I thought it would be helpful to create a resource page that you can always come to for all of your blogging needs. I’ll add to it as I learn more, but you’ll notice that in the future I will reference this page quite often. I recommend bookmarking it for your reference and convenience. Enjoy!
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
If you are going to use WordPress & want to monetize your blog (make money from ads), you will need to choose a host first,& a domain name. Then in your host dashboard is where you will install WordPress.
- GoDaddy: This is what I moved to from blogger. It was very easy to get everything set up & running. Easy to use, 1-click automatic WordPress installation.
- Bluehost:This is another good, very popular, option. Easy to use, 1-click automatic WordPress installation, and excellent customer service. Highly recommended.
- Liquidweb: This is what I use now. I recommend them for there customer service has been great. It is a great place to have multiple sites or to support lots of traffic. A lot more growth opportunity here. If you plan on blogging for money & growing. do yourself a favor & start here, or something similar. It’s so much easier than moving later.
I went back and forth on what I should do when I was considering updating DIYCraftyProjects & GoodRecipesOnline. Should I hire a designer (expensive & really not an option!) or use a theme? After a lot of research I narrowed it down to The Thesis Theme & The Child Theme on Genesis Framework. In my opinion, they are the best options out their. Both are great for improving page ranking in Google and making easy updates and changes to your blog. they also has a great forum to call on if you ever need any help. I ultimately choose Genesis Framework with the Fabric Child Theme. I am very happy with it.
- WordPress: The #1 Blog Publishing Platform. Free and easily customizable with wonderful support. My main blogs use WordPress. At least the ones I make money with.
- Genesis Framework: I have this installed on my blogs. It has a lot of features that make things so much easier for me. I’m not a programer, so I love that this is available. Click here to download The Genesis Guide for Absolute Beginners (PDF – 1.4 MB) A great Explanation of the Genesis framework & Different Child themes available, Which is what I use. So many options & very easy to use.
- Fabric Theme: This is the theme I use. Studio Press has many others that are really nice.
- The THESIS Theme: This is the WordPress theme and framework that the many Blogs run on. Thesis promises out-of-box search engine optimization, faster page load times, maximum readability to engage and hold reader’s attention, and point-and-click design and font controls
- Free Themes for WordPress – WordPress has thousands of free themes available if you’re not interested in purchasing a “premium” theme right away. It’s a great place to start if you’re looking to start your blog without spending a lot of money right off the bat. Be sure to do some research and check the theme’s rating before you download it and install it onto your blog. I’d pass on any theme with three stars or less.
When searching for a plug in. It easier to search & install on your plug-ins page directly in WordPress.
- Blogger Importer : I used this plug-in when I switched from blogger to WordPress. Import posts, comments, and tags from a Blogger blog and migrate authors to WordPress users.
- Blogger To WordPress Redirection: I used this plug-in when I switched from blogger to WordPress This works nicely for blogs with old sub-domain address (e.g. xyz.blogspot.com) which are moved to new custom domain (e.g. xyz.com)
- Akismet – Akismet is a like a comment guard, making sure that no spamming comments get through to your site. I don’t know how this works, but it works great.
- Online Backup for WordPress – Can you imagine if you lost your WHOLE site? Like **poof**, it’s gone. Kind of scary, huh? I recently installed this one.
- Sharing is Caring – This is the plug-in I use that automatically puts the social media buttons at the bottom of the posts and pages.
- WP to Twitter – A slick little plug-in that automatically tweets whenever I put a new post up.
- Easy Recipe – This is the WordPress Plug-in I use to enter in my recipes. The name says it all, it’s an easy plug-in to showcase your recipes!
- 31 Days to a Better Blog an eBook from: Click here to visit ProBlogger.
- Nikon D40 :This is a simple, small, light, and perfect for capturing photos. This is an older camera. If you’re looking to purchase the more update to date version of this camera check out the Nikon D60 .
- Nikon 50mm f/1.4 : An amazing lens! It isn’t cheap, but you get what you pay for with a lens. I shoot 99% of all my food photos with this lens.
- SanDisk Ultra II SD Plus 2GB Card: This makes loading pictures so easy!
Email Subscriptions & Marketing
- Aweber: The internet’s most powerful email opt-in service and email marketing/broadcasting tool. This is what a lot of bloggers use to build email lists and newsletter.
- Google Adsense: Make money by placing relevant ads on your website that are generated from advertisers using Google Adwords. This is free to use, but you have to register for an account.
- Google Adwords: If you want to begin advertising on Google, you can select keywords and locations and you pay each time someone clicks on your advertisement.
- Google Analytics: Google’s free website tracking and analytical tool. A must have for anyone with any type of website.
- Google Optimizer: This is another free tool from Google where you can test different WebPages of the same content, only changing one or two things, so you can see which one works/converts best. It’s basically a website optimizer testing tool.