I really wanted to post my first “Money Basics” post so didn’t spend as much time on the set up yesterday, but still managed to spend a few hours on it! Time flies when you are having fun. There is so much to learn but it is very time-consuming. Here is my blogging do’s and don’ts – day 3!
I couldn’t make a call yesterday so ended up googling most of my questions (plus I hate talking on the phone!) and I do have a full-time job so easier to google than be on the phone for hours.
So I did post my first Money Basics topic: How to Start Saving Money in 3 Easy Steps. It wasn’t perfect but if I wait for perfect, I will never post anything. You’ve got to start somewhere! I read that on many bloggers’ post so that must be true.
Blog Set Up Updates:
Once my Money Basics post was published, I managed to get a few things done:
- Add an image to my blog. I had to change my theme, apparently the one I liked didn’t allow me to add images easily (or I just couldn’t figure it out). So I change my theme and was able to add an image. I searched the web for free images for blogs and came up with a few sites. I wanted some colors on my blog for now but will need to go back and do a better job later. You need to be careful when you use images and make sure there is no copyright or anything like that. Lots of site out there to get free images or use you own.
- Tip 1. Get the right theme
- Tip 2 . Find free images to use on the internet or use your own. I use Pixabay for now.
- Choosing a new theme. Be aware, there are tons of themes! I started scrolling down the list and it just never seemed to end. I only looked at free themes because I just started and I have no clue what I am doing yet. What you need to know is that you are not only selecting a look, you are also selecting a layout with various options for widgets, headers, pictures. So make sure you read the description to see what the theme will allow you to do. I am still not really sure about what everything is so I didn’t spend as much time as I should have but I am happy with my second choice for now. It is helpful if you have a clear image of what you want your blog to look like and have some patience…I don’t.
- Know what you are looking for, it will make the selection faster.
- Set up comments – There was really not that much to do. It is already set up to receive comments. I made sure in the WordPress Dashboard under Settings/Discussion I checked the following:
|Before a comment appears||Before a comment appears Comment must be manually approved|
This means I will get to review all comments before they get posted. There are a few other things to set up for Comment but I will keep it for another post.
- Tip 1. Set up your comments to be approved (by you) before posted
- Tip 2. Send me one!
- I set up a new email with my blog site @moneyscrap .com. Pretty cool! It really didn’t take much time at all. I am not sure if I set it up properly yet so will need to test. I had to go under my host cPanel under Email Accounts and click Create Account. Then I set this new email to be forwarded to my regular email address under Forwarders. I thought I would keep my blogging gig separate for now since I really don’t know what to expect so I also created a new Gmail address for all Money Scrap communication and set ups.
- Set up a new email with your domain name @domainname.com. It looks more professional and visitors will take you more seriously
- Visitors count and stats for blog. That one is really neat, I couldn’t wait to check my numbers this morning. I had 41 unique views so far, that is so exciting, most of them in the US. They didn’t stay very long but at least they found my blog. This is available on my cPanel Apparently I can get a better reports with Jetpack from WordPress but I haven’t been successful to activate it. I have also not done a good job with setting up consistent users and password and got a little confused (again!). I will keep working on this.
- Know where to check your stats
- Tip 2. Keep a list of your username and password when you set anything up!
- Pages – I found how to remove the “Sample Page” that was on my blog. It was actually really easy once I realized I just had to delete that Page and create my own. I just had to select Page on my WordPress dashboard. I created an “About Me” page for now but it is under construction.
- Check my offers – When I signed up with my Web Host, I had a bunch of free coupons and credits. I contacted them via Chat and apparently they only remembered one of them. Good thing I do “Print Screen” for most of what I do. I couldn’t find any emails from them letting me know what I got and how to redeem but had a “Print Screen” of my set up and one of the pages had the full detail of what I was getting with the links.
- Tip 2. Print Screens when you set things up and save as a .PDF. You can refer back to it or you can actually use it later to document some of your posts. Use CRTL+P and save it.
- Tip 2. Use SnagIt for Print Screens. I love that product; have been using it for years now at my job. Whenever we work on documenting processes, you can just take a snap shot of the screen and then edit, crop, add anything you want. Best product I have ever used.
- Banner for affiliate set up – Not sure if you just want to just blog or try to make a little side money while doing it but I am all in to make a little extra dollars if I can. There are a lot of ways to make money blogging (which we will cover in a future post, once I know what I am doing!) and from what I have been reading one of the good one is Affiliate Marketing. So I went and signed up for two of them. One is with my own web host HostPapa and the other one is with the one I would have picked if I was in the US Bluehost, both had great reviews on all the sites I checked. The only reason I selected the first one is because it is a Canadian company, the cost is in CAD$ and it was cheaper (Special for the business web hosting was $3.95/month) . There are others that are highly recommended also such as site ground (I will see if I can add an affiliate link for them also).
The entire process with Hospapa was pretty easy for signing up and get the banner. Just make sure you read ALL the instructions/emails to the END. I have a tendency to skim through documents and miss critical pieces of information. This is where Print Screen is really handy so I can go back and read again.
Blue host was pretty easy also but I had to set up a PayPal account first and then I had to fill in a tax form W8. Apparently didn’t do it right so I can’t get paid yet! Wouldn’t it be cool if I actually made money this month already???
I will look at other Affiliate programs but one of my rules will be that I only promote companies I use or would use.
My goal for September is to recover the $190 for web hosting. (You need to have goals in life!)
- Only promote products and services you trust.
- Keep a list of Affiliates you sign up with that includes Company name (Product), URL, username and the password you used.
Topics I really need to work on:
- “About Me” page: Need to get that page up and running, for now all you need to know is that I am awesome! Haha
- Plug INS – There are a lot of them and I am still not sure on what I need and how it all works out. I will keep you posted on my progress. For now I will still try to activate the JetPack one.
- Disclaimer: I didn’t get a chance to look into it much but noticed it is on many blogs so I need to get on that ASAP.
- Email list management and subscribers: Every blog I read says they wish they did this from Day 1 and didn’t realize how important it was.
- Affiliate links: Learn how to add links without the banner. I find it too busy when you keep seeing the full image.
There is so much to learn about blogging, I get worried I may miss setting up something critical or that my entire personal information is somewhere posted on the net! It is very overwhelming and exciting at the same time. I agree with all the other bloggers, if it is something you have always wanted to do, DO IT NOW! What do you have to lose? Worst case scenario for me; I spent $190 (for 2 years – What can I say I am committed, and I added the Privacy options because I am paranoid about identity theft) and nobody will ever read my blog. I think I can live with that.
How about you? Just sign up now and get started. And if you use one of my links I may actually reach my September goal.
PS: I am setting up the links to sign up in my footer & sidebar because while I was able to insert the banner in my post once, I don’t seem to be able to do it again…arghhh
Additional posts you should check out if you are just starting a blog (updated Feb. 01, 2018):