Friday Favourites (Blogger Resources)
This week’s Friday Favourites post is all about the best blogger resources I have discovered and have been using.
The internet is a huge help when searching for blogging how-tos. When I have a specific need for my blog I Google whatever it is and there are usually bloggers who have written about it! This is how I’ve learned how to create graphics, manipulate social media photographs, automate my pinning, promote posts, and learn the basics of blogging without investing in an e-course.
Bloggers sharing their resources for free helps new bloggers grow and makes blogging as a business more accessible. For example, many professional bloggers will offer free mini-courses on creating Pinterest strategies, content creation and writing for the internet. Once you learn the basics and are ready to elevate your blogging biz, there are countless premium courses that can range anywhere from $10-$1000!
With this in mind, I’m choosing to share my favourite blogger resources that have helped me grow. If you ever wondered how to make great pinnable graphics, fix lighting issues in your photographs, use Facebook groups to grow your traffic and other ways to learn about blogging then keep on reading.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission from any purchases made through them. For more information see my disclosure policies.
FAVOURITE GRAPHIC DESIGN PROGRAM
Canva is the internet’s answer to Adobe InDesign. I use this program to create my Pinterest graphics, Twitter header, Facebook Page header, blog header, PDF documents, and even an e-book!
The app has preset sizes for various types of documents. For example, you can use a preset size for pins, Instagram posts and Tweets. There is also the option to create custom sizes. Each preset size also comes with optional graphics templates which make creating them easier. For example, for my Pinterest graphics, I usually chose a preset template and then swap out the background image and punch in my own title using the fonts already given. I prefer this because I am not a seasoned graphic designer and the art of matching font styles is not my strength.
In addition to templates, Canva provides various images and vector illustrations for free or a small fee (usually $1). You can apply photo filters to your images, manipulate the contrast, saturation and brightness.
The app has a free version or a paid version. The free version has a lot of features and is useful without paying. I used the trial version to test out the extra features, the most useful one being the ability to create graphics with transparent backgrounds. The paid version also allows you to access more photos, resize your graphics, upload your own fonts, and set colour palettes. Paid Canva is $12.95 CAD a month but I am fine using the free version.
FAVOURITE FACEBOOK GROUPS FOR PROMOTING
Facebook Groups are a great resource, especially for new bloggers who are trying to drive traffic to their blog and learn from other bloggers. The groups below are the ones I personally use and contribute to almost on a daily basis, so I am happy to endorse them!
Run by Amber Temerity, the owner of Thrifty Guardian, Pinterest Pals has daily re-pin threads for bloggers to share their most recent blog post pins, get those pins repinned by others in the group and in return share other bloggers pins. If you host a group board or are looking to join some this group is the place to share that. If you have questions about Pinterest this is also the place to ask.
I took Amber’s free mini-web course “Pintessential Planning Workshop” and would recommend it if your new to blogging and using Pinterest as more than just personal use.
An intense social media sharing group with multiple daily sharing threads. If your new to blogging this group will help you raise your traffic and increase your social media reach FAST.
Threads include “Facebook Likes“, “Facebook Like + Comment“, “Instagram Love“, “Instagram Love + Comment“, “Alexa Ranking“, “Retweet“, “Blog Post Share“, “Click Through“, “Google Page Rank“, “Pinterest Repins“, “YouTube“, “Pin From a Blog Post“, “Facebook Reactions” and even more!
There is something for everybody here, and you can choose which platform to focus on. The admins have strict rules which are great. There is high engagement and your efforts will be reciprocated.
Run by Ell (Lauren) Duclos of Ellduclos.blog, Boss Girl Bloggers is a supportive Facebook group full of female blogging biz owners, both new and seasoned.
What you can expect to find in this group are daily threads and discussions among members. Ell is extremely present in the group which makes it a true community.
I also completed her e-course “Pinterest with Ell” and highly recommend the small investment. She gets high click rates on Pinterest and shares her strategy through this course!
Hosted by Cate Rosales, a SAHM and full-time blogger extraordinaire at SweetandSimpleLife.com, Becoming a Blogger is for the new blogger. It’s a great starting point for connecting with other new bloggers and have the platform to ask any questions you have about the process. Cate also runs daily threads to help you promote your content and increase your reach.
She is always present and active in her group and can provide you with resources for most of your questions!
FAVOURITE PHOTOGRAPHY APPS
There are two apps that I use regularly to manipulate my photographs: Snapseed and VSCO. I prefer VSCO for their filters and Snapseed for small tweaks such as brightening specific areas of the photograph. I usually use both on the same photo before publishing it to my Instagram. My favourite VSCO filter is S1 and F2!
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.
FAVOURITE SCHEDULING APP
There used to be two 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 with Pinterest. I found it harder to schedule pins with Board Booster due to a higher learning curve, so I wasn’t affected by the disappearance. A lot of people were left trying to find a new strategy though and Tailwind, being an official partner, took over for many.
I for one and I huge endorser of the program and highly recommend it.
Tailwind is great if you publish blog posts multiple times a week and contribute to a lot of group boards. 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. I find it hard to keep track of what boards I’ve already pinned to and which I still need to hit with my blog pin – Tailwind does the tracking for you and you don’t even have to think about it!
MORE ON TAILWIND:
- Tailwind Helped Me Work More Efficiently (Get a Free Month!)
- Pinterest Group Boards Engagement Score
- How to Find Instagram Hashtags with East using Tailwind
FAVOURITE PODCAST FOR BLOGGERS
“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.
“For the bright side of being your own boss and building your own life”
A podcast for entrepreneurs, YouTuber Sunny Lenarduzzi shares advice and strategies that you can put into action today. Topics covered in her show include building your brand, growing on YouTube, and discovering your purpose. This is a great podcast to listen to while exercising, driving or working.
I discovered this Podcast a couple days ago and listen to it as I’m getting ready for the day. Here is the description directly from iTunes:
“Kim Anderson (KimAndersonConsulting.com) created Just Keep Blogging as a show to give bloggers a regular dose of encouragement to keep growing, building, learning and creating goals for blogging. This show is not about the “how to” or new “money making ideas”. It’s about helping bloggers and online content creators keep going when they want to give up out of frustration, fatigue, overwhelm or even confusion.”
While I only listened to the first two episodes, I enjoy Kim Anderson’s advice and find it inspiring and encouraging. A must have in your arsenal of blogger resources.
FAVOURITE EMAIL LIST SERVICE
Which blogger resources are you going to use first?
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