I’ve been blogging since 2011 and it’s changed so much since I started. One of the questions I get asked frequently is ‘How do you start your own blog?’. This lead me to write ‘How to start a successful Blog’, which was a step by step guide to setting up your own website.
That article focused on the technical aspects of creating your own blog, such as choosing and buying a website name and getting initially set up.
However, once you are set up, there are also lots of additional online services that I use to help my blog run smoothly. I mentioned these briefly in my article on Patreon. However, I wanted to write a separate blog post to really delve into how and why I use the resources I use:
My Online Resources:
Site Hosting & Domain Name: SiteGround. This is what I use for all my websites and I love it. They have a brilliant webchat service so there is someone on hand 24/7 to help with any website issues I may have.
Blog Theme: For me, the best theme is Genesis. This is supported by so many blog designs. I use a studiopress design with genesis as the framework.
Email: I use Gmail for business which allows me to have the firstname.lastname@example.org email address. This costs me £3.30 per month. I like the set up of Gmail, and also use Gdrive for all my forms, documents and spreadsheets. I can also link up my Gcalender to my trello and coschedule accounts.
Newsletter: ConvertKit. This is by far the most superior email provider. It’s built by bloggers, for bloggers. Here’s my post on how to use it. I also use MailChimp for Stag & Raven. MailChimp is a great first option as it has a free version, but ConvertKit offers tons of brilliant features that are definitely worth the price tag.
CoSchedule: Want to schedule your social media and make a content calendar for your blog? (you know you do!) Coschedule is the best.
Trello: Project Management Tool. I use Trello to organise all my work and personal projects. There is a free version which will perform well for most people, but I use the business class version which is paid for. There is a great article on Lifehacker on how to use Trello. As well as being a great place for me to organise my projects, it also integrates with lots of the other applications I use. These include Mailchimp, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Evernote
Evernote: I use this app on my computer and phone to take notes and clip web pages. It’s where I like to brain dump information before sorting it out onto my trello boards. It’s also a great place to keep my overall goal lists so I can access them quickly.
Design, fonts. graphics and more: I am CONSTANTLY on the Canva for Work site! They have a great feature where they will resize your images to work on all social media. I’ve also designed my books on there, and created a new range of posters. You can edit images, add text, resize images and do tons of fun stuff.
Canva also has a free version, and I’d also recommend Pic Monkey. It’s only $9.99 for the entire year (or you can use the free version). And you can edit images, add text, resize images and do tons of fun stuff. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t use it on my blog. Kate prefers Pic Monkey so I recommend trying both out to see what works for you!
1Password: I have been using this for a year to save my passwords and keep myself cyber secure. 1Password is where I keep all my online information safe.
Carbonite: This brilliant resource saves everything I do on my computer (including my desktop) into cloud storage every time I am connected to the internet. Carbonite gives me the piece of mind that if anything happens to my computer, I won’t lose any work.
My New Resources:
Pinterest: Want to grow your audience? This is a great way to get your website out to a bigger audience. Tailwind is the answer! I am setting this up for both the blog and Stag & Raven, and expect it to really grow my business this year.
Adespresso: I have just started using Adespresso to create and build online facebook campaigns for Stag & Raven, and am considering using it for betternotstop as well. It helps create custom facebook ads and also works intergrated with instagram.
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Also published on Medium.