Make Money Blogging
Resources, Recommendations, and Reality Checks
There are a ton of resources available to help get you started on your path to make money blogging. There are actually so many that they can become distractions - and the next thing you know, you are wasting hundreds of hours and not getting anywhere. Here are the resources we recommend including some good free reading material to help you get started.
This section is all about the basics. The resources to get you started before you actually begin...
35 chapters of immediately actionable strategies and techniques to help you grow your following, work with brands, and make money from your blog.
Three Reasons Your Blog is Not Getting More Traffic - Blog traffic is the key to online success. No matter how good your blog is, if you don’t have traffic, then nobody benefits from what you have to offer – including you.
Bloggers: Stop Doing This One Thing - A few months ago that I decided to turn my business website into a blog with fresh content each week. As a business professor I thought I was prepared...
Choosing a Name
BustAName - Stuck coming up with a clever name for your blog? This site will let you enter a few words that describe your blog and it finds a good combination to spark an idea.
Blogging 101 - Introduction to Blogging Online Course
This is our Blogging 101 online course. Learn all the basics to get your blog up and running from choosing a host to picking a theme and even having a game plan for what you will write about. The course is not quite ready, but if you sign up here, you will be notified!
Set Up Your Blog
Now that you understand the basics, it is finally time to get into the slightly more technical stuff and actually set up your blog. You will choose a blog name, register the name, set up a host, etc.
Yes - its the same book! This book is very comprehensive and walks you through the setup all the way through the advanced stuff as well.
Blogging 201 - The Technical Stuff Online Course
We are working on a course to help you move forward. Once your blog is set up and running, we know you want to reach more people and maybe even make some money! This course will really get into the meat of plugins and software and other technical items to make sure your blog is set up properly to be able to handle the traffic you will soon be getting. You will learn the technical stuff behind a shopping cart, how to have a download page, and more. This course is not yet available but sign up here and be notified when its ready!
Step 1 - Where to Host
Hostmonster - I have been using Hostmonster since I started my first webpage. Their customer service has been great and the only downtime seems to be for about a minute or two once per month, which I thin is phenomenal considering I still use their cheaper hosting option.
BlueHost - I have not used BlueHost yet, but lots of bloggers promote it. Some of the more popular bloggers make a large portion of their money referring people to this particular hosting company. Their customer service is also said to be fantastic and they are easy to use.
Step 2 - What Platform to Use
WordPress.org - You want to use WordPress.org, not WordPress.com. With WordPress.com you don't self-host, which means you don't pay anything, but it is much harder to get ranked well, to make money, etc. In fact, some people on the Internet make a living converting people's websites from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. In other words, set it the right way in the beginning.
Weebly - Personally, I think WordPress is the way to go, but I know that more and more people are using Weebly, so I included it as an option. All of our courses are based on using WordPress, but many of the principles are the same - it's just that some of the technical stuff behind the scenes will be different. If you want an alternative to WordPress, than Weebly is your answer.
Step 3 - Choosing a Theme
Thrive Themes - I currently use Thrive Themes. I think it is one of the most comprehensive, user friendly themes on the market. They even have their own visual editor, which means in WordPress, you can actually use the visual editor and see the changes in real time without having to hit preview constantly. Their visual editor means you can use drag and drop and build pages quickly, easily, and professionally. This whole site is built in Thrive Themes. The best part? The developers are constantly adding features and they have videos explaining how to use their theme and get the most out of it!
Genesis Themes - These themes are very popular among bloggers, especially lifestyle, design, and so-called "mommy" bloggers. Generally you would get the Genesis theme and then choose a specific child theme that gives your blog the color, style, etc. that you want. They have specific feminine themes for example, but there are really hundreds of child themes to choose from.
Step 4 - PlugIns
Yoast SEO - I love this plugin. It tells you how well your SEO score is on a particular page or post and gives you bulleted tips on how to improve it such as adding the keyword more often (or less often) in the post, or adding a header with the keyword, etc. i currently use the free version, although the premium is available and has many more features.
Tweetthis - You have probably seen all those retweet buttons on blog posts where you can just click and send a tweet with a quote from the blog. Well, Tweetthis (Tweet This) is one of those cool plugins that allows you to do just that.
PrettyLink - This has been the most useful plugin yet. For all of my affiliate links, I use PrettyLink which allows me to take a messy affiliate link that looks like this (https://transactions.sendowl.com/stores/3481/22679) and convert it to this: http://www.themoneyprofessors.com/FrameWork. Now here is the best part! If I want to send you to a blog course, I can create a PrettyLink called http://www.themoneyprofessors.com/BlogCourse and assign it to whatever actual destination I want. Then, if I later decide to send you to a different course, instead of having to find everywhere on my entire site that I used that link and change it, I just tell PrettyLink to now send people who click on it to the new destination!
Step 5 - Mail Tools
MailChimp - Mailchimp is a great way to get started when you are not making any income and will likely have a small number of people on your list since it si free up to a certain number of list members. Once you have to start paying, I would switch to a better service such as Aweber. Of course it would be easier to just start out with Aweber so you don't have to switch later (which will take hours), but if you don't want to spend anything then start with MailChimp.
Aweber - Aweber is one of the top email list tools and autoresponders on the market. Most of the top marketers use Aweber and it is so robust yet simple to use. You can have autoresponders that thank new members when they sign up, you can have email campaigns that go out every so often, you can use it as a regular newsletter or to send offers to your members. And yes, you can assign different lists so people who buy product1 can be on a different list than people who buy product2 and even a list for people who opened the shopping cart but abandoned it!
Step 6 - Software
MS Office - I highly recommend MS Office (if you have a Mac, you can buy MS Office for Mac), although if you must, then you can start out using the Google Apps (Google Docs, etc.) or even the Mac Apps (Keynote, etc.). I prefer MS Office and we even have a course on how to use MS PowerPoint to create videos, webinars, templates, checklists and more.
Grow Your Audience
This section has resources available to help grow your audience and bring visitors to your blog
This is such a great book! It is rather inexpensive and can give you some ideas for growing traffic. It's also a quick read so you can take an afternoon, read through it, and be on your way to more traffic and higher earnings!
Blogging 301 - Marketing and Growing Your Blog - Online Course
This will be a third course we will offer to really help you grow your blog. You will learn the various marketing techniques and methods, how to be efficient so you save time, and much more. The course is in progress, but you can sign up here and be notified when it is ready.
Adobe Photoshop - This may be the best software I ever purchased for my business. Of course it is not without a hefty price tag and may be a better option after you have started earning some real money. It is incredibly powerful and is the industry standard for editing images and much more!
PicMonkey - I have heard some great things about PicMonkey. I use Adobe Photoshop myself which is downloaded on my Mac. PicMonkey is cloud based and can be accessed form anywhere, so that is an advantage in some ways, although it is not quite as robust as Photoshop. There is a Basic free version of PicMonkey, or you can get the Royale version with many of the same features as Photoshop (but the cost is annual).
Canva - Canva is another web based software that I have heard some great things about. It is completely free to use unless you choose a few premium features, but they clearly identify the premium stuff, so no worries. It may be the best alternative to a paid software when you are just starting out since it si free.
Social Media Tools
Buffer - This is a great tool to schedule tweets, Facebook posts, LinkedIn posts, and more. With their power scheduler, you can set up a tweet to go out in an hour, a day, a week from now, a month from now, etc. The same thing for you other social media sites as well. It is a great way to schedule social media without having to log in all the time.
Tailwind - This is a great app that you can use to schedule your Pinterest pins. It allows you to optimize when the pins are posted, a drag and drop scheduler and more. If you are on Pinterest - or are trying to use it, then you need Tailwind.
Hootsuite - Engage with people across all your social media accounts through a single dashboard. Create custom, targeted streams to see the conversations relevant to you as they unfold. Automate your social media content publishing to maintain your presence without tying up resources. Grow your online fans and generate new leads with beautiful and easy-to-create campaigns and contests, deployed across multiple platforms and networks.
Monetize Your Blog
Nothing is more fun than seeing other people read what you write - except when they pay you!
35 chapters of immediately actionable strategies and techniques to help you grow your following, work with brands, and make money from your blog.
Blogging 401 - Making Money - Online Course
This will be the fourth course we will offer to really focus on monetizing your blog. We will talk about affiliates, joint ventures, and more. The course is in progress, but you can sign up here and be notified when it is ready.
ShareASale - ShareASale is an affiliate marketing network and has been in business for 16 years. If you want to offer products on your website and earn a commission for referring to those products or services, then sign up through ShareASale as one of your affiliate networks. They have 3,900+ Affiliate Programs spanning 40 different categories.
FlexOffers - FlexOffers.com is an award-winning affiliate marketing network that provides comprehensive solutions to both advertisers and publishers. Join FlexOffers.com as a publisher to receive access to millions of products and services across a growing collection of 6,000+ Affiliate Programs.
AdSense (Google) - AdSense is a free, simple way to earn money by placing ads on your website. I don't use it for my site because having ads sprinkled all around doesn't really fit with our look and feel, but it might work just fine for your site. Basically you sign-up, load a small bit of code, and ads start populating on your site in the places your code allows. If people click through the ads, you get paid.
Creating Your Own Products
We are going to add training to help you build your own products. After all, creating books, ebooks, courses and training is what we specialize in! Sign up here to hear about our training as it becomes available. If we find other quality training and information to help you create your own products, we will post that here and in our email as well.
Our first course is 95% ready to go and it involves using PowerPoint to create some products. Click here to join this course.
WooCommerce - This is the plugin I started using right away. It is free, although there are some premium features that you can pay for. I am transitioning to ThriveCarts, which I am beta testing, and will provide more information when it goes live.
Take it To the Next Level
Beyond traffic and subscribers, this is where you take your blog and make it a business
We are working to find the best books for you. Here are a few business books to check out:
Blogging 499 - Advanced Blogging
This will be the most advanced course we will offer about blogging ad business. We are going to get information from other outside sources such as experts and accomplished bloggers and business owners. Sign up here to find out when it becomes available.
We are going to add training to help you build a proper sales funnel. Sign up here to hear about our sales funnel training as it becomes available. If we find other quality training and information to help you build your sales funnel, we will post that here and in our email as well.
We love seminars! But not everyone can travel to attend one of our seminars - and we can't be everywhere at once. What is our solution? Webinars! We will be offering webinars in the near future. This section will list our webinars with a link to the schedule, so check back soon! If you want to be notified of upcoming webinars, just sign up to our newsletter on our homepage and we will notify you!
Here are the resources to maximize your time by learning the best time management strategies as well as how to outsource your daily or difficult tasks. You will learn the 80/20 rule and how you can use it to take your business to the next level. As our courses become available, you can be notified if you sign up here.
Business 101 - Introduction to starting and running a Business - Online Course
Should you be an LLC, a sole proprietorship, an S-Corp? Our Business 101 course teaches all of this and more. Perfect for someone who is starting to make money with a blog - or interested in starting any business. As our courses become available, you can be notified if you sign up here.
Let Us Help Move Your Blog Forward
We will continue to develop content you can use to move your blog/business forward. No matter what your blog's niche we can help you determine where to get traffic, what incentive to offer for your email signup, how to create training or products and ultimately how to run your business and make an income.