Hello, friends! September has been a busy month at our house… the activities keep coming, but I’m thankful to be enjoying them in some great fall weather! I’ve been reading and I’m working on a couple of new Book Notes posts.
Today, I wanted to take a shot at answering one of the biggest questions asked by people just starting a blog (or trying to grow their sites!): What resources are out there to help me?
Well… how much time do you have? Seriously, there are options galore! But that’s hard too, because how do you sort through everything available to find a few that will give you the most benefit?
That’s where this post comes in! I won’t pretend to be an expert on every possible tool that exists. But I can provide you with a closer look at a few that you may find helpful. And each resource I’m featuring is something I have tried or used myself!
So let’s get started, and find your new favorite blogging tool! (This post contains some affiliate links, which will allow me to earn a small commission at no extra cost to you when you use them to sign up or purchase!)
As a new or potential blogger, you probably wonder how everyone makes such cool graphics: pins for Pinterest or headers for Twitter. Different options exist for this, but the one I started with, and have stuck with, is Canva.
This website allows you to choose a product to design… you can select from Pinterest Graphics, Instagram posts, email headers, flyers, and so much more! You can use a pre-designed template or design something entirely from scratch.
The best part? Canva is *free* to use! There are some templates and upgrades that you can purchase for a small fee, and there is a paid professional version. I’ve been able to stick with only the no-cost options so far, and have been able to design pretty much everything I need! My favorite thing is how easy it is to create for Pinterest!
As a writer, even if you feel confident in your writing and grammar skills, it’s always good to have an extra layer of proofreading before you click ‘Publish’ on your posts! I’ve found Grammarly to be a tool that really fits the bill for me.
Grammarly is an award-winning tool that makes it easy to integrate the service into your writing. You download Grammarly to the web browser you use to create your blog posts, and it works right on the page as you type. In fact, as I’m writing this post, I see a little green arrow working in the bottom corner of my screen, letting me know it’s checking my work for typos, poor grammar, or punctuation errors. And for anything else you do on that browser, it’ll do the same.
I’ve been using the free Grammarly account and have found it really helpful. If you want to sign up for the free account and try it, you can use my link here: Grammarly
Grammarly also offers a more in-depth premium service, if you want to step it up a notch or just want that extra layer of assistance. I haven’t tried it yet but it’s on my list! If you’re interested in learning more about that option, click here and then select the “Premium” option to the side… it will compare the features of each type of account!
If you’re a blogger who’s also really into photography, you may not have any need for stock photos of various scenes and topics. For all the rest of us… or if you just want to have some additional options for gorgeous pics… read on!
I know that while I enjoy taking pictures, I have neither the time nor the skill to create lovely photos for everything I want to post! Thankfully, sites exist which offer stock photos for you to use in your blog posts and social media accounts. Many of these sites offer free photos that you can use even for business purposes!
The site I use the most for my free stock photos is Pexels. There are *boatloads* of amazing photos on this site that you can use personally or commercially. Here on The Biblio Blonde, if I haven’t taken a photo myself, there’s a good chance that I found it on Pexels. Like this one:
So, in creating or growing your blog, or even if you’re an established blogger looking for ways to make your life easier, these are just three of the many resources available to you! They enhance your site and make your life so much easier!
Bloggers, what other resources have you found that you *never* hesitate to recommend to your blogging friends? Comment below so we can share the wealth!!
Until next time… Happy Reading!!