Living with the Spirit of Aloha means being helpful to others. I tend to figure things out on my own or stumble across things, but nothing makes me happier than spreading aloha by taking the load or burden off of someone else.
I often receive messages on how I did something, whether it’s How I Built my Website, How I Did I Grow My Instagram to 10K Followers in a Year, to Where Did I Buy That.
So, I decided to list my resources below. As I receive more questions I’ll add to this list.
All of the items I’m recommending below have a free version (which I started out with). Use the free version to check it out. See if it’s for you before you decide to move forward to a paid version like I did. I am a strong proponent of trying before I buy and these are all items I ended up paying for after I realized the value in them.
Note that I may or may not have an affiliate link attached to some items I list. A girl may as well monetize to keep paying for these resources if I’m recommending them for free! AmiRite?
Free Website Creation Training
In case you’re wondering, I created this website on my own with training from Wealthy Affiliate. I signed up for the free training on how to build a WordPress website and monetize a blog.
I set up a free website in a box like the one above and my web address looked something like this: www.aloha.siterubix.com and when I felt I was happy with what the website looked like, I decided to buy my own domain, Alohamelani.com and I was able to transfer the free site to Alohamelani.com.
I did end up paying for the premium service eventually because it includes 50 hosted sites with SSL certs.
With Premium You Get:
- 50 Managed Hosted Sites (25 domains & 25 free subdomains)
- Free SSL for all your websites
- TRAINING: step by step training on building WordPress websites, blogging, and almost anything else about making money on the Internet.
- COMMUNITY where you can ask for advice and feedback.
- 24 HOUR TECH SUPPORT
All for about the same as it would cost to host 1 site with a hosting provider like GoDaddy, Blue Host, Host Gator, or another hosting provider for WordPress WITHOUT SSL certs.
In case you’re wondering what SSL certificates cost, they are anywhere from $50- $300 per dominan. If you don’t know what an SSL Certificate is; in simple terms it’s what makes you site secure and gives your website the “https” as opposed to just “http” in front of your domain name. The letter “s” indicates your site is secure and you will also see a little lock next to your web address in the address bar of your browser when you are on your website. The reason this is important to have is a few years ago Google cracked down on unsecured websites and you will not get much traffic from google if your site is not secure. If you do any commerce on your website you absolutely need an SSL cert for secure transactions.
Now I won’t even get into working with expensive Squarespace or any platform other than WordPress, but if you end up with one of those website building platforms, once you start to make money and need to expand, you’ll wish you set up a WordPress site from the beginning. Google likes WordPress. Everyone searches on Google. Enough said on that.
You also may be thinking, well, I don’t need more than one website. That’s fine. I thought the same thing back when I started at Wealthy Affiliate in 2016. I since have created many websites 7 of which are live and functioning. Note that hosting providers do not offer real step by step training on building websites, nor do they have a community of bloggers that you can get help from and collaborate with.
I still set up free sites on the Wealthy Affiliate platform to test new WordPress Themes and to start new websites that I want to build. This way if I change my mind or if I decide I want to start over, it doesn’t cost me a thing because I didn’t buy the domain.
The resources you get from just being on Wealthy Affiliate are worth the monthly/yearly fee (again which is what you would pay for hosting a website). I can’t say I use the community or learning resources all the time but it’s there when I need it. For me, as an IT professional who can figure things out by tinkering around, the included hosting is what’s most valuable.
Since I have several other websites for business it was a no-brainer for me to have 50 free hosting spots at my disposal.
You can click below to set up a free account, which includes free web hosting with a subdomain (also transferable to another domain so you can use it as a testing site).
Either way, it’s good to have a website if you want to be taken seriously as a brand. Gone are the days of business cards. If you want to sell anything online or brick and mortar, you are expected to have a website. If you have a service, you are expected to have a website. If you are an influencer on a social media platform like Instagram, just remember that you do not own the real estate on that platform and if it goes down or they kick you off you must start all over.
In this day and age, it’s almost imperative that you own your own domain to do any business of any sort.
This is the tool I use to search for keywords when I want to rank my blog posts on google. It’s fairly inexpensive and is incredibly easy to use. You can try the tool in the search box below to find keywords for your own blog!
How To Become a Paid Influencer
I honestly became an influencer by accident when someone invited me to an influencer event. However, I had no idea what I was doing, but once I decided to go for it I had a goal of reaching 10,000 followers on Instagram so that I could have the swipe up feature in Instagram stories.
After a lot of trial and error, I grew my influence by researching what to do online, but that was a time-consuming hard road. I don’t recommend trial and error as time is precious.
Feel free to check out my brutally honest review of the Lady Boss Blogger “How to Make Money As An Influencer” where I discuss how it really helped me and how in some ways it didn’t. Once you read my review you can make a decision as to whether this course is right for you. I do believe it’s worth it because I would have been a lot further faster had I taken this course before I was on my way.
I did partner with the Lady Boss Blogger so if you decide you would like to take the course you can Use Code: MELANI for 40% Off of any course including Blogging.
Paid Freelance Writer
Downloading the News Break app is the preferred way to read the news on this platform however, you can still read news and follow topics and creators from a web browser when you log in.
So I suggest you download the app, take a look at my profile, and customize the app to your liking. This will give you hyper local news and national breaking news at your fingertips.
If you are looking to also become a writing contributor after looking at the content, apply here. Although News Break is partnered with all of the national and local news outlets, they also value the voices of talented creators. I was invited by New Break based on my content, but nothing can stop you from applying to the Creator Network as long as you meet specific criteria listed on the creator application page:
If selected there are writing guidelines, a guaranteed monthly payout if you meet the written article criteria, and you also generate revenue based on how much your articles are read by the public.
You can read further details about how the program works here.