Super useful resources for beginner and intermediate bloggers that are absolutely free
I’ve been monetizing my blog for 2.5 years and it’s enabled me to get out of $68,000 in debt. During the last 3 months, I’ve earned over $20,000 per month in net profit. Check out my latest blog income report here – How I earned over $22,000 in April 2019.
I didn’t get their over night. At the beginning I had so much to learn and I didn’t have a lot to spend at all. I was worse than broke. I was in fact $68,000 in debt. So, I had to be super choiceful in what I invested in. If you’re on a limited budget, I get it…believe me, I do.
So I wanted to gather some super helpful resources to help get you started All are written by super talented bloggers that have been earning full time incomes and then some. These are all FREE.
These cover the basic steps in your blog income journey, so they will give you the pillars to make your blog successful. And, each of these bloggers provide additional content and resources if you want to take a deep dive into one or more of these topics.
*This post contains affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, we earn a commission at NO extra cost to you. Full details here.
9 FREE Blogging Resources to accelerate your blog
1. How to set up your blog so it’s technically correct
Have you ever noticed how so many bloggers that blog about blogging try to get you to start a blog using their affiliate hosting link? They tell how easy it is…and then they stop there after they’ve gotten the affiliate commission.
So what comes next? How do you actually get the blog set up? What sort of theme should you get? How do you set up google analytics? You know all that “basic” stuff that everyone gets tripped up on and nobody explains. That stuff that may take you several weeks to figure out? Well Tracie Fobes has your back.
In her FREE Profitable Blogging Roadmap course, Tracie covers all the basics of what you need do after you buy your blog. She covers how to choose a niche and a website name, how to set up Google Analytics and Google Search Console as well as plugins you need (and the ones you want to avoid).
She also goes over some very common mistakes that new bloggers make (e.g. setting up your URLs correctly). These mistakes can cost you a lot (and you’ll realize this later) and they are so avoidable. Check out her FREE course here.
2. Pinterest Pin Design
One of the most common road blocks on pinterest is good pin design. Usually when people have read or taken Pinterest courses, but still aren’t succeeding is that their pins stink. And, they don’t even realize it.
Seriously, I would guess that this is the issue 80% of the time. We think our pins look nice…because you know, we designed them, so they must be good. Right? Wrong! (usually). I will admit that I was one of those people.
Well here is a super valuable FREE Design Course by Kara Fidd. She’s a professional graphic designer. She shows you what makes a good pin design and how to do it YOURSELF. She teaches this on Canva (a free and easy design tool. It’s the one I use). Kara is a whiz at it! (and it takes a lot for me to say that since I know Canva VERY well.
This will also help you with designing things on your website. Kara also has pin templates as well as templates for many other things (e.g. landing pages, printables, lead magnets). Check out her FREE course here.
3. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO traffic is very valuable. When people are actively searching for something, they are usually in buying mode and therefore are more likely to buy or convert. They are more like to buy your own product, buy your affiliate recommendation. join your email list or leave a comment.
These users tend to stay on the page longer which generates additional ad revenue. And, very importantly, these SEO traffic is both more sustainable (i.e. longer lasting) and more passive (i.e. less work).
Analyzing my own site, I’ve estimated that every organic pageview is worth 3 pageviews of pinterest…based on income generated.
SEO has been a game changer for me and it’s skyrocketed my affiliate income. While I have 2 super successful SEO books, if you’re not ready to take that step yet then sign up for my FREE SEO intro course.
4. Rapid email growth
Yes, you’ve probably heard that the money is in the list. While this can be true, it’s not an automatic truism. Rather, you need to learn how to grow your list, AND learn how to nurture your list, too…so that you can monetize it.
If you want to learn from a real super star check out Jennifer Maker Marx’s List Love Intro Course. Jennifer has an email list that’s over 150,000 people, and she got there in only 2.5 years.
Best of all, she blogs about crafting and DIY projects, so she’s not one of those people that just blogs about blogging. She has been able to monetize her list through both affiliate links and her own products…yes, she’s developed crafting products. I highly recommend List Love as it shows you how to do everything, and Jennifer is an awesome teacher and role model.
You can sign up for her FREE email course here.
5. Sponsored posts
Sponsored posts are a great way to earn some extra money. It can work well while you in the “ramp up” phase of your blog (i.e. getting some traffic and growing, but not yet making as much money as you would like. Many use as a way to diversify their income streams. Or, it can even be a way to earn a full time income to support yourself.
Many bloggers just don’t know where to get started for sponsored posts. They don’t know where to find sponsors/brands, how much to charge or how to create a media kit. Well Tracie Fobes can help you with this. She’s been blogging for 10 years and has done sponsored posts for years. She knows all the ins and outs of the process.
Check out her FREE sponsored post course here.
6. How to accelerate growth during the slow season
For many, summer tends to be a slower season, especially if the majority of your traffic is dependent on Pinterest. If you’re blog is about gardening or hiking, winters are probably more challenging for you. For me (in home decor), my low times come during the holidays.
Regardless of what type of blog you have, we almost always have low points. Sometimes it’s due to seasonality; other times, it could be due to an algo change; other times, you may just need to raise more money (e.g. an unexpected large bill). This article from PotPieGirl can help you regardless of the cause. 4 simple things smart bloggers do during the slow season
7. How to build a loyal fan base and grow your audience
This is for bloggers who have been blogging for a while (maybe a year or longer) and have seen some success (maybe earning $1,000/month) but not a lot and feel like they are hitting a brick wall.
If you’re earning some ad revenue and maybe a bit of affiliate income, but you can’t get beyond that $1,000-$2,000/month mark, chances are you need to branch out a bit and try some new ways to grow and truly leverage your audience so they become raving fans.
It’s called busting the ad income ceiling. Carly Campbell goes over this dilemma and how to overcome it in her new FREE course called Defining your Business. Because after all, this is a business, and we need to treat it as one.
This FREE course is a prequel to paid course, Engaging your audience. Most people don’t know this little secret…if you take the FREE course first, there is a nice coupon code for the paid course.
8. How to step up your freelancing income
When I started monetizing my blog, I knew it would take a long time for my blog to make enough money to support me. So, I started doing freelance work to help while I ramped up my blog over the first 21 months.
Specifically I did blogging and SEO for some local businesses. I earned around $4,000/month doing this, and unlike blog income, it was guaranteed income (and pretty steady).
But how do you get started in this? What do you do if you’re new? Check out Holly Johnson’s FREE workshop – How to build a 6 figure writing career. Holly knows what she’s doing as she’s been earning 6 figures a month freelancing (yes a month…that’s not a typo).
She teaches people how to get started freelancing, how to find clients, how much to charge…and how to charge more.
In this FREE workshop, she covers:
- 6 Keys to Online Freelance Writing Success
- Techniques She’s Used to Build Her Writing Income to Over $200,000/Year
- Tips to Get Your Foot in the Door and Increase Your Income Over Time
9. How to proofreading online…and make a good income from it
Proofreading is another way to earn some additional income while you’re building up your blog. Caitlin Pyle used to do proofreading and made over $40,000 a year.
It’s a great job as you can do it at home and has flexible hours. You can scale it up/scale it down as you like.
Caitlin has a free webinar to show you how it works and how to get started. You can watch the FREE webinar here.
Final thoughts on blogging courses
I really believe that taking topic specific courses/books is a good way to jump start your learning so you can earn more money faster. Take whichever ones are most useful to you based on where you are in your blogging journey.
I can vouch for each of these bloggers. They have all been super successful and their content is amazing. Best of all these are free. My motto is, “If it’s free, it’s for me.” You’ll also be happy to know that if you look at these bloggers paid ebooks/courses, they are both reasonably priced and a high value.
Blogging resources to jump start your blog traffic and income
- Amazon – I love affiliate marketing on Amazon. For the last 2 months, I’ve been earning over $7,000/month just from Amazon. Here are 2 super helpful Amazon ebooks that allowed me to leap frog my previous results.
- Cracking the Code on Amazon – This is for beginners and really covers the types of articles you should be writing to drive Amazon commissions It’s for beginners.
- Niche Post Conversion Strategies – Seriously, I think this is the best ebook/course I’ve ever taken. I can not recommend this enough. You will not find these tips anywhere else. It skyrocketed my sales on Amazon.
- PINTERESTING STRATEGIES: – Pinterest is one of the easiest and most effective ways to drive massive traffic to your blog, especially if you are just starting out. I generally get 140,000 to 180,000 pageviews a month from Pinterest. If you want a jump start on how to use this amazing platform, check out Carly’s course. It is simply awesome. She is so down to earth and straightforward, and you’ll see that in her writing. I LOVE this course (it was formerly an ebook, but now it’s new and improved.
- SEO – As you know, I’m hugely into SEO and it has been the key to my success. I generally get 300,000+ SEO pageviews per month, and this traffic converts much better than Pinterest and other social media channels (especially when it comes to affiliate marketing, products and email sign ups. I estimate that every pageview from organic traffic is worth at least 3x as every pageview from Pinterest! Yes, 3 times as much! And, it’s much steadier, more sustainable and more passive. Check out my 2 SEO books.
- Affiliate marketing – I love affiliate marketing and have been earning over $7,000/month just from affiliate marketing. I highly recommend Carly’s affiliate marketing course. It’s amazing and half the price of some of the bigger bloggers’ programs…and I think it’s much better, too.
- Email marketing – Learn from the master, Jennifer Maker. She has over 100,000 subscribers in around 2 years. She’s an incredible teacher. Her ListLove course is amazing. Or get started with her FREE email course here.
- Sponsored Posts – Sponsored posts can be a great way to supplement your income, especially during the first few years. Many just don’t even know where to get started or how much to charge or how to create a media kit or where to find the best sources. Well learn from a master, Tracie Fobes. She’s been doing this for 10 years! And, she charges well over $2,500 + per post. Her course comes complete with a media calculator and templates to set you up for success. Check out Sponsored Success here. If you just need the sponsored post calculator, you can purchase it a la carte here.
- Getting started/setting up your blog – If you’re a very beginner and need help in just setting up your site and getting everything set up, check out Tracie Richmond Fobes’ FREE intro course. She goes over all that critical stuff at the beginning that no one seems to cover, but everyone needs to know such as site structure, how to set up google analytics correctly and google search console, which plugins to use (and which to avoid). She is a wealth of information. (and she has may other courses that are soooo good).