Blogging Resources

Blogging Resources for every budget - I've compiled a list of resources that cover what you need to know as a blogger. Podcasts, a great learn to blog series (that's free!), a course that will give you RESULTS, a pin scheduler that is cost-effective (and works!) and even a workout to counteract all of those hours sitting at the computer! :) via littlegirldesigns.com

Please note this post may include affiliate links. For more information, read my disclosure policy here.

Although I don’t typically write about blogging on Little Girl Designs, it has been incredibly helpful for me to read other blogger’s insights about what has worked for them on their blogging journeys. I’ll update this page from time to time to share what resources I personally use and what has been a great help for me. Before I get started, though, let me share a couple of things I’ve learned.

For one, blogging is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t believe the articles and posts about making it big in the blogging world with little effort. It all comes down to providing your readers with great and helpful content. If you’re a newbie blogger or just starting to think about growing your blog, keep your eye on the goal of creating interesting content and a meaningful community. Page views come and go. Don’t let your self-worth be reliant on whether you have thousands of followers and page views.

I have been blogging for many years but it was only in the summer of 2014 that I decided to start Little Girl Designs (and essentially start all over with blogging!) It has been a wild ride, but I am so grateful that I get to do this. Blogging has been a creative outlet for me and although it is a lot of work, it still is really fun. Here are some of my favorite blogging resources, ranging from hosting plans to a full online course that will grow your blog like crazy!

Resources for Getting Started

Bluehost – The best blog host in my opinion is Bluehost. We’ve used Bluehost to host our blog and other websites and have been very pleased with the results. When we’ve had problems or questions, we have contacted support, and they have been very helpful. They have hosting plans that start at $3.45/month which is pretty incredible. (You can learn how to start a blog right here.)

Angie Makes WordPress Themes – When we first started the blog, we (my husband and I) chose a free theme to get it off the ground and running. Free themes work fine for the most part, but we realized early on that there was only so much we could do to customize the site. And there were many times when I thought, “Oh, I want to do this!” and then couldn’t. We started looking around for a theme to buy and found Angie Makes. Her themes are gorgeous (we use Meadowbrook) and they are easy enough to update for a newbie like me. My husband is a graphic designer and was really impressed by how the theme’s “back end” was set up. I love, love, love this theme! Oh, and by the way, the developer for Angie Makes regularly updates the theme which is incredibly helpful. This has helped us as WordPress makes updates to not end up with a clunky outdated theme.

ConvertKit – When I started this blog, I signed up for a Mailchimp account because it was free for the first 2,000 subscribers. This is a misnomer, though, since I had to start paying early on because I wanted to use automations. (Automations refer to emails that go out automatically at a set time; for instance, a series of emails for a letter-writing challenge.) We also had to buy several plug-ins and my husband got to put in long hours trying to make their Groups feature work like a List. This probably sounds confusing (it is), but the long story short is, we really tried to make it work because other email programs are more expensive. But after two years, we decided to move on. We researched Drip and ConvertKit and went with ConvertKit. It is light years more intuitive than Mailchimp as it was created for bloggers, and I’m now wishing we switched earlier. Yes, it is more expensive, but you will save yourself a million headaches down the road. Believe me. (You can get started for $29 here. Worth it.)

BoardBooster – I have been using BoardBooster for the past two years to schedule my pins and LOVE this scheduler. I used to pin for an hour a day (at least) and now I pin a couple of minutes here and there throughout the week.  Try it out and your first 100 pins are free. This will allow you to get an idea of how it works and if you would like to use it. I also put together a video tutorial that will help you get started. This is the least expensive pin scheduler option out there at the moment.

Tailwind – I began using Tailwind earlier this year after taking a class on Pinterest. Tailwind is a partner with Pinterest which you notice right away. (Seamless integration.) As of mid-2017, I’ve migrated completely to Tailwind and haven’t noticed a negative impact on my traffic. I especially love the Tailwind Tribes—it’s like having your own personal, niched pinning party with some of the best out there! You can try out Tailwind’s trial for free by clicking here. They will send you videos on how to get started and are very responsive (via chat) if you have any questions.


FREE {and incredibly helpful} Resources:

I created my Ultimate Blogging Resource Guide which shares all the plug-ins, classes, and programs I’ve used for my blog. This is not just a list, but a guide where I share exactly how I use each thing. You can sign up below to receive a copy:

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Explore Your Enthusiasm Podcast—Tara Swiger helps creative business owners map their own courses and shares her own insight on her weekly podcast, Explore Your Enthusiasm. I LOVE how she doesn’t offer a one size fits all approach but encourages creatives to “be the captain of their own ship.” I really enjoyed her approach to marketing in her book, Market Yourself: A Marketing System for Smart and Creative Business Owners, and could not recommend it high enough. It is THAT good.

Learn All About SEO—Search Engine Optimization (SEO) might not sound like the most interesting thing in the world to you right now, but if you want your posts to be seen and found in search results on Google (and other search engines), you’re going to need to know the basics. MOZ.com has a comprehensive and free SEO guide for beginners that is very helpful. I’ve gone back to it a time or two to brush up!

Chasing Creative Podcast—I love this new podcast so much, I’ll just take a quote from their website to share with you: “Chasing Creative is all about how everyday people can make creativity a priority in their daily lives. We’re talking to regular people who have insights and action steps you can take TODAY to make your creative plans happen.” Wonderful insight here. I was honored to be a guest on one of their episodes. You can click here to listen! :)

byRegina.com—Regina offers incredibly helpful information and a lot of it. If you sign up for her newsletter, you’ll receive FOUR resources including an 80-page eBook about making your brand stand out. She also offers great video tutorials, super helpful worksheets, and a podcast about how to start a business.

Olyvia.co—Erika from Olyvia.co is another blogger who writes great business advice articles for bloggers and creatives.  I love her interviews with entrepreneurs and her series of posts about “ick-free” video tutorials on growing your social media presence on each platform.

Sue at Successful Blogging—Sue at SuccessfulBlogging.com writes incredibly helpful posts for bloggers. I recommend signing up for her email list so you can receive her free eBook on growing your own subscriber list. Every time I see an email from her in my inbox I know I’m about to read some great information.

Here are some great blogging resources @littlegirldesigns.com


Cost-effective Resources:

How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul—This was the first book I read when I wanted to get serious about my blog, and I’m so glad I did. It is full of information that will help you grow your blog and monetize well. The author, Ruth Soukup, knows what she is talking about as she has grown her blog, Living Well, Spending Less from a small blog to a huge online community. She writes in an easy to understand style. I appreciated that each chapter ends with a list of things to work on and implement.

Building a Framework —Abby Lawson blogs at Just a Girl and Her Blog and has created a course that’s packed with information for someone who is just starting out with blogging. Her information is easy to put into practice, which I appreciate. I really like how she breaks up her social media strategy  to include modules on each of the big platforms. You’ll get an idea of what works for her—I still reference it for ideas! You can also read my full review here. (This course was originally an eBook but has since been adapted into the more learner-friendly environment of a course. You’ll receive the eBook as a supplement for free when you enroll.)

Looking for a way to add more creativity to your life? In this 166 page, full-color book, you'll learn how to DIY your own creative retreats that you'll be able to take year round. Use the creative exercises inside to get back into your creative flow, journal away in the journaling section, or read interviews from different creative women for inspiration. You're going to love this!

The Creative Retreat workbookI created a resource to help you DIY your own personal retreats, a must if you’re growing a business. I love taking blogging retreats because I’m able to set aside focused time to brainstorm content, write posts, and dream up new resources.


 

For When You are Ready to Go to the Next Level:

Elite Blog Academy 3.0 – If you are ready to start treating your blog as a business, I recommend signing up for the Elite Blog Academy 3.0. Enrollment is only open once a year, and the course is more expensive, but So Worth It. (I more than paid back the course within 3 months.)

Elite Blog Academy follows in the footsteps of How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul, but goes into much more depth, offering a video “class” for each chapter, handouts, webinars, and homework assignments. It is also updated each year with current information (the book has not been updated in the last year or so.) There is a lot of information in this course, and it took me several months to go through all of it. I found that EBA was a great resource for laying a foundation of how to create a profitable blog. I actually started seeing results before I finished the course. It really works. (P.S. Here are some ideas for earning money fast so you can invest it back in your blog.)

One last thing about Elite Blog Academy. If you click the image below, you can get Ruth’s free workbook, Goal Setting For Bloggers. This is a free bonus (that is awesome, by the way) and will also give you an idea as to what Ruth’s teaching style is. A total win-win. :)

Download this awesome workbook on setting goals!


Want This List and More?

I have a 20+ page Resource Guide that is available for YOU to download for free. Sign up today for my All About Blogging email list to receive a copy in your inbox. You’ll also receive updates about other resources I recommend and other blogging biz goodness!
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What are some blogging resources that have been helpful for you?

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18 thoughts on “Blogging Resources

    1. Hi Nicholette,
      I created a video that will help you get started with BoardBooster here: https://www.littlegirldesigns.com/pin-like-pro-boardbooster-tutorial/

      And here’s a helpful video on how to set up looping for your boards by Rosemarie Groner: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0Ip1Tzo9PM

      There was a bit of a learning curve to learn this new system, but it’s not terribly difficult. They also have excellent support if you have questions. Hope this helps!

  1. I have a Pin Board Dedicated to nothing but Blogging and Business You can find it if you look for ffpaws. it is simply called Blogs.

    Content Manager has some awesome Blogging Articles when you sign up for their emails.

    Pic Monkey is great for creating Printables, too :).

    Canva and a PDF Compiler makes it easy to make Hardbound Journals to Sell. I found a Free Christian Publishing company that is reasonably priced for the books. You can find it here: https://www.freechristianpublishing.com/index.php

    Michael Hyatt has a great course on Blogging as well.

    Hal Elrod has some great inspiring Quotes. http://halelrod.com/quotes/

    SITS Girls are great, too. You can find them on my Pin Board. These are the ones I can think of off the top of my very exhausted head so please forgive me if I repeated ones ya’ll already know of.

    1. You’re so welcome! I bookmarked a bunch of resource pages when I was starting out too and they were so helpful. Hope you have a great day! :)

  2. I absolutely love BoardBooster!! I tried Tailwind because it’s so highly recommended but after using BoardBooster it seemed like so much work in comparison. It’s so easy to use and saves so much time. Fantastic list!!

    1. Thanks, Krystal! I love BoardBooster too! It makes my life much easier and now I can pin like a normal person again. :) :)

    1. You’re so welcome! I LOVE your podcast and facebook group. Visit you guys all the time. Have a great day! :)

    1. Thanks, Jenn! I’ve heard great things about Canva, especially the ability to make Pinterest-friendly photos! Thanks for stopping by! :)

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