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When browsing themes, look for the following qualities:

  • Lightweight/fast/doesn’t have a lot of “bloat”
  • Responsive (resizes to fit mobile screens)
  • Optimized for search engines
  • Updated often/customer support available
  • Several downloads (the more, the better)
  • Good customer reviews

💡 TIP: A high-quality theme is worth investing in. Free themes are easily exploited by hackers and slow down your site.

WordPress Plugins

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💡TIP: Only use necessary plugins; too many will slow down your site. Look for lightweight options that are continually being worked on and have positive customer reviews.

💡TIP: Keyword research is one of the most overlooked aspects of blogging. This is where you find less-competitive search terms you can rank for on Google. Once you find the right keywords, you can optimize your content around them and start getting organic traffic to your site.


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Even if you feel like you know it all, it’s important to remember that the blogging game is always evolving. Here are some of my favorite blogging resources to keep up with the trends:

CreateAndGo: Alex Nerney and Lauren McManus are two young entrepreneurs that make a ton of money from blogging. They have some pretty legit (yet affordable) courses about starting a profitable blog, search engine optimization, and my favorite, the Pinterest Traffic Avalanche course. It teaches you the ins and outs of Pinterest, and I’m not even kidding – it completely changed the Pinterest game for me.

BossGirlBloggers: I’m also a huge fan of EllDuclos’s courses, including Pinterest With Ell. Her products are cost-effective for newer bloggers, but they’ll really help you step up your game. She also has a Facebook group called Boss Girl Bloggers, where thousands of women work together each day to grow their blogs.

Ruth Soukup: This lady is one of the absolute best educators out there. Not only does she have a ton of amazing resources for getting your life together, but she also runs one of the most notable blogging courses on the market, The Elite Blog Academy. While this is my favorite course of all time, it can be pretty hard to get into…

…which is why I highly recommend her book, How To Blog For Profit Without Selling Your Soul. This book teaches the same foundations of EBA for a fraction of the cost.

The Blogging Millionaire Podcast: Brandon Gaille explains things in a way that is so easy to understand. His podcast teaches you the exact techniques he uses to get millions of blog visitors each month.

Mediavine On Air: This is another great Podcast to help you create kick-ass content and optimize your blog for traffic. Even though it comes from Mediavine (the best ad network ever), it was designed to help all content creators succeed across the web.

Simple Pin Podcast: Kate Ahl of Simple Pin Media seems to know Pinterest better than anyone on the planet. Her free podcast is incredibly helpful… especially if you’re just starting out. This is where she spills all her exclusive tips for optimizing your Pinterest account so you can start getting blog traffic today.

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing: The go-to affiliate marketing course for all big-time bloggers. Michelle Schroeder goes into detail about how she makes several thousands of dollars per month with affiliate marketing. Her motto is, “if you aren’t utilizing affiliate marketing, you’re leaving money on the table.”