Welcome to the resources for bloggers page at DSM Publishing. We have spent hours and hours looking for certain resources for our blog. It is so time consuming, then you buy something and realise it is not quite right!
Therefore we decided to put a resource together for our fellow bloggers so that you don’t have the same issues we have had. From setting up your domain name to getting traffic – we have it covered. Plus we are constantly adding to this page and ONLY including resources that we have had first hand experience with.
So lets get started and here is to you and your blogging career!
Getting Started With Your Blog
The first part of setting up a blog (often considered as the scariest part) is choosing your niche, your domain name and of course your hosting. This is then followed up with themes, configuration and of course tools!
Niche Attack – Is what we wrote earlier this year, where we take you through the top profit pumping niches and how you can make them work for you. It is full of ideas and income stream opportunities if you are stuck on deciding on a niche.
It can also give you a wealth of ideas if you have already chosen your niche and gets you thinking like an internet marketer not just someone that likes to blog.
Expired Domains – are the first place you should look before you buy a domain from a regular registrar. Whats good about them is that you can get old ones that already have traffic or Google page rank. It gives you an excellent head start and saves a lot of the early traffic building methods that you would normally do.
The best ones are the deleted ones. These are ones that have actually been deleted because the previous owner has not renewed their domain name. You can then pick up the deleted ones at the same price as buying a domain.
Namecheap is one of the biggest registrars of domains on the internet today and we have used them for a few months after changing over from Go Daddy. There are many of them to choose from but when you read the reviews Namecheap is the front runner for most people.
It is also very important that you keep your domain and your hosting separate as if anything goes wrong you are not keeping both your eggs in the same basket.
Hostgator We were with Hostgator for many years until earlier this year when we decided we needed a hosting company that specialized in VPS and dedicated servers. But Hostgator is a great way for you to start if you have no experience so i would recommend them if you are new to blogging.
Plus they are very cheap. When we started out online we were with Fast Hosts and they charged a small fortune in comparison. If you are starting with Hostgator use coupon code “dsmpublishing” and pay just $0.01 for your first month.
Knownhost Knownhost specialises in VPS and dedicated server solutions and there deals are fantastic. For less money than we were paying Hostgator we received a SSD HDD VPS with all the trimmings and have never looked back. One of the best decisions we have made, especially as we have a lot of images on are site and they can cause your site to run slow so the SSD HDD helps a lot.
What we have also found is that many VPS services are really over priced. I know one fellow blogger is paying five times what we are paying for VPS hosting and they have less traffic than us!
The next thing you need to consider is your WordPress theme. Themes are like choosing underwear. We all have a different opinion as to how they should look and how comfy they feel for each of us is totally different.
There are some themes that are easier to use and there are some that require abit more attention but look so much better and give you the wow factor.
Thesis is the theme we have just moved onto recently. We wanted a faster running site and one of the downsides of other themes is that they run on way too many Plugins. We wanted to escape this and Thesis hardly has any because of the way it has been built.
We are also not experts when it comes to html (even though we know a fair bit) so it nice to have a theme that offers a lot of support. And we have certainly got our monies worth out of it so far!
Plus if you get bored with the theme you can simply change the skin.
Themedy Skins – Are the skins which DSM Publishing are running on at the moment. We have the Quik skin and absolutely love it. We are also lifetime members so when they bring out new themes we can have access to those too. They currently have several themes that run on Thesis 2.1 which is great for if you fancy a change.
They are versatile and recommended by the Thesis creator. We like all the choices they have and are pretty easy to use with top notch support.
Socrates Now this is one of the first themes we used when we first started out with our online business. It is perfect for users who do not have any experience of running and owning a blog. Easy to use and very ease to customise. A great first theme.
When we put blogs together for our clients we often use this theme as it is so easy to then pass on to our clients. If you are a beginner to html you will love this and it gives you a good starting point.
You can always change the theme onto Thesis when you get more confident!
Now there is the Plugins – the wonderful pieces of WordPress software that make your blogging life easier and less stressful!
- All in One SEO This is one of five plugins that I want to share with you and my favourite too! We have used this plugin since we first started blogging. It is really useful to help make your blog SEO friendly.It is easy to use and set up.
- Google Site Map This plugin takes care of your sitemap which is basically a list of all the pages and posts on your site that Google’s bot needs to be aware of and will crawl to look for this.
- Limit Login Attempts This plugin will limit your login attempts that malicious bots will try to do to gain entry to your blog and then if they get in they could cause so much damage. So it is very important that you use it. It wasn’t until I used this that I actually found out just how many people were constantly trying to log into my site. It is actually rather scary and makes you realise the importance of website security.
- Akismet Is a blog comment spam protector. You will receive alot of spam comments and Akismet will filter through them and take out and remove any comments it deems as spam. You can get a key for free if you have a personal blog but for a business one you will have to pay $5 a month like we do for this blog.
- WP Super Cache This plugin will help your wordpress site to load faster in browsers which will make your site more user friendly and they will be more inclined to spend time on your blog if it is quick rather than slow. This is the easiest one for new people to use but if you are feeling technical try W3 Total Cache and get stuck in to there endless amount of options.
Blogvault This is a cheap option and the one we use for our websites. It gives you a one click solution to back up your blog and makes the process so easy. After it has finished you can also view what your site will look like if you lost your site to make sure it is backing it up correctly. Many people fail to back up their site which is a huge mistake and you really need to look into something like this. It is always better to be safe than sorry. It is like having a corner shop and not turning on the alarm before you leave – you wouldn’t do it would you?
Cloudflare Something we have got recently is a CDN. I did not know what this was but basically you set your websites up through their own nameservers ours are ken and kate.cloudflare. This means when a visitor opens your site in America the closest server to the persons location will load your content and same for England, Asia, and the rest of Europe. It also has a lot of security benefits and it is free to open up an account and get cracking.
Though when you are making changes to your website you need to pause it otherwise it wont show your changes straight away!
Open Office – is another great tool and I use it for converting my word documents into PDFs for when I am selling ebooks. It is very fast and if you don’t have access to the Microsoft Office suite for word and excel they have excellent alternatives.
Exit Splash – once you are bringing traffic through to your blog you need to be looking at what you can do with those that are leaving your website. A perfect example is Exit Splash when you can install a code and then give leaving visitors the chance to buy one of your products, sign up to your newsletter or sell them an affiliate link.
DudaMobile – There is no denying it everything is going mobile. The question is are you? We were a little late taking the mobile world by storm but we are there now! When we first went mobile we were rather shocked by how many of our visitors visit us from mobile devices and how poor quality our websites looked for the mobile world.
Some niches will do more business than others on mobile devices. For example if you have a big social following mobile friendly websites are an absolute must. Where as in the internet marketing niche it is low in comparison. So if you are a recipe website expect at least half of all your visitors to be mobile users.
You can also have a mini version of your website done specifically for the mobile world and get better results on Adsense and other advertising. If you click on the banner or here you can see exactly how your site looks like to the mobile reader.
Once you have your blog set up and have started blogging the next bit on your agenda needs to be traffic. After all, it is a waste of time to blog if no one is seeing your excellent content is there?
Stat Counter – the first thing you need to do is install Statcounter onto your blog. That way you can track where your future traffic is coming from and look at your conversions and results. I have been using Stat Counter for several years now and they provide a very good all round service. Their support is also fantastic if you are having problems with installing your code or getting everything in place.
SEO – Blogging and SEO go together like salt and pepper. You just couldn’t imagine one without the other. I love SEO and it does count for 25% of my traffic on my sites. The reason? Because I don’t want Google dictating all the traffic that I get as I want to have control of my own business. That way if you have a bad SEO week you are not left with no traffic at all. I have put together a fantastic SEO guide on the blog and you can read it here.
Social Bookmarking – is a very big part in your SEO and is well worth the effort. We have been outsourcing our social bookmarking for many years now and it is very cheap and as a result will get you very good positions on Google. I have written a piece on my blog with the best social bookmarking sites to submit to and you can read it here.
Word Tracker – keyword research is also a major part of SEO and needs to be done correctly. Here is my guide to getting the best results out of your keyword research (for free) without wasting your money on over hyped keyword software. It is a slow process, finding all the best SEO keywords but it is well worth it for the end results you can achieve.
Google Alerts – it is a good idea to add Google alerts to your Google account. They basically inform you whenever your site has been indexed in Google. Therefore you can keep a track on what progress you are making with your search engine optimisation. Secondly you can use them to keep an eye on your web address being indexed by others and how your back linking is coming along. Its also good for monitoring key phrases in your niches or even for keeping an eye on the competition.
One of the best ways to make money online is by building a mailing list. Its on the top spot of everyone’s list and rightly so. Once people are on your mailing list you can earn passive income as you sleep by sending out emails and offering them free advice and paid products. Many newbies to internet marketing get sick of reading about list building but the truth is – IT WORKS!
Aweber If you are new to blogging then you will not know what Aweber is but it is a very important part of your income if you are wanting to build a list through email marketing. We have used them for years (we signed up in 2005) because mainly they make it so easy to be able to start creating lists and getting subscribers added to your list.
There are many others about that are cheaper but they don’t offer the same level of features as what Aweber does.
With social media being such a big part of our lives now it would be stupid not to use it for your business. We use it for traffic and get a lot of our traffic from social media and it is thanks to these great tools:
Hootsuite really is the number one place to be able to access all of your social media platforms. If like us you will end up with a Facebook profile, Twitter profile, Google Plus profile and LinkedIn to name a few. All these need updating every day and to log in to each to site to post an update would be too time consuming so you login to Hootsuite and from your dashboard you can update each profile with a different update as and when you want brilliant.
Or if you are having a lazy day update them all with the same update with a click of the mouse
Tweepi is another great tool and one of the best interfaces we have used to sort out our twitter accounts. It is free to join and like us if you have a big twitter following you will need a tool to help sort through the spammers and inactive accounts. We did not use it when we first started and i wish we knew about it then as it would have saved a lot of effort going through 80,000 followers to sort out the rubbish ones.
With Twitter there has been a lot of spamming over the years and you can literally go into your account and delete all those with eggs (none personalised profile images) and those without bios. You can also delete all those followers that have not been on Twitter for a while and just basically clear out the rubbish from your Twitter account.
Facebook Paid Ads – have always had a lot of stick but they do work for long term traffic. And the reason I know they work is because I personally use them myself. You can do campaigns on blog posts, squeeze pages and your latest products. They are all very cheap and I currently pay between $0.01 and $0.06 per click depending on what I am promoting. So give it a go and you will be surprised by the results.
Blogging Income Streams
There are endless income streams that are available to bloggers. Unfortunately they don’t all work with every niche. Here is what we use currently on a couple of our websites and its all about testing your results to check what works best for you.
Adsense – this programme we think is the best for creating some money from little traffic to start with. As your traffic grows you can still use Adsense and then your revenue will go up with the amount of traffic you get. Also i think they are one of the most reliable to use for payments. Adsense revenue can be totally different from one niche to another so don’t expect to earn the same amount as someone else does.
Clickbank is one of the biggest affiliate sites for ebooks on the net. We have used it for years and we get payouts every fortnight and we also have are own products on there so affiliates can affiliate us as well. Its always best to have a bit of both and also aim towards recurring affiliate products so that you can make money from them in the future.
Advertising Revenue – one of the best income streams you can ever have is from advertising. There are endless advertising sites that will except your website and then in exchange they take a cut in the profits when they sell your advertising space. This is also something that is hard to sell right in the beginning as you need a decent amount of traffic to make money from this.
Here are some good places to publish your blog for advertising revenue
Fiverr – This is a good place to make some good money from advertising for your blog. This is also good when you do not have the greatest of traffic and are just starting out. Sell 30 day banner spaces on your website, tweets to your Twitter following, Facebook updates or even sponsored reviews via your blog posts. There are so many options to choose from and I recommend that you have a good look around Fiverr for some fresh ideas.
We have put these resources together because these are what we have used but most of the products we have listed we are actually using today as I write this. We would not expect you to take our word for something if we had not used it or are using it at the moment.
There are a lot more traffic and income sources than this but it gives you an excellent starting point.
A lot of the tools above are free so dig in and get started with your own blogging career and we wish you the best of luck for your new career.