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Now that I’ve been blogging for over three years I am starting to update some older posts. This is a great post of some of my favorite blogging investments. Some things I put this post awhile ago I changed and add some new things. The longer you blog the more you will realize that things are always changing and what I wrote about a year ago has changed some.
I’ve been blogging now for close to two years and while my blog isn’t huge I’m proud of the growth I’ve made in the time I’ve been blogging. I have tried many things to improve my blog and my blogging skills and I want to share with you a list of favorites. Now upfront all of these cost money but I believe that it’s investing in my business and by building my blog and brand I will make the money back down the road. I will also be putting together a list of the tools and resources I’ve found that don’t cost money in the future. Some are affiliate links and some aren’t but everything I write about in this post I personally use or have used and love.
I love Melissa over at Blog Clarity. I have learned so much from her website about blogging and she is an expert at blog design. I believe strongly in education and if I’m going to be a great blogger than I want to learn as much as possible. So when this Content Brew course was offered I took it. Through the course you learn how to set up an editorial calendar and how to come up with lots of great ideas for blog post ideas. Also it cover how to use Social media more effectively and other blogging tips. You also get access to this course forever and there are printables you can download on to your computer to reference when you need them.
Moving to wordpress
When I started blogging I was over at blogger, which is a good place to start. It got my feet wet as a blogger till I had built up some posts and some followers. Through research and talking with more experienced bloggers I realized I needed to move to WordPress. That in WordPress I would have more freedom and control over my blog because I’d be self-hosted. I was about a year into blogging when I made the move I think. I am not tech savvy and while there are those people who could move their blogs on their own I knew I could not so I went in search of where I could have someone do it for me. I went with Blogelina because I felt like it was a reasonable price to pay to save me lots of stress, time and headaches. I was very happy with how fast and easy she made everything and whenever I had a question Tanya,who runs the site, was quick to message me back and help me out.
I use Picmonkey all the time to edit and create photos. I just don’t want to spend the money on Photoshop and it’s really complicated. Using Picmonkey is just fine for my needs, since I’m not much of a photographer. You can use the site for free but I use the Royale package which costs $5 a month. You get a lot more with the upgraded plans, including a ton of extra fonts and overlays for your photos. As much as I use it I get my $5 worth.
4. I’ve mentioned this book before but it is still worth mentioning again. I love Building a Framework by Abby Lawson. I’ve read a lot of books on blogging and this one has been the most helpful to me in growing my blog and starting to make an income with blogging. For a full book review check out this post here.
5.I’m a big fan of Learn to Blog Hangouts which is a site ran by two bloggers. They have put together over 8o instructional videos on all types of blogging topics. They recently opened up a private VIP board that I pay $7.99 a month for. It’s a great resource for me and it’s gotten even better lately. They are running a 12 week daily blog challenge. It’s helping me stay focused on growing my blog this summer. It’s helping to have something to be accountable to.
I’m also super excited about this class starting next week.
Trust me I’ve spent money on things I wish I hadn’t when it comes to blogging. Things that I felt weren’t worth it or didn’t work for me. That’s why I put together this post to give you some pointers and some recommendations based on what I’ve tried and what’s worked and been worth it.