If you’re looking to improve your blogging, it can be hard to figure out where to start. Here are the sources I use for various elements of blogging, and I hope that they can help you!
This page contains affiliate links, but all opinions are my own (and true!). Thank you for supporting Kate the (Almost) Great!
Domain: Register.com – I’ve used Register.com for years and have had great experiences with them in general as well as their customer service. For only $9.99 you can register your domain name plus email at Register.com!
Hosting: WebHostingHub.com – I’m so pleased with them, and I’m surprised because it isn’t talked about a lot. But their service has been great and I can’t recommend them enough.
Design: Chanel by Mai, header by Two Thirds Hazel – I had been looking for a while for a theme that was simple but pretty, easy to use but included everything I wanted. I love this theme so much! What’s great is that it also is very customizable, which is awesome. Erin from Two Thirds Hazel made the header for me (as a part of a whole theme) several years ago, and I love it so much that I still use it.
Blogging Platform: WordPress – Self-hosted WordPress is free to use and it has revolutionized my blog. In fact, I wrote a whole post about it.
Email List: MailChimp – I think MailChimp is the perfect list builder if you’re just starting to grow your list. I’m on the Forever Free plan, so basically I can use them forever until I hit 2,000 subscribers or 12,000 sends. If it doesn’t look like you’ll hit either of those numbers for a while, I strongly suggest you start there.
Another great resource is Constant Contact. My mom used them for years! Grow your business with the leader in Email Marketing. Sign up for free 60-day trial of Constant Contact.
Logo: Logojoy – They have a super easy and useful tool to help you generate your logo. You can pick the colors, the style of text, what you want it to say, and more. The entire process takes 5 minutes.
Finances: Quickbooks Self-Employed – This has really helped me keep track of all of the financial details of running a blog. It is linked with my PayPal account so anything that goes through there automatically logs in, and you can also connect your bank accounts.
shareasale.com – You can join loads of different campaigns for a wide variety of companies. Some pay you per sale and some per click.
Ultimate Bundles – They create amazing resources for a variety of topics! To quote their site, “Every bundle is an incredible value for your readers, and is available for a steep discount of 90-97% off. You’ll make a generous commission on each sale. For every bundle that your readers buy, you’ll earn a 40% commission.”
Monetizing Your Blog: 30 Days To Blog Success – This is a great guide on how you can make money for your blog even if you have less than 3,000 monthly pageviews.
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Camera: Nikon Coolpix L340 and iPhone 6 – I use my iPhone camera for a lot of pictures, but I also use my camera(s). I’ve been using a Nikon Coolpix L32 and since I got it in 2011 and it’s a bit old, I just ordered a new camera to replace it, a Nikon Coolpix L340. Both are great, but since I needed a new camera anyway, I wanted a higher quality one. Depending on your blogging needs/uses, a simpler camera might work better for you. My new camera is basically a step between basic point-and-shoot and a DSLR.
Photo Editing: Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 – This has a lot of the great benefits of Photoshop but it isn’t as expensive or as complicated as other forms. If you want to do more than you can with Picmonkey or Canva, I really suggest it!
Social Media Resources
Social Media Scheduler: Buffer – This is the best! I use it to schedule my Twitter and Facebook posts. I’m on the Awesome plan – that’s it’s name – and I can schedule up to 100 posts on up to 10 networks (so up to 1,000 total).
Pinterest Scheduler: Tailwind – Oh my goodness. Tailwind is so, so great. According to their website, they have “Multi-board pinning, bulk upload, drag-and-drop calendar and many more shortcuts built with your busy schedule in mind.” I love it. Get your first month free here.