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Hi there!  Tanya here. 

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Blogging help for beginners

Blogging help for beginners

This article contains affiliate links for products I personally use and benefit from. Being an affiliate simply means if you click through a link before and make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra charge to you. 

Tips for beginner bloggers

This article is for those who have already decided the specific niche (i.e. family travel) they want to blog about, as well as the name of their blog.

Are you looking for 52 Blog Post Ideas for Family Travel Bloggers? Grab them here. Now, on to the tips! 

Here's what I wish I'd known when I began my family travel blog:

1. Don't wing it. Take a course from a blog expert.

I started blogging in April 2016 with encouragement from a friend. I literally flew by the seat of my pants, and just started writing about all of our recent favorite vacation spots.

My goal was to write 20 awesome posts, and then figure out how to get readers to my web page.

I really didn't know what I was doing.

Looking back, I wish I had waited to start from scratch and gone step-by-step through a tried-and-true blogging course. I believe the best one out there is Elite Blog Academy (EBA). 

I am a visual learner and I just needed someone to show me what to do. EBA hit the nail on the head.

Ruth Soukup's Elite Blogging Academy contains 12 units of video teachings, plus lots of great visuals in her workbook to show you exactly what she's talking about. Her assignments break everything down and significantly reduce the overwhelm of starting something new. Plus, she works hard to keep everything current.

Take my advice. EBA is worth the investment.  Loaded with up-to-date trends and teaching, plus more freebies from other blogging experts who are crushing it!

NOTE: In order to best serve her students, Ruth opens the doors to the EBA course only once a year. Go ahead and join the Elite Blogging Academy Wait List below, and receive super helpful every step of the way!

Year-round, you can take advantage of a lot of EBA's free resources, like Blogging Made Simple. Learn more about EBA freebies and what Ruth gave me here.

 Learn blogging tips and tricks from experts who quit their day job to blog full time. Don't wing it - these tools have helped countless bloggers start off on the right foot!

Learn blogging tips and tricks from experts who quit their day job to blog full time. Don't wing it - these tools have helped countless bloggers start off on the right foot!

2. SEO is definitely important.

I've heard a lot of people say, just focus on great content now and SEO (search engine optimization) later. 

I disagree. Save yourself time and frustration and learn SEO when you write your first blog post. 

SEO is the process of using key words in your blog post in a way that increases your website's online visibility in a web search engine's results. SEO done well means your page will show up first on Google or Bing or Safari, which in turns means more people will read your blog!

In a tiny nutshell, the exact words and phrases people type into their search engines are the exact keywords smart bloggers use in their titles, headings, image descriptions and and more. 

Do. Not. Use. Cutesy. Clever. Wording. Ever.

My favorite SEO help so far is The SEO Basics: SEO Playbook for Beginner Bloggers from www.postsbyghosts.com.

This dummy-proof, user-friendly playbook covers in a nutshell:

  1. Why even worry about SEO?
  2. How to achieve great SEO by finding keyword phrases, and optimizing your post's title, content, and images. 

Get the playbook here. It's a no-brainer.

 Learn blogging tips and tricks from experts who quit their day job to blog full time. Don't wing it - these tools have helped countless bloggers start off on the right foot!

Learn blogging tips and tricks from experts who quit their day job to blog full time. Don't wing it - these tools have helped countless bloggers start off on the right foot!

3. Pinterest (+ Tailwind) pushes your content in a big way.

Dear Pinterest: I put off really understanding your ways much too long. But I'm here to say, my goal is to maximize your search engine app and take my blog to new heights. 

And it's all Jennifer Maker's fault. A fellow blogger who's made me a believer in partnering with Pinterest and mastering Tailwind to boost my blog readership, Jennifer created The Pinterest Launch Plan

Jennifer says, "Most bloggers have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest -- but the more you know and understand it, the better you can use it!"

The Pinterest Launch Plan teaches you how to set-up, strengthen, and set a course for success on Pinterest. This is a set of 10 steps to teach you how to drive traffic from Pinterest to your blog.

Tailwind is one of the best ways, if not the best way, to manage your presence across Pinterest & Instagram. Tailwind offers a complete suite of marketing tools including Smart Scheduling, Analytics & Monitoring, Content Discovery, Promotion, Education, Tribes, Hashtag Suggestions and more.

You'll definitely want to opt for Tailwind's annual plan to receive unlimited scheduling, and therefore the best bang for the buck.

Your first month of Tailwind is FREE ($15 savings!) when you sign up right here!

4. Build an email list by offering freebies. 

Keep readers engaged, feeling cared for, and coming back for more.

For example, when I shared how to hike and camp down at Havasupai, I included a link to a free printable Havasupai hiking and camping list. See it here. (By the way, Drip.com helped me build that sign-up link.)

Building an email list helps you keep your readers informed of new content and products you love or that you'll eventually create yourself.

Which leads me to my next point:

 Learn blogging tips and tricks from experts who quit their day job to blog full time. Don't wing it - these tools have helped countless bloggers start off on the right foot!

Learn blogging tips and tricks from experts who quit their day job to blog full time. Don't wing it - these tools have helped countless bloggers start off on the right foot!

5. Be willing to spend a little money.

Let's be honest, many of us to choose to blog about topics we are passionate about, and eventually, if not right away, we dream about capitalizing our passions and monetizing our blog.

Reality check: We'll have to spend a little money to make more money.

How I've chosen to invest my money so far (prices as of July 2018):

  1. Squarespace hosts my blog for $96 annual subscription fee + annual $20 domain fee + $50 annual Google-suite fee (ie. so I can have my own email address: tanya@radfamilytravel.com) So, $166 total per year for my own website.
  2. Drip is my email server right now at a $50/month. Honestly, I don't love the price but I chose Drip because they can handle high value of subscribers, and I love how easy it is to segment out email lists and create multiple drip campaigns tailored to how subscribers sign up. Learn more at Drip.com !
  3. Tailwind's annual fee is $120 for unlimited scheduled time-saving pinning on Pinterest (versus $15/month = $180 for limited monthly pinning). Totally worth it.
  4. PicMonkey at $47.88 annually, literally makes editing photos for my blog articles and creating pins for Pinterest SUPER FUN! Designing made easy. Create beautiful images in a matter of minutes with templates and customize social posts. The best part: no design experience necessary.
  5. Elite Blogging Academy was my largest one-time cost (2019 price TBA), but I also have access to each updated version of the course for life. Winning!  

Click below to learn more and start off on the right foot today!

Plus, I've already paid myself back more than twice by being an EBA affiliate. Which leads me to my final point...

 Learn blogging tips and tricks from experts who quit their day job to blog full time. Don't wing it - these tools have helped countless bloggers start off on the right foot!

Learn blogging tips and tricks from experts who quit their day job to blog full time. Don't wing it - these tools have helped countless bloggers start off on the right foot!

6. Be an affiliate for your favorite brands and products

You're already going to talk about your favorite things, so why not get paid to do it?

Here are a few of my favorite affiliates to work with so you can work from home and monetize your blog:

7. Give yourself time and grace

While learning how to blog, you'll be mastering different courses, platforms, and applications. Take free help when you can, be willing to spend money to make money, and you might be on your way to work from anywhere!

Trust me, you will be on a HUGE learning curve. Blogging is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of guts and hard work. Ask the experts!

Don't wing it. Take your time, let your brain soak it all in, and move at your pace.

Don't be afraid to ask questions. Success will not happen over night. It really is a marathon, not a sprint.

YOU. CAN. DO. IT.  

What's the most challenging thing for you as you start a blog?

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52 Blog Post Ideas

52 Blog Post Ideas

Visiting Iceland - an epic 10 day itinerary

Visiting Iceland - an epic 10 day itinerary