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/course 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 higher-priced 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 a master package that includes a comprehensive course and access to a Facebook community.
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/master course 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.
Elite Blog Academy – Whether you’re a beginning blogger, or an established blogger looking to take your blog to the next level, I urge you to seriously consider enrolling in Elite Blog Academy. EBA is the gold standard for premiere blogger education. Over the past few years, I’ve encountered countless success stories of fellow bloggers who’ve invested in this course (many of whom quit their day jobs and ventured into full-time blogging when they were able to replace their income). These testimonials from bloggers who I truly respect led me to take the plunge and invest in EBA 3.0. I’m currently in the process of working through the course materials and I can confidently say that I have no regrets about my decision to purchase the course. In fact, I know that EBA will be a game-changer in my blogging journey!
The course only opens for 5 days each year, with the next enrollment period scheduled for February 27th – March 3rd 2017. If you think you might be interested, be sure to join the EBA waitlist to receive updates throughout the year (as well as some valuable free blogging tools/resources too!)
Simple Pin Master Course & Mastering Tailwind Course – Pinterest is the number one driver of traffic to my blog. So it’s super important that I understand how to properly harness the power of Pinterest. That’s where Kate Ahl comes in. Kate is the mastermind behind Simple Pin Media, a team that provides Pinterest management services for some of the most well-known bloggers on the web. In her courses, she teaches simple, actionable tips for marketing your business on Pinterest if you prefer to “DIY” your marketing.
List Building Academy – Hands down, your most valuable asset as a blogger (besides your actual blog!) is your email list. Enrolling in List Building Academy helped me to grow my email list exponentially over the past year! You can read all about List Building academy and why I consider it to be a game-changer in this post.
BLOG HOSTING, PLATFORM, THEMES & PLUGINS
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).
Social Warfare Plugin: My absolute favorite social sharing plugin. Unlike other social sharing plugins, Social Warfare is NOT a resource hog. It enables you to earmark specific images for Pinterest and Facebook sharing, as well as insert “Click to Tweet” quotes. You can even customize your social sharing button colors.
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 and Instragram. 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 T6i: 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 T6i, 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 used PicMonkey as my primary photo editing tool until recently. Although I’ve switched over to Lightroom as my main photo editing tool, I still use PicMonkey to create graphic design elements for the blog (collages, & images with text overlay) and to watermark my images.
PicMonkey offers 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 go-to resource for inexpensive, high quality stock photography.
Once you’ve started to get your blogging groove on, you’ll want to check out these posts as well: