My Blogging Toolkit for You to Examine
Here are the resources I have tried, tested and found to be the most useful tools to use in my blogging toolkit. Have a look and see what has worked for out for me.
This post contains affiliate links but I would never recommend anything that I don’t use and love.
Please see my disclosure for more information
Everything You Need to Start and
Run a Blog on A Small Budget
Is Right Here
NameCheap is what i went with for purchasing my domain this time around. After trying to start a blog previous (didn’t get off the ground running) I had trouble getting my domain back away from HostGator.
So I learned my lesson to purchase domain separate from my hosting. Lesson learned the hard way, hopefully for you it won’t be the same.
They were easy communicate with when I made an error and purchased a expired domain that had been blacklisted by Google. I realized within 6 hours and they gave me credit and let me purchase this domain name. Great customer service from my experience!
SiteGround has been the best deal for me after a terrible experience of using HostGator for previous years.
Siteground was easy to set-up, offered a plan that suited my beginner needs, and made it easy to get a email set-up. I recommend the 3 year plan to get the most out of their new user pricing.
I’ve kept it simple and use the free version of MailerLite for the time being. They have been easy to use and great customer service.
When it’s time to take things more seriously I have read many, many, many times the rewards of using Convertkit. So, depending on where you are at on your blogging journey will determine what will suit your needs.
Beginner Blog Course -Blog By Number
If you are a beginner the Blog By Number Course by Suzi is honestly the most well layed out and step-by-step course you could possible ask for. I initially only bought the ebook thinking that would be enough, and then taught myself other things the HARD way. I went back and bought the course and realized I would have saved myself MONTHS of time if I had just invested in this course in the first place.
She actually really wants you to succeed and offers heaps of positive motivation, step-by-step instructions for set-up and then getting a blog running, and bonus savings codes for her other courses along the way if you’re interested. It’s the step-by-step help that you don’t get in any other course I have come across. This course has SO much more than any other new blogger resources I have come across, so if you are starting it is SOO worth the investment and will get you the best start you could ask for with the nicest teacher you could ask for.
GRAPHIC DESIGN TOOLS
CANVA ALL THE WAY! Oh I kick myself so much for not going with Canva Pro earlier on. It is in my opinion the 2nd thing worth investing in after buying a premium theme. The stock photo options, the resizing ease, and the templates make beginner graphics for your blog to easy.
When you are ready to really start rocking it and making awesome printables then Photoshop is the way to go. It is the king program for graphic design, and if you happen to be a student, still USE THAT DISCOUNT to your advantage! I know I am 🙂
You will need to make friends with Pinterest. The easiest way to do that is to get your hands on Carly’s Pinteresting Strategies Course. She is the most down to earth blogger I know, I love her FB lives with updates to Pinterest going-on’s. Her FB group is a HUGE KNOWLEDGE MINE, so I definitely recommend joining it.
Taking her course helped me figure out how to set-up my Pinterest Boards the right way and how to engage in the most effective way possible. She is always updating it and shares with everyone. Again, a real down-to-earth gal who is about sharing knowledge.
After getting photoshop and not knowing how to use it to my advantage as a blogger, as well as the design tips & tricks for making great pins I found Pin Happy Design Course which has been a game changer for my pin design and making them look GOOD.
I mean ugly pins can sometimes do great on pinterest, but making consistent GOOD PINS is even better and this course helped me with that. Especially on the Photoshop front.
Everyone raves about Stupid Simple SEO Course, and I want to take it, but I haven’t yet. It has not fit into my beginner blogger budget.
BUT, the lovely Debbie has filled the gap with her Easy On-Page SEO E-book that was SO HELPFUL with On-Page SEO and figuring out how to build backlinks the correct way so Google doesn’t hate you.
I am using a lovely theme by SoloPine called Redwood. It has been a super easy theme to transition to and use the way I want. That isn’t to say it is the only theme I would recommend. I went through using a few to find what suit my need and I would easily recommend a few others I trialed.
BluChic Theme Review
BlucChic offers some great themes for the entrepreneur. I used their Victoria theme and was very happy with the ease of installation and customization. I found that the particular theme I bought didn’t suit me as I wasn’t someone looking to offer “services, so it ended up not being what I personally needed.
If I was to choose again I would have selected Maggie or ChicServe, as those would’ve suited my needs as a content creator much better. There are plenty of great themes offered by BluChic, so have a look at their showcase and see if anything pop’s out to you!
*Perk is they don’t require genesis like many other popular feminine wordpress themes.
Ashe Pro Theme Review
For the more budget restricted blogger who wants something that will still look professional, yet give them plenty of customization I easily liked Ashe Pro. It was the first theme I dived into buying and it worked great. I used it for another website, and then happened to fall in love with my current theme when I started a new website.
Ashe Pro looked just as good on mobile as the more expensive “Restored 316” and “Hello You” designs (actually was less glitchy in my opinion) and doesn’t require Genesis.
So if you are looking for something more budget friendly then Ashe Pro is a great option. They offer heaps of customer service help to assist you in customization.
Hope it Helps!
Hope these tidbits about my experience can help you. I know reading from other experiences helped me sort out what I could do to build my blog toolkit within my budget.
If you are curious about getting more blogging knowledge and looking into courses check out my Honest Reviews of Blogging Courses I have taken so far. Let’s just say the price tag does not always indicate quality. (IN PROGRESS)
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