I am not being compensated for any of these highly unprofessional reviews. These are my completely honest, unbiased (and perhaps unimportant) opinions. This is basically blogging for dummies, from a dummy. Proceed with caution.
One of my lovely readers recently asked me if I could do a blog post about how I blog. Today I want to share with you my top 3 blogging tools I use to make my blog look the way I like.
Y’all deserve to know that I am NOT an expert. Please read the following with that in mind. I am actually extremely technologically challenged, so the tech side of blogging often makes me want to pull my hair out and cry. If you’re at all curious how I limped my way through the process of self-teaching the art of blogging, please continue.
I basically owe my blogging soul to WordPress. My blog design template, domain, and web host are all through WordPress. (Forgive my non-tech-y attempt at tech jargon). There are definitely cheaper ways to own domains and host sites and better ways to navigate website design but this tech-challenged chick likes simplicity. For me, that’s worth the price.
Positives with WordPress include the number of options and price-points they offer. You can start a relatively professional looking blog for free with WordPress, but you can also upgrade to have better customization tools, eliminate WordPress ads, add custom domains, obtain more storage, or ultimately monetize the site with ad revenue. The customer service and tech support is also very good.
Negatives with WordPress are the fact that it’s on the more expensive side for domain ownership and hosting. The design customization is also fairly limited in their lower price-point website packages. But like I said, limited is simple.
If you’re just starting out in blogging, don’t like complicated things, or just want a simple website that doesn’t need much customization, I would definitely recommend WordPress.
Canva is my all-in-one graphic design website.
You can upload your own photos directly to the site (which is a simpler alternative to downloading a software program) and you can also create designs from scratch. They have hundreds of beautiful templates available for social media posts, PDFs, blog graphics, ads, e-mail headers, and lots more. And the best part is, it’s 100% FREE. They have options where you can pay for more features, but I find their free features to be sufficient for my design needs.
I use Canva to make most of my social media and email graphics related to my blog. I also used Canva to design my devotional PDF and was highly impressed by how much flexibility the free program gave me. (Inserting shameless plug for my devotional! Click HERE to learn how you can download it for free!)
Reshot is my favorite source for free blog header images. It’s a smaller collection of photos than many of the larger stock photo sites, but I find the photos to be more unique and realistic.
The photos are protected by a license, which the website explains like this:
“Reshot grants you an irrevocable, nonexclusive copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos from Reshot for free, including for commercial purposes, without permission from or attributing the photographer or Reshot.”
This license makes using reshot’s photos simpler than other stock photos that are protected under different levels of the creative commons license. Come on y’all, I know I’m not the only one who gets confused by stuff like that!
So there you have it. Those are my three saving graces as a tech-challenged blogger. If you have any other questions, comment below and I’ll do my very best to get back to you. If you’d like to see more blog posts about the “how” of blogging, let me know that as well!