Friday Favorites #11 (Must-Have Blogging Essentials)
Lately I’ve been receiving more and more messages on Facebook and emails through my blog about readers who are thinking of starting their own blogs. Y’all, I couldn’t be more excited for you! I’ve been blogging (on various blogs) since 2010 and, obviously, I’m pretty much in love with it. Everyone needs a creative outlet somewhere in their lives and blogging is the perfect forum for creative writers, photographers, DIYers, foodies, artists, travelers, etc. There is a blog niche out there for everyone so it’s no wonder it’s so popular and growing more every day.
Every time I receive an email from someone interested in starting their own blog I refer them to other posts and pages on my site. Posts and pages like:
- How to Start a Blog in 3 Simple Steps
- Why I Host my Blog on A Small Orange
- How to Install WordPress on A Small Orange
- How CoSchedule Increased my Blogging Productivity
- How I Increased my Pinterest Impressions by 200% in 30 Days
- Blogging Resources
- Affiliate Programs
I’ve shared websites you need to bookmark, software you should download, and online programs / communities you should join but I don’t think I’ve ever stopped to discuss the physical items that you need if you’re going to start a blog. You don’t have to have a lot of things and you don’t necessarily need all of these things immediately but I assure you, they will help and you’ll be grateful to have them.
Links below may be affiliate links. If you purchase through an affiliate link I will receive a small commission.
I recently read, or heard, that the sale of laptops was on the decline. At first I was kind of stunned but after reading the article I was like, “Nah, that makes total sense.” They sale people are moving toward their phones and tablets for so much that is done on-the-go and reverting back to desktops at home because they can install larger monitors and have an actual “work space” that laptops are going down, down, down. I can see it for some people, but not for bloggers. I do a lot of blogging on the road. I blog while we’re away on vacation, I blog at coffee shops, sometimes I even blog at the park, and for all of that I need a laptop. If you like to get work done anywhere outside of your home then I recommend you get one too and make sure you get one that is able to handle graphic design and photo editing because you’ll end up doing a lot more of that than you expect in the beginning. I promise. Shop laptops.
True confession…I still don’t have one of these. I use my iPhone for my photography and it’s painfully obvious. I keep saying that I’m going to invest in a DSLR one day. That day still hasn’t come but I know it is on its way soon because I have big things coming up for this space and that requires a good camera. It’s always been that $500+ price tag that has scared me away but you (and I) have to remember that photography attracts people, people increases traffic, increased traffic increased sponsored collaborations, sponsored collaborations means a greater income from your blog. The investment will pay off so we all need to just bite the bullet and buy it (or demand it for Christmas this year! *hint* hint*) Shop DSLR Cameras.
Camera Tripod and Remote
I’m looking at YOU beauty, fashion, and food bloggers! While a lot of bloggers can get away without a camera tripod and a remote (think DIY, Technology, Pet, or Lifestyle) they are pretty much an essential must-have for beauty, fashion, and food bloggers. Unless you are lucky enough to have a boyfriend/husband that is willing to spend hours taking photos for you (like Blair from Rose Gold Outlook) you need some way to take those fabulous pictures. Most every blogger I know that is in one of those niches uses a tripod and a remote (stealthily hidden in their hand) to take their pictures. At $30 – $40 for a tripod and $15+ for a remote it’s a totally doable investment that you should make. Shop tripods. Shop remotes.
External Hard Drive (Preferably w/ Wi-Fi Sync) or Personal Cloud
The last thing you ever want to suffer through is losing your blog, all of your images, collabration contracts, income reports, etc. You do NOT want that. I promise you. I went through that at the beginning of 2015 and it was the most miserable time ever. I lost months of hard work and it was all because I wasn’t backing up my blog and didn’t have my laptop synced to an external device (it was stupid, I know). I finally grabbed up a WD My Cloud device through a sponsored collaboration with Western Digital and it was a game-changer! For real. It’s 3TB and it holds every single thing I could ever possibly need. It’s set to auto-sync over my home wi-fi at midnight each night and since I normally close up shop by 11pm (I work late) it’s perfect. I also back-up my blog using the UpdraftPlus plug-in. Shop WD My Cloud.
Ok, so maybe I’m reaching a little bit here because I’m not sure I agree 100% that this is absolutely essential. I don’t use a blog planner (just being honest) but I know a lot of other bloggers that do and those bloggers absolutely swear by it. I’m a digital kind of person so I keep my editorial calendar online (CoSchedule!) and I keep my blog post ideas in a note on my iPhone (thanks to Siri for transcribing my dictation) and I have never had the need for a physical planner. If you are the physical planner kind of person, you know, the kind of person that feels disorganized if they don’t write everything down, then this is probably something you’ll want to pick up. I recommend the Bad-Ass Blog Planner from Sarah Morgan (xosarah.com) because I love her and her blog is awesome but really, any blog planner will probably do just fine. Shop blog planners.
Then just sit back and enjoy the blogging journey. It’s fun. You’ll meet a lot of amazing people, create friendships that will extend far beyond the blogosphere, and develop new interests even you didn’t know you had. If you have any questions feel free to reach out and contact me (that contact page is there for a reason, ya know?).
Good luck and have fun. Having fun is the real point of blogging anyway. If you’re not having fun, then why are you doing it?