Resources For Wedding Bloggers
I get many inquiries about how to get started with blogging, or what products and services that I use with my blog. The list will be continually evolving as new things become available and are worth including.
GETTING STARTED WITH YOUR OWN BLOG
HostGator – HostGator was our first web host, and we ran our site through them until just recently. They’re a great starting point for new and growing bloggers, with insanely affordable rates starting as low as about $4 a month for wordpress blog hosting with good customer service to back it up.
WP Engine – WP Engine is the hosting company we switched to after The Broke-Ass Bride began generating enough income that we could upgrade to a more premium hosting service. It allows us 10GB of local storage, and their team handles all WordPress updates for us, as well as detecting and fixing glitches with plug-ins. The best part is, they have super affordable plans, wonderful customer service, and the fastest uptime on the internet – which means our site loads way faster than those hosted with other services.
Free Themes for WordPress – WordPress has thousands of free themes available if you’re not interested in purchasing a “premium” theme right away. It’s a great place to start if you’re looking to start your blog without spending a lot of money right off the bat. Be sure to do some research and check the theme’s rating before you download it and install it onto your blog. I would recommend looking for themes with a four or five star rating.
Make a Website Hub: A complete guide on how to start a blog in 2016 with a lot of resources in blogging ideas, blogging platforms and blogging designs. This website is a one stop resource for anyone looking to start a blog as the tutorials are very straightforward and easy to follow. This resource is updated regularly for additionnal tips and tutorials in blogging that are helpful and insightful for startup bloggers.
The WP Valet – When it came time to move BAB from HostGator to WP Engine’s server, I hired WP Valet to handle the migration. They took care of it with absolutely no down-time and updated my site in the process! It saved me a ton of headaches and worries and time. I am so glad I didn’t try to do it myself!
Shareist – Shareist is an amazing efficiency tool for bloggers. A veritable one-stop-shop for generating content ideas, scheduling social media updates, and collaborating on blog posts, newsletters, and white papers. It’s sort of a “home base” where our team connects and shares ideas, creates content calendars, updates each other on progress of projects, and can push information to our social outlets with the click of a button.
Mailchimp – Mailchimp is the email marketing company we use to create and send our bi-weekly newsletter. (You can sign up delivery of our exclusive content and deals here.) In blogging, we strive to use all kinds of ways to reach out to our audience and provide entertaining and exciting content via more avenues than just WordPress. Mailchimp makes it easy and affordable. Plus, we’re in love with the monkey in their branding.
Adobe Photoshop – Photoshop ain’t necessarily the most broke-ass friendly software for photo editing, but it’s an amazing tool! The Creative Cloud is their newest, most affordable option. Photo editing is pretty crucial for bloggers, and good photoshop skills will take you a long way in creating a brand aesthetic that looks sleek and professional.
Gimp – GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages. It’s a great option if you’re not ready to invest in Photoshop yet, and allows for many of the same actions to manipulate photos to be more blog-friendly.
ShareASale – Hands down, Shareasale is the BEST affiliate marketing network in the business. They partner with companies who really value their publishers, and they have the best customer service I’ve seen. We’ve formed some incredible relationships with the folks at SAS, and have had nothing but great experiences working with their affiliates. If you’re a brand, I can’t recommend starting an affiliate program through them highly enough. And if you’re a blogger, they’re a great way to get your feet wet in the affiliate marketing world and make some extra fun money!
Amazon Associates – Who doesn’t love to shop on Amazon? As an Amazon Associate, you can use their linking tools to refer readers to your favorite products, and earn money when qualifying purchases are made through your links. I love it because they carry almost everything at Amazon, so if I’m referring a product that isn’t represented in one of my other Affiliate Networks, I can still try to earn a little pocket change by linking it through this.
RewardStyle – RS offers really fabulous tooks and services aimed at making the monetization of digital style content more fluid and simple. Perfect for fashion, nesting, and wedding bloggers – they’ve partnered with a gazillion brands that offer competitive commissions on sales made through their interface. They’re definitely the hardest network to get approved by, with high standards in their application process. But once you’re in, it’s rich with possibilities.
CJ Afflilate by Conversant – Formerly Commission Junction, CJ is another affiliate network aimed at helping you earn income from your website traffic by partnering with the most widely recognized brands in the world. They’re definitely one of the largest Networks, with tons and tons of brands, but their customer service and affiliate manager response is really lacking, compared to SAS or RS.
Akismet – Spam comments stink! Akismet is a like a comment guard, making sure that no spamming comments get through to your site.
WordPress SEO by Yoast
Limit Login Attempts – A simple but important plugin to increase the security on your WordPress blog. This plugin limits the number of times that someone can enter in an incorrect password. It’s amazing how many people try to hack into Pinch of Yum every day.