If you’re a fellow blogger looking to grow your own business, there are a few resources I strongly recommend that you check out. These are things that have helped me achieve my own successes!
Top SEO resources
The #1 tool I can’t live without for blogging is Keysearch, the least expensive paid keyword research tool out there. It’s a great way to analyze keyword competition for SEO, find alternatives that you can rank for faster, track your rankings and even see what other websites are up to.
At $17 per month, Keysearch can seem like a pricey investment at the beginning of your blogging journey. After all, your site may not earn even that much in the first few months! But they say “it takes money to make money” and that’s very true in this case. Because once you find a few low-competition keywords, you’ll quickly earn more than that cost!
The cheaper path in the long haul, which I recommend, is to buy an annual subscription to Keysearch. Then annual starter (which I still use several years in) costs $169, but using coupon KSDISC drops that to $135 per year – about $11 per month. It’s a small price to pay for the massive earning potential! Within one month of starting Keysearch, I earned enough from one article to pay for the whole year.
Just having a tool like Keysearch isn’t enough to guarantee blogging success. It’s easy to shoot blindly and think you’re doing everything right, only to find that years have gone by and your labor of love still hasn’t made the leap to a viable business.
But I’m lucky. Within the first two months of my blogging journey, I connected with an amazing teacher who has led me down the path of blogging success. Sharon Gourlay is the real deal. She used to be an actual classroom teacher so she knows how to help people connect the dots on their way to mastery of tough material.
Now she uses that expertise to teach digital entrepreneurs how to combine SEO and affiliate marketing to generate serious passive income. When I started this website I never thought it would become a viable job for me, but thanks to Sharon and her fantastic DNW resources, I get to work from home in my pajamas every day while still meeting my family’s financial needs. No voodoo magic, just working smart (and hard).
But you don’t have to take my word for it: Sharon provides an absolute treasure trove of information completely for free! Check out these awesome ways to get started:
–5 day goal-setting challenge
–7 day SEO boost challenge
–7 day link building challenge
Sharon also offers an in-depth paid course if you want to skip the guess work and follow the plan that has led her and so many others to blogging success. Since we were traveling full-time I haven’t yet been able to do her course but it’s in my plan for next year!
Top affiliate marketing resources
If you’re new to blogging or new to monetizing, Skimlinks is a great way to get started! Unlike every other program where each merchant has to approve you individually before you can earn, the minute you’re accepted to Skimlinks you’ll have access to almost 50,000 merchants. You can link to Airbnb, Walmart, Target, Amazon, Booking and almost everything else.
It can be a little tricky to get the implementation just right for Skimlinks, so I’ve written an entire article to step you through all of your choices and their pros and cons. Read it here to start making money on Skimlinks.
ShareASale has become one of my favorite affiliate marketing networks! While there are some major brands on there like Viator, it also has plenty of boutique merchants that are a great fit for some niche items I want to recommend to my readers. ShareASale also has a fantastic Chrome extension that makes it easy to either text links or fantastic image embeds – unlike Amazon Site Stripe you can choose from lots of product images! I’m a huge fan.
Top Pinterest resources
For many bloggers, Pinterest is a huge traffic source – we’re talking tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of sessions per month!
But most of those folks aren’t sitting at their computers pinning all day long, are they?
No, they’re not. They’re off living their lives and creating awesome new content while Tailwind does the heavy lifting. Tailwind is a Pinterest-approved scheduling tool that shares your best pins and the best times to bring you traffic even while you sleep.
Another great feature is Tailwind Tribes, which lets you share your pins with other people in your niche. They’ll then schedule your pins to go out to their audience, and you’ll schedule content from others in your Tribes. Everyone grows together!
What should you actually do on Pinterest? Let the fine ladies at Slaying Social show you the way! They’ll go through all the details of how to set up your Pinterest account for Pinterest SEO (yes, that’s a thing), how to design click-worthy pins, what topics are even worth pinning, when and how you should pin and more!
The courses are easy to follow and entertaining. Most importantly, they work. Within two months of implementing the Slaying Social strategies, my Pinterest sessions had more than doubled from 5,000 per month to almost 12,000 per month! A lot of those extra sessions were for affiliate-heavy articles, so the course more than paid for itself in just the first month!
If you’re totally new to using Pinterest as a content creator, check out their Slaying Pinterest 101 course. If you have a solid grasp on the basics and are already getting a few thousand sessions per month from Pinterest, you can jump straight to their intermediate/advanced Slaying Pinterest Traffic course.
Top Email resources
I’m just at the beginning of my email list building journey, but I’ve finally started on the path! For years I used a basic free MailChimp account to collect email addresses, but I struggled with how to use that list. With all of my subscribers lumped together, how could I know who was interested in my latest family travel article, just a single country (but maybe without kids), travel gear or budget travel tips?
I recently made the jump to a paid email service, ConvertKit. ConvertKit makes it easy to keep track of who’s on your list and why they’re there. You can set up your account to automatically segment new subscribers based on their interests, send targeted welcome sequences, blast new blog posts to the subscribers who will actually want to read them and more.
It took me a little while to figure out the implementation, but I’m kicking myself for not doing it a million visitors ago. Even if 1% of those readers had signed up, I’d have a huge audience on a list that I own.