If you're a blogger, you'll know just how much goes into the every day processes of running a blog. There's the ideas, writing, photography, graphic design, editing, web development, social media, marketing, networking and sometimes even store-operations! So much to do! And so many non-bloggers think it's easy.............
I can only imagine how great it would have been to find a big resource list like this back when I started blogging. There are tonnes of incredible websites out there just sitting around waiting for you to utilise, to make the whole process of blogging, designing and creating so much more easy and efficient. So here I have for you The Ultimate Blogging Resource List!
I've been searching around for a while now, adding to this list as well as finding the best things inside some of these websites, so you can really make the most of them. Hope it helps you out!
PRICE: You can purchase domains as cheap as $4 per year, as part of particular deals
THOUGHTS: I can't believe I've been using this website for almost 10 years now. If anyone asks me where they should buy their domain name from, I recommend GoDaddy, every single time. I find them to be so affordable and easy to use. Their customer service is top quality as well. There have been a couple of occasions during the past few years where I've needed their help and when calling them up, I barely have to be put on hold before being able to speak with someone. They have 24/7 support, they're friendly, ready to help and know exactly what they're doing.
I currently have 8 domains, and manage 1 email account and 1 website for someone with them and everything runs smoothly.
PRICE: They have a special offer of $3.49 per month for the first term
THOUGHTS: I personally haven't used Bluehost, as I don't have any Wordpress blogs. But I've heard A LOT of good things from those who do use Wordpress. It appears to be one of the most (if not THE most) affordable options you'll find for blog hosting. It's highly recommended for anyone just starting out with their blog on the self-hosted version of Wordpress (wordpress.org).
If you've just started your wordpress.org blog, and you're paying another web hosting site more than the $3.49 Bluehost currently offers, I'd suggest making the switch. You want to be paying as little as possible for your blog until you're actually generating income, and by that point, you can upgrade to a bigger web hosting service.
PRICE: Basic plan is $29 per month when paid annually.
THOUGHTS: I currently use Instapage for my eBook sales page (www.blogprettybook.com) and I LOVED how easy it was to put together. Took so much stress away from the whole eBook creation process. When you create an account with Instapage, it has an easy to use drag-and-drop builder for your one-page website design. You can easily add text, photos, link buttons and videos. It also creates a mobile-responsive version of your website design at the same time (highly necessary!) You could literally put a page together in 15 minutes, link it up to a domain name you've purchased elsewhere and you're good to go!
PRICE: There is a very basic free plan, next up is $39 per month
THOUGHTS: If you've ever wanted to teach a subject and have the ability to drive traffic to your course, this is a great platform to run it with. Teachable enables you to run your 'online school' with a website builder to create it and an easy-to-edit online course system. You can allow students to enter your course for free, or you can have them pay and Teachable will take a small percentage from each sale.
THOUGHTS:I feel like I spend most of my money on this website! There's just so many good things to buy for the creation of your blog and the graphics to go with it. Creative Market is where I found my current blog template, one of my favourite font creatorsand most recently somebeautiful brush strokes which I used in one of my free wallpapers for you!You can find blog themes, stock photography, media kit templates and so much more.
PRICE: Free for basic plan, $5.99 AUD per month for access to all features
THOUGHTS: If you find Photoshop too complicated to understand and you're looking for a design program that's quick and easy to use, PicMonkey is for you. The free plan on this website will get you the very basic features - editing, touch ups and fonts. The Royal plan gives you access to more advanced tools with templates, better fonts and the ability to go back and edit your projects after you've saved them.
PRICE: $22.99 AUD per month in the Adobe Creative Cloud
THOUGHTS: If you have the time and patience, Photoshop is so worth learning how to use! I always have it open on my computer and I use it for everything including my blog post graphics, logos, side bar graphics, photo editing and the creation of my yearly blog Media Kit. It is quite costly to subscribe to, however if you're using it on a daily basis and you are creating graphics that contribute to the success of your blog, then it's worth every dollar.
PRICE: Some free, some require donation, some cost varies
THOUGHTS: If you're just starting to play around with new fonts, this is a great site to download them for free. You can find lots of fonts that are free for personal use, meaning you can use them in projects that aren't to be sold. There are also Demo fonts which enable you to download them for free, test them out and then if you want to use them in a personal or commercial project, you can purchase the font. Just check beside each font what it says in regards to how you can use it, or read through the little document that comes in each download folder.
THOUGHTS: Just like PicMonkey, Canva takes the stress out of trying to learn Photoshop. If you want a program where you can create pinnable blog post graphics, social media graphics and anything else where images and text are combined, Canva is super easy to use. They even have great templates to use if you're stuck on where to begin.
THOUGHTS:My favourite social media platform right now is Pinterest. I have two accounts, one for Flip And Style and one for Blog Pixie. I tend to add to the Flip And Style one a whole lot more as it's packed with inspiration for every day life. I recently signed up to BoardBooster with the free trial to see if I could grow my followers on my Flip And Style account and woah. It started increasing way more by the day.
The way it works is you select which boards you'd like to focus on, you add them to the scheduler page on BoardBooster and they will add Secret Boards (which only you can see) to your Pinterest profile. When you add images to those Secret Boards on Pinterest, BoardBooster will work across the time frame you've selected to push those pins into your real Pinterest boards. Who needs to sit on Pinterest all day when you've got a virtual assistant to do it for you!
PRICE:Free for basic plan, $10 to include Pinterest
THOUGHTS: This social media scheduler is best for those who love Facebook and Twitter. I personally like to manually post in real time for both of those platforms, so I don't make use of Buffer. However, if you're really trying to get your posts on both FB and Twitter seen at different time zones, this is great platform to keep on top of it all in the one place. It does include Instagram but unfortunately can only send you reminders for it, rather than push posts in full to the platform.
THOUGHTS: Whenever I'm posting to Twitter or Facebook I love to use Emojis. They add a touch of personality and interest to whatever you have to say, and are just fun in general. This site has every possible emoji you can scroll through. If you're at your computer and want to add something to a social media platform that doesn't have the option to select an Emoji, you can simply copy and paste one in from this site.
THOUGHTS: This is the platform I use to sell the Blog Pretty eBook and I really have only good things to say about it! It was easy to set up my product to sell, to grab the selling button URL for the button on my sales page, to track sales and to run my Affiliate program. I haven't had an ounce of trouble and I plan to stick with Sendowl for all upcoming eBooks too!
THOUGHTS: Shopify is one of the most successful e-commerce platforms online. They provide you with a shopfront which you can customise by choosing a theme (much like blog themes) and link up to a domain you've bought (or just use the default URL they provide to you). It's easy to add your products, track your sales and do everything required to run an online business. I have used it before, and I loved it!
PRICE:Free to have a shop, $0.20 to list an item, and they take 3.5% per sale
THOUGHTS: I started an Etsy shop towards the end of last year and the process to set up took half an hour at most. I wanted a place where I could sell the Plan Pretty blog planner printables separately, for those who didn't want to buy the eBook (which they come free with). It didn't take long for my listing to get quite high in search results and gain visibility. If I can think up any more downloadable items I think I'll add to my shop! This would be the perfect selling platform to use if you're crafty or great at designing downloads or digital items.
PRICE: Free to use, low fee per sale if using as a payment gateway for your store
THOUGHTS:I've been using Paypal since I was about 11? Not only do I purchase online using Paypal, I receive blog payments, send invoices and I also use it as the payment gateway for my eBook sales. It's a great business tool to manage your finances as you're able to keep track of income and expenses for your blog.
THOUGHTS: If you want to run a professional shop within your blog to keep customers in your one space, this is the platform to use. It was created especially to work alongside Wordpress, for Wordpress users, and it allows you to sell both real and digital products.
THOUGHTS: I had to make mention of my Etsy shop! I have a selection of feminine, minimalist, soft and pretty templates for Blogger blogs. They all come with an easy-to-follow instruction manual, however if you need help, I will install it for you and create your header image for free :)
GOOD FOR: Feminine Wordpress Themes using the Genesis Framework
PRICE: $75 per theme
THOUGHTS: If I ever switched over to Wordpress, I would be straight onto this website to buy my blog theme. They have the most beautiful blog themes I've ever seen, and I can only imagine what a brilliant blog space you could create with one of these. If you use the self-hosted version of Wordpress, I highly recommend purchasing the Genesis Framework and then one of these stunning themes.
THOUGHTS: I've heard using Genesis is the best way to work your way around a Wordpress theme. If the thought of adding and changing HTML coding is too scary to even consider, the Genesis Framework enables you to make changes to the insides of your blog without having to go anywhere near the coding. There are also stunning blog themes that have been designed specifically for those using the Genesis Framework, such as on Restored 316 Designs and this one by Georgia Lou Studios, so making the investment in Genesis means you get to choose from the best of the best in blog themes.
THOUGHTS: Don't you hate it when you go to send a document or photo to someone via email and it tells you the file size is too large? With WeTransfer you can send files up to 2GB in size (20GB with the Plus plan) for free. I used this website like crazy during the creation of my eBook, as with all the graphics included it was a big file to send. My email provider just couldn't do the job!
THOUGHTS: This app has become so helpful lately! I have it on both my computer and phone, and as I have an account it syncs my lists up to both. You can create categorised lists with points to check off, and as you check an item off the list it makes a cute "ding!" sound and disappears. I love to use this for blog post ideas, tasks and instagram post ideas.
THOUGHTS: This website is great for those who are just starting out with their blog mailing list. It's super easy to create great looking emails. You can have lists for different groups of people and select who you want to send particular emails to. You can also track who opens the email, who unsubscribes and who clicks on the links inside your email.
THOUGHTS: I haven't used Convertkit yet but I'm thinking of getting it soon! If you've been onto blogs that offer something for free if you sign up to their mailing list, they're most likely using Convertkit. It's not easy to collect email addresses, so offering an incentive for signing up and having it sent off immediately to every new subscriber is a great way to draw people in.
PRICE: Free, or $5 monthly if you want to be able to track more than just the basics
THOUGHTS: I have been using Statcounter for a lonnnng time. I find it so much easier to understand than Google Analytics. Don't get me wrong, I definitely use GA. However, I like to use Statcounter as well for those times when I quickly want to check where my traffic is coming from, what they're clicking on and look at clearer graphs of my blog traffic by month and year. I sometimes feel as though GA is like a maze to get through. For Statcounter to work, you just need to create an account, add the code they provide somewhere on your blog (I put mine in a HTML widget in the footer) and it will start tracking away.
THOUGHTS: This, my friends, is my very own eBook! I put my heart and soul (and lots of my time!) into this project and I couldn't be more proud of it. It's packed full of my best advice, tips and tricks for turning your blog into a beautiful business and running it in the best way possible, as well as my personal blogging story and experience along the way! I fill you in on how to improve the appearance of your blog, how to create better blog posts, how to market your blog, make money as a blogger and so much more! If you want to take your hobby blog to the next level, it's worth a read.
THOUGHTS: If you're looking for an informative resource based on the business side of blogging, this eBook is for you. It has information on how to start a blog, how to place ads, the planning side of blogging as well as Chelsea's secret as to how she made $40k in one year from her blog. If you're looking to increase the earnings of your blog and increase business, give this eBook a read.
THOUGHTS: This eBook is for all those bloggers who are stuck in a rut with their traffic and need actionable strategies to drive more their way. It's a detailed guide packed with useful information, as well as the personal experience and success of Lena from the blog What Mommy Does. It includes information on particular social sites to focus on, the changes to make within your blog and little improvements here and there to potentially get yourself to 100k page views per month.
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One of the best blogging resources you'll find are eBooks by bloggers who are doing what you want to be doing. They're such a great learning tool, as you're hearing directly from someone who is succeeding in the industry, and more often than not, the information is worth paying for. The eBooks listed above may include information you've seen before, however, I can guarantee you they'll contain ideas, knowledge and wisdom that you won't find floating around the internet. After all, you're looking for those little gems of advice that will take you further than every other blogger trying to make it!
Do you have any great blogging resources that I haven't listed above? Let us know in the comments!
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