I know that many of you are like me, wanting to earn some side income online. This has been a goal of mine over the last couple of years and I have spent countless hours searching for the best resources. I now have certain “go to” sites if I need help with a project.
If you are just getting started, I want to help save you some time and frustration so I am handing my resource list over to you!
If you are completely new to blogging, don’t let the technical stuff intimidate you. If you use WordPress everything is pretty much self explanatory. If you want to know the basics of how to set up a blog I recommend Michelle’s post How to Start a Blog This post details the very basic information you need to get your blog up.
Once you have you have everything set up it’s time to start blogging. If you are trying to eventually earn money from your blog, then there is a lot you will have to learn. You will need to become at least a little familiar with SEO, monetization methods, page rank, benefits of guest posting, and a lot more!! Luckily there are several sites in the blogosphere dedicated to helping you with this.
Here are my favorites:
These sites are filled with comprehensive guides and will have the answers to all of your blogging questions.
Other Blogging Resources:
Getting Traffic: One of the hardest, yet most important aspects of blogging is getting traffic. You can get a free “traffic tool kit” from one of the top bloggers in the industry, Corbet Barr, at his blog Think Traffic. Enter your email address in the box in the top right hand corner and the tool kit, complete with videos and workbooks will be delivered to you via email.
Headline Help: Want a cheat sheet for writing blog posts that go viral? Hop on over to Boost Blog Traffic and enter your email address in the big box at the top. A link to Jon Morrow’s 52 Headline Hacks will be delivered to you instanlty via email. This guide is amazing. I especially loved the ideas in the first chapter!
Themes: Picking a theme for your blog is extremely important but doesn’t have to be super expensive. If you can’t find a free theme that you like I suggest that you check out the child themes from Studio Press. I use Studio Press themes for all of my websites. They all run off of Genesis framework and are very easy to customize.
Rather Read a Book? Do you want top notch blogging tips in the palm of your hands? If so, check out ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett. This book is jam packed with information on what it takes to become a successful blogger and gives insight on how long it took Darren and Chris to turn blogging into a full time job. I bet it was longer than you think……
A couple months ago I was introduced to Make a Living Writing and it has completely broadened my outlook on freelance writing. The blog owner, Carol, is a successful freelance writer and shares everything she has learned climbing the ladder to writing success. She also hosts the writers den. It costs $25 a month to join but gives you access to great resources such as the junk free job board, boot camps, guides, and a forum. Well worth the money if you are serious about pursuing a writing career.
Blogs on Freelance Writing:
- Freelance Switch
- Be a Freelance Blogger
- Start Freelancing Now
- Write Your Revolution
- The Renegade Writer
- Leaving Work Behind
Mentoring: Do you need some one on one time with a professional writer to boost your writing skills? Carol from Make a Living Writing, Sophie from Be a Freelance Blogger, and Linda from The Renegade Writer all offer mentoring services. Pick your favorite writer and sign up for some one on on help.
- Pro Blogger Job Board
- Freelance Switch Job Board
- Freelance Writing Job Board (linked to many other job boards)
- Freelance Writing – Writer’s Guidelines (list of online and print publications that pay, along with the guidelines to get your work published)
- Craigslist (Check out the Writing Gigs Section)
Content mills are the bottom of the barrel when it comes to pay for freelance writing efforts. Some people do like the ease of being able to grab a job right off the dashboard so I though I would list a few of these as well. Keep in mind that you can probably make more money going a different route.
Your Writers Website: One aspect all the professional writers agree on is that you need a writer’s website if you are serious about pursuing a writing career. This way when you are contacting potential clients you can send them to one place so that they can get the feel for what you are all about.
For my writer’s wesbite I used a wordpress, self hosted website and a Studio Press theme. I buy my domain and hosting through Go Daddy and with coupon codes you can get this for around $30 a year. If you aren’t wanting to shell out the money for hosting there are some free alternatives to setting up your writer’s website.
- Contently (Free Portfolio)
- Writing.Com (Free Portfolio)
- WordPress.com (Not to be confused with wordpress.org which isn’t free. With wordpress.com you can build your own website on their hosting and buy a domain name for around $10-$20 a year.)
Helpful Books: If you are interested in getting published in print media rather than online media, check out 2013 Writer’s Market. This book gives you contact information and submission guidelines for tons of print publications.
In my opinion writing query letters is one of the toughest parts of freelance writing. If you need help with that check out The Renegade Writer’s Query Letters That Rock: The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Selling More Work Faster .
This is what has been striking my interest lately. Suprisingly enough the guide that really clicked with me wasn’t from one of the huge sites. It came from Sunil at Extra Money Blog. This guide was the most straight forward and easy to understand out of everything I have read. (Which is a lot!!) To get the guide visit his webiste by clicking the link above and then enter your email address in the green box on the left. The guide will immediately be sent to you via email.
There is a lot to learn when it comes to niche sites and how to get them at the top of Google search results. The guide above is just a start. Here is a list of other websites I frequent:
- Smart Passive Income (I like the way he explains his backlinking strategy)
- Empire Flippers
- Niche Pursuits (Just recently started reading this blog, but it is jam packed with helpful information.)
- Make Money on the Internet
An important part of building niche sites is doing the proper keyword research. You can use Google’s keyword tool for free or buy a program like Long Tail Pro that has more features. I use Long Tail Pro. It takes awhile to learn proper SEO (if such a thing exists) and I am still working on it.
If you want to learn more about SEO (search enging optimization) check out SEO MOZ.
Courses: If you would feel more comfortable taking a course, check out The Niche Profit Course or reade the Empire Flipper’s book Building A Niche Site Empire which you can get for free by joining their email list.
I have also began to outsource some of the writing work that comes along with niche sites. Since the subject matter of these websites isn’t always the most interesting, it’s easier to pay someone else to do the leg work. I always heavily edit the articles that I get back from these sites but the research is done for me. So keep in mind that you get what you pay for.
If you build a blog or niche site and then decide you don’t have the time to dedicate to it, you could consider selling it on Flippa. You can find more information on this process at Empire Flippers.
There you have it! A list of all the websites I turn to when in need of some help. I hope if you are just getting started that they can help you too.
Is there anything I left out of the list? Anything else you want to know or think should be added?