Building a business by blogging is an inexpensive undertaking but it’s not free. So often, beginner marketers try to make money online without wishing to spend a cent. They fail to realize that you cannot multiply by zero.
If you want to build a profitable blog, you will need to purchase a few tools. This will allow your business to be safe and you’ll also be able to accelerate your progress. If you’re on a tight budget, you should save up first before trying to build a blog.
While not a tool per se, you’ll need to purchase a domain name for your blog. Do not build your blog on free platforms. If the platform changes hands or rules, they just might boot you out.
A few years ago, thousands of Squidoo lenses were deleted and many marketers lost their business because they had built their content hub using this free platform. This example makes a very strong case as to why you should always own your domain.
You’ll need hosting to power your site. Initially, you can start off with the cheapest plan and upgrade later as your business gets better. Hosts such as Siteground, A2 Hosting, etc. have affordable plans that allow for growth in future. Always sign up with a reliable hosting provider.
Any one of WordPress’ free yearly themes is a good place to start if you’re really short on cash. If you have the budget, you may wish to get a Genesis theme from Studiopress (https://www.studiopress.com/). Alternatively, you may get the Socrates theme (https://socratestheme.com/)
Both themes are good. There are many others out there. You can do your research and find one you like. Just make sure it’s easy on the eye and loads fast.
This is an absolute MUST… and it’s mind-boggling how so many newbies try to cut costs here. A good autoresponder will come with a monthly fee. This is a necessity and a part of doing business.
Forget the self-hosted options even if they have a one-time fee. They come with lots of hassle.
If your budget is tight, you can build your blog first and start driving traffic using free methods. Monitor the traffic to your site. Once you’re getting about 100 unique hits a day, you can sign up for ConvertKit.
You’ll then get a free 30-day trial. This will buy you more time as you build your list. The cost of an autoresponder is relatively low, so you won’t break the bank.
Once you have a list of a few hundred people, you can promote low-end products in the range of $7 to $9.95. Even 3 to 4 sales will help to pay your monthly autoresponder fee.
Many plugins are free, but the best ones will usually require you to pay for them. Let’s look at a few…
*Cookie notice This plugin is free and will allow you to add the cookie compliance bar that’s required for GDPR purposes. (https://wordpress.org/plugins/cookie-notice/)
*Pretty Links Google frowns upon affiliate links. Use this free plugin to no follow your affiliate links and also neaten up those long URLs. (https://prettylinks.com/)
*Wordfence This is a paid security plugin that will keep your site safe from hackers who have nothing better to do than cause trouble to productive people.
*SEO plugin There are 3 options here: Yoast SEO, Rank Math and All In One SEO Pack. Choose one that you like and install it on your site. All 3 plugins are free with a paid option if you want the bells and whistles.
*Social Sharing There are countless social sharing plugins that are free and paid. The paid ones such as Social Warfare, Monarch and Social Snap have more features.
*Thrive Leads This plugin is a must-get. It’s unparalleled when it comes to helping you get leads and build a list on your blog. Lots of versatility and features that work in the real world. (https://thrivethemes.com/leads/)
*Aksimet Anti-Spam Use this plugin to block spam. It’s free. (https://wordpress.org/plugins/akismet/)
*Easy Table of Contents This plugin will keep your posts organized and also helps with SEO. (https://wordpress.org/plugins/easy-table-of-contents/)
*Smush Use this plugin to compress your images so that your sites load faster. Alternatively, you could do this manually by compressing images using Tinypng.com and upload them. Either way, do compress your images. (https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-smushit/)
*Updraft Plus Use this plugin to back up your sites EVEN if your web host claims to do it for you. (https://updraftplus.com/)
*Broken Link Checker This plugin uses up a lot of resources. So just enable it for a few days at a go on your site. It will find any broken links in your blog posts, etc. You’ll then be able to fix it. (https://wordpress.org/plugins/broken-link-checker/)
*Post Gopher This plugin will allow visitors to download your blog post as a PDF and more importantly, it adds the visitor to your list. Fantastic plugin you must have. (https://postgopher.com/)
To conclude, these are some of the most useful tools you’ll need as a blogger. Once you start making money with your blog, you can choose to purchase a page builder and other tools that will take your blogging business to the next level.
But before all that, get these tools first and make them work. Build a solid foundation for your blog and the sky is the limit for you.