When I started blogging I wish I had a complete list of useful tools available in one place, rather than searching all over creation for bits and pieces! So, I decided to offer up a list of blogging resources that I use and find helpful. This list is full of my favorite things that make blogging easier. This list contains a few affiliate links, which means if you choose to click and purchase, I will get a few cents added to the coffee fund. Thank you for keeping me caffeinated!
Word Press Theme – StudioPress; Foodie
Your blog is your “home” on the web and when folks come to visit, you want it to be clean, tidy and feel welcoming. I switched over the Studio Press- Genesis theme a few years ago and have had this new Foodie Theme for the last year. I love it! It's very easy to use and customize. It has also been named by Copy Blogger as one of the best selling themes.
They have a highlight this month on a new theme called Author Theme. Looks pretty nice!
When purchasing your domain, you will need a place to host all the goodness you are about to share with the world! Here is a powerful way to host your new blog.
Now that you have a beautiful theme, you need to have a great hosting plan to keep all functions running smoothly.
Food Blogger Pro- Blogger Training
This my friends is the best of the best. I waited a long time before I signed up for this program and now I kick myself every single day that I did so. This is the awesome community built by the folks over at Pinch of Yum. It is THE most extensive, easy to understand training and tutorial in existence. I love that there is no stone left unturned when it comes to helping fellow bloggers. I have learned SO MUCH from the video tutorials alone that it has MORE than paid for itself. Think you know all there is to blogging? Think again. Try it- even for a month and you will see.
Business Cards- Moo Business Cards
I cannot stress the importance of having business cards. They are an item you should have on your person at all times. Not just to have for exchanging at conferences or networking events, but to share with your new friend you just made on the plane, train or taxi. You never know who you will meet and if it will be connection needed for that next big gig you've been dreaming of! I use my business cards as a mini portfolio. Each card has a different picture and often times I have requests for more than one card because they can't decide which they like better. That works for me; one for you and one to share with a friend! I have used Moo for 5 years and won't use anything else. I love them. They may cost a little bit more, but the quality is SO worth it. When I hand my card to someone, 9 times out of 10 I hear “Wow, this is a nice card!”
Make yourself stand out. Order these.
Plugins are the non-techie (like me!) person's dream come true. These little items are already coded and ready to install into your site with a few clicks of a button. The most popular and useful I've found so far are:
- Askimet- Keeps your spam comments in check. You will see, that for some reason, there are people out there that write spam all day, every day.
- Limit Login Attempts- Speaking of spammers, their close cousins – hackers- are hard at work too. I can't tell you how many times a day cousin Vinny is trying to crack into the site. This plugin not only blocks, but tracks them for you too.
- Yoast- All things wrapped into one! If you are working on improving your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) then this plugin does wonders. Under every post, this handy plugin will guide you through the steps of keywords, links, and more to make sure your post is the best it can be.