Imagine making a living (or a good side income) by blogging about your hiking, backpacking, or travel obsession. If you’ve always worked for someone else, it may seem impossible. I know it did to me! So in the past two years, I’ve been completely shocked to meet people who were making $100,000 to $1 million-plus in passive income from their blogs. Running my own outdoor blog has been so life-changing, I thought I’d add a page to my site on how to become a blogger (specifically of the outdoor variety). I’ll also share the tools and resources that have helped me so far.
Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links, and I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Please know that your trust is important to me. That’s why I only recommend products that I have verified or used personally.
My story (so far)
Since the blogging world is full of skeezy, get-rich-quick marketing gimmicks, I thought I’d tell you a little about my blogging journey so far.
If you want to get straight to the tools and tips, please feel free to skip this part. But for those who are interested, I’ll update this section now and then.
Spoiler alert: I did NOT get rich overnight from blogging!
I started Miss Adventure Pants in 2016 after I fell on a wine bottle and cut a tendon in my hand. This meant I couldn’t hike for several months — and I was also out of work on disability, because I couldn’t type.
I was going stir crazy and really needed a huge project to occupy myself. So I launched my blog (by typing with one hand and a thumb) in September 2016.
I thought that I might monetize my blog down the line, but I wasn’t in a big hurry to do so. For the first year and a half, I just focused on setting up my site, learning WordPress, improving my photography, and writing for fun.
In July 2018, I set a goal to make $1,000 in one month from my blog. I thought it would be easy. Let me tell you it was not!
I created my $1,000-plan and stuck to it every day (while still working part-time in my marketing job). But it seemed like the harder I worked, the worse my sales got. My traffic also tanked in September and stayed low through November. (Apparently this is a normal seasonal thing for outdoor blogs, but I thought the world was ending!)
But I kept showing up and doing the work every day.
In January 2019, I made almost $500. I figured it was a fluke!
And then in February 2019, sha-zam. My first $1,000 month.
The feeling of gratitude that hit me was amazing. I am so lucky to be surrounded by this awesome community of people (you) who share my love of the outdoors and want to live a healthy lifestyle.
My goal for March 2019 is $5,000, and when I think about it, I want to pee my pants. I’m sure I will be falling on my face and failing the whole way there!
But it’s a little like hiking training. The secret is to keep getting up. I’ll stop back soon and let you know how it goes.
Why become a blogger?
Blogging has brought so many good things to my life that I feel like a different person than I did two years ago! Here are just a few of the life-changing benefits of blogging:
- You will meet many awesome people. The blogging community is very tight and supportive, so you will almost certainly make friends with other bloggers in your niche. You will also meet many kindred souls among your readers and social media followers.
- You will learn to be unstoppable. School teaches you how to succeed by following all the rules and living up to others’ expectations. Blogging teaches you to meet your own expectations by failing, falling on your face, and getting back up over and over. Of the two, I find that blogging is definitely more applicable to real-life problems like dating, relationships, parenting, making money, and getting healthy!
- You will inspired to live a better life. Blogging reminds you how awesome your subject is and that you should enjoy it more. For example, being a hiking blogger has actually inspired me to get out and learn new skills and explore new places.
- You will be better at your day job. Being an entrepreneur teaches you a lot about business, and these skills and insights can help you be a better employee. I’ve actually become more empathic to some of the difficulties my bosses face, because I’m facing them myself in my blogging business.
- You will become a time management ninja. This is especially true if you work a day job while blogging! To keep your blog moving forward, you will have no choice but to prioritize, plan, and schedule.
- You can make money. I put this last, because it’s true that some people make quite a lot of money from blogging. But even if you never make one cent blogging, all of the above will still be true. So you really can’t fail.
How to choose your blogging niche
Having a general outdoor blog is fine if you’re just doing it for fun. But if you want to make money, it’s best to focus on a specific area of the outdoors. This will make it easier for your true fans (and also search engines) to find you and fall in love with your work.
Ideally, your niche should fit with your own story. It doesn’t have to be earth shattering, like “I lost 100 pounds and climbed Mt. Everest!” Any difficulty you’ve overcome through your outdoor activities can make you relatable and help you to connect with your audience.
Some outdoor niches to explore:
- Specific sports (cycling, kayaking, thru hiking, rock climbing)
- Outdoor gear
- Survival skills
- Populations (black, Hispanic, women, men, GLBTQ, parents, singles)
- Age groups (Millennials, college students, Baby Boomers)
- Geographic areas (this could be a region, state, or even a specific trip like the Appalachian Trail)
- Special interests (Leave no Trace, national parks, photography, vanlife, conservation, yoga)
- Medical conditions (getting outside with asthma, celiac disease, IBS, etc.)
- Food (sports nutrition, camping and backpacking recipes)
- Healthy lifestyle
Some people worry that they’re limiting themselves by niching down too far. (They have major FOMO!)
All I can say is that I’ve never found that to be true. Not only do hikers find me in my hiking fitness niche, so do lots of runners, rock climbers, cyclists, and people who are brand new to working out. Which is awesome.
Once you’ve decided on your niche, stick with it for 6 months to a year. Remember, it takes a while to create blogging momentum in one area. So if you switch your niche every day, it will be hard to grow your audience.
How to create a blogging website
The first thing your blog needs is a name. If you’re interested in being a personal brand, you can name the blog after yourself (if the domain name is available). Some examples:
- katemckibbin.com – online business coach and course creator.
- angielee.com – serial entrepreneur and podcaster.
- nataliebacon.com – personal finance and self improvement blogger.
Or you can come up with a name that’s memorable or tells the world what you do. This may be your best option if your name is taken. A few of my personal favorites:
- youdidwhatwithyourweiner.com – BEST BLOG NAME IN THE UNIVERSE! It’s about hiking with dachshunds.
- sectionhiker.com – the target audience will know immediately that this blog is about hiking long-distance trails like the Appalachian Trail bit by bit (in sections).
- relentlessforwardcommotion.com – this name tells a story. The blogger is a trail runner who has her share of mishaps and doesn’t always get it right! Which makes her super relatable.
Do you need a .com URL? I personally think it’s usually the best way to go. To illustrate, if my name is Angie Lee, there’s NFW I’m going to try to buy angielee.xyz and compete with the main event! The .com also looks more professional to advertisers if you will be working with brands at some point.
The simplest place to buy your domain name is from a your hosting company (see the web hosting section below for more details). In fact, when you purchase an annual hosting package through Bluehost, you also get a free domain name for the first year.
Free blogging platforms (not recommended)
Many people ask if it’s possible to create a blogging website for free. The answer is yes, but there are some downsides:
- You’ll won’t have access to certain features like lead generation forms, advanced analytics, shopping carts, site tracking, and other tools that can help you grow your blog.
- Options for customizing the look and feel of your blog will be limited. You will usually be limited to certain fonts, colors, and page layouts.
- Unless you purchase a domain, your URL will contain the name of the platform (www.myblog.wordpress.com). This looks janky and amateurish, especially when you are trying to attract advertisers and brand partners.
- It’s possible to migrate a free blog to a platform like self-hosted WordPress or SquareSpace, but you’ll have some work ahead of you!
That being said, many bloggers start out on one of the following free platforms:
However, if you plan to run your blog as a business, I personally recommend going straight to one of the following:
Professional blogging platforms
WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system (a fancy word for website/blog software). It’s open source, meaning that the code is not proprietary and that anyone can develop themes (website templates) and plugins (add-on programs) for it.
Some advantages of WordPress sites:
- The software itself is free. You can download it through some hosting companies or at WordPress.org.
- If you can imagine it, you can make it on WordPress! Want to set up an affiliate sales program for your products? Create a membership site? Add a calendar where people can sign up for events? There’s a WordPress plugin (add-on program) or integration for that.
- You can make your blog look any way you want. Pick from thousands of free WordPress themes (templates) or buy a premium theme (more on those below). You can also hire a developer to make additional customizations.
- Pretty much all third-party services integrate with WordPress, including most email, advertising, lead generation, and shopping cart programs.
- There’s a very helpful community around WordPress. Got a question? Visit your favorite WordPress forum or Facebook group for free help.
If you’re going the WordPress route, you’ll need to buy a domain name and hosting (see my suggested companies below).
Keep in mind that because WordPress is very popular, it’s a common target for hackers. (Think about Windows v. Mac. If you’re a cybercriminal, where are you going to spend your time?) So it’s important to back up your WordPress site (I use a paid version of the Jetpack plugin for this) and keep it updated.
Squarespace is a one-stop shop for website building and maintenance. You host your site on Squarespace’s server and build it with their software. If you run into trouble with your site, you can call customer service and initiate a chat with their U.S.- and Ireland-based staff.
Squarespace sites aren’t as wildly customizable as WordPress sites, but the platform offers plenty of templates and all the basic features you need to run an online business. Squarespace also integrates with a growing number of third-party services.
Depending on which plan you use, Squarespace can also be more expensive than running a WordPress site. However, when you have a problem, you may come to appreciate the convenience that price buys!
Your host is a big, fast computer (server) where your blog “lives” and gets served up to computers and phones around the world. As a blogger, you pay a monthly or annual “rent” for your server space.
As someone who has been through the server grinder, I can tell you that not all hosting companies are created equal.
My first WordPress hosting company took 10 years off my life! When I had a question, I had to call their service department (which was outsourced to China) and wait on hold for 45 minutes. Then when I connected to a human, the call would often drop before we fixed the problem. When I complained about this, the company blamed the problem on “earthquakes.” WTAF?!
Fortunately, I had beginning blogger friends who had happier experiences with their hosting. And I’ve since moved on to greener hosting pastures myself.
Two web hosting options I recommend:
If you’re a beginner blogger looking for an inexpensive hosting solution, my blogging buds and mentors strongly recommend Bluehost. With their 36-month package, you can buy great shared hosting for as little as $45/year. (That’s far less than I paid for my nightmare hosting, and way better value!)
Bluehost’s website is user-friendly and easy to navigate. It will walk you step by step through buying your domain name and setting up your first WordPress site.
My web developer recommended this company to me when I was looking to upgrade my hosting to support my traffic growth. I was looking at some expensive premium hosting options, and he thought that BigScoots (which I had never heard of) would give me the same value and service for a lower price.
And he was right! BigScoots has been amazing for Miss Adventure Pants. My traffic almost immediately made a jump — probably because my site was loading a lot faster. While BigScoots only has one location (Chicago), they use the Cloudflare CDN to deliver high speeds around the world.
BigScoots’ user interface takes some time to get used to, but Justin, Scott and the guys are very responsive and will patiently answer your questions. They even set up a screen share to fix a problem with my email. This is service you won’t get from the outsourced help desk in China.
Your theme is a template that you use to create the look and feel of your website. WordPress themes range from free to premium. More expensive options are generally faster, more customizable, and have better customer service (though this is not universally the case).
Some theme options:
FREE: Twenty-Fifteen and other native WordPress themes (Automattic)
Your new WordPress site will come loaded with a “native” theme, the most recent being Twenty-Twenty (they put out a new one every year). Native themes are simple to use and have super clean code that runs well on WordPress.
I actually started my blog on the Twenty Fifteen native theme and kept it that way for quite awhile! It was a great way to learn WordPress.
If you want to see more free options, WordPress curates many native and free themes in its theme directory. To check them out, click Appearance > Themes from the side menu, then click the “add new” button at the top of the page. The themes in the directory have undergone basic quality control and are generally safe to use.
You can also find free themes from third-party developers, though the quality can be variable.
No matter what theme you choose, it’s a good idea to keep one native theme uploaded to your themes area, just in case you need to revert to it for trouble-shooting purposes.
Full disclosure: I haven’t actually used Avada theme on my site. I did use a similar page builder theme for a couple of years, but don’t recommend it due to its wretched support and customer service.
(By the way, are you sensing a theme? Repeat after me: great customer service is always worth the extra money! When you are crying over your laptop at 1 a.m., you will understand.)
Anyway, the Avada theme/Elementor page builder combo was recommended to me by my web developer when I was looking at taking my annoying, slowpoke theme up a step. Avada theme was also used by one of my teachers before they switched to Genesis Framework (see below). Things they both liked about it:
- It’s sleek, meaning the theme file itself is small and doesn’t take up a lot of bandwidth on your site. This is also good for loading speed and site health in general.
- Avada is very customizable, once you get the hang of it! Change your fonts, colors, layouts, etc.
- This theme was created by ThemeForest, which has an excellent reputation for quality and customer service.
- Avada costs $60, and it’s a non-recurring fee. (That’s a very reasonable price for a premium WordPress theme).
Avada theme comes with 45 templates you use to get started. And if you want to take page customization to the next level, you can add Elementor. Using a page builder with your theme takes some practice. But you will love the unlimited designs you can create!
Genesis Framework (StudioPress themes)
I feel like most people who start a WordPress site eventually end up with a Genesis Framework Theme. And there’s a reason for that. You just can’t beat Genesis for speed, reliability, or control over your site.
Many bloggers warn beginners away from Genesis, because the framework adds new controls and options to WordPress that some people find confusing. Also, in order to really customize your Genesis child theme, you’ll need to learn CSS (coding), buy a separate page builder, or hire a developer.
Here’s my honest opinion, as someone who made the jump from a slow, crappy theme straight to Genesis.
It’s really not so bad. And if you are going to end up there anyway, why not just go for it early?
To prepare to make the jump, I got a free trial of Lynda.com and watched all the WordPress Genesis videos so I knew the basics.
Than I bought my Genesis theme and child theme (Authority Pro) from StudioPress. While other companies sell Genesis themes, I wouldn’t look anywhere but StudioPress! They have totally amazing customer service and are very dedicated to helping you learn Genesis and troubleshoot issues.
StudioPress themes also have AMAZING documentation. So if you follow the instructions, you can get your site 90 percent set up without changing any code.
And once I’d gotten that far, I still had a few customizations I wanted to make. So I sent the list to my web developer, and he was able to finish the site for about $100.
Between the cost of the theme and the developer costs, I paid about $230 for a new, faster website that immediately increased my traffic. (It’s amazing how many more visitors you get when your site loads quickly!)
Plus I love the clean look of my StudioPress Authority Pro child theme. Other people must too, because they’re constantly asking about it, and also running theme tests on it!
How to write a blog post
Now comes the fun part where you share your passion for the outdoors with the world.
Argh, this is scary!
Many people feel a little nervous about putting their voice out there on the Interwebz at first. This is normal.
My best advice is to just write something and hit publish. Remember, most blogs don’t get a ton of traffic at first, so you will have time to practice and make mistakes without a lot of people watching. By the time your fans start finding you in a few months, you will have way more confidence.
How often should you post new content?
Publishing at least once a week will satisfy most audiences. The current trend is toward publishing less often, but creating longer, more in-depth content. This approach is also good for your search engine rankings.
That being said, my traffic picked up noticeably when I moved to a twice-a-week posting schedule.
What should you write about?
Every blog is different, and you’ll gradually get a feel for what your unique audience enjoys. But here are some tips for when you’re brand new and trying to build an audience:
- Before you write a blog post, ask yourself, “How will this help my readers kick ass?” Will it teach them something? Entertain them? Inspire and motivate them? These are all good reasons to write a blog post.
- Think about common questions that people ask you about your topic. For me, the most popular one is, “How do I train for mountaineering at sea level?” So I write about that often!
- If you’ve taken an interesting trip lately, create a trip report or destination guide.
- Write a recommendations page with all of your favorite gear, trips, books, etc. Here’s mine, if you want to see one way to set it up. Hint: recommendations pages are very easy to monetize with affiliate links! (See the section below on monetization for more info.)
- Choose one common question people have about your topic and invite other bloggers or influencers in your niche to answer it in a couple of sentences. Use their answers to create a round-up post. Allow contributors to include links to their websites and relevant social media accounts. This is a great way to start connecting and collaborating with other bloggers and also to get some new eyes on your blog.
- Type keywords related to your niche (for example, “hiking gear,” “free camping”, “national parks”) into the search box on Google, Pinterest, and YouTube. Note the suggested searches that automatically populate below. These are the most popular search terms and can show you what kind of content people are looking for.
- Research keywords related to your niche using a tool like Keyword Planner (requires a free Google AdWords account), Ubersuggest or Answer the Public. What are topics are people searching for on Google?
How to get traffic to your blog
I remember the early days of blogging when I was lucky to get two or three visitors a day to my blog! If you’re there, know that this is a normal and necessary stage. You have to get 100 visitors before you get 100,000. Or a million.
How much traffic do you need?
Back in the day, when most blogs monetized using ads, blogs couldn’t earn much money unless they had hundreds of thousands to millions of visitors a month.
Fortunately, those days are long gone! Today, the riches are in the niches. Small blogs with focused audiences can actually make way more money than huge blogs that cover lots of topics.
To give you an example: as of February 2019, my blog makes $500–$1000 per month on about 15,000 to 20,000 page views. A lot of bloggers would consider that very small traffic. But because it’s super focused on hiking fitness, it tends to attract loyal, engaged readers who are interested in that topic.
Ways to get traffic
There are endless ways to bring new readers to your blog. Some options to explore for blogging beginners:
Search engine optimization (SEO)
This simply means making your blog posts easy for search engines like Google to find and read. Modern search engines are designed to find the best quality content and serve it up to their users. By following a few simple practices, you can ensure that your blog posts show up on the first page of the search results.
I believe every blogger should work on SEO, because it’s a strategy that no one can take away from you. Social media channels can go out of business or suspend your account for weird, arbitrary reasons. But people will always need a way to search the Internet.
Growing your SEO traffic takes time. I really didn’t see an uptick in my SEO until almost a year into my blogging journey. It’s now my #2 traffic source after Pinterest, and I’d really like it to be #1!
If you’re new to SEO, I strongly suggest adding the free Yoast SEO plug-in to your WordPress site. Yoast SEO provides a checklist of things you can do to improve the SEO of each post and flags areas where you can improve.
I also recommend checking out Yoast’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO.
Most bloggers promote their posts through multiple social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, and others). Some tips on social sharing:
- Find out where you audience hangs out and focus your energy there! For example, if your audience is over 40, Facebook might be a good bet for you. But if you are writing for a college audience, Instagram might be the place to go.
- Focus on getting really good at one channel. You can still post on the others, but use a scheduling tool to get the job done. (See the tools section below for some suggestions.)
- Make sure that your blog posts have share buttons before and after the content. As I’ll discuss below, my favorite sharing plug-in for WordPress is called Social Warfare (more on this in the tools section).
- Social media is meant to be social, so be sure to be active on your primary channel. One of the best ways to grow your audience is to be generous about sharing and promoting others’ content.
- Never buy followers on any channel! Never ever. It won’t help you and could definitely hurt you.
Working with other bloggers in your niche is a great way to get your name out there and reach new audiences. It’s also one of the most fun parts of becoming a blogger.
Collaborations might include:
- Guest posting on other blogs
- Working on a series together
- Conducting giveaways (be sure to follow applicable laws for your area)
- Creating round-up posts
- Becoming an affiliate for another blogger’s product (or making them an affiliate for yours)
- Creating a product together
- Many more!
Growing your email list
Email is another “owned” channel that no one can take away from you, so start collecting email addresses from your readers right away.
You can use your email provider’s platform to create a simple sign-up form to embed on your website. It’s also smart to offer your subscribers a bonus or freebie for signing up, such as a download, guide, or short ebook. Most email providers allow you to automate the delivery of these products.
Get in the habit of emailing your list regularly, even when it’s small. Your email list contains your biggest fans who are most interested in what you have to say. Offer them lots of value, and encourage them to email you with their questions.
Which email provider should you use? Haha, you’re asking the wrong girl. I’m on my second one and looking to make a jump to my third (ConvertKit), which is recommended by many of my teachers and blogging buds. I’ll let you know how it goes.
How can you monetize a blog?
As soon as you become a blogger, people will start asking you two questions:
- Can people really make money blogging?
- How do you monetize a blog?
Here’s the secret that no one seems to understand. When it comes to making money online, we live in the golden age. In the future, I expect that bloggers will have to follow more rules and also pay more for their social media traffic.
But right now, online businesses have a lot of freedom and minimal overhead.
Here are some ways to monetize your blog while the going is good:
Pay per click ads are still around, but really aren’t very profitable unless you have a ton of traffic. They also slow down your site and make it look spammy. If you’re interested, check out Google Ads and ad networks like MediaVine.
Instead of running pay per click ads, many smart brands are choosing to work with bloggers to create sponsored posts and social media content. Research shows that people actually trust bloggers way more than traditional ads, so getting in front of your audience is very valuable to brands!
Do you love certain outdoor gear or travel services and write about them often? Consider becoming an affiliate for those companies.
Affiliates receive a special tracking link that points to a product page on an advertiser’s website. When someone clicks on your link and buys from the advertiser, you receive a commission. (There is no extra cost to the buyer.)
Some companies run their own affiliate programs. Others join affiliate networks that manage their programs for them. A key affiliate network for outdoor bloggers is AvantLink, which is the network for REI, Darn Tough, Backcountry.com, Moosejaw, and many other outdoor retailers.
If you become an affiliate, be sure to read the program guidelines carefully. Every advertiser has different rules for how products should be shared.
It’s also VERY important to disclose the fact that you are using affiliate links. Disclosure is required by federal law not only for blogs posts but also for social media, email, and direct sharing as well.
Sell your own products
One of the most fun (and profitable) ways to monetize your blog is to sell your own info products such as ebooks and online courses.
For me, creating products is one of the best ways I can give huge value to my audience. It’s a great feeling knowing that my products are out there changing lives! (And hopefully bringing some fun and entertainment to my customers too.)
Another great thing about selling your own products is that you keep all the profits (minus a small commission to the shopping cart vendor and payment processor).
Creating an info product may sound like a lot of work, but there are many tools and courses that can help! I’ll discuss a few of them in the section below on tools and resources.
Useful resources and tools for beginner bloggers
Talking about how to become a blogger is making me remember how overwhelming blogging was back in the early days! The good news is that it does get better.
And even more good news: there are many awesome people and tools that can help you along the way.
Here are my favorite resources for beginning bloggers:
Make Money Blogging for Beginners (by Create N Go)
If you take only one course as a new blogger, I highly recommend Make Money Blogging for Beginners. It helped me take my earnings from less than $100 a month to $1000 — which is exactly the goal of the course! Alex and Lauren do a great job of cutting through the noise and showing you where to focus your energy in order to raise your monthly earnings to $1000 a month.
Pinterest Traffic Avalanche (Create N Go)
Learning to market my blog on Pinterest was a game-changer for me in my first couple years of blogging. Focusing on Pinterest marketing not only increased my traffic by about 30 percent over a few months, it brought me very engaged readers who are serious about their hiking training.
Pinterest Traffic Avalanche is a short course packed with value that will help you get your Pinterest game going in as little as a couple of weeks. It’s extremely affordable compared to many other Pinterest courses out there and offers just as much value, in my opinion. Highly recommended.
Michelle of Making Sense of Cents is one of my blogging heroes. In this informative, affordable, and easy-to-understand course, she breaks down the strategies she uses to make over $50,000 per month in affiliate sales through her blog. Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing has helped me to grow my own affiliate sales to several hundred a month. What’s more, I’m now confident that I’m doing it right — not breaking laws or coming across as too salesy to my audience. Definitely check this one out if you want to be an affiliate marketer.
Bloggers and sisters Michelle (Making Sense of Cents) and Alexis (Fitnancials) show you how to collaborate with brands in ways that feel authentic and bring awesome value to your readers. Making Sense of Sponsored Posts shows you how to find brands interested in collaboration, pitch them, join influencer networks, and creating campaigns that delight your brand clients. I just took this course and can’t wait to implement all their great ideas!
Social media scheduling tools
This is another must-have for serious Pinterest marketers. Tailwind allows you to schedule weeks to months worth of pins quickly and easily. It’s so nice to be off on a mountain in South America somewhere and know that Tailwind is doing the sharing for me! Tailwind also provides advanced analytics to help you understand what sort of content your audience wants to see.
If you’re looking to automate your Facebook marketing, RecurPost is my number one recommendation. It’s definitely given my Facebook page and group engagement a huge boost while allowing me to focus on other things.
RecurPost reposts content for you on a set schedule so that you don’t need to constantly create new updates. For example, I have it set up to ask a question on Monday, share a training article on Tuesday, a personal story on Wednesday, an older blog post on Thursday, and so on. All I do is add a few of each kind of post to the relevant libraries, and RecurPost does the rest.
I started out on the RecurPost free plan, but the paid plan has been a lifesaver since I started a Facebook group and post to multiple pages.
Instagram marketers, this one is for you! Later allows you to schedule posts to your feed and your stories ahead of time so you can focus on other things. Cool features include saved captions (including your favorite hashtags), a hashtag suggestion tool (premium feature), and suggested posting times (premium feature). I find I get by just fine using the free plan, but if you’re heavy into Instagram, the premium plan may be a good investment.
Selling info products
If you plan to create and sell ebooks and other downloads, Selz is an affordable, easy shopping cart platform that handles your credit card payments and product delivery.
If you are new to the game, you can actually add up to 5 products on a free account. (Selz will take a slightly larger cut of your sales in this case.)
Another feature I appreciate: Selz is also very good at calculating taxes. It handles our bizarre, multi-tiered tax structure in Colorado with ease!
You can upgrade to a paid plan in order to pay lower Selz commissions, accept Paypal payments, and customize your sales-related emails.
Teachable is helpful if you plan to create online courses. I haven’t used it yet, but I sure have taken a lot courses on it as a student! And it’s always been a great experience.
In addition to housing all of your course content, Teachable handles student payments and permissions, collects taxes, and allows you to set up beautiful sales pages.
Another cool feature is that you can use Teachable to manage your own affiliate program. (In other words, you can pay commissions to people who sell your course on their own sites. That’s way cheaper than using ads!)
WordPress management and development
Overall, WordPress is pretty easy to manage. But when things go wrong, they can really go wrong and cause crazy stress! Also, as my blog and business grew, I wanted to have someone keep an eye on my site and handle updates while I was traveling — or if I just wanted to digital detox for a few days.
IMark interactive turned out to be a great solution for Miss Adventure Pants. For a reasonable monthly price, they handle all my site updates and keep things running smoothly.
Grayson at iMark is also a great resource when I have a question or problem with my site. He can answer many things with an email. And as a subscriber, I get a certain number of small jobs each month for free, plus discounts on big jobs.
And there you have it! Exactly how to become a blogger in just 6,000 words!
Wow, this was more like a book than a blog post. But as you can see, there are many things to think about when starting a blog.
The good news is, once you’re up and running, you’ll be surprised how easy starting a blog can be.
Good luck and let me know how your blog is coming along!