(contains affiliate links, please see disclosure)
Do you ever feel like you’ve been blogging for a while but aren’t getting very far? Like other bloggers are getting traffic and you’re not sure how? Or maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed an kinda like “Tailwind what???” and just want to start blogging, but don’t even know what basics to look for? To help you out, I put together this extensive list of some of my very favorite blogging resources. Everything listed here is something I love and utilize myself to run The Gold Sister.
When I first started blogging I signed up with Bluehost because every blogger was suggesting them, not realizing this was only because of the high affiliate payout they were receiving in exchange for promotion. After having my website disappear at least a dozen times I made the switch Siteground, and couldn’t be happier. They were great about migrating all my files over, no extra charge, and there was clear communication the whole way. Plans start at as little as $3.95/mo!
I went through Godaddy.com for my custom domain name, and used the Honey add-on for Chrome to save me something like 15-20% off the final cost.
I’m not sure where I originally discovered Pipdig‘s layouts, but I’m in love with how clean and organized they are. Their widgets and add-ons are really simple to navigate, so customizing everything so it’s just the way you like it is super easy. They’re amazing about helping to troubleshoot problems as well, so definitely worth checking out.
Pretty much every image featured on my blog was taken with my Nikon d3300 and my 50mm lens. I find that the 50mm works well for the up close, detailed shots I like to include in my posts (like this), as well as the further away, portrait and outfit shots (like this)! A lot of retailers (like Target and Best Buy) are known for having big sales around holidays, so it’s definitely worth checking for your camera around one so you can purchase it at a discounted price.
Getting a camera remote was an absolute game changer for me in terms of being able to produce my own blog photos without someone else’s help. Instead of setting my camera on a timer, I can just get into position and click my remote! Done! THIS is the one I use, and it seems pretty universal.
Any tripod should work for your camera, you just need to make sure it’s sturdy. You don’t want your camera falling and costing you a lens or even worse, a mirror (a part inside the camera)!! I use something similar to THIS that a friend gifted me, but I’ve also been eyeing up THESE flexible tripods, which I think might be good for travel.
1. VSCO and Afterlight
These are my top editing apps for Instagram photos. I’d say VSCO is most well known for their huge filter selection and ease of editing, while Afterlight seems to be the go to for finishing touches and extra little quirks, like light leaks or realistic grain. I like to use the two interchangeably, and with Afterlight only costing $0.99 in the Apple store, I don’t see a reason not to check it out!
I use Photoshop and Adobe Camera Raw to edit my photos (still learning Lightroom!). The programs are much more affordable now, and instead of hoping you have a friend who will copy their program for you, the Creative Cloud photography collection is available monthly for $9.99/mo. Looks like you can try it out for free HERE as well!
This is a super helpful mass pin scheduling tool, that you can use for promoting your own as well as other people’s pins. I kind of slept on this at first, but Tailwind made a difference in traffic almost immediately for me (as seen below). You can basically set it and forget it, so your pins are automatically being posted at intervals throughout the day in the different group boards you’re a member of (so it’s not spammy). The Tribe feature is also pretty rad, because it helps get your pins in front of other people in private little groups, which boosts your chance of more people re-pinning! You can CLICK HERE to try it out free for your first 100 pins!
Similar to Tailwind, Boardbooster lets you mass schedule pins on “hidden” Pinterest boards, and then it slowly releases them to their assigned boards. A feature that Boardbooster seems to have that Tailwind doesn’t is board looping, which lets you pick certain boards (for example, my blog one and a few of my most popular) and essentially re-pin older pins so that they become visible in people’s feed again. I found that using the loop feature really helped me increase the amount of eyes on my feed (as seen below). Their plans are as low as $5/mo, but you can CLICK HERE to try your first 100 pins for free!
This app/site is super handy for people who are really into making sure their instagrams stay cohesive, because it lets you upload and rearrange photos to see how everything looks together before you hit publish. How rad is that?? I’ve got friends who’ve got their feeds planned a month or two in advance! Click HERE to sign up.
I use this website to help me plan my tweets ahead of time, but I’ve also seen people mention Hootsuite, which seems to do basically the same. You can set up a posting schedule so that your tweets or Facebook posts are shared at the same time every day, which is super helpful if you’re running a community. The paid version of Buffer offers you analytics, so you can figure out which of your links got the highest engagement.
An affiliate network that offers pay-per-click, pay-per-lead, and pay-per-sale programs. Once you visit the site and sign up as a Publisher, you’re granted access to their diverse network. From there, you can search and apply to dozens of other merchant affiliate programs. Click HERE to join.
An affiliate network that lets you make money promoting the clothing and accessories you wear and love! They offer pay-per-click and pay-per-sale, so you make money even if people are just clicking the link to your product. You can use the site to build links with products you find online, and create fun little widgets for your posts or sidebar (like seen below). Click HERE to join.
This affiliate network is amazing, because Amazon has so many products for you to choose from and promote on your blog. The payout percentage can get up to 10% if you’re getting enough sales through your links. Even cooler, even if people don’t purchase the item you’ve mentioned, but buy something after they’ve clicked over to Amazon from your blog, you’ll still get a commission! Click HERE to join.
An affiliate network that’ll reach out to you when campaign opportunities that fit your blog become available. They want you to have 1,500+ visitors to your blog (or combined followers across your social media accounts) and a decent amount of engagement before they’ll accept you, but that’s not hard to accomplish! Click HERE to apply.
This affiliate network will also reach out and email you when there are blog opportunities available, but sometimes there are more they aren’t sure you’d be into that show up on your influencer home screen! Definitely worth checking out, as it seems they have a lot of rad brands they partner with. Click HERE to join.
Commission Junction is similar to Share-A-Sale in that they have a huge database of affiliate programs for you to apply to and choose from. I’ve really just started to look into them, but there seems to be a lot of opportunities available for each niche!
I kept seeing this community pop up on other people’s blogs and was skeptical at first, but I’m in love. This online group is for female influencers only, and a great, professional place to connect and network with bloggers at all sorts of experience levels. There’s insider tips and tricks, a wealth of info, branding libraries, and a forum where you can talk about and promote your content. The girls even meet up for events offline! If you’re still not sure, you can click HERE and try it all free to see how you’re feeling. I personally pay for a monthly membership ($10/mo), but it’s def cheaper in the long run to invest for a year.
This is my Pinterest group board. Group boards are a great way to get your content out in front of eyes other than those of your followers (namely, however many people are following that group board)! I’m always adding new people, and if you’re interested in being added, follow my main Pinterest account (@supkate), then shoot me an email over at email@example.com letting me know you’re interested!
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