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.
Right now because it’s her blog anniversary content Brew is $10 off with the code 3yearblog. Trust me it’s worth it even with out the savings but the $10 off doesn’t hurt.
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.
Passionfruit is what I use to put sponsors on my blog. It is amazing in that it does all the work for you. You set up your account with what ad spaces you want. It gives you the code to ad to your blog. People pay through the site and then you get paid into your Paypal account. I wouldn’t know how to have sponsors on my blog without it. Now it’s even better because it tells you how many times an ad was clicked on the site. So I know how well my ad is doing on other blogs, I pay for and how well the sponsors on my blog are doing. It costs $9 a month for the account but I know bloggers who had ad space on their blogs before Passionfruit and say it was so much work to do that I happily will pay them a small fee to take that work off of me.
5.Right now I’m just finishing up another course from blog Clarity that helped me build my Media Kit.
It’s not open for registration right now but when it opens again in May if you want to build a Media Kit to start working with companies it comes with templates to customize and step by step directions to make a fantastic Media Kit to really sell your self to potential clients.
I’m also super excited about this class starting next week.
It’s all about taking your business to the next level which I’m excited to do. Also if you register for the class by Sunday it’s over half the price. I haven’t taken the course yet but I’ve met the blog owner at a conference and am excited to learn all that she has to offer. I hope you will join me.
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.