Since I started my blog, I have been getting a lot of questions about which resources I use most often and ones that I couldn’t do without! So I’ve decided to put together my ultimate resource list for new bloggers (and maybe some seasoned bloggers might find it helpful too!).
Grab a cup of tea – this is gonna be a big one!
*This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase. This is at no cost to you! I will not endorse any products or brands which I do not believe in*
Self-hosting was a no-brainer for me. I originally hosted my blog on FastHosts but I recently made the switch to Siteground and I’m so glad that I did. Hosting my blog cost £39.00 for a full year and their customer service team are always available to sort out any problems or queries that you’re having! 100% worth the hype!
Creating My Mailing List
I create my fortnightly newsletters using MailerLite. Their customer service is brilliant – I recently contacted them with a query and I received a response in under 5 minutes. They even checked my account to make sure that the issue had been fixed!
MailerLite is free to use until you reach 1000 subscribers.
You can also use MailerLite to create landing pages and pop-ups to encourage readers to subscribe to your mailing list. I would highly recommend setting up your mailing list straight away as soon as you launch your blog. I waited for 3 months before setting mine up and now I really regret it – I lost 3 months worth of potential subscribers!
Blogging-Related E-Mail Account
When I set up my mailing list, I wanted to make sure that my newsletters and e-mails pitching to brands were coming from a professional e-mail address.
It’s also really handy to have your blog e-mails separate from your ASOS and Groupon newletters so nothing gets missed or lost – you know what I’m sayin’?!
I love ZoHo Mail because it’s so easy to navigate and it was very straight-forward to set up my email@example.com account with them. Their mobile app is equally easy to navigate.
Graphic Design and Photo-Editing
I use Canva to design pretty much everything on my blog – pins, banners and even my business cards! This app is available for nearly all devices and it’s so easy to use. You don’t have to be a Photoshop whizz to create some great looking graphics!
A Color Story is the only app I use to edit my Instagram photos. There are so many free and paid options within this one app so your editing possibilities are endless!
When I first started my blog, I was determined that I was going to do it on my own. I wasn’t going for fork out for fancy course, I was doing everything my way. There are so many over-priced blogging courses that are full of information that you could find online for free if you search in the right places and I wasn’t going to fall into that trap.
I got so far doing it on my own, but then I stalled and I couldn’t work out why. I ended up biting the bullet and signing up for a course created by one of my favourite bloggers Lauren, from EllDuclos.blog and I’m so glad I did. The first one I did was:
This one did AMAZING things for my blog. Her Pinterest/Tailwind strategy helped me double my daily blog traffic within a few weeks. After seeing pretty much immediate results from “Be Your Own Damn Boss”, when Lauren launched her second course:
I simply had to try it too and once again, I saw results. Basically, if you’re going to invest in any blogging course, these are 100% worth the tiny investment of $20 (£14.41 – for my UK readers) each.
Getting Started with Affiliate Marketing
It’s never too early to get started with affiliate marketing – you can literally start monetising your blog from the word go! These are the quickest and easiest ways to go about it if you’re just starting out!
Awin is the UK’s largest affiliate marketing website and with 2,100 advertisers on their platform – you’re bound to find dozens of brands within your niche. There is a £5 deposit to be paid when you start up your account but this is fully refunded when you get your first payout!
Superdrug, Ticketmaster and TAM Beauty are just a few of the affiliate programmes I’ve joined through Awin.
Share a Sale is actually owned by Awin – but I’ve found that the affiliate programmes on Share a Sale are more tailored towards US/International brands. However – Share a Sale is also home to two of one of my most profitable programmes : A Color Story and Tailwind.
As a UK/Ireland user, I’ve found the best way to use Share a Sale is to promote and sell online tools like apps as they’re universal and can be used anywhere in the world! Sign-up is totally free!
Tailwind is an app which allows you to schedule your pins on Pinterest, both to your own boards and to group boards.
There are a few different plans for Tailwind – ranging from free to paid plans. I pay around £9.00 per month in my plan and it’s worth every penny. My traffic has doubled and by scheduling your pins – you don’t have to sit and manually pin 60-odd pins per day. Winner!
Buffer is a tool that I’ve only recently started using and now I don’t know what I ever did without it. I use Buffer to schedule my tweets and also my posts to my Facebook page.
Since I started using Buffer, I’ve seen a huge increase in my engagement levels. It posts your tweets at a time of the day when your followers are most likely to be online. I used Buffer to schedule my tweets when I knew I was going be away for a few days. I filled up my queue with tweets (mostly promotional tweets for previous blog posts) and I didn’t have to think about Twitter the whole time I was away! It’s always good to keep your social media accounts active, even when you’re not being active yourself!
Ivory Mix is genuinely just a brilliant resource in itself. Once you sign up, you get a beautiful set of stock photos sent to your inbox every month which can be used on your blog itself or to create pins for Pinterest. Their stock photos are perfect for using in beauty and lifestyle posts.
Ivory Mix also offer a tonne of free-to-affordable blogging courses and downloadable resources to help you on your way.
There is also a Facebook group run by Ivory Mix which is a great community filled with lovely bloggers supporting each other and sharing tips.
I mainly use Pexels to find stock photos for my mental health articles as girly pink photos don’t seem appropriate. The photos on Pexels are mostly free to use – just remember to credit the photographer. It’s not always required, but it’s a nice thing to do!
Next Sunday I will be sharing my Ultimate List of WordPress Plug-In’s for New Bloggers, so stay tuned for that.
In the meantime, if you have any questions about any of the resources I’ve talked about in this list, or if you would like to see a whole post dedicated to a certain resource – just let me know! I would LOVE to help you out!