In the past, I've wrote blog posts about my favourite programs and add-ons that help me to blog, along with how I make money from blogging and how I take my blog photos. But I've come to realise that these blog posts easily get lost in the hundreds I've written. The solution - a resources page!
If you are wondering about the tools or equipment I use/recommend you will literally find all of them detailed below!
Blogger -This is the platform I use! It has its limitations but it's free & with the right blog template/design it can look amazing. And it's free!
Wordpress - A platform that gives you more freedom with blog design and blog post structures. Slightly more techy for that reason.
Squarespace - A paid service that provides your domain, blog platform and an amazing range of templates to use. If you want an all-in-one with a simple interface then this is the one to go for.
GoDaddy - If you want to take you blog seriously then buying a domain name is a must! It's generally £5-10 per year and I'd recommend going for a .co.uk or .com domain.
Nikon D3300 - This has been my main blogging camera (the previous version) for the last 4 years! I use the lens that comes with it and I couldn't love it more! If you want professional looking blog images then you can't go wrong with this camera, even if you keep it on the 'Auto' setting!
Canon EOS 1300D - This is the camera of choice for a lot of bloggers. Similar to the above Nikon camera it gives amazing quality images and I know many bloggers that rate it highly.
SD Card - If you have a camera then an SD card is essential. I have a 16GB card (a bargain at £6), which is more than enough for any blogger. Though you will need a larger memory card if you want to shoot video.
Flatlay (360 degree) Tripod - A tripod will stop blurry images and can be picked up from Amazon for under £15 here. But if you love to take flat lay (taken directly from above) images then a 360 tripod is a must! This has improved my photography no end - one of my best buys. Suitable for both Nikon & Canon cameras.
Remote Shutter Release - If you want to take outfit shots on your own or include your hands in an image for a more personal touch. Or just want to prevent camera shakes. Then a remote for your camera is a must. They're also surprisingly cheap!
Contact Paper (for backgrounds) - A wipeable background board is one of the best things I've made/put together & has lasted me years. Simply apply the marble contact paper (it's adhesive) to a large piece of thin board (plywood works well) and voila!
Acrylic Sheets (for backgrounds) - For any colour background I use acrylic sheets, again they are wipeable and come in a wide range of sizes. Tip: Always go for the thinnest acrylic available, it really doesn't matter.
Photo Editing & Graphic Design Tools
Photoscape - I really should be using Photoshop to edit all my images but Photoscape is easy to use and edits my photos in minutes. As well as photo editing you can create collages and add text over images. It's also totally free!
Canva - This is a great free in browser graphic design program. Perfect for creating Pinterest-friendly images, blog/social media headers, infographics and so much more. I use this all the time.
Creative extras & Fonts
Creative Market - If you are looking for unique illustrations or fonts to decorate your images with then CM is your website. There are 3 free weekly goodies to download and when you sign up you get 6 free goods + 10% off your first buy!
Etsy - From blog templates, media kits, stock image packs and planners, Etsy has everything you could want!
Da Font - Hundreds of free fonts to download and use!
Makeup Savvy Free Stock Images - Good free stock images can be hard to come by so I decided to create my own. All I ask is that you simply link back to Makeup Savvy if you use any images in blog posts.
Dried Rose Petals - Flowers are costly just to buy to include in images. So why not use dried petals?! Super pretty and a scattering on them fills empty spaces well. (review post)
Rose Gold Makeup Brushes - Including old/dirty makeup brushes in the background of a shot is a no-no. So have a super cheap (I'm talking under £3!) spare set to use as props makes total sense. (review post)
Satin Ribbon - I love using ribbon in blog images. Cheap and available in so many shades. ('Dusky Pink 60' used in post here)
Buffer (Twitter/Facebook/Instagram Scheduler) - Promoting your blog posts on social platforms is a must! 10 minutes a week can have all your blog posts scheduled to be promoted on all main social platforms.
Tailwind (Pinterest scheduler) - Scheduling your blog post images to be pinnned on Pinterest at popular times of day can really help increase your page views. I'm currently trying the free trial of Tailwind and I'm already seeing more followers & pageviews from Pinterest!
Sticky Notes - This is basically post-it notes on your desktop. I currently have 5 lists on my desktop thanks to Sticky Notes that keep track of my blog schedule, future post ideas and anything else I need to note down.
Wunderlist - If you want a good to-do list app both on browser and mobile to keep you organised then this is not only pretty but functional and very easy to use.
PaperChicCo Blog Planners - If you want to stay organised in a more traditional way then a pretty printable blog planner may be just what you need! So many in-depth planners here starting from only £1.80!
Weekly Planner Pad - A tear-off weekly planner pad is another good option and this one is super pretty!
Makeup Savvy Free Daily Blog Planners - A choice of designs and so simple to download & print out whatever size you want.
Grammarly - Writing doesn't come naturally for me so Grammarly is a plug-in must. It's far better than the built in spell check of blog post editors and will pick up on any grammatical errors for you. It's also free!
Google Analytics - This is a blog essential if you want to keep track of your blog's statistics. Far more accurate than anything else and will tell you all you need to know about where your traffic is coming from. If you already use GA but find it overwhelming then check out this post I wrote about a simple interface you can use to make it much easier to use and understand!
Making Money from Blogging
Affiliate programs to join
Affiliate Window - One of the main affiliate programs to join with a low payment threshold.
Side note - Make sure to turn on 'Covert-a-Link'! I wasn't making anything for months because I had this turned off!- oops! Brands include - Look Fantastic, Escentual, M&S, John Lewis, HQ Hair + more
Skimlinks - Another large affiliate network and my main source of income! I highly recommend signing up to Skimlinks, much like AW, above, there's no manually converting links, it's all automatically done for you once you hit publish on a blog post. Lots of huge brands under this program as well. Brands include - ASOS, Boots, eBay, The Body Shop, Kiko + more.
Webgains - I use Webgains for a few brands, such as Feel Unique and Bath & Unwind. A good one to join if you write book reviews as they have a few book companies.
Rakuten LinkShare - Another main UK affiliate program with some good higher end beauty names, think Charlotte Tilbury, Cult Beauty, Space NK, Beauty Bay plus many more.
Amazon Associates - Amazon's own affiliate program. Especially good if you recommend books or basically anything as they sell so many different products.
Google Adsense - If you are new to blogging but have what you feel is a good amount of monthly pageviews then a first step into making money from blogging is with Google Ads. Easy to use and understand.
Books on Blogging I've found Useful
Blog, Inc - This was the first book on blogging I ever read! Informative but fun to read.
Problogger - Lots of information on blog revenues in this book. Good is you are still fairly new to blogging and want to know all your options.
#Girlboss - A general non-blog focused read but very motivational. Basically how to grow something amazing from nothing!
The Million Dollar Blog - Much like Problogger this gives good solid advice about all aspects of blogging but in an easy to understand and readable way. I've learnt quite a bit from this book and read it after blogging for 4 years.
Blogs that give good Blog Advice
Problogger - A professional blog with solid information. I often lose hours reading past posts about how to blog smarter, not harder!
XO MISSE - Elaine knows all there is to know about blog design and problems along the way. Her blog is full of 'how-to' posts and helpful tips for Blogger, Wordpress and Squarespace platforms.
Melyssa Griffin - If I ever want to feel inspired I head to Melyssa's blog. She really is the epitome of a girl boss. From helpful advice to income reports you are sure to feel motivated!