HOW TO START A BLOG SERIES
Choosing and Customizing Themes
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BlueHost is our go to choice for domain registration and hosting.
Here are a few great sites for pretty, feminine themes that I’ve used on my various websites with great success.
Pretty Darn Cute Designs has responsive and feminine themes along with great supports for installation and set up. Included with the themes are installation instructions and video tutorials. The Fun Theme is our favorite and with tons of ways to customize it for your site, including woo commerce set up.
Restored 316 is another great site with fully responsive feminine themes designed with a pretty but sophisticated layout.
Beautiful Dawn Designs makes gorgeous websites at affordable prices.
Not just WordPress themes but graphics, logos, and clip art, too. Gorgeous themes and really inexpensive installation ($15!) make this a great place to browse and buy to make your blog prettier.
PHOTO EDITING TOOLS
There are few great tool out there if you’re not photoshop savvy (Ummm…that would be me.)
I can’t say enough about PicMonkey and I’ve been using the site since I started blogging back in 2012. There is very little learning curve which makes this site really user friendly and they make a huge difference in your photos. Add a watermark, create a title photo, design a graphic, make printables, or even a Pinterest collage.
Canva is another graphic design tool that I’ve used however, it’s learning curve is much higher and I haven’t fully grasped all it can do. I did create a pretty title graphic for our Staycation post from Canva but I’m still learning how to work it.
I’m liking Be Funky for a few reasons, mostly because of all the templates that help you get started in designing graphics. Again, not as user friendly as PicMonkey and a bit of a learning curve that often sent me back to PicMonkey when I got frustrated. It’s definitely a tool worth taking time to learn and I’m going to keep at this one for sure.
You have to give your email address to gain access to the site and y’all know I’m not a huge fan of that BUT if you’re wanting to learn Photoshop, I have a friend that swears by this site and the tools they offer. I’m not a Photoshop user at all because it makes my head explode but others really love it.
OTHER BLOGGING TOOLS
Creative Market is in a class all on it’s own. If you can dream it, you can buy it. Themes for WordPress, Blogger, Squarespace and more. Tons of fonts, gorgeous stock photos, clip art, graphics, templates, and more. Ah-maze-ing. I like that individual designers and artists all contribute to the market place.
SEO and Keyword Research
I didn’t get the importance of doing keyword research and SEO stuff until a few years into blogging. Dumb, dumb, dumb. I like this downloadable tool from Clever Gizmos to help with all that good stuff.