The primary focus of this blog is work organization. I am not a blogging guru — but I’m learning. There are plenty of blogs out there that offer opinions on the best way to start a blog. When I started this blog, I found some of them. I poured over the information that they had. I launched my blog. Through different courses, I formed relationships with other people in the blogging community. These people introduced me to blogging resources that I didn’t even know existed. Some of these resources are even better than what I had found on my own. Some of the (really) expensive resources I tried weren’t worth it. This is a list of my top, highly recommended blogging resources. Only the good ones.
**This page is a work in progress. I will continue to update this page with resources as I experience them and implement their teachings.
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Billionaire Blog Club
If I had to pick one resource to tell people about that has made the largest difference, its Billionaire Blog Club (BBC). This is a course and community all in one. The courses provided are videos that walk you through everything from setting up a blog to what to put in Pinterest pin descriptions to helpful tips on what to write posts on. Additionally, you get advice for what to do before you launch your blog. I wish that I had taken this course before I launched my blog but am so glad I found BBC when I did. There hasn’t been a topic that BBC has been unable to help me with and I ask a ton of questions. In November, I had less than 700 pageviews. Through the teachings of BBC, I was able to grow to 24,000+ pageviews in December.
If you are nervous to take the plunge, sign up for the Free 12-Day Blogging Bootcamp. I got through Day 4 and bought a membership to BBC. You can purchase the courses of BBC separately but I believe wholeheartedly that this membership and all of the resources are worth every penny. Plus, there are new courses being added and tons of great content.
Who This is Great For: Everyone. The person who knows nothing about blogging and has no idea where to start will get great information on things to do before launch. The experienced blogger who still wants tips on affiliate marketing and growing traffic. And everyone in between. Do you know how to get traffic? Do you know SEO basics? Do you have 20 blog post ideas? If you want systematic hand holding on your way to greatness… sign up.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
One of the easiest ways to monetize your blog is through affiliate marketing. The Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course walks you through the basics of affiliate marketing and how to get set up. Michelle has been wildly successful at affiliate marketing and was even featured in Forbes for earning $1M in 2017. Through this course you will also have access to an exclusive Facebook group filled with people of all different experience levels that are incredibly willing to help. I took this course before joining Billionaire Blog Club. There is some overlap between the Affiliate Marketing material in this course and BBC. If you don’t think you need all of the assistance that BBC offers, this makes a great alternative. Within two months, I was able to make my first $100 blogging.
Who This is Great For: The blogger looking to make money. Even if you are just blogging as a hobby, this course shows you how you can turn your hobby into an income generator with minimal effort.
Your Best Year
Your Best Year 2018, by Lisa Jacobs, is basically a hand-holding guide filled with information. It a great reminder of how to set goals and to focus on those goals, rather than the minutia. While I normally don’t think blogging books offer enough details, because Lisa Jacobs has put in examples of how she personally fills out some of the brainstorming activities, this book is very actionable. This is an inexpensive resource that has helped me organize where I am going and how to get there.
I fully intend on buying this every year, rather than just recreating the spreads on my own because it is very apparent that Lisa Jacobs goes back and updates this workbook every year.
Who This is Great For: The blogger that has an established blog that wants to take it to the next level. This is big picture focused and forces you to look critically at your actions and ask yourself “is this enough to hit my goals?”
Tailwind is an automated Pinterest scheduler with analytics and insights about what your audience is interested in. Billionaire Blog Club will go into detail about using services to help schedule pins and other social media posts. I started using Tailwind with a free 100 pin trial and then $15 credit. You do not need a credit card to sign up. Within the first two days I was convinced this was a service I needed to use. I saw a spike in my traffic within a few days. Billionaire Blog Club emphasizes Pinterest as a way to drive traffic to your site. Confession: I started using Tailwind before I joined BBC. You do not need to be a BBC member to use Tailwind but I think the lessons in BBC have helped me use Tailwind more effectively. There is no reason not to try out Tailwind for free today!
My Advice: What blogging resources to spend money on and what not to spend money on?
I would consider myself frugal. I would never say cheap — most people that know me would actually say I have expensive taste. I try to spend money where I see value. When you are starting your blog, you’re spending money. I’m sure you’ve all seen the posts about starting a blog for $10. They’re not really lying, just misleading. Sure you can get good web-hosting pricing and only commit to a month at a time, but it makes way more sense to buy a year or two at a time. Making some of these longer term purchases costs more than $10. And, reality check — unless you get lucky, you’re probably not going to see huge returns the same day you buy your domain. With that in mind, you need to focus on the aspects of your blog that are going to help you hit your goals. You shouldn’t spend your money on things that won’t help you generate revenue. Now, it doesn’t matter if you are just starting a blog as a creative outlet and aren’t looking to make money or trying to build the next BuzzFeed, I still recommend starting with Billionaire Blog Club. So much of the content in this course focuses on building an audience and getting traffic. I would then argue that you could probably monetize fairly easily with affiliate marketing.
My Must Buy List
Then Tailwind. I recommend joining BBC first because I think it’s easier to go and implement all of the teachings as you go, rather than retro-actively.
Did I mention Billionaire Blog Club?
Save Your Money
WordPress Themes – I think you can do a lot with free themes. The theme for The Paper Gazer is Generate Press. It comes in a free and premium version. I have started with the free. When I am ready to upgrade, I will.
Books on Blogging – When I find a book as comprehensive and awesome as Billionaire Blog Club, my opinion on this might change. In the meantime, I have read at least a dozen books on blogging. While I think books provide very good advice for someone looking for a book on a specific topic, I find most books do not go into enough detail to be actionable and aren’t comprehensive enough to stand alone. I would highly recommend starting with BBC.
Fancy Photo Editing Software – The basics are enough here. Now, if you have a blog on professional photography, maybe not. For the average blogger, I highly recommend Canva. Canva has a free version and a Pro version. Like all of the services I have recommended, start with the free. Then make a judgement call on if the extra cost is worth it for you.
WordPress Plug-Ins I do not use a single paid plug-in on my site. BBC will show you how to get the most out of your money with free plug-ins.
I have learned a lot about blogging and the Internet. There are tons of resources out there. If I could go back and do it all over again, I would have started with BBC and followed his instructions on everything. I spent hundreds of dollars on resources that did not even make this list. As I mentioned earlier, I plan to keep this post updated with my tips and tricks. Keep checking back for updates. Don’t forget to share this on Pinterest if it was useful! As always, let me know if you have any questions.