Whether you’re thinking of starting a blog, new to blogging or looking to try something new, this page has you covered. It can be intimidating as a new blogger to figure out what you need to get started! It can also be intimidating when you feel really stuck and don’t know what to do next with your blog.
So here I am, here for the newbie blogger and the blogger looking to switch things up with my personal bank of resources I use and love to help make blogging a little easier! Here is my list of both free and paid resources I use and love to run my blog! (Note this list will grow and change as I grow and change as a blogger!)
DISCLOSURE: affiliate links are used on this page. I only recommend products and services I absolutely use and love! You can read my disclosure here. If you decide to make a purchase through my links you support my blogging dreams, which I can use to help support yours and many others! Thank you for all the love and support!
Your domain name is your chance to define you! What is your brand? What is your blog about? How are you going to reveal yourself. Purchasing a domain name sets the tone for your brand and how you’re going to market yourself across your blog and social medias.What is a domain name?
A domain name is your website’s address! (For example, www.cynspo.com). This can look like a .com, .org, .blog, etc. Purchasing a domain name (pluse self-hosting) allows you total control of how you want to run your website, as well as how you can monetize from your website! Namecheap allows you to do that easily by purchasing your domain name with them!
With prices starting as low as 1.99 and free WhoisGuard protection (means people cannot find your personal information through your domain!), it made my choice easy to purchase my domain from them!
PLUS many hosting sites (such as SiteGround) allow you to sign up for hosting services with a previously purchased domain! Easy right!
As a new blogger, you may want to start for free. This may save you money in the beginning, but you have limited customization over your site, and you may not be able to monetize your blog as you would like. This is why it’s recommended you take the leap and go self-hosted! There are several different hosting sites to become self-hosted, however I personally recommend SiteGround. They are so great, they walked me through the complete set up of my site!
They offer round the clock support (I have chatted with them several times for things I couldn’t figure out on my own, and they were prompt, kind and eager to help each time!), affordable pricing and my website operates at optimum speed! If you’re new to blogging or looking to switch your host site, give SiteGround a try! My special link will get you web-hosting for $3.95 per month (with better deals the further you purchase in advance)!
Choosing the theme to your blog is part of building your brand! Once you choose a theme, you can begin to build consistency throughout your platforms! If you’re self-hosted with WordPress installed, you can choose from a range of free to paid themes you can install!
I purchased my theme from Creative Market and I’m still in love with my theme to this day! My theme was easy to install and set up, and there were so many to choose from! Creative Market also has fonts and stock photos (if you’re looking to purchase photos for your graphic designing needs!) as well themes! Pretty much a one stop shop for bloggers!
Email marketing is a great way to reach out to your followers to let them know what’s happening on the blog! You can offer them exclusive content such as freebies and promo codes as an incentive to join your subscriber list! Social media may come and go, but at least you have your email list!
As a blogger it’s important to know which apps to use to make editing easy! Personally I love creating my own blog graphics, pin covers and editing my own Instagram posts! Here are some of the apps I find helpful!
Canva is both a free and paid app (you can also use on a computer!) that allows you to create beautiful blog graphics, Pinterest graphics, and basically any other kind of graphic! There are several free and paid images you can use, or you can simply upload your own and start editing from there!
Lightroom CC is my go to App to download for picture editing! You can download both free and paid presets that you can apply to your pictures (one of the tricks for creating a cohesive theme on Instagram!).
Linktree is both a free and paid website and I cannot rave enough! Link tree is essentially one link that opens up into a page where you can display ALL of your links! (Super ideal since Instagram only lets you put one link in!) You can customize sections to include your website, your latest blog post, and also sections of your blog you’d like to highlight and draw attention to!
I absolutely am obsessed with The Content Planner! It’s the perfect tool to get all of my blogging information in the same spot. Gone are sticky notes on top of sticky notes, and information spread across many notebooks. The Content Planner is perfect for all girl boss bloggers! It comes fully equipped to help you plan, organize and even inspire you to create content! I would be seriously lost without this amazing tool!
There are so many groups and pods you can join to connect with other bloggers (it would be insane to list them all!)! If you’re looking to connect with other bloggers in a safe space, share your content and engage with others, then Coffee & Connect is a group on Facebook I started to do just that! The blogging community has always been warm and welcoming to me, and I want to give back that same feeling to other bloggers! (By clicking the link over Coffee & Connect you can request access to join and then answer the 3 easy questions!)
Affiliate marketing is one of the many ways you can begin to monetize your blog! Affiliate marketing is earning commission from directing traffic to other external websites! This may look like the use of links, adds or promo codes. Affiliate marketing is a great way to monetize your blog, whether you’re just starting out or looking to take your blog to the next step!
One thing I recommend with affiliate marketing is that you only recommend products and services you truly love or use. Be authentic in what you are promoting and stay true to yourself and your brand.
Here are some sites you can sign up for free to be an affiliate for:
Pinterest (hey let’s be friends!) is absolutely one of the number one ways I drive traffic to my blog! Pinterest is a great way for getting your blog posts out there through creating your own pins that link to blog posts, joining group boards (want to join my Blogging Tribe board!) and driving up Pinterest traffic (which in turn drives up your blog traffic).
I would not have been able to set up my Pinterest the way that I have if it weren’t for EllDuclos’s Pinterest E-Course. This course was essential for setting up my Pinterest account and learning how to make pins that would drive my blog traffic! Her strategies are easy to learn and easy to implement! I definitely owe the fact that my Pinterest grew by 430 thousand page views in the first month to her course! The course is 32$ (on sale for 15$ until April 1st 2019 with code SPRINGAHEAD) and if you like it, you can become an affiliate for that course and earn your money back!
In my opinion if you want to rock the Pinterest world, you should check out Tailwind! Tailwind is a tool that allows you to schedule pins (so that you don’t have to glue yourself to Pinterest all day long to make it grow!) Tailwind also allows you access to Tribes so that your pins have a chance to reach a wider audience (this happens when other people re-pin your pins!).
I love the freedom Tailwind gives me so that I can spread my time more equally between blogging duties (and not just stay holed-up on Pinterest (I wish I could, but I can’t!)
Google Analytics is perfect for tracking your site’s performance! Google Analytics is free to use and tracks stats such as your site’s traffic, where the traffic is coming from, how long people average on your page, and much more! Absolutely necessary for any blogger looking to track their progress. You can sign up here!
Books I Highly Recommend
I look forward to posting more resources as I go! I hope to always help, improve and inspire your blogging experience in any way that I can! Community over competition – there’s enough room in the blogging world for us all to sparkle!