These are the resources that I have used and recommend to help you grow your blog. Some are affiliates which mean when you click on the link and purchase I get a small percentage of the sale with absolutely no extra cost to you. Please know that I only recommend companies and products I love.
Getting Set Up
Blogging All-in-One for Dummies– This is one of the books my mom sent me before I started my blog. It is very comprehensive and is a great resource if you are new to the concept of blogs.
Professional Blogging for Dummies– I have not read this one but it gets good reviews and could be a great resource if you are looking for strategies for earning money from blogging.
Hostgator– This is where I purchased my domain and web hosting. I’ve been with hostgator for over 3 years and have been extremely happy with their service. The few times I’ve had to call in they have helped me resolve my problem right away which was usually caused by me updating a plugin (not something they did).
If you sign up for web hosting with Hostgator through my affiliate link (right HERE or in Step #2) email me at email@example.com to let me know and I will send you my Introduction to the WordPress Dashboard video as well as a step by step video tutorial on how to Install a Theme as a thank you.
Theme Horse– Speaking of themes once you install WordPress you will need to choose a theme for your blog or website. This is what will give your site it’s look and personality! There are lots of both free and premium (fancy word for they cost money) themes available.
Theme Horse is who created the free theme, Clean Retina, that I use on my website www.providenthomedesign.com. It has been great and Theme Horse has been very responsive in answering my questions when I need helping making changes to the site.
Restored 316– For this website I decided to purchase a theme. I’m a big fan of Restored 316 themes. They are clean, beautiful, and are often customizable and e-commerce (meaning you can add a shopping cart on your site if you have things you are selling).
Making Money with Ads
Google Adsense– This allows you to put ads on your site and start making money right away. They pay per click on the ad so I found that it didn’t pay much but at least it was a something (like 50 cents a day).
Monumetrics Propel Program– The Blogger Ad Network has recently changed to Monumetrics. I was with the Blogger Network for about 5 months before I got accepted to Adthrive. I really liked them. I made a lot more with them then I ever did with Google Adsense.
They have a new program called Propel for people who get between 10,000 and 85,000 page views a month. You basically pay a one time $90 fee and then you have access to their traffic building course and they will handle the ads on your site which basically mean make you more money than you could ever make on your own with Google Adsense. I am guessing that the $90 investment for the course/ad management will pay for it’s self very quickly.
Adthrive– This is probably the highest paying ad network out there. They require a minimum of 100,000 page views a month before you can apply. From switching from The Blogger Network to Adthrive I over doubled my income. Needless to say I love Adthrive.
Warning– I strongly suggest not signing up with an ad network that makes you sign a contract to stay with them for a certain amount of time (please learn from my mistake). All of the ad networks I listed above do not have that type of contract.
Pixabay– This my favorite source for free stock photos. You can search for the topic of the photo you are looking for and download them to your computer to use on your blog.
Pic Monkey– This is a free photo editing software that a ton of bloggers use. I unfortunately didn’t know about it until I had already purchased Photoshop Elements. I haven’t used it but I’ve heard it’s great for editing your photos and creating attractive pins for pinterest.
Canon Rebel T5– When you are ready to take your photos up a notch this is a great “professional grade” camera to start with.
Macbook Air Laptop– For the first 1 1/2 years of blogging I blogged from my desktop. I usually blogged at nights when the kids went to bed and after some time it became harder and harder to motivate myself after a long day to want to sit down at the computer.
Purchasing the Macbook Air Laptop solved that problem for me because I could then blog from the couch or bed or really anywhere with internet access. It does everything I need in order to maintain my website and is an A+++ laptop.
I would make sure to get the 8GB because for a website owner the 4GB just won’t cut it storage wise.
Mailchimp– Mailchimp is an email subscriber delivery service. It is a free service for your first 2,000 subscribers (which can take awhile to get). For my Provident Home Design blog I use it to automatically send my newest post to all of my subscribers. For this blog I use it to send out my Blogging Tips Newsletter.
Elite Blog Academy- This is a blogging course that I took about 9 month into starting my first blog (Provident Home Design). This course was a game changer for me and I still can’t believe I purchased it (but am so grateful I did)!
9 months into blogging I had probably just barely made back the $85 dollars I had spent to start the blog. But even though I’m
cheap thrifty I felt I should take the course (it is an investment).
Let me tell you I made back that money and a lot more by taking and implementing this course. I over quadrupled my page views within 3 months of taking the course making me eligible to apply for the highest paying ad network (Adthrive).
I highly recommend it (it’s only offered once a year so make sure to click on the “Download it Free” image below to be notified when it is being offered again and to get the blog income booster resource free)!
If you have any questions about my Resource List you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!