Here are some blogging resources you might find useful!
Please be aware that this page contains affiliate links, which are marked with an asterisk. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you purchase the product through my link (yay!).
These are all resources I use myself and can recommend based on my own personal experiences with them.
Hosting – SiteGround*
I did some research into hosting, and found that SiteGround* regularly came out on top in various articles and reports. Now my blog is hosted by them, I understand why. Their hosting is fast, efficient and secure. As I am blessed with an I.T. nerd as my boyfriend, I haven’t had much need for their tech support, but I’ve heard plenty of reports about how excellent their service is, particularly through the webchat option. So, if you don’t have a clue what to do, there will be someone on hand to help you!
Theme – Pipdig
If you’re having a tough time finding a free theme you like, I do recommend stepping it up a notch and paying for one. Pipdig has both Blogger and WordPress themes available. I chose the Culture Shock theme for WordPress and I absolutely love it. The theme included some additional features and gives me plenty of freedom to create the look I want for my blog.
You could also try Creative Market if you don’t find anything you like on Pipdig.
If you have a self-hosted WordPress blog, here are a few plugins you might like to use:
- Broken Link Checker – It’s a good idea to keep on top of any broken links that pop up so you can fix them or remove them. This plugin in lets you know if it detects any so you can test them and act accordingly.
- Smush – Smush optimises your images to improve your blog’s loading speed, but it doesn’t have any impact on quality! This is a MUST HAVE if you include a lot of pictures in your posts.
- Social Warfare – If you want to get your blog seen, one of the best ways you can do it is to get it shared all over social media! Social Warfare will make this a breeze for your audience.
- Yoast SEO – SEO can be complicated and confusing, so you need this plugin if you want to make your life a million times simpler. The traffic light system makes it easy to identify if your posts and pages are along the right lines to be picked up by search engines, or if they need to be reviewed and tweaked.
I use Canva to create my graphics (for example, my Pinterest pins). It’s very easy – they have thousands of templates to choose from to create whatever you need. There are also free stock photos available to include in your graphics! It has everything you need to create what you want.
When it comes to promoting my blog, I like to schedule these social media posts so I use Hootsuite for Facebook and Twitter. It means I can go about my day and know I’m staying active on social media. The added bonus is it means when you are on Facebook and Twitter, you can use your time to actually interact with others, rather than promoting your blog.
What about Pinterest? We live in exciting times, my friend because… you can actually schedule pins. You don’t have to sit and manually pin 50 pins a day to maximise your reach and the pinning can be done while you sleep. Mind blown, right?
To do this, sign up for Tailwind* which is the Pinterest scheduling tool. Pinterest can do wonders for your blog’s traffic and Tailwind will definitely help you along the way. When you sign up, Tailwind has tips and tutorials to get started. However, if you find yourself feeling a little lost, this e-course* taught me everything I needed to know! It is amazing and whenever anyone asks me for guidance on Pinterest, that’s where I send them.
Mailing list – Mailerlite
I put off making a mailing list for a while because it seemed like such a daunting task. Here’s the good news: Mailerlite makes it easy. I mean, REALLY easy. They have a user-friendly drag and drop system to put together your emails and there are plenty of customisation options so you can make it your own. I’ve had lovely comments from my subscribers about how professional and pretty my emails look.
Affiliate Programs – AWIN*, ShareASale* and MarketingShouts*
AWIN* has SO many different people on there who you can partner up with. A few of the companies I’m an affiliate with through AWIN are Schuh, Nails Inc and Paperchase. It’s great being able to promote brands you love and get a little bit back for it.
ShareASale* is a similar concept to AWIN, although it is more aimed towards Americans. There are a few companies on there who you can connect with and promote, regardless of your location.
MarketingShouts* is a new affiliate program, based in London. Although they don’t have a lot of merchants signed up right now, they are constantly working to expand and improve their service. They have a very friendly team, and I’m excited to be part of their network!
To keep on top of spelling and grammar, make the most of Grammarly*. It’s free!
For hints, tips and advice about blogging, check out Totally Blogging. Totally Blogging is a FREE website offering 35+ guides on everything from setting up your first blog through to earning the absolute most amount of money you can from it.
I hope these blogging resources help you to set up or improve your blog. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch.