We all need some help from time to time when it comes to our blogs. Instead of searching through endless pins, search results, or scrolling through loads of blog posts I’ve created this blogging resources guide.
Anything I recommend here is something I absolutely believe in and use myself, with the exception of hosting. More on that a bit later. Everything is categorized and updated regularly. You will know the last time this page was updated via the date at the top under the title.
Let’s get this hard part done with. shall we? I personally use what is called a cloud server for my hosting. I do this for a few reasons. 1. It is hella fast. 2. It keeps cost down even as I grow.
Here’s why you probably will not use this type of hosting. It takes some pretty major technical knowledge in order to use this type of hosting service. This is why I have two recommendations where other bloggers have one.
Digital Ocean is the hosting service I use. The ONLY person who should set this up needs to know how to set up a web server and knows how to operate Linux. In the near future I hope to have some great resources to do this but at this point in time I do not.
If I didn’t have an live in IT Professional (my husband) I would absolutely use a SiteGround Shared Hosting Plan. There are a couple reasons for this.
SiteGround has some of the best technology on their servers. This means the server response time is one of the best in the industry. Low server response time helps lower bounce rates, boosts SEO, and keeps traffic flowing.
Courses and Ebooks
I am a big believer in courses, not all of them cost money but weeding out the great courses from the just ok courses takes a lot of time and sometimes a lot of money. As someone who’s expenses on her blog average less than $100 a month you know I am frugal when it comes to spending money. Additionally, I will only ever recommend a course that worked well for me.
You will see a lot of people singing the praises of Tailwind and Boardbooster. However, when you are broke there is no way you can afford to have scheduling programs you need to know what to do.
Additionally, in my own testing scheduling does nothing for growth and I saw faster more effective growth by manually pinning. Carly is the Queen of manually pinning and she created Pinteresting Strategies detailing how she manually pins. She also includes invaluable information in how Pinterest works, sees your pins, and decides where your pins belong in the smartfeed
If you are planning on using Pinterest as a marketing tool for your blog this ebook is a must have. It’s $32 and totally worth every dollar.
This course took me from an average 5,000 clicks a month on Amazon to over 10,000 clicks a month with just one slight change. Additionally, she taught me of all the best ways to utilize links to make the most of your affiliate income on each and every post.
I recently purchased this course and finished it and have not had enough time to form a detailed review with all of my results but I hope to create that in the next few months. For now if you need serious help with affiliate marketing this course is one of the better ones. Plus it’s only $79.
This is a fantastic starter course for beginner bloggers. Elna goes through everything you need to know about getting more traffic to your blog.
She breaks down Pinterest in easy to understand bites and teaches you how to make it your #1 growth strategy while you wait for that pesky SEO to kick in. This course is a great refresher for those who are in a blogging slump and a great resource for those just starting their blogging journey.
I currently use Mail Chimp’s free service. As I am growing my list I am contemplating a few different options. I will be adding a firm recommendation sometime this year when I finish reviewing my options.
These are programs you can use to automate your blog, social media, or Pinterest. I don’t do much in actually using automation tools. I actually have systems set up that allow for me to not really need these types of tools.
I recently purchased Tailwind with Unlimited Tribes. I have found it useful and seen an increase in my traffic from tribes. In the near future I will be writing a full on review. It is a rather large once a year expense. I’m going to be honest, it is useful, but it is not a necessary tool for blogging success.
IFTTT stands for IF This Than That. You can set up “recipes” that allow for automatic posting with all sorts of options. You can read all about how I used to use IFTTT in this post here.
Creating and Finding Graphics
I use Inkscape to create all of my social media graphics and featured images. It’s a completely free software and can be used with any operating system you run. I will be creating full tutorials sometime in the near future teaching you how to use Inkscape, sign up for my email list to get notified with those go tutorials go live.
I use Gimp to edit stock photos to make them different than the original. My reason for this is that Pinterest has several million copies of the same images on their website. This means your pin could have the wrong keywords attached to it based on what previous versions of that image were used for. Changing the image helps in making Pinterest think it is a totally new image.
Gimp is a free software that can also be used with any operating system.
These are the places that I usually go to to find all of my stock photos.
These are all the resources I have for now. As I test, find, and learn new resources I will be adding them here so make sure you pin this to your favorite blogging board so you can check back often.