Updated: Nov 13, 2020
This post contains some affiliate links, but not all. Either way, everything on here I seriously use and if you do sign up for any of the paid versions, it is NOT at any extra cost to you. See my Affiliate Disclaimer for details.
I started blogging in 2014, WOW! 😮 Let me take that in for a minute... OK. 😌 With that I have changed so much. I went from this...
A small little cheap tablet with a keyboard for when I was with my 2 kids, otherwise, I used my desktop.
I had no direction at all. I basically used it like a diary and shared whatever was going on at the time. It was my version of a "lifestyle blog". My two kids starting homeschooling during this time and I was fairly content with how things were going. I wasn't really making money on my blog though. I didn't really have much direction and there wasn't really great resources for blogging at the time. I went in blindly.
Feeling a bit bored and uninspired, I switch gears, and became mainly a maker. Selling items on Etsy and at Sage Hen Serendipity, I was insanely busy! I suddenly had 3, then 4 then 5 kids. I was trying to keep up with everything and running on empty.
My blog was and after thought. Something I did when I "had time".
Fast forward to a pandemic and EVERYTHING changed. My husband and I had a serious talk about what I wanted to do and what I thought I would actually keep up with. I had 5 kids now, 2 doing virtual learning, and getting ready to start homeschool my 2 younger ones in the fall. Now when I say a serious talk, it was really a "You seem tired and not happy" talk. My husband has always been one of great support for me, but because the point of this endeavor was for me to find something that I loved to do and could do while being present with my family, once I starting feeling flustered and unable to keep up. My husband thought it was time to re-evaluate what I was doing.
Which brings us here! Back to writing, which honestly, I really missed. I love offering my version of a nostalgic life to you all. This blog has become a focus homemade and handcrafted. Whether it's food, homeschooling, or crafts galore.
I'm back to loving what I do and am now able to actually share even more with you than ever before!
So today, I wanted to share with you what I use to help me with my blog. Hopefully than help you too! Both those starting and those growing
When I started blogging in 2014 everyone was suggesting Bluehost with WordPress. In fact, I still see that as the case. So many people push WordPress. I have a love hate with the program myself. I'm fairly well versed in HTML, but still found WordPress to be a bit lackluster for a blog, especially if you plan on eventually running a shop out of it. Everything is done with plug-ins, so you're at the mercy of the that developer, unless you are an amazing developer yourself and want to spend the time creating it yourself.
After batting around some ideas with a fellow #bossbabe I decided before I get too many blog posts... I would make the switch to WIX. Honestly, it was my best decision. WIX has become my work horse. I'm able to have my blog, and shop all in one place instead of out sourcing to places like Etsy.
They also offer all kinds of ad ons like business phone numbers, logo creation, and a newsletter program that's connected to your site!
The great thing about WIX is that you can start completely free (completely free, no hosting sites or anything of that other hodge podge) and upgrade as you go. I would recommend if you're looking to start you blog as a business, at least start with the bare minimum paid plan so that you can get a custom domain. I did the Business Unlimited account, but I knew I wanted to start selling items on my site. That's why you're able to get my patterns directly here instead of jumping to a 3rd party (like Etsy).
I discovered this program 2 years ago and it is the BEST investment I have made for my business. I pay for the Pro version, but they offer a free one if you just want to try it out. The pro version offers so much that I think it's worth the monetary investment. I can easily resize ads so I have the same ad for different formats. It also offers a Pinterest and Facebook content planner that will schedule out your posts for you AND automatically post them. This was a huge game changer for me. not only can I create the content on there, but I can publish it right from Canva. It seriously saves me so much time.
I LOVE this program for Instagram! I actually heard about it on a podcast, tried it out and found it to be a great help for planning out posts AND holding all my hashtags. It's doesn't really help much with hashtag research, but with everything else it overs, honestly, I'm willing to do that little bit of leg work, and with this Hashtag Worksheet from Bad Axe Enterprise, your leg work is even less!
I am a huge google user, and no I am NOT being paid by google to say that. I seriously am. I use the calendar for everyone in my family, and my business. I use google docs for my patterns (both editing and testing). I use google forms for sign ups, and gmail for my email.
Remember that Boss Babe I brought before? This is her company! This chick is a Bad A$$! She's offer some pretty awesome support and features that will help you sooo much with where you want to go and where you want to be (this not an affiliate link at all, FYI).
One amazing item she creates is a Content Planner Spreadsheet. I use mine to help me keep track of special days that need blog posts, or social media posts. I like review it every week and make sure my calendar jives with what I planned and make adjustments as needed.
She offers a lot of free content as well so make sure you're signing up for her newsletter.
Make sure you're following her on Instagram too because, no joke, she seriously shares and helps everyone!
That's it! comment below and let me know how they worked out! Happy Blogging!
With a Grateful Heart,
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