Welcome to my ultimate bloggers resource guide! Whether you want to start a blog, are a new blogger, or you are seasoned in the field, this is for you! This Bloggers resource contains everything you need. From Starting a blog, making money blogging, growing your social media, and more!
Ultimate Bloggers Resource
*This page contains some affiliate links*
Creating Your Site:
There are loads of helpful pages out there on creating a blog, but I have found that many of them are terribly over complicated and technical. If you want to start a blog to make money what you need is a hosting company and a domain. A good hosting company can walk you through set up and installation of WordPress.org. It shouldn’t be complicated. I am no tech expert, but with help from good customer service even I can build a website!
Blue Host: This is a great hosting service at an extremely reasonable price. This will run you $3.95 a month, which is so inexpensive! They also offer a Free domain name, and 1 click WordPress installation.
WP Engine: If you are a larger blog looking for a hosting site with a little more to offer, then you should check out WP Engine. While the least expensive plans start at $29 a month, it really is a wonderful platform. You get 24/7 support, increased site speed, enhanced security, and so much more. You can try them with a risk free guarantee for 60 days as well, so that is awesome!
You can get your domain name separately, or through your hosting company. What you decide to do is really up to you, but these are my recommendations for great and inexpensive domain names!
United Domains: You can get your .com name for less than $10 per year!
IDotz: Find and purchase your domain rather inexpensively with this site.
If you want your site to stand out, you are going to need an awesome theme. There are a ton of free themes out there for you to start with, but if you want a premium theme, these are the best places to buy!
My Theme Shop: You can find some really awesome themes here for around $29-$59. They run specials often and have some for $19, which is a STEAL! They even have a package for $87 where you can have access to 16 of their premium themes for one price.
Studio Press: Studio Press is probably the most popular for beautiful themes. You can purchase them individually, or you can get ALL of the themes offered for one price. Their themes are SEO optimized and perfect for bloggers both new and experienced.
Plugins are going to be extremely important in order to optimize your site. The majority of them are free, so that is amazing and saves you a few dollars in the long run. Most of these you can upgrade to a premium package if/when you are ready, but free is great for just starting out.
Yoast SEO: A free plugin that helps you SEO optimize all posts on your page! It will walk you through the entire process and ensure you have a chance to be seen in search results.
Sumo: Once again, this is a free plugin. It adds all of the social sharing buttons to your site so that anyone can easily share your posts across whatever platform they so choose. Seriously, this is a must! You can even create popups with it.
CommentLuv: This is a simple but awesome free plugin that allows people who comment to add a link to their recent blog post in a comment. I have found this encourages more people to comment on your posts.
Akismet Anti-Spam: Keep your site safe and secure and free of spam with this free plugin.
MiloTree: This is a really great way to help grow your social media following. It will put a small popup on your page encouraging visitors to check out your social sites. It isn’t large or obnoxious either like some popups can be.
WP Smush: This free plugin will help compress your images to help with your site speed!
Pin It Button: This allows for readers to easily pin your images by hovering over them!
As I have mentioned in other posts, your e-mail list is extremely important to build. If your social media channels were to all go dark, you would still have that e-mail list!
MailerLite: This is an amazing and free e-mail service. It is simple to use and free up to 1,000 subscribers. It allows for landing pages, pop ups, and even automation!
ConvertKit: ConvertKit is a paid service, but it is the most popular one for bloggers. It is a premium service offering easy automation emails and beautiful and simple newsletters. If you ware looking for a premium package, this is the way to go!
As a blogger, you are going to want beautiful and pinnable images on your site. Now I am NOT a graphic designer, so I needed simple to use, and I found it!
Canva: Canva is a free site where you can sign up and create a plethora of beautiful graphics. I create the majority of my Pinterest images with Canva and Pinterest is my #1 referral for traffic. It is simple to use and extremely user friendly. There is an upgraded package you can purchase, but I have yet to do so myself.
Adobe Spark Post: I feel like this one is less talked about, but I seriously love it. You can make awesome images for all of your social media channels, and again it is free!
Social Media Add-On:
There are a few fun add-ons that you will want to optimize your social media platforms. Many of these are for automation and scheduling, that can really save you loads of time!
Board Booster: Total honesty, board booster is my favorite scheduler for Pinterest. It lets me schedule out pins, loop old pins, and even create campaigns. Since I started using board booster my repin rate and click through rate have drastically increased! At only $5 a month this is a steal!
TailWind: TailWind is another Pinterest scheduler. I like to use this in conjunction with Board Booster to really optimize my Pinterest profile. Not only can you schedule, you can also join tribes and to get even more repins. While this one is a little more than Board Booster at $15 a month, you can get a free trial along with a $15 credit by signing up here!
Hootsuite: Hootsuite is another one that is for scheduling. I have found it best for Twitter, but is alwo awesome for Facebook.
I put these under other because they aren’t really plugins or for social media, but they are EXTREMELY important to have when you want to truly optimize your blog.
Google Analytics: You will need this for your site. It is super easy to configure and you will be able to keep track of page views and visitors to your site. It is the industry standard, so if you want to monetize you will need this so you know your stats.
Grammarly: Since I am sure we aren’t all English majors, Grammarly comes in super helpful! It really keeps you in check, more so than basic spell check can ever do! It will check your grammar, punctuation, spelling, and so much more on your posts and your social media.
Shopify: If you plan on selling your own products on your site, then Shopify is the way to go. They are the industry leader, and super user friendly. They offer a large number of packages and options for selling your products.
BigCommerce: This is similar to Shopify in it is a platform that allows you to create a store on your site. So if you want to sell your products you might want to check them out! They have a wonderful reputation and a free trial!
So, you probably want to make money with your blog, any why not! There are so many opportunities just waiting for you on the web!
Affiliate marketing is a wonderful way to make some money blogging. There are so many companies out there, but these are my favorite highest paying ones that I think you should join.
ShareASale: ShareASale is amazing, especially if you are just starting out. You basically sign up for the site, and once you are in you can browse and join all of the different merchants. There are literally thousands of merchants that can meet the needs of any niche.
Amazon Affiliates: Pretty much everyone shops on Amazon, so why not make a little extra cash with them! Once you sign up and are approved, you can create affiliate links for pretty much everything that is sold on Amazon. This one is nice because even if the person who clicks your link does not purchase that item, but instead browses and purchases something else, you still get commission on the purchase!
FabFitFun: I love the Fab Fit Fun boxes, so being an affiliate was a no brainer! They offer $8 for every sale, and you get a free box after 3 sales. It doesn’t sound super high, but these boxes are so popular that they sell really well! If you join, don’t forget to let them know that Jessi Joachim sent you 🙂
Flex Offers: Flex Offers is really similar to SharASale. You join and then you can access thousands of retailers who offer affiliate programs.
Ultimate Bundles: I have really found this particular program to be so much fun! They offer different bundles throughout the year at crazy discounted prices. Usually hey include a ton of Ebooks and courses for extremely inexpensive, so they sell really well. They also offer AWESOME marketing webinars and training, so really that alone makes it worth joining!
Ebates: While this isn’t a true affiliate program, they do offer an awesome referral program! You get a percentage of cash back for your online purchases, and you get a bonus when you get others to sign up.
I make most of my blogging income from sponsored posts. Influencer networks are great for connecting with brands and earning a decent income. The following are some of my favorites but feel free to grab my full list of top paying influencer networks.
For more information about sponsored posts and how to make money with them, sign up for my free e-mail course today.
Linqia: This network will send you an e-mail when you are a fit for a campaign. You get paid per click on your unique link! This is a wonderful way to start making income.
Speakr: Focused on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
Heartbeat: Another fun one that will send you e-mails when you match with one of their advertisers.
Influence Central: This is one of my favorites for getting sponsored blog posts.
Social Native: Another one offering awesome sponsored blog posts.
Everyone knows about Google Adsense, but did you know there are other options available as well? Many of these options seem to have better payout and better ads, so they are worth a shot to start making some extra money!
Revenue Hits: This seems to be a rather new ad network, but I love that there is no traffic minimum to get started! Literally anyone with a blog can join, so this is wonderful for newbies. It is really user friendly and offers decent payment. So if you are new, check them out!
Media.Net: This can actually be used in conjunction with Adsense, or any other ad network really. They are powered by Yahoo! and Bing, and offer a really nice payments. I am currently running one of their ads at the top of my page, and I love that they are easy to customize to really blend in with your theme.
BlogHer: This is a wonderful network that offers ads and sponsored posts. The wait list can be a little long, and they want you to be at 20,000 monthly page views, but once you are in there is so much opportunity to make money in different ways.
Social Media Help:
Social media and blogging go hand in hand! While I am not a social media expert, I have managed to do rather well on Pinterest. The best advice I can give is to not spread yourself too thin. Focus on one or two platforms to start with.
I am a Pinterest junkie. It is my highest source of referral traffic and I really think it can be yours as well! Joining group boards and using schedulers have skyrocketed my blog traffic! Here are a few of my favorite group boards that you can join. You can find more at Pingroupie.
Facebook blogging groups are great! They let you promote your blog and connect with other bloggers. I have listed a few of my absolute favorites for you, and feel free to check out my post all about Facebook Blogging Groups for more
Look, I am not a photographer. I manage to get decent shots when I need to, but I like to use stock photography when I can. Here are my favorite places to get beautiful free stock photography.
The Ultimate Bloggers Resource Guide
So I know that was a lot of information, but I wanted to make sure you had everything you need to be successful! Blogging is fun, but it can also be a business. If you want it to make money, then you have to look at it as a business. You will need to think of what investments you want to make and when, because at some point you will need to spend some in order to make some.
I really hope this is helpful, and I will keep updating it if anything new and exciting comes along, which in the blogging world, seems to be often! So you don’t miss anything, you should totally sign up for my Ultimate Bloggers Guide newsletter and be the first to get all of the good information about making money and improving your blog!