My 4 Favorite Blogging Tools to Start a Blog


Do you love to read blogs?  Have you ever found yourself thinking, “I could start a blog on X topic and it would be great!”, but then realize that you have no idea how to get started in the first place?

This was me about 5 years ago.  I LOVED catching up on all my favorite blogs every week.  I had a dream to own a blog like these favorite bloggers of mine, but I had no idea how to start a blog, what it entailed, or how much opportunity comes with running a blog.

I quit my job to stay home with my daughter a little over two years ago, and while I love staying home and would not trade it for any job in the world, I still needed something for myself.

After about a year, I finally decided to give this whole blogging thing a shot and start a blog of my own.

Start a Blog | Blogging | Side Hustle | Blogging Tools | Making Money Blogging

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I am still building up my blog and learning all about the time commitment, tools, and skills it takes to get a blog running and growing, but there are definitely some tools I have used along the way that have helped me a lot.

Start a blog with a self-hosted site and a free domain.

Before you even get started with all the “fun” parts of blogging, you need to set up hosting and purchase a domain name. This may sound scary and expensive, but I promise it really isn’t!  You can set up hosting for as low as $3.95 per month using Siteground.

You do not want to skip this step.  You want to set yourself up through WordPress as a self-hosted site so that you can run any of your own ads, affiliate links, and more.  That is how you will eventually make money.  WordPress is the way to go if you are serious about blogging and it is extremely easy to install Siteground with WordPress, even if you are not so great with computers.

Once you get yourself set up with your domain name, hosting, and WordPress, the real fun begins!

Invest in your blog from the beginning.

Every blogger that I would read about that was successful and making money would tell you to invest in your blog.  You have to spend money to make money.  In particular, I kept reading this from Rosemarie of The Busy Budgeter.  She kept talking about a course she took that took her blog from almost no income to thousands of dollars a month!

This is where I took my giant leap.  I invested a pretty large chunk of change in my blog and signed up for Elite Blog Academy.  This is the blogging course that is teaching me all about how to run a successful blog in easy-to-follow bite-size modules.  Ruth Soukup, the founder of Elite Blog Academy is a self-taught blogging genius, and she is sharing her knowledge with the world!

If you are going to invest in something from the beginning, it should be educational material.  Elite Blog Academy is comprehensive and will truly help you grow your blog from wherever you are now to where you want to be.

You can either spend lots of wasted time trying to figure everything out on your own, or you can sign up to be on the waiting list for the next time the doors of Elite Blog Academy open (which is usually a very short window, so you don’t want to miss it!).  The choice is yours…but I highly suggest you choose the latter!

Email is your best friend when you start a blog.

The crazy thing about making money (or trying to make money) on the Internet, is that strategies are changing all the time!  Social media platforms change their algorithms, styles of blogs change, and readers preference for how they receive valuable information is always evolving.

One thing that you can always count on, however, is email.  Your email list of loyal readers is seen as the most important thing for you to focus on in marketing and building your blogging business.

Social media helps, but you can’t control how social media distributes your material or how many of your readers see your material (unless you pay for it).

 

Your email list is yours and yours alone.  

In order to build an awesome following over email, you are going to need a great email management system.  There are free options out there, and I tried one of them, but I believe that if you are going to invest precious time into setting up your email, you need to do it right the first time.

ConvertKit is easy to use and affordable.  I was able to set up opt-in forms and send out my first emails with little to no issue.  There are tons of articles and videos explaining how to do pretty much anything you might need help with.

The best part is that if you are on a budget, the price is based on the number of subscribers, so if you are still in the growing phase, the price won’t move up until your business moves up.

Make your life a little easier with auto-scheduling.

In order to gain loyal followers to both your blog and your email list, you will need to harness the power of social media.  In particular, I suggest focusing on Pinterest.

Once you get going on writing content and scheduling it out to a bunch of different boards on Pinterest, you are going to realize how time-consuming it can be to manually pin everything.

Tailwind is a great tool to use to schedule pins for the next day, week, month, and beyond.  It is approved to work with Pinterest and has great tools and analytics to assist you in your pinning strategy!

You can also use Tailwind for free up to a certain number of pins to try it out.  If you do join, I highly recommend watching some of their videos for how best to use Tailwind, as it is not very intuitive on how to use until you get comfortable with the interface.

Once you decide to start a blog, there are going to be so many things to think about and tons of ideas will be thrown at you for great tools and courses.  If you have a small budget, these are the tools I suggest starting with.

What other questions or concerns do you have (or suggestions!) related to starting a blog?

 

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