(This page may contain affiliate links. I ONLY recommend products that I use and love!)
Even in the early stages of my blogging journey, I have come across SO many invaluable resources! Whether you are a newbie blogger or have been blogging for years, the resources below definitely will help you achieve blogging success as long as you are willing to put in the work!
There are going to be pros and cons to every blogging resource out there, so I suggest doing your research before making any large investments. However, it’s important to remember that making an investment in yourself will only give you a better outcome! Good luck!
Siteground- I use them as my hosting service. They are a high quality hosting service without breaking the bank. As I developed my site and got it up and running, they were FANTASTIC! I was able to speak to them late at night after putting my kiddos to bed, because they offer a very fast response 24 hour customer service. They also never made me feel incompetent when asking some very simple questions! I completely recommend them.
WordPress.org– This is the blogging platform I use. I started on blogger, which was fine when I was blogging for a hobby. When I decided to try to monetize my blog and reach a larger audience, I switched to WordPress.org, which is self-hosted. This means that your website is totally under your control.
Genesis Framework (by StudioPress)– This framework is more than a theme. It’s a lifesaver! My site is built using genesis and it is so easy to use. I strongly recommend genesis if you are going to build a self-hosted blog. Unfortunately, you cannot use the genesis framework on other platforms. But you can’t go wrong with WordPress.org, so not to worry!
Uptown Child Theme– I purchased this theme from 17th Avenue Designs on ETSY and haven’t looked back since! I LOVE this theme. I had a hard time choosing from all of the gorgeous child themes Kate, at 17th Avenue Designs had to offer. I was able to add some upgrades to make my site feel even more custom. Kate is so easy to work with and really knows her stuff!
Mailchimp-I am currently in the process of creating an email list on Mail Chimp. There are many different options out there, but I wanted a FREE way to collect email addresses at this point.
Canva– This is a fantastic FREE design program online. I use this program for most of my images because it has so many unique pre-made features and ways to create your own products. They have a paid version as well.
Picmonkey– Another FREE design program. Every once in a while I use Picmonkey. I don’t it as much as Canva. It has great tools, but I just took to Canva better. They have a paid subscription also.
Pixelmator– A fabulous FREE editing program online. It has many similar tools and tricks seen in Photoshop. Since I couldn’t afford Photoshop at first, and I wasn’t ready to invest in it, Pixelmator was a perfect substitution. I couldn’t be happier with what I learned from Pixelmator and what I was able to create using it.
Photoshop– I recently subscribed to Photoshop through Adobe Cloud. Obviously you can’t go wrong with Adobe Cloud. It gives you the latest versions of the most amazing creative apps. I’ve seen quite a difference in Photoshop vs. some of the free design/editing programs. However, I’m still glad that I took the time to learn the basics of editing on the free programs.
Creative Market- They are an AMAZING site where you can purchase a multitude of design elements…think stock photos, blog templates, fonts, images, etc. Every week they give away several different items for FREE if you sign up for their email list! Woohoo!
Camera– I use the Canon EOS 60D. I LOVE this camera and had it before I started the blog. I am still figuring out how to use the manual mode, but I have come a long way from the beginning!
50mm lens– This is the first lens that I purchased outside of the lens that came with my camera. It gives a very crisp and clear picture, and it was relatively inexpensive when it comes to lenses.
Iphone lenses– Every once in a while, I can’t use or don’t want to use my Canon camera, so I purchased a set of three iphone lenses from VicTsing. They are pretty handy little lenses and do the job!
Backdrops-At this point, I have been using whatever walls, tables, papers, fabrics, etc. that are FREE for me to use! Ha! It’s cheap and easy. I’m planning to get a basic white backdrop.
Tripod– I use a basic adjustable tripod. It came with my camera when it was purchased. I am able to adjust the height, the angle of the camera, and whether the camera is held vertically or horizontally. It does its job well for the time being!
MacBook Pro– Once you go Mac you never go back! This is the perfect computer laptop for me. Since my “office” can be found in the bedroom, the kitchen, the family room or anywhere I go, a lightweight laptop is ideal. The MacBook Pro has tons of features that make my blogging life easier.
Ipad Mini 4– This is a great little tool for blogging on the go! I also use the ipad when I meet with clients, because it’s small and much easier to transport than my Macbook.
Logo– My “Hello Central Avenue” logo was created by Freshmint Paperie on Etsy. There was something simple yet classic about this logo, and I felt like it fit my look perfectly. Atineh has a plethora of beautiful branding designs and logos available in lots of different styles.
A Blog Life (by A Beautiful Mess)- This is the first e-course that I bought and it was perfect! It showed me how to really take my time and get into my blogging grove before monetizing. It breaks down a huge amount of topics into a lot of detail. It’s feels like a good friend telling you what you need to know! It’s very informative and friendly at the same time.
How I Made 40K My First Year of Blogging (by Chelsea Lords)- This is the first e-book that I purchased and read. It’s another great first resource for bloggers. Chelsea covers pretty much everything from start to finish of her first year, including how to start up a blog to how to monetize it. It is very straightforward and easy to understand.
Blog By Numbers (by Suzi Whitford)- I bought this book at the same time as Chelsea Lords’ book above. I decided to purchase this book, because it was filled with clear step by step instructions on how to begin a blog, get it up and running, post, and monetize. Suzi offers worksheets and other supplemental materials to help keep you organized and accountable. She also gives you access to tons of Facebook groups to help grow your audience as soon as possible!
Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers (by Tasha at DesignerTrapped.com) I am currently working my way through this course! Check back for updates!
Elite Blogging Academy : Product Launching Made Simple (by Ruth Soukup) This is another course that I am working through at the moment! Check back for updates!
This list will continue to grow as I grow as a blogger. Don’t forget that this is what works for ME at this moment in time. You might find that you prefer other resources and that’s great! This is just meant to serve as a starting off point.
I hope you enjoy and please feel free to contact me with any questions!