For many people who are interested in blogging or publishing their words, just figuring out where to start can be the biggest challenge. This page is a list of resources which I have either personally used during my blogging and writing journey, or I have great admiration and trust for the linked content and the people presenting it.
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If you’re a new blogger, I cannot stress enough how important it is to GET YOUR WEBSITE LIVE. That might seem scary, especially when you don’t really know what you’re doing and you want it all to be absolutely perfect.
Here’s the thing… it will NEVER be perfect. You will ALWAYS be changing and tweaking things. It’s far more important to have a little bit of a plan and jump in fast. You can always improve things later!
A blogging course is a fantastic way to get that initial plan together and at least feel like you have a little bit of a clue. My current recommendation for brand new bloggers is Suzi Whitford’s Blog By Number course.
You may see the name of her website — Start a Mom Blog — and think ‘that’s not for me,’ but her framework can work for many types of blogs. My main website Filling the Jars isn’t a ‘mom blog,’ yet I purchase and use pretty much everything Suzi creates because it’s just.that.good.
Not ready for a full blogging course? You can get a taste for Suzi’s style by signing up for The Blog Plan, a free introductory sample course.
More blogging resources:
BigScoots Hosting – This is the hosting company I’ve used for my main website since 2020, when my pageviews increased to the point where it was time to move on from Bluehost.
Bluehost – This is the hosting company I used for several years after I began blogging. It’s very affordable and worked just fine for my needs for quite a while. It is under the EIG family of companies, which doesn’t get much respect in the blogging world. Despite that, I would feel confident using Bluehost for a new site while the site was still small.
ConvertKit – They have been my email service provider (ESP) for my main site going on for nearly 5 years now, and they’re considered to be one of the very best email services for bloggers.
This website uses MailerLite for email. I can say I’ve never really had any issues with the service, but I don’t use it as much to know as many details about what it can do.
Tailwind – This program is an official Pinterest partner and will help you schedule your Pinterest pins and Instagram posts. It can help you figure out the best time of day to post, shuffle your posts, etc. I like the visual layout and drag-and-drop capabilities. Click HERE to get a credit to try your first month free.
Canva – I find this photo and graphic creation program extremely easy to use. It’s what I use for all of my blog graphics and many of my printables. Plus, it’s free unless you use the premium options — which are absolutely worth the minimal monthly cost.
DepositPhotos – Stock photos. Some are for editorial use only, so be sure to check before you download! A couple of times each year they usually have a great pricing deal via AppSumo, which is when I stock up on plenty of credits.
Google products – I use pretty much everything Google. Google Docs, Sheets, Keep, Calendar, Analytics, Gmail…. Google syncs across all my devices, which is awesome!
Otter.ai – I absolutely LOVE this app! It will record your thoughts for blog posts, emails, story scenes, whatever you want. When you’re ready, you can use the voice recording or download the transcript to edit and publish the text version. This is one of my favorite things because it syncs across all of my devices.
Evernote – You can organize your writings and notes into notebooks with tags, etc. The free version can only sync across two devices, so keep that in mind if you decide to try it.
Dropbox – Online cloud storage. I used it as a backup for non-Google documents, photos, etc.
Scrivener – It took me a while to get used to this writing software. Some people love it, some just don’t get it. I like it due to the visual nature of seeing scenes and notes all laid out on a corkboard-style screen.
Grammarly – This picks up grammar errors as you write. The paid version is even more powerful. I use the Chrome browser extension, but I notice it doesn’t do anything when I’m working in Google.
Hemingway – Another grammar and editing app. This one picks up sentences that are hard to read, lets you know what grade level you’re writing at, and more. It’s pretty interesting to run your writing through this app!
Draft2Digital – For when you want to self-publish more widely than Amazon.
Favorite Writing Blogs & Websites
Well-Storied – Kristen Kieffer’s site is packed with fiction-writing information. Plus she has great workbooks!
NowNovel – The team of writers consistently offers up amazing writing advice.
The Write Life – Resources for how to write for publication, and where to sell your work.
Kindlepreneur – Dave Chesson’s site is my go-to place whenever I have questions about self-publishing or marketing on Amazon.
Goins, Writer – Jeff Goins’ blog was one of the first I started reading when I finally got myself back into writing in 2016. Read the blog, join the challenges, learn.
Hustle & Groove – Lise Cartwright’s website is a fantastic treasure trove for those who really want to self-publish. I devoured her blog for many months, and finally got the opportunity to work with her as my writing coach in the summer of 2017. She’s just as positive in person as she is on her blog. 🙂
Make A Living Writing – Carol Tice pulls no punches about what you need to do if you want to make the leap to writing full-time.
Writing Careers: The Business Behind Becoming an Author – This article reviews several options for creating a career from your love of writing. I like that it also gives tips about ‘red flags’ to look out for when pursuing different paths to your dream. (Thank you to Amelia and Stacey for the suggestion. 🙂 )
EA Deverell – Eva Deverell has created a fabulous library of writing and planning worksheets, and most of them are free!
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