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Are you thinking about starting a blog or have you just started one? I remember when I first started my blog and went self-hosted, I had no clue what to do. There’s so much to think about and so many programs to use.
This is the list of resources that I use or have used in the process of creating and owning my blog. It’s an almost complete version of what you need to start a blog. However, if you’re missing some information you’d like to get more information on, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will personally inform you and add the information to this page.
Hosting & Platform
WordPress.org –If you’re going self-hosted, which I HIGHLY recommend if you want to monetize your blog in the future, the .org version of WordPress is perfect. The WordPress.org version almost looks the same as the WordPress.com version. The difference is that you’re selfhosted and you need to find a host to run your website.
SiteGround – This is the host I’m using for my website. To be fair, they are on the pricier side of all hosts out there, but they offer 24/7 support and offer the highest speed on the hosted websites. I’ve chatted with them many times for big or small questions and they always respond super-fast in their live chats and always offer the best customer support. I don’t have a lot of technical knowledge so it’s so nice to have SiteGround who takes care of all those technical things.
These are absolutely amazing to increase your knowledge about everything related to blogging, social media and other factors of owning a business. I love taking online courses, you usually have life-time access and can do the course on your own pace.
Christina Galbato – My absolute fave business woman who spreads her incredibly valuable knowledge about social media and blogging. I have The Influencer Bootcamp and The Blogging Bootcamp and haven’t seen any other course providing so much value. You won’t find the tips she shares anywhere on the internet.
Pinterest By Ell – If you’re just starting out with blogging – here’s a tip: use Pinterest. Many bloggers get over 50% of their traffic from Pinterest. Ell Duclos offers a complete Pinterest course for about $39 and it gives you life-time access too. Many Pinterest owners took this course and grew their Pinterest audience massively!
Pinterest Perfect by Mariam – Mariam owns the Boss Babe Blog and wrote an entire e-book dedicated to all things related to Pinterest. An e-book is perfect to read on the beach if you’re not able to do an actual online course on your laptop! Her e-books costs around $18.
One of the biggest struggles about creating a blog is finding a theme that fits your voice, your brand and your niche. There are literally thousands of designers out there and it can be really overwhelming.
17th Avenue – Probably one of the most popular designers. Kate designs feminine WordPress themes for entrepreneurs and all-round bloggers. These themes are highly customizable and you can ask for additional customizations. Their customer service is awesome!
Hello You Designs – I love these designs because they look so colorful and fun. Definitely more on the crowded side of a theme but perfect if you have lots of photos to display or need a lot of room and your homepage for example.
Pix & Hue – Louise designs her themes using Elementor which is a plugin that provides SO MUCH freedom. You have the option to completely design your website and make it look unique compared to other blogs. Her customer service is amazing as well.
Blossom Themes – Blossom Themes has highly customizable themes to fit your brand perfectly. These themes are elegant, feature-rich, easy to use and absolutely SEO friendly to get that ranking on the search engines. Additional to the blog themes, they offer theme installation and a set-up service for SEO as well. That’s perfect if you’re not comfortable with installing the theme on your own and if you’d like to get a kickstart in the SEO world.
Canva – I personally use Canva for everything! I design pictures for my blog on Canva and all my Pinterest pins are made in Canva. It provides pre-designed templates or you can create your own from scratch! You don’t need to pay for Canva, you can use the free option which gives you all the tools you need. I’m personally on a premium account, which gives me access to additional tools like stockphotos.
Adobe Spark – I made some pins in Adobe Spark before and it’s a great tool too. I have a subscription on Creative Cloud from Adobe but you can use Adobe Spark for free as well! Just register with an email account and you’re good to go.
Planoly – I use Planoly to plan out my Instagram feed. There’s an option to schedule your posts so they go live at a certain time. However, I personally don’t do this because I’d like to be active on Instagram while posting the new image. I do use it to write out my captions. Click on “or post now” and it sends you to Instagram with the caption saved, just “paste” it on Instagram and the post is ready to publish.
Tailwind – I could not handle Pinterest without Tailwind. This tool makes it SO easy to schedule new pins. It analyses your target group and when you receive the most engagement. The tool then creates different time slots in your schedule on this when the engagement is the highest. Simply download the Tailwind extension and you can schedule pictures as pins from any website you want! This saves me so much time, because manually pinning takes a lot of time and you want to pin frequently and be active on Pinterest to grow your audience. Tailwind is a life saver in this process.
If you’d like to try Tailwind, try Tailwind for free for a month.
Unsplash – Unsplash is a free stockphoto website where you can download these pictures for free! You don’t have to worry about copyright. It’s always nice to give credits to the creators.
Pexels – Pexels is another website for free stockphotos. It’s smaller than Unsplash but I do recommend checking out this website if you can’t find the image on Unsplash.
Pixabay – The last free stockphoto website I use, it’s the same as Pexels: smaller than Unsplash but take this one along on your search to the perfect image and I’m sure you will succeed!
Pixistock – This is a stockphoto website that requires you to have a subscription per month, quarter or year. It provides you with thousands of new photos every week!
I hope these resources are helpful for you. As I said in the beginning, if you’re in need of more information, just email me at email@example.com. I’m happy to help!