Hey friends! So this post is for those of you who have taken the plunge into Blogger World after reading the tutorial I wrote on how to start a blog last week. Today, I’m sharing my list of Must-Have resources for bloggers. Whether you’re a newbie blogger, or you’ve been blogging for awhile and are just ready to take your blog to the next level, these 4 resources are true game-changers.
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
When I made the decision to dedicate myself to becoming a full-time blogger at the beginning of this year, I knew that it would be vital to invest in some key training resources in order to become successful in my new venture. Deciding which training resources are worth the time and investment is not any easy thing. Looking back now, I definitely have a few regrets about some of the decisions I made. But there are 4 training resources that I consider to be key to my blogging success during this first year of full-time blogging.
I’m excited to share a bit about these 4 training resources with you today my blogging friends. I get how
totally painful difficult it can be to part with your money, especially if you haven’t actually made any money from your blog yet. But I assure you, that investing in any (or all!) of these 4 must-have resources for bloggers will be the BEST money you will EVER spend for your blog.
4 MUST-HAVE RESOURCES FOR BLOGGERS
Abby Lawson’s “Building a Framework” book/course was the first blogging resource that I ever invested in (way back in April of 2015, while I was blogging on the side and still working as a professional organizer). The title of her ebook could not be more fitting, since this resource is considered the newbie “Blogger’s Bible” within the blogging community.
In Framework, Abby shares her 2-year journey from hobby blogger to pro blogger (her blog — Just a Girl and Her Blog — now regularly generates a six-figure income). She walks you through all of the steps to start a blog, then shows you everything that you need to do to maintain your blog (all that techy stuff!) and to grow your readership.
As you can see below, once I started to implement the strategies outlined in Framework in the early days of my blog, I experienced significant growth in my blog traffic (a 43% increase in readers, and a 28% increase in page views in just 2 months).
(my Newbie Blogger success back in 2015)
Building A Framework was truly a game-changer for me as a new blogger. It taught me the importance of:
- creating quality content that serves my audience
- promoting my content
- growing an email subscriber list
- automating my workflow
- creating my own products (O.K., I’m still working on this one, but plans are in the works!)
Building a Framework should serve as the foundation of your personal blogging resource library. The great news is that there’s a Framework product for every budget. The Starter Package includes the ebook, blog binder & course outline. There are also two higher-priced packages that include training videos, printables, expert interview videos, and access to an exclusive Facebook community. The Master Package definitely offers the best value (it’s what I chose to purchase).
Access to the Framework Facebook group has been worth the cost of the package alone. Abby emphasizes the importance of blogger community and developing your “tribe”. Being a part of the Framework Facebook group has given me the opportunity to form great relationships and to collaborate with many other bloggers in my niche.
As any blogger will tell you, you’re likely to accumulate a lot of gray hairs
and spend many hours cursing at your computer screen as you struggle to learn the technical side of blogging. Feeling overwhelmed and confused is the status quo for most newbie bloggers.
Even though I consider myself fairly tech savvy, I can recall countless moments of frustration as I struggled to make my blog design look or function a certain way. I can also recall countless moments of dread when I thought to myself, “Oh NO. I JUST BROKE MY BLOG.” In fact, this constant anxiety about the tech aspects of blogging almost led me to to throw in the proverbial towel on more than one occasion this past year.
Of course, you can always choose to outsource the design and maintenance of your blog, but that can get quite expensive. Plus,
I’m a control freak I like the idea of having total control of my blog. After all, it’s my Baby, you know?
Enter What the Tech?: A Guide to Ease Your Technical Blogging Frustrations. Lesley Clavijo is a long-time blogger at Chaotically Creative and a (self-taught) blog tech guru who understands Newbie Blogger Tech Anxiety because she’s lived through it herself. She created What the Tech? to provide bloggers with step by step instructions to navigate common technical aspects of blogging.
She launched What the Tech? in February of this year (2016), and I was first in line to purchase it. I was tired of hiring help to fix problems on my blog and make it work the way I wanted it to work. I was also tired of shelling out $ for technical support. In 2015, website tech support fees comprised 25% of my business expenses. Yikes!
So how much have I had to spend in technical support fees this year (the year I actually became a full-time blogger)? Zilch. Zero. Nada. What the Tech? has empowered me so much as a blogger. This training resource has taught me how to:
- dramatically increase my site speed
- trouble-shoot technical issues (ever experience the “White Screen of Death?” You’ll learn how to fix it!)
- change the font and colors on my blog
- properly back up my blog
- choose plug ins intelligently
and so much more. What the Tech? is yet another essential tool for any newbie blogger’s tool box. Similar to Framework, What the Tech? consists of a Basic, Advanced, and Master package . The Basic package consists of the eBook and a Blog Tech Glossary. If you purchase the Advanced package, you’ll also get the Blog Design Essentials Workbook, and several blogging tutorial videos.
If you purchase the Master package like I did, you’ll gain access to additional videos, and an exclusive Facebook community. The What the Tech? Facebook community is my “go to” place to get answers to blog tech questions and assistance with trouble shooting. Lesley also hosts occasional live training sessions on technical topics.
Since I read Building a Framework early on in my blogging adventure, I put some basic systems in place early on to begin growing a list of email subscribers. As you can see, my email subscriber list grew steadily, but
painfully slow those first few years. When I learned that one of the most well-known bloggers in my niche (Laura Smith of I Heart Planners) was going to launch a new ecourse on email marketing/list-building earlier this year, I decided to turn my attention towards list-building and enrolled in her course.
I’m so glad I did.
Enrolling in List-Building Academy was yet another one of those Game-Changer moments for me as a blogger. With the knowledge I gained through this course, I was able to take action that resulted in exponential growth of my email list over the past few months. As you can see from the graph below, It took me about 2 years to gain 500 email subscribers. Once I began to implement the techniques I learned via List-Building Academy, my list grew from approximately 600 subscribers to over 1,500 subscribers in a matter of 5 months. Ah-MAZING!
In this course, I learned how to create a subscriber opt-in incentive that was hugely valuable in the eyes of my ideal readers (my exclusive subscriber resource library). And it’s worked like a charm to attract a growing list of my target readers/audience.
In my pre-List-Building Academy days, I sent out newsletters on a haphazard basis. I’ve since learned the importance of consistency. Now, my subscribers hear from me once-a-week. I use my newsletters to provide value to my readers and to offer products/services that I believe will be useful to them.
What I love most about Laura’s course is that she provides so many concrete examples. She provides a list of her Top 10 most opened emails to help you to understand how to achieve a great email “open rate”. She also includes a bonus “How to Create Your Own Printables” workshop to help you create that irresistible opt-in incentive.
The List Building Academy Course consists of a set of video tutorials and companion printable worksheets. The content is easily digestible and walks you through EVERY LAST DETAIL of what you need to know to build your list. List Building Academy consists of:
- 7 learning modules
- the bonus How to Create Your Own Printables course
- an in-depth module of how to use ConvertKit (a popular email service provider for bloggers)
- access to an exclusive Facebook community consisting of Laura and fellow course members
List building is an essential skill set that you need to develop as a newbie blogger. Creating an email list is one of the keys to building a community around your blog, AND a prime vehicle for monetizing your blog (translation: making money).
And speaking of monetizing your blog…
Affiliate marketing is one of the main ways that you can make money via your blog. It’s basically the process of earning a commission by promoting other blogger’s (or company’s) products. By promoting products/services that you love, you earn a percentage of the profit for each sale that you make.
Prior to this year, I dabbled in affiliate marketing. When I morphed into a full-time blogger this year, I decided to focus on affiliate marketing as a primary mechanism for generating income through my blog. And who better to learn from than Tasha Agruso (the blogger behind Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body). In the past year, Tasha has mastered the art of affiliate marketing so well that she was able to quit her lawyer gig after her blog income started outperforming her lawyer income.
This year, Tasha launched her eCourse Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers, which was an outgrowth of her wildly popular ebook (of the same title) that she published in 2015. I initially purchased the ebook in late 2015, then upgraded to the Advanced course as soon as it became available.
To say that Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers has improved my affiliate marketing game would be a vast understatement. As you can see, from last year to this year, the percentage of my blog income via affiliate marketing has blown up. In terms of dollars, my affiliate income increased by almost 500% over the past year. Was it worth the investment? Um YEAH!
Here’s what’s included in the Advanced Course:
The private Mastermind group alone is worth the price of the course, in my opinion!
Here, you can take a peek at the course content:
If you want to make money blogging, building your email list and learning all that you can about affiliate marketing should be two of your top priorities as a newbie blogger. List Building Academy and Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers eCourses are the resources that I recommend to help you achieve these goals.
Have you invested in any of these blogger resources? Are there others that are on your Must-Have Resources for Bloggers” list?
Be sure to check out my comprehensive list of blogging tools and resources, as well as my Blogging Tools + Resources Pinterest Board!