Tag Archives Blog

First Reader Survey + Giveaway!

I’m holding my first reader survey to get to know you better and to help me ensure I’m providing you with the content you like to see! The survey has only 19 questions and should take less than 10 minutes to complete. Aaaand, if you complete the survey, you’ll be entered into a giveaway to win a $20 Amazon gift card!

Survey closes on Tuesday, 7/14/15 at 12am PDT. Winner is randomly selected and will be notified via email by 7/16/15.

First reader survey on The Girl Next Door is Black



Congratulations to the winner of the Amazon gift card – GK!

Essential Blogging Resource Guide

Whether you want to blog for fun or hope to make a living from it, getting started can be overwhelming.

Perhaps you’re not even sure where to begin. Or maybe you’ve had a blog for a while, but want to propel it to the next level.

I had little idea what I was doing when I started blogging over 2 years ago (longer if you count LiveJournal; remember when that was big?). I’ve learned a lot from running this blog and even more since I transitioned to blogging for income last fall.

In this guide, I’ve compiled a list of some of the most helpful resources to make your blogging adventures less daunting and more effective.

Essential Blogging Resource Guide | The Girl Next Door is Black

Getting Started

Which blogging platform should you use? WordPress, Blogger, Blogspot? Should you self-host your blog? What should you name it? There are quite a few decision to make before you even put fingers to keys.

Wooden Person Thinking by Davide Restivo, flickr.com from Essential Blogging Resource Guide
Sometimes coming up with a blog name is the toughest part of getting started

Design & Readability

If you hope to attract readers, you’ll need to pay at least some attention to your blog’s looks. You’re inviting others to your personal spot on the web; you want it to look good. Visitors are more likely to stick around if a blog is easy to read and navigate.

Color Palette by Nani Puspasari from Essential Blogging Resource Guide
Color is an important element of blog design

What Should You Blog About?

Ultimately, the most successful bloggers will recommend you write from the heart. Some bloggers fall into a niche like cooking, crafting, mommy, dad or travel, to name a few. Blog about what you know. You are what makes your blog different from the next.

Blog Niche Buttons by Annie Mole | The Girl Next Door is Black
To niche or not to niche? What should you blog about?

Getting Readers

So you’ve got the blog name, you know what your blog is all about and it’s looking mighty fine. How do you get people to read your brilliance?

Crows Reading A Book by Hartwig HKD, flickr.com from Essential Blogging Resource Guide
How do you attract readers to your blog? Source

Boosting Your Blog

You can supercharge your blog by reducing page load times, optimizing posts and images for SEO, or a number of other blog enhancements.

Light Speed by Jonel Hanopol, flickr.com from Essential Blogging Resource Guide
Decreasing the time it takes your blog to load can reduce your bounce rate (visitors leaving your blog without reading).

Blogging for Money

Making money from blogging isn’t necessarily easy, but it’s not impossible.

You can also check out my blogging Pinterest boards for more resources.

Happy blogging!

What advice would you give to a blogger just starting out? What advice have you found most helpful?

Subscribe to The Girl Next Door is Black today and as a thank you, I’ll send you a downloadable PDF version of this Essential Blogging Resource Guide!


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I am not seeking nor accepting submissions to add to this guide. Please do not contact me with a request to include your content.