If you have considered blogging, or just getting started, I have a list of my favorite resources that I know will help you along the way.
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Courses, Ebooks, and Blog Training:
Five Days to A Successful Blog Launch. Crystal from Money Saving Mom and Your Blogging Mentor has a very reasonably priced blog set-up course. Crystal has been blogging for well over a decade and is truly a pioneer in the blogging world.
Another course that Crystal has that is a little bit more detailed (but also a bit more expensive) is Blog Start-Up 101. Look around and see if one is right for you.
Content Management and Themes:
WordPress.org. This is the content management software I would suggest for your blog. I did a ton of research when first starting out and this is what I found to be recommended by far the most. DO NOT confuse this with WordPress.com! Just trust me on this one.
Brunch Pro Theme and Genesis Framework. This is my current theme which is run on the Genesis Framework. I love it!
Starting a Blog with Bluehost. I provide you with a detailed, step-by-step tutorial to get your blog set up with Bluehost. Bluehost is the hosting company I have used since I started my blog in late 2016. It is great for bloggers just starting out. Their prices are very reasonable and they provide good costumer service.
Mailchimp. Once you have a blog set up, you will want to start getting email subscribers asap. The email provider I currently use is Mailchimp. It is great for bloggers with a small email list as they do not charge until you surpass 2,000 subscribers.
Convertkit. If you are willing to pay, Convertkit has amazing features.
I also hear great things about Mailerlite and it is free up to a certain number of subscribers.
Yoast SEO. This plugin is SO helpful. It ensures the readability of my posts are on target and also provides very specific information regarding improving SEO for each post. I highly recommend you get this one! I have the free version and that works great!
Askimet. Protects your site from spam.
Genesis Simple Hooks. Used with sites running the Genesis Framework. Assists with adding code to your blog.
Having great photos on your blog is a must! Here are a few of my favorite photography tools.
Photoshop Elements. I have an older version of this and use it in some capacity for photos in nearly every one of my posts. It isn’t incredibly intuitive, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll love it.
Picmonkey. I use this to make the majority of my Pinterest images. It’s fairly inexpensive and easy to use. I highly recommend it!
Canva. This another very popular photo editing site. It can help you create beautiful graphics with even the free version.
Tinypng. One thing I did NOT do well in the beginning was optimize my photos before uploading them to my site. PLEASE do this right the first time. I have spent countless hours fixing photos with huge files that are slowing down the loading speed of my site. No one will stick around if your posts take too long to open. Check out this article from iMark Interactive. He shows you exactly how to do this right!
I use Tailwind to schedule my Pinterest pins. I do a mix between manual pinning and Tailwind. But, I can say that Tailwind has been a tremendous timesaver! The majority of my blog traffic comes directly from Pinterest so this is an area I felt was important to spend a little bit.
Tailwind allows a free trial period to see if it is something that you would like.
You guys, I realize this is just scratching the surface. But, I hope it’s a great place for you to start. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
I love blogging more than I every imagined. If you are considering it, give it a chance. Take your time and do things right from the very beginning. Do not allow yourself to become overwhelmed with all of the information out there. Find a few trusted sources and stick with them.
Any resources you would add to this list? Let me know!
Have a great day and happy blogging!