I wish I had known about all the tools and resources for new bloggers when I started my first blog! I got my site all set up, then learned of all the OTHER things that need to be done like setting up your email marketing, making a blog post schedule, and so much more. I sort of did things backward, but now I can share with you what I learned that would have made my jump into the blogging world so much easier!
BE SURE TO PIN THIS FOR LATER!
Please note this post may contain affiliate links and ads, read my full disclosure here.
TOOLS AND RESOURCES FOR NEW BLOGGERS
A GOOD WEB HOST IS A MUST
You can’t have a blog without a web hosting service! Why not start with the best! I use Bluehost because they give you a free domain with your subscription and who doesn’t like free! I also love that their customer service is almost immediate if you use the chat feature. They got to know me pretty well in the beginning because if I couldn’t figure out how to do something by Googling it, I’d start a chat. You can get started with them for under $4/month. Sign up NOW for Bluehost and get your free domain with this link. Another awesome thing is that once you are signed up with them you can also become an affiliate and earn money by promoting their web hosting! SCORE!
TOOLS YOU SHOULD SIGN UP FOR NOW BECAUSE YOU WILL NEED THEM LATER
There are several tools and resources for new bloggers that you should go ahead and register for now because you WILL be needing them later. All of these are FREE to sign up so you can do it now without worrying about needing a credit card! If you are really just beginning, you might want to check out How to Start a Blog Beginner’s Guide where I break down the steps to actually creating your first blog.
PROGRAMS FOR AFFILIATE MARKETING
These are some of the main affiliate marketing programs. Most of the affiliate programs you will want to sign up for are hosted under one of these. Get signed up for them all now so you can more easily sign up for the particular programs later.
SendOwl – For many of the resources that you may end up purchasing (either from this blog or that you find on your own) you will need a SendOwl account. This is basically a place where other bloggers or companies sell their products. The books that I mention below are all purchased through SendOwl and I know that you will definitely want to buy at least one or two of them so get your SendOwl account set up now and save time later!
OTHER TOOLS TO GET YOUR BLOG STARTED WITH EASE
Grammarly – Grammarly is a tool that EVERY blogger, writer, social media influencer, etc should be using. This is a grammar/spelling checker that you install as an extension on your browser. It is absolutely free so sign up now and install it on your browser!!
PicMonkey – Your blog graphics and Pinterest Pins can make or break your blog. Everything is about the visual appeal and you need a good graphics editor for making beautiful and “pin-worthy” Pinterest pins and blog images. PicMonkey is free to join and you can sign up right now so you are all ready to start designing once your blog is up and running.
Canva – Canva is another graphics editing program. The basic plan is free and they have upgrade options. I’m using a combination of the Paid PickMonkey and free Canva services for my graphics and Pinterest pins.
TOOLS FOR EMAIL
MailerLite – I use MailerLite for my email marketing. Having an email program is imperative to growing your subscriber list and getting your content viewed. There are many email programs out there but I love MailerLite because it is absolutely FREE until you get to 1000 subscribers. It is super easy to use and integrates smoothly into WordPress themes. Sign up now for your FREE subscription so you can get a jump on creating emails and newsletters for your subscribers!
OptinMonster – Having a great Opt-in program enables you to easily create subscriber buttons and boxes that integrate seamlessly into your blog. OptinMonster works perfectly with MailerLite and enables me to create beautiful sign-up forms that match the color scheme of my blog and place them in strategic places throughout my site. You will notice in this post, the boxes to sign up are created to match my theme and color schemes. All this was accomplished through MailerLite and OptinMonster! I’ve visited so many blogs in which I could not find a button or box to subscribe! Make it easy by using a great Opt-in program. Sign up now for OptinMonster!
TOOLS FOR SCHEDULING
I’m now managing two separate blogs and each of them is tied to several social media accounts. I could spend every day (all day) just posting to social media! I couldn’t even imagine having one blog to manage AND have kids or a second job without some sort of scheduling tool! I use HootSuite for my Twitter and Facebook accounts, and Tailwind for my Pinterest scheduling. I literally spend a couple of hours 2-3 times during the month scheduling out everything for the next 3-4 weeks. This is especially helpful in allowing me family time on the weekend or if we wanted to plan a family trip.
HootSuite – HootSuite is another scheduling program for use with Twitter and Facebook. If you plan on using those social media outlets to get your content out, HootSuite can save you a ton of time with its bulk-load option. I’ve got my Twitter and Facebook posts scheduled out 2-3 weeks at a time. Not all of these are blog posts. It’s important to keep your followers engaged by posting other stuff too such as motivational quotes, “coming soon” posts and other types of content. HootSuite is free to join, and with upgrades, you’ll get more resources to use. I’m currently using the free version.
Tailwind – Tailwind is a scheduling program to schedule your Instagram posts and Pinterest Pins. It is FREE TO JOIN and has Tribes, which are similar to group boards, to help get your pins out there without having to sit and manually pin all day every day. I usually spend about 1 hour twice a week scheduling my pins and sharing others’ pins from the Tribes. THAT’S IT! That leaves me so much more time to work on creating quality blog content. Sign up now (for free) with my referral link and get $15 towards an upgrade to use later! Speaking of Tribes, sign up below to get access to my Tribe – Girl Bosses Rock Beginners – created specifically to help newbie bloggers start getting their content out!
RESOURCES TO USE BEFORE YOU BEGIN
I’m not joking when I said that I was brand new to the blogging world! I have a bad habit of just jumping into things and then learning how I could have done it easier much later. Since earning income was a goal (because I HAVE to pay my mortgage), I wanted to make sure I knew tips and tricks BEFORE I just jumped into it and wasted time and money. I may have read few blogs here and there, and I actually had my own blog for fun for about a year, but I knew nothing about blogging as a business. While sharing some pins on Pinterest, I (luckily) came across a couple of different pins that were about getting started with blogging so I made the decision to purchase a few of them. I learned SO much from these seasoned bloggers who shared the secrets of their success. For most of these, you will need to sign up for a FREE SendOwl account, so you may want to do that now. I have purchased several E-books from other bloggers but I’m only going to list the ones that actually helped me.
By the way, I did earn money during my first 30 days of blogging (with my first blog) and I generated substantial traffic to my site as well. I credit what I learned from these books for my first month’s success and am applying the practices to this blog as well. You can read more about my first 30 days here: My First Month’s Blog Income Report
BLOG BY NUMBER
Suzi Whitford’s Blog by Number course and E-book – I had absolutely ZERO ideas on how to even start a blog or how to promote it. Suzi Whitford does an amazing job at “dumbing it down” for people like myself. She goes step-by-step through setting up your page, how to pick topics to write about, and how to promote it. And for those that learn better by “watching” instead of just reading, her e-course has tons of videos of her explaining things (and her baby is usually there with her!) I HIGHLY recommend her E-book and course if you are a beginner or newbie.
THE SHE APPROACH
The She Approach – This was actually the very first e-book I purchased when I made the decision to blog. She gives so many tips and tricks for using Tailwind and also gives you access to her complete resource library. This is a MUST HAVE for any beginning blogger! Get your copy now!
Pinterest is a goldmine for most bloggers, regardless of their niche. Now there are some who only pin manually, but if you are busy like I am, you need all the help you can get! I highly suggest using TAILWIND to schedule your pins. I actually do a combination of manual and scheduled pinning but you will find what works best for you. TAILWIND is free to join and you can join their many different TRIBES – which are like group boards where everyone in the tribe shares everyone else’s content. Sign up for your FREE Tailwind account now and get a $15 credit when you upgrade!
MY PINTEREST SUCCESS
I had used Pinterest for personal pinning of DIY and cool stuff but I never realized how important and beneficial it can be for bloggers to get their content out! I wasn’t seeing much productivity with my pinning at first so I went ahead and bought PINTEREST NINJA because I kept seeing it pop up everywhere. I’m SO glad I did! I saw almost immediate results, followed by residual results once my pins started getting shared. You can see below my traffic and pinning jump during that first 30 days (can you guess about when I read the book?)
MY BLOG TRAFFIC INCREASED
Not only did my pins gain increasing views, but so did traffic to my blog! You can see the tremendous spike in blog traffic (below) which correlates to the pinning success (above).
I can’t say enough about this book! If you really want to see an increase in your blog and pinning traffic, this book is a MUST HAVE! Megan breaks down the art of pinning and how to make pins that people want to share and re-pin. She also talks about how and when to pin both manually and using a scheduling program like Tailwind. Get your copy of Pinterest Ninja NOW!
AFFILIATE MARKETING HELP
For most bloggers, generating income is a major factor in the decision to start blogging. I don’t believe in the “if making money is your primary goal for blogging, you will be disappointed….” For most people, the intended goal – making money – is a huge factor in your discipline and dedication to the job! Amazon Affiliates is a great place to start as a new blogger because it is VERY easy to use and, come on, just about EVERYONE on the planet that has access to a computer now shops on Amazon! Now the commissions are the greatest, however, with the right strategy, you CAN make money from it.
PIN TO PROFITS AFFILIATE MARKETING
If you want to start making REAL money with your affiliate programs – both from your blog and through Pinterest – you MUST do this training! Within a week of implementing some of these tips and strategies, I began seeing results with those awesome emails saying “you made a sale” from my affiliate programs! McKinzie really does a great job explaining and showing you exactly where to insert your affiliate links and things you can do to your blog to make them stand out and convert. You will make back what you pay for the course pretty quickly so it’s definitely a WIN! Get signed up for the course now!
MAKING MONEY WITH AMAZON AFFILIATES
I found the most awesome and step-by-step guide for mastering Amazon Affiliates to generate serious revenue! Carol King outlines her entire process, which rakes in over $1000 a month and does not have a large following. If making money is your goal, then you definitely need to read this E-book. She goes over everything from how to set up your account, how/where to place affiliate links, and how to read your analytics to better serve your readers. Get your copy of Making Money with Amazon Affiliates now!
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