So you want to dive into the world of blogging? Well, if you are passionate about creating content and sharing it through writing, that this is probably the place for you!
In this post I will share resources you can use for free when you are starting out in the blogging world! Stay till the end, because I have a set of FREE stock photos that I am giving away! Plus some news on a product I am working on! Don’t miss out on the goodies! Let’s get started.
BLOG PLATFORM & HOST
If you have never blogged before, and really don’t want to spend precious dollars without dipping your toes in first, then I highly recommend Blogger.
This is any newbie’s go-to blogging platform. You get:
- basic templates to choose from
- a simple way to customize the look of your blog
- Option to edit your HTML and CSS
- Many, many resources to customize and optimize your blog from the web
While Blogger is pretty basic, as you learn about themes, HTML, and you figure out your voice and niche, it can be built upon and you can make it into a very professional-looking blog.
BLOG POST PINS & VISUALS
While good writing skills are key to a great blog, visuals is a big part of what can attract people or enhance their experience. It also can play a vital role in promoting your blog! Whether you are creating a logo, a pin, or a visual these are two free sources you can use if you are not down to use photoshop or lightroom:
Canva – I like this website when I don’t have a photo to use for a pin. It’s fairly easy to use and has many customization features for texts and layouts. It has many pre-made sets too, which is great if you don’t have a good eye for graphic layouts. The one downside to this website, is that a lot of good photos, especially with people in them, are NOT free. But most nature and still life are.
PicMonkey – This website is pretty neat, similar to Canva. I recommend doing a 7 day trial and taking full advantage by creating several pins for past or future posts. Afterwards, you are stuck with the basics. At least you will know full well whether it is worth it for you to pay for the premium features. One neat feature is that you can import pictures from either your computer, or other online sources like a flickr account, Facebook, Dropbox. Basically you can create and edit pins remotely from any computer if you have photo files uploaded on a platform already.
One of the key things to the success of your blog is to get it out there! Here are sites and services that help with getting eyes on your content:
Websites are a great place to promote your content to potential readers. Some will be better than others depending on your audience, but there are the biggies:
It’s free to use any of these to promote your blog and content, though some do come with paid options to create ads that further promote it to a larger audience. Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram have these options, though I have yet to use any paid ad option.
Tailwind is integrated with Pinterest and is a self-running pin scheduler. This saves you a lot of time and can get you really organized with your pins and promoting them in your own boards or group boards. I really enjoy Tailwind because it is pretty easy to use and the layout is easy to follow and navigate. Start off on a free trial that allows you to schedule up to 100 pins for free, afterwards you have to pay to upgrade to keep using the app, but my link will get you a Free Trial of Tailwind Plus! This will give you access to all the paid features for a month, including insights and referral tracking.
I use this over Boardbooster any day. Buffer is so much easier to navigate through, and I can schedule up to 10 social media posts for free! I mainly use it for Facebook and Twitter, but you can also use it for Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and more, although you do have to upgrade to use more than 3 social media accounts. When you do, it’s 10$ a month or 102$ a year. I’ve been using the free version now for 2 years, but am considering upgrading before baby comes!
You don’t have to worry about paying a professional for advice or to answer questions. There are hundreds of online groups full of bloggers that are more than willing to help you out in this new venture!
Facebook is the best place to find these communities through Facebook Groups. Once a member, you can ask questions, seek advice, learn about opportunities to collaborate or share your work and make connections with other bloggers! Here are some I recommend:
You can even find groups that belong to a particular niche or identity. I personally am part of some travel blogging groups, as well as Christian female groups.
- The Peony Project
- Christian Blogger’s Mastermind Group
- Female Travel Bloggers
- Ultimate Pinterest Group for Travel Bloggers
Once you join a couple, Facebook will show you suggestions for other groups you may be interested in. You can also search for them through the Facebook search. There are hundreds of them! Just make sure you read the description before you join, since some groups have particular requirements and expectations for members accepted.
Not everyone is a professional photographer and not everyone can afford to hire one. Fortunately, there are sites where you can download free stock photos to use either on your blog, for your pin, or maybe even for your Instagram page. These are the top three sites I use:
Pexels – Like Freestock, it has a decent size library, but not huge. Sometimes I see the same photos, but there’s always some other variety.
Unsplash– probably the one with the largest library, if I can’t find something on the other two, I will likely find it here!
Now you have some free basic stuff on to build up your blog up from the group! It took me quite a while to figure all of these resources out, so I hope I save you some time and struggle! Just to give you some perspective, the first blog I started was a wedding blog, and I figured out shortly after my wedding was said and done that I actually wasn’t passionate about weddings enough to run a whole blog on it! But I did like blogging, so I moved on. 3 years later, I now have Pursuing Lovely! Hopefully you get to this point a lot quicker than I did! Now, onto the free goodies and more news!
Stock Photo Giveaway!!!
Alright, who would like some free stuff? I have a package of lifestyle stock photos that you are free to download and use on your blog or social media! The reason I am doing this is because I am actually FINALLY going to launch a small little side business of selling and creating stock photos! More in just a bit. I hope you enjoy this package.
But Wait – There’s More! Brand New Shop is now Open!
I love creating visual art, one way or another, and still life/stock photo photography is just one of the outlets I have found that is working for me right now! Which is why I have also created a Flatlay Stock photo package available on the shop for purchase for the first time!. Check out our new Shop for more details on the package and pricing!
Further Reading: How I got 13,000 views in 1 Month from Pinterest