Truly Quirky Me

Providing Inspiration, and Training to Increase Income Through Work From Home Opportunities

Category: Blogging (page 1 of 2)

How to Change the Appearance of Your WordPress Blog

How to Change the appearance of your wordpress blog

Why Change the Appearance of your WordPress Blog?

To change the appearance of your WordPress blog is, in my opinion, one of the most fun parts.  It is like decorating a room or a house because it is all about putting your own stamp on it and making it look the way you want it to and different to all the others.  If you are using WordPress as your blog platform there is literally no end to the changes you can make, and it is not too difficult either.  That is just one of the reasons why WordPress is so popular!

Today I provide some guidance to help you take the first steps to change the appearance of your WordPress blog to suit your own needs.

Appearance Dashboard Feature

To change the appearance of your WordPress blog you need to open your dashboard and locate the appearance tab first of all.  It is over to the left of your screen in the big list of tools that are provided and is usually around halfway down the list.  There is a little paintbrush symbol beside the word “Appearance” so look for either of those.  When you find it just move your mouse over the tab and it will highlight, then a second menu will appear as well.  On this list the first option will be Themes:

Choosing A Theme for Your Blog

The themes are the main thing that will change the appearance of your WordPress blog.  To choose one just click on the word Themes in the list and you will be taken to a new page.  Depending on which WordPress platform you are using you will see a variety of design options to choose from.  If you are using WordPress.com there may be a few on your list and with WordPress.org there will be a lot more.  Regardless of which you will see a number of images on this screen something like this:

 

Note that all of the themes here can be customised to suit your own needs, so you can change images and move things around a bit later if you want to.  The main thing to look for here is a general layout and colour theme you like.  To see the theme in more detail just click on the image and it will open a preview screen.  Don’t worry if the text is in a different language or anything like that as you will be changing that to suit your own blog.  In the preview mode you will also see a features section that describes the main features of the theme you have clicked on.  Some may allow for large images on your home page for example, and some might have slideshows.

If you don’t find a theme you like you may have more available which you can access using the tabs just above the images.

How to Choose a Theme

At this stage really it is all about trying things out to see how the features of the theme fits with your own taste and requirements.  A craft related blog might be suited to a theme which allows for multiple images on the home page for example, whereas a news style blog is likely to have more text there.

Another thing you may like to check out is the rating a blog theme has got from others who have used it.  This is provided using a star system and is available when you open the preview of each theme.

When you find a theme you like you just need to click on the install button and it will appear like magic on your own blog.  There is no programming etc required and it is very easy to change themes again if you change your mind.  To do that just go back to the themes page and install a different one!

Voila! Your blog will have literally transformed with a couple of clicks of a button 🙂 Its great fun to play with the themes, and you could loose whole days doing it…..

When you have stopped playing with different themes and have made your decision which one to use it is time to work on the next step:

Customising Your Theme

Once you have a theme uploaded to your blog it is time to do a little customising.  To do this go back to your WordPress dashboard and the appearance tab just as before.  This time you are clicking on customise which is the second item on the menu.  As WordPress has so many things you can change I will focus on just a couple of them today and will cover the other changes later.

When you click on customise this will open a new page that has your blog showing on the right and a list down the left.  It should look something like this:

 

The first things to customise are:  Site Identity, Colours and Header Image.  You can look at the others of course if you want to – nothing will change unless you click the update button each time so you can view before you decide to keep it.   To access any of the customising features just click on the relevant item on the list to open it.

Site Identity

Within the site identity menu you will be updating the Site Title and the Tagline if you want one.  It is easy to update and you simply enter the text you want into the site idenity box as shown below:

As you can see you can also add a site icon here if you wish to.  I haven’t done that, but it is just a case of uploading a picture of your choice by clicking the select image box.  When you edit anything in the customise feature the green saved button at the top of this image will change to say Save and Publish.  Make sure to do that when you have made the changes you want or your blog will not be updated.  When you have clicked save and publish you will need to click the little arrow on the left (beside site identity) which takes you back to the previous menu.

Colours

Next, you might like to change the colours of your blog (or just play with them to see what happens).  Again simply click on the option you want from the list, so colours in this case, and it opens a new box.  The colours one provides you with the option to change both the colour and the shade of when you click on the select colour button.  A colour chart as shown below will appear and you choose the colour along the bottom and change the shade with the slider at the side.

As you can see from the picture preview of my blog on the right the purple colour is quite vivid.  If I move the slider on the right down closer to the bottom it becomes a lot lighter in shade.

Header Image

Lastly for now we will look at changing the header image.  This is one of the main things that will change the appearance of your WordPress Blog so choose wisely.  Again just click back using the little arrow and then click Header Image to change this.  The new box opens and shows the current image if you have one and there is an add new image button.  Click this and upload a new image if required (noting the sizes as dictated by the theme you are using).

You now should have a blog that looks quite different to the plain one you started with.  You can of course update your theme and customising at any point in your blog journey, however it is best to find something you like early on.  Changing themes and colours etc can be a little disconcerting for your followers so try not to do too much changing around once you have regular readers!

More WordPress Blog Tips

In my free blogging mastery course I do offer some more guidance regarding design and many other useful tips.  I also provide step by step instructions regarding how to start a blog!

 






Don’t miss my Free Blogging Mastery Course.  

 

Sign Up Below for lots of hints and tips to help you master blogging.  

 

If you have found this post useful or inspiring please feel free to share it with others.  Thanks in advance to those who do share it, I always appreciate your help in reaching a larger audience!

Ellie xx

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Make Money Blogging – Get Paid to Write

Make Money Blogging

I’ve been blogging now for several years, and I really love it. I love it so much that it is now my main work from home activity in fact.  Everything I do to earn money now circulates around my blog and there are many ways I personally make money blogging:

Advertising

I use Adsense to monetize my blog from advertising.  Adsense is a program that pays you for displaying adverts on your website, and there are many similar programs.  You can see my Adsense ads just over to the right on this page.

Personally I don’t make a lot with Adsense.  It ticks along giving me a few extra pounds each week which is fine by me right now, I know it will build over time.  That is my own goal and the reason I use Adsense at all.  I have no desire to have a blog that is covered in adverts just to make a few extra pounds to be honest.  Instead I prefer to let it tick over and build up slowly but surely.  To cover a site in adverts when you use these programs I think is very easy to do.  I see it all the time, and I know it can be counter-productive:

Many people think it is easy to make a full time level income with programs such as Adsense, but to make decent money you do need to have a lot of site visitors.  One of the main factors that helps with increasing site visitors is how attractive the website is to them.  A site covered in adverts is really not attractive to anyone, so you do need to use them with caution.

Thankfully there are many ways to earn advertising revenue from a blog and is not all about having adverts from programs like Adsense.  Other options include writing reviews about products or writing sponsored blog posts for example.  This is one of the main advantages of writing a blog rather than having a static website as writing reviews fits in very well with the blog format.  Actually writing reviews about products can really increase reader interest and the number of visitors to your blog too.  If you are interested in doing this then Awin is a great provider to check out.

Is this for you?

Programs like Adsense can be quite easy to join, though some do have traffic level requirements.  You do need to have a blog already started before you apply AND you can be turned down quite easily as well.  Program managers tend to want to work with people who have a well designed blog with a clear aim which is generating a good level of organic traffic.  If you would like to start a blog and get personalised assistance with it my Blogging Mastery free e-course will be of interest to you.

Adding the adverts is very easy, and just takes being able to copy and paste programming scripts into your blog dashboard.  You need to know how to add widgets usually, but this is easily learned.

The main thing about using this type of program to help you make money blogging is knowing it will only provide a small amount initially.  Some sites do not make any revenue at all for many months from the adverts on their blogs.  It is NOT a fast cash option.

For the product reviews I must point out it is vital that they are written well for this to work.  Posts that just say this is a good product and buy it here with a link don’t quite make the cut.  There is a huge amount of competition in this area so to make money blogging through review options takes a lot of hard work.

In my opinion unless you are very good at writing reviews, can do them in an unbiased fashion, and can generate highly targeted traffic this is not for you.  Luckily I teach how to do all of those things in Blogging Mastery   😉

Recruiting

When you work from home many opportunities involve recruiting others to join your team.  Recruiting is the main way to develop a higher level income with most of these opportunities because you earn a small amount of commission based on the activity of your team members.

Recruiting others can be quite a difficult task at times.  It can involve having to talk to a lot of people and also dealing with a lot of rejection.  Due to both the level of skill needed to do this and the amount of competition on social media sites it is no wonder that some people can struggle with it.

When you use a blog for recruiting the whole process can be automated.  You simply write blog posts that will attract people interested in working from home and that post works on your behalf on a never ending basis.

Is this for you?

If you are involved with any work from home opportunity that requires recruiting others to build an income a blog is a great way to do it.  It is a lot easier and more satisfying than posting adverts like a robot on social media, and it is much more effective as well.  Because a blog attracts people interested in the topic you write about it works to filter your audience to those most likely to join your team.  It does take time and effort to get a blog to work for you in this way, but once it is working it literally never stops.

To get a blog that will recruit team members you need to be willing to spend several months writing blog posts before you see results.  You will also need to learn how to generate traffic.  Again I teach all those things in Blogging Mastery   😉

Planning

I have included planning in this section simply because it is something that has made a big difference to my own earning.  By writing a blog that tracks my progress it has helped me to plan and to adjust those plans to create a higher level income.  Without writing this blog I am not sure I would have been so good about tracking my progress and planning how to move forward.

Is this for you?

Of course it is possible to plan without writing a blog.  The fact it is published online however makes you more accountable.  To be honest the planning side of things has been a bit of an additional benefit that I was not really expecting when I started blogging.  It has increased my own earning a lot though so should not be underestimated.

Affiliate Sales

Affiliate sales is something I have been dabbling with for a month or two and I do intend to work on this income source quite a lot more.  I know that it can provide a great level income but also that it isn’t as easy as some people make it out to be.  Personally I have taken a few training courses all about affiliate marketing and already am making money from small campaigns.  I have some larger campaigns planned now too and I look forward to running plenty more.

Affiliate selling is basically an agreement between yourself and a company to promote their products for sales based commissions.  There is a lot of competition but also a lot of scope for building your own customer base.

Is this for you?

Affiliate selling is very flexible and can suit a lot of different people.  The main problem that people starting out in this type of work face is finding a product that they enjoy promoting.  There is a huge range of products available, so pretty much there is something for everyone.  Once you decide on a product to promote you do need to create an audience or customer list to be successful.

Obviously having a background in sales and/or marketing can be a big benefit for this type of work, however it is not necessary.  Being able to create a business page or profile on social media would certainly help as well.  If unable to do those things you would have to be willing to spend time learning.  You could also use affiliate sales as part of a blog strategy for building income.

 Have you ever thought about making money from blogging?

If the answer is yes, or you would simply like to find out more about it I highly recommend signing up for Blogging Mastery.  That is a free course I offer which guides you through all aspects of blogging and I provide lots of support as well.

If you have found this post useful or inspiring please feel free to share it with others.  Thanks in advance to those who do share it, I always appreciate your help in reaching a larger audience!

Ellie xx

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Start A WordPress Blog with Bluehost

Start A WordPress Blog with Bluehost

Start A WordPress Blog with Bluehost

Its quick and easy to start a WordPress blog with Bluehost.  BlueHost preloads WordPress into their control panel allowing you to install WordPress within minutes.  It shouldn’t take more than about 5-10 mins when you follow the instructions in this post.

If you are unsure about which hosting company to use you should know that Bluehost is one of the top recommended hosting companies to use for a WordPress blog for the following reasons:

  • Premium customer service, reliability and usability
  • Easy-to-use control panel
  • Custom-built servers to provide the most stable and reliable hosting environment
  • Quickly get started with a one-click WordPress install provided by MOJO Marketplace
  • Expert, in-house technical support provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Unlimited websites, email accounts, and domains – all on one account at an affordable price
  • No gimmicks, no contracts. Enjoy the comfort of a 30-day money back guarantee and the option to cancel at any time.

To get started the first thing you need to do is to register for a hosting account with Bluehost.  If you use this link you will get the best special offer currently available.

Next you will need to choose a domain name (or if you already have one you can use that by using the transfer domain button).  You can choose a free domain name during the sign up process with Bluehost by filling in the simple form as shown below:

Once you have your domain name sorted you will be asked for your personal contact details for the account.

The next step is to decide on the hosting package you want to use.  You can choose from 12 months, 24 months or 36 months, (with the longer timescale you get the most discount).

You will be asked to create a password for your account when you complete the purchase.

 

After you have purchased your hosting account you will need to install WordPress into the Bluehost Control Panel.  To do this firstly log into your BlueHost account as just created.

Then follow these 4 easy steps:

Step 1

When you are logged in to your Bluehost account control panel you will see the WordPress install button as shown below. Simply click on this to start the installation process.

This will open a new window with the WordPress icon at the top. Click on install on this window.

Step 2

After clicking on the install button you need to choose which domain you want to install WordPress to from the drop down menu.  You need to make sure you choose the domain name you just created  or transferred in the drop down menu box as shown:

Step 3

After you select your domain you need to click on the check domain button. When this check completes another box will pop up.

 

Check the “I have read the terms and conditions”  option and then click the Install Now button. Your WordPress installation will now begin.

Allow the installation to complete and WordPress will then be ready to use.

If you have found this post useful or inspiring please feel free to share it with others.  Thanks in advance to those who do share it, I always appreciate your help in reaching a larger audience!

Ellie xx

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Free Blog Platform or Self Hosted?

Should you use a free blog platform or self hosted blog platform? This is a question that a lot of would be bloggers tend to struggle to understand.  I certainly did when I was starting out.  That is because for the novice the whole self-hosted concept is hard to distinguish from the free blog platform, except for the fact you have to pay for it.  Back when I was starting out I have to be honest and say I thought people recommended self hosting so they could make money from me.  Most of the research I did just said things like self hosted is better.

Instead of saying the same thing as hundreds of other start your own blog posts do, I am going to say use a free blog platform to get started if you want to.  I will provide the info here so you can make up your own mind on the matter 😉

Which Free Blog Platform?

If you want to use a free blog platform I highly recommend staying away from sites like Blogger and instead use WordPress.com.  This is simply because if you do find you want to develop your blog later, starting with WordPress.com makes the whole process a lot easier.  Sites like Blogger are perfectly fine to use, and they allow you to start a blog with about 3 clicks. It is because of this simplicity however that they can also be very restrictive.  If you are 100% sure you want to blog as a hobby, and not to build an income any of the quick start blog platforms will meet your needs quite sufficiently.  On the other hand if there is even a hint you might like to take things further go with WordPress.com which takes about 5 clicks to get started.

What Do Free Blog Platforms Offer?

Without going in to a lot of technical detail here, free blog platforms offer a cut down version of blogging.  Of course you can write posts, publish them and build an audience.  Most free blog platforms also allow you to change the appearance of your blog in certain ways.  You can change the colours, the layout and often the text as well.  One thing that free blog platforms offer which is very appealing to the beginner is a pre-exisiting blogging community (or audience).

If you do use a free blogging platform the main thing you need to know is your blog does not actually belong to you.  You are writing content on a site that someone else ultimately has control over.

What do Self Hosted Blog Platforms Offer?

Self hosted blog platforms offer you the opportunity to use and experience the full monty version of blogging.  Just like the free blog platforms you can write posts, publish them and build an audience.  Instead of allowing you to change a few things with regard to the appearance of your blog with a self hosted version the sky is the limit.  There are a practically unlimited supply of themes available.  You can change every single aspect of your blog in any way you choose.  Instead of working within the constraints of a free blog platform your imagination provides the only constraint.

In terms of an audience you do not have the people who visit one website already in place, however every person who uses the internet becomes a potential reader.  Most importantly the site you create belongs to you and you have full control of it.

Why Choose Self Hosted Over Free?

If free blog platforms offer the ability to write a blog then why would you choose a paid version? In my opinion a free blog platform is like having a tiny black and white 4 channel TV and a paid one is like having a massive flat screen smart TV with all the bells and whistles, surround sound, 3D, and unlimited channels.  They both allow you to do the same thing just in very different ways.  A free blog platform will enable you to take the first tentative steps into blogging, but so will a self hosted one.  They are not really more complicated than each other to use, the self hosted version just has a lot more to offer.  You can still take things slowly to begin with, but once you learn you don’t then need to start learning how to use a remote control instead of an on off button and dial.

They are very different animals, and quite frankly for the difference of a few pounds its better to be unlimited if you can.  If money is an issue then go with the free WordPress.com option which will at least teach you how to use some of the same controls.

Which Self Hosted Blog Platform?

There are loads of self hosted blog platforms available and they all have different prices.  The two that I recommend are Global Domains International or Bluehost.  Both are self hosted platforms and will grow with you if and when your blog develops.  They are both great for beginners and professionals alike aswell.  In addition, if you want to earn from writing a blog I can advise you and help you gain an income from Global Domains International – In my opinion you might as well make a little cash at the same time as writing a blog as not 😉

For more information about that you might like to read Want Cheap Website Hosting Fees? My Provider Pays Me!

 

If you have found this post useful or inspiring please feel free to share it with others.  Thanks in advance to those who do share it, I always appreciate your help in reaching a larger audience!

Ellie xx

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Blogging Mastery E-Course – Learn to Blog for Profit

My blogging mastery e-course is now available for registration.  The course is designed to help anyone interested in blogging to get started, but also to develop various blogging skills.  On the course you will be guided through the process of starting a blog step by step.  The course has several main sections:

Before You Start

This section will help to prepare you for writing a blog.  Most people who write a blog do not adequately prepare for the process and as a result can find their blogging efforts frustrating and ineffective.  Blogging Mastery starts with several sessions to help address this.

It includes:

  • Things you should know before you start writing a blog
  • The benefits of writing a blog
  • Which topic is most likely to work for you
  • How to choose a name and address for your blog
  • What it is like to be a blogger
  • The purpose behind your blog
  • The reasons to choose self hosting or not
  • Why use WordPress

Getting Started

This section provides step by step instructions to help you actually get started.

  • How to register a domain name
  • Navigating the WordPress dashboard
  • Choosing a theme for your blog
  • Changing the structure of your blog
  • What to write in your first blog post

Blogging Income

This section deals with generating an income from your blog.  It covers many different options that are available to bloggers

  • How to use a blog to create a full time level income
  • Shortcuts to generating an income with a blog
  • How to use a blog for team building
  • How to use Adsense to monetise your blog
  • How to use a blog for selling
  • What is Affiliate Marketing

Developing Skills

This section covers more of the technical side of blogging.  It is all about professional marketing skills and running a blog as a business

  • Increasing traffic to your blog with SEO
  • Hints and Tips to improve your blog
  • Analysis and Review
  • Multiple Income Streams
  • Creating Marketing Funnels
  • List Building

Additional topics are being added to this course according to demand as well.  If there is something specific you would like to know about blogging do please let me know!

The course is sent via email so you will always have a copy for reference.  In addition we offer extra support via our Blogging Mastery Facebook group.

To register please complete the form below:






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Before you Start A Blog You Should Read This..

Before you start a blog there are lots of things you should know.  The first one is….Its very easy to start a blog, almost too easy in fact.  Yes I really said that!

You see to start a blog  all you have to do is come up with a name, register with a blog site and start writing.  I love the fact it is so easy and so accessible, I really do. However in some ways that also makes it seem like being a blogger is an easy thing to do.  Before you start a blog you should know it is not easy to become a blogger.

To explain, let me take you back to the beginning of my experience of starting my very first blog:

When I Started Blogging

To be honest I don’t remember the actual date but it was around 2012.  I heard about these blog things and was really curious.  The idea that I could write about my life online appealed to me, and at the time I was trying really hard to make a few extra pounds to live on.  I had discovered the whole earning online thing, and was wading through hundreds of websites managing to make a few pounds here and there.  My motivation was to start a blog basically to record my own experience.

Before you start a blog to do something similar, read on…

I chose to start by using Blogger, which is a free blog platform.  After pondering a while I came up with a name, registered on blogger and started writing. From day one of writing my first post I was in love with blogging!

I wrote and I wrote on a daily basis.  I wrote about sites I found, how much I made and when I got paid.  It was great.  Writing kept me motivated and on track with my earning sites.  It also helped me to keep a record of what sites I used.  Because I was using so many, that was really helpful.

In those early days I thought that was all I had to do to be a blogger.  I had a blog and I published posts on it so I was a blogger…. how wrong I was!

Today I would love to be able to read back over those very first blog posts.  Sadly, and without warning months and months of writing just disappeared…. I was heartbroken.  I got a quick email from blogger to say they had removed my blog because of some of the comments other people had left on it.  There was me thinking oh its great that others were leaving comments and little did I know that would finish it off…

Of course I should have taken copies of my posts and backed them up.  Actually I was in the process of trying to learn how to do just that when it disappeared.  Had I also learned the fact I could moderate comments before they appeared on my posts that would have saved my writing as well.  Me, I was too busy enjoying myself writing and earning to spend time learning what being a blogger actually means.

Before you start a blog I think you should know what it actually means to be a blogger.

What Being A Blogger Means

Firstly it is important to realise there are many different levels of blogging:

  • Some blogs are written purely for enjoyment.  Really they don’t mind if not too many people read it.  It is written mostly for the joy of writing and there is little or no attempt to build an audience.  There is certainly no desire to turn writing a blog into a career.  A lot of people do this at least for a little while.  It is a hobby and it is fun.  I would call this casual or hobby blogging.  This is what I was doing when I started my first blog.
  • After writing a casual blog for a while some people like it so much they decide to take things a bit further.  They start to learn about things like how to get more people to visit their blog.  The writing perhaps becomes more aimed at other people reading it.  The writer might or might not want to use the blog to earn a bit of money or promote something they are doing.  The blog becomes a means to achieve something different from the joy of writing.  I would say this is when writing a blog starts to change into becoming a blogger.
  • With experience of writing a blog and wanting to develop it further comes a lot of questions.  How do I get more people to read it? How do I generate money from my blog? What is the actual purpose of this blog? What is the difference between self-hosting and third party hosting? These questions mean there is a desire to learn how to become a blogger.  Some people have this desire before they start a blog.  Some people develop this desire after they start writing
  • When the writer starts learning about things such as search engine optimization, readability, marketing of a blog and direct or indirect revenue generation then, in my opinion they are training to be a blogger.
  • Once the blog just starts generating organic traffic AND is helping the writer to meet targets such as income, team building, making sales and such like, the writer is, in my view, an amateur blogger.
  • Only when the blog is established, with regular daily organic traffic and it provides a regular direct or indirect income can the writer call themselves a blogger.  They are a professional at this stage.  To me a great comparison is with those who have qualified to be a teacher, a plumber, a nurse etc etc.  It takes years of study, years of experience and an awful lot of doing things over and over until you learn how it actually works.

Others may not agree with me on these definitions of course – it is purely my opinion.  Is there anything wrong with hobby blogging? Of course not, its wonderful! Does everyone who writes a blog want to earn a living as a blogger? Of course not! Is everyone who writes a blog a blogger? Well no, just as teaching a child to read does not make everyone who does it a teacher….

What Does This Mean for You?

It means if you want to start writing a blog as a hobby then just go ahead and start writing and have fun.

If you want to use a blog to create an income or help you promote something else then just start writing, but be prepared for a large learning curve.  Also be prepared for the fact it is very unlikely to happen overnight.  There are some shortcuts you can learn but you will need to study.

For those of you who want to become a blogger, a professional blogger, then just start writing, but know you have a great journey ahead.  It is fascinating, frustrating and time consuming.  The twists and turns it will take you on can not be predicted…. I Hope to see you when I finally make it there too 😉

Ready to Start A Blog?

If you feel you are ready to start a blog then I highly recommend either Global Domains International or Bluehost.  They are both paid services which technically you don’t need if you want to write a blog as a hobby.  Both however will grow with you if and when your blog develops and they are great for beginners and professionals alike.  In addition, if you want to earn from writing a blog I can advise you and help you gain an income from Global Domains International – In my opinion you might as well make a little cash at the same time as writing a blog as not 😉

For more information about that you might like to read Want Cheap Website Hosting Fees? My Provider Pays Me!

If you are sure you never want to develop your blog into anything but a hobby and want a free to use option to give it a try I would recommend WordPress.com rather than Blogger.  Just make sure you make a back-up of any posts your write!!

Want More Information about Blogging?

If you want more information about blogging and how to do it you can register for my free blogging course below.  I cover all sorts of things such as how to choose a name, what the benefits are and lots of blogging tips too.  I also include several step by step guides.  There is no obligation to start a blog if you choose not to later of course and you can unsubscribe at any time.






Don’t miss my Free Blogging Mastery Course.  

 

Sign Up Below for lots of hints and tips to help you master blogging.  

We ALWAYS respect your email privacy

If you have found this post useful or inspiring please feel free to share it with others.  Thanks in advance to those who do share it, I always appreciate your help in reaching a larger audience!

Ellie xx

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Free Blog Setup for WordPress – Done For You Service

Free Blog Setup

 

How does a free blog setup service for WordPress blogs sound to you?

After working on this blog, and setting up several others I know quite a bit about using WordPress these days.  I also remember just how overwhelming it all seemed to me right back at the start.  All I wanted to do was to start writing and it seemed like I needed a degree in blogging or something before I could write my first post. It was so frustrating!

Now that I feel like a ‘real blogger’ and Love Love Love what I do, I’d like to help any other budding bloggers to get started too.  So if you have been wanting to start blogging but not sure where to start this is perfect for you.  If you just want to get stuck into doing the writing bit then why not let me take care of the other bits you need to get going?

What I Can Offer

To allow you to just focus on the writing side of things straight away I will:

  • Research the name you want for your blog and provide recommendations if required.
  • Create the blog site with basic specifications as discussed with you (name, colours, menus etc).
  • Add your own photos if available, or use the most suitable alternatives.
  • Install some of the most popular plugins such as sharing to social media buttons.
  • Basic SEO settings to help your blog get seen by more people.
  • Advice about writing your first few posts.
  • Advice about monetising your blog.
  • Ongoing blog related information, training and advice.

I will do all of this at no cost to you.

Note: To qualify for my free blog setup service you will need to sign up with my recommended hosting service.  I can offer the free setup service free to you because they pay me instead 😉

Are There Any Other Costs?

There is a initial cost of $10 per month to use my recommended hosting service.  However due to the unique program they offer,  combined with my personal strategy this cost will reduce to $5 per month which is around £2.50 – £3 per month.  I can also coach you to make a great income from using it if you wish to do so.

Why Use a Paid Hosting Service?

When you start blogging there are basically 2 options to choose from.  There are 100% free blog platforms available and there are options you have to pay a fee for.  Often what happens is people try the free platforms for a while.  After learning more about blogging however it becomes clear just how limiting the free platforms are.  For example:

  •  There can be limits such as not being able to use Adsense to monetise your blog.
  • You find you are not actually in control of your blog, and it can be deleted at any time.
  • There are ‘hidden’ costs, for example if you want to have a fully personalised blog address you will have to pay for that.
  • Experienced bloggers do not use free platforms so it is difficult to be taken seriously when using them.

These things only become apparent after you have spent the time and effort creating your blog and writing quite a lot of posts.  By that stage it is more difficult to move your blog to the paid self hosted option, and you realise you should have used that in the first place.  Yes I am talking from experience here – my first blog got deleted and I lost months and months of work…

Due to the limits of free platforms I feel I cannot recommend them for anyone who is serious about blogging.

I HIGHLY recommend using the paid option of self hosting your blog straight away so you can skip the whole having to move it thing and other issues.  If you still want to use one of the free platforms however WordPress.com is in my opinion the best one to choose.

To request Free Setup please complete the form below:

 






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If you have found this post useful please feel free to share it with others.  Thanks in advance to those who do share it, I always appreciate your help in reaching a larger audience!

Ellie xx

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What to Blog About? – Choosing A Topic for Your Blog

what-to-blog-about

Are you wondering what to blog about?  Choosing a topic for your blog is the first step towards actually getting started.  It is vital that you spend a bit of time thinking about the topic you want to write about BEFORE you do anything else.  This is because your blog topic will influence a lot of the other decisions you have to make.

What Can I Blog About?

Most people do have an idea about the topic they wish to write about.  If so you might like to move on to the What Do I Want My Blog To Do Section below.  If you really have no idea what you want to blog about it is best to consider topics you have a genuine interest in.  After all you will be writing about this topic for perhaps years to come.

To help you come to a decision I suggest you write a list of your hobbies and interests and things you know something about.  If you prefer to document your journey in something it is not necessary to have a lot of knowledge beforehand.  This kind of blog tends to be about learning and development so it can start with your current level.

Suggested Questions
  • Do you have any hobbies?
  • What do you spend your time doing?
  • Have you taken any courses?
  • What type of books do you read?
  • Do you have any particular skills?
  • If you have a job, what does it involve ?
  • What do you enjoy talking to people about?

These questions will help you to generate a list of potential topics.  It is advisable to try and choose just one topic or one general theme to focus on.  A blog that does not have a core theme is difficult to promote.

If you find it difficult to decide between several topics it can help to write a list of 10 blog posts you would write on those topics.  The topic that is easier for you to come up with 10 blog posts about is the one you should choose.

What Do I Want My Blog To Do?

A blog can do many things, some of which are outlined in my  Benefits of Blogging post.

If you are considering starting a blog there is a good chance you have a general theme in mind already.  If so then you need to think about what the purpose of it is going to be.

Perhaps it is your intention to document your journey with a particular experience.  For example, lots of people like to write about their work from home business, their craft projects or places they visit.  Alternatively you might want to raise awareness about something.  Health issues are popular topics for this kind of blog, as are blogs that are a form of promotion.  Another kind of blog is the ‘How To’ version.  This one is aimed at teaching or providing guidance to your audience.

Some people simply want to write a blog in order to make money.  To be honest every kind of blog can make money so do try to have another purpose in mind as well.

Which Topics Should I Avoid?

Really there are very few blog topics that are advisable to avoid.  There tends to be an audience for pretty much everything to be honest.  I would advise avoiding topics that are too narrow however as you will need to be able to write about this topic a lot.  Topics that are controversial and are likely to attract the attention of people you are not equipped to deal with may also be inadvisable.

 

If you have found this post useful please feel free to share it with others.  Thanks in advance to all who do share as I always appreciate your help in reaching a larger audience with my blog 🙂

Ellie xx

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Starting A WordPress Blog with Global Domains International

Starting a WordPress Blog

Starting a WordPress blog with Global Domains International (GDI) is quite straightforward.  Just a few clicks and it is ready for your first post.

Apart from the fact it is very easy to do, there are several other reasons you might like to consider using Global Domains International for your blog (or website).

Why Use Global Domains International?

Well these are just a few of the reasons…..

  • GDI uses the WordPress platform which is one of the most powerful and popular available for bloggers.
  • You can choose from many pre-designed themes and adjust them to personalise your blog.
  • Your blog can be monetised in several ways.
  • The monthly cost for a domain name and hosting is just $10 per month.
  • GDI provides a unique and lucrative income with large bonus payments and a monthly income.  Additional information about the income opportunity can be found in my post Want Cheap Website Fees? My Provider Pays Me!
  • GDI is very well established and provides a highly reliable service.
  • Lots of training videos are available to help you set everything up and develop your blog.
  • You can upgrade your account to Premium for additional benefits and storage if you require them as your blog grows.
  • You can change between a blog and a website at any time.
  • There is a free 7 day trial available.
  • Privacy settings are also available.
  • You can use the unique .ws extension which means you are highly likely to be able to use the domain of your choice.
  • You can add up to 10 personalised email addresses with the basic level, and 50 with the premium level.
  • Great hints and tips as well as customer support are available via their Facebook Page.

As well as this I am happy to provide guidance and support to all who join GDI via this team link.

How to Start a Blog with Global Domains International

The following steps are all that is required to start your blog.  (Note if you have already bought a domain name with GDI just skip to step 2)

  1. Sign up for your account via this team link.  You choose your domain name (website address) during the sign up process.
  2. Log in to your account via https://www.website.ws/login
  3. Using the menu on the left of your home page navigate to WordPress and More section (around half way down under domains)
  4. On the plugin page you are taken to simply click on the button to turn on WordPress.  Click on make primary service box if you want your blog to appear on the main domain, or add subdomain name such as blog.dailydealsdirect.ws.  As you can see I chose the Primary Service option. Congratulations you now have a blog on GDI 🙂 Told you it was easy! 🙂

Logging In To Your Blog

If you have ever used the WordPress platform before you log in the same way as you usually do.  To access via your GDI account  just click on the blog domain link under the on button.  It is shown as dailydealsdirect.ws in the pic above. This will take you to the WordPress log in page.  Use the same username and password as you use to sign in to your GDI account.

The WordPress Dashboard

The WordPress Dashboard is where you do everything related to your blog.  You write new posts here, and can also change the appearance of your blog in a lot of different ways.  The video tutorial provided by GDI covers all the set up adjustments required:

 

After you have done the basic set up of your blog you can continue to adjust how it all looks at any point.  Again the GDI tutorial covers how to do this in part 2.  This video will help you to understand some of the main customisation features provided:

 

Several years after starting my own blog I continue to learn about the features provided by WordPress, and continue to play around with the settings.  This is why WordPress is so popular with bloggers – it does so many things.  There are around 300,000 plugin adjustments available!

My advice is to just start your blog by making a few little adjustments to the settings initially.  Focus on writing your first few blog posts and tweak the appearance later 😉 If you are anything like me you will never stop tweaking and playing with the settings…. its quite addictive!

Did This Help You? If so, I would greatly appreciate it if you commented below and shared on Facebook etc 🙂 

 

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Benefits of Blogging

the-benefits-of-bloggingHave you ever wondered about the benefits of blogging? Had the idea it would be something you might do if you had time?

A lot of people I talk to in the work from home arena say they would be interested in writing a blog.  Strangely however not many really know why.  Some people think it is a fun thing to do, and some like the idea of keeping a kind of online journal.  There are also those who know blogging can be beneficial to their business strategies, but don’t fully understand how.

When I first started blogging I literally had to research what a blog actually was.  Really my own reason to start was simply to keep a record of my own online earning and progress.  I also thought it would be a good way to share online earning information with others.  I definitely had no intention of turning it into my main income source, and had no idea how important it would become.

Now that I have decided to actually get serious about my work from home income, my blog will play a huge role in that.

Why? Let me count the reasons….

1. Lead Generation

Blogging is one of the best ways to generate high quality leads for any business.  According to Hubspot for example, “B2B marketers that use blogs receive 67% more leads than those that do not”.  This form of lead generation is constant and passive too.  By that I mean a blog is constantly working to generate leads for you long after the actual post has been written.

Personally I tend to get daily leads coming to me as a direct result of my blog posts.

2. Lead Conversion

Most of us in the work from home arena understand that taking someone from having an interest in your business or product to converting them into a customer is not a straightforward process.  Especially now, with so many options available, and the rise in the number and type of scams.

Customers have never had so much choice, and buying has never been so easy either.  Therefore, the need to develop a relationship with those interested in what you offer is vital.  Blogging is a great way to build up the know, like and trust factors.  Again, according to Hubspot “B2C companies who blog get 88% more leads than those who dont”.  That figure is not actual sales, but of course more leads tends to lead to more sales too!

3. Providing Information

Having a blog that provides good information shows you are knowledgeable in the area of interest.   This helps to establish you as a credible business person, leader or trainer etc.  Sharing information that your potential customers are looking for also shows that you are open to discussion, and able to provide advice if required.  In other words it makes you appear more approachable.

Another benefit of providing information is it also allows you to respond to customer needs before they are even expressed.  By doing this you are demonstrating a level of understanding from the customers perspective.

4. Helps you Get Found Online

Blogging increases your visibility in a crowded space.  People can find you, and as stated above you also become more approachable.  A blog usually provides a way for your potential customers to contact you as well, and encourages them to interact with you even before there is any intention to buy.

Blogging is also more effective for search engine optimisation than a static website.  The more blog posts you publish the more pages you create which get indexed by search engines.  This means it is far more likely that your posts are to be displayed in search results.  Its a bit like fishing with 100’s of hooks rather than just the one.

You can actually build your blog posts around specific keywords that are relevant to your business as well.  Creating content in this way means you can target multiple keywords and phrases to maximise the chances of being found.

5. Helps Potential Customers with Research

Providing relevant and trustworthy information allows customers to validate their research.  As this comes direct from someone with the most knowledge about the products or service, it has more weight.  Knowing that you provide trustworthy information directly also saves the potential customer a lot of time and effort trying to find information elsewhere, and keeps them on your site, which has obvious benefits too.

You can also show you are willing to provide the solution to your customers problems.  In other words you have the opportunity to explain exactly how your product or service can help with their particular issue.

6. Costs are Minimal

Unlike a lot of big advertising campaigns, there is very little financial cost associated with blogging.  In fact, as I detail in this post you can also earn from your blog, rather than paying for it.

There are very few advertising campaigns that allow you to have a continual presence, and to provide so much information at all.  If there was this option I would hate to think about how much it would cost.

7. Builds a Professional Reputation

Blogging helps you to demonstrate you are a serious business person, who is willing to spend time and effort on your business.  A blog is a long term marketing asset which infers you are intending to be around for a long time, and so helps to build trust from that perspective.  Someone who is willing to spend time building their business via blogging is generally thought of in a very different way to someone who posts simple adverts.  For example, compare someone who only posts adverts on social media, with someone who writes a good quality blog.  Which of these people would you prefer to do business with?

8. Personal Values Exposed

Due to the personalised nature of blogging it becomes clear to your customers what values you hold.   Even the fact that you have taken the time to provide the additional information indicates you care about your customers needs.  The very topics that you choose to write about reveal a lot about your own thought processes, and what is important to you, so it is impossible to not expose your own values in a blog.

9. Builds Brand Identity

I previously discussed the need to have a unique selling point, especially when you work with an MLM company.  Blogging is perhaps one of the most unique things you can do.  Of course many companies write a blog, but the content is always highly unique.  In this way blogging allows you to distinguish yourself from your competition completely.

Additionally, having a blog provides an extra platform to use for branding.  Consistent brand messages are provided in a non sales focused environment, which increases exposure to these.  Potential customers will spend much longer reading a blog post of interest to them than looking at an advert, especially if they are not in the frame of mind for making a purchase.

10. Allows you to Measure Interest

How a customer responds to a blog can tell you a huge amount.  For example, are they subscribing to your blog posts? If so this provides a sure indication they are interested in your products or services.  Someone will not be willing to spend time reading a blog about something they have no interest in.

Statistical information provided by blog platforms can also help you to distinguish which products or topics are important to your potential customers.  Although there are a lot of factors that influence statistics you can take most of these into account.  The amount of time someone spends reading one post rather than another for example, can tell you a lot about that persons interests.

 

I am sure I could continue to add more benefits to this post – there are a lot of personal benefits as well as business ones, but I think I will save those for another post 😉

If you would like to start your own blog I am happy to recommend Global Domains International.  Having used several platforms myself I do consider wordpress blogs to be far superior to others.  I also highly recommend NOT using free blogging options for a business blog.  I have many reasons for saying that, and I will discuss it a lot more in another post as well.  In the meantime I will simply say there are a lot of limitations with a free blog, and it gives a particular impression to others as well.

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