Want to start a passion blog of your own?
I think everyone should have a blog. If you’re truly passionate about something, you should have a place on the internet where you can share your passion with the world.
Blogging can be a creative outlet, it can help you feel more connected to like-minded people, and you can even use it to build your own community. Blogging can also be your escape route. It can help reveal your true purpose and earn you an income. So that you can drop out of school, or quit your job, or move across the planet.
Do what you’ve always been dreaming of. That’s the goal, right?
So let’s start a blog. Together. On this page you’ll find a few things:
- List of the essential blogging tools and resources. You don’t need to spend money on fancy software and tools to start a blog. Most of these resources are free, but I do believe there are some things that you need to invest in if you’re looking to start a profitable blog. (Things like domain and hosting so that you own your content and can monetize your website!)
- Additional free and paid resources that I love and use constantly (but you can certainly blog without them!)
- A little pep talk in the end for those who fear they’re not good enough and could never build a profitable blog. I see you!
Your essential blogging tools and resources
This page contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase something via a link I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support! You can view my full disclosure policy here.
Domain: Namecheap // This is the address for your blog. My domain is vivireverie.com. I purchased my domain for around $10 from Namecheap. The domains come with a FREE WhoisGuard for 1 year! (WhoisGuard protects your domain privacy so that your private information isn’t available to spammers and other questionable characters on the internet.) They also offer very competitive pricing on Premium DNS and SSL certificates for any of your security needs.
Note! Some hosting companies offer free domains when you sign up for hosting. I chose to purchase my domain from a separate company that specializes on domains because it’s better for the security of your website and can be better for your site’s loading speed. Check out Namecheap here.
Cost: around $10 per year
Hosting: Siteground // Because your blog also needs a home! This is the tiny piece of the internet where your blog lives a happy life with minimal interruptions and perfectly taken care of. My blog is hosted by SiteGround.
Cost: around $60 for the first year (you’ll save some cash by choosing the 3-year plan!)
Creative Market // Your new home needs to be decorated too, you know! Check out some affordable WordPress themes on Creative Market. Creative Market is your go-to source for making your site truly unique. They have fonts, graphics, photos, illustrations, templates, themes, and other elements that you can purchase at really affordable prices and customize your blog to make it yours.
Cost: FREE (to sign up to the email list and receive free goodies every Monday!)
Stock photos // You can use stock photos for your blog post graphics, social media images, and to jazz up your website. My favorite free sites are Unsplash, Stocksnap, and Kaboompics (you can search for Pinterest-perfect vertical photos!). Consider also subscribing to the Ivorymix list to get access to 300+ beautiful photos.
Canva // Canva is my favorite resource for creating all my website graphics.
Dropbox // I keep all my stock photos on Dropbox so they don’t take up all the space on my laptop. You can use it to store any files and access them on other devices. If you use my referral link, we both get an extra 500MB of free space!
Google Drive // This is where I write and keep a lot of my posts, post ideas, some spreadsheets… You can use it for pretty much anything! I also use Google Drive to deliver all my content upgrades to my email subscribers.
Mailerlite // Mailerlite is my email marketing software. You can also use it to create landing pages, sales pages, pop-ups, subscribe buttons, automated email sequences… Even on the free plan! It’s an incredibly comparable service to ConvertKit… except it’s a lot more affordable! Mailerlite is completely free up to 1,000 subscribers. If you have more than that and have been looking to switch service providers, you can go ahead cause their prices won’t make you cry. Check them out and see how they compare to MailChimp, ConvertKit or other services on the market.
Recurpost // Recurpost is the ONLY free option (that I know of!) for building a content library for your evergreen social media posts. These are the posts that you want to publish over and over again, like your blog posts, content upgrades, or affiliate links! You can save up to 100 posts on the free plan. It saves so much time!!!! I set up the system a few weeks ago and haven’t checked it since! Check out Recurpost here.
Bit.ly // I use bit.ly to shorten all the links whenever I share my blog posts or content upgrades on social media.
Pinterest // Duh. If you’re not following me on Pinterest yet, you’re missing out on things like yoga tips, cute puppies, self-care tips and style inspiration. Just sayin’. Pinterest is invaluable for bloggers and it brings me over 80% of my blog traffic. If you’d like to start a business account or outsource your monthly Pinterest management to someone amazing (me) then click here to view my services!
ShareASale // The first (and easiest!) step to monetizing your blog is including affiliate links to your blog posts. ShareASale is one of my favorite affiliate networks.
Cost: FREE (ALL AFFILIATE NETWORKS ARE FREE TO JOIN. If someone asks you to pay it’s a goddamn scam!)
How to Make Your First Affiliate Sale in 24 Hours // This ebook by Elise McDowell is perfect if you want to learn how to use affiliate links on Pinterest. Elise offers you a very detailed action plan so you can make your first sale in 24 hours. Check it out here!
These are the essential blogging tools I’d recommend if you’re planning to start a blog.
If you have around $70 to invest in a blog that’ll bring you sweet cash money and oodles of happiness, girl, go for it. That’s all you need.
The first steps are to:
And that’s it! You don’t need any major bells and whistles immediately. Baby steps, you know!
Additional blogging resources that I love
Premium Theme: Genesis // If you’re able to invest in a professional-looking premium theme, you should. My blog’s theme is built on the Genesis Framework by Studiopress. I chose it because Genesis themes are incredibly clean and professional-looking, Search Engine Optimized, mobile-responsive, and infinitely customizable with different layouts, widgets, and templates. You also get unlimited updates!
Since I am not a coder, I purchased a ready made theme. You WILL need a separate theme for the Genesis Framework.
You can purchase the framework and theme together. Here are a couple of suggestions for you:
Cost: around $100 for the framework and theme together
Tailwind // I told you that Pinterest brings me over 80% of my traffic, right? Tailwind is one of my favorite scheduling tools. You can get unlimited pins for the whole year for a little over $100 which makes it one of the most cost-effective Pinterest tools available. You can get a free trial right here!
Cost: less than $10 per month for unlimited pins
Boardbooster // Boardbooster plans start at $5 for 500 pins. Even though I have a Tailwind subscription, I also use Boardbooster for its campaign and looping features which are incredible for your affiliate pins or sales pages. Get 100 pins for free right here!
Cost: $5 per month for 500 pins
Planoly // My Instagram game is NOT on point, but if you’re into it, Planoly is the perfect app for you. It helps you plan your Instagram feed by showing the pictures in a grid so you can see how they look together.
Asana // If you love lists and planning like I do, check out Asana. It’s a project management and productivity tool. You can use it to keep up with your tasks on multiple devices. I’m lazy so I mostly just use the app!
Focus Keeper // Focus Keeper is a timer app that boosts your productivity. It utilizes the Pomodoro method for upping your productivity yet avoiding burning out. When I don’t feel like writing, I start the app, write whatever for 25 minutes, and when the timer goes off, I’m done. It’s a good way to get used to the habit of writing daily!
Pep Talk Time! Here Are The Only Things You Really Need To Start A Blog:
- A topic that you’re passionate about
- You don’t have to be an expert or a professional on the topic.
- You don’t need to have years of experience in order to write about your passion.
- A distinct voice
- Who cares if there are a million blogs about your topic???
- Nobody has your unique voice, experience, and point of view. Your sense of humor. Your terrible jokes.
- People want to hear from YOU. Yes, they really do.
- A desire to blog
- What’s your main motivation?
- to connect with people who share your passion? to build a community? to write about your experiences as a creative outlet? to escape your current situation and earn an income with your blog? to pursue what you were really meant to do with your life? promote your business? sell your product or service?
- What’s your main motivation?
Yes, you can do it.
I started my blog as a creative outlet and a coping mechanism for depression. I was scared to begin because:
- I was so overwhelmed by all the information out there.
- Some days I couldn’t get out of bed… so how could I build a blog?
- I’m not a yoga teacher… yet I wanted to write about yoga!
Blogging has become my healthy habit and an incremental part of my self-caring + self-loving arsenal.
It makes me feel more productive, excited to learn more, and it’s something that keeps me accountable. It’s my motivation to get up in the morning and conquer my to-do list. And it’s been mind-blowingly beneficial for my mental health and general well-being.
I recently hit 12k page views for July and I can’t wait to see where the following months take me!
You still have time before the year comes to an end.
Imagine where you might end up if you started your blog today.
If you found this post helpful, please pin it to Pinterest or share it with your friends! If you have any questions about starting a blog, don’t hesitate to contact me here.
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