If you've read my blog for any length of time then you know the story: Husband quits fancy software job to become a farmer. Wife is not impressed. Since she doesn't know which of them is crazy (him or her) and they can't afford therapy anyway, she starts a blog… but then the blog takes on a life of its own. It attracts readers from around the world and actually produces an income! People think my ex-software-engineer husband created the website, but in fact he is busy farming. When I started this blog my computer skills were limited to the fact that I know how to type. This is truly an “If-I-Can-Do-It-Anyone-Can-Do-It” story!
Have you ever thought about starting a website or blogging? It is so do-able if you like to write and there are some great resources available to help you! Here are some of my favorites that have served me well over the years:
Getting Set Up:
Blue Host The first thing you'll need to set up your own website or blog is a web host. I selected Blue Host several years ago based on their incredibly low price and that a friend recommended them. When I signed up I didn't know anything about blogging, but their set up system was very easy and their customer service team was fantastic whenever I needed help. In the 3 years I've been using Blue Host we have only had 15 minutes of down time and I've been very pleased with their service.
The Genesis Framework by StudioPress.com is another must-have-for-easy-blogging in my opinion. The Framework and Child theme is what makes your blog function correctly and look appealing. Genesis is quick and easy to install and it's already set up for Search Engine Optimization (helping the search engines find you!).
Mad Mimi. Ok, I must tell you how much I love the folks at this mailing list subscription service! I signed up for Mad Mimi because they were the cheapest option around and they were recommended to me by my hugely successful internet marketing friend Kelly Lester at EasyLunchboxes.com. I signed up, looked around, got sidetracked with the children and didn't get back to it for a few days. Well, after a couple of days, Mad Mimi noticed that I hadn't done anything with my new account and they emailed me to book an appointment with me over the phone. They personally walked me through the setup process and even created a custom template based on my website colors – all for FREE! (You do have to start paying for the service when your readership reaches a certain level, but that level is comparable to their competition's levels… better, actually.) Now I just sign in, click on the template and I am sending gorgeous newsletters in minutes!
Learning to Blog Resources & Courses:
Content Brew was the first blogging course I ever took.
-pro Blogger courses & Ebooks
Blog Design for Dummies by Melissa Culbertson from MomComm.com
How to Blog For Profit (Without Selling Your Soul) By Ruth Soukup
Pro Blogger by Darren Rowse
31 Days to a Better Blog
Canon EOS Rebel T3i Camera While it's not necessary to have a fancy-schmancy camera to blog, it is necessary to have a dependable camera that takes good pictures to make your blog posts attractive (Unless you want to pay for stock photos – which I don't!). I began this website using a little point and shoot camera but that finally gave up the ghost and died. When it was time to replace it I started asking bloggers with beautiful photography on their sites what camera they use. It turns out that they all use the Canon EOS Rebel T3i! This camera shoots absolutley incredible pictures and even takes HD video!
Your camera won't work without a memory card! I have the San Disc 64 GB Extreme SD Memory card.
Pretty Link Pro is one of the few plugins that I am willing to pay for! It's an affilate link management plugin that has easily paid for itself many times over since I purchased it.
Free WordPress Plugins:
One Click Close Comments
WordPress Editorial Calendar