As a blogger it can be challenging figuring out what resources to use because you can feel bombarded by everything out there on the Internet. In this post, I will include recommendations for general resources and other resources to help with your blog design, posts, and social media promotion. You will be able to use all these resources regardless if you have a free WordPress plan or you are self-hosted, therefore, I will not include any plugins as recommendations.
Canva: Canva is my go-to website for creating my own graphics for my blog. I have used it to create my blog’s header, logo, featured images, and Pinterest images. There are tons of templates available to use or you can start your own designs from scratch.
PicMonkey: PicMonkey is another website that you can use to create your own graphics. PicMonkey is especially useful for creating social media images as there are numerous templates available.
Colorzilla: Colorzilla is an extension for Chrome and Firefox that tells you the color of an object in your browser, and I use it all the time when creating my graphics. For example, when I am creating my Pinterest images, I like to have my blog name match the colors of the image itself and with the ColorZilla I can easily figure out the color in the image and use it for the color of the text.
Pixabay, Pexels, Unsplash, and Kaboompics: These four websites allow you to find royalty-free stock photos to use on your blog. I do not always have the time to take my own photos, therefore, it is great being able to easily find images to use instead.
How to Make a Media Kit for Bloggers: If you want to start working with brands, you will most likely have to make a media kit. In this post, I share how to make a media kit using Canva and which sections to include.
GrammarCheck and Scribens: After I write a post, I like pasting it into one of these websites that checks for spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes and offers wording alternatives and suggestions.
Grammarly for Chrome: Instead of using one of the websites to check for grammar, you can use the Grammarly Chrome extension instead. The Chrome extension checks for spelling and grammar mistakes as you are writing your posts. The extension also checks for mistakes when you are writing emails and writing on any other website.
Ubersuggest: When you are writing your blog posts, it is recommended to use a keyword tool to find relevant keywords to use in your post that will then increase your blog’s chances of being found on Google. Once you type a keyword in Ubersugget, it will give you a list of relevant keywords and the search volume of those keywords.
Keyword Surfer: As an alternative to Ubersuggest, Keyword Surfer is a Chrome extension that will automatically show you relevant keywords and the search volume when you type in a keyword in Google.
SEO On-Page Checklist: You pay what you want for the SEO checklist, and you can receive it for free. The list includes what you should check for before publishing your blog post to fully optimize it for SEO.
Domain Authority Checker and Moz: If you are working with brands, it is especially important to know your blog’s domain authority (DA). If you have your own domain name, you can check your DA, which is a number 1-100. The higher your DA, the higher your blog will rank in search engines like Google. Moz is the official website to check your DA, but you are limited to 10 checks per month, but with Domain Authority Checker there are no restrictions, and you can enter multiple websites to check all at once.
Broken Link Checker: A good thing to do every now and then is to check for broken links on your blog. Broken links are bad for SEO and people are less likely to return to your blog if they encounter broken links. With the Broken Link Checker, you enter your blog’s URL, and the checker will scan up to 3,000 webpages. If the checker finds a broken link, it will show you the blog post’s URL and the source code so you can easily fix the link yourself.
Social Media Accounts: How Many is Too Many?: In this post, I briefly explain the pros and cons of the various social media platforms, and which ones I recommend using for your blog. In general, I recommend using 1-3 social media platforms for promoting your blog.
How to Promote Your Blog for Free: This is another post I wrote, and I focus on the various ways you can promote your posts such as by joining Facebook groups and Pinterest group boards as well as collaborating with other bloggers.
Buffer, Hootsuite, and Later: Buffer is an app I mentioned in my How to Find Time for Blogging post, and you can use Buffer to schedule 10 posts at a time for Twitter and Instagram. Hootsuite is another app used to schedule Twitter and Instagram content, and with the free plan you can have up to 3 social media profiles and 30 scheduled posts. Later is another option to schedule Instagram posts, and with the free plan you can schedule 30 posts at a time.
The Instagram Accelerator: The Instagram Accelerator is a short ebook you can receive for free by signing up for Styling Social’s email list. The ebook includes how to set up your Instagram profile and three different strategies to use to have an engaged audience.
Pinterest Cheat Sheet: Mariam, creator of Boss Babe Chronicles blog, created the Ultimate Pinterest Cheat Sheet, which you can receive for by subscribing to her email list. The cheat sheet includes a list of things to do when setting up your Pinterest profile and creating and sharing pins.
The Worst Advice for Bloggers: In this post, myself and other bloggers share the worst advice we received because even if blogging experts are sharing a piece of advice, it may not always be the best to follow.
Bonjour Blogger: Bonjour Blogger offers tons of articles on how to get your blog started from coming up with a name, finding your niche, and how often to post. There are also articles on how to create newsletters, reuse old blog posts, and use Instagram to promote your blog.
The Bloglancer: The Bloglancer is another site I recommend if you are looking for posts to read on how to grow your blog and social media as well as freelancing and working with brands.
Jenny in Neverland: Jenny has a section on blogging advice that includes planning content, boosting traffic, and working with brands.
Blogging Checklists: Wake up and Blog offers 3 free checklists for signing up to their email list including a blog admin, before you publish, and SEO checklist. The checklists are helpful for improving your overall blog as well as your posts.
Art by Lena: Lena offers illustrated blog headers that include up to 2 hand-painted illustrations with your blog’s name. The base price is £20, and you can add extra illustrations or a matching logo for £4. To give you an example of her work, my current blog header and logo was created by Lena!
Aloha Lola Cards: Claire creates custom hand-illustrated blog headers for $28.25 and logo designs for $24.22. Claire will talk with you about your ideas, concepts, themes, and specific requirements to ensure your header or logo is a perfect reflection of you and your blog.
Jenniely: Jenn designs blog headers and logos as well as book covers, marketing materials, and email templates. The price varies depending on the level of design and time taken to create it.
The Essential Guide To Pinterest Marketing: How To Increase Your Website’s Traffic Using Pinterest: Jade Marie’s ebook is £19, and it is all about how to use Pinterest to boost your blog’s or website’s traffic. In the ebook, she discusses how to create pins and get them seen and how to use Tailwind.
Tailwind: In Jade Marie’s eBook, one of the topics she covers is Tailwind. With Tailwind, you can schedule your pins and join Tribes, which exposes your pins to new audiences. Before I took my blogging break, I joined Tailwind, and I would highly recommend it if you want to up your Pinterest game. After the free trial, the price is $15 a month.
Pinterest with Ell: This course is taught by Ell who is the founder of Boss Girl Bloggers. The course is $48.75 and teaches you how to set up a Pinterest account, use Tailwind, make affiliate sales, and grow blog traffic.
Beginners Guide to Blogging by Jenny in Neverland: I have previously reviewed the Beginners Guide to Blogging ebook, and it is a great book for new bloggers or bloggers that need a little guidance. The ebook is £5.99 and includes topics such as growing your following, basic SEO techniques, and setting blogging goals.
A Beginners Guide To Growing an Engaged and Authentic Blog Following by Jenny in Neverland: This ebook is Jenny’s second book, and it goes into more detail on how to grow an engaged and authentic blog following. The ebook is £2.50, and it is perfect for new and expert bloggers who need guidance on how to steadily grow their blog following. The ebook also includes a printable Goals & Intentions Check List and a Follow Friendly Check List.
The Blogger’s Survival Guide by Nic’s Healthy Life: In The Blogger’s Survival Guide, Nicola shares tips and advice she learned over 12 years of blogging. The guide is £7.99 and it includes how to create the right mindset, produce great content, get your blog noticed, monetize your blog, overcome challenges, and come back from a blogging slump.
Be Pitch Perfect: A Guide to Pitching Products, Payments and Press Trips by Kirsty Leanne: If you want to start working with brands, I recommend Kirsty’s ebook. The ebook is £7.50 and offers advice on how to put yourself out there and pitch to brands.
A Beginner’s Guide To Affiliate Sales by Kayleigh Zara: This ebook is £5 and it is all about how to monetize your blog through affiliate marketing including what affiliate programs to use, content creators to affiliate for, creating a blog post for affiliate sales, and understanding seasonal sales.
Yearly Blog Planner by Jordanne Lee Creative: Jordanne created 6 yearly blog planners that help you plan and track your content, stay on top of blogging tasks, and plan your social media content. The planners range in price from £7.95 to £17.95.
What resources do you use for blogging?