Blogging Resources that Work
Over the past three months I've compiled a few helpful resources for blogging. There are a lot of lists out there (Recommended Blogging Resources, Top Resources for Bloggers, Blogging Toolbox: 120+ Resources for Bloggers); but instead of overwhelming you with everything you could possibly use, I'm going to share the resources that have worked for me.
Because I have a background in web development, I have chosen to go about this a bit differently than some, but I think my setup works well.
- Ghost. I chose Ghost over well-known systems like Wordpress and Blogger because Ghost is simple. It isn't bloated with extra "features" I will never need. If you are interested, you can find more information on Ghost in a previous post of mine.
- Dynadot. I currently use Dynadot for domain names, and I highly recommend it.
- Bluehost. Bluehost provides excellent service at an affordable price. If you aren't interested in the flexibility of having your own server, I'd suggest purchasing Ghost's mini plan.
A while back I was flipping through Medium, and I ran across this article. Up to that point, I had been doing an advanced google search for photos that were public domain, but it was difficult to find anything usable. I tried all of the resources in the above-mentioned article, but these four have been the most useful. They provide high-quality photos for free.
- Death to the Stock Photo - email list
- Little Visuals - email list & website
- Unsplash - website
- Public Domain Archive - website
Analytics & Sharing
- Google Analytics. Google Analytics is relatively easy to use and powerful enough for any beginner. Knowing who your readers are, what devices they are using and what they enjoy makes it easier to write reader-focused content.
- Measure. Since Google hasn't released an analytics app for iPhone, I use Measure to check basic stats from my phone. NOTE: Special thanks to Martin for sharing a link to the Google Analytics app released earlier this summer. It has now replaced Measure on my phone.
- Buffer. Buffer is a free tool for scheduling social media posts. I use it every day, and I plan to write a review at some point.
- Static. Since social media and blogging are so intertwined, I've started to use Static to keep an eye on basic social stats across the different platforms.
- Twitter ads. No, I don't buy twitter ads, but if you visit ads.twitter.com you will find detailed analytics data on every tweet you've posted. This is great for figuring out the best way to share your blog posts.
If you like the resources I've mentioned above or know of something else I should check out, feel free to leave a comment below.