Just like a seamstress needs thread and a painter needs a paintbrush, bloggers need certain tools to help them pursue their passion.
So, I here is a list of the apps and services I use to make this blog both beautiful and functional!
All the resources listed here are ones that I personally use and am happy to recommend.
Full Disclosure: Some of the links provided here are affiliate links. This means that if you buy a product via my link, I will receive a small compensation at no extra cost to you. It’s not much but allows me to keep this site up and running! Please check out my Disclosure Policy for more information.
Hosting And Domain Name:
Siteground: I use Siteground to host Pixie Dust Dolls. Siteground is a top-notch hosting service known for having the best uptime and customer support.
Their Start-Up plan starts at $3.95 per month and can handle up to 10,000 unique visits per month, which is plenty of space for someone like me! I also purchased my domain name through them to keep everything in one place and easy to manage.
In my opinion, when it comes to choosing a blogging platform, it’s WordPress all the way! And I mean, WordPress.org not WordPress.com.
Here’s an ultra quick break down of the benefits of WordPress:
- Open source–WordPress is free from commercial limitations. It’s your site to use however you please–so have fun with it!
- 100% free to download, use, and modify.
- Easy to learn and takes the work out of blogging.
- SEO friendly.
- Known for being a secure platform.
- Highly customizable with hundred of themes to choose from.
As you can see, when it comes to WordPress, the sky is the limit.
All you need is a domain name and hosting to get started. Personally, I recommend picking a company that offers 1-click WordPress installation to make setting up your site even easier.
Tailwind: My love for Pinterest is no secret; however, I’m not the best at remembering to pin images from my own site😳. So, I use Tailwind to help manage my Pinterest account. Tailwind is designed to help bloggers boost their Pinterest and Instagram accounts.
With Tailwind you can:
- Schedule pins ahead of time–a lifesaver for someone like me!
- Join Tribes–a group of pinners in Tailwind that can access and share each other’s content.
- Create a Board Lists–pin your content to several boards all at once.
Canva: Canva is graphic design software that is free to use. All you need is an email address to sign up. You can create blog graphics, Facebook covers, Pinterest graphics, e-book covers…honestly, they have so many different templates I can’t remember them all!
If you want to make beautiful graphics for your site, then I suggest giving Canva a try!
Creative Market: Just like the name says, Creative Market is a digital marketplace filled with graphics, fonts, and templates. It’s a goldmine for beautiful backgrounds, vector images, and blog themes!
Not only that, when you sign up for an account, you’ll get a weekly email from Creative Market with six free resources inside. Some of my favorite fonts and images have come via these weekly freebies.
Photoshop: If you use a lot of pictures on your blog, chances are you’re going to need a photo editing tool. Photoshop is the most popular photo and design editing software.
Unfortunately, it’s also quite pricey starting at $9.99 a month😕. I personally use skimmed down version called Photoshop Elements.
Grammarly: Grammarly is a grammar and punctuation checker and another great tool for busy writers. They offer both a paid and free plan.
The free plan will catch any major spelling and grammar mistakes, while the paid version goes deeper and checks for punctuation errors, problems with sentence structure, offers alternative vocabulary choices, and a has plagiarism detector.
Not only that, you can install the Grammarly plugin right into your browser and check your punctuation wherever you’re writing!
Evernote: Evernote is the digital note taking app I use to jot down blog post and story ideas. You can use Evernote’s Basic Plan for free or upgrade to one of their Premium plans for somewhere between $3 and $6 a month. The Basic Plan allows you to sync your notes across 2 devices, while the paid plans let you sync across multiple devices.
So, when I’m shopping in Hobby Lobby and the idea for the perfect blog post hits me, no worries! I open up Evernote on my phone, start typing, and my idea will be saved to my computer at home!