BLOGGING RESOURCES

The best tools, platforms and courses to help you take your blog and/or social media channels to the next level.

I’ve been creating content as my full-time job for more than three years now, but it’s taken seriously hard work, long hours and a rollercoaster journey to get here. Oh, and let’s throw in a global pandemic for good measure.

It’s such a new industry so there’s been loads of trial and error involved in making my way up as a content creator, but it doesn’t have to be that way!

After years of constant research, testing, failing and succeeding, I want to share my secrets and help you build your blog faster and more easily.

This is a one-stop-shop to setting up, growing and monetising. I hope it’s helpful!

 

WEBSITE HOSTING

My website host: FastComet

I have been with FastComet for about three years now and I cannot recommend them enough, they are absolutely brilliant. They’re lesser known than the big hosts but I have found them to be excellent value, they offer 24/7 live chat service, and they go above and beyond to help with issues (even those that aren’t directly related to hosting).

Check out FastComet’s pricing and packages >>

Other popular website hosts are BlueHost, SiteGround and HostGator (who I started my blog with but left for a better deal at FastComet).

WEBSITE THEMES

Some of my favourite theme providers are:

17th Avenue (I use their Magnolia theme)
Pix & Hue
Hearten Made
Envato Elements (a marketplace for themes, fonts and more)
Divi (a customisable page builder theme)

PHOTO & VIDEO EDITING

Adobe Creative Cloud

I edit all my photos using Adobe Lightroom on my laptop which requires a monthly subscription, however the Lightroom mobile app is free.

For videos I generally use Adobe Premiere Pro or if I’m just doing an easy Reel I’ll use the InShot app.

Learn about Adobe Creative Cloud >>

Photo presets

I have my own presets that I use on my photos when editing in Adobe Lightroom, but I have tried many presets in the past and can recommend some good ones. These are some of my favourites:

COURSES & RESOURCES

2021 was my self-appointed Year of Learning, and I told myself I’d say yes to signing up to any course that caught my eye. And it was a great success! While it was the worst year of all-time in terms of travel and tourism, I smashed my goals around web traffic, monetisation and upskilling.

There are so many courses out there and I know it can be difficult to know what ones are worth the money, so I wanted to share my honest reviews of some of the different courses I have invested in recently. I have looked into most major courses that focus on blogging, Instagram and photography, so if you’re considering a course that I haven’t mentioned, it’s quite likely that I researched it and decided not to purchase it for whatever reason. Feel free to flick me a message on Instagram with the course name and I’ll let you know if I decided against it or just hadn’t heard of it 😊

The Wander Workshops

Run by Dana a.k.a. @wanderingdonut, the Wander Workshops are there to teach travel content creators how to get paid to travel + create a community of creators who can bounce off each other on coaching calls and in the Facebook group.

I signed up for the course in September 2021 and loved it so much that I have recently joined Dana as a Support Coach for future intakes 🥰

So if you want easy access to tips and tricks from Dana and myself, sign up to hear when we'll be running the next course!

Blog Elevation Programme

The Blog Elevation Programme by Becky Van Dijk (co-founder of We Are Travel Girls) is BY FAR the best blogging-specific course I've found. It is a big investment but it's incredibly thorough and covers everything from personal branding to SEO to affiliate marketing and more.

This is my top recommendation for anyone starting a blog, it will give you an excellent foundation and set you up for success much quicker than fumbling your way through (like I did!).

Passive Income Superstars

Leanne is a travel blogger and blogging blogger who sells products and courses specifically focused on monetising your website through affiliate links.

Her Affiliate Marketing Superstars course made a huge impact on my blog income and I made back the money I spent within only a month of implementing what I had learnt. Now I'm making hundreds per month in affiliate sales, despite tourism being way down and NZ's borders being closed.

The Creator's Handbook

Sophie Piearcey is an NZ-based superstar content creator and she's recently kicked off her new small biz, the Creator's Handbook, aimed at helping content creators build their business.

Sophie runs workshops on creating a media kit and pitching to brands, and the best bit is that they're always small groups so the Q&A at the end is a fab time to ask the juicy questions.

She has an ebook coming sometime in 2022 (which I am SO excited for) and she also offers 1-on-1 mentoring if that's what you're looking for.

Business of Travel Photography

Jord Hammond is an absolute legend in the travel photography space and I was involved in a project with him in my travel marketing desk job, pre-blog-life.

He now has a few different courses for budding photographers, one on photography and editing, one specifically focused on building an Instagram account, and one on the business side of things like ways to make money as a photographer, pitching to brands and the admin side.

This is another course where I made back my money almost immediately, after licensing photos for an appropriate price rather than undervaluing myself.

Make Traffic Happen

Gemma and Laura are experts in all things SEO, and they provide a tonne of free resources on their website to help you hit your traffic goals as well as paid courses and ebooks for a deeper dive.

I took their Make Traffic Happen course at the start of the pandemic (since I had nothing else to do!) and my Google rankings have absolutely shot up.

SEO is something you can learn with trial and error, but taking this course will save your major time and stress.

Creators Institute

Luxury travel creator Catarina Mello (@professionaltraveler) has an Instagram course called Influencer Mastercourse, which includes nine thorough modules, a Facebook group and monthly Q&A calls.

I'm taking a while to get through this one but I'll update this once I can give a more detailed review.

Institute of Code

Tina and Emilio run bootcamps (online and in person in Bali), short courses and free masterclasses on things like photography, web design and social media.

I've taken three of their free masterclasses and the level of detail they go into is incredible, I'd love to do one of their full courses when I have the time to dedicate to it.

CREATOR MUST-HAVES

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