One of the most common barriers we see preventing people from starting their own website is knowing WHERE to start. We thought it would be helpful to create a resource page for you and your online blogging and business needs. We’ll add to this page over time as we find things we think are useful to you.
If you want to be taken seriously as a blogger (and your name is not Seth Godin), you’ll need your own domain. The following three webhosts are ones that we have personal experience with and believe are all good options. Best of all, if you are looking to start a WordPress site, all three provide 1-click solutions for installing the WordPress framework to have you up and running in minutes.
Srini’s choice of hosting, Mediatemple is what hosts both BlogcastFM and Srini’s personal blog, The Skool of Life. While they tend to be a bit higher priced than the others, our experience has been excellent support, and minimal downtime. Link
Bluehost is David’s personal host of choice and what he has uses for BrandSuperPower. Recommended by WordPress, Bluehost provides unlimited disk storage, unlimited monthly data transfer, and the ability to host unlimited domains on 1 account. Link
Hostgator is another favorite among many bloggers. Many of our clients and past guests use Hostgator for their sites. Ease of use make it another great choice for your first web site. Link
While we never advocate putting off starting a blog until the design is “just right”, we understand that you still want to have a quality design. The first three are popular frameworks in the WordPress world and allow for unlimited tweaking and custom design. The fourth hosts a bunch of ready-to-go designs for those who are ready to just get started and don’t want to worry about design.
A personal favorite here at Blogcast FM, our site is custom built using the Genesis theme. With a huge community of developers and tons of plugins specifically design for it, Genesis is a flexible and good looking theme for anyone from beginners to experts. Link
If you want to the ability to customize the look and feel your blog with little to no coding, Headway 3.0 is the perfect Framework. The visual editor makes it possible to build he any layout you can think of, customize any page, add colors, fonts, and more. You can learn more about it our interview with Headway creator Grant Griffith. Link
If you’re a bit more tech savvy and want more control over the ability to customize your site, Thesis is an incredibly powerful framework. It’s also a popular choice among many of our guests. Link
Just want a plug-and-play solution for design? Elegant Themes is a perfect solution that uses a yearly membership model to give you access to ALL of its themes. They also regularly add new themes and have a great support team.
Turbo-Charging Your Online Business
So you’ve taken care of the two must-haves (web hosting and a WordPress theme). Now it’s time to turbo-charge your site and make life a bit easier. These are some tools that we use either here at Blogcast FM or with our clients.
If you listen to our show then you’ve heard it from every single guest on our show: “The Money is in the list.”
We use Mailchimp to manage the BlogcastFM newsletter. If you have less than 2000 subscribers it’s free. However, if you want to setup an auto-responder you’ll need to pay for it.
The other mailing list provider that’s recommend by many blogger is Aweber. If you’re a bit more sophisticated and a data geek, then you might get more mileage out of AWeber.
You know those beautifully designed sign up forms that you see on blogs across the web? Optin Skin makes it possible to custom design your own in a matter of minutes. It also allows you easily split test forms and determine which forms are causing more people to sign up for your newsletter. It works with both of the email providers mentioned above
MacJournal: Most bloggers get caught up in editing and formatting before they’ve even finished writing a blog post. That’s why a distraction free writing tool is essential to becoming a prolific blogger.
Buffer is the best thing that happened to Twitter since Ashton Kutcher joined it. It makes sharing content on twitter without overwhelming your followers super easy. If you want to learn more listen to our interview with founder Leo Widrich.
Most of us at Blogcast FM use Hootsuite as our primary Twitter client. With the ability to manage multiple streams and tons of accounts, this is the way to go. It’s also great if you need to schedule something to be shared on a certain day at certain time Hootsuite is perfect for that.
If BlogcastFM had a blood supply, it would be Skype. All our interviews are conducted with Skype and a simple recording tool called Skype Call Recorder.
Courses/Products from BlogcastFM Guests
Jon Morrow’s Guest Blogging Course
Guest blogging is an integral part of getting the word out about your blog. But the biggest blogs are inundated with people submitting guests posts to them. Jon’s course is all about getting your worked published on these blogs. Listen to our interview with him for more detail.
30 Day E-Book
Writing your first E-Book might seem like a daunting task. But when you break it down into bite size pieces it’s really not that bad. This course by Angela England will help you make and market your first e-Book within a month.
Life is Messy Bootcamp
You might remember our friend Mayi Carles from her interview on BlogcastFM as the girl with the awesome Panamanian accent that’s music to your ears. She’s all about making order out of anarchy and helping your grow your business. She even offered a special discount code for BlogcastFM listeners. USE BLOGCASTFMROCKS for a 15% discount.
Affiliate Marketing For Beginners
If you’re interested in building niche sites and getting an in-depth view into the basics of affiliate marketing, this course from former BlogcastFM Guest Corbett Barr is the perfect starting point.
Create Awesome Interviews
This is an in-depth course created by our friend David Siteman Garland from The Rise to the Top. Srini is one of the contributors to the course (includes a free one hour consultation with Srini). It’s recommended for anybody who is interested in creating their own web show.
How to Grow Your Blog With Interviews
If you want to just dip your toe in the interview pool, this product created by David and Srini is a 1-hour teleclass that will teach you how you to get started with interviews.
Mars Dorian has been a two-time guest on BlogcastFM. The Oustander is an amazing branding guide created by a guy who has built an absolutely unmistakable personal brand through a combination of amazing visuals and unique language. If you use the promo code blogcastfmrocks you’ll receive a 20% discount on the guide.
Blogworld NYC 2012 Virtual Ticket
Is the cost of attending Blogworld out of your budget? There’s no need to worry. In an effort to make the content of the conference more accessible, the Blogworld team now offers a virtual ticket. You get access to all of the content from all of the speakers at the conference and you can watch it at your convenience.
These guys came out of the gate at Blogworld LA 2011 and they provide an amazing platform for conducting Webinars that provide a seamless user experience.
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. While there is no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you choose to make a purchase. Because our integrity is more important than the commission we could possibly make, know that at least one of us (Srini or David) has had a good enough experience with the product to feel confident in recommending it to others. And if you DO choose to make a purchase, Thank you!