When I started blogging, I went into it completely blind. I honestly didn’t know much of anything about how to actually make this thing work other than how to write and hit publish. I knew nothing about how to set up my own domain or the terminology that everyone was throwing around.
I felt really lost. And in way above my head but I dove in any way.
And for those of you thinking that it all seemed to turn out okay. Well, yes. It did. This attempt is not doing to bad. But there were probably half a dozen attempts before Living Life Petite became a thing that went down in flames.
They were not well designed and were more along the lines of an online diary than something that people could benefit from.
But through this insane journey, I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of self-teaching using various resources out there. Some of them were totally worth it and some were a complete waste of time that taught me very little about how to make myself successful.
And I want to use this knowledge to help you save some time and some headaches by putting together a list of all the resources that are worth your time and why you should check them out. These resources have helped me build this blog, run my social media accounts and wrap my head around the craziness that is this blogging world.
Social Media Resources
Pinterest has been a driving force for traffic for my blog for quite some time. But it didn’t happen overnight. If you aren’t prepared to fail over and over again then I would stop and turn around right now. However, if you are ready to keep trying different things, to try and fail, again and again, check out Ellduclos, Pinterest Ebook.
This ebook is a great starting point for those who are just trying to get their Pinterest started. It offers some great advice on how to strategize and brand your pins for driving traffic as well as great methods for how to use schedulers such as tailwind and board booster to help keep you active on Pinterest all day long so you can focus on other things.
Once you’ve got the basics down and are looking to take things to the next level turn to Carly Campbells Pinterest Strategies. This is a totally different type of Pinterest strategy to help drive traffic that involves manual pinning in a deliberate way to drive traffic. You will learn how to design pins that work as well as learn how to use manual pinning to really help your traffic take off.
I’ve used both of these techniques to really help give my blog a boost. And they have helped me wrap my head around the concept of Pinterest.
Instagram is the cranky bitch in the room. And I say that with the utmost love for the girl but at the end of the day she is the friend in the group that is still kind of an asshole. It has also been the hardest social media for me to understand and if I am honest I am still not 100% sure I get how it works.
The algorithm is full of what appear to be contradictions and all kinds of backward nonsense. However, if you are truly wanting to be successful with Instagram ignore 99% of the crap you see on the internet.
Unfortunately, a vast majority of the Instagram blogging resources out there are full of ridiculous nuggets of “knowledge” such as “stay positive” “use hashtags”, which are such surface suggestions that they might be good for someone has lived under a rock for the past 5 years but not much else.
The Instagram Essentials course is a 10-day adventure into learning how to turn your Instagram in a growth machine. Now keep in mind that’s a relative thing because I’ve found that even on my best days growing Instagram is slow going. Thanks to algorithm changes and the mass popularity of the follow/unfollow technique its become 5 steps forward 4 steps back and that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.
We all want to find that one secret resource that will tell us how to make this thing successful in a short timeframe. We’ve all seen those headlines out there claiming they can help us turn out blogs into a business in 6 months, quit your job in 6 months, and it goes on and on. Have you ever clicked on this headlines and been disappointed with the information you’ve found?
Cause I know I have.
However, I haven’t been doing this by myself. There has been lots of help and advice along the way including from a select few very helpful resources that I found.
Beyond anything else I can advise I will tell you, self-host. I am not saying you have to pour the money into it right away but once you decide to take this challenge on for real and give it a go changing to self-hosting is vitality important. It allows you to not only completely build your website how you want but you have complete ownership over what you put on it in terms of ads, design, your own domain name, and anything else to help create exactly what you want.
WordPress is the gold standard when it comes to building your site however hosting and domain names can come from many different sources. I have my domain name through Godaddy and my hosting through Digital Ocean. Unless you are well versed in hosting and websites I would avoid Digital Ocean as it is very much a do it your self-type of situation that offers very little support when things go wrong. So while it fairly inexpensive and I think you get a lot for the price you pay, I think for those starting out something like site ground or even Go daddy itself or blue host might be better.
Now beyond that, there are so many moving pieces to this whole blogging thing. Between affiliate marketing and making money, to how to get your posts in front of the right people you can and I literally, have made myself crazy trying to figure it all out.
Some of the best resources I’ve found for learning about affiliate marketing and making money have been blog posts by other bloggers. Blogging Basics 101 has an amazing article about ways to make money from blog posts in 2018. It really does a great job of getting your feet wet and walking through the basics of how it all works and how to efficient as possible getting all of these things started from the very beginning of your blog.
Designing your blog is another big step in making sure that everything is perfect. Whether you decide to buy a theme or have someone design one for you being able to set your blog and brand apart from the sea of others who are trying to accomplish the same thing. There are some great themes you can download for your blog that will really help it stand out. Elegant Themes is where I got mine from. However I use a visual builder called Divi that allows a lot of customization.
You can find great theme from all kinds of places including Etsy and just by googling themes and finding some that you love.
Creating content is the backbone of everything we do. Everyone will have different opinions on what the best practices are but one thing we can all agree on is that SEO is everything in terms of long term growth for your brand. Learning and seeing return from SEO takes a lot of time and effort on your part with every blog post you put out there. One of the best resources I found for a great starting point in terms of learning the basics for SEO is a post from MOZ that really helped me wrap my head around all the complex parts of writing content that does well on google.
Depending on what kind of blog you are running taking beautiful images is going to be a huge part of the visual representation of your brand. This is something that can be tricky especially if you are trying to take images for a fashion blog without a photographer. I struggled with this so much when I started my blog that it almost brought everything to screeching halt. But after a lot of time, finding some great photographers to work with I actually managed to find out how to take some great photos of myself to fill in the gaps when I am unable to snap some great photos from some of the extremely talented photographers I work with. Some great tips for taking pictures for yourself will really make things a bunch easier and allow you to take pictures on your schedule without having to rely on someone else for it.
I am always going to be a supporter of learning about this crazy world of blogging. I am sure I will be updating this post regularly with more resources and information as I find more great ones to share. I hope that diving into some of these resources have helped you learn how to start a blog that is ready to hit the ground running with money making potential and that will attract a great audience. This is by now means an all inclusive list but its a great place to start learning how to my this blogging thing work.
And don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed by all the information that you are getting hit with. I felt the exact same way trying to figure it out but I did some reading and focused on improving one thing at a time until I got it all running smoothly and working as one cohesive unit. Which to be honest is the way things worked best for me. However if you are very much a tackle it all at once type of person than I would say go for it. No one gets to tell you how your blog is going to work best other than you so take these resources and find your success.
If you have any questions please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below and I would love to offer any advice that I can!