I always love learning what resources people use to run their blog business and personally get asked often “what do you use for xyz?” or “what are your favorite apps” So I thought I’d share a list of resources I use to run my blog business, a peak behind the business if you will. I will be updating this list as I come across new resources.
In terms of a camera I use a Canon 7D, but that was not always the case. I started with a little digital camera and my phone (true story, lol) and then my first dslr which I got as part of a whole Canon Rebel kit.
I use a 24-70mm lens, it’s super versatile and I love the zoom on it. It is heavy but it’s honestly my favorite lens I’ve ever shot with. I also LOVE the 50mm lens and used that for a long while because of its affordable price in comparison to other lenses.
When I travel I use this Samsung mirrorless camera and it’s absolutely amazing – it takes amazing pictures and is not as heavy as my dslr so it’s great to just throw in my purse and go. I know some bloggers who use this small camera exclusively.
Lightroom is the best for photo editing. There’s no other photo editing program with the robust capabilities like Adobe Lightroom. It’s a month-to-month subscription and there are so many tutorials. I am still learning years later (see below for places to look for classes – I took one through Creative Live.)
Tasty Food Photography – This one e-book totally helped me change and improve my photography insurmountably!!
Bluehost was the website host for the first 5 years of Sweetphi. They’re great and have good support. They’re who I would call when I’d crash my website lol.
Liquid Web is the host I’d recommend when you start getting over 75,000-100,000 monthly pageviews (traffic). Their customer service is amazing and oh my goodness is their hosting fast and amazing. I tried a couple of different hosts between Bluehost and Liquid Web was by far my favorite. I it use currently.
The Genesis Framework -The Genesis Framework is what is currently running on SweetPhi and is what I use on several other websites I’ve set up for work throughout the years. Genesis is the framework used by many of the most popular bloggers! With Genesis you’re purchasing the framework ($59.95) and then you’ll purchase a child theme (prices vary).
The child theme is essentially the ‘look’ of your website. I purchased a child theme and made tweaks to it myself. The instructions that come with the child themes are really good if you’re willing to put in the time. Or you could hire a designer to design a custom child theme for you. Here is a link that explains how you can create an amazing website using genesis framework + themes.
Blogging Business Resources
ConvertKit – I use ConvertKit for my email marketing. I switched over from MailChimp and have experience with several other email marketing platforms. ConvertKit is by far my favorite one I’ve used. It was designed for bloggers, and their support and tutorials have been some of the best I’ve experienced.
Planoly lets you upload photos and arrange them – it’s like seeing your Insta grid and being able to plan out what it will look like. It also lets you enter captions and hashtags and plan for Instagram stories too. It’s pretty amazing and I love it!
Tailwind – I use Tailwind for Pinterest scheduling, it’s amazing and a total lifesaver! I can schedule a whole month of content in a few hours.
CoSchedule – The best editorial calendar schedule with social media scheduling tool ever! I use CoSchedule to schedule out my facebook and twitter and wordpress drafts. Such a time saver!
Quickbooks – I just started using Quickbooks Self Employed in 2019 and I’m so sad I hadn’t used it earlier. I used to use a really big spreadsheet but was missing a bunch of expenses. Quickbooks makes it so easy to categorize expenses by literally the swipe of a finger (I downloaded the mobile app too). Also, I can create invoices on the go and the app tracks mileage. LOVE this app.
You can use it to work with your team, so multiple people can edit at once!
App Sumo – basically the groupon for online business owners – they sell deals on some of the coolest apps/programs/software/courses that you never new even existed!
Courses & Learning
If you’re looking for an all-encompassing course which walks you through from begging set up and talks about all sorts of things, I have two recommendations The Blog Village (I love this course, their dashboard is really great and the videos are so informative) and Food Blogger Pro (there is a wait list sometimes before they open enrollment, but it’s got great content as well).
Creative Live – I absolutely LOVE Creative Live. You can watch their courses live, for free, or purchase them to view whenever. The courses are so affordable, and I always find a bunch of things that are super helpful. Lately I’m loving all the business from your mobile phone courses, because I’ve been doing so much on my phone (like after work Ben goes to bed and I have an hour to work, I can just do things from my phone vs. going into my office.) I love this shooting and editing for mobile photography.
Pitch It Perfect – If you’re interested in working with brands, this is the course for you! I have paid for and watched a ton of courses that were not really a great fit and never thought I got my money’s worth, but this one, definitely is worth it! It teaches you how to be more comfortable working with brands and gives you scripts…it’s a really great course!
Disclaimer: Some of the above links are affiliate links and I will earn a small commission (or account credit in some cases) if you purchase through the links and no additional expense to you. I have used/or currently use each and every item or service recommended, all opinions are mine alone, I was not paid to include any links. I am honored to be an affiliate and make recommendations for the products and services I use to run my blogging business. If you have any questions about the listed resources please let me know in the comments section below.