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My Favourite Creative Blogging Resources

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Being a blogger is really a dream come true for me, when I first started my blog there was no way that I ever thought it would be possible to earn a penny, let alone become a self employed. I have been a blogger for the best part of two years and you could say in that time I have learned many lessons along the way. With this I have used many resources and now I can confidently share what has been great with branding my blog and what has not. By finding the right resources as a blogger and business owner can make all the difference with productivity, efficiency and and enjoyment. The resources and equipment I had when I first started is nothing compared to what I have now. Over time, I began to realise the importance of creating a workplace and to understand that to make money, I needed to spend a little money to help my brand grow. Now, I have some favourite creative blogging resources that have helped me become proactive, plan and make my work fun. Just before we get into this post I thought that I would say that I am in no way an expert when it comes to blogging, however what I can say I know what has worked for and so I thought I'd share my favourite creative blogging resources today. 


If you are planning on starting your own blog or you are already a blogger and you are looking for the best piece of equipment to do your job then a laptop is a must have, as without one would make your job pretty difficult. As always a computer will always do the trick, but then if you are travelling a bit and you attend conferences or blogger events then a laptop would be the better choice. Bloggers generally write posts, edit photos, schedule social media posts and require internet connection at all times. A laptop is a must have. But don't feel you have to part with some serious cash to get the top line brand, there are so many fantastic deals around so you make sure you keep your eyes peeled for a good deal.

A Smartphone

With the start of any business, being successful isn't something that will happen overnight. It takes hard work, dedication and a whole lot of patience. I have been a self employed blogger for the good part of two years and you could say in that time I have learned many lessons along the way in my journey of self discovery. But one thing that I know ever since becoming self employed is that my smartphone has becomes a crucial part of my business, I would find it very difficult to be a successful blogger without one. A smartphone to a blogger can mean everything. However, I'm not saying you need to go out and get the latest all singing and dancing smartphone, as there is not need. As a blogger, you tend to use your phone a lot but there’s no point paying for something you don’t need.


As a business I need my phone for photography, social media, sending emails and writing content for my blog, so I need a pretty big chunk of data because I'm always on the go. But I cannot simply budget for a high monthly tariff each month. So I have been looking for ways that I can get the most for my business without it costing me a fortune each month. A data only SIM. It's the perfect way for getting internet for my phone or tablet with an included data allowance per month, but no minutes and texts. I have seen that a few bloggers I know opt for these types of SIMS as you can keep your existing phone that they may already love. However, data only SIM are generally have a cheaper monthly tariff meaning that they are way more affordable and offer better savings because they don't include the price of the phone. Nothing else gives you more options really when it comes to business connectivity, as you can be flexible on contract terms, data capacity, devices and network. This may seem a really great option for bloggers who needs a phone for most of their work but cannot necessarily afford a monthly contract and broadband.


By choosing a data only SIM means you stay in charge of how much you pay and how long you pay it for, with its flexibility you are able to choose something that can suit all budgets and lifestyles. A data SIM only plan can be the best choice for a business during the beginning stages of branding. 

THE FRAMEWORK FOR MY BLOG 

The Platform

The blogging platform that you use is something that is a total personal preference, for years I used Blogger because it was free and it does everything I need it to, many choose to start on WordPress as the possibilities are endless. Perhaps one day I will make the migration over to a WordPress site, but for now I am pretty happy with my Blogger blog. There are so many people who have gone onto to become very successful entrepreneurs because of their blog and this has nothing to do with the platform that they use. I would suggest you buy your own domain.. It was pretty simple to set up with GoDaddy and it doesn't cost the earth. There are always some form of promotion with these hosting sites, I got a great deal of 99p for two years and this will go up to £7 after. Not a big expense.


The Layout

For the first year or so of blogging my layout was very basic, now I am talking two colours and a few social media icons and that's it! For me, half the fun of creating a blog was getting to build myself a layout because it gave me the chance to learn more about HTML which I think is hard but very interesting. As soon as the promotions and sponsorship started to come our way, I knew that I needed to get a more responsive layout so my readers could easily navigate around the website because it had a clean and simple look. It took me a long time to decide but I found one of the most amazing programmers on Etsy, I got my layout just over a year ago and I haven't had any problems. I have had a few queries about certain things with my template that the programmer was more than happy to amend for me, he would also go above and beyond. But what makes it even better is that his themes are so cheap, and look great. Originally my theme cost me around £8, so don't forget to check out Vefio Themes

THE ESSENTIAL BLOGGING TOOLS

Image and Graphic Design

Now most photographers and bloggers use Photoshop but I discovered the wonderful world of Lightroom quite recently and I am obsessed with it. I really love the fact that you can buy presets to make your editing process so much easier. This is the tool of choice for editing my photos now, it's perfect for straightening photos as well as cropping them. However, my editing process doesn't just stop with Lightroom. I also use Snapseed, the best FREE app. This is definitely great for those photos that need a little healing or tuning. But if you're looking for an app to help up your editing game, then this is the one for you. A color story is great for creating a theme within the gram. There are so many different filters, presets that you can choose to help you create a theme, especially on the grid. It's one worth checking out.


When it comes to getting your hands on stock photos there are so many resources out there, it's pretty saturated. Pexels and Unsplash are my go-to for pretty much everything. The variety is a bit more than average, and it’s 100% free. However, there are also some amazing stock shops that you can find over on the creative market that has all kinds of things you can download. Not only do they provide you with so many choices when it comes to stock photos, but you can also get clipart, fonts and patterns. They’re an awesome resource for designers and bloggers. I don’t know what I would do without Creative Market. 

Canva is by FAR the most used graphic design and image tool for bloggers, and I have to admit I love Canva. It has fantastic features, the only thing that I get annoyed at the paid images but this is the best place to create graphic when it comes to social media promotion, especially with Pinterest. I’m only using the free version of Canva right now but I’m seriously considering if I want to pay for them both or weight out what I use them each for and which ones deserves my money and which one I can do what I want with the free plan. 

Social Media Management & Automation

If you're anything like me, being organised is like a way of life. There is nothing that keeps me focused than being organised and so this should be something that you do with your blog. We all have lives beyond our love of the wonderful world of blogging and so it makes sense to spend out on making our life easier, and by that I mean a scheduling tool. This is something that you can either do for free with apps like Buffer and Hootsuite that offer in app purchases at later dates, to go pro! As a starting point these are great but soon scheduling posts on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest become the bane of your life and so looking to spend some money on social media management scheduler is going to be so helpful and save you a tonne of time. Social oomph, has changed my scheduling game. I'll still use buffer when I need to, but I know that by paying $3 a month social oomph has got me covered just in case I forget. 


Pinterest user? Tailwind is essentially the ONLY tool you need. Its a complete game changer. With Tailwind I can schedule pins that go to my boards at optimized times when your followers will see it and I have been loving the Tribes feature which can help your stuff get out to new people. Tailwind is something that I am just getting to grips with, but so far it's been amazing to help me grow my business. 

Content & Writing

For me inspiration always comes when I'm on the go or in the shower of all places, but still you have to note down the inspiration when it comes. I honestly don't know I would even go about my life as a blogger without Evernote. For those who don't know, really need to get in the know with this note taking blogging tool for desktop and mobile. Evernote makes it REALLY easy for me to be organised with my blog. It syncs up easily to my phone and I love that I can work between the two when I’m not on my computer. 


We all know headlines are important, yes? With blog posts you need to understand that the title can either make or break the content. So having the right tools and resources to get as much as you can from a title can be a complete game changer. CoSchedule’s headline analyser breaks down your headline, segmenting different types of words, and giving you hints on how to improve it. It gives you a score each time so you can try various combinations and pick the winner. It really is amazing for creating clickable headlines. For style and grammar I honestly swear by the Hemingway Editor or Grammarly for crafting short and compelling language. This software was literally created to be a super fun way to potentially make your writing a lot more crisp, clear and bold.

So that's it all of my favourite creative blogging resources, it's a pretty big list isn't it? As a blogger my success would be very difficult without these creative blogging resources, these are something that I use daily in order to smash being my own boss. What blogging tools have been super important for you? Please do share all your essential blogging tools. 

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14 comments on "My Favourite Creative Blogging Resources"
  1. What a fantastic post. I agree about using GoDaddy, they always seem to have some fantastic domain sales on!

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    1. Oh yes, I know not everyone likes GoDaddy but I've had no problems.

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  2. There are so many great resources out there aren't there?! I love how I can be so creative with my blog now.

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  3. I can't afford it right now but I would love to be able to use Lightroom. I hear such good things about it.

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    1. Use the free one of your phone. You can also get some really cheap presets on Etsy too.

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  4. I don't know where I'd be without my smartphone. I take photos with it, I take notes with it, I draft blog posts, I film video and I edit video. It's definitely central to my blogging.

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  5. those are fantastic resources - i am a bit in two minds about tailwind - i tried it but sadly it made no difference to my pintrest stats, i also rely on my phone to basically blog and get social

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    Replies
    1. Have you switched over to a business account?

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  6. Though I am no longer with GoDaddy I did love the service they provided especially as a new blogger way back when.

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  7. Brilliant post full of great resources. I was looking for a new template so going to check out Vefio now x

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    1. He has been so amazing with any changes I ask aswell, for the past year I have asked him so many question and he is always happy to help.

      Delete

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