Back to Blogging {The Next Level}

I have had this blog since 2013, and I had a Blogspot site before that. However, I have only recently taken the steps to make this space something that others would want to enjoy. It has been only a few months since I decided to get serious about blogging and actively look for ways to reach more viewers and perhaps get into monetizing.

When I first became interested in blogging again, I posted Back to Blogging {A Basic Starter Kit}, and now it’s time for The Next Level!

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Spread the Word

I love my blogging Facebook groups. Some are only for sharing your posts and requesting others to pin your Pinterest pins. Others are for advice and encouragement and random questions. It helps to have someone in your same niche or someone with more experience to guide in the blogging process.

Here are a few of my favorites (you may have to request to join):

Social Media Scheduling

I work more than 40 hours a week at my day job. I do not need the additional stress of posting to Facebook and Pinterest at the ideal times. And that’s why scheduling was invented.

I highly recommend Tailwind. As I am still getting the hang of it, I cannot provide a full review, but I have loved everything it has done so far.By the way, if you sign up with my referral link through the month of February, you will receive $30 off! (That’s roughly two months free.) If you are reading this after February 28th, don’t panic, you can still use the link to receive $15 off… http://twapp.it/i/deannalexis?

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And who could resist a cute pun?

Office Supplies

When we were looking for a place to rent right before we got married, I prayed that we would have a third bedroom or even some kind of space that we could turn into an office. I was incredibly surprised when we happened upon a three bedroom house – the third bedroom was the perfect size for our little office.

 

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This is a page from my planner, downloaded from Building a Framework.

It’s no wonder I love crafting and office supplies. Keeping my blog planner accessible and neat requires a binder and a variety of pens so I can color-coordinate it. Okay, just kidding. I bought the Sharpie pens because they were cute, but my attempts at color-coordinating have fallen by the wayside. I do use very handy binders, though! Avery is my favorite brand of 3 ring binder.

 

As I develop as a blogger, I will be sharing more and more ideas and tips.
Why don’t you share yours? What tools do YOU use to grow your blog? Share your methods in the comments!

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Back to Blogging {A Basic Starter Kit}

As we welcome a new year, you may have goals to get back into blogging (like I did!), blog more often or increase your reach, or even start a blog for the first time!  I have compiled a list of basic, simple, easy necessities for you and me as we dive back into blogging together.

This post may contain affiliate links. If so, I may receive a small commission if you choose to make a purchase at one of those links. As I am in the process of getting enough money together to be able to purchase my domain name and hosting for several years, your purchase really helps.

First things first… Content. It really is king. My goal for this blog is to engage and encourage young (and not-so-young!) women with practical advice, spiritual nourishment, and relevant content. I find my ideas from my own experiences and circumstances, as well as what God has been putting on my heart. I love BibleGateway for my faith-based posts.

After content, the other elements of blogging must be learned, but they aren’t quite as challenging as you’d think. These four guides can help us master the additional elements:

  • I love this free printable blog planner from A Virtuous Woman. It is so colorful and has many different printables as well as unique calendar tracking pages. Her Blog Post Planner page is one of my favorites.
  • This gorgeous and free blog planner from Jennifer Dawn is so pretty in pink. I love the Accounting page and the To Do page. Print as many as you need!
  • If you’re looking for a blog strategy planner, this guide with applicable questions from Create If Writing is spot-on! I’m looking forward to using this one in the upcoming future as I get my blog off the ground.
  • Building a Framework is an ebook and a collection of blog binder printables for new and established bloggers alike, and I cannot recommend it enough!  It was written by Abby of Just a Girl and Her Blog who has grown her blog into a full-time business, so she really knows her stuff. The ebook contains a list with descriptions of the ten essential pieces your blog needs, examples of good content, an entire section devoted to how to take good-quality photos and make nice graphics, several chapters about how to use various forms of social media, and tons of legal ideas I never would have thought of. I highly recommend it! This is the ebook that got me back into blogging.

Blogs are not novels… They need pictures! I use stock photos from the free website Pixabay for most of my images. I also like Negative Space and Minimography. The resources at PicMonkey are very handy for editing photos, adding text, etc. I also love Canva, and I especially love that it has an app for when I’m on the go. Attractive and inexpensive graphics are not hard to find or make.

Last, but not least… hardware. I love my Logitech wireless optical mouse. It has a cute chevron pattern and is much better than the limited trackpad on my laptop. This mouse has lasted longer than any other wireless mouse I’ve used.

When I’m not taking notes in my blog planner or on my iPhone, I’m sketching out ideas in my spiral-bound notebook. My absolute favorite is this teal notebook with gold polka-dots from greenroom. Unfortunately, Greenroom Co. products are only available at Target. Do you see another Target run in your future, perhaps?

Maybe you’re a more established blogger. What advice do you have for me and fellow “new” bloggers? I also recommend Jump into Monday’s more exhaustive list if you’re ready for the next step.

Finally, while we’re talking about blogging, why don’t we connect in the social media sphere? Follow me on Facebook and Pinterest!