5 Ways to Get Serious About Blogging

Did you know that 61% of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog (source)! That is over half of all online purchases that someone got a percentage of commission for recommending the sale. (Speaking of which, there are a few affiliate links in this post) Bloggers do not only earn money from affiliate sales; there is a huge range of options like ads, sponsored content, freelance, and more! Blogging has become an exciting and quickly growing industry that has proven to be profitable for small businesses, large corporations, writers, and individuals like you! It’s a unique business in that one need only to invest a very small amount to get started and then the sky is the limit for how profitable it can become. I know of some bloggers that make in the 6 figure range solely through their blogs! Thinking blogging is the career for you? That’s great! You will want to invest in a few small things from the very beginning to get started on the right track. Here you will find a list of those things you’ll need to get serious about blogging for profit as well as my recommendations for companies and products that were extremely helpful to me.

Blogging is an exciting business and you can be a part of the fun! This link provides all the information you need on what to invest in to start off right or get on the right track towards making an income and having fun doing it! Are you ready to get serious about blogging?

Domain Name

            You’ve decided to start a blog, thought of some great content to fill it with, and came up with a stellar name. You are off to a great start! Before you do anything, claim your domain name! This just means you own the address of your corner of the internet; the yourdomain.com part. Otherwise, your address would show up as yourdomain.blogspot.com or yourdomain.wordpress.com.

Not owning your domain name is somewhat risky and a little unprofessional. I recommend going through one of the largest companies to purchase yours: GoDaddy. While I do not support their choice in TV commercials, I have enjoyed their ease of use, customer service, and affordable prices. I think I got mine for three years for only $12.99.

Become Self-Hosted

            Most bloggers start off with one of the free blogging platforms: blogger or wordpress.com. These are perfectly adequate for the journal type blogs, but if you have any intention on growing your blog as a business, you’re going to want to become self-hosted. This means that you have the power over your own content. No one (like Google or Wordpress.com) can shut it down upon a whim. It also gives you more freedom to monetize in the future.

One of the most affordable hosting packages out there comes from Bluehost. They have been awesome to work with for my site and I’m sure you will enjoy their great customer service and easy to use set up. They offer hosting for $3.95 a month, but the peace of mind is priceless.

Education

            If you were to start any other career you would be shelling out tens of thousands of dollars toward a degree to succeed in that field. Thankfully, blogging doesn’t require any education costs to start, but if you are going to be serious about it, I would strongly recommend investing in some eBooks or courses. Sure, you could Google your questions a million times and get a million different answers from which you have to sort through to find what’s actually and effective strategy, but wouldn’t you rather be creating that amazing content you were so excited to publish before?

The best way to go, if you are going to get serious about blogging, is to learn from the best in the business: Abby Lawson and Ruth Soukup. Those two wonderful women get all the credit for the lessons I learned that have made my blog what it is today. I have read their material multiple times and continue to study it because it’s so helpful!

The first eBook you need to consider is Abby from Just a Girl and Her Blog’s Building a Framework: The Ultimate Blogging Handbook.

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It was the first bit of money I put toward my blogging education and I have not regretted it for a second (I could have spent the same amount of money and a meal, so it was small change). Lucky for you, the eBook has been revamped and updated to be even more amazing! What’s more, there are now bonus features you can get depending on which package you choose. Here’s a run-down of the packages:

Package #1 ($25**):

  • Newly Updated eBook
  • Newly Updated Blog Binder Printables

Package #2 ($50**):

  • Newly Updated eBook
  • Newly Updated Printables
  • Access to the Exclusive Building a Framework Facebook Group
  • 15+ Step-by-Step Video Guides; Topics Covered:
    • Basic Blog Accounting
    • Google Analytics
    • Google AdSense
    • RSS
    • My Posting Routine
    • Plugins
    • BoardBooster
    • Tailwind
    • Buffer
    • CoSchedule
    • Facebook
    • Pinterest
    • MailChimp
    • PicMonkey
    • Photoshop

Package #3 ($75**):

  • Newly Updated eBook
  • Newly Updated Printables
  • Access to the Exclusive Building a Framework Facebook Group
  • 15+ Step-by-Step Video Guides
  • 15 Video Interviews with Expert Bloggers; Topics Covered:
    • eBook Writing
    • Product Creation
    • The Tech Side of Blogging
    • Writing & Voice
    • Photography
    • Social Media
    • Pinterest
    • Instagram
    • Time Management
    • SEO
    • Ads
    • Working with Brands
    • Growing Your Following
    • Viral Content
    • Growing Your Email List

Whew, that is a lot of valuable resources! Here’s the thing, though, these are the introductory prices, and so if you are ready to get serious about blogging, you are going to want to act now because they will never be this low again.

Ok, on to my next favorite blogging professor: Ruth Soukup from Living Well Spending Less. Ruth has this really amazing book out called How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul which you can have for only $14.95! The information within it is invaluable and, again, completely changed the way I approached blogging (in the best way possible).

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If you like Ruth’s book and are really, really ready to get serious about blogging for a profit, then you will take the next big step towards learning everything there is to know about this amazing career and enroll in the Elite Blog Academy. I was blogging for several months when I hit this wall. I knew there was more I could be doing to increase my audience and, therefore, income, but I couldn’t quite nail down what that really was. I enrolled in E.B.A for this year’s course and am loving it! E.B.A has given me the specific direction I need to go to grow my blog.

Here is what the course includes:

12 Comprehensive Unit Videos 12 Detailed Unit Workbooks with Video Outlines 16 Powerful Handouts 30 Purposeful Assignments 4 Live Webinars Accountability & Community within a Private Forum

Let’s do a quick comparison of education costs: for a private college education the average cost was about $32,000. Public college, in state students shelled over almost $10,000 and out of state were $22,000 in debt. For these blogging resources, you’ll only spend $15-$75 for the books, eBooks, and Building a Framework resources and $399 for the Elite Blog Academy. Small change if you ask me.

Photography

With the explosion and success of Pinterest, the internet has become an incredibly visually driven place. Now-a-days readers will hop off of a site quicker than a jack-rabbit on hot July sand if it doesn’t have appealing visuals to compliment it’s quality content. Investing in photography is a must if you are going to get serious about blogging. Having pictures that are well focused, well-lit, and well-edited make the world of a difference for your reader’s experience. This is especially true for those of us in the DIY, crafting, and food niches.

I’m not saying you have to run out and get the latest and best photography equipment available just yet, but it may be wise to start using something other than your camera phone. A mid-priced point and shoot is a small investment that will vastly improve your photos. I used Canon PowerShot ELPH for a long time and was very pleased with it.

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I eventually upgraded to an SLR camera. The pictures from the point and shoot were fine, but the quality of a real SLR is on a whole other level. Now that I have one, I can pick out the bloggers who don’t use an SLR camera and I always think it’s such a shame; their visual presentation would be that much better for it.

My SLR is a Canon Rebel T5. I got it for $374.00; a chunk of change that was well worth spending for the future of my blog/business. Once I was able to learn how to use it, not only did my photography improve immensely, but my stats took a jump in the right direction. Better stats equals more income!

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What I like about the Canon Rebel T5 is that it's a great beginner SLR camera. As you scroll through the different shooting settings it actually tells you right on the screen what each one is best for. It's lightweight and takes crystal clear photos. I'm still using the kit lens, which is adequate for now. I hope to upgrade in the future.

Along with buying the photography equipment, it may be worth investing in training on how to best use it. I haven’t done a photography course, yet, but might in the near future.

Design

Going right along with our visualization theme of the last point, the next thing that is totally worth investing in for your blog is getting a really good website design. Design matters a ton! While people may not specifically notice your color choices or layout, they will be quicker to click away from a site that isn’t pleasing to look at overall or difficult to navigate. I tried to do the whole design of Charming Imperfections on my own and realized it was way too complex for me. If the word coding scares you, then doing it yourself will probably cause you more stress than it’s worth.

Something you can do that is one the more affordable side of things is to purchase your theme. The problem with free themes is they still will require tons of work to get them to look a certain way and they often don’t come with the same support and tutorials as a purchased theme would. After months of struggling with website design that never quite looked right, I decided to purchase a theme from Restored 316 Designs and I am loving it! I got the Bloom theme and only spent one afternoon setting it up and customizing it. That’s how easy to follow their tutorials are. Most of their themes are $50.

Another way to go would be to hire a professional designer. The advantage to this is that you then have a design that is uniquely your own. I haven’t taken this step yet, but if I’m going to get even more serious, it would be a huge consideration for Charming Imperfections.

Blogging is an exciting business and you can be a part of the fun! This link provides all the information you need on what to invest in to start off right or get on the right track towards making an income and having fun doing it! Are you ready to get serious about blogging?

So, are you ready to get serious about blogging for profit? It’s an amazing business not only for the income possibilities but for the community and fun that comes with it. There are a few small investments that should be made to help in your blog’s success: buying your domain name, becoming self-hosted, getting an education, improving your photography, and setting up a stellar design. Overall, you can expect your initial investment to be in the range of $200-$600 for the first year of serious blogging. One stat I stumbled upon was that one should expect to invest $30,000 the first year of starting a traditional business. Blogging may not be for everyone, but for those that fit, it’s a dream job filled with high rewards.

Blogging is an exciting business and you can be a part of the fun! This link provides all the information you need on what to invest in to start off right or get on the right track towards making an income and having fun doing it! Are you ready to get serious about blogging?

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