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In the first few month of starting up my blog, I read a million posts on what I should be doing and the tools I should be using, it was hella confusing. There were so many different ways people approached things and all these mistakes people told me I was making.

Should I use self-hosted? Set up and email list? Work out this weird thing called SEO? What about social media platforms? There were so many questions!

And honestly, for me, it was really a trial and error type situation. I tried out a few different things and a few months later I figured out exactly what works for me. So I will be sharing with you all of those tools and resources today!

If you are seriously thinking about blogging for a long-term goal and plan on making money from it, you really need to actually spend the money to have the resources to make that happen.

Are you feeling a little lost in the whole blogging thing? This post will tell you all the essential tools and resources on how to start a blog!

Setting Up A Blog

When you are very first getting started on your blog these are the essentials:

Host

First of all, you will need to start up a self-hosted blog if you are seriously thinking about blogging. I use Siteground because I read the best reviews on it compared to Bluehost once your views increase. Plus I have never had any problems with it and the support is amazing. You can get started for just $4.95 per month here.

Theme

I started out with one of the free WordPress themes and let me tell you all that did was create a whole lot of frustration and problems. As I am not very good at the whole coding a website thing I found it very hard to get the theme to do the things I wanted. There wasn’t a whole lot of customization options unless you knew how to code them.

When I upgraded to a paid theme, it changed everything. I now use the Bluchic Isabelle Theme which was only around $79 and it is way better. If only I had paid for a theme earlier on I wouldn’t have had so much trouble and it would have saved me so much time. I really love Bluechic because they give you so much help. They have a full instruction manual on each theme to get it to do just about anything you want and they also offer email support if the manual still doesn’t answer your question.

Google Analytics

I only set up google analytics as I started to gain more traffic on my blog and I really wish I had set it up earlier because now I can not look back onto why I wasn’t getting traffic then and where the change was. Even if you don’t really understand or don’t think you need google analytics then still just do a quick installation at the start because I promise you-you will be thanking yourself later down the track when you are growing.

It can all be a little bit confusing, there are many different ways of installing google analytics onto your site. This ebook, How To Master Google Analytics From The Beginning cleared everything up for me. It explained exactly how to set it up, add it to your site and also create a filtered view so you own views won’t affect the data which is something I would never have thought to do!

Don’t have the Kindle Unlimited app yet? Click here to download and get your first month free!

Tools To Keep Your Blog Running

Grammarly

I never actually realised how bad my spelling was till I started using Grammarly. Grammarly goes through and checks all of your spelling and grammar mistakes. This is really important because having mistakes on your blog is a really big mistake, it shows that you are not really professional when it comes to the blogging world. You can sign up to Grammarly for free and then you can also upgrade your plan if you are a little more serious and when more options.

Tailwind

At this point basically, all of my traffic comes from using Tailwind, which is something I hope to focus on changing in the future as you can’t depend on all of your traffic coming from the one source. Tailwind allows you to schedule pins to go out at certain times so you don’t have to spend all day sitting on Pinterest. It is really a tool you can’t run a blog without.

They have also just introduced Tribes which will grow your repins and clicks even more. You can sign up here to get 100 free pins or just use the Tailwind Tribes for free!

Boardbooster

I am still playing around with boardbooster, I don’t feel I quite have it down yet as I have always use tailwind and only just started trying out boardbooster. I am playing around with the looping tool at the moment as that is something Tailwind doesn’t offer.

If you want to sign up to Boardbooster then you can get 500 FREE pins by clicking here to give you a little taste of what it is like!

Photoshop

Personally, I use Photoshop to make all of my graphics and images this is only because I did use this program all throughout my university degree and we were taught how to use it properly. So for me, I find it to be the easiest program.

Canva

I think it is the other best option if you do not know how to use photoshop to create graphics. There are some awesome templates on there and it is a very easy to use interface.

Stock Photos

Most of us don’t have the time or sometimes the skill to be able to take photos for every blog post or social share. This is where stock photos come in. There are lots of free resources out there however you will notice those images everywhere and it doesn’t really help to make your brand standout anymore than others.

My absolute favourite blogger for stock photos is Oh Tilly her type of photos are totally up my alley and match my blog exactly. You can sign up for her email list and get some free stock photos, however, I think as soon as you get your hands on those free ones you’ll be signing up for the membership instantly! You can sign up here!

Building Your Email List

Every single post you read will probably tell you you need to start on an email list, that’s because you do

ConvertKit

I trialled a few different mail services and I have to say ConvertKit is the best by far. The user interface is the easiest to understand, it is so simple to put together sequences and automation. I seriously can not believe how well everything is set out compared to others I have used. Sign up to ConvertKit here and seriously take a look at how easy it is to use.

I also read this ebook Email Lists Made Easy which is full of really useful advice and tips on how to get your email list started and growing even if you’re not using ConvertKit. And if you are going to use ConvertKit then I definitely recommend investing in the the ConvertKit Masterclass it is full of all the essential information you need to know to start using ConvertKit and also a whole in-depth module about how to get your email list growing fast! I have just started implementing what I learnt in this course to my blog and I can already see the numbers growing! You can sign up to the course here, I took the 101 and 201 modules.

Don’t have the Kindle Unlimited app yet? Click here to download and get your first month free!

Resources

I believe that you really need to invest in yourself to make your blog perform well. For the first few months I was just reading free blogs posts and while they are a great resource most of the time I really saw the biggest change in my blog’s growth after I invested a little money into it. I was lucky to grab the Ultimate Bundles Genius Bloggers Toolkit and that seriously changed my blogging game! However, as that bundle is only available once a year I have listed below the courses and e-books I really got the most from!

Demystifying SEO: A Bloggers Guide To Search Engine Traffic

This ebook explains everything you need to know about search engine traffic. I was finding how to implement SEO into my blog a little bit confusing but I am slowly working on this ebook and it has helped so much. It is great for anyone from a beginner to advanced level as you can just skip to the chapters you would like to implement. You can purchase the ebook here.

The She Approach to Boosting Your Blog Traffic

If you are looking to increase your traffic this ebook is jam-packed full of ways to help you do that. It is written in a super easy way to understand and implement into your blog. Definitely, recommend looking into buying this ebook if you’re struggling with traffic. You can purchase it here for only $25!

I am definitely going to take more of the Genius Bloggers Toolkit courses and ebook in the future so as I find new ones I think are very helpful I will update them here. So make sure to come back and check this post for updates!

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Are you feeling a little lost in the whole blogging thing? This post will tell you all the essential tools and resources on how to start a blog!