Blogging Tips and Resources
Starting a blog from scratch is an exciting experience, but can be pretty daunting when you’re starting out. Even once you’ve been blogging for a little while you’ll find that you learn along the way. In an effort to answer some of your questions, here are my blogging tips; a selection of the tools and resources I find helpful, which I’m sure you will too. I’ll update the list as and when, but if you have any questions feel free to get in touch.
♥ Blogging Platforms
Taylor Hearts Travel loves: WordPress.org
There are lots of blogging platforms available for free. Bloggers often use WordPress or Blogger. I recommend WordPress because it’s simple to navigate and there are lots of compatible themes (the decor of your site) and plugins (add-ons for your site). There are two versions of WordPress – .com and .org.
One is self hosted (i.e you pay for the web hosting, maintenance etc). It means you have full access/rights to do whatever you want on your site. The other is hosted by WordPress. You can create your own site, but they take care of hosting it for you. The latter option can mean that you are limited in terms of creativity and advertising opportunities. There are advantages and disadvantages to both options though.
Personally, if you want your site to be more than just a hobby I’d definitely recommend the self hosted version. This article on the pros and cons of the two WordPress platforms is great for helping you to decide which option would suit you.
Taylor Hearts Travel loves: A2 Hosting
If you go for a self hosted platform you’ll need to sort out the web hosting. There are lots of options available. I recommend A2 hosting. They’re very affordable, particularly as you can usually find a promo code on their website (to enter at check out). The loading speed is good and they have an online help service where you can look up ‘how to guides’ and/or chat to one of the team.
Taylor Hearts Travel loves: 123 Reg
A domain is the name for your space on the net, so in my instance, www.taylorheartstravel.com. You need to think of a name and then check if that domain is available. You can’t have the same one as someone else. You can check availability and purchase your domain at from a variety of providers. I recommend 123 Reg as again, their site is easy to navigate. More importantly though, the online team are very helpful in answering any queries.
♥ Affiliate Schemes
Taylor Hearts Travel loves: Skimlinks
There are schemes that you can join that allow you to earn a small percentage from sales generated as result of someone clicking a link on your site. There are some that even pay you if someone just clicks the link. You can apply to sign-up to affiliate schemes directly with a particular retailer, hotel, airline (pretty much, whoever and whatever you like). Alternatively you can join a scheme that has access to multiple brands, which saves you needing to contact them all individually. Such schemes also often receive better commission rates that you’d be able to negotiate as they’re a lot bigger.
♥ Business Cards
Taylor Hearts Travel loves: Moo
If you’re planning to attend blogging events and networking sessions it’s definitely worth getting some stylish and unique business cards. First impressions count an awful lot, so make sure you stand out with some professional cards. You don’t need to spend a fortune. Moo offer an affordable, modern service. They can deliver your order in no time at all and I’d recommend them in a heartbeat.
Taylor Hearts Travel loves: Panasonic Lumix GX7
I receive so many compliments about how gorgeous this camera is. It has a classy, vintage look to it, but don’t be fooled, it’s not just a pretty face. It takes amazing photographs and can record HD video too. It’s powerful enough to capture little details and takes really good pictures at night, as well as in the day. The best feature is that it has built-in wifi, so you can transfer images to your phone in no time at all and then upload straight to Twitter, FB etc. It’s really light, so it makes for a stylish accessory, as well as a key blogger tool.
Taylor Hearts Travel loves: Uber
Whether you’ve got a full day of meetings in the city or need a quick ride to/from the airport, I generally use Uber. Download the app to your phone. From there you’ll be able to request a taxi in no time at all – just a click of a button. You’ll be given the reg and car description so you know who to expect and you’ll be able to track how close they are to you, i.e. your wait time. You don’t have to faff about with cash because the fare (which you’re notified of when you make the booking) is simply deducted from the card you sync to your account. Use the code TAYLORH2353UE to receive a free $20 credit to your account. Uber is in loads of countries now so it really is a handy service.