Following is a list of resources, guides, books, and services that we’ve found useful and recommend any serious blogger to check out.
Register Your Domain
If you want people to be able to find you at an easy to pronounce address, i.e. cooking.com or fishing.com, you will need to purchase (register) a domain name for yourself. This is your personal address on the internet – it is not the same thing as your blog host (see Step #2 for that).
Premium Blog Hosting
We highly recommend BlogPress for this. It provides a “well-built and excellently maintained home” for your blog so that you can focus on blogging without having to worry about all the techie stuff. It’s where we host all of the Dan & Jennifer Media Blogs that get millions of page views every month.
Plus, when you host your blog with BlogPress, we will install and set up your BlogPress blog and map your domain name to your new blog at no additional cost to you.
If you want to manage all the techie stuff yourself – Installing and configuring WordPress, managing plugins, etc. Then you’ll want your own web host. HostGator is the only web host we recommend to our own friends and family.
- Keywords 101: What Are Keywords And Why Do They Matter? (Video)
- Keyword Research 101: How to Choose The Best Tags & Keywords For Your Blog Posts – And Why This Matters (Video)
- SEOBook Keyword Research Tool – free keyword research too
Email Marketing Software
Aweber (read our Aweber Review here) – Aweber is the only email marketing software (service) we trust with our own email list. We’ve tried many of the other email marketing providers out there, and have always come back to Aweber. And don’t even think about hosting your own email list on your own server, that stuff only worked before 2001, no you’ll be lucky for any email to actually go out from it. What matters is getting your email delivered (getting through to your subscribers’ inboxes) – and that’s where Aweber delivers. And it just works, which is why we use them.
Try Aweber for yourself for just $1 and you’ll find out why they’re the only email marketing software or service we trust with our own email list.
Email Opt-In Forms (for getting subscribers to your email list)
PopUp Domination – This software package allows you to easily create and test visually appealing opt-in forms that pop-up (or better yet, they “hover in”) to entice your 1st time visitors to subscribe to your list. We use something like this and it’s literally increased our opt-ins by 400%! Available as a WordPress plugin or standalone.
Where to Find Good Affiliate Programs
Clickbank - search their marketplace for digital products to promote, i.e. eBooks.
Commission Junction – another large affiliate marketplace, used by many online dating websites. We think of this as a decoy in a way, since we haven’t known anyone to actually make any substantial money with this site.
Writing and Copywriting (How to Write Effective Headlines and More to Captivate Your Readers)
Copywriting is one of the most overlooked but actually crucial skills for any online marketer – if you have a website or blog, that means you!
Copyblogger - Great resource for learning the fine points of writing good, engaging “copy”, especially as it pertains to blogs
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Scribe SEO - The best in content SEO optimization tool that let’s you optimize each post BEFORE you publish it.
SEOBook Keyword Research Tool Free tool to find out how many people search for any keyword or keyphrase in your niche (we use this daily)
The SEO Book Blog – Great resource for learning SEO
Get more Blog and Web Site Traffic with Social Media
Make Money Online – with Your Blog Through Text Links
- Google AdSense
- Yahoo Publisher Network
- Microsoft AdCenter
- Amazon Affiliate Program
- Text-Link-Ads – Don’t sit around waiting for advertisers to come to you. People are out shopping for link ads RIGHT NOW in marketplaces like Text-Link-Ads. If you’re not in there, then someone else is going to get paid to put links on THEIR site today. Disclaimer: these “text links” are technically against Google’s policy and can hurt your natural traffic from Google and other search engines.
- Chitika – easily add interactive product comparison shopping to your site and product reviews. A must have for product review blogs and sites that mention specific products.
- AuctionAds – add eBay auctions to your site and make money as a high traffic eBay affiliate
Examples of Successful Blogs
A successful blog can be in virtually any topic / niche, as you can see in the examples below…