A Crafted Passion

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21+ Blogging Resources You Need to Grow Your Blog

Ready to grow your blog? This ultimate list of blogging resources covers everything from photography classes, email lists you should be on, and some killer blogging courses for beginner to advanced bloggers.

Woman working on a laptop image.

 

Before we get into the blogging resources I’m sure you came here to read about, let me jump on my soap box real quick and share with you some advice that changed everything for me.

One day last summer my sister said, “You know you gave me one of the greatest pieces of advice I’ve ever got.” Shocked me! Uh oh! She went on. “You said, ‘If you want to run faster, than just run faster!'” And then it hit me! Why do I feel stuck doing all these little mundane blogging tasks on my to do list?

Over the past two years since coming out of the blogging closet I have learned so much about blogging and this wonderful community. Since that day six months ago though I have stopped worrying about all the little tasks I thought I had to do because I was a newbie blogger. Here’s what I realized.

'If you want to be a big blogger, then act like a big blogger.' End of story.Click To Tweet

Look at the bloggers who inspire you. What are they doing differently and do that! Are you spending time linking up to blog hops? Are they worth it? Well, do the big guys do it? Are you posting religiously on Facebook and getting a reach of less than 5% of your followers? So frustrating!! I’ve been there too! What are the people who inspire you posting about?

Tip: Follow your favorite bloggers on Facebook by adding them to the ‘Pages to Watch’ section in your Facebook insight to see what is working for them.

What are the big guys doing that you aren’t doing? What are they posting? Where are they spending their precious time?

When I really evaluated myself and how I spent my time, I realized I was spending my time doing a lot of little tasks that weren’t paying off in the long run. I started really evaluating my efforts and critiquing the bloggers that inspire me and trying to mimic what they do.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying go copy their content or do a site rebrand to match them or write on the exact same topics, but look at them closely to see where they spend their time to get a good foundation of what your goals should be.

Once I did that, things drastically changed for me.

If you want to be a big blogger, then act like a big blogger quote image.

Over the last few months, my sister and one of my friends have started a blog. I have spent many nights and countless texts brain dumping everything I know about blogging. I thought I would take the time to share today some of my absolutely favorite blogging resources in case you might be looking to start your own blog or looking to grow your current blog. Everything I recommend here is based solely on my personal experience as a DIY/home/mommy blogger.

Using these resources I have been able to grow my blog from a small little place where I documented life to something I enjoy doing every day and over 60,000 people viewed last month. And I know that numbers will just keep on growing.

I’ve signed up for a lot of free email courses, done my share of ebook downloads, and I eat up all the information I can find online about blogging and taking everyone’s pieces of info. These are the best of the best, the emails I look forward to filling my inbox each week, and the courses I can’t get enough of.

Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means if you purchase using the link provided I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Small commissions earned from these affiliate programs make it possible for me to stay at home with my little one. Thank you for supporting A Crafted Passion!

Beginner

Are you just getting started? Hosting. Themes. Child themes. Domains. It can all be just a jumbled mess if you aren’t used to the terminology. Check out these resources to get started.

Abby, the sweet lady behind Just a Girl and Her Blog, has so many blogging resources that are pure gold. I definitely cannot list them all here, however, there are a few things that you should check out. First off, go buy Building a Framework. That book with video guides gave me a solid foundation for starting a blog. Also, if you buy the Advanced Package you get access to her exclusive Building a Framework Facebook group. 1400+ like-minded bloggers always available to answer questions and give advice.

If you aren’t ready to purchase the course, you can check out this post she did on how to start a blog that is full of great info.

Building a Framework blog kit image.

Abby also shares her monthly income reports. It is so helpful looking back at her reports and seeing where her income comes from. It gives me a good idea of what I should focus on. Long story short, follow her and eat up all the information she gives you.

Lesley from Chaotically Creative surveyed 100 bloggers (me included!) about blog hosting and laid everything out there. Definitely something to look at if you are confused about hosts and themes and domains as I once was.

This is also a great article on how to choose a host from Kristi at Blog Ambitions.

Speaking of hosts, you will hear many people recommend Bluehost. I was with them for years and recently switched to SiteGround and have never looked back! SiteGround customer support is AMAZING and their overall website service is fantastic. If you want to take blogging seriously, I would start with them!

Web HostingSUBSCRIBE

Kirsten Thompson, aka Sweat Tea LLC, is like the email newsletter queen. Sign up for her blogging email for great tidbits every week and get ideas for your own newsletter.

Speaking of which…start collecting emails. Social media comes and goes but your email list you own. It’s yours. If you aren’t collecting email addresses yet, go do it now. Start with a simple signup box in your sidebar and as you grow you can make changes. I use ConvertKit and recommend them to everyone! Not convinced you need an email list? Read about it from someone else’s perspective.

Regina from byRegina.com has some of the best tips and gives away killer info for free just for signing up for her email. Plus, her emails are just plain beautiful! I feel like I’m reading a magazine in my inbox.

If you don’t get The Useletter from Amy Lynn Andrews each week you are seriously missing out! Each week she gives you a roundup of some of the best tips and tools from the past week along with a behind-the-scenes look into her own online business. I’ve found some of my favorite blogging tools through her emails.

TYPOGRAPHY & GRAPHICS

Are you a typography snob like I am? No joke, in college my husband and I used to play a game driving back and forth to college about who can guess the font on billboards the fastest. Nerd alert. Nerd alert. Anyways, find fun fonts at Dafont. You can download lots of fonts to your computer for personal use. Just be sure to check the licensing if you are going to use the font on something you plan to make money off of.

Have you heard of the Creative Market? Sign up for their email and every Monday you’ll get access to a free font and graphics. I’ve found some of my absolute favorite fonts this way! And free is an awesome price!! Creative Market has everything you never knew you needed design-wise. Go check it out!

Creative Market

PROFIT

Sign up for Google Adsense once you start getting some page views. It doesn’t cost anything and even though it may only be a few cents here and there, I promise it starts adding up quickly.

Amazon Affiliates. If you’re going to be sharing anything on your blog about a product or mention something you love or would recommend, sign up for Amazon’s affiliate program to earn a commission from promoting things. Even if a person doesn’t buy what you sent them to Amazon for, you’ll still get a commission on anything that person purchases in the next 24 hours. #winning

Download 7 Tips to Boost Your Blog Income Overnight from blogging for profit guru, Ruth Soukup. Such great tips!!

Intermediate

Okay now that you’ve got a good blogging foundation, time to step it up a notch.

COURSES & BOOKS

Elite Blog Academy is hands down, the best investment I ever made for my blog. It has been worth every single penny! You can read so much more about my Elite Blog Academy experience over here but let me just say, if you’re looking to turn your blog into a business, EBA gives you a proven step-by-step process on how to get there.

Elite Blog Academy image.

 

I’ll be honest, Elite Blog Academy was one of the most challenging and exhausting courses I ever did, however, it was also amazing in pushing myself to do more. Without it I don’t think I would still be blogging. I was able to use the tools I learned in that course to figure out what the big bloggers were doing and do it. Enrollment is only open about twice a year.

Sign up here to be notified as soon as doors open!

 

If you aren’t ready to plunge into a 12-week intensive course though, you can grab the founder of EBA’s book How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul. The kindle version is free on Amazon so you aren’t losing out on anything!

How to blog for profit ebook image.

Craftsy is a community of passionate crafters featuring online classes about all your favorite crafts including quilting, sewing & cake decorating. You can find so many classes and workshops to perfect your skills and learn new things.

If you aren’t pinning for your site, please start doing so. It’ll be a game changer! There are so many things I want to share with you about Pinterest, but I’ll keep it simple and say go sign up for Simple Pin Media’s 2017 Ultimate Pinterest Planner. It’s awesome and you’ll automatically be signed up for Kate’s free weekly emails filled with so much great info about Pinterest and how to use it to grow your blog and your traffic! Yes, I was the Operations Manager for Simple Pin, but I also absolutely LOVE all the info she gives away for free.

FREE 2016 Ultimate Pinterest Planner image.

Once you’ve started pinning you’ll want to figure out a strategy. How to Master Tailwind is a comprehensive mini-course to teach you the exact strategy I use to manage Pinterest accounts for our clients.

Speaking of which, the Simple Pin Master Course is a beast of a course teaching you from beginner to advanced strategies to master Pinterest. This is definitely something you want to check out if you want to take Pinterest seriously!

Simplify Your Pinterest Marketing — Get the Simple Pin Master Course!

PHOTOGRAPHY

Looking to improve your photos? Shoot Fly Shoot has some awesome photography courses that I’ve taken. They offer everything from beginning point and shoot tutorials to advanced manual photography. There’s a little bit of everything for everyone.

Photography is not my strong suit. There. I said it. This is one of my huge goals for this year! I stumbled across this Photo Styling 101 course from Rachel from The Crafted Life and I’m loving it! I haven’t made it all the way through the course yet, however, it has great information on photo styling and tips.

Advanced Blogging

Now that you have a solid foundation and have taken the dive into making your blog a business, here are a few more resources that you might want to consider. 

Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers — I’m just digging in to this course from Tasha from Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body but it’s seriously great! It really hit me when she said that sponsored posts are a one time payment, however, affiliate sales last as long as you keep promoting them. I’m so excited to dig in and start learning more about affiliate marketing.

Are you ready to create a product? Start with BookBoss from Just a Girl and Her Blog. In 90 days you can come up with a concept and create your first ebook with the help of this course. It was instrumental in writing The Ultimate DIY Part Planning Tool!

Want someone who knows the ins and outs of Pinterest to do it for you? Someone to do it for you to give you time to create awesome content? Consider hiring Simple Pin Media to manage your account or pay for a review of your Pinterest account to get tips on how you can improve.

Pencils, clothespins and clipboard image.

I could keep on going about all the blogging resources I have tucked away in my blogging toolbox, but this is a great starting point for beginners to advanced bloggers. I hope you learned something helpful to help you take the next step.

I might have an addiction, but I love listening to inspirational or teaching podcasts. I feel like I’m back in college and just want to soak up all the knowledge I can. Looking for more blogging resources? Here’s a great roundup of my favorite mompreneur podcasts you should be listening to!

Ultimately, remember what I said at the beginning…if you want to be a big blogger, then act like a big blogger. Go where they go and do what they do. I promise you’ll start seeing the rewards soon.

What blogging resources do you love?

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23 comments

  1. So much information!! Thank you so much! I’ve been blogging for almost two years and some of these will help me greatly. I need to start collecting emails! That’s on my to-do list in the next couple of months.

  2. I love this post! So many great resources and I think it’s so true that you just need to start acting like a big blogger. I’ve learned an incredible amount about blogging just from following bloggers I admire. Also, it sounds like we are two peas in a pod when it comes to soaking up information and learning as much as we can – I love learning! I’ve become addicted to podcasts so am excited to see which ones make your list!

  3. Wow! So much information to sort through. I have just switched to WordPress and self-hosted, well now about 6 months ago already and there is just so much to learn. This is a great round up of resources. The email list is definitely something I want to work on this year.

  4. This is amazingly helpful! I’m so glad I stumbled across this blog post. I’ve been researching a way to collect emails, but haven’t found any free plug-ins. Any advice?

    1. Hi Brianne! I’m so glad you find it helpful. You’ll need to sign up with an email provider first. Mailchimp (which I linked in the post) is free up until 2000 subscribers. I would suggest starting there and start collecting. You can then install SumoMe plugin to popup and collect emails too which will connect with MailChimp.

  5. I love that thought that if you want to be a big blogger then act like a big blogger. totally make sense. Awhile ago I heard something similar about if you want to make your blog a business you have to treat it as such and not like a hobby. It’s almsot embarrassing to me that I’ve been blogging for over 5 years now, but have been so slow about getting serious about it. The past couple years, and especially this past year, have been putting in a lot more work and then I see newbie bloggers that have been hustling less than a year with WAY higher followers and interactions than I do. Sometimes I get discouraged but in a way my “slow and steady” approach has worked for me. :) Thanks for this great compilation of resources!

  6. This is great, thank you so much for sharing. I love the mantra if you want to be a big blogger, act like a big blogger. I am finding myself much more streamlined this year, dropping all those little tedious tasks that were getting me nowhere. My pageviews are up and I’m not feeling completely overwhelmed. Off to check out some of your recommendations now, thanks.

  7. Thanks for including my post about blog hosting in this list. SO many valuable resources. Especially happy to see my favorite person ever mentioned : Kate from Simple Pin Media. Isn’t she great?

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