Blogging Essentials

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Click HERE for EVERY resource you could possibly need to get your blog set up and the tools to use to start earning money.

Click HERE to learn how to use Pinterest to Increase Blog Traffic + Start a Profitable Facebook Group

Click HERE for Super Easy SEO for Bloggers + a FREE Immediate Download – SEO Checklist + Blog Reader Profile

 

Hey, sweet friend!

So you’re thinking about blogging, huh? First of all, I am so stinkin’ excited for you! I’ve been writing since I was a little girl as a way to process the pain I felt, my depression, my fears as well as things I was passionate about. That part of my life was so difficult, stressful and humiliating to me that I never thought I’d write for single moms {or become an advocate for single moms}, let alone share my words with the world! For me, it was like ripping off a painful bandage and exposing my naked soul. But soon after subscribing to a few blogs and seeing how other women found healing in the exposure, God began to press into my heart to share.

And in sharing

                         I have found SO MUCH HEALING!

                                                                                        So be BOLD mama!

God took all of my broken pieces, my sharp, rough edges, my burns, scars, pain, my heart and my mind that had been ripped to shreds over the years and He used ALL of it to guide me in discovering my purpose.

God’s Plans are the Best Plans!

I would love to help you discover your purpose as well! Many of my therapists (and there’s been MANY!) over the years have always encouraged my journal writing to heal and process… and blogging has been life-changing for me in that aspect.  

Click HERE for a ton of resources to get your blog set up and the tools to use to start earning money.

 

Blogging is a great way to share your passion and experiences. Take a moment to identify your passions and interests. What do you spend a significant amount of time doing or talking to others about? Do people always go to you for help with xyz? Do you dream of eventually turning your blog into your business? Take your passion or calling and identify a lucrative niche – do your research to see if there’s a demand for your ideas. Read through the comment sections of blogs you identify with or share similar interests. What are those readings saying or asking? Is there a need being missed? Learn where your potential readers are and hang out there. Join forums, Facebook groups, Reddit, etc.

Keep reading so you can learn where I went wrong years ago!

Learn from my mistakes! 

You can keep your blog private, by utilizing a blogging platform and simply not sharing your links and not allowing subscribers. Or you can start small to share your story, advice, maybe you have some incredible recipes or you’re one hell of a DIYer….whatever you enjoy writing and sharing about…

Just start writing!  

I started with WordPress.com because of its ease of use and because it was free.

                                                                                    But I discovered free is not best!

Once my blog grew and I needed to move it to a self-hosted platform, I realized that I would have made my life much, much easier had I just started with a self-hosting platform.

 

 

You can Google your platform options and you’ll see there’s a lot to pick from. I chose WordPress overall because it’s used by just about every major blogger in the world. So sticking with the WordPress product seemed like the logical choice to me since it was easy to use and I was already super familiar with it. WordPress works best with Bluehost as it’s self-hosting platform …so I didn’t want to use any other platform. 

Transferring my existing free blog to a self-hosted site was not the easiest. But WordPress and Bluehost made it a very smooth process. But things would have been much easier on me if I would have just bit the bullet and paid the super cheap monthly fee for Bluehost to support my WordPress.org site from the very beginning.

 

But both companies have a ton of resources to help a newbie like me to where I have never had to call the support office. 

One of the most noticeable differences between wordpress.com and WordPress.org is that your site address changes to a more professional look.  

With WordPress.com my site address was https://thereoncewasthisgirl.wordpress.com and through WordPress.org it’s www.thereoncewasthisgirl.com.  Much, much nicer!  Another thing is that using Bluehost to support my site allows me multiple professional email accounts.  For example, I was having to use my personal email address and now I have shaylahcoogan@thereoncewasthisgirl.com, prayer.requests@thereoncewasthisgirl.com, with the option to have a total of 5 unique email address accounts.

Both WordPress.com and WordPress.org have free themes for your site and both allow you to upgrade.

The theme I’m using was $39 but there are hundreds of free really beautiful themes to use. This one just seemed to speak to me. WordPress.org connected through Bluehost’s self-hosting platform, has provided me with a ton of options, plugins, and widgets.

StudioPress Theme of the Month

And I have much more control over my blog and its appearance.

So for example, if you wish to grow your blog to an income producing business then you will need WordPress.org. You can do this through affiliate advertising, through business ads, product links, passive income avenues or even selling your own products, services or crafts. WordPress.com does not allow you the option to add these plugins and widgets. So if you’d like your blog to ever become your part-time or full-time job then you’ll need to go to a self-hosted platform.

 

Here’s my personal breakdown of what I used and what I switched to:

Early Blog (https://thereoncewasthisgirl.wordpress.com)

  • WordPress.com – Free
  • Setup – Easy
  • Add a domain name option – Yes, but will cost you $99
  • Free domain name – No
  • Professional email accounts – No
  • Free themes – Yes
  • Blog name customization – No
  • Upgrade theme options – Yes
  • Widgets & Plugins – Yes, but limited
  • Widgets & Plugins to support a business – No
  • There are ads placed on your site that are out of your control nor do you receive an affiliate income from them
  • Easy transfer to a self-hosted platform – Yes and No (it was easy but it took a lot of time and work – you will encounter this with any blogging site you use, which is why I should have started with WordPress.org)
  • Easy transfer of your existing followers to your self-hosting platform – Yes (I had to do a google search on how to do it and while that part was easy through Bluehost – they will email all of your followers to alert them of the move and the option to follow your move.) You will have to do this with any blogging site with a move to any self-hosting platform…  SO I WISH I would have just started with the self-hosting platform.  

Updated Blog:  (www.thereoncewasthisgirl.com)

  • WordPress.org – Free
  • Need a self-hosting platform? – Yes
  • Setup – Easy
  • Hosting Service WordPress recommends – Bluehost but you can choose any. These two just work great together!
  • Bluehost Cost – $3.95 per month to $5.95 per month 
  • Bluehost domain cost – Free with 1-click install 
  • Small business control – Yes
  • Can you add affiliate links & advertising posts for income producing opportunities – Yes

 

 

Advantages of Using Bluehost:

  1. You can purchase your domain name and hosting service through the same provider.
  2. Three different packages offered to fit your budget and service needs with the option to upgrade at any time.
  3. The minute you create a password with your Bluehost platform, you will be automatically logged in and land at the control panel where you can install your WordPress.org.
  4. Then customize your themes and pages.
  5. The total process from start to finish is around 30 minutes based on the speed of your system and Internet connection and you’re reading to start blogging!

Start writing…

                       adding content to your blog…

                                                                  and sharing your words sister!  

I’ll add more content to the topic of blogging soon. But in the meantime, if you have questions just post in the comments below.

There are so many different ways to drive traffic to your blog or business website, however, Pinterest is the absolute BEST way to promote and advertise your writing or products and reach thousands and thousands of people in the time it takes to repin....and it costs nothing to use Pinterest.

COMING SOON…

Everything You Need to Start Blogging and Earning Money

How to Blog for Profit 

How to Add Affiliate Marketing and Banners to your WordPress Site

How to Create Shareable Pinterest Images 

Creating Beautiful Downloadable Prints for Your Readers

Creating Mouthwatering Recipe Cards for your WordPress Site

Disclaimer:

This is my four-year blogging journey in a nutshell! Over these past four years, I have done a ton of research, reading, video watching and just plain old trial and error. If you choose to use WordPress (which is all I know about) then hopefully this info will guide you based on the lessons I’ve learned the hard way. As with any product you purchase or adventure you start, you should do your research to discover what will work best for your needs and your budget. Do not just take my word for it! 🙂

As a Bluehost user for the past year, I decided to apply for their affiliate program because I love their product and already tell everyone about it. As a result of my approval, if you chose to use Bluehost through my links above they will pay me a small commission. Your price for using Bluehost remains the same as what I pay for it, including a free domain name! If you’re interested in being an affiliate as well, let me know and I can send you the info.

Best wishes to you!!