Building a business with a blog almost seems like a dream. The idea of writing about what you love, helping others and changing the world almost seems surreal.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

There are affiliate links below for products I recommend. I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links but this does not alter my honest opinion on anything offered. 

Blogging allows you to build the life you want, but it doesn’t come easy. It’s easy to get discouraged (believe me, all bloggers have been there) but it’s important to remember that your words are important and there is someone out there that needs to hear your story.

Here are some tools I’ve used along the way to build and improve my blog.

By the way, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the tools I talk about! I’m happy to share my experience with you!

Books and Education


Building a Framework: the ultimate blogging handbook: This is a step by step blogging book by Abby Lawson of Just a Girl and Her Blog.. and the one that changed my life! It gives you all the tools you need to start a blog, including some techy videos 🙌🏻 I happened to come across it during a time when I was lost and needed a project. I had no idea how to blog, and definitely didn’t understand that you could make a living on it, but Abby opened my eyes. If you have even the slightest nagging to start a blog, even as a hobby, you need this course! Even after 2 years of blogging, I still go back and reference this course regularly.

If you’re not quite ready to take the leap and buy the book, Abby also offers a free launching email course that you can start with before deciding to invest in the more detailed course!

 

Website Tools


Bluehost: Are you anxious to get your blog going? This is a quick and inexpensive way to start a blog. You can register your domain name, get a unique email address and get excellent customer support all in one place to be up and running in no time!

 

BluChic: What’s amazing about blogging and website design is that you don’t have to be a computer wiz to build a beautiful, functioning site. There is very little coding involved when you have a theme which is kind of like a template for how you want your blog to look and function. Currently, I’m using the Isabelle theme. This is the first BluChic theme I’ve used and have found it to be extremely user-friendly. There are also detailed instructions on making sure the theme looks just like the demo.

Restored 316 Feminine WordPress Theme Design using the Genesis Framework

Restored 316: I have used restored 316 since I started in 2015 and purchased two themes from them. They offer step by step guides to implementing the items on your site and have amazing customer support if you have questions along the way! 

Blog and be legal: This course is all things legal and considering blogging is actually a business, you won’t regret checking it out. While this may not be the most exciting part of blogging, it’s extremely important to protect yourself and your readers. Have you ever thought about whether you should be a sole-proprietor or LLC?  Do you know how to create proper disclosures to protect yourself or how to legally work with affiliates? Jackie breaks down all of these topics in a very user-friendly, in-depth way leaving you feeling like you know exactly what to do!

Photography and Stock Photos


The Ultimate Photography Book for Bloggers: Photography is a huge part of creating a beautiful blog. Stock photos are awesome, too, but people want to see the real thing once in a while. Taking beautiful pictures of your home, your projects, recipes, behind the scenes, selfies, travel, etc. are so important as we live in a visual world. This book is perfect for teaching you about camera basics, niche specific photography, and staging. Aniko even offers editing tools and Lightroom presets making it really easy to create beautiful, bright photos!

Unsplash: This site is great for free, stock photos. They don’t require you to give credit to the photographers but remember they’re artists like you, so please do!

Canva: Canva has been a game changer for me. It’s how I create all of my Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and my printables.

Social Media


Tailwind: Pinterest can be a huge part of blogging and this is the easiest way to schedule your Pinterest activity. Social Media is so important for connecting with your audience and growing your blog so consistency is key. Tailwind even posts at the best times for engagement and recommends hashtags to use to better extend your reach.

Organization


Google Drive: Google drive is so handy for storing my ebooks and free downloads and creating documents. I use Google Sheets for all my blog tracking and Google Docs to create content.

Trello: I recently switched to Trello for my editorial calendar and am loving it.  They offer a computer and app version which comes in handy when you’re on the go and you find inspiration for a post.