Behind the Scenes Resource Guide to Blogging

 My How's & What's of Blogging Blog Resource Guide madeinaday.com
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I love blogging and I fell into this amazing career on a whim. Three years ago I joined Pinterest and was instantly in heaven, I happened to click on a picture that took me to a DIY Craft blog. I saw what the blogger was doing and it happened to be something I have been doing for pretty much my entire life. Repurposing! That day I realized this was what I meant to do!

So now what? Well I had just moved into a new home and it needed decorating so I started with that. Next…How do I do this? And so my journey begins…

Being a blogger makes you constantly ask yourself, “how do I do that” or how do I get one of those? Unfortunately Googling it is usually the only the answer, it’s sad really, it’s tough to get great advice that isn’t outdated or so confusing you need to be a developer to understand it. It has been a long process to get me to this point and I wish I had a guide to go by for all the behind the scenes of blogging information you will need.

I am growing and changing the blog everyday and I want to share with you some of my favorite things that make this blog run smoothly, well sometimes. Lol!

Let me start at the beginning. When I first started out, I started my blog on WordPress.com. I recommend this to anyone who does not have a clue about how to set up a blog at all. It is a good starting place to see if you even enjoy blogging. Sometimes it can be a lot hard work, other times it is really fun. You just need to see if it’s for you first before you jump in and start purchasing software.

WordPress.com has fun themes to choose from and it’s a great place to find your voice and/or niche. Once I was comfortable with the workings of the WordPress Dashboard I moved on to WordPress.org. If you plan on monetizing your blog in the future you will need to change to a format like WordPress.org for more flexibility.

So here are my recommendations for starting a blog:

Godaddy.com 

This is the first step in starting your blog. This is where I purchased my domain. Secure your name/brand first!! Think about it long and hard and make sure it’s something you want to stick with for a long time.

Bluehost 

This is the host that I use. I have been using them for over a year, if you have any issues they are very responsive and helpful over the phone. Love that part! You get to take to a real person!! I have nothing but good to say about them.

WordPress Canvas 

This is a relatively new platform. I was drawn to this by the control you will have over the theme options. You can change fonts, theme setup, footer, colors and tons of other elements that most child themes do not offer very easily from the dashboard. I love it! I purchased the theme I am using now, “Carraway” Child Theme that has WordPress Canvas included and already baked in from Angiemakes.com. That’s how I have all those great galleries on my front page.

WordPress.org, Studiopress and the Genesis Platform 

This was my next step in the blog process. I purchased a theme from Studiopress that included the Genesis Platform with WordPress.org. The dashboard is flexible in that you have control over the css code, depending on the theme options.

Note: You do not need Studiopress or Genesis platforms with the Canva Themes from Angiemakes.com.

Theme Sources 

Angiemakes.com, Esty.com (yes I said Etsy), ThePixelista.com, Studiopress and Themeforest.com just to name some of my favorites.

Designing your Pics, Headers and other Blog Elements

My camera is a Nikon D5000 DSLR. It is covered in glue and paint and whatever else I am using at the moment the pics are taken. To learn how to use it I took the Craftsy Basics of Digital Photography (w/ Rick Allred) and will be writing about it soon.

Tasty Food Photography Class

Tasty Food Photography eBook

Lindsay Ostrom from Pinch of Yum offers this amazing class. Well worth the money spent! Lindsay simplifies the DSLR camera settings. Even though I have taken other classes before this one by far stands out. I never really got what the settings on my camera could actually do until I saw it broken down in this class. Love! Tasty Food Photography Class

Photshop Elements

My newest purchase.. so far I am loving it!

Pixelmator 

This is a photo editor similar to Photoshop, it is an app for Mac users. I use this for clear crisp graphics for blog elements such as a header.

Picmonkey 

I have the paid version of this photo editor and could not live without it. It is my go to source to make collages. It is also an easy way to edit picture sizes. A must have. There are tons of free items to use as well.

See my tutorial for How to make Clickable pic for your Posts.

Canva 

This is a relatively new photo editor. I use Canva for inspiration and to make clean modern graphics. It can be a little confusing at first and does take a little getting used to, but definitely worth a try.

Blog Services & Plugins

TweetDeck 

A must have Social Media scheduling tool. I could not live without this site! I schedule ahead and shorten my urls for my posts using this program. A must have for blogging. I stopped using Hootsuite recently because the URL shortener was only allowing certain tweets to show pics. Tweetdeck shows ALL pics attached to tweets.

Mailchimp 

I use this to send my rss out in emails to my subscribers when I make a new post. I just set up my Brand New Weekly Newsletter Campaign! I offer a few bundles of free printables for signing up and an exclusive free download or printable each month for my followers! Click the following link for a brief overview of the bundles and to subscribe. Click here to check out my post on how I made my newsletter with a hidden Freebie page on my blog using a Free Mailchimp Account.

mailchimp newsletter w: secret freebie blog page for free madeinday.com

Sign up for my Weekly Newsletter and get FREE Medical & Blog Organizing Printable Bundles and gain excess to exclusive FREE Monthly Printables & Downloads!  You do not want to miss these FREEBIES!

WP Content Sharer Plugin

Tweet and share FB old posts using this plugin. At first I used this for the weekends so I still had some content flow when I am away from the blog. But now I use this for every day. I recently went through all my old posts cleaned them up and fixed the SEO and keywords. You would not believe the retweet and response I get now from past posts using this plugin! You need to tweak your categories for this plugin so old non content giveaways or random holiday posts you do not want tweeted out there do not show up in your Facebook feed. I love this plugin!

Boardbooster

This is how I share my pins on Pinterest everyday. Just set up the account and leave it alone it pins for you! Awesome!

Blog Parties I Host!

I host two different Blog parties each month~

The Perpetual Pinterest Party Board is a Pinterest Board with over 100+ and growing, Amazing Bloggers pinning daily. This board is where you can pin your DIY projects, Crafts & Recipes {just like a linky}. I feature 8-10 fun favorites from the board every two weeks on the blog. If you have a blog and would like to join us send me an email to pincommuntiyboards(at)gmail(dot)com and I can add you to the board!

Merry Monday Linky Party is a Linky for bloggers to share family friendly posts. It goes live Sundays at 6pm right here on my blog!

Fav Blogging Info Books & Sources

 My Go-to Places to Shop for Craft Supplies or Project Inspiration

  • Michaels
  • JoAnn Fabrics
  • Hobby Lobby
  • Ac Moore
  • Goodwill, Salvation Army and various other thrift stores
  • Home Goods
  • Kirklands
  • Amazon

For more of my favorite Blog Links, Clubs and Memberships I am a part of see my Sponsor & Affiliates page.

 

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I hope you enjoyed reading this page, as I allowed you to pick my brain a little. I will be updating it as my blogging experiences continue to change.

XOXOKIMG

 

 



10 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes Resource Guide to Blogging

  1. I was looking over this post and I have been blogging now for almost a year and my traffic sucks. I think my content is good and I share and everything else that I have been told to do but nothing. Do you think the book by Steve Scott offers different ways to get traffic? I am intrigued and it is only $2.99. I should probably try it. I think I also need TweetDeck.

    Thanks for these!

    1. Wow Michelle you have such a great blog hard to believe you traffic sucks, but I feel your pain mine does too. The holidays is the best time for traffic so hopefully it will pick up. I love the Steve Scott books, they have a ton of info and to tell you the truth, it’s the same as everyone else’s “New How to Blog Ebook” they are offering except it’s written to the point without a lot of fluff. He has four of them I believe, I only mention two. So instead of spending $25 to $70 to teach you, you can get the very same info for much less. Not saying the other programs are bad because they do allow you to collaborate and ask questions. But it’s great info if your in a pinch and can’t afford the pricy programs being offered. I wish your blog luck this season and to you and thanks for reading!
      Kim

      1. Thanks for the reply Kim. Yeah, I am not sure why but I was doing pretty good up until about June or July and since then my traffic has been decreasing instead of increasing. I would love to try some of the pricey programs such as Elite Blog Academy but we are saving for my son’s wedding in February in Jamaica and that is just not possible right now. Maybe in 2016 when she re-opens it I may be able to swing it. But for now all I can do is try to post more often and share, comment and link up. I think I will try this book. I would love to be able to pin to your Pinterest Board and I tried to email but it came back. Not sure if I typed the address in wrong or what happened. Is it possible for you to add me if you are still taking contributors? Thanks so much for your kind words.

        1. Hi Michelle,
          Of course I would love to have you on the P3 Board, your invite was sent. If you do not receive it in an email from Pinterest, go to your Pinterest notifications and accept the invite there. I keep getting the emails for Elite Blog as well, but the price is too steep for me right now as well, maybe next year for me too. I am actually doing my P3 post for the week right now If you can get a few posts on there asap I can take a look and try to feature you! Every little bit helps when stats are down!
          Kim

          1. Thank you! I already accepted the invite and will go to it now. I appreciate it!

          2. Your welcome and please link up your Halloween posts to the Halloween Spooktacular, link on sidebar.
            Kim

  2. Thank you for compiling and sharing this awesome resource guide! I’ve been working through Steve Scott’s book and finally started “doing”, not just reading. I will definitely be back for more of your suggestions. Baby steps, right?

    1. Thanks so much I am glad you enjoyed reading it. Not sure which Steve Scott book you are reading, but Tuesday I posted about how to set up a rss newsletter with a freebie page when using Free Mailchimp account. I will add a link to this post. Thanks so much for the sweet comment! Good luck!
      Kim

  3. Barb Sanders says:

    I love reading everyone’s blogs and have taken my paint crafting to a whole new level. Many thanks to people like you that share all the “good stuff” that have me thinking. I want to share some of the things I’v created and pass along to others anything that might inspire them to go for it. Starting a blog still intimidates me tho! Do I just jump in or research more? Barb AKA Dinkabah

    1. It wouldn’t hurt to try Barb. I’d try the easy version of WordPress.com to see if I was cut out for blogging. It really isn’t that difficult. I love it, Good luck!
      Kim

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