As much as every workman has their tools, every blogger has those few blogging resources they refer back to time and time again. After more than 6 years of Life With Ktkinnes, I decided to share with you the tools and resources I use and recommend. Please note this post on blogging resources contains some affiliate links, meaning if you make a qualifying purchase through one of my links I may receive a small commission.
Blogging changes and yet stays the same if that makes any sense. The Twitter Chats of old are gone, and it seems to be harder to make blogging friends now. However, the one thing that has stayed the same is our constant drive to improve both ourselves and our blogs. I know that over the last 6 years I have never stopped learning. By doing my own research, and hearing from other bloggers, I’ve developed a list of resources I rely on for nearly every post.
In the last few weeks and months, with lockdown and furlough, I’ve had even more time to pour into blogging, and from that I’ve met so many new bloggers that I’ve learnt a lot from. So below is a list of the blogging resources I recommend to them, and they have recommended to me! Any of the below that are mentioned are websites and apps that I have used and tried and would recommend if you asked me face-to-face.
Blogging Resources – Writing Your Posts
From content resources, to WordPress hosting my site, there are so many blogging resources I really had to think this one through! Let’s start with the basics though and writing a post.
Related: 6 Websites Every Blogger Needs To Know About [AFF]
For anyone who hasn’t realised, my blog is hosted through WordPress. In fact, it’s on the Business Plan, and I own my own domain. Having tried both Blogger and WordPress, I can honestly say I find WordPress to be the easier system to use for blogging. In fact, any time I’m asked I will recommend WordPress to anyone! If you’re thinking about making the switch, KayleighZaraa has a post all about how and why she changed from Blogger to WordPress. If this sounds like something you would like to do, can I suggest you use my referral link?
When it comes to thinking of my content, I rely mainly on what is inspiring me. From what shows I’m loving on Amazon Prime or Netflix, to whatever item I’ve treated myself to in the shops. But sometimes I’m looking for niche specific ideas. That’s when I turn to mailing lists, Pinterest, and for Blogmas I refer to my own ebook[AD] which contains over 100 post ideas depending on the niche! I have a page in my bullet journal [AFF] dedicated to content ideas and retweet accounts.
Co-Schedule Headline Analyser
I came across this headline analyser in Lauren’s ebook of 6 websites every blogger needs to know about [AFF] and already love it! Now you have to sign up to use it, but it is completely free. You enter what you’re considering for your title, and it gives you a score out of 100 for how good it will be at catching the eye of your reader! Between length of title and power of words, an eye-catching title is great for getting you noticed!
This plugin is a life-saver, and since I installed it my DA has increased already. At the bottom of each post, it allows you to add a keyword or phrase, and then gives you any problems that need fixed to improve your SEO for that post. If you’ve never tried keyword research before, then Nele’s Keyword Research for Bloggers is the perfect place to start! In fact, Nele has several ebooks that you should look at for SEO, but the Keyword Research is the only one I have read so far. Note – that link is not an affiliate link – just something I think you should read! Using Yoast’s SEO tool, I found out recently that my post about my ebook – The Ultimate Guide to a Successful Blogmas – ranks in 2nd and 4th place when you search “successful Blogmas” on Google! I can’t wait to see the traffic flow in when we get closer to Christmas!
Again, another free website that I use both the desktop site and the app for on an almost daily basis. Canva.com is useful for so many different things, from feature photos for your post to Pinterest graphics, you can do so so much with the free version of Canva! I have never played around with the paid version, so can’t answer whether or not it’s worth it. But with there being so much available on the free version I don’t see why anyone would want to upgrade! Maybe some of you do and want to let us know in the comments below?
Absolutely everything I have learnt about affiliate marketing has come from Kayleigh and her Beginners Guide to Affiliate Marketing [AFF]. Kayleigh makes hundreds of pounds a week through her affiliate links, and it’s definitely been my rulebook when starting to monetise my blog. If you’re looking to turn your hobby into a side hustle, then Kayleigh’s guide is the one for you! Costing £18 normally, this ebook is the ultimate guide for any beginner. And if you use code “katie” you’ll get 15% off! But hurry, there are only 5 of these codes available!
Blogging Resources – Promoting Your Blog
We touched briefly on Canva and Pinterest above, but promoting your blog on social media is a sure-fire way to increase those views and followers! Below are the apps and websites I use on a regular basis that you might find helpful.
If you’ve been reading through my Blogmas Planner Ebook [AD], you’ll have seen me talk quite a bit about scheduling tweets for Twitter. I use the free version of Hootsuite to do this and to be honest I swear by it!
Pinterest was a mystery to me until just a few months ago. That is until I discovered Mariam’s The Ultimate Pinterest Marketing Guide on Gumroad for $44 (not an affiliate link)! If, however, you don’t want to read her full guide (which I highly recommend but that’s your choice) Mariam also has a pack of 21 Viral Pinterest Templates [AFF] you can download and use as much as you want! Any time I use Mariam’s templates, my saves and clicks soar, so I definitely recommend checking them out!
I understand that for a lot of people this may seem like a lot to spend if you’re not 100% sure of the results. If that’s you, then can I point you towards From Beginner to Pro Pinner: The Ultimate Guide To Mastering Pinterest by Theunhappygraduate? This one costs only £5 and contains 7 Pinterest Templates for you to try out!
Stock photos are a blogger’s best friend. I know you can buy packs of them on both Gumroad and Etsy, however I have the Unsplash and Pixabay apps downloaded on my phone and have had some amazing results from using these photos.
And that’s it!
As I continue to grow as a blogger, I will keep coming back to this post to update it. If it has been at all helpful to you, then please do pin it so you can come back to it time and time again!
Related: If you’re looking to up your blogging game, check out the 15 Blog Maintenance Tasks On My To Do List!