For Bloggers ~ My Favorite Things for Blogging
Like any business person, bloggers have favorite resources we rely on for support and to help us create the business (in this case, a blog) that we aspire to ~ for our readers and ourselves. And because like any blogger, I love to share and spread the news, I’m listing my favorite resources that I have used for Bluesky at Home. This list is always changing, so check back occasionally for any updates.
***This list is primarily for other bloggers and I have designated affiliate links where applicable.
This page contains affiliate links to products that I use, love and highly recommend. If you should purchase any product that this site, I may receive compensation, but you will not pay a penny more.
Hosting with Bluehost
Since starting my first blog in August of 2015 (I changed my name, niche and domain in September 2017), I have used Bluehost as my host provide for my WordPress.org website. Only twice I have had an issue, which was just in the beginning. Both times Bluehost took care of the problem quickly. They even recommended a less expensive plan for me. They are great support articles about ways to improve your blog. If you want to check out Bluehost, please use this link and read this informative article about starting and setting up your blog.
Tailwind for Pinterest and Instagram***
You know the saying, “time is money”? Well, time to me is about spending time with Sweet Shark, friends, hobbies, reading and just me~time. And yet, I want to grow my blog’s reach and engagement with my Social Media channels, especially my 2 favorites, Pinterest and Instagram. But let’s face it: Pinning and Posting to IG takes time, although it’s time well spent. But if you had a tool, almost like a Virtual Assistant to help you with Pinterest and Instagram, wouldn’t you hire them? Well, you can. And for pennies.
That tool is Tailwind. I discovered Tailwind in the last quarter of 2017, tried the 30~day trial and was hooked. I didn’t give a second thought to signing up. The benefits of saved time and consistency in engagement through Tailwind far outweigh the minimal cost. Like finding the best nail salon or flea market find, I want to share it with you. I urge you to try it because I wouldn’t steer my friends in the wrong direction. Check Tailwind out now. You have nothing to lose, but so much time to gain. Here’s a very clear video showing how to use Tailwind and the benefits to your Pinterest pinning.
Tasty Pins for SEO and Pinterest
One of my new favorite resources is Tasty Pins from the creators of WP Tasty and Food Blogger Pro. You don’t have to be a food blogger to reap the benefits of using this WordPress plug~in to increase your Pins’ SEO and user experience.
When you have a designated place to enter a Pin description, your Pins are more likely to attract repins, saves and clicks over to your blog. Think how many Pinnable images you create, how many blog posts you write and it’s easy to understand that, at $29, this tool should be working for you.
I love that Tasty Pins, just like Tailwind, keeps up with new changes to Pinterest and helps me not fall behind. Tasty Pins has now added a place to add Pinterest Titles which will be a new requirement soon.
Good photography skills for bloggers is so important. I use 2 software editing programs for post~editing. For editing with the most flexibility and capability, I use Lightroom CC by Adobe.
At first, I was really nervous about learning this software, but once I took Beth Bryan’s course, The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Lightroom***, it started to make sense and I began to use Lightroom for almost all my blog post image editing. The batch editing and the batch uploading is a major time saver. The editing features are extensive and can take a so~so image to really outstanding. The monthly $9.99 for the Creative Cloud package for Lightroom is more than worth the time savings and increased functionality of your image editing. Unfortunately, Beth doesn’t teach her class anymore.
I also use PicMonkey for creating graphics, collages, and text overlays for Pinnable images and other applicable images for the blog. I also use it for editing individual images for Instagram. I found the editing very easy to learn and the software gets constant updates and support. I wish I could combine the best features of Lightroom and PicMonkey into 1 program.
I recently took Photographing Interiors course from Rachel Paxton of Maison de Pax. It was amazing. Rachel’s photography is beautiful and she has been featured in several magazines. Although she doesn’t call it a Lightroom Class, Rachel includes quite a bit of very helpful information about Lightroom and Photoshop (for text overlays). I learned things I didn’t know and it was a great refresher if you already use Lightroom. This course is clear, entertaining, and full of hands~on information. Rachel is a dear and she obviously loves sharing her expertise and photography skills. You will feel like you are in her living room learning from her.
Every business needs a calling card and business cards for bloggers are no exception. For 4 years, I’ve used Moo as my business card supplier and I couldn’t be happier with the quality of their cards and the ease of design. If you are looking for a source for your business cards, I urge you to try Moo.
I hope that my list of favorite resources for bloggers will help you in your blogging journey.