Below are some of my top blogging resources that have helped lead me to my success. I share these with you so that you too can not follow but experience your dreams.
If you somehow stumbled upon this bogging resources page and don’t yet have a blog, please visit my How to Start a Blog page, first. It’s filled with resources to help get your blog started in the right direction!
Bluehost – It’s the most popular entry-level blog hosting solution for a reason. It’s cheap, and it works. Plus, Bluehost helped me transfer my site from WordPress which saved me countless hours, headaches, and cuss words.
48 Hour Design – I love my logo! In fact, at a conference of over 600 travel bloggers, everyone raved about my logo. Even those at the top of the travel blogging game said it was one of the best they’ve seen. No, I didn’t pay a lot of money to a graphic design or use 99 Designs. Both are WAY too expensive for my budget. I used 48 Hour Design. It works much the same as 99 Designs. You write a proposal and designers start sending you ideas. The process is a ton of fun as I commented on what I liked and didn’t like. Designers than tweak their submissions to my feedback.
Elegant Themes – When it comes to themes, it seems like the only choices are to pay a lot of money to a graphic designer, use a free WordPress theme, or buy a theme that involves installing some kind of other platform. I was just starting out so I had no budget for a graphic designer. A free WordPress theme would look like the millions of other travel bloggers out there. And I’m not techy enough to install Genesis (or even know what the hell that means). Elegant Themes was easy to install, budget-friendly, and the support is awesome!
Theme Forest Themes – As I became more confident in my technical abilities, I upgraded to a theme with Theme Forest. There are a lot more themes to choose from along with unlimited customization options. I personally use the Piemont theme.
Courses and ELearning
Superstar Blogging – This is the number one thing I did to jump start my travel blogging career. If you’re thinking about starting a travel blog or are looking to crank yours up from a hobby to an income generating side-hustle or career, you must join Superstar Blogging! It’s one of those things I wish I knew when I started. My ramp-up time would have been so much easier.
Ender Consulting – I should be able to understand SEO. I have my MBA in marketing after all. Yet, I find Google Analytics and all things SEO a bunch of mumbo-jumbo. Ender Consulting helped me steer The Wandering Gourmand on the right path. They also help with branding strategy and conversion optimization.
Superstar Blogging – Never be caught with a dead phone, tablet, or Kindle battery again! Amazon sells a variety of reasonably priced portable chargers. I use an Omaker Intelligent Portable Battery. It charges my Samsung S3 six times before it needs charged and is the perfect solution for two travelers. It is heavy though. If you’re a solo traveler, I recommend one with less capacity (5000 mAh or less).
Nikon D3300 DLSR –The Nikon D3300 is considered an entry-level DLSR, which is fine by me. I don’t aim to be a professional photographer but still want high-quality photos for my blog and freelance career. I missed many shots with my mirrorless camera, a Samsung NX2000, and it had several warranty and quality issues. Also, the weight of the Nikon isn’t much more than my old Samsung. I actually found the weight is distributed more evenly, making the Nikon easier to shoot with and less strenuous on my back.
Social Media Tools
Tailwind – In my humble opinion, Tailwind is the end all, be all when it comes to social media marketing tools. Let’s start with Pinterest. Not only is it the easiest and most thorough way to schedule pins (you can do it from a browser plugin), they also have “tribes” where you post your pin for others to re-pin. My traffic has grown exponentially thanks to Tailwind! Second, can I say Instagram has never been easier? Not only can I schedule my posts to automatically post (read – no ping to my phone for me to manually post to Instagram), but it also suggestions hashtags that will best get me noticed. My audience has grown faster than it ever has before!
If This Then That – This app literally runs my life in so many ways. However, how I use it in social media is to natively post Instagram photos to Twitter (no link). I also use it to push my “now live” Periscope Tweets to Facebook. Of course, there are thousands of other ways IFTT can help create efficiencies in your life. This app is a must download. Spend an hour or so to see what it can do for you.
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