This week’s post is all about the best online resources for NEW bloggers that I used (and still use) when I got started.
The internet has been a huge help when searching for blogging how-tos, especially when I got started.
When I have a specific need for my blog or business I Google whatever it is and there are usually others who have written about it! This is how I’ve learned how to create social media graphics, manipulate photographs, automate my pinning, marketing my content, and learn the basics of making money online without investing in an e-course.
Entrepreneurs LOVE sharing many of their online resources for free to help newbies get their foot wet. I love how this makes blogging as a business more accessible without needing a degree or diploma.
With this in mind, I’m choosing to share my favorite online resources that have helped me grow over the last two years. If you ever wondered how to make great pinnable graphics, fix lighting issues in your photographs, marketing your content and grow your traffic, you’re in the right place!
Online Resources #1: Graphic Design
Canva is the internet’s answer to Adobe design apps. I use this program to create all my graphics from pins, social media cover images, logos, and PDF downloadables!
Canva is great for beginners because of their ready-made drag and drop templates. You can choose to use preset sizes for pins, Instagram posts, Facebook covers, e-books and more. There is also the option to create custom sizes if you’re feeling adventurous.
Each preset size comes with optional templates which make creating them easier. When I first started blogging I would usually choose a preset template and then swap out the background image, change the colors, and then punch in my own title using the fonts already given. If you’re not comfortable with the graphic design yet, as the art of matching font styles, this app is a lifesaver! Once you get more comfortable you can start branching off the templates and even make your own!
In addition to templates, Canva provides various images and vector illustrations for free. You can apply photo filters to your images, manipulate the contrast, saturation and brightness. If you like to go even crazier they sell stock images starting at $1.
The app has a free version or a paid Pro version. The free version has a lot of features and is definitely useful without paying. I used the free version for almost a year and a half before upgrading to Pro, which now gives me the ability to saves templates, resizes my graphics, brand colour palettes and use Pro stock images for my clients. The paid version also allows you to access more photos, resize your graphics, upload your own fonts, and set colour palettes. Paid Canva is a small investment if that’s something you’re interested in the future.
Online Resources #2: Photography Manipulation Apps
VSCO and Snapseed
There are two apps that I use regularly to manipulate my photographs: Snapseed and VSCO. These were especially useful when I got started since my photography skills (and Smartphone camera) were not very good.
I preferred VSCO for their filters and Snapseed for small tweaks such as brightening specific areas of the photograph. However, I’ve found over the last year I’ve been leaning more towards VSCO’s filters and photo editing features.
Below is an example of what you can do with VSCO and Snapseed.
The first photograph is the original, flaws and all. The second photograph I saved to Instagram after manipulating it to look like it was taken in a well-lit studio.
This is magic! Your poor photos are NOT going to do well on social media platforms like Instagram. These photo manipulation apps fix that problem!
Online Resources #3: Automated Scheduling App
When I got started, there used to be two major Pinterest apps used by bloggers: Tailwind and Board Booster. However, in the summer of 2018 Board Booster shut down because they weren’t an official partner of Pinterest. A lot of people were left trying to find a new strategy and Tailwind, being an official partner, took over for most of us.
I for one am I huge endorser of the program and highly recommend it.
Tailwind is great if you want to save time and distribute your pins to more people. Pinterest doesn’t like it when you spam them with the same pin 20 times, so Tailwind breaks up these pins over multiple days and times, essentially doing the work for you. All you need to do is sit down and schedule days, weeks, or months worth of pins, then let Tailwind automate the rest.
I find it hard to keep track of what boards I’ve already pinned to and which I still need to add to – Tailwind does the tracking for you and you don’t even have to think about it!
MORE CONTENT ON TAILWIND:
- Tailwind Helped Me Work More Efficiently (Get a Free Month!)
- How to Absolutely Crush Your 2020 Pinterest Marketing Strategy
- Pinterest Group Boards Engagement Score
- How to Find Instagram Hashtags with East using Tailwind
- How to Use Tailwind’s Tribes To Increase Repins
Online Resources #4: Podcasts For Online Entrepreneurs
When you start dipping your toes into the online entrepreneurial world there are so many motivated women you can look to for inspiration. Two of my favorite ladies are Amy Landino and Erin May Henry!
Detail Therapy with Amy Landino
“Are your ready to go after the life you want? Are you looking for specifics on how to make it happen? Join award-winning YouTuber, best selling author, and entrepreneur Amy Landino as she seeks out successful people and digs into the details of their daily lives to find out what they did to better themselves. From what they ate for breakfast to how much sleep they typically get, listen to interviews featuring amazing people just like you who share the steps they took to change their lives. Discover what you can do with the same 24 hours a day with expert advice on productivity, career, wealth, relationships, mental health, travel, business, branding and time management. Get ready for a lot of details, a little therapy and a lot of motivation to help you make your passion possible.”
I freaked out when Amy Landino announced on her YouTube channel that she was launching her own podcast. I’m a big fan of her videos and think that she is the perfect person to continue inspiring and motivating entrepreneurs through audio.
Her episodes are released every Tuesday, so you know what I’m doing each Tuesday morning! Her guests are relatable and the conversation is always informative and entertaining. Highly recommend.
The Game Changers Podcast With Erin May Henry
In my opinion, Erin May Henry is the Amy Landino of Australia. She’s all about personal development, motivation, mindset, growing your personal brand and living your dream. She’s a YouTuber with over 100k subscribers, a business coach, and speaker.
Erin launched The Game Changer podcast in March 2018, though I only started listening to it a couple of months ago. The episodes are a mixture of solo talks and interviews to help you build your personal brand. She talks about building a business, having a mindset for success and making money doing what you love.
What I love about Erin is her energy that she brings every single time! Whether she’s speaking, doing a YouTube video or recording her podcast she is always passionate about what she’s speaking about. Erin also breaks her points down and explains them in a way that is easily understandable and not overwhelming.
Online Resources #5 Email List Service
When I first started this blog I kept coming across blog posts about the importance of having a mailing list. They are important!
I did a Google search for free emailing programs used by bloggers. I wanted a program that would automate welcome emails to new subscribers and send mass emails. MailChimp is a great tool to do that. MailChimp allows you to create your own templates, use their premade ones, send mass emails and automate messages to new subscribers. It makes blogging so-much-easier!
MORE CONTENT ON EMAIL MARKETING AND LIST BUILDING:
- How To Set Up An Email List For Free (Easily!)
- How To Create A Welcome Email Sequence
- Grow Your Email List 8 Different Ways
- How To Segment Your Email List (Get More Opens)
- How To Use Quizzes To Grow Your Email List
Which online resources are you going to use first?
There are more online resources I am discovering as I grow my business and website. This page may be updated in the future to keep the information current and keep online entrepreneurship accessible!
I want to know what online resources you use? Have any of them made a difference for your biz? If you listen to Podcasts are there any biz related ones you think I should add to my morning routine? Share your comments below!