Blogging isn’t simple or easy, but it is super-awesome. You’re basically building your own online empire at your own pace, learning as you go, attracting a following who actually read, like, and share your content, and making money! Unfortunately, when I started, I didn’t have an awesome post like this to get me pointed in the right direction. You’re one of the lucky ones. Hopefully this article saves you time and frustration.
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I started with Siteblog. I literally googled what was the best platform to use for my blog, and for reasons unknown, that one came up. I ended up starting all over again about a month later. I’ve been on WordPress ever since. You can literally start your blog up on WordPress in minutes. You can do it all completely free, but then you don’t get to pick your domain name. After accessing the WordPress site or downloading their amazing mobile app, you choose self-hosted or hosted.
Self-hosted means you get your own name (think gloriousmomblog.com instead of gloriousmomblog.wordpress.com), but you also get the option to download tons of plugins. The flexibility of self-hosted is essential if you think you might ever want to make money from your blog.
When I signed up for WordPress, they recommended a few hosting services. Lucky for me, I chose Bluehost! I’ve been with them for over a year, and haven’t had any problems. At one point one of my plugins had crashed my site and they were super available and helpful in assisting me, even though it was not on their end at all. If you’re wondering which service to choose, Bluehost is an excellent choice. One important thing you will do through Bluehost is choose your domain name. You can also use one that you already own.
Another thing you can do through Bluehost is choose your theme, which is basically the design and layout of your blog. You can always change it later. There are free and paid options available.
I figured out quickly I needed my blog to be on the four major social media platforms. I thought initially it was to help bring visitors to my blog; now I realize that their primary function is to earn you money mainly through sponsored posts, but also through affiliate marketing and by selling your own products.
Sponsored posts come through influencer marketing, which is where a brand pays you money to feature or review their product either on your blog or your social media platforms. Affiliate marketing is where you get paid a commission to sell someone else’s product.
Having a large following can help you attract the notice of brands who will pay you by sponsoring a post. Having great engagement from your followers will help you sell products.
BoardBooster works with your Pinterest account to get more people to see your pins and click through to your blog. A lot of bloggers get overwhelmed with the technical side of BoardBooster and Tailwind, but my experience is that BoardBooster has excellent personalized customer service to help you get started and learning how to use the software. BoardBooster has a free trial, and after that, plans start at $5/month, which is the plan I’m on.
These types of services are basically pinning for you so that you’re always pinning, even when you don’t have time to get on Pinterest. If you want to know why having a strong presence on Pinterest will help your blog grow, check out some of my posts on Pinterest. Pinterest is a visual search engine, so many people search for topics you blog about, find your pins, and visit your site.
5. Facebook groups
After a few months of blogging I discovered that there are several Facebook groups for bloggers who share each other’s content to grow their blog’s reach. Each group has daily threads for participation by bloggers who reciprocate by clicking each link in the thread and engaging according to the rules of that thread. This is a lot of work, but it is a great way to grow your following and get more engagement, especially for beginner bloggers. Some great groups are: the Glorious Pinning Pods, the Mom Bloggers Tribe, Grow Your Blog, and Facebook Fabulous. You can find more by searching groups on Facebook.
A great way of making money on your blog is by selling products. Most bloggers sell digital products, many of which they create using Canva.com. There are free options available, but if you want completely glitch-free, I recommend Shopify. You can put buy buttons on your blog for just $9/month. Shopify buttons are one of my three monthly blog expenses. Since making money is a priority and these buttons help directly help me sell my products, they are a necessary expense.
7. Affiliate programs
Shareasale is an affiliate network where you can sign up with brands that will give you a commission if you sell their product. You want to make sure that the product you try to sell is something that your followers will buy, or you are wasting your time. Shareasale is a very large network, but there are others. Also, many of your blog services like Bluehost and BoardBooster offer affiliate programs. Many bloggers offer programs for their products as well (I do). Lastly, don’t forget Amazon. Amazon’s commission is low, but it’s easy to stick a bunch of Amazon links in a post as Amazon sells EVERYTHING.
8. Brand networks
In this post here I link several brand networks you can sign up with to apply for sponsored post campaigns. Of course, as your blog grows, companies will contact you to ask you to promote their product. That same post features a course I took where I learned how to turn a free post into a paid post.
The Pro Mom Bloggers Tribe is my secret weapon. It was founded by one of my blogging besties, Inez Bayardo of fortheloveofmom.org. Inez has a great mind for business and quickly learned how to draw a full-time income from blogging part-time. Her passion is sharing her secrets with other mom bloggers so that they can become successful bloggers as well. This membership group is only $10/month, and it’s also a priority for me. This group has helped me craft pitches to brands, grow my Instagram following, plan a product relaunch and more. As I am an affiliate of this group, if you use my code GMBPIN, you will also get a free copy of my Pinterest ebook when you join. You can learn about all the features of this group here.
The world of blogging is complex and nuanced, but also flexible and rewarding, perfect for someone who wants to nurture an income from home. If you enjoy writing and creating things, you should give blogging a shot! There’s an amazing community of bloggers out there willing to support and cheer you on.
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