Starting your own blog can be a daunting task and in the beginning there’s a lot of trial and error that can be frustrating. So I created this page to share all the tools and resources that have helped my online business run easier. It’s been my experience that blogging can be fun when you get to share your ideas with the world.
But along the way there are “techie” things that have to be learned to keep everything up and running. And let’s face it – if you’re just starting out you don’t want to get bogged down with figuring out technical issues.
And while it’s great if you can hire someone to do the hard work for you, everything costs money, especially if you have to hire a programmer, graphic artist or photographer. So let’s take a look at some resources that will help you succeed in your blogging business.
Blogging Services and Resources
These days the number one seller of domain names is GoDaddy.com. But before you register a domain name for your blog, it’s important to think about what you want for a name.
Certainly you want something that’s catchy and easy to remember, but it should also reflect what your blog is about. So think about the domain name you want to commit to long term before setting up your blog.
I have always used Bluehost as my hosting provider and have found it to be reliable with great customer service. The Cpanel makes installing WordPress very easy, as well as setting up email addresses to go with my domains.
Whenever I have had technical issues, Bluehost has been pretty good about getting back to me right away and letting me know how to resolve issues. I’ve liked that I can get help just about 24/7. So after many years, I am still with Bluehost for my hosting needs.
The email service that I have always relied on for my websites is AWeber. With AWeber, there’s an easy-to-use dashboard to help you set up opt-in forms, segmented mailing lists and ongoing email campaigns. There’s also stats to keep track of the success rates of your emails. Customer support is great, plus it integrates with WordPress and other platforms like JVZoo, very well.
WordPress Premium Themes
Genesis Frameworks by StudioPress
If you are going into blogging for the long haul, then it pays to get a reliable theme for WordPress. Genesis Frameworks by StudioPress has fast become the most popular frameworks and theme available today.
When you buy the Genesis Framework, you also need to buy a child theme to go with it. However, Genesis themes are very flexible when it comes to customizing and StudioPress has a large support community if you find yourself looking for help. I also like that there are also other companies that provide Genesis compatible themes, like the one I’m using on this blog by Restored 316.
Restored 316 Themes
Restored 316 themes are very pretty, feminine looking themes that are ideal for female entrepreneurs. As I mentioned above, they are Genesis Frameworks compatible and I think they look great without much customizing.
So, if you already own Genesis and want a feminine looking theme for a decor or crafting blog, Restore 316 themes are beautiful and will run under Genesis Frameworks perfectly!
When you first get started with your blog, you should also be thinking about how to monetize it right away. One of the easiest ways to do this is to join an affiliate network such as ShareaSale. With ShareaSale there are literally hundreds of online stores that you can get approval to promote and make commissions on. Commission payments for all merchants you promote are combined and are sent out on the 20th of every month, for the previous month’s sales.
IZEA is a platform that helps bloggers manage lots of merchants to earn commissions. Plus there are sponsorship opportunities, so you can get paid to write. They offer free plans and paid plans that are really affordable to join – the Pro plan is only $5 per month to join and allows you to cash out commissions early.
If you are looking for a cool way to make online graphics or posters, look no more. PicMonkey is an online tool you can subscribe to and make all kinds of visuals, like banners, colleges, blog headers, logos or signs.
You can upload your own photos to PicMonkey and use their dozens of overlays to create eye-catching social media posters and visuals for Pinterest or Instagram. There are so many graphic elements built-in, you don’t have to be a graphic artist, just open up the application and have fun with it!
Every now and then, I want a specific photo and a while back I found Dreamstime Photos. What’s nice about Dreamstime is that have a good selection of free photos I can use. But I also have an account to purchase photos with them and can find royalty-free stock photos at very reasonable prices. So either way I recommend checking out Dreamstime.
Canon EOS Rebel T5
Of course being a blogger I need to take my own photos and so I invested in a Canon EOS Rebel T5 camera. This is an ideal basic DLSR camera to get started with all your photography needs without breaking the bank.
I’m finding that I use it more and more as my blog grows and I recommend it as a decent camera if you are just starting out. You can read more about it here.
Helpful blog posts:
4 Things That Will Slow Down Your Blogging Success