The Basics

WordPress.com | You write the content, WordPress does pretty much everything else. They have specific themes that you can choose from and they take care of hosting, security, and backups. You can upgrade to a custom domain if you want. This is for those who don’t want to deal with all the technical aspects of a blog.

vs.

WordPress.org | For the advanced techies who want to fully customize their website. You’ll need to find a host and install your own theme. This is what the majority of bloggers use because it gives you so much freedom to design your blog how you want.

Bluehost | If you go with wordpress.org, you’ll need to find a host. Bluehost is one many bloggers go with.

Themeforest or Elegant Themes | Both excellent places to find beautifully designed themes for your site.

.

.

Must-Have Plugins

Yoast SEO | The most comprehensive search engine optimization tool there is.

Aksimet | Protects your blog from spam.

UpDraft Plus | This will backup your site.

 

...

Social Media

Tailwind | Used to schedule your Pinterest pins.

PinGroupie | Find Pinterest group boards.

 

.

Photos and Graphic Design

Pixlr | PicMonkey | Canva | These are all online photo editors. For the most part, I use Pixlr to add text to my images, PicMonkey to resize my large image files, and Canva to create Pinterest pins.

Fiverr | Need a new logo for your website? Find awesome freelancers to design stuff for you! Many of their services start at only $5!

 

.

Simple Blogging Tools

GT Metrix | This tells you how fast your site loads and gives you recommendations on how to improve it.

Google Analytics | This allows you to track how many people are visiting your blog, their demographics, whether they’re using mobile or desktop, where they’re being referred from, etc.

Mailchimp | This is a great way to start building email subscribers. You can set up an RSS feed so every time you publish a new post, it automatically sends out an email.

Grammarly | A free writing app designed to make sure that your messages, documents, and posts are error free.

What Font | Have you ever seen a font that you really like but you’re not sure what it’s called? This Google Chrome extension will tell you what it is.

 

.

Tech Gear

Apple 15″ MacBook Pro | I bought this laptop back in 2014 and I still love it.

Canon 5D Mark III | This is the camera I use for nearly everything.

Canon 24-105mm Lens | I use this lens for a lot of landscape and wide angle shots.

Canon 50mm LensI use this lens for food photography and most of my up close shots.

 

.

..

This post contains a few affiliate links to products that I use and would highly recommend.