Below is a handy list of our favorite blogging resources. Some of the links are affiliate links, but some are not. They are all resources we use and believe in.
Oh how we love thee Food Blogger Pro! If you aren't familiar with Lindsay and Bjork from Food Blogger Pro, you need to be. They run the successful and scrumptious Pinch of Yum food site and share amazing details of how they run their blog business. Super cool! Food Blogger Pro is their membership site that gives you access to instructional videos about photography, editing, social media, making money with a blog, and so on. They also have a helpful community forum that provides tons of answers to common blogging questions. Now, their content is geared toward food blogs, but we don't currently have a food blog and find the information invaluable.
A great camera is worth the investment for your blog. You will be happy with your pictures with little effort put in. The camera does most of the work! Plus, mastering a fancy camera feels awesome. I've been using a Canon EOS Rebel T3i for two years. It was my first DSLR and I love it. Canon doesn't make it anymore, but the newer model Canon T5i is available at the same price point. We are saving our money for a big boy Canon EOS 6D with high end lenses.
Amazon Prime is probably the most handy resource I have when it comes to blogging. Scratch that, when it comes to life! We have access to instant streaming, music, books, and most importantly for blogging - FREE Two-Day Shipping! Woot, woot! Now, you do have to pay for Amazon Prime yearly around $99, but it is totally worth it if you're a busy mom blogger who can't run all over town with littles in tow picking supplies up. You can try Amazon Prime for 30 days for FREE.
I'm not sure what we'd do without Adobe Creative Cloud. We use Photoshop for our graphics and photo editing, and Illustrator for our printables. Adobe Creative Cloud is perfect for our needs and budget. Maybe you only need Photoshop or Illustrator on their own. Don't bother getting the full Creative Cloud, just sign up for what you need.
When I'm not taking pictures of the kiddos working on activities, I sometimes take shots with a backdrop and lighting. A backdrop is an investment, but helps with consistency in your photos. I prefer an all white backdrop, but their are all sorts of setups you can try. Our roll is taped to the ceiling and draped over a card table and rolled onto the floor. Before we invested in a backdrop roll, I used white foam core boards from the craft store. Getting a perfectly clean board at the store is near impossible. They are usually covered with dirt and divots and although cheap, become a nuisance when I'd have to do creative editing in Photoshop to get rid of the imperfections. It was way too time consuming and the professional backdrop roll has worked out swimmingly. There are several widths, so be sure to pick the one that works best for your shots.
Getting pictures during the day is sometimes impossible. Natural light always looks best, but it rains a lot in the Pacific Northwest, and I sometimes don't realize I need a shot until 9 pm. I've been using a Lowel EGO Tabletop for 5 months and it has been a real time saver. It was another awesome recommendation from the folks at Food Blogger Pro. They have videos that go over exactly when and how to use artificial lighting. They really know their stuff people!
Being able to schedule pins ahead of time for Pinterest is a huge time saver. Tailwind is the best in the business for scheduling. We have been using Tailwind for months and love how it seamlessly fits into Pinterest. All you have to do is install a browser extension and whenever you come across pinworthy content click the Schedule button just as you would the Pinterest button. Tailwind has an awesome dashboard that allows you to manage your pinning schedule, see analytics, and easily reschedule pins. You can even pin from Instagram. Tailwind gives you 100 pins for FREE so sign up and try it out.
Need a way to easily manage your social media messages? Try Hootsuite! I like scheduling for social media because I have three crazy kiddos and I don't like to have my phone attached to me at all times. Our time is important and scheduling social media posts makes life easier. Hootsuite allows you to manage and post to multiple social profiles like Facebook and Twitter. You can still interact on social media and make connections whenever you want, Hootsuite just helps you get those important updates like new blog posts out in a timely matter.
UPDATE: Hootsuite has integrated with Tailwind for Pinterest! The Tailwind for Pinterest app allows you to do all the things you need for Pinterest from within your Hootsuite dashboard.