This may be my first attempt starting a blog I own but I have been (and currently) managing my employer’s lifestyle blog aspect of the company which is now pushing through as an online magazine!
So, as someone who has been working on a company blog 80% of her time, let me tell you what blogging resources I use to gain readers, organic traffic, get rankings on Google search, and everytime we start a new blog website!
Grab your notes and coffee because this is going to be a long (but informative, I promise) read.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these photos. please note that all images and copyrights belong to their original owners. No copyright infringement intended.
Affiliate links may be used in this post, which I may receive a commission from, at no extra cost to you. You can read my full disclosure here.
Hold your horses! Before you get turned off with me offering you a paid resource, I want you to note that this is the ONLY paid resource I’ll be recommending on this post. The upcoming resources I’m gonna recommend next can be availed for free! But I just want you to know how important it is to have your own domain.
Anyways, back to the topic.
You may not want to hear this but I’m gonna say it anyway: You won’t be seen as a professional entrepreneur or blogger with .wordpress.com or .blogspot.com on your URL. To start a business, you have to invest. Purchasing a domain name and hosting site is your best, and probably, the only choice if you want to make a blog successful. Everything on your website is yours if you have a domain: ad revenue, content, and ranking. Full. Control.
There are numerous hosting websites out there but let me tell you why Siteground is your best choice.
Siteground’s hosting plan starts at a special price $3.95 month in which you already get the essential features: Domain name, WordPress.org hosting, business email address, and more! I know you might be tempted to buy a domain name from sites like GoDaddy and such, but that’s the only thing they can provide at a cheap price.
I purchased a domain at GoDaddy once, all starry-eyed because of the cheap price, and found out that they require separate payments for website hosting and having a business email, which is actually more expensive than Siteground’s $3.95 plan which includes everything.
Another thing is Siteground’s customer service is very swift and helpful. I had a problem once in moving my business email to Gmail and they replied within a minute!
Now, investing on something is scary, I know, but wanna know how I convinced myself to finally purchase a domain? I said to myself, “If I spend a heck ton of money on clothes, makeup, and my Netflix subscription per month, why not spend on something that can gain me MORE money in the future?”
Sign up through my link to start off with Siteground’s special price at $3.95!
Website Theme (FREE)
Humans are visual creatures so you need to make sure that your website is pleasing to the eyes, not crowded, and is professional-looking. However, don’t just focus on the design. You also have to make sure that your theme is SEO-friendly and optimized for ad banners should you want to gain revenue from ads.
If you want Kronicles’ theme, you can get it here. It’s paid, but personally, it’s a great investment for my blog.
I’m a writer and have been writing my whole life and I still get grammatical errors. That’s perfectly normal. Grammarly is a life-saver, and I am not even exaggerating. The moment I learned about this, I made sure to recommend it to my workmates, family, and friends. Grammarly can proofread your whole work, correct your grammatical errors and spelling, and even suggest better words and phrases! Download here.
Google Drive (FREE)
Save yourself the stress of having your files corrupted when you save it on your desktop. I list all my topic ideas in Google Sheets and write content on Google Docs all stored in my Google Drive. You won’t need to worry about losing your written content once you use Google Docs because it automatically saves your progress. Having a Google Drive can also free some space from your laptop since you can upload images and videos on your drive as well.
MailChimp (FREE VERSION)
Start growing your mailing list! Integrate a newsletter subscription form the moment your website is up and running. Sending out newsletters is a great way to remind your visitors that your website exists. You don’t want to miss out on visitors and audience that you can’t tap to anymore because they don’t have any means to remember your website. It’s also another tool to market and promote your posts and products!
MailChimp has a free version that reaches up to 2,000 email subscribers!
YoastSEO Plugin (FREE)
Most WordPress themes already have this installed, but if yours is not, then go ahead and install the plugin. YoastSEO is your best friend when it comes to optimizing your keywords or keyphrase. The plugin offers a premium upgrade but you can already do so much in the free version like having your meta-description which is personally really important as that is what appears on Google search.
YoastSEO also has a Premium version, but you can already do so much on their free version. Download here.
Pinterest Business Account (FREE)
Once you have your website and a fair amount of content posted, you would want to post it on ALL social media sites, which is not wrong. I do suggest you already make a Facebook page and Instagram and Twitter account for your website in case someone makes the same username like yours. However, I don’t recommend focusing on every social media sites when you are just starting because it will confuse you and tire you out. And sometimes, you have to spend a lot on Facebook on Instagram if you want to promote your posts.
Pinterest is the main platform for bloggers and content creators when you want to gain readers and traffic. Make sure you convert or make your account into a business Pinterest account so you can link your website and reach more readers! Make a pinned post about your content, and upload it on Pinterest. And it’s free, too! There are countless free Pinterest courses out there which will help you A LOT.
Pinterest is not just a social media platform, but also a search engine site so you can say that the people on there are searching for something. Most likely, one of your posts will give them the answer they’re looking for. Remember to use pleasing images and font style when you make your pins!
Once you gain enough readers and visitors, THEN you can branch out to Facebook and Instagram.
If you’re someone who is not that creative and is having a hard time thinking of layouts and design ideas (like me), Canva will help you with sooooo much. They have beautiful ready-made templates in ALL categories, and that includes a Pinterest template! Honestly, Canva saves you time and energy because you don’t have to spend hours and hours of experimenting edits and layout designs.
To avoid legal problems, make sure that the photos you put in your website and posts are all free to use. Personally, Unsplash has the most beautiful and aesthetically pleasing free photos you can find. If I find no appropriate images on there, I usually go to Pexels and Pixabay next.
Google Analytics (FREE)
In general, Google Analytics tracks how many people visit your website.
But they also give you more than that.
Google Analytics also gives you the duration your audience spends browsing your blog and their demographics (e.g countries they’re from, gender, etc.). This is a really must-have tool to see if your website is doing well and should you need to change any plans on your strategies.
Google Console (FREE)
Google Console can be a little bit confusing once you signed up for it but there’s really only one tool of theirs that I use – Fetch as Google. Fetching your website links lets you inform Google that your website/website pages exist which will help your website rank faster on Google search. It will take some time but it will take lesser time as compared to waiting for Google to find your website so I recommend that you fetch ALL of your website links as early as possible.
Media.net is the best alternative for Google Adsense if you want to start placing ad banners on your website. If you don’t have enough content on your blog as you are just starting, you might not be accepted immediately by Adsense.
However, Media.net accepts basically anyone (as long as you have content). I have less than 10 posts on my website and I was still accepted! Their ad banners are mobile-friendly and are easily customized so you can choose to have them really small, medium-sized, or so.
Ad Inserter Plugin (FREE)
So, you got accepted on Adsense and/or Media.net, the next step would be to place them on your website. If you have no idea how to fiddle with codes and such, it would be a total nightmare, included that you also need to customize where to put it on your website. Trust me, I had first-hand experience.
To make everything a whole lot easier, the Ad Inserter plugin is the most trusted and well-developed plugin you can have for your advertising banners. You just need to copy your ad code on each of the Blocks, and you can customize where you want your ads to show. It can either be at the very end of your post, after three paragraphs, etc. There’s also an option when you can activate or deactivate your banners on certain posts and pages.
Download the plugin here.
GDPR Cookie Consent Banner Plugin (FREE)
It is important you place a cookie consent policy on your website as it shows respect for your users’ privacy and you are following a practice that is used globally. The GDPR Cookie Consent Banner can be installed and activated on your WordPress plugin search. You can easily customize their banners, placement, and the text.
Download the plugin here.
AntiSpam Bee Plugin (FREE)
Now, receiving spam comments is something that has pissed me off quite recently. Even if you are just a beginner with less than 10 posts, you will receive annoying spam comments if your comments section is activated.
Do you know how frustrating it is to feel so excited when you see have new comments on your blog but then see that it’s just spam? The AntiSpam Bee plugin is the easiest and free spam blocker on WordPress. There are also some options and filters you can activate once you have it activated.
Download the plugin here.
Disclaimer Generator (FREE)
Having a disclaimer page on your website is important to avoid further legal issues that may arise. This page will specify the rights and limitations of you and your blog. Most established bloggers would recommend you to hire a lawyer for your disclaimer page, and if you want a 100% full-proof safety, then I suggest you do. However, if you’re like me who can’t really afford a lawyer, Termly’s free disclaimer generator will help you greatly. What’s good about the website is they will really ask about your business and other additional disclaimers that you want to include.
Now that we have tackled all the blogging resources you need (for now), let’s go build an empire! How many of these blogging resources do you use? Do you have any blogging resources you want to share as well? I would love to know!