Sharing the resources and tools that we are using for our blog and Youtube Channel. We may earn a commission when you purchase those tools through our link at no cost to you. We greatly appreciate you going through our link, as that will help to support our blog financially.
The 7 Things You Need to Start A Blog:
Through following Jim & Ricky’s methods, we have been able to grow our blog to be large enough to be accepted into the Mediavine Ad Management Company in June 2020 and we monetized our Youtube Channel in April 2020.
(While there is no guarantee of success when you start blogging or start a Youtube channel, I do feel that their trainings are top notch and can definitely highly recommend them.)
Best Blogging & Youtube Training
We know so many people are interested in getting into blogging and Youtubing, but don’t know where to start. It truly is so daunting when you try to start searching for training to learn about blogging. So, we wanted to share what we have found and learned along the way.
Can you be successful and make money through blogging and Youtubing? Yes. Will it randomly happen if you just start writing articles for fun? Very doubtful.
There is so much bad information out there it is really disheartening to see people waste countless hours and money trying to get the best advice. On the other hand, it is natural to try to find out as much as you can for free without paying someone for a course or something else. But, it is so hard to know if something you find is legitimate or not.
Check out Jim & Ricky’s Project 24 HERE.
Both before and after joining Project 24, I have joined a variety of other blogging groups on Facebook. I’ve been a fly on the wall trying to compare what information was being discussed, as well as what type of courses people were selling. I can say while these some of the groups had well meaning people and some had admins that may have a successful blog, it was night and day in my opinion to the level of expertise I was able to get out of them.
Do you have to pay for a blogging or Youtube training to be successful?
Joe & I are very frugal, so when we started out we tried to do it all ourselves and not pay for any training or technical support. We were fortunate to find what we consider to be the best blog and Youtube trainers out there early on, but we only used their free content. They do have a massive amount of free training, which is extremely helpful. But if we had to do it over, we would have joined their paid training program from the beginning.
Our experience was that we knew enough of some basics from their free Youtube videos to grow our blog to a level that I would consider modestly successful for a beginner, maybe around 10,000-15,000 page views a month. Once we got to that point, we knew we were on to something and knew we had so much more content we wanted to get out that we could really grow our blog and Youtube channel.
We knew we had some problems with our blog that were holding us back. We had a free theme and we needed a more sophisticated theme that was designed for speed and to work well with ad companies. We also knew we needed more direction with the layout and writing of our content. Getting your content to rank at the top with Google does not tend to happen by accident. You really do need some guidance to be consistently successful there.
At that point, we knew we needed to move forward with making a small investment into our blog & Youtube Channel.
What You Will Get For This Investment in Your Blog & Youtube Channel:
- An excellent theme for your blog that is built for maximum speed and designed to work well with ad placement when you monetize your site. (This was something we really wanted!)
- A vast resource of courses to walk you through 60 steps to start your blog and 60 steps to start your Youtube channel with videos and other information to help you through each step.
- A continually updated and revised set of additional trainings (all included with your initial investment).
- A highly engaged community forum where you can go to see what other people are sharing, as well as to ask questions you have.
- A podcast with new episodes weekly with updated and current information to assist you.
Why do we consider these the best trainers for blogging & Youtube Channels?
As I mentioned earlier in this article, we followed Jim & Ricky’s free Youtube videos for quite a few months, maybe even a year before we decided to pay for their product/training. During this time, and now especially after paying for their training, I can really say that they are very genuine in what they do. And, combine that with being on top of the field with their successes, it is a great combination to feel comfortable making a relatively small financial investment in.
Jim & Ricky have been in the blogging business for years. They have had extremely successful blogs. But, what makes them so valuable to me is that they are continually starting from scratch. In internet business, things continually evolve and change. Someone could be successful at one point, but that does not mean they can replicate that again. That’s where Jim & Ricky show themselves to be very integrous, in my opinion. They are constantly working through all different levels of blog building by continuing to start new blogs all the time. They test out so many different things through their work that they can they share in new trainings they continue to put out. They even have sold websites they have built that are very successful to start new ones to continue to study their processes.
Their commitment to staying on the cutting edge makes me feel very comfortable knowing that we can be kept up with what we need to know and do as the internet business field continues to grow and change each year.
Should you test out listening to their free videos and see how it goes like we did? NO, I would really advise against that. We are now dealing with having to go back to a lot of our content we put out before becoming a member of their community. The content needs rewritten and that is going to take us a lot of time to do. And, we have so much new content that we want to write and get published to the blog, that we are going to be slowed down in getting our new content out.
In addition, we had to change our theme once we started growing. While this is not a terrible issue, had we started with a premium theme like we have now, we could have maybe seen a bit more growth sooner and saved time that we had to spend on the conversion process. Also, once we became members of Project 24, we also found we had a lot of work to do behind the scenes on the mechanics of our blog. All things that slowed us down. These things were slowing our blog down in its’ speed and slowed us down progressing because we had to spend more time fixing these issues.
I would really suggest starting out from Day 1 with Jim & Ricky’s community, training, and theme. You will save yourself much wasted time down the road, and give yourself what I believe is the best chance for your blog to be successful, both with using the best tool in their theme and by having excellent training along your journey.
Check out an introduction to Jim & Ricky’s Project 24 HERE.
Domain Name Registrar
To start a blog, you need to have a domain name. We use Namecheap to register ours. It is inexpensive to do this and we have had not issues using Namecheap. (If you click our link, we may earn a small commission when you register at no cost to you. This helps support our blog, we greatly appreciate you using our link.)
We use Siteground as our web host and recommend them. The price is very reasonable and will serve you well until your website gets very large. (We may earn a commission when you register with Siteground at no cost to you that helps support our website. We greatly appreciate you joining Siteground by going through our link.)
It is important to be using WordPress.org, which is free to download as your self hosted website software to build your site. Please be aware wordpress.com and wordpress.org are not the same. You want to use wordpress.org.
We initially chose a free theme. We really had no idea what to use to be honest. I tried to do some Google searching to get some ideas of what could be good. We wanted to use a free theme to start, as we didn’t want to be putting out money not knowing how this was going to go.
After a number of months into our blog, we realized there were quite a few issues in the background related to our theme and other plugins we were using that were really slowing down our site. Site speed is very important to running a successful blog. We then became interested in using the theme created by Jim & Ricky’s company. We knew this was designed with speed and a professional look in mind. It was also designed to work well with ad management companies who place ads on your site for you.
We knew we wanted Jim & Ricky’s theme, so then it just made total sense to become members of Project 24, rather than just paying for the theme itself. It was totally the right decision and we feel we have gotten a great value in what they charge. We regularly listen to their new podcasts and other new videos that come out.
We go back to courses when we need to and at different stages in our journey, different courses apply to us. In addition, they are continually putting out and even revising courses to be as up to date as possibly with what they are seeing happen in their own sites and experience. I really enjoy the information presented in their podcasts, so I make sure to listen to each of them. I also regularly check into the community to see what posts may be of interest to us.
Check out an introduction to Project 24 here.
You can purchase a license to their theme without purchasing their Project 24, but I do not recommend doing that.
Depending on what your blogging topic is, Pinterest can be a powerful source for getting traffic to your blog. I have used Pinterest to build our traffic and consistently get over 500 pages views a day (on the low end) just from Pinterest to our blog.
Pinterest do’s and don’ts change overtime, but I haven’t gotten too caught up in that. I have seen my Pinterest monthly viewers swing from over a million to down to half a million viewers a month, but have not seen that have much effect on actual traffic going to my blog from Pinterest.
I do not and have never used any paid Pinterest support, such as Tailwind, so I cannot speak to that firsthand. But, I can speak to the fact that you can find success on Pinterest for your blog without doing any paid programs.
What has helped me grow traffic to our blog is starting my own boards where I pin my own content and other relevant content from others. Also, I created a couple group boards and invited quality bloggers to contribute to them. As the board grows, other bloggers will request to be added to your board. Be open, but selective in who you accept to your board. Make sure their content fits with your topic.
Pin consistently to your boards, meaning daily and even several times a day. It does not have to take a lot of time, but I will get on and repin a few pins to several boards a couple times a day. There are Pinterest schedulers, but I honestly have not tried any of those. They may be a great way to go, but it’s not something I can speak of firsthand.
Make a few different pin images for each of your blog posts. Again, the school of thought on these approaches changes and evolves over time, but this is what I have done and had success with. Making a good pinnable image is key, you have got to get viewers attention quickly. Use Canva to create your pin images.
It is very important to have visually pleasing pinnable images for your blog posts on Pinterest. The best program I have found to quickly and easily create very professional looking pinnable images is by using the free Canva available online. You can also use it right on your phone, but I use it on my computer. You can select the image size for Pinterest and upload your images and easily add text and other background designs, layouts, etc. It works great! You can also use Canva to create images for other social media platforms.
Do you need Instagram & Facebook to have a successful blog?
In a word….No. Do we…yes.
Let me explain. Obviously both platforms are huge and used heavily by countless successful bloggers. However, most of those have had their accounts for years and grew their followings on those platforms at a different time. Both Facebook and Instagram have algorithms have changed so much in the past few years, it is much harder to grow your accounts there to a meaningful following.
For example, on Instagram I consider a meaningful following over 10,000 followers. That is the threshold where you can get the ‘swipeup’ feature that you can take someone from your Instastory to an affiliate link where you can earn money through their purchase.
Can you grow a following on Instagram today, of course, but for the purpose of growing a blog the return on investment of time you need to spend on Instagram to do so would be better spend invested into your blog itself.
So, we do have a Facebook page and an Instagram page for our blog, but we don’t actively invest time into them. They are there more so just to have a presence there.
So, in closing there is a lot to learn to build a successful blog & or Youtube Channel. Yes, I do feel it is worth it to invest in some training to get off on the right foot and save yourself a lot of wasted time going down a wrong path with a blog you want to start.
From our experience, I can highly recommend starting your journey by checking out what Project 24 can offer to you. I think you will have a much better experience starting out with the best information possible rather than trying to piece together bits of information you pick up here and there. And, then possibly facing having to make some big changes when you hit roadblocks or don’t see growth with your blog.
Best wishes to you on your blogging journey! Be ready to work hard and be ready to invest time into learning the business!