perfect situation is that the name you want for your blog is available, and the same name is available on all the social media accounts. That might not be the case. You can get your social media accounts for free, but if you don’t at least snag the rights to the web address, you might lose out on it. Search your domain HERE, if the one you want is available, I suggest you drop the $ to claim it. It’ll be between $10 – $20. You don’t have to pay them to host it for now. But as long as you own it, it’ll be there when you’re ready. And while that’s on lock, you can start building a social media following, for free.
After everything is up and running, you’re going to have to be regular and active on your social media accounts. It’s a pain in the rear having to do it daily. There are plenty of schedulers out there, you can spend a day preparing all your posts for the next few weeks.
As of this writing, I still don’t pay for scheduling. I have a few that I use:
- Later, for Instagram..
- Buffer, for engagement posts to Twitter..
- Hootsuite, from the computer, for posts to Facebook and Twitter that I want to put links or pictures with..
Eventually I plan to sign up for Tailwind, which is a Pinterest scheduler, but I’m not there yet.
An Example to Follow: I like being able to observe what someone else is doing to learn from them. The LIST OF INCOME REPORTS FROM THIS BLOG have been helpful. Sometimes income reports read like “Look how much money we have!! Give us MORE!!!” – not these. In her three years of income reports, she gives you an inside look on what she’s doing, lessons she learned, mistakes she made, and you actually see her blog grow from earning 1K/mo to 40K/mo.
Solid Network: I really like having 20 thousand friends that are all in the same boat I am. THIS FACEBOOK GROUP doesn’t disappoint. Admin also runs a blog with lots of free info, and has recently gotten into publishing. Her course on monetizing with Pinterest was very helpful, and she doesn’t market her stuff down your throat, which I like.
Reference Material: Pinterest is loaded with fabulous graphics on how to do a specific thing, and I find it very overwhelming. WPBEGINNER is loaded with free helpful stuff. In fact, I suspect that some of the folks who wrote the well-promoted Pinterest articles learned what they know here. If I linked you to every article I found helpful, this post will be a mile long. Go explore, I just know you’ll end up with half a dozen bookmarks at least.
Social Media Image Sizing: You might not need this today, but keep it on the radar, sooner or later you’ll have a question that will be answered HERE.
How To Write A TAGLINE – Not that my own tagline is the greatest in the world, but I’m happy with it. This post is good to get the creative juices flowing.
Web Hosting: You’ll need a place to put your blog, and there are dozens of options available. If your blog is a hobby and you never plan to make money off it, a free hosting service will do you just fine. If you want to monetize, you’ll need to pay for self hosting. After researching my options, I went with BlueHost. They’ve been around sine 1996, and have a solid reputation and good customer support. I also really like the user interface. You can look into them further HERE*.
Ads on Your Site: I signed up for Google Adsense and got denied 3 times. I can’t figure out why. I was so frustrated I started researching if they have any competitors. They DO! Media.Net is Yahoo! based, and from what I was reading, they had better customer support and higher payouts. And it was free to sign up. So I did. Guys, I got approved on the first shot, and a customer service rep reached out to me personally to welcome me, introduce themselves, and talk about what can be done with my site. Highly recommended! Sign up FREE HERE* (Free to sign up but we both get a 10% bonus!)
Hope you find this helpful! Let me know in the comments!