better blogging + make money blogging

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Sometimes I think I must be crazy for having stuck with blogging for so long, for little or no pay. But I love it! And in 2014 (5 years after I started blogging) I began to generate steady streams of revenue, thanks to taking this course (affiliate link). Here are some things I’ve learned, plus some resources that have been very helpful to me. 

 

blogging

If you’re new to blogging, or thinking of starting a blog, here are some tips: 

13 things I wish I’d known sooner
learn from my mistakes–please!

10 things I’ve learned in 5 years of blogging
this list should be “100 things I’ve learned…”–here’s the abridged version

Why I blog, part 1
I love blogging–here’s why

Why I blog, part 2–your thoughts + bloggers who inspire me
here are some bloggers who totally inspire me

Why I blog, part 3–insights & tips
it’s about making the connection with your readers

Why blogging is bad for business, but good for people
when I wrote this post, I was convinced you couldn’t make money blogging–my tune has since changed

my blogroll
some blogs I think are fab

 

recommended blogging resources

Some resources to help you get started. 

I am an affiliate for most of these products/services, which means if you click to a third-party website and make a purchase, I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you. By buying from these links you help to support the work I do with bring joy–thank you!

 

Bluehost

If you’re blogging for profit, you’ll need to get a self-hosted site.

I host bring joy through Bluehost and have been very happy with their service. It’s important to host your site with an extremely reliable server. Starting at $3.95 a month you get unlimited space, unlimited domains, and 24/7 customer service. Definitely the best bang for your buck.

 

WordPress

I recommended setting up your blog with a self-hosted WP site. (See Studio Press templates below).

I started blogging with blogspot (Blogger), but a few years ago made the switch to WP and was so glad that I did. If you host through Bluehost, they can help you out with setting up a WP site.

 

Studio Press

A beautiful and clean customizable design is within your reach without breaking the bank. Studio Press offers WordPress themes that are powered by a Genesis framework which means you get solid security, fast performance optimized for SEO, beautiful mobile compatible design, and an ultra-flexible functional code.

You can buy a theme and customize it yourself (pick your own colors & final layout), or you can do what I did, which was hire a designer to help add bells & whistles to a WordPress theme. If you’re looking to keep costs low, a Studio Theme can give you a basic, clean design for a very reasonable price.

 

Photography e-course through Minimalist Baker

I bought Dana Shultz’s (of Minimalist Baker) e-course and it has helped me improve my photography 100%. I use a Nikon DSLR and typically shoot with a fixed portrait lens. I also use Photoshop (as part of Adobe CS6) to edit my photos.

I still have so much to learn in terms of photography, but for the money, Dana’s course (which, once you buy, you can access for life) is a steal and I know can help you learn the tips and tricks needed to make your food photos really stand out. Her course goes over photography and editing (Photoshop) basics, as well as hints on a few advanced photo editing techniques.

 

Rock Your Blog ecourse

This 21 lesson ecourse by business and marketing pro, Bonnie Andrews, has been a complete game changer for me. I recommend this course to anyone who wants to start a blog and make money from it. Or, if you already have a blog and want to monetize your blog, Bonnie’s your girl.

 

How to monetize your food blog

by Kiersten of Oh My Veggies

Kiersten is a little bit of an instant superstar in the food blogging world (& she’s vegetarian!). She got laid off from her job & decided to try & make money from blogging.

Within a very short time (just a matter of 2 years) she has created a full-time income (& a very nice one at that!) from blogging. Her book outlines how she did it & gives step by step tips on how to make money with ads (her primary source of income). She also gives insights into working with businesses, sponsored posts, freelancing & ebooks.

If you’re a food blogger, I think it’s worth $15 to get into the head of someone who has clearly found financial success by turning her blog into a business.

Reading her book is kind of like having lunch with a really successful blogger–she dishes on exactly how she’s made it (she doesn’t waste time on social media & she focuses on making her products excellent). You can check out her book, & she also has a Media kit template for $5.

 

Blog Buddy

I have only recently begun to organize all my blog stuff in one central location using the Blog Buddy. Recommended to me by another blogger, I bought the Blog Buddy organizer to keep track of everything in one place (editorial calendar, expenses/revenue, page stats, guest posting, advertiser/affiliate info, etc.).

Finally I am no longer writing to dos on loose leaf sheets of paper! I like using a paper format organizing system because it’s easier and faster for me to recall information and take notes. I love the durable cover (laminate, so spills will wipe off easily) and the fact that it’s spiral bound (which makes it easier to just look at one page).

 

Blog Design

If you’re looking for a designer, I highly recommend Stephanie Lonas–she did my latest blog design & I love it. Clean, crisp design at an affordable price. Also, super sweet & professional to work with.