This list of Tools and Resources to Grow Your Blog is a helpful tool for both new and experienced bloggers.
I know that many of you come here for the DIY, Design, and Delicious Recipes, but today is a little different. Today I’m sharing a “behind the blog”. These are posts where I share more a “behind the scenes” look at blogging. Although these aren’t for everyone, these answer questions that I’m frequently asked by friends wanting to get into blogging.A while back I wrote a post titled “Things I’d Tell My Friends About Starting a Blog“. That post really was really good, and covered everything about getting started. Since then I’ve had a few more friends ask for blogging advice and I decided to put together this list of tools and resources to grow your blog. **contains affiliate links**
Equipment I LOVE
I’ll start by sharing the equipment that I love. These are all things that I couldn’t accomplish everything I do without. These aren’t all things that I went out and purchased at once, but honestly I probably should have!
- Canon Camera– I’ve had this camera for a few years now and I like it SO much more than the Nikon that I used to have.
- Manfrotto Tripod and Head– A year ago I started only shooting home interiors using a tripod and it has improved my photography by a TON.
- Camera Remote– This goes along with only shooting from a tripod and helps with stability.
- MacBo0k Air– I LOVE my Macbook and can’t imagine going back to a PC.
- External Hard Drive– Because I have so many large photos to store I frequently move them over to this external hard drive. It’s got a TON on it and plenty of room for more.
Everyone knows if you’ve got a blog that you should be on social media, but these tools have helped me be more productive on social media.
- Tailwind– This is what I use for scheduling Pinterest pins. Rather than pinning a whole bunch of content at once this slowly drips out Pins. This way I can still pin in sessions but my Pinterest stays active all the time. This is also what I use for ensuring my content gets pinned to my tribes and group boards.
- Convertkit– This is what I use for sending out e-mails to my readers. I like that they can opt in to daily, weekly, or monthly e-mails.
Honestly, this area is not my area of expertise. I know the bare minimum to get by, but I’ll share everything I know with you. Honestly, it’s all you really need to know to get going.
- I blog on WordPress.Org using the Foodie Pro theme and Genesis Framework. This theme has been great for me because it’s VERY customizable. I set it up when I started my blog and have stuck with it ever since.
- On WordPress.Org you need to pay for a Domain Name and Hosting. Recently I switched to SiteGround for Hosting and I wish I would have done it a LONG time ago. If you’re looking to purchase your domain name or buy hosting I would HIGHLY recommend them. They also provide daily site backups and e-mail hosting, saving me $10 a month that I was spending on those services.
- I am NOT a techy person at all so it’s been great to have someone who is available to me. I use Sarah from One Starry Night. She’s always been able to fix every problem I’ve ever run into and even has responded to me when I need her at midnight. She’s great.
- Plugins- Because I’m on WordPress Plugins are what I use to improve the functionality of my site. Here’s a list of some of my favorite plugins: Akismet, Broken Link Checker, Comment Redirect by Yoast, EasyRecipe, Outbound Link Manager, Pinterest Pin It Button, Simple Social Icons, Wordfence Security, WordPress Popular Posts, and Yoast SEO.
- Fiverr– This is what I use for simple design projects and help. For example I had my business cards designed on Fiverr. I also just had someone create my e-mail signature here. “Gigs” start at $5 and go up from there, but it’s a great way to connect with good support help.
- WP Tasty– This is the plugin I use for recipe posts. It creates a printable recipe card and boosts recipe page rank with google. I used to use WP Ultimate Recipe but I like Tasty Recipes SO much more!
- Canva– This is the program I use for creating my Pinterest graphics. I love how user friendly it is and how professional the graphics look.
A lot of what I’ve learned about blogging has been learned either at conferences or through ebooks and online courses. These are some of the resources that have been the most helpful to me:
- Haven and Snap Blogging Conferences
- Building a Framework– This e-book does a great job of covering an overview of getting a blog going. There’s a ton of tips in here that took me a long time to learn. I wish I would have read this right when I was getting my blog going.
- Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers– This course helped me increase my affiliate earnings drastically. If you’re hoping to earn an income blogging this is the course you need to read.
- The Ultimate Photography Book for Bloggers– This is the course that helped me improve my photography. It’s got tons of great tips and was vital to my success.
Whether you’re just getting going blogging, or you’ve been blogging for years I hope these resources are helpful to you! If you’re looking to monetize your blog check this post out on how I make money blogging.