3 Great RESOURCES FOR BLOGGERS
I felt it would be helpful to let wanna be bloggers or anyone else know how I started this blog. I stumbled through a few different services, themes and platforms before finding what worked well for me. These are the resources I use and feel were the easiest as I built this blog/website store.
This list will be added to as this blog evolves and I find new services that help me on my blogging path. I could not afford a designer so I had to figure it out myself. I know I am not alone in having budget restrictions so I hope this helps someone who is just getting started or would just like to build their own blog/website store.
Disclosure:I am going to start out and let you know that this post has affiliate links. You click thru and purchase something and I get a small percentage at no extra cost to you. That being said I have had only good experiences with these companies and feel I can recommend them in all sincerity.
START A BLOG OR WEBSITE
It actually is really easy!
Since I am no techie expert I am a wonderful example of how anyone can do it.
After a few tries at blogging and platforms I would highly recommend going with a self hosted WordPress site.
WordPress is going to be around forever and it is so flexible.
There are great themes to choose from that have fantastic support, when you are building a blog yourself customer support will be very important to you…
…more on that later.
You can get hosting for as little as $3.95 a month.
My preference is BlueHost.
They offer great prices and if your blog hits the big time and gets enough visits to need a dedicated server, they offer that service too.
The main reason I love BlueHost is they have excellent customer service.
Remember I mentioned earlier about not being a techie while building, tweaking and setting up my site, I have crashed my site a couple times. (this was when I was messing with code before I found great themes already coded for me)
BlueHost customer service came to my rescue and had my site back up and running within half an hour. I typically use their online chat rather than calling in and I have been responded to in a reasonable time frame.
Since I have not used their phone customer service much I can’t really give you an assessment of that.
To get started…the first thing you want to do is figure out what you want to call your blog or website, this is important, you don’t want to change it later, so be deliberate and give it some thought.
I register my domain names with Domains Priced Right, you can click on over and they have a spot to check for what names are available, it is free.
Once you are set up with BlueHost go into your cPanel and look for the WordPress icon and follow the steps there. It should take only about 5 minutes to have WordPress up and running on your very own blog/website.
THE GENESIS FRAMEWORK
Now you need a great Framework.
The Genesis Framework is the best and easiest in my opinion. Many big name bloggers use it but what sold me was the ease at adding plugins to make things happen that would normally take coding and the headaches involved with that for us non computer geeks.
Genesis is like our body and the child theme you use is like the clothing we put on to make it look better. There are also a lot of great StudioPress Child Themes that work with Genesis to choose from.
I recently built a website for a robotics company using Genesis and one of StudioPress’s fabulous child themes. It took me a day to get them up and running and now I have two more possible website designing jobs from it. Everyone that sees it is impressed and think I am a genius website designer.
I am not, I just used Genesis then a child theme and followed the step by step set up instructions. End of story.
StudioPress offers a step by step beginners instruction PDF for using Genesis that is downloadable. Very comprehensive and useful.
Now on to the child theme I used for this blog/website….
StudioPress has lots of great child themes for Genesis Framework but when I ran across Lauren’s site, Restored 316 Designs I was hooked. She had a couple designs I had rattling around in my own brain that I wanted my site to look like so instead of me working away figuring out how to make my site look just how I wanted I just purchased her Tasteful theme, it was just what I had envisioned without me having to do much work at all. I followed her easy step by step instructions and before I knew it my site was matching the vision I had in my head. One caveat was that Tasteful was not set up as a commerce theme but Lauren had an easy tutorial on her site to make Tasteful compatible with WooCommerce (my online store plugin) that I could do myself. That is another plus I want to mention with Restored 316 Designs, the entire website is easy to navigate and she has great tutorials.
She does offer themes that are already WooCommerce ready like Delightful Pro, Adorn, Sprinkle, and more. You can also purchase branding bundles(ie: Facebook headers, Twitter headers and MailChimp logo) to match your theme, which I think is a great idea but I have yet to avail myself of that service. Mostly because I have not settled on a permanent logo for my site yet.
I hope these resources help you to get started. I will add to this post soon to let you know what plugins, mail service etc that I find useful.
I am in the process of learning better food photography, I will share that too, even the flops. I know it is geared towards food but I think this program will help me with getting better photographs in general.
Speaking of tutorials, I am working on another painting tutorial as we speak, I just need to edit the video and upload it. So soon there shall be a new one to enjoy for those of you that are following the painting lessons.
Until next time…Adieu’ !