I started Far Beyond Love to be a creative outlet to inspire, encourage, and motivate.
It’s been a success and I know yours can too!
Since I started blogging a lot of people have reached out to me asking about how to start a blog, how to design a blog, and how to write content to attract readers. I’m also frequently asked about the best tools for blogging so I thought it would be helpful to create a page of blogging resources that you can refer back to as you build and grow your own blog. Between my career as a Technical Writer, and my husband’s work as a freelance writer and social media consultant, we’ve become adept at finding tools and resources that make our jobs easier. It’s about working smart! Right? All of these tools have, at one point or another, helped us work smart either for ourselves or for a client. We hope you can find a tool to help you work smart as well.
These blogging resources are recommended for lifestyle bloggers.
Disclosure: This page includes affiliate links. We have personal experience with every resource listed. We recommend them only because we believe in them and they have helped us in our blogging journey.
Genesis Framework – I’ve only ever used two WordPress themes that weren’t built using the Genesis Framework and both of them were a mess. Now, I exclusively use Genesis themes. It’s a good investment for your blog and the themes I recommend below all require it.
Pretty Darn Cute Designs – While I’m not currently using a Pretty Darn Cute Designs theme on Far Beyond Love I have used them in the past. They are gorgeous, easy to install, and very functional. Plus, her support is pretty amazing if you need help.
Restored 316 Designs – Restored 316 Designs is another WordPress theme designer I’ve used in the past and I refer friends to her themes all of the time. They are known for being feminine themes and are perfect for mom or food bloggers. Restored 316 also has a Facebook community for bloggers.
StudioPress – StudioPress themes are great for when you are building a business blog rather than a feminine lifestyle blog or a mom blog. They tend to be cleaner in design and more functional. When my writing services were offered separately from Far Beyond Love I used a StudioPress theme for my design.
Design & Stock Photos
Creative Market – Creative Market is the go-to marketplace for creatives and bloggers. They have everything you could possibly need for your blog – graphics, images, fonts, templates, blog themes, icons, etc. While their photos may be a little more expensive than other sites you can always find great deals on bundles of images.
DaFont – DaFont is a great place to go to find new fonts for your blog. As you build your blog you’ll find that having font pairings that are specifically yours helps you stand out. Just make sure that you pay attention to licensing rights because it may not be legal for you to just grab and use whatever font you want.
Getty Images – Getty Images is another stock photo website. It’s a paid service but sometimes you just need that perfect photo. When I can’t take the picture myself and I need a great one, I’ll go here.
Pexels – Pexels is a free stock photo website and it’s probably the one I use the most. It aggregates stock photos from all around the internet so you don’t have to search a lot of other sites. Unsplash is another great stock photo website but Pexels includes their photos in their search results so there’s no reason to go over there. The pictures are always great so this is definitely my favorite photo site.
ConvertKit – ConvertKit is a paid service that manages your email marketing newsletters. Whether or not it’s worth the investment depends upon your goals for your blog. When I ran my business site separately from Far Beyond Love I used ConvertKit and it was amazing! I don’t use it on Far Beyond Love because it’s not the right system for this space. I would recommend it if you’re running a business and email marketing is one of your top communication tools. Otherwise, it’s probably more than you need.
MailChimp – MailChimp is the email marketing tool I use now. It’s free up to a limited number of subscribers, I believe it’s about 1,000. After that it becomes a paid service but it’s more affordable than ConvertKit and others. It’s easy to use, easy to integrate into your blog (especially with the themes I recommended earlier), and it’s a popular industry leader so there is a ton of online support.
A Small Orange – A Small Orange is my current host and I love them. I’ve never had any serious issues or downtime with my blog and their support is available via online chat 24/7 which is great for night owls like myself. I’ve used other hosts (including HostGator, GoDaddy, and BlueHost) in the past with a lot of issues. A Small Orange has always treated me right.
Business Cards & Supplies
Minted – Minted is my go-to source for branded business cards, stationary, and other Far Beyond Love paper goods. A lot of people roll their eyes when they read about that but you have no idea how important a blog business card is until you find yourself asked for one and you have nothing to offer up.
Graphics / Photo Editing
Canva – Canva is the secret weapon of a lot of bloggers although if you’re going to go with it then you should go all the way and sign up for Canva for Work. It’s something like $13 / month but it allows you to store your branding colors, fonts, and templates so you can create graphics quickly.
PicMonkey Pro – PicMonkey Pro is a photo editing platform and it costs around $30 / year. If you aren’t quite up to using Lightroom or Photoshop this is a decent alternative for now. I used PicMonkey Pro for two or three years when I first launched my blog. As long as the photos are decent to begin with, this can do the trick to make them look great.
BoardBooster – BoardBooster is one of my favorite Pinterest tools. It has a looping feature which allows you to pin and repin your content again and again. It helps ensure that your Pinterest followers are consistently seeing your stuff. I also use it to schedule pins because it let me pin to secret boards then it pins to public boards on a schedule. It’s fabulous!
Tailwind –Tailwind is my other secret Pinterest weapon. I don’t even know how to explain just how amazing Tailwind is for Pinterest. I resisted it for about 2 years but when I finally signed up I noticed an increase in my traffic within days. Also, Tailwind Tribes are incredible so you should join my Tailwind Tribe, Far Beyond Pins.
ViralTag – ViralTag recently replaced MeetEdgar as my go-to content recycler for Facebook and Twitter. It can also schedule Pinterest and Instagram but I use Tailwind to schedule Pinterest and I do Instagram live because it’s my “fun” network. It’s a very simple and intuitive platform so it’s a great app even if you aren’t the most tech-savvy person.