This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure policy here
Interested in starting your own blog, or just curious to learn about what blogging tools & resources I use? Take a peek at what’s inside my blogging tool box!
Building a Framework: The Ultimate Blogging Handbook: I consider this ebook the “Blogger’s Bible”! It’s an invaluable resource for helping you start, grow, and monetize a blog. There’s an eBook-only option as well as several packages that include training videos and access to a Facebook community.
Affilate Marketing for Bloggers: This ebook/course is a great resource for learning how to monetize your blog using affiliate marketing. There’s an eBook-only option, as well as packages that offer additional training videos and access to a Facebook community.
An Inbox of Opportunity: How & Why to Create Killer Newsletters: As a blogger, it’s essential to grow and nurture a list of email subscribers. This ebook communicates the importance of growing your email list, and provides hands on training on how to create and deliver valuable newsletter content to your subscribers.
What the Tech? A Guide to Ease Your Technical Blogging Frustrations: Dealing with technical issues is a daily challenge in the blogging world. This ebook is quickly becoming my Go To resource for troubleshooting technical issues with my blog. In addition to the eBook-only option, you can gain access to a library of helpful videos and a Facebook community via the master-level package.
The Ultimate Photography Book for Bloggers: Like most bloggers, my photography skills are a constant work in progress. I’m always looking for photography education/training that can help to bring my skills to the next level. This ebook provides photography training specifically for bloggers. If you opt for the higher level package, you’ll gain access to a valuable video training series, a set of Adobe Lightroom presets, and a Facebook community.
GoDaddy: I use GoDaddy as my domain registration service for several websites. I’ve been super happy with their pricing and customer service. I also use their bookkeeping product to complete all of the accounting functions for my blog business.
HostGator: I’ve used HostGator to host my site since the beginning and have been thrilled with the level of service and reliability that they provide. It’s great hosting choice for beginning bloggers (click here for a step-by-step tutorial to set up your web hosting via HostGator.)
WordPress: WordPress.org is currently considered the gold standard for content management, and it’s the platform that I use to manage Refined Rooms. There’s nothing else like it on the market for creating one-of-a-kind customizable blogs.
Genesis: Refined Rooms is built on the Genesis Framework, which is currently considered the gold standard theme framework for WordPress sites. When used in conjunction with any of the countless number of available child themes, it provides a strong foundation for a secure & search engine-optimized site.
Restored316: I love the gorgeous feminine Genesis child themes that Restored316 offers! This company also offers incredible tech support for their customers. Thousands of bloggers use their themes to create one-of-a-kind blogs (I’m currently using the Savory child theme).
Google Analytics: Google’s free website analytics tool. This is a must have tool…not just for bloggers, but for anyone with a website!
Mail Chimp: The email service provider I started with. Mail Chimp offers a free account for up to 2,000 subscribers, which is great for newbie bloggers (although you’ll need a paid account to gain access to some of the more advanced features).
ConvertKit: ConvertKit is a new email service provider designed specifically for bloggers. I decided to make the switch after hearing consistent rave reviews from other bloggers who’ve recently switched to ConvertKit. I love its powerful automation and segmenting features and can’t imagine blogging life without it!
SOCIAL MEDIA SCHEDULING
Buffer: Buffer allows me to schedule social media posts via Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. The paid option also includes pin scheduling on Pinterest.
Tailwind: Tailwind is a pin scheduling service for Pinterest. I use it to automatically schedule my content to be pinned on Pinterest on a continuous basis, without having to be on Pinterest all day. A real game changer!
Canon Rebel T3i: This is my current (cropped-sensor) DSLR camera. It’s a really great starter camera for bloggers! I’m looking to upgrade to a full-frame camera soon (either the Canon 6D or the Canon 70D)
Canon 50mm f/1.8II: I purchased this lense in conjunction with my Rebel T3i, since it came highly recommended. For around $100, it’s been a truly great investment.
Cowboy Studio Triple Lighting Kit: This (very economical) lighting kit is essential when I’m shooting in rooms that don’t get a lot of natural light or when shooting after the sun has gone down.
Ravelli 66-inch Tripod: Tripods are another essential tool for low-light shooting. This tripod is incredibly sturdy and versatile, since it extends a full 66 inches.
PHOTO EDITING & GRAPHIC DESIGN
PicMonkey: I use the PicMonkey as my primary photo editing tool (until I am ready to graduate to Photoshop or Lightroom). I also use PicMonkey to create graphic design elements for the blog (collages, & images with text overlay) and to watermark my images. They offer both a free and paid (“Royale”) plan. I use the paid plan to gain access to the awesome library of fonts and additional features.
Creative Market: A terrific resource for sourcing gorgeous high quality graphic design products, including: fonts, product mock ups, textures, patterns, and images.
Deposit Photos: My favorite resource for inexpensive, high quality stock photography.