How to Start a Blog Tips with YarnHookNeedles

Photo by Solovyova/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by Solovyova/iStock / Getty Images

By Michele Thymmons and Jerica of YarnHookNeedles

Have you ever wondered how to start your own blog, if you can, or if it simply too much work or tech know-how? Or have you been wanting to start sharing you, your story, and your talent with the rest of the world but have yet to take that leap? Keep reading for how to start a blog tips and many resources by someone who was once in your shoes but now has an amazing blog and crafting business that is only going to get better, reach and encourage more people on a daily basis! Jerica has created a soon to be released blogging course that builds off of her article Blogging for Beginners  and is even creating a mentorship program for those that want to take the next step and truly grow with a one-on-one mentorship from someone who has started her business from scratch. Keep reading below as Jerica opens up to you with some of her story as well as resources that have helped her along her journey.  I will conclude with additional resources. 

Jerica: www.yarnhookneedles.com

I'm Jerica the maker behind YarnHookNeedles. Starting YHN was not something I set out to do in the beginning. In fact, YHN was my last attempt at trying to start a blog. Over the last 10 years, I have created multiple websites all of them failing. It wasn't until I launched YHN that I found my blogging voice. I put in lots of time, research and even more trial and error in order to be able to find true success. 

What I'm sharing with you in the Blogging for Beginners Guide are things I discovered to be successful within the Makers niche of blogging. I want you to have all the tools necessary to create a realistic, livable income. I'm not going to promise overnight success. But I will assure you, with patience, hard-work and LOTS of determination you can definitely turn your maker passion into a sustainable long-lasting income.

Resources that I recommend as they have helped me in growing my blog and business include the following:

Bluehost is a self-hosting service and where you can buy your domain name. When I first started blogging, I spoke to many bloggers and a majority highly recommended Bluehost.  They are easy to use and have exceptional customer service able to answer all types of questions, especially good for a blogger just stepping into the blogging world.

Canva (an Apple app) is what I use to create pinnable images, blog graphics, and all my social media images. I love this program and highly recommend using Canva for creating all your images

Aweber after trying multiple different email service providers, this is the one I have found to be the best for sending emails to my subscribers. Many bigger bloggers use this and while it took me a little while to figure out how to utilize it and all the options, once I did I have been very happy with it.

KWFinder is a newer user-friendly, cost-effective service that I have been using to look up keywords to find my blogging niche and create content my audience wants to read about. They have a free service and you can use this to grow your blog and ensure your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the best it can be. SEO is crucial to getting found and growing your reader base.

GoogleTrends is a free place to look up keywords and phrases trends over time and location.  This can help when looking at specific niches, and building your audience  in different locations and seeing what they are looking for over time. If they are having questions or needing solutions to various problems within your niche you can give them the answers and greatly improve your blog readership.

Alexa is a more costly tool for a more in-depth analysis of websites similar to yours.  It helps determine what works with your competitors in driving traffic to their blogs as well as what does not work so you can adjust your blog accordingly and not make the same mistakes. While expensive, it is greatly worth it once you navigate how to use all of the information given to you. 

Lightroom is a place to edit photos for social media and blog posts. I have used them extensively and found them to be easy to use and highly recommend them.

Big Stock Photos is a website full of inexpensive, high-quality stock images to add to your blog posts.

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Jerica’s Makers Course will be coming out in Aug for $29.99 and it is yours forever along with any updates! I (Michele) can not wait for it to come out and will be grabbing a spot in this course as bloggers can always grow, learn, and pull in new techniques and ways others have used to grow.

Brief Overview of the Makers Course: "How To Sell Your Handmade Items Like a BOSS!"

Mod 1:

Create a Profit

L1 - What You Should Make an Hour

L2 - How to keep track of all your working hours (making, listing items, photographing, computer work etc)

L3 - sales tax

L4 - merchant fees, listing fees and more

L5 - site fees (if selling from a blog/self-hosted website)

Mod 2:

Shipping, Supplies & Branding

L1 - where to buy high-quality, low priced supplies

L2 - choosing a mail service

L3 - building a brand people want to buy

L4 - should you sell internationally

L5 - how to work your shipping prices around your price point

Mod 3:

Offering Discounts

Mod 4:

Building a blog to create a long-lasting brand

Jerica is also offering up a 1-on-1 Coaching Program for Makers $145 per month for a minimum of 3 months (Maker Biz - Coaching Program)

Included in the program is:

- A weekly one hour skype/facetime call to answer questions, discuss marketing strategies and more. (4 - 1hr sessions per month)

- Analyzing their existing website (for an added fee of $500 I will build the site for you)

- Teaching them how to utilize programs like Canva, & Aweber

- Learning How to Market themselves to influencers and large brands

- Teaching them how to setup and build an email list

- Understanding social media marketing and how to create profitable Facebook ads

- Plus many other tools to establish/build a successful maker business

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Note - This post contains affiliate links, which means I will make a commission at no extra cost to you, should you click through and make a purchase.

Everyone creates, writes, thinks, and learns things differently.  With this in mind, I’ve tried to include a variety of resources below and will continue to add more even after the article is published. Most of these resources are free but others include resources or subscriptions that are paid. Other posts for blogging will to be added to this website at a later time.

Tailwind is an amazing scheduling tool that is an official partner with Pinterest and Instagram so you will not get penalized for using them. You can also post to your Facebook and Twitter using the scheduling tool as well! This has helped to grow my Pinterest views and reach by a lot!! More to follow on this in a later post. Now that I have got a handle on Pinterest, I am starting to use it for Instagram and Facebook more.

For those wanting to start social media accounts the below are the main four but any more specific to bloggers I find I will update the article.  Please let me know if there are additional social media accounts you would recommend. 

Pinterest (www.pinterest.com)

Instagram (www.instagram.com)

Facebook (www.facebook.com)

Twitter (www.twitter.com)

Background Burner is a website and software where you can remove the background from your pictures and add what you want.

Squarespace is another website option and you can use them to purchase your domain or connect them to a bluehost website.  I have used squarespace both ways with bluehost and on its own. Both ways are good depending upon which service you like. My website is all hosted and set up using squarespace. This is particularly easy set up for beginners or those (like myself) who are not technology savvy. Squarespace is very user friendly and I have enjoyed creating and setting up my website using this platform.

Wordpress is a great platform to create your website.  You can do everything from your bluehost account (set up etc). While a lot of bloggers enjoy wordpress, it does take a little while to learn but has amazing plug-ins that do a great many things for your website.  

Later this year I will have a second part to this article with more of the resources I am using to build my own blog. Currently, I am exploring and seeing what resources best work for me and I encourage you to do the same as each blogger is different and learns and grows differently.  Each blogger also can reach a different audience.  People like Jerica are a huge encouragement and a great resource to learn from.  The biggest lesson is to not be afraid to take the plunge and start developing your passion.  Mine is creating a website full of resources for you the reader, for those that do not have time to research a lot of topics but want to learn about them nonetheless or for those that are curious about what resources are available for specific topics.

Thank you for joining us for this 2nd Maker Feature!  Check out Jerica’s website (www.yarnhookneedles.com) for even more blogging resources.  You can find other maker features here about sculpting, pattern writing, blog creating, and wood carving. I’d also love to hear from you about what types of resources you want more information on as well as Makers you would like to nominate for a Maker Feature! Please email me (vamicreations17@gmail.com) or leave a comment on this article!  Looking forward to hearing from you and have a great day!