Hello darlings! How are you? I’ve been incredibly busy lately. I am always busy but lately, I have been even more busy as I have been working on something really big which I would be letting you all know as soon as everything is set and I feel like it’s time to do the big reveal and tell y’all about it.
It’s been three months since I started blogging and in those three months, I have come across some incredibly useful resources every blogger must use. You know as a newbie, I was ignorant about a lot of these resources and I didn’t even know most of them existed but as time went on, I got to know about them and believe me they are a God send!
1) WordPress: WordPress is by far the best platform for blogging. There are other platforms like Blogger, Wix and the likes and they are good too (I used blogger before I migrated to WordPress and it’s pretty cool just that there’s a whole lot more you can do with WordPress than with Blogger). Being on WordPress gives you an edge as there’s a lot more you can do and try your hand’s on in WordPress than other platforms.
WordPress was the only resource I heard about prior to starting up my blog. I started my blog on Blogger and recently moved to WordPress and I cannot tell you how happy I am that I made the move. I am so happy with my blog right now and everything seems so much better. Unfortunately for me, I knew there was WordPress but never knew anything beyond that before I started my blog.
After I started my blog, I got to know that there are two parts to WordPress. There are two parts to WordPress (wordpress.com and wordpress.org) and this was something I was completely unaware of for the longest period of time until, I came across the both of them while searching the internet for the price of WordPress as I had been hearing a lot about WordPress and how great it was. I went deeper into studying the both of them and I found out the difference between both of them.
Now if you are a newbie, and didn’t know this before now, a WordPress.com site is a site hosted by WordPress while a wordpress.org site is a site hosted by you. A wordpress.org site is a self hosted site. Here are some differences between a .com and .org WordPress.
- WordPress.org gives you total freedom over your website whereas if you create a wordpress.com site, wordpress.com reserves the right to your blog.
- WordPress.org is free. You need to pay a host like Blue host, Lyrical host, Hostinger and the likes but wordpress.org itself is completely free whereas wordpress.com is not free. You have to pay for it.
WordPress.org has a whole lot of benefits compared to wordpress.com so I advice you to go for a wordpress.org instead of a .com.
2) Pinterest: Pinterest is an amazing outlet for bloggers. It is one of the highest traffic referral source for some bloggers and it is a must have resource for bloggers as it is the only social media website that was designed solely to have people click through to your website. Pinterest is so not easy to get around but it is worth it. Somehow, I’m starting to get around it and I’m loving it.
3) Grammarly: Grammarly is one of the best resources for writing better blog posts. Tho, it isn’t talked about often enough, it can be a literal life saver. It always comes in so handy. I use the free version and it is amazing. Tho it isn’t perfect itself, it is a very useful resource for writing blog posts and it checks your spellings, grammar, it makes sure a great percentage of what you write is correct and easy to read. It is definitely the second eye you need to map out little errors here and there.
4) Mailchimp: We have different platforms for creating newsletters and email lists and MailChimp is one among the many. I chose MailChimp because I am just starting out and wanted a platform that was free and in which I could later upgrade to a paid/premium version. I saw that Convert Kit has a free plan but it allows you to add 1000 subscribers whereas the free MailChimp plan allows you to add 2000 subscribers and send up to 12 000 emails per month (that’s a huge difference right?!) so I went for it and it has been a lovely experience so far. While I must admit that setting up a mailing list on MailChimp was quite a task for me, (I had to watch several instructional videos before I could even get around it) MailChimp is amazing and you should make use of it.
5) Canva: Oh God! Canva is definitely a thing. It is used to create graphics for blogs, websites and pretty much anything that needs graphics like Pinterest pins, Instagram Stories, Instagram feed, Facebook Page Covers and the likes. I use the free version and ever since I got my head around it, I have been loving it and I have been creating lovely graphics for my blog. Even tho there’s a lot more to gain when you use the premium version of Canva, the free version is amazing too and you can create top notch graphics that fit your brand even with the free version. With the premium version of Canva, you will have access to basically everything on Canva (you will get access to more photos, illustrations and templates, in the free version of canva, you cannot upload your own font but in the premium version, you get more fonts and you can also upload your own font, there’s a lot!) but if you are a newbie like me, the free version is just perfect and even if you are a newbie, you can still go premium if you want!
6) Unsplash: Unsplash is my favourite platform for free stock images. In fact, it’s my go-to platform for stock images and it never disappoints. While there are other platforms for stock images like Pexels, I find Unsplash more user friendly and with amazing images. They have a lot of high quality images and a large range to choose from.
7) Yoast SEO: Yoast SEO is definitely a must have for any blogger. It is a plugin created by yoast and it’s primary function is to break down your blog post and let you know if your blog posts are SEO friendly or not as you write. Yoast SEO makes use of some parameters like the key phrases and metatags to determine if your post is SEO friendly or not. I definitely recommend yoast SEO as it’s been really helpful for me and getting to see the green smiley faces showing that the SEO of a post is good makes me land on cloud 9.
8) Trello: Now this is an app I heard a whole lot about. I heard a lot about it and then I decided to give it a try and believe me it’s goood! Trello is a great place to organize, prioritize and manage your to-do list. It is a great tool for keeping track of what you are doing. On trello, you can make a board, create a task and make a list of things to do within each task.
9) Broken link checker: This resource literally helped me a whole lot and what’s better is that it is free! I came across this broken link checker few months ago, it thoroughly scrutinized my website and brought out all the broken links when I was thinking I had none hahaha, since then, it has been my go-to for checking broken links. Broken links could arise from different things. If like me, you use free stock images, you could get a broken link when the owner of the stock image you downloaded changes their username (I have had broken links as a result of this on two different occasions). Broken links are a result of different things but this resource scans your entire website for broken links, brings them out and shows you exactly where they are located so you can make adjustments.