We’re all trying to learn from each other and one of the best ways is to see what resources someone else is using that work best for them. I’ve compiled a list of my FAVORITE resources in a couple categories (blogging, personal finance) so you can see if any of these might make your life a litter easier too. These are all products or services that I adore and have made a big difference in my blog or personal life.
For graphic design…
Canva is by far my favorite graphic design software available. First off, it’s FREE! And it comes with so many amazing features built in. There are tons of free stock photos and graphics built in, you can even save your brand colors in there, make copies of a previous graphic you’ve made, and the list goes on! Canva also comes with tons of templates for your blog like Pinterest optimized sizes with suggest layouts or Facebook cover photo headers.
Unsplash has tons of free (do whatever you want) high-resolution photos from different photographers. They are all completely free of attribution requirements and ready to be added to your blog!
Pexels similarly has all photos free for any personal and commercial purpose. If I don’t find what I’m looking for on Unsplash I hop on over to Pexels and between the two I pretty much have all the stock photos I need.
BigStock is a great resource when you need some paid stock photos. I was working on a resource guide for DIY Blooms and I needed pictures of specific flowers I was explaining. I got a great first month deal on this site and could download up to 5 images a day. I cancelled the subscription once I finished the product, but I was very impressed with the variety of photos and graphics they had available and found them to have the most reasonable prices.
Creative Market is a great resource for bloggers because it is packed full of graphic design goodies! From fonts, to graphics, Photoshop presets, and Wordpress themes, it has it all. I visit there every single Monday morning to check out their weekly freebies. I am currently hoarding anything that I think I may use in my Google Drive for the future.
Hostgator is my host and I have been with them from day 1. They had the best pricing available and excellent customer service. What do we really all want in a host? To never know they are there! Seriously, the last thing you want to be worrying about is if your host is having issue or is down. Hostgator is always prompt with any questions I have and otherwise I just re-up my hosting fee once every 3 years and rarely ever think about them.
Wordpress is the platform I blog on. Read the difference between free and self-hosted Wordpress blogs here. The nice thing about it is that there is so much support and help out there for running a Wordpress blog and lots of free themes available. This is actually a theme I coded myself!
Vimeo is the option for video hosting if you want privacy options. When I was researching options to host my videos for a paid course, I decided with Vimeo because of the price as well as it’s ease of use. I definitely agree with many of my blogging peers that this is the quality option to go with for video hosting.
For blog growth…
Tailwind is an absolute must for blogger who are serious about growing their traffic through Pinterest. It’s a really reasonable monthly rate and allows you to schedule unlimited pins for weeks in advance. With Pinterest’s new algorithm calculating which pinners are ‘relevant’ to promote, this is more important than ever. I started a new account for my other blog and had basically NO engagement. After using Tailwind to schedule, analyze, and repin my content, I’ve seen my Pinterest following grow by over 500%. It’s also pretty user friendly and there are plenty of great tutorials to get you start.
*For a limited time they are offering $30 off a year subscription!!*
For selling products…
Gumroad is a bloggers dream come true. Seriously, I tried this for the first time recently in order to sell my first ever digital products, and the simplicity and ease of use absolutely blew me away. I had all 10 product for sale and looking great in an hour. In the past I’ve heard a lot about bloggers liking Gumroad, but I was skeptical about how great it was until I tried it for myself. I wish I hadn’t invested in an expensive course platform and had decided to sell on here instead.
For personal finances…
PersonalCapital.com is a quick and easy way to organize and view your spending and net worth, I would highly recommend it. It’s totally free to use and is a great way to get a handle on your financial situation. I just started using it and love it already!
Mint is the ultimate budgeting resource. It’s totally intuitive and free! I use it all the time to keep track of all my accounts in one place. And, if I’m out and about I can just easily pull it up on my phone and check my budget for something. For more reasons why I love Mint check out this post.
For saving money…
Cricket is my phone provider and I am 150% satisfied with the incredible service they provide. I’ve been with Verizon, Boost, and Virgin in the past and after seeing all these different providers I choose Cricket because every single thing they do is honest and up front. Like when you go shopping for plans there are no hidden fees, they never blind side you and stick you with something you weren’t anticipating. I just really appreciate a business model that is transparent like that, that charges super competitive rates, and provides great service. Some of my friends are worried that the coverage won’t be the same, but I compare my coverage frequently to my husband who has Verizon through his work and Cricket is always just as fast as his where we are. Unless they change their pricing or honestly in the future, I’m definitely a loyal Cricket fan for life.
Ebates is a great and easy way to make free money. It’s kinda like if you’re not using it, you’re losing money. Basically how it works is you click through to the site you want to shop at from Ebates and when you go to check out enter the Ebates code in the coupon code box. It splits the affiliate commission it earns for ‘referring your sale’ with you and you can get up to 7% back on your online order! Think about that, you were going to order that Amazon item regardless and now you just got 5% cash back!
Netflix is the only entertainment we currently pay for. Have you ever added up the cost of all the entertainment subscriptions you have? Music streaming + cable + hulu = a lot of money going out the door. We get the free channels that Jake can watch sports on and we watch everything else on Netflix.
Craigslist is my go to for everything quality used. Jake and I often joke that we might as well call our house ‘Craig’s House’ because practically everything in it is from Craigslist! It’s an excellent resource to find quality items for less than half of retail price. I don’t know about you, but I want to have a furnished house without foreclosing so we get a lot of our stuff from Craigslist.
Google Drive is what I use to store all of my digital files. After trying to move files from an old computer to a new one I realized that my life would be so much simpler if they were just always available to any device on the cloud. My phone came with a free storage upgrade so even with all of my Creative Market free goods resource hoarding, I am no where near the limit.
*Some of these products contain affiliate links*