Blog, Finances, Good Advice, Lifestyle

The Ultimate Free Blogging Guide for 2022

Hello there! I’m Kendra and I’m here to motivate you to start your very own blog! If you already have a blog, then this handy guide will help you to be even more successful. I am including a free downloadable pdf and checklist to help you get started, but first we will go over the reasons you need to start a blog today! Download your free printable checklist at the end of this post!

***This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase. Please, see my affiliate disclaimer for more details.***

A Little About Me

Like every else I held a regular 9-5 40-50 hour a week job. I worked for a hospital as a patient care technician which can be very stressful. Over the years I had several different hospital and customer service jobs, but none of them ever seemed fulfilling or rewarding. I would often find myself dreaming of starting my own business, or just plain escaping from work! Don’t get me wrong, I loved working and earning money, but I didn’t enjoy the mandatory overtime, horrible bosses, and working long hours. Sure I had money, but no time or freedom! More importantly I was too tired to enjoy any of it.

Following My Dreams

We have all heard that saying before (follow your dreams) but do you know just how rewarding that can really be? I made the decision to do so after I quit one of my last jobs. We were short staffed and after working 7 hours with no break, my supervisor screamed at me and ordered me to GO TO LUNCH! Not because I was due for a break, not because she appreciated me being there or that I did anything wrong. It was because she was tired and just had a huge fight with her ex husband! My wonderful (sarcastic tone) supervisor was going through a divorce, so her ideas of managing control was to take it out on the employees. Not to mention she was 20 years younger than me or that I had my own problems. Needles to say I had enough.  I was so angry I did go to lunch, but I never came back! Total Badass Move!

Why I Started My Blog

Now that I was jobless I decided to take a beach day! It’s my favorite place to de-stress and also the place where I started my blog. I met this awesome lady, ( I swear she was an angel) sent to me. She came to sit near me at the crowded beach with her dog and we started talking. Eventually I told her that I had just quit my job. When I told her why she said “You shouldn’t be working for anyone because you are a free spirit!” I can tell that about you just from talking to you this short time.” I was amazed! Here this woman who had known me for only about 20 minutes understood that I should be my own boss! “Figure out your passion (what you love) and start your own business!” She said. I went back to the beach and  started my blog the very next day!

5 Reasons To Start Your Own Blog Today

  1. Create stability for yourself in the midst of the pandemic.
  2. You can work from anywhere.
  3. Share your life experiences.
  4. Your Job or (Just Over Broke) is not stable.
  5. You need a creative outlet.

Before I started my blog, I spent the rest of the day at the beach trying to figure out what I was passionate about. I thought what is my favorite thing?  What will I call my blog? Well.. my favorite thing is The Beach of course and my favorite color is Aqua. I had already dreamed of buying and renovation my own home some day; So even though I had not yet bought my house or figured out what I would blog about, I named my blog The Aqua Cottage. I pictured a being in little aqua cottage by the sea. If I could turn my favorite place and color into successful business; then you certainly create anything too!

10 Things To Do Before You Start Your Blog

  1. Decide what you are passionate about.
  2. Start learning and reading about blogging.
  3. Choose your niche.
  4. Choose your blogs name.
  5. Check out other blogs in your niche.
  6. Get familiar with social media.
  7. Create a personal Pinterest page.
  8. Create a dedicated schedule.
  9. Choose your theme/brand colors.
  10. Start planning what you want to write about.

You may be thinking “Why would my blog be special when there are so many others out there?” Here is why. Everyone has a unique gift to contribute to this world. Your blog will boost confidence in yourself! Also think about it this way; If you can work 40-50 hours a week for the man, surely you can dedicate that time and energy to work for yourself. Once your blog is up and running you won’t need to work so many hours. I work 2-4 hours per day which gives me the freedom I need do the things I love, and help others.

Let go of any fear you may have and manifest your dreams. Keeping a journal and writing down your goals is a powerful way to manifest. Making lists and planning things out is the key to success! I recently found a list that I made 2 years ago before I bought my house and you know what? Everything I had written down came true! That was a powerful realization about manifesting dreams and you can do it too!

I eventually did get another job and it took about two years for my blog to become successful, but it doesn’t have to take you that long. The reason is that I was afraid to leave my full time job but I still managed to blog while working a 50 hour week. My lesson was to not have any fear because fate stepped in and my hospital job ended 1 month after I closed on my house! (thanks to the pandemic) This is why I say your job is not stable because I thought working at the hospital would be forever. Now I had no choice but to jump in full time and work for myself. I became dedicated and put the same time and effort into blogging. Now it’s time to start your blog!

There are many free resources online and YouTube tutorials that will teach how to use any blogging platform that you choose. I recommend WordPress because it is the best platform for professional bloggers and you can continue to grow your business when you are ready. Also Google, YouTube and Pinterest are the best tools for learning. This is why I say get familiar with Pinterest, not only is it a search engine but it’s a very helpful resource for new bloggers.

Once your blog is up and running, you can also share your blog posts to gain traffic by creating pins to upload to Pinterest. Create colorful pins and pictures for your blog posts. They keep people engaged in reading your content, plus people can save and pin your articles. All of the beautiful images in this post were created by Canva. I will explain the importance of using Canva later on.

Now That Your Blog Is Up & Running

You will need to:

  • Create a beautiful website.
  • Write an about me page. (This is your bio and also what your blog is about and your targeted audience.)
  • Write your privacy policy page. (important for monetization)
  • Get Monetized! (its how you make money) ex, Google Adsense, Amazon Affiliates ect.
  • Create helpful engaging content for your site.
  • Learn SEO (search engine optimization- helps your blog rank higher in google search.
  • Create social media pages and outlets for your blog such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, YouTube.
  • Link all of your social media outlets together. (This creates more traffic for your blog)
  • Share your content on social media!

 

Canva is a free graphic design platform that’s great for creating images for your blog. You can also use it to upload your own images and access over 400,000 free photos, illustrations, and templates for Facebook, Pinterest, & Instagram ect. Canva has 2 plans you can choose from, Free and Pro. The Pro plan is premium and has small monthly fee just under $14 but it is so worth it. I recommend using the free plan (which has tons of free stock photos) until you are more comfortable using the software. Once you have created your brand upgrade to the premium plan to have access to millions of stock photos and templates to create a gorgeous website! It has become one of my favorite blogging tools.

Now that you have created your blog, you’ll want to be successful by becoming popular and and making money. They key is to create content that solves problems and helps others. This is how you increase your blogs traffic and make money. You will gain loyal followers who will join your email list and return to your site. This will help you get to know your audience. Remember to be your unique self to connect with your fans.

It takes time to build your audience and your site. I will be honest. It’s not easy, you have to be dedicated! Take baby steps and learn as much as possible to stay motivated. When you get that first viral post and start to see your revenue increase, this will definitely to keep you motivated.

I suggest joining Facebook groups in your blogs niche. Don’t spam the groups but check the rules to see if they allow blog post sharing. You will gain more likes, traffic and followers this way.

7 Keys To Turn Your Blog Into A Successful Career

  1. Set weekly goals for your blog and stick to them.
  2. Plan your blog posts to stay consistent.
  3. Post consistently 1-2 time per week and create quality content.
  4. Get to know your audience/fans and be unique.
  5. Continue to learn and grow your social media.
  6. Share your content across social media to generate traffic.
  7. Treat your blog like a business.

As you can see, traffic is they key to make money from your blog no matter which affiliate program that you choose. I recommend Google Adsense because Google will place ads onto your site that match your niche. If you take a look at my site, your will see ads that match my content. For example, if someone is looking for a cookie recipe, Google may present ads that show baking supplies.

Another way to optimize ads is to create category pages for your site. This will create more revenue. I have 7 page categories so no matter what page my readers are on, they will see ads tailored to that page. More ads equal more opportunity for revenue. So remember, you can do this! It’s also the best way for introverts to make money! There is nothing wrong with working for yourself and making money. If you can’t leave your job yet, set aside some time to make your blog your side hustle.

If you are going to film and create vlog posts, check out the New Bloggers Kits here on Amazon.

Thank you for checking out this article, I hope you find it to be helpful! If so share it and pin it to say for later. Also see my blog post Why You Should Quit Your Job Right Now!! As I promised here is your free PDF checklist/planner. You can click here or on the image below. It also has a list of 50 blog post ideas to help you get started!

Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year Like A Boss!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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