Did you know you can make money blogging and have your own online business?
It’s true! And very possible.
If I can do it at age 55+ then YOU can too!
So where do you start? What are the Best Blogging Tools you need to make money online?
When I first decided I wanted to start my blog, I had no idea where to begin.
So, I did what most of us do, I turned to the internet to begin my research “How To Blog,” “How To Start a Blog,” then I started seeing posts for How To Make Money Blogging…
How I made $1,000s My First 3 Months Blogging…
How I Became a 6 Figure Blogger…!
I was stunned.
I had no idea you could make money blogging.
All I wanted to do was to write about the beautiful places we visited in our travel trailer and help people who might be thinking about RVing.
Or maybe they wanted to plan a trip, and wanted to know the “Best Things to Do In…”
As I continued to do my research about “How To Blog” (for about 3 months which was really entirely too long!), I knew I needed help just getting it started.
I didn’t know the first thing about what they were even talking about…WordPress, hosting site, SEO, monetization, pitching your story, creating your brand…etc, etc.
But— I FOUND my way through the maze of mom bloggers, travel bloggers, food bloggers, craft bloggers and learned the tools and resources I needed to set up my blog.
Now, It’s Time For Me To Give Back and Help Others Find The Right Blogging Tools Necessary to Set Up Their OWN Money-Making Blog!
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The BEST Tools & Resources Every Blogger Needs To Make Money
The first thing you need to do is to set up your blog properly.
I’ll bet you’re asking – What does that even mean?!!!
It means, to make sure you’re on a self-hosted website. Many bloggers start out looking for a free blogging website.
Unfortunately, if you have any desire to make money blogging and you’re set up on a non-self-hosted WordPress platform, this will limit your monetization because they limit your advertising options.
You are also limited on your space and bandwidth plus you can’t use all the plugins and widgets that are necessary to create a Money-Making Blog.
So, you want to make sure you are on a self-hosted platform. I started my blog on a cheaper self-hosted platform called Bluehost. Bluehost worked well for me for the first two years of blogging. As my site grew to over 50,000 pageviews, I knew I needed to move to a faster host.
What Is A Self-Hosted Platform?
On a self-hosted platform, you own the domain, your content, you can use any plugins you want, and monetize as much as you want!
Make sure from the get-go you think of your Blog as a business not a journal of your thoughts and feelings.
You can incorporate those of course into your blog, but it’s important to think about your blog like this: What will my readers be searching for?
What information can I give to my readers that will make their life easier?
What problem are my readers searching for that I can give them the answers to?
If you can answer these questions —- you are well on your way to creating a Profitable Blog!
Get Started Making Money Blogging
If you have an idea for a blog – the best time to get started blogging is TODAY!
It’s the perfect side hustle to start making money for you and your family. While blogging isn’t a get-rich-quick type of online business, if you stick with it – you too will be successful!
Some are free and others are not, but all are needed to help you create the income you desire for you and your family!
Blue Host One of the first things you’ll need is a hosting company.
Blue Host is the largest WordPress hosting company overseeing more than two million sites. This is the hosting company I use and I have had great luck with them.
Their introductory plans start as low as $3.75 per month and at the time of this article includes a free domain, free SSL and they will download WordPress for you.
You will need several add-ons and one that I highly recommend purchasing is Domain Privacy Protection. Their customer service is amazing as I have had several things go array on my site and they fixed them right away.
Fivrr The next thing you’ll have to think about is a LOGO for your website.
I highly recommend checking out Fivrr. Some of the types of services they offer include logo design, video editing, voice-overs, proofreading, translations, t-shirt design and much more! Designers will create various packages for your design starting at $5 (thus, the name Fivrr).
I needed to have a Logo created for my website so I found a highly recommended graphic designer on Fivrr. He created 4 logos for me to choose from (so I paid more than $5) but it was so worth it! You can find out more about Fivrr Here.
BEST BLOGGING THEMES
Themeforest Once you have your WordPress site downloaded, you’ll need to find a theme.
This is the Fun part of building your website! BUT…I caution you…you can totally get caught up with your theme, the design, colors, branding, and then ask yourself —- Where did the day go???
One of the most important things to look for in a theme is that it is a Responsive Theme.
This means the layout of the website will adjust to the size of the user’s screen. This is especially important for smartphone users.
I’ve seen people whose website is cut off or only half of their site is showing because their theme is not “responsive”. Themeforest has thousands of amazing themes you can choose from for very reasonable prices.
Another theme that is popular is the Olsen Theme. This is the theme that I currently use.
There is both a free version – Olsen Light and a paid version of the Olsen Theme. I started with the free version but switched to the paid version when I wanted to use more of the features the paid version offered.
The Olsen Theme is through cssignighter which has many responsive themes available.
There are also many pretty themes you can also purchase on Etsy. But just make sure it is a Responsive Theme! You can check out Etsy Themes Here.
BEST BLOGGING TOOLS FOR BEGINNING BLOGGERS
All In One SEO This is a MUST to make sure your blog posts are optimized for SEO (search engine optimization). The All In One SEO also submits your sitemap to the search engines so that the contents of your blog can be seen which helps to generate traffic to your website. This is the plugin I use and I find that the features are easy to use.
Learn more about the All In One SEO Here.
Grammarly Now that you have your website set up and you begin to write your Blog Posts, you’ll want to make sure your spelling and grammar is correct!
PicMonkey When I first began blogging, one of the things that I struggled with was designing my pins for Pinterest. But, PicMonkey makes it so easy to design all sorts of things! Now I find myself having so much fun that I spend entirely too much time on PicMonkey! Not only does PicMonkey have a template for designing pins for Pinterest, but you can design printables, logos, blog headings, marketing materials, business cards, etc. You can even download your own photos or use their free and paid photos in your designs.
You can learn more about PicMonkey Here.
Canva is FREE design software program that you can also use to upload your own photos to use to make pins for Pinterest, flyers, and many other things. Although I find their program to be a little more limited if you’re just starting out it works just fine.
Canva Pro – Canva Pro allows you to do so much more than basic Canva. What I love is you can create files to organize your projects (basic Canva allows 2 folders), and you have access to many photographs, graphics, and elements to use!
I know there is a lot to think about, but one of the first things you need on your blog is a Subscribe Button to begin capturing emails to build your email list.
An email list is very important because this is your true audience. These are the readers who want to know what you have to say!
BEST BLOGGING EMAIL TOOLS
There are several email programs you can use. Some are free and others charge per subscriber. Mailchimp is free for up to 2,000 subscribers
Mailerlite is free for up to 1,000 subscribers
Constant Contact is another very popular email service provider. They are offering a 60 day free trial so you can try them out!
ConvertKit is the email provider I currently use. I started out using another email service provider, but it was cumbersome so I switched to ConvertKit using their 14-day Free Trial.
I found that ConvertKit is one of the easiest email platforms because it was designed especially for bloggers. Their platform is easy to set up forms, opt-ins, landing pages and sequence emails. You can start your Free trial at ConvertKit Here.
BEST BLOGGING SCHEDULING TOOLS
Tailwind is my Pinterest scheduler that I cannot live without!
It makes scheduling all my pins a breeze and I don’t have to worry because it is an approved Pinterest app. You can schedule to your Group Boards, Tailwind Tribes, and your own boards and schedule them at intervals so that you won’t pin to the same board over and over.
Another great thing about Tailwind is that it optimizes the best times to post for your audience. This is one app that I’m happy I purchased because it is really worth it! You can take advantage of their Free Trial where you can schedule up to 100 pins FREE.
There is no credit card required to sign up for the free trial. If you decide Tailwind is definitely you want to help you schedule your Pinterest pins, you can choose the plan best suited to you. Since joining Tailwind, I’ve joined the Tailwind Tribes best related to my niche and I’ve seen substantial traffic driven to my website!
You can learn more about Tailwind Here!
If you ready to start your own blog, read my blog post How To Be A Blogger And Make Money Too to learn how you can get started with a FREE 5-Day email crash course!
You’ve been thinking about Blogging for a while now…all you have to do is just START!
It’s the BEST thing I ever did!