Browsing Category:

Blogging

    Start a Blog {On a Small Budget} – Informational Resources

    Posted in Blogging by
    Start a Blog {On a Small Budget} - Informational Resources

    In Start a Blog {On a Small Budget} I shared the very basic tools you’d need to get your blog up and running.

    *Some links are affiliate links. For full disclosure, see here.*

    But, let’s be honest: there’s a lot more to blogging than purchasing a domain name. So, in order for your baby blog to succeed, I wanted to share some small budget resources that have helped me tremendously. Keep in mind when buying courses and ebooks that the price tag does not always reflect the value. And, just because the title is catchy does not mean the product delivers. That said, here’s what I’ve found that actually worked (for me).

    Start a Blog {On a Small Budget} - Informational Resources

    Abby has an amazing course, Building a Framework that walks you step-by-step through getting your blog set up. Seriously, it’s amazing. And while the entire course has a hefty price tag at $97, you can also get just the ebook for $27. But before you get into all that, if you want to see if her stuff is really worth the money (and it is!) you can get the 10 Day Blogging Quickstart guide free.

    One book that’s great for AFTER your blog is set up is Ruth Soukup’s book, How to Blog for Profit (Without Selling Your Soul). Once you get set up, you’ll want this book to help walk you through the steps to monetizing. Hint: it’s not going to happen overnight. She tells you how to get your blog ready for all those readers you’ll get. And content is a HUGE part of that.

    My hands-down favorite book for content creation was the One Hour Content Plan. Meera Kothand helps you to figure out specifically who you’re talking to, what you want to say, and how to plan a year’s worth of content ideas in a short amount of time. This book was, truly, a game changer for me.

    You’ll want a good Blog Planner. Sarah Titus has one that might seem steep at $47, BUT it isn’t dated. You can print what you need and use it every year! (It’s awesome, by the way).

    The 30 Day Blog Transformation Challenge is super helpful. Better than that, it’s FREE.

    Suzi has a lot of resources on her blog. One book that walks you through starting a blog step-by-step is Blog By Number. She also has a lot of free resources if you sign up for her email, and she’s constantly emailing good information about blogging.

    Simple Pin Media has an AWESOME {FREE!!} Pinterest Planner. Yes, it’s really free. Totally helps to amp up your Pinterest game, too.

    Start a Blog {On a Small Budget} - Informational Resources

    October 16, 2017

    Start a Blog {On a Small Budget}

    Posted in Blogging by
    Start a Blog {On a Small Budget}

    This post contains affiliate links. For full disclosures, see here.

    Have you considered starting your own blog?

    People start blogs for various reasons. To keep in touch with family, to share their experience with others, as a hobby, etc. For me, blogging was a journey I began more as a ministry (you can read about how to blog as a ministry here). And, as a blogger, I’ve realized one very important lesson:

    Blogging ain’t cheap.

    Start a Blog {On a Small Budget}

    However, after spending a lot {ahem, a LOT} of money, I’ve found some cheaper, or even better – free – resources that either work just as well or can get you by until you’re actually making money. And let me just add that, while some of these are affiliate links, some are not. This post isn’t all about money, rather giving you the most cost-effective tools I’ve found. I also give you links to items I don’t necessarily use so that you can check it out for yourself.

    If you already have a blog up and running, some of this you won’t need. However, if you haven’t even started yet, I’ll begin with the very basics.

    First things first, you have to have hosting. So, basically, you pay someone for your little slice of the internet. Hardly seems fair, I know. But I personally use Bluehost, their plans are affordable, and you can get your domain name through them also (your domain name is the actual name of your website). If you’ve read much on blogging, you’ll see that a lot of people were unhappy with them and switched. I also know many people had to switch when they started getting too many pageviews. But I’ve not had an issue with them, and so far their customer service has been fantastic.

    Bluehost also makes it super easy to get an email address (yourname@yoursite.com) through them, and you can have those emails forwarded to another account. You might not think it matters now, but you’ll want this in the future. Many affiliates and other programs want this email address to verify that you actually own the site and can access it, etc.


    The next thing you have to do is get set up through WordPress. Now, see, here’s the thing: I’m not all technical with what WordPress is or why you really need it. But here’s what I do know: you have to have it. Set up on WordPress.org (free to sign up) because if you plan to make any money in the future, most affiliates and additional features you need do not work with the wordpress.com platform. This is your dashboard, where you’ll write posts, edit, all that fun stuff.

    The next thing you’ll want to do is invest (yeah, money, ugh) into the Genesis Framework. What this does is provide a “frame” for your child theme to be built up from. Genesis (the parent theme) is the foundation, and the child theme (whatever you choose) is the walls.

    After installing your Genesis framework, you’ll need a child theme. And, let me say, I cannot stress enough how important the theme is. The theme is what gives your site its appearance. The number of menus, widgets, pages… I had no idea how important those things were when I started, so I spent a lot of money on a theme that I ended up hating and having to write a TON of custom code for (thank you, Google). I ended up finding a much cheaper theme (because I’m on a real tight budget!) and have one now that cost about $15. So, my advice, look around. Check out other blogs to see what you like and don’t like about their set-up. The theme I have at the time of writing this post came from Etsy. SUPER easy. Just make sure whatever theme you use works on the Genesis Framework.

    After setting up your theme, you’ll need a couple plugins. Now, so many people have so many different opinions on what you need to use. But before you pay for a plugin, try the free version first. Many times you can get what you need from the free version and, obviously, save money.

    You’ll need to set up with an email provider. This has been a journey for me. I started with MailChimp because it was free up to 2,000 subscribers. But… I didn’t like it. So after reading pretty much every blogger out there, I switched to Convertkit. And while I LOVED the ease of use, it just wasn’t cost effective for me to spend $29/month when I was making $0 (actually, blogging costs me money every month at this point). So I switched to MailerLite and have been happy thus far. It’s free up to 1,000 subscribers, and I hope by the time I get to that point I can afford the higher plans 🙂

    MailerLite Email Marketing for Small Business
    For social media, that’s a whole book. But, just know you can’t be everywhere at once, and you’ll burn out before you master them all at once. So while it’s not a bad idea to sign up for accounts with the platforms you think you’ll use, don’t stress too much on spending a lot of time and money just yet. I’d say for most the biggest things would be a Facebook page and a business Pinterest account (you’ll want business to track stats, etc).

    For Pinterest, I do like to use schedulers. BoardBooster and Tailwind are the two most commonly used, and the ones I use. Boardbooster has affordable plans, as does Tailwind. However, know that you can pin manually for free. It just takes a lot of time.

    Unless you take your own photos (ie food blogger, DIY/crafts, etc) you’ll want high-quality images to use for social media (and because people like pretty pictures!). You have to be really careful about this. So, in other words, don’t just Google “picture of _______” and use what comes up. Most images are copyright protected. And you can get sued. Which would be bad when you’re not making any money. Or in any situation. But if you go to a site that says their images are free, make sure they’re attribution free (you don’t have to give credit), royalty free (pay the photographer) and all that jazz. I like to use Pexels, PicJumbo, and Pixabay.

    In order to add words to those pretty pictures, you’ll need photo editing software. A lot of bloggers use Photoshop, but that comes with a price tag (we’re on a budget here, remember?). So I use Canva. The free version does pretty much all you need it to do. The paid (or business) plan is $12.95/month. What I like about the paid version is you can save your colors, fonts, logos, etc. and they’re ready to use saving a lot of time. You can also create custom templates so that you’re not starting your images from scratch every time.

    I use Grammarly to help with, well, grammar. It’s an extension on my Mac, and it’s free. While I don’t agree with every suggestion, I like it overall for catching typos and whatnot (because I never misspell anything…).

    So, with all this, how much does it cost to start a blog?

    Can you really start a blog on a small budget? (Here it is for you skip-to-the-bottom-folks):

    Hosting (Bluehost): $3.95/month x 12 (pay 12 months up front) = $47.40

    WordPress.org = FREE

    Genesis Framework = about $50

    Child Theme = varies, but $15 (hey, this is budgeting!)

    Plugins = FREE

    Email Provider (MailerLite) = FREE (for right now!)

    Pinterest scheduling (BoardBooster) = FREE trial (same with Tailwind)

    Stock photos = FREE (BUT DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!)

    Canva = FREE

    Grammarly = FREE

    TOTAL FOR BASIC SET-UP: about $115

    Now I intended to put informative resources in here as well (so you don’t have to scour Pinterest for hours, like I did…) but this post turned out pretty long. So I’ll do another post showing you that you can educate yourself on these tools and more for cheap {or free}!

    Keep in mind, this is a basic set up to start a blog on a small budget. However, you can monetize with whatcha got, and eventually move up later (what I’ve learned the hard way!).

    Start a Blog {On a Small Budget}

    October 16, 2017

    How Can We Use Blogging to Minister?

    Posted in Blogging by
    How Can We Use Blogging to Minister?

    When I first felt God calling me toward starting a blog, I thought, “God, I’m no good at recipes. Or DIY home crafts. Or anything Pinterest-y.” And how can I use blogging to minister?

    But God showed me I could use blogging as a ministry.

    At first, I wasn’t really sure why. Or how, to be quite honest. But the more I researched this whole “blogging” thing, I realized that it’s the perfect opportunity to not only witness to those who haven’t accepted Jesus into their hearts, but it’s also a way to minister to like-minded believers. Through sharing testimonies, praying for one another, and offering sound advice I realized blogging is a great way to share Jesus.

    How Can We Use Blogging to Minister?

    How can we use blogging to minister?

    1. “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15) – What better opportunity do we have than to preach the gospel now? Missionaries are able to travel a lot easier than back in Bible times. And with the internet, we can preach to anyone with an internet connection. Does this mean I think everyone can hear the gospel through a blog? No. But, if done right, someone could be reached by our positive words. By hearing about how much God loves, and how He loves through our past and our pain.
    2. By sharing our testimony, we are able to help others. And while my closest friends and family members know what God has brought me through, others may not. Somewhere, a woman may be walking where I was a year ago, or more. If we can reach one person by saying, “Hey, I’ve been there, and this is what God did for me” then that gives her hope. It lets her know that while it might not turn out like she wants it, God still loves her. And to know you are loved goes a long way.
    3. We are able to connect and pray for one another like never before. With blogging comes the opportunity for so many positive outlets in social media. You can start a Facebook group for Christian women and pray for one another. Bible studies, sharing of resources, and sharing of testimonies are just a few things you can do to connect online. Not everything related to social media has to be bad. I think we, as Christians, need to work harder to shine a light. And what better way than to bombard Facebook with positive things rather than the hate that’s on there now?
    4. We offer advice to those in need. Once you build a readership, they grow to trust you. So when you know what your audience struggles with, you’re able to offer them sound, Biblical advice and wisdom. And to do this you don’t necessarily need a “Christian” blog. Whatever topic you choose, you apply Jesus anywhere.

    More Christians should take advantage of this opportunity.

    Not everyone responds well to me. And, that’s okay. Maybe they respond to you.

    If you feel the call to blog, at all, then there’s probably a reason. In the short time I’ve been doing this, I learned so much. I read my Bible more to study for post ideas. I connect with like-minded believers on a daily basis. If you think it’s hard, you’re right. But it’s doable. Pray about it!

    Interested to know what I recommend to start your own blog? Check that out in this post. For Christian post ideas, check out this list of 100+ Post Ideas for Christian Bloggers.

    And, of course, the best thing to do is PRAY about it 🙂

    How Can We Use Blogging to Minister?

    August 28, 2017

    100+ Blog Post Ideas for the Christian Blogger

    Posted in Blogging by
    100+ Blog Post Ideas for the Christian Blogger

    We all get stumped.

    100+ Blog Post Ideas for the Christian Blogger

    Sitting, thinking, wondering about what to post. Does it always have to be about the Bible? How much should we actually talk about Jesus? Do we need to steer clear of controversy?

     

    No matter your answers to those questions, I hope you can find a blog post topic (or several!) that helps you! Keep in mind these aren’t necessarily post titles. You’ll want to make those more catchy and personal. Just ideas to help get those creative juices flowing. Also, this is certainly not all inclusive. Third, this list is in no particular order.

     

    • Why I Blog
    • My Testimony
    • Sharing Your Testimony
    • Favorite Scriptures
    • Bible Study Hacks
    • ___ Items to Improve Bible Study
    • Favorite Bible Resources
    • My Bible Preference
    • Study Guides I Recommend
    • Being Christian in a Coexist World
    • How to Share Jesus Without Hate
    • Loving Among Hate
    • Sharing Jesus Without Drama
    • Why Should I Go to Church?
    • Mini-Bible Studies for Kids
    • Women’s Ministry Hacks
    • Women’s Ministry Ideas
    • Ideas for New Moms
    • Ideas to Welcome New Neighbor
    • Sharing Your Faith on Social Media
    • Parenting in Today’s World
    • ___ Kid’s Bible Lessons
    • Potluck Ideas
    • Potluck on a Budget
    • Meals to Help Others in Need
    • Tips for Being a Good Steward
    • Work, or Stay Home?
    • Modern Proverbs 31 Woman
    • Comparing to the Proverbs 31 Woman
    • What is Praise?
    • What is Worship?
    • Do I Only Worship in Church?
    • ___ Worship Songs
    • ___ Workout Songs
    • DIY Bible Cover
    • Printable Prayers
    • How to Bible Journal
    • Bible Study Round-Up
    • Favorite Free Printables
    • Why Should Christians Blog?
    • Who Should Start a Christian Blog?
    • What do Christians Blog About?
    • When Do I Have Time to Blog?
    • Where Can I Share the Gospel?
    • Who Can Make Money From Home?
    • What Can I Do to Make Extra Money?
    • When Can I Make Extra Cash?
    • Where Do Tithes Come From?
    • What Are Tithes?
    • What is an Offering?
    • Do I Have to Pay Tithes?
    • DIY Gift Baskets for ___
    • Tips for discontentment
    • How to Stay Content
    • How to Avoid Being Materialistic
    • Budgeting Tips
    • Homemaking Tips
    • Service in the Church
    • Christmas on a Budget
    • Teaching Kids What Christmas is
    • Teaching Kids What Easter is
    • Why I Chose to ___
    • Why I Refuse to ___
    • Should I Homeschool?
    • Should I do Public School?
    • Tips to the Titus 2 Woman
    • What is Modesty?
    • What Do I Have to Keep Covered?
    • ___ Scriptures for ___
    • What is a Spiritual Battle?
    • Who is Our Enemy?
    • Marriage Tips
    • Marriage Prayers
    • Marriage Scriptures
    • Marriage Bible Studies
    • Parenting Prayers
    • Parenting Scriptures
    • ___ Must Read Books
    • Parenting Resources
    • Marriage Resources
    • Essential Oils in the Bible
    • Essential Oil Recipes
    • Essential Oil Printables
    • Religion versus Relationship
    • Why You Should ___
    • Why You Should Never ___
    • Teaching Kids to Pray
    • Teaching Kids to Serve
    • ___ Activities for Kids
    • How to Plan Meals
    • How to Deep Clean for Guests
    • How to Make Guests Feel Welcome
    • Mary v Martha
    • Obedience v Sacrifice
    • What is Fasting?
    • Should I Fast?
    • How Often Should I Attend Church?
    • Kid Friendly Shoes
    • Why I No Longer ___
    • Talking to Kids About ___

    What ideas do you have to share with others?

    August 7, 2017

    What {I Suggest} You Need to Start Your Own Blog

    Posted in Blogging by
    What {I Suggest} You Need to Start Your Own Blog

    This is an ever changing list. The reason being when I find something I love and think you will, too, I want to tell you about it. Or, if I switch from one company to another, I want you to know why. Another reason might be because I found a more budget friendly option!

    *This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click on a link and make a purchase, I make a commission. It does not cost you anything extra, and I only recommend what I think you’ll love!*

    What {I Suggest} You Need to Start Your Own Blog

    Here’s the thing: I’m one of those people who likes to get allllll the information they can on a subject before they ever act on it. Blogging was no different. But I learned that everyone has advice, and it’s not all good.

    Now, please understand I’m not telling you I have this wildly successful blog with millions of page views. I’m NOT saying I make a lot of money (I actually go red every month). However, I will share with you what I’ve learned that was actually helpful. And things I think you can use.

    You find a million posts about starting a blog free, or cheap. And, that’s great. But. If you want a profitable blog, you’d better put a little cash flow into it. And into learning. Trust me. Having the right foundation saves you a lot of money in the long run.

    All that in mind, these are the products or classes I recommend. Some are free, some will cost a little and some cost a lot. I personally use EVERYTHING on this list (as of the time I write this) and I’m only going to recommend what I’ve tried and what worked for me, not something to make a quick buck. So, if I recommend it, I think it’s worth it.

    This is not an all-inclusive list. Plenty of other choices are out there! These are all just what I think you should use 😉

    Bluehost

    Hosting is the first thing you need to look into. With Bluehost, you can select your domain name (the name of your website) and get the ball rolling. Some people have had issues with them, but I’ve not had a problem and their customer service has always been super helpful.

    After hosting, you’ll want to get yourself a theme. I recommend the Genesis parent theme and then you choose a child theme, that’s what gives your site the look (menus, headers, etc). I recommend going through StudioPress for this (NOT MOJO Marketplace with Bluehost). StudioPress has a lot of themes and they are super easy to set up.

    Blog by Number

    You know the color by number pages? The ones where the empty spaces have a number, and the number corresponds with a color? This is the blogging equivalent. Suzi at Start a Mom Blog has so many resources, free and paid, and I HIGHLY recommend her stuff. She’s amazing.

    Building A Framework

    If you have yet to start your blog, or you’re just beginning, this is an AWESOME resource to help with all the technical stuff. She walks you through setting up your Bluehost account, installing WordPress (you want wordpress.org, not wordpress.com, so that you’re self-hosted and have freedom with your site).

    Elite Blog Academy

    Here’s how much I love EBA: I’m not even an affiliate and I still recommend it! It’s only open a couple times a year. And YES, this is a huge investment. BUT, it is well worth it. Ruth walks you through the steps to making your blog successful and profitable. Tip: it does not go over the basics of beginning a blog, so you’ll want to have one set up (or an idea) before you begin this to make it easier.

    And, I started a blog (with a completely different name and everything) and this course made me rethink all that. My ideas weren’t focused enough and I feel like that’s why I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted.

     

    A Blog Planner

    Sarah Titus just made a new blog planner, and it’s perfect for newbies! She has pages that tell you exactly what stats you should be tracking. There’s expenses, income, tax info, all sorts of useful pages. Print what you need, and the monthly calendars are not year specific, so buy once and you’re good to go!

    Canva

    They have free software to edit images, like adding text or overlays. You can also create images and save them as PDF for printables and whatnot. There’s a paid version that offers a few more things, but just starting out I like FREE and it works well.

    Ivory Mix

    I stumbled across this site looking for {affordable} stock photos. I’m paranoid about being sued over a “free” image, so I went looking for some that were legit. Some are rather pricey. And I’m no photographer, nor do I have a decent camera. But don’t worry, Kayla’s got you. She has packages you can buy or the membership (hint, hint) where you have access to her full library. Or, just sign up for the email and get free photos each month! She also has a fantastic branding course that I took and LOVED.

    ConvertKit

    You need email. Trust me. I started with MailChimp (because it was free) but decided to switch to ConvertKit for the features they had. There’s no free plan, but it’s affordable and will pay out in the end.

    BoardBooster

    You need BoardBooster. One of the best traffic sources is Pinterest. Pinterest likes for you to pin consistently. So, instead of manually pinning 100 pins per day, you can use Boardbooster. You set up secret boards, pin to those, then let BB do the work! Plans start at just $5 a month!

    What {I Suggest} You Need to Start Your Own Blog
    What {I Suggest} You Need to Start Your Own Blog
    9 Blog Helpers You Need to Start a Blog
    June 7, 2017