For those of you who are planning to start your own Internet-based businesses, you’re going to need a blog because you’ll more than likely be using a blog to promoting your product or service. What I covered in part 1 should give you a firm starting point in blog design for beginners. I covered many questions that you should ask yourself when you begin to think about how your blog will look and function, as well as the purpose of your blog. But when you’re new to blog design, it can be overwhelming and can leave you confused at times. And when we are confused, we’re less likely to follow through. But you want to have a successful Online business with a blog that gives you credibility and authority, right? So, in order to help you do that, I’m going to share some resources for taking the basics of blog design and expanding on them. The tools and resources provided here will be a companion to blog design theory from part 1. You’re not going to want to miss these resources, they are some of the best on the Internet! Please note that some links are affiliate links (as noted by hovering over the link) and simply give us credit for referring you. So let’s get right into some awesome resources…
ProBlogger — Created and maintained by Darren Rowse, this seminal classic blog about all things blogging, is a paragon of blog education. Simply browse the main page and you’ll see many posts with titles that are ripe for your further education and perusal. You could easily spend hours hear learning all about blogging, from design and functionality, to attracting readers and providing for their needs. This is blogging dreamland! Try this link to get you started — Blogging Tips for Beginners: Best of Problogger.
Also, don’t miss out on the classic ebook, 31 Days to Building a Better Blog. Picking up this ebook before you create your blog can make a world of difference in how you design it and how successful your blog and your business will be. This is a MUST PURCHASE for anyone starting a blog for business purposes (or any purpose, really)! These are some of the best blogging tips in one ebook from one of the first bloggers to start making money through blogging. Darren Rowse has put years of experience and learning through trial and error into this ebook. At a time when most ebooks command fees pushing $100, you can purchase this ebook for pocket change even though it actually is worth $100! Whether you’re just starting out or want to improve your established blog, this book will help you do it, if you take the time to apply what you learn.
Lynda.com — From their site: “Whether you’re into digital photography, web design and development, motion graphics, or just need to brush up on Excel, you can learn all the software skills you need to gain a competitive edge with our online tutorials.” I’ve used some of their material and it’s 100% first-rate! They have in the neighborhood of 720 online training courses which include video with step-by-step instruction and optional exercise files that are used during the training videos. They use working experts for each of the training videos. You’re getting direct, hands-on training that you can instantly use and apply in your craft, whether you have experience or if you’re training to learn a brand new skill.
If you’re serious about blogging or starting an Internet business, you might decide it’s worth a little money to learn a new skill that you can later translate into a service that you can get paid for providing. If this sounds like you, then you may want to check into the following classes through Lynda.com: Web Design, Blogging (including Twitter), WordPress.com, MySQL, CSS, HTML, XHTML, PHP, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Podcasting, and much more! They have various payment plans; from month-to-month plans currently priced from $25.00 to yearly plans, currently starting at $250.00. Taking these classes may not give you a college degree, but if you apply what you learn, you’ll easily develop new skills that can translate into better-paying jobs or the ability to offer services through your newly designed blog. Besides, $250 is a lot cheaper than taking a full load of college classes and what you learn will be more focused to a specific skill. Think about it! I’m convinced that once you try one of their offerings, you’ll see the immense value of Lynda.com. Before you know it, you’ll have created your own successful work from home online business! Go to Lynda.com and watch some of their free offerings to see how great their training is. You’ll love it!
Internet Business Mastery Academy — If you are designing a blog with the intention of starting an online business, this may well be your best option. In signing up for classes at the Academy, you will learn all aspects of starting an Internet-based business from scratch; setting up a blog, selling a product that your customers actually want, making your product available as an instant download and ready for immediate customer consumption. I can personally vouch for the effectiveness of the courses in the Academy since I’m a currently-enrolled student, myself.
If you would like step-by-step instructions for starting your online business as well as dozens of resources, you can find them in the Internet Business Mastery Academy along with video tutorials showing exactly how to use them. To get a 30-day, no-risk, trial membership to the Internet Business Mastery Academy, simply click on this ad and receive a free audio course –it’s a good intro to the Academy and you will receive instructions on joining after signing up for the free audio course. If you decide to join, please consider using the affiliate link to give the hosts of this lecture credit for referring you.
ClickNewz! Internet Marketing Blog with Lynn Terry — From her site: “Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 12 years of experience in online business and marketing. ClickNewz is where she shares news on the latest eBiz trends and marketing strategies, as well as her unique case studies, creative ideas & personal reviews…” I think it’s safe to say that if you visit ClickNewz and browse around, you will be impressed. Such high caliber education at no cost! Can you afford to pass this up? I think not. And to get you started in the right direction, here is an excellent introduction for implementing SEO (search engine optimization) into your blog posts: SEO Content: Choosing Keywords & Phrases.
The Smart Passive Income Blog with Pat Flynn — Pat is a graduate of the Internet Business Mastery Academy and a wonderful example of success. One day he found himself unemployed, months later, he was making more money after starting his own business then he was before he got laid off from his day job…and he was working for himself. We interviewed Pat and I must say, the interview is an inspiration for anyone who want to start their own businesses so they can quit their day jobs. You’re going to want to read our interview with Pat, so here is where you can find it: Quitter Profile: Pat Flynn. His blog is ripe with theories about developing “passive income” that Pat has put to the test. You can follow his escapades and learn right along with Pat. While you’re there, don’t forget to sign up for his newsletter and receive a free ebook on writing and launching an ebook. This site is required reading…and there may be a quiz later.
MIT Open Courseware — How would you like to take classes at Massachusetts Institute of Technology? Most people can’t afford it, let alone be admitted. What secret wonders exist in the classes at such an esteemed educational facility? Well, I’m going to give you a chance to find out…for absolutely no charge! Yes, kids, you heard me correctly. I have it on good authority that MIT has opened access to its course materials, which includes free lecture notes, exams and videos. Obviously, a great number of courses may have nothing to do with blog design or starting an Internet business, however, many courses are directly related. And even though you will get no credits or recognition from the completion of any course material, this is priceless information that, in the right minds, can be put to the most profitable use…whether for blog design or saving humanity. For anyone who aspires to have a higher education, remember, it’s not how you get an education, it’s what you do with it. This is pure gold so do stop by and make use of MIT for further education. You’ll be glad you did.
1stwebdesigner — Here you will find a graphic and web design blog that will provide you with inspiration, resources and tools. Here’s a specific example: 110+ Massive WordPress Video Tutorial Collection. If you want to learn more about designing a blog, browse around some of the blog posts here. I guarantee you will find great information and tools that will serve you well as you learn more about blog design.
Smashing Magazine — From their “About” page: “Smashing Magazine delivers useful and innovative information to Web designers and developers. Our aim is to inform our readers about the latest trends and techniques in Web development.” Though I haven’t yet fully explored the site, myself, I found them after finding this specific, eye-opening post: 10 Useful Usability Findings and Guidelines where they cover various elements of web page design and how to best implement these best practices. They also dispel a couple myths about web pages. When you are actually ready to start designing a blog, you simply must read this post first.
Please take the time to visit all of the resources listed here. I cannot emphasize enough just how valuable each one is. I know there are plenty of other really great sites and resources out there. So now it’s your turn. What’s your favorite site, tool or resource for blog design? Drop a link in the comments and tell us why it’s awesome.