Fancy starting your own blog or online biz?
I remember the feeling well! The excitement! The gut feeling that this is going to be epic! And it can be! But you’re not sure where to start when setting up online or striving to blog for profit? Well here are your resources….
Here I’ve listed all the tools that I use to run my blog and business, because it will save you precious time when you’re making your own epic business leaps…..
Website and Hosting
I run my blog through WordPress and can recommend Etsy to find a beautiful theme that you know will work well for you and your audience. My hosting is provided by Siteground and I cannot sing the praises of their customer service team highly enough! They manage to cope with my very non-tech speak every time without making me feel silly!
For my family business website, I use Etsy and this works really well for our little shop that sells my Dad’s amazing handmade wooden toys (you can visit him here on Etsy here)
Monetising a blog is the million dollar question isn’t it? And to do this successfully there are a multitude of paths you can choose. I chose to minimise the number of avenues I use to make money, but concentrate firmly on a focused strategy for each one.
So, in order to maximise revenue from my blog I use three main strategies:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Sponsored Posts
- Create and sell my own products
this is a topic in its own right but, the question I get asked most frequently is how to find appropriate affiliate programmes for a particular niche. Now my absolute top recommendation for this is Awin. I talk about it more in this post but honestly, there is a brand for every possible niche you can imagine within the walls of this platform! Along with Ultimate Bundles and Amazon, this is my main source of income across the blog and Pinterest.
The Yorkshire Pudding has a strict policy of only working with brands that will be suitable for our audience. There is absolutely no point in jumping to work with brands that pull the audience in a miss-mash of directions. As such, I set myself a strict strategy in my business plan of how I will work with brands. This includes:
- How much I will charge
- What that charge includes
- What I am willing to include within a promotion
- What the limits of the charge include (so, exclusive content being one!)
- A strict timeline and expectations for both TYP and the brand to work to
If everyone is clear about your process and terms, it’s less confusing for everyone and ensures consistent and quality for the readers every single time.
I do reach out to brands on occasion, but more often, I am approached by them directly through the website or social media. I have made it easy for brands to reach out to me by providing a dedicated contact form and ensuring I am consistent and engaged on social media. I recommend you do the same.
Your Own Products
Creating and selling your own digital products is super daunting but, is the best possible way to solve the pain points that your audience comes to you with. Blog posts are all about solving a problem, providing an opinion or offering advice, but can be limited to the word count and images that we want to include. As a blogger, you want to help, but sometimes it’s tough to include everything that needs to be said in 800 to 1400 words right?
This is where selling ebooks comes into play! I take the questions I’m being asked and the pain points that my audience have and solve them with a digital product. Like a blog post, once created, it is out on the world wide web and earns you passive income with very little work other than maintenance after the creation process. I use a combination of word documents and Canva to actually create my products, and I distribute them through SendOwl and Lulu.com
I use SendOwl to manage my affiliate programme too, which means we get to help more people! An affiliate programme results in a wider reach, more sales and an ever better marketing strategy for The Yorkshire Pudding! Yey!
Mail and Social
From, nearly, day 1 I invested in my mailing list. I knew I wanted to blog for profit right from the get-go and knew how important an email list was (thanks Meera!) But, I also knew very little about technology. I looked into email solutions and literally researched every possible solution to the “blogging list”, eventually trying Mail Chimp (for a whole month!) before settling happily with Convertkit. They are a platform built specifically for bloggers and they know what they’re doing! It’s a simple to use and effective method of automating my email list process. I absolutely love it, and this is coming from a technophobe!
Pinterest is a big driver of traffic to The Yorkshire Pudding, and I use Tailwind to take a lot of heavy lifting out of it for me. Again, this is a serious part of my strategy and so, I invested in it and the returns are worth it. The income I make from affiliate pins alone (even if I didn’t blog!) is worth the small investment in Tailwind each month. The rest of my social media is scheduled and automated through a combination of Buffer and IFTTT recipes.
To manage my followers on social media, I use apps including Followers for Twitter and Instrack for Instagram.
Productivity and Motivation
You all know by now how much I love my planner! I’m an old school girl when it comes to arranging both my personal life and business, so everything (apart from two spreadsheets!) is kept on paper. For my biz, I use a personal Filofax with customised inserts that I made myself (because I’m a planner nerd!) but you can grab amazing ones from my amazing friends over at Etsy. I use planner stickers from a range of shops but specifically, Planozo and Savymoo Designs because they’re perfect for bloggers!
I also use Meera Kothand’s book, One Hour Content Plan and her Create Blog Planner to manage my editorial calendar and ideas.
If you’re looking for a daily layout with space for both home and personal life to get all your shit together, I can highly recommend The Brilliant Life Planner from the wonderful Brilliant Business Moms (their courses are awesome too!)
For motivation and inspiration I like to watch the occasional YouTube vid and subscribe to Impact Theory, Gary Vee, Mateusz M, House of Brazen’s Elise McDowell, and Law of Attraction Coaching. I also love to listen to audiobooks and podcasts (so I can multitask and clean at the same time! It makes household chores so much better!) My favourites audiobook (via Audible) is The Science of Getting Rich, The 5 Second Rule and You are a Badass at Making Money. My go-to Podcasts are Nick Lopers Side Hustle Nation and Brilliant Business Moms.
To relax, I love to play with my planner and get huge inspiration from Kerrymay Makes (check out her YouTube channel too!) My planner keeps me organised but I also use it as a form of artistic expression, with blank pages, quotes and colouring pages dotted throughout. I love sitting with my washi tape on a sunday evening; bliss! I also read the unique point of view of Elle, from LaBeaute.org during my downtime. She provides inspiration and motivation to women out there seeking confidence in life, and talks about all things beautiful!
Courses and Learning
When I first realised I wanted to blog as a business I made two purchases, Building a Framework by Abby Lawson and How to Blog for Profit without Selling your Soul by Ruth Soukup. Both helped me immensely to understand the fundamentals of blogging for business. Since then, I have come on in leaps and bounds; taking courses and reading amazing books that have helped me out (you can read my biz book recommendations here). Currently, I subscribe to Serious Bloggers Only, because Jon Morrow is a rock star and his advice is invaluable!
I highly recommend House of Brazen’s, How to make your first Affiliate Sale on Pinterest in 24 Hours.
Before my last launch, I completed Brilliant Product Launches course from Brilliant Business Moms, which set me in amazing stead to sell my second eBook, Life Over Laundry. Their courses taught me how to develop products and content that my audience actually want to buy, in addition to setting up a landing page that converts! They teach you how to launch in style and keep the checkout over at SendOwl ringing 🙂 I highly recommend Beth Anne and the teams courses, as they provide huge value and content at affordable prices.
So now, what is stopping you? If you have questions, ideas that you just don’t know what to do with, or something else then holla! I’m here for you!