WordPress and Hosting
You’ll need to get familiar with WordPress in order to start blogging. Sure there are other platforms like Squarespace, Wix, and maybe a few others but WordPress is the best for blogging because it’s free and has so many options to expand on. Plus, most of the best bloggers out there are using WordPress so don’t try to reinvent the wheel here.
A domain is essentially your brand name. For example:
You’ll find that BlueHost has a number of plans best for what you need and comes with a complete WordPress install! Oh yeah, BlueHost offers a Free Domain with a purchase of their annual plan.
Pricing is advertised as a monthly bill, yet you can only pay annually. Yeah, so don’t really look too much into what you’ll see up front here.
You’ll notice that the space available on your site is much bigger than what you’d get at some other sites. This is one of the perks of BlueHost! Though you don’t see it, you do also get an SSL certificate installed. But to be sure, always check with customer support and let them know you want it installed properly (chat can do this)!
What You’ll Really Pay…
Let’s say you already host a domain somewhere and you want to use that one. You’re in luck! That’ll save you on most hosting services, BlueHost included. But first, let’s imagine that you’ll be wanting a brand new domain included in your annual hosting plan (Basic).
Looks like you’ll be paying $71 for your hosting service. This can be decreased even more if you choose not to accept Domain Privacy Protection. So, what exactly is that? This will enable your information to be publicized. Trust us, you don’t want your information public to all those spammers who will want to sell you on unnecessary services lie $200 graphic design.
BlueHost is a perfect solution for bloggers and those who simply want to get started with their WordPress adventure. This may not be the best choice for those who are looking for other solutions like Drupal, or WooCommerce, but you’ll find everything you need right out of the box with this service.
So probably the most important factor of your blog is the focus of your content. We talk about home life, and farmhouse inspiration here, but what will your blog be about? The sky is the limit here and don’t limit yourself. The best thing to do here for yourself is look into what other people are doing within your interest, see what is working for them and so forth.
One thing we absolutely recommend doing is getting familiar with Pinterest! We get a lot of our traffic from this source, and we’ll look to continue within this platform as long as we can!
Other tools to use
You will need to use some other tools like a website theme, email marketing, and more. Below are some other tools that would be nice to look into when starting your blog.
WordPress (and other content Software) comes with a ton of options when it comes to basic themes.
However, unless you have a lot of cash to spend on professional design (programming), you should check out the web’s most popular source of customized themes. You’ll find any sort of theme relating, but not limited to:
- Blogging Categories (Yoga, Motherhood, Technology, and more!)
- and thousands more!
Envato Marketplace, which owns Themeforest also operates the largest premium plugin database. Add-on additional customizations for a price, including new features on your website that could help bring more usability and business! For example, you can add your own Newsletter Service built within WordPress for Just $55!
Here’s a nifty tool that will help you find out if there are issues with Bluehost (or any other online service).
If you operate a WordPress site, you’ll need people to see it quickly. After all, if your website takes a long time to load, people will exit the website or not even look at it! The loading of a website affects SEO too, so Google takes note of this!
WP Rocket is a service that allows you to Clear the Cache your website and help it load quickly. By enabling additional features you may enhance speed and even your SEO score!
Need a new logo? Need help with Social Media? These are things you may have to consider, but not have the budget for. Fiverr is a place where you can order Graphics and Social Media work within a few clicks and for less than $10. You may also find additional services like:
- $10 Voiceover from a Radio DJ
- $100 Press Release Broadcasted to 100+ Sources
Grammarly is a premium service, that will check your blog posts, emails, or documents for grammatical errors. We’ve found that it’s useful if you are a blogger or writer for sure. It’ll check for punctuation, spelling, points of view, and many more aspects of the problematic English language.
Need an email newsletter service to keep in contact with your fellow subscribers? Many bloggers and marketers miss this part of the business. For those who don’t realize, email marketing will help keep a customer’s interest and keep them updated. Plus, who doesn’t check their email all the time?
How to earn money using a blog
One of the questions we often receive is how to earn through blogging. It seems like a foreign concept that you can actually earn money writing through your own site…but hey, you can! In this post we provided links out to Bluehost, Fiverr, and more and when you do this it’s called Affiliate Marketing. If you end up buying hosting from the link within this post, we earn money!
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Here’s how it works in general:
- The Affiliate Program has the technology capable of tracking commission
- Blogger / Influencer gets approved for Affiliate Program links (like the ones we have!)
- When a potential customer clicks these sorts of links, a tracking cookie is dropped
- Should the reader end up buying – Blogger / Influencer gets a commission
About Affiliate Commissions…
There have been many breakthroughs in the affiliate world, but one major thing remains. Using your approved Affiliate links are the guts of what you need to make money. When you are accepted by an Affiliate Program, you’ll be able to extract these links (aka tracking Affiliate Links).
When you share these links with your readers, and they end up clicking them, Cookies will then show the clicker’s ID so that everyone knows whos coming into the site. Should a reader buy through the link, you’ll be rewarded with a commission. Nothing other than the IP address is typically tracked, so no need to worry about personal information like Credit Cards and such.
Bloggers that can creatively write and place affiliate links are the ones able to make large incomes through this aspect.
Did you know: Large sites like Nerdwallet, The Penny Hoarder, Krazy Coupon Lady, and CNN.com all use Affiliate links?
Apply to get Affiliate links
There are about 5 major Affiliate Networks within the USA and dozens more internationally. So one of the major pain points of becoming an affiliate marketer is finding the right programs that fit your following because there are so many darn networks!
- Rakuten Advertising
- My neighbor’s pet cat
Oh and yes, you can also earn through display ads (Google Adsense or Mediavine) and sponsored posts. These are options you can consider as your site grows but always keep your readers in mind and don’t just take sponsored posts on things you aren’t passionate about.
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