blogging resources

Must Have Blogging Resources for New Bloggers

March 22, 2019 14 Comments

Thinking about starting a blog? Feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information out there? Hopefully, this blogging guide for new bloggers will help you! I first started blogging 5 years ago on blogger.com. I had no idea what I was doing and I quit about 2 years later. This is my second time around and it has been a much more pleasant experience. I am hoping that by sharing the blogging resources and services that I use and highly recommend that it might help somebody else on their blogging journey.

Self-Hosting

First things first, if you are in anyway serious about blogging, self-hosting is the only way to go. Self-hosting allows you to monetize your blog, access plugins and also increase the functionality and features of your blog. When deciding on a hosting service, I did as much research as I could and I asked blogger friends of mine for advice. Time and time again Bluehost was recommended to me. Bluehost have helped me to take my blog to the next level and since signing up, i’ve never looked back! Clink the banner below for an incredible discount and get started with self-hosting today!

Why I love Bluehost and you should too

  • Bluehost offer 24/7 support which is invaluable especially if you’re a new blogger.
  • Bluehost offers the best value for money which is so important when starting out. Setting up a blog can be expensive!
  • When you sign up you can claim your domain name and custom domain email for FREE. Please remember to check that this name is available across all social media platforms. You can use namecheckr for this.
  • Bluehost provides a free SSL certificate for your site. This ensures that your site is safe and secure at all times.
  • In the starter package, there is 50GB SSD of storage for all of your photos and media and super-fast loading speed. This can be increased with other packages they provide.
  • WordPress is automatically installed and updated when you sign up for Bluehost

Pin me!

Theme

There are a huge amount of free themes on offer on WordPress. These are absolutely fine when starting out but I decided after a lot of research to invest in a premium theme. My theme provider is Georgia Lou Studios and I absolutely love my theme. There are so many customization’s that can be made and most importantly my theme designer is always on hand to answer any questions I may have. This is something that isn’t always available with a free theme. It’s the first time that I have invested in a theme and I am so glad that I did.

I would also highly recommend 17th Avenue Designs. Their themes are quite feminine and classy and a few of my blogger friends use them. They are also affordable with some themes starting at around €30.

Plugins

With self-hosting, there are a variety of plugins to choose from. There are plugins which can protect your blog from spam, bots and hackers, boost your blog traffic and guide you through the wilderness of SEO. Be careful when choosing plugins though as having too many can reduce the loading speed of your blog. Some of the plugins I use and highly recommend are:

  • Yoast SEO : This is by far the number one plugin that you should download. It uses a traffic light system to help you tweak your writing to ensure that your blog posts are SEO friendly. This, therefore, increases your chances of ranking high on search engines like Google.
  • Broken Link Checker: This plugin will notify you if any of your links are broken or are being redirected.
  • GDPR Cookie Consent: Nowadays, it is so important to ensure that your blog is in line with GDPR. You know all those ‘We require consent to cookies….’ pop-ups that are everywhere now? This plugin will enable this on your blog.
  • Smush: This plugin is amazing! It optimizes all of the images that you use on your blog. This is essential for speeding up the loading page of your site. I didn’t have this installed until recently and I cannot believe the difference it has made.

Scheduling Social Media

Tailwind is the ultimate social media scheduling tool. It’s free to use but you can also update to their premium service. It can be used to schedule pins to Pinterest and you can now also schedule posts to Instagram. Nowadays, one of the biggest sources of traffic for blogs is Pinterest. My traffic grows every day due to Pinterest and Tailwind.

Tailwind solves the problem of manual pinning by posting scheduled pins at the optimum time. This makes it one of the best blogging resources out there. You can also join tribes and see the analytics of your pins and Instagram posts.

With a combination of Tailwind and investing in an amazing Pinterest course, my monthly views are over 450,000 and I receive thousands of views from Pinterest every month

Tailwind also provides lots of support and there are plenty of videos on the best way to use the service. I updated to the premium service after a few and it is honestly the best investment I’ve made for my blog to date!

If you’d like a FREE month with Tailwind, click here. Tailwind is so easy to use and it will make a massive difference to your blog traffic.

Pinterest

If you are not on Pinterest, then you need to sign up right away! It is the ultimate driver of traffic for new bloggers. It can seem overwhelming at first as it is different from other social media channels but don’t give up! I tried to do it all myself but after a couple of months, I decided to invest in a course. Best decision ever!

Pinterest Ninja Course

The course I chose is by the lovely Megan Johnson who came highly recommended by lots of other bloggers. Her Pinterest course is incredibly comprehensive but easy to understand. I refer back to it ALL THE TIME. It’s definitely one of the best investments I have made. If you’d like to check it out, here’s the link you need. Right now you get 50% off so make sure to check it out if you’re interested!

Affiliate Programs

The most effective and easiest way to monetize your site is through affiliate links. The links cost the consumer nothing more but they can earn you a small income passively. If you’re just starting out blogging I would advise against using ads or ad banners on your blog as they can appear unsightly and instead sign up to some affiliate programs instead. I have signed up to the following affiliate programs:

  • Skimlinks: This is my absolute favourite affiliate programme. Make sure to download the toolbar and the chrome extension which will allow you to grab affiliate links quickly.
  • AWIN: This affiliate program has a huge variety of companies from all over the world who you can partner up with. I love that you can promote brands you love while also getting a little bit back for it at the same time.
  • Share-a-Sale: This affiliate program offers a wide variety of services and you can find different companies to suit your brand such as Grammarly.
  • Amazon Affiliate Program: Amazon is one of the most well-known affiliate programs out there. It is relatively easy to sign up but keep in mind that you must make 3 sales within a 6 month period or your account will be closed.

I hope that this blogging resources guide has helped in some way. If you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to contact me in the comments or by email. I am more than happy to help!



Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through my link, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.


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14 Comments

  • Nyxie March 30, 2019 at 7:48 am

    Wonderful and informative post ?
    Will definitely look into tailwind.

    • Ciara April 15, 2019 at 11:47 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment! Definitely look into Tailwind – it is the best thing i’ve done for my blog. I honestly couldn’t do without it and it is the biggest source of traffic to my blog. Use my link to get a free month and see what you think. If you have any questions about it, let me know!

  • Jim April 2, 2019 at 1:39 am

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It is the little changes that produce the most important changes.
    Many thanks for sharing! Does your blog have a contact page?
    I’m having a tough time locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an e-mail.
    I’ve got some recommendations for your blog you might be interested in hearing.

    Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it develop over time.
    I have been surfing online more than 2 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
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  • 먹튀사이트 April 15, 2019 at 3:41 pm

    Informative article, just what I was looking for.

    • Ciara April 15, 2019 at 11:33 pm

      Thank you so much – I hope it helps in some way. Blogging can be hard!

  • Split the night April 20, 2019 at 10:27 am

    Great recommendations. I have signed up for tailwind but haven’t tried it yet.
    I’m gonna check out the plugins as well.

    • Ciara April 23, 2019 at 3:00 am

      Thank you! Honestly, Tailwind will be the best investment for your blog – if you need any help with it let me know but I honestly couldn’t do without it!

  • Travel Addicted Unicorn April 20, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    Really enjoyed this article! I didnt know Tailwind could be used for Instagram too. Will def check out the affiliate sites too…

    • Ciara April 23, 2019 at 3:00 am

      I don’t know what I would do without Tailwind – I wouldnt be able to keep on top of Pinterest that’s for sure! I really appreciate the comment and checking out the affiliate links – it means a lot!

  • Top Shelf Bread April 30, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    I enjoy the efforts you have put in this, thanks for all the
    great posts.

  • Briana May 23, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    Such great info even for bloggers! Thanks for posting!

  • Sally M September 11, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    I am just about to get started with affiliate links! Wish me luck❤

    • Ciara September 29, 2019 at 12:01 am

      Affiliate links are the bomb! Wishing you the best of the luck!

  • Noelle January 11, 2020 at 9:50 pm

    I love all these tips. I learnt so much.

    Thank you. Keep doing what you’re doing. 🙂

    xox

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    Welcome to my blog! I'm Ciara, a native of Dublin Ireland. I'm an introverted wanderer who loves to explore this gorgeous planet of ours. I try to live by the motto 'Feel the fear and do it anyway' which has led to some ridiculous mishaps along the way. Join me as I try to complete my never-ending bucket list. Read More

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