Blogging Tools & Resources

by Mike Carpenter

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.

Blogging Tools I Recommend

(This post may contain affiliate links. For more information see my disclosure, here.)

How to Start a Blog – A Quick Reference Guide: If you haven’t started your blog yet, I recommend checking out my free guide, How to Start a Blog – A Quick Reference Guide. I walk you through the entire setup process and share the exact tools that I used to get my blog up and running. It’s easier than you might think!

 

Web Hosting

Bluehost: If you’re looking to start a blog for cheap, then Bluehost needs to be your answer. They are the absolute best price and performance value for anyone starting a blog (only $3.95/month!). I have a step-by-step guide for setting up your blog with Bluehost if you need help getting started! I launched Joyfully Growing with Bluehost and recommend them to anyone starting a blog. Plus if you sign up using my link, you’ll get your domain for FREE when you purchase a 12 month or longer hosting plan! Read How to Setup Bluehost with WordPress the Easy Way.

 

Theme

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 Restored316 themes 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

ConvertKit

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!

 

 

Best Pinterest Resources

Pinterest Strategy eBook

Pinteresting Strategies eBookThis 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 otherPinterest 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

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – This eCourse was huge in helping me learn how to make more affiliate sales without being salesy – ew! The author, Michelle, makes over $50K per month in affiliate income 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!


Sendowl – This is an online platform for creative entrepreneurs who have digital products to sell. I use Sendowl to sell my eBook (How to Design A Room From Start to Finish) that is currently offered as a tripwire product for anyone who signs up for my email list. Sendowl basically acts as the middle man between the buyer and the seller. They handle the payment processing and instantly delivers the product, removing the need for the seller to do this manually.

Photography Tools

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

Fujifilm X-T20 Mirrorless Digital Camera

Lenses (Fujinon): XF56mmF1.2 R, XF35mmF1.4 R, XF14mmF2.8 R

Fujinon XF56mmF1.2 RFujinon XF14mmF2.8 RFujinon XF35mmF1.4 R

Accessories: Spare BatteriesCamera Bag, Tripod, UHS-II SD CARD

Spare Batteries & Dual ChargerMedium DSLR Bag

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!

 

Stock Photography

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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