Hey blogger (or blogger-to-be)! I am excited to share all of my favorite blogging resources and tools with you! Blogging has opened up so many incredible opportunities for Mike and I and we pray that you too can have blogging success! Everything listed here is what I personally use (or have used) for my blog. I only recommend what I actually LOVE and think will be helpful to you.
(This post may contain affiliate links. For more information see my disclosure, here.)
Don’t have a blog yet? Start here:
Follow my free step-by-step guide on How to Start a Blog and get started today!
If you’re not sure what topic to write about or are torn between two different niches, this webinar is for you! Abby does an awesome job explaining why choosing a niche is so important and gives great advice on how to hone in on your strengths in order to use them to help others.
Choosing a host for your site is very important! Hosting is the #1 most important factor for the speed of your site, as well as the reliability. Having a blazing fast site is important for two main reasons:
- User Experience – Long load times can make users click away from your site, before they even see your content. Keep your audience engaged and happy with a speedy site!
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – Google and other search engines use very complex algorithms to determine search rankings. Site speed is one of the variables that is used to determine rankings. Speed up your site, and boost your search rankings!
My blog is currently hosted by Bluehost. They are the absolute best price and performance value for anyone starting a blog (only $3.95/month!). During our time with Bluehost, the site has been very reliable, with no down time! Eventually, as your audience grows, you will want to upgrade to a faster, more powerful host. But extremely fast hosting isn’t cheap, and isn’t necessary when you are first starting out.
There are tons of affordable options for domain registration. I don’t think it makes very much difference who you decide to use, as long as they are a reputable company. I registered my domain with Namecheap and so far, they’ve been great!
My blog currently uses Genesis Framework with a child theme by Restored 316 Designs. Restored 316 offers beautiful, well-coded themes and Lauren’s support team is AMAZING! I’ve used the same theme from the very beginning and could not be happier. I highly recommend!
Take the FREE quiz to find out which theme is best for your business!
Email Service Provider
I currently use ConvertKit for my email list, and LOVE it. ConvertKit is the BEST email marketing platform for bloggers, especially if you want to make money with your blog. Get a FREE 30 Day Trial with my link!
What to Send Your Email List Free Download
Not sure what to send your list? These 5 content ideas will help you turn your email subscribers into raving fans! Download the free guide now!
Building a Framework: The Ultimate Blogging Handbook
If I had to pick ONE thing to recommend, it would be Building A Framework by Abby at Just A Girl And Her Blog. This was the first course I invested in for my blog and I give 100% credit to it for fast-tracking my knowledge of how to be a successful blogger. It is THE book for newbies who are just starting out and want to do things the right way. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all of the aspects of blogging, this is the course for you!
Best Pinterest Resources
Pinteresting Strategies eBook – This book is a MUST READ for increasing blog traffic and getting more pageviews. Carly’s manual pinning technique that she teaches is different than any other Pinterest book out there and makes so much sense. I cannot say enough good things about what it has done for my traffic since I’ve started using her method!
Tailwind – My favorite Pinterest scheduling tool. Recently I’ve been mostly using the manual pinning method described in the Pinteresting Strategies book above, but the analytics Tailwind provides are worth the subscription alone! Plus it’s nice to have a backup plan for days that I’m not able to do my manual pinning. You can get a FREE 30 day trial using my link!
Get Paid to Pin – I love this guide from Blog Darling about monetizing your pins on Pinterest! Whether you have a blog already or just love spending time pinning all the things, this eBook will help you learn how to start earning money from Pinterest! It comes with 2 pieces of bonus material making it a great value at a really affordable price. Totally worth it!
Make Money Blogging
Affiliate Action Plan – This eBook was huge in helping me learn how to make more affiliate sales without being salesy – ew! The author, Gemma, increased her monthly affiliate income from $3.00 – $2,000 in 4 months and she talks you through all of her techniques on how she made that happen.
Turn Pageviews Into Profits – Coming soon!!
I am creating a FREE mini email course that will outline all of the ways I was able to earn an income in my first year (including a list of 10 companies that pay me to blog!). The course will go over everything from reaching out to brands, to making affiliate sales while you sleep! Enter your information below to get on the wait-list and begin the course as soon as it’s available!
Best Blog Traffic Freebie
5 Types of Blog Posts that Will Boost Your Traffic – it’s one thing to have a blog, but its a whole other thing to actually get people to read it! Abby (author of my favorite course Building a Framework) shares the top 5 types of post that always get AWESOME traffic! (And she gets over 500K pageviews PER MONTH.) Loved this free guide!
I learned early on that getting high quality photos was going to be a necessity. Modern smartphones can get great pictures in many situations, but a high quality DSLR (or mirrorless) camera is a necessity when lighting gets tricky, or when you need a little more control.
Here’s what’s currently in my camera bag:
Camera Body: Fujifilm X-T20 Mirrorless
Tip: a ‘good camera with a fantastic lens‘ will produce better pictures than a ‘top-of-the-line camera with a mediocre lens.’
For photo editing I use Lightroom and have been learning as I go since purchasing it when I started the blog (hence the poor photo quality in my early posts…). I love the tips and tricks that Rachel from Maison De Pax offers in her blog post all about editing interior photos. Her photos are stunning and I found her tips to be very helpful!
If you don’t have time to take your own photos, using stock photos is a great option. I recommend using Styled Stock Photography. Their photos are really high quality and they have tons of options to choose from.
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