Resources for Creating Your Perfect Website:
Whether your blog is new or you're looking to monetize it, you're in the right place! These resources will help set you up for success!
The first step to properly setting up your blog is to purchase hosting from a reputable provider. While the top 2 registrars are GoDaddy and 1&1, these are a more appropriate fit for businesses that gross between $1 million and $10 million per year. GoDaddy is based in the US and 1&1 is based in Europe. These two global hosting providers have very similar products and services. I have personally used both and after 14 years, I prefer the dashboard inside GoDaddy.
For bloggers and small business owners who are either just starting out (or currently grossing less than $1 million in revenue per year) I personally use and highly recommend Bluehost for the following reasons:
- Great Price Secure just one year, or up to 5 years for a low promo rate of $3.95 per month: Get Bluehost, but that's not just a great rate now…because…they offer:
- Long-term Quality After your promotional rate expires, hosting at Bluehost is still less than $100 for a year
- Security Bluehost is the only registrar in the industry that provides a FREE Security Certificate (SSL Certificate) which protects your website with https protocol when you buy hosting from them. (At GoDaddy, 1&1, Hostgator, SiteGround, and many other registrars, you will need to pay extra for https…a LOT extra. So take it from an industry expert…I've been doing this for 14 years! Go with Bluehost!)
- Not Super “Techy” Bluehost is built for regular people, so you don't need to be a super-tech geek in order to get everything all set up properly. They also offer great support and you don't have to wait on the phone forever to get to a live person.
- Need to Transfer Your Blog? If you don't want to renew your hosting with your current registrar, then Bluehost makes it SUPER easy to transfer your blog and migrate. Simply buy a new hosting plan and then restore your site from a backup; if you get stuck, they will help you. It's really that simple.
The next step is to make sure your WordPress website is beautiful. To make this happen quickly, it's worth it to pay an extra $75 to $100 to purchase a pre-built theme where you can install a demo with just one click. My recommendation is to browse through the designs at StudioPress and Creative Market. The easiest way to get up and running quickly is to install a demo of a theme that you like, and then swap out the text and photos with your own choices. You can often change the colors to match your own branding, or keep them the same as in the demo. I have used both StudioPress as well as Creative Market for WordPress Themes and I highly recommend both.
To make your brand stand out among the rest, there are a few options I recommend. If you would like to choose a reasonably priced branding package, I highly recommend 99Designs. They have a wide array of online and print designs that will set you above the rest. Another option is Fiverr, where you can work with an overseas designer for a very reasonable price.
If you're the DIY type and would like to design your own logo (ie: comfortable with navigating graphic design software such as Photoshop) then start with Canva. The options are limited, so the next step up would be software that is just like Photoshop, which is called PicMonkey is a great option. It's very similar to Photoshop, however it's much more affordable. You can sign up for a Free-Trial to see if you like how it works.
Using Stock Artwork is a great way to bring visual appeal to your blog with a photo that accompanies your topic. For Free options, try Pexels.com or Unsplash.com. However, once you start blogging, you'll notice that a lot of people use the same photos from the free websites.
If you're ready to up your game, I recommend 123RF for a very reasonably priced way to obtain Stock Art. iStockphoto and Getty Images are also options, but they come at a very high price tag. For stock video clips, StockNation is the least expensive option.
If you plan to make money with your blog, then you'll need an option for your Email Marketing Automation. I use and highly recommend AWeber. It easily integrates with just about any type of website platform that you use and it's also very user friendly.
Need a solution for creating visually stunning E-Books? I have two, Squribble is the solution for the most efficient way to put together your ebooks. If there were ever a tool to make things simple, this is it! The other option is Creative Market. They provide ebook themes in a similar way to WordPress Themes where you can browse a pre-made theme and simply enter your content.
Thinking of doing Webinars? Then WebinarJam is the place to go for the best software to make that possible. Sell your digital products with ease by creating a polished and profound Lead Magnet using the global industry leading software.
Need some help with what to actually say in your ebook, webinar, or even on your blog? Then FunnelScripts is the solution! Generate headlines, blog post titles and more with the click of a button!
If you're planning to sell a digital product or membership course, then WishList is the best software available. It is much easier to use then Kajabi and integrates seamlessly with your WordPress Website as an Elite Plugin. If you can use WordPress, you can easily navigate WishList. I've been using WishList for over 10 years and it keeps getting better and better year after year.
Another option for a membership course is Clickfunnels. Clickfunnels is even easier to use than WishList, and if you are starting from scratch, then you can build your landing pages as well as your course inside Clickfunnels. Watch this video for more information on the difference between the two:
Once you outgrow iMovie, the best Video Editing Software (for Mac) is Screenflow. It's rather easy and intuitive to use, and takes your video editing to a more professional level. Here's a video to show you a sample of what the software looks like.
When I was a kid, and even into my twenties, I absolutely hated reading. I'm not entirely sure what changed; perhaps it was the motivation to be successful and emulate what successful entrepreneurs do. Or maybe it was just that I spend so much time on my computer on a daily basis that I thoroughly enjoy silence and a good paperback. I started reading because I realized how enriched my mind was…full of ideas, aspirations, and the mindset necessary to put my plans into action to achieve my goals. Here are my top 10 favorite business books, in no particular order. I hope they inspire you as much as they've inspired me! Tweet to me and let me know which business book is your favorite! @KateMurrayVogue
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