** This post contains affiliate links, which means I will make a commision off of any purchase at no extra cost to you. All opinions are my own and I would never recommend something I do not love!**

So you want to start a blog. There are a thousand and one tutorials about how to start a blog so I’m not going to bore you with that information here. I’d rather share with you what I use to blog and why I love it or why it worked so well for me.

Planning your blogging journey

First off, I want to encourage you to go ahead and start on your blog. It’s hard work but it’s so worth it and it’s such a great creative outlet. It lets you start putting your ideas and thoughts forward and allowing you to connect with like minded people. So far I have loved my blogging journey, even through the hiccups and snags that I’ve hit. As you begin thinking on topics to blog about, I’d recommend taking Suzi Whitford’s 9 Step Blog Plan. Suzi runs Start a Mom Blog and I have loved every course and post I’ve ever read of her’s! She helps you plan out all of your blog in this course. She helps you decide on a niche, set goals, and learn to schedule time to blog. I cannot recommend this course enough. It helped me start off with a purpose and an actionable plan.

Setting up your blog

Siteground

Then I would recommend setting up a self hosted WordPress site with Siteground. A lot of people will recommend Bluehost and they are ok as well. I have been with both and like Siteground a lot more. They have more uptime so I never worry that my site is down. They also have amazing customer and technical service. I’m not exactly tech savvy and they have helped a ton whenever I accidentally break my site or mess something up. If you have already set up a website on Bluehost or another hosting company but would like to switch, Suzi has a great step by step tutorial on how to switch.

Blog by Number Course

After getting hosting up, I took Suzi’s course Blog by Number (can you tell? I love everything Suzi does!). In this course she goes over every aspect of setting up your blog on Siteground. She helps you set up a free theme, write your first posts, create pinterest images, and even gives advice for monetizing your blog. There is a little overlap in this course with the 9 Step Blog Plan. I would still recommend getting both as they each have a ton to offer that the other one does not.

Divi Theme

I love Divi from Elegant Themes. Since blogging has a relatively low start up cost, I was able to choose a paid theme instead of a free one. Paid themes typically have more versatility and customization. There are some great ones out there, but being the technically challenged person that I am, I decided on Divi. Wanna guess why? Yep, Suzi recommended it. She also has a course on it that was super helpful. I love the amount of customization Divi has, but that made it way more overwhelming when I first downloaded the theme. It helped so much to have Suzi walk me through every aspect of Divi in her Theme by Number course.

Monetization

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to monetize my blog. One of my main goals is to contribute to our family’s financial stability. I don’t like the look of ads on websites so I decided affiliate marketing was going to be the first way I started monetizing. To do this well, I invested in Michelle Schroeder-Gardner’s course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course. Michelle runs Making Sense of Cents, a blog focused on financials and making/saving money. In this course, Michelle shares with you exactly how she makes over $50,000 a month on affiliate marketing alone. I have been working on applying her strategies and have already seen an increase in my affiliate income.

Ebook by Number Course

I’m currently working my way through another course by Suzi, Ebook by Number. Another great way to monetize is to create a product or service. I don’t really have a service that works well with my niche but I am working on creating my first ebook. To do this, I am working my way through Ebook by Number. Suzi has created multiple ebooks to go along with her courses and makes good money from them. Every time she launches a new book or course, her income increases drastically. Therefore, I have decided this will be my next step in monetizing my site. If you would like to get updates about my ebook, you can sign up for my newsletter!

Social Media

Pinterest Ninja

Pinterest Ninja is an ebook created by Megan Johnson at LoveFamilyHealth. Megan has done an enormous amount of research on Pinterest and how to get the most out of Pinterest. She guides you through all of her strategies in Pinterest Ninja and helps you start getting major traffic from Pinterest. Because of her strategies I have quadrupled my traffic in my four months of blogging.

Tailwind for Pinterest

To go along with Pinterest Ninja, I would recommend getting Tailwind for Pinterest. Tailwind is a pin scheduler. I sit down and schedule all of my pins for the entire week all at once and then Tailwind spaces them out over the next week. It takes a bit off my plate for every single day. As a mom of a very energetic toddler, I definitely need to limit what I have to do every day. There are many people who use a manual pinning method and get good results, but I just don’t have time to pin every day.

Facebook Groups

Lastly, I use a lot of Facebook groups to get traffic. I haven’t mastered organic reach on Facebook at all yet but I love being in blogging groups on Facebook. They not only help with traffic by participating in daily traffic threads, but they also provide a place to ask questions. Any time I’m looking for a recommendation on a service or need advice on writing a post, I go to my favorite facebook group Blogging with Heart. This group is filled with ladies that are always willing to help. They give genuine feedback and follow through on their commitments. Blogging with Heart also has daily threads throughout the week where you can leave a blog post and others will visit and comment, pin it or share it and you are just required to do the same to 5 others in the thread. I cannot recommend this group enough.

 

I hope all of this information helps you. Again, these are just the products, services, and strategies I have found incredibly helpful. There are a lot of other courses and strategies out there that I am sure are great as well. The main thing is to just research before you buy so that you know you aren’t throwing your money away.

** This post contains affiliate links, which means I will make a commision off of any purchase at no extra cost to you. All opinions are my own and I would never recommend something I do not love!**

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please let me know either in the comments below or through the contact page!  

11 Comments

  1. These are great steps to getting started but don’t forget Google+, Instagram, and LinkedIn … You never know who’s watching

    Reply
  2. Great tips! Will have to look into Suzi Whitford. Thanks!

    Reply
  3. I hadn’t heard of some of these! Thanks – always looking for new resources!

    Reply
  4. Great tips! I’m a HUGE fan of Siteground. Their customer service has been fantastic!

    Reply
  5. I’ve really utilized Facebook groups more this year and I do think it helps. Sometimes it can be difficult to get those page views in.

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

    Reply
  6. This is an awesome roundup of some seriously fantastic resources for beginner bloggers. Also, A+ for recommending Siteground over Bluehost, haha! I’m so tired of seeing Bluehost recommendations just because they have a nicer affiliate program. Siteground wins in uptime and customer service all day, every day. <3

    Aside from my hosting rant, there are some awesome resources in this post. Great work!

    Reply
  7. Thank you for breaking this down so perfectly! Everything is laid out in such manageable ways.

    Reply
  8. I have been blogging for over ten years now and I have evolved so much…what started out as me to have a place to share my crafts transformed and grew into a lifestyle and personal development blog. I decided to take the steps to going professional the end of last year and switched to Siteground hosting (which I love! They are super helpful and I’ve only had a few challenges which the customer service staff walked me through wonderfully) and started working towards monetizing my blog this year. It is a lot of work but I know it’s worth it and it’s helping me move towards my dreams! This was such a resourceful post and definitely worth a read for new bloggers!

    Reply
  9. These are really great tips for beginner bloggers!

    Reply

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Hey there! My name is Rachel and I’m a 23 year old wife and mother. I’m decidedly in favor of DIY projects and decidedly against mom-shaming. This blog is my place to take a stand against superiority and to share ways to thrive in motherhood. My hope is that you leave this site feeling validated and encouraged in your mom-bilities.

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