In this post, I am sharing with you personally all the tools and products I use for my blog. I have some friends who have been wanting to start a blog for the longest time, and they feel lost. They don’t know where to start or where to go. So I thought I would compile all the information that I have required over the last couple of weeks and process it into one post.
I hope you find some of my blogging resources helpful in building your own dream blog. A little reminder that each blog is different and what may work well for me may not work for you.
If there is anything you want to ask me, please comment below or feel free to contact me! Any other tips that you may have, please feel free to drop them below as I would love to hear them. I will definitely check them out and add them to my resources if I think they will work for others as well.
BLOGGING RESOURCES LIST
There are lots of platforms to host your website. WordPress, Blogger, Jimdo, Squarespace… I’m not even scratching the surface here. The two most common options are WordPress and Blogger.
BLOGGER VS WORDPRESS
Blogger is a service owned by Google that allows anyone to start a free blog in just a few clicks. Your blog or website is hosted by Google, and they take care of everything for you.
- Blogger is free for a website on a *.blogspot.com subdomain
So my blog name would have been http://www.bonditobasic.blogspot.com.
- There are no setup fees or upgrade costs. There are no ads on your blog unless you opt-in.
- Blogger is seriously simple to use
- Limited customization options
Blogger is perfect for the person who is just starting out and is unsure of blogging and if it is yet your cup of tea. It will literally cost you nothing to set up your first blog(BONUS!) and you can play around with it as you wish and see if this is something you would want to pursue further.
If you already know that you want to take blogging super seriously and if you need to more creative options (eg. customize your site) then my advice would be: Spare yourself the trouble and go with WordPress from the get-go.
WORDPRESS.COM OR WORKPRESS.ORG
The one major difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is who’s hosting your website. WordPress.org is where you’ll find the free WordPress software that you can download and install on your own web server. So you have to find a hosting service like HostGator or GoDaddy. WordPress.com, on the other hand, takes care of all of the hosting for you.
Because I have had some issues with self-hosting before I decided to try wordpress.com for my blog.
Curious how to set up your ow blog?
Check out my 7 step guide on how I have set up Bondi to Basic in one day.
Google Analytics – This is a great tracking tool and it’s free. It shows you how many people are coming to your site, what posts are most viewed and where your referring traffic is coming from etc.
Very helpful information if you want to learn about your audience and which type of posts are most popular.
Choosing a theme for your blog is very important. It dictates what your blog will look like and what you will be showing the world, so choosing the right theme is super important.
Pipdig – They offer some amazing designs for not a whole lot of money. For one of my previous blog, I purchased Aruba Nights. I still love that theme but I wanted something new for this blog.
For Bondi to Basic, I am using the WordPress theme Olsen which was $39,-
No blog is complete without pretty images. For most bloggers, this is a stumbling block at the beginning of their blogging career. However, there are many amazing (free and paid) sites with copyright free pictures for you to use. Underneath I have listed two of my favorite, most used, free sites.
Unsplash – Unsplash is a website dedicated to sharing copyright-free photography under the Unsplash license. The website claims over 70,000 contributing photographers and generates more than 5 billion photos. So plenty to choose from.
Pexels – Free stock photos you can use everywhere. ✓ Free for commercial use ✓ No attribution required.
Canva is used by many bloggers to create everything from simple social media graphics through to full-blown gorgeous recipe books and everything in between. Easy to use drag and drop features and a whole heap of pre-made templates means it’s easy for anyone to create something amazing in just a few minutes.
In this extensive blog post, I have explained step-by-step on how you can create graphics like mine.
Hootsuite – Hootsuite is a social media management platform that helps you to be social at all hours of the day. It allows you to plan in Tweets, Facebook posts and much more. Very convenient
Tailwind – I have just signed with this amazing marketing tool for my Pinterest account. It allows you to schedule in your pins, so you don’t have to do it manually. Its biggest and most amazing feature besides the scheduling tool is ‘Tailwind Tribes’. Tribes is a tool that enables you to meet and grow with other bloggers. Tribes will also help you with two key problems that a lot of bloggers face:
– Having a steady supply of high-quality content to share
– Getting your posts seen and shared by the right people
When you pin a post on a tribe, you have to share or schedule in someone else’s pin as well. Because a tribe has a certain subject: e.g. travel, food etc. Is if very easy to find high-quality pins to share on your boards.
By sharing some of my posts on Tailwinds tribes I have gotten the following results so far:
I have only been using Tailwind for 2 weeks. So, a more in-depth analysis will follow. But I do suggest you sign up for this site. They have FREE trials, so give it a go.
Pinterest with Ell – I purchased this Pinterest course for only $15,-
If you know nothing about Pinterest and how you should use it, then this is a good course for you. I however already had a good understanding of the site and I didn’t pick up a whole lot of tips (definitely some) However, her main tip on how she increased traffic (The reason why I bought this course) is un-useful. She recommends using BoardBooster, and they are a not an approved scheduling tool and if you are ‘ caught’ using it, you can be banned from Pinterest. So I advise you NOT to use them.
But if you don’t have a good understanding of Pinterest, then I advise you to buy this course, for $15 you will pick up some useful tips.
I have also just purchased the E-book from Marina Degiovanni. I am reading now and I will let you if you should purchase it.
A WARNING: I was charged $37 USD EXTRA on my purchase without my approval. I only wanted her e-book which is only $5,60. I somehow ended up with a 48-hour challenge which I did NOT want. I am currently trying to get a refund. So please be cautious when buying her course.
Since I have not been blogging that long, I have quite a list that I want to do in the future. Underneath are some of the resources that I would like to start using when I have a bit more traffic to my blog.
Affiliate programmes involve a merchant paying a commission to other online entities (eg bloggers) for referring new business to the merchant’s website. Affiliate marketing is performance-based, which means affiliates only get paid when their promotional efforts actually result in a transaction.
ShareASale : So many programs on offer from marketing, web hosting to fashion.
Shop Style Collective : Create “shop the look” images, pin directly to Pinterest and not to mention its pay-per-click! Absolutely perfect for beauty and fashion bloggers you just check this one out!
Commission Factory : Fashion, Beauty, Home, Health another fantastic one for Australian Bloggers
Plugins are awesome elements to add to your webpage to help customize your blog. There are thousands and thousands of plugins to choose from.
Don’t get carried away though, because too many plugins will affect your site’s speed, which is never a good thing.
The reason why I added this to my future plans, is because I am currently using the basic WordPress with the cheapest subscription. I won’t have access to plugins until I upgrade my yearly subscription. At the moment, I just blog to pass time and mend a broken heart, so I don’t want to spend too much money on it. However, I have had a WordPress blog with plugins before, and below are some of my favorites that I would use again:
Akismet – Filters out spam comments from your blog. Getting blog comments is fantastic but for every great comment, you get about 10 spam comments.
Bottom of Every Post – Just what it says. It allows you to put what you want at the bottom of your posts, just once and it will show up at the bottom of every post.
CommentLuv – When someone comments on your blog, it automatically links up their latest blog post to the end of their comment.
jQuery Pin It Button For Images – Adds pin it buttons to your website, and gives you the ability to upload your own pin buttons if you would like.
Shareaholic Share Buttons – Makes it easy for readers to share your content through media buttons displayed at either the bottom or top or both of every post.
WordPress SEO by Yoast – Helps with making your blog posts more SEO friendly.
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I couldn’t do this without you all ❤