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I didn't have the benefit of reading blogging tips for beginners or blogging 101 posts when I started blogging. People didn't talk about it, they didn't share what they knew. It was a tight-knit circle that made money and they didn't share! So I'm paying it forward and sharing what I have learned no holding back!
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Blogging 101: Blogging Tips for Beginners – The Frugal Navy Wife
I started my blog back when I just had my 2nd kid. I needed a hobby and an outlet, plus I was tired of repeating my self on how I was getting diapers for $1-$3 a pack! So I blogged it. That's how The Frugal Navy Wife was born.
I NEVER intended to make money with it.
Then just before I had baby #3 (yes I am a mom this is how I tell time!) I met another blogger who showed me how to really make money. The first month I did over $500 by month 2 I was doing over $1,000. Keep in mind my blog was established and about two years old then.
It wasn't too long before I had my first month where I earned more than my husband salary in the military as an E5! I broke the news to him by buying him a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label that he had been wanting to try since before we met. That stuff ain't cheap!
Since then my income has helped us pay off debt, do fun things, and even travel! Now I'm earning a full-time income, and it's allowing my husband who is no longer in the military, to go to school to pursue his passion of becoming a park ranger and working in the National Parks!
I tell you my story because everyone has one. Everyone as a reason for blogging. Plus I don't want you to wait two years to start earning money! There is no reason to! Read on!
PS While I say these are blogging tips for beginners they work for every blogger to make sure you are following the tips to success!
Why Should You Blog?
I bet your first thought was to make money right? While the money is nice, I won't lie that should NOT be the ONLY reason you blog. You need to be passionate about what you are blogging. You need to enjoy writing (or typing in this case) somewhat.
So I want you to really think about what are you passionate enough about to write about for years and years and years. Need some jump start ideas? I have a free list of 23 of the Hottest and Most Profitable Blog Niches.
Now don't niche down too far. What I mean is being a gluten-free food blogger is great, being a gluten-free blogger who is also vegan and only eats the color purple, not so great. You want to keep your primary topic broad to allow you to reach many people then niche down via the different categories on your blog.
Blogging 101: Starting a Word Press Blog
There are many free services to start a blog, but I don't suggest them. Many don't allow you to put ads or affiliate links so you can't make money, others have a reputation of deleting blogs for stupid reasons (like they didn't like a recipe you posted, real-life scenario).
Plus companies won't take you seriously unless you have your own site and domain. PLUS it's so much more customizable!
Now if you started on a free hosting platform, no problem you can still move to a self-hosted platform. Just follow my how to create a blog tutorial, and there is a step to import your content.
So check out How to Create Your Own Blog there are even step by step pictures to help you out.
Blogging 101: Selecting a Theme
Once your blog is set up the next step is choosing a theme. Your theme is the layout and design of your blog. There are hundreds of themes to choose from ranging from free to $100s.
Blogging Tips for Beginners: What makes a good WordPress Theme?
- Mobile Responsive – The theme needs to be mobile responsive. This means the theme converts your content to mobile easily.
- Simple – You want a simple design, clean, and easy to navigate!
- Page Builders – I highly suggest page builder as it makes designing super easy!
- Support – You MUST have support. Especially if you are new to setting up themes!
- SEO Friendly – You will thank me on this one. The better your SEO, the more traffic you will get! (more on this later!)
- Ratings – ALWAYS check the reviews and ratings!
- Browser Compatibility – You want to make sure the theme will work on every browser, tablets, phones, etc.
- Light – You want it to load as fast as possible!
Now you know what to look for I suggest heading to My Theme Shop and start taking a look around at what you like, don't like and get started!
Looking for more Blogging Tips for Beginners join my blogging email list to get all my blogging 101 info!
Blogging Tips for Beginners: Posting, What You Need to Know
Ok, let's talk blog posts. When you are starting a blog you really should have 20 posts ready to go, but no less than 10. This means write your 20 posts, knowing no one will be one them. Then once you have your 20 posts up and done THEN start promoting all your posts.
Well, the biggest reason is you can have the most fantastic post in the entire world but if it is the ONLY post on our site? No one will come back!
Blogging Tips for Beginners: Interlinking
Plus you want to interlink your posts. Link to your gravy post on your pork chop post and then link to your brownie post for dessert. Give them more than one post to visit!
Also, 20 posts is the sweet spot where you will start getting recognized by Google and other search engines and start driving organic traffic (usually)
Blogging 101: SEO Tips
Ok now on to SEO I keep talking about. SEO is Search Engine Optimization or in other words the algorithm the search engines use to determine what to show when searching for a term. You want to be page one position one, or as close as possible. The higher your spot, the more traffic you will bring in.
Blogging Tips for Beginners: So how do you rank?
I suggest starting by getting the Yoast SEO plugin. Start with the free version and down the line, I recommend upgrading to the paid version. The plugin does a lot of behind the scenes stuff for an SEO boost. Yoast will guide you in getting everything set for SEO, but there is much more to it!
The biggest thing you need to be doing is make sure each post has a focus keyword. To find this, I highly suggest SEMRush Keyword tool. Yes, it cost a lot, but once you have the income it's a must! It also lets you spy on other websites and their keywords! Until you can afford the paid account, use the free limited version.
If you want to dive more into SEO (and I suggest you do!) Check out the Learn to Blog Hangouts SEO Course.
Blogging Tips for Beginners: Make Money Blogging Affiliate Marketing
Now let's talk making money with a blog. One of my favorite ways is with passive income. This is where you do the work once, and update it now and then and it earns income for you.
HOW do you do that? I do it with affiliate income!
When I am writing a post, I include a link to a product I love, a website I use, etc. It has to fit in with the post though. Then when someone clicks on my link and buys or signs up for the site, I earn a commission.
The easiest way to get started is to join a few affiliate networks that work with a bunch of different companies. I shared my list of my tops affiliate networks to join and what you need to know about them!
To learn more about affiliate marketing, how to use it, and make money from it I recommend the Making Sense of Cents Affiliate Marketing Course.
Blogging Tips for Beginners: Make Money Blogging Sponsored Content
Ok, another way to make money blogging is with sponsored content. This is where you work either directly with a brand or with a brand via a network on promoting their product. Generally, they have a new product or campaign they want to drive traffic to, so they turn to bloggers in specific niches.
The best suggestion I have here is to make your sponsored posts NOT look like a sponsored post. Make sure you disclose them per the FTC rules BUT make it feel like one of your normal posts. An example of that is my Perfect DIY Gift for Grandma From Operation Rocker and Cracker Barrel and this post Travel This Summer to Support the Military.
To learn a bit more about companies to work with and my tips check out How to Get Sponsored Content on Your Blog.
There is a whole art to pitching companies, writing a post, what you should charge, and more. To master this side of blogging I highly recommend Jenny Melrose's Working with Brands Course. She not only teaches you how to pitch, but she also gives you sample pitch letters, she helps you figure out what to charge, shows you how to find brands contact info and find the right person to pitch, more!
Blogging 101: Blog Conferences
I have a love-hate relationship with blog conferences. There are hundreds of them each year for every niche imaginable, and they all have their benefits.
Now I love blog conferences because they are an AMAZING way to connect with PR reps and forge great relationships. You can also meet some other great bloggers in some unexpected ways like the in a taxi cab! (real life story! My friendship with Liz from Western New Yorker was started in a Taxi cab from one event to another, and we have been friends ever since!)
I hate blog conferences because they are so huge, they are generally held in big cities (like New York City) which I hate. There are SOOOOO many people which is way out of my comfort zone, and in general, it makes me step way out of my box. Which I know is a good thing in life, but it makes me very uncomfortable!
With all that said, I think it should be on your to-do list to attend a blog conference. Start by finding one that is close enough you can dive too and make sure to review my Tips for the BlogHer Conference Newbie! It works for ANY blog conference, but It was written based on my experience at Blog Her.
That being said also make sure you know What to Pack for BlogHer and Other Blog Conferences!
What conferences do I recommend? I have been to two different ones (several times each) and have a 3rd on my list for this year!
Blog Her – They have the general conference then they also have a few Niche one each year as well.
Blogger Bash – Held in NYC each year and is a bit harder to get into.
TBEX – This is a travel blogger conference. They have one in the US each year and one or two overseas each year as well.
Blogging 101: The Blogger Gift Guide
One more thing, if you are looking to buy gifts for other bloggers, or need a gift guide to pass on to loved ones in your life check out our 12 Gifts for Bloggers, They Will Love
If you have any questions, please leave a question in the comments below I'd be happy to help and add to the blogging 101: blogging tips for beginners post!