This week, I’ve been sharing my thoughts and ideas on blogging, which feels weird to me because I don’t consider myself an expert by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve been sort of bumbling through this process for the last three years, and even now, I know that there are things that I’m not doing yet that I really should be — whether it be behind-the-scenes or in the world of social media.
So for all of us who are feeling our way along the foggy path of the Blogosphere, I’ve compiled a list. There are a lot of smart people out there offering guidance, tips and tutorials for all sorts of things blog-and-social-media-related. These are just a few I’ve found.
Some of them I’ve tried and found useful, others I’m hoping to slowly work through soon in order improve what I’m doing (while, you know, trying not to kill my soul.) I’ve also pinned most of these on my Blogging Tips & Resources Pinterest board, so feel free to follow that as well!
Blogs about Writing, Blogging & Social Media
- Copyblogger for tips on creating “killer online content”
- Seth Godin for short, thought-provoking insights
- Rachelle Gardner for thoughts on publishing and social media and the intersection of both
- Gretchen Lousie who is a “connoisseur of words and code” (nominated by Elizabeth Hagan and whose blog looks completely fascinating to me!)
- Jeff Goins for tips on writing, creativity and making a difference
- Bryan Allain for thoughts on blogging that are useful and funny. I worked most of the way through his 31 Days to Finding Your Blogging Mojo, and I’ve had his Community Wins: 21 Thoughts on Building a Thriving Online Tribe in my Kindle for a while. Need to get to it!
- How to Create a Header in Microsoft Word
- How to Create a Header Using PicMonkey
- Other Ideas on Creating a Blog Header
- Color Scheme Designer
- If you use WordPress, here are some plugins that might be useful. Also these.
- How to Upload Fonts to Your Blog
- This list of The 21 Types of Content We All Crave is interesting. It’s not all that useful alone, but perhaps if you use each item as a beginning to a mind map…it could be. Where does this category intersect with your blog’s themes? What unexpected directions could you take each one of these ideas?
- Another similar idea — only this one is “kinds” instead of “themes” like the previous one. 20 Types of Blog Posts for Writer’s Block. Again, I’d suggest using each of these only as a start to a mind-map. Where could you go?
- This post (whose heading The Secret to a Gazillion Blog Post Ideas seems a bit…exaggerated) suggests using magazine headings to springboard into topic ideas of your own. Sounds interesting and like it might have potential.
- If you find blog analytics confusing like me, this is a great article on Five Things to Watch in Your Blog Analytics. It explains the different terminology and how you might improve your numbers. (Again, I’d say don’t obsess about this. Include it in your monthly discipline of looking into your blog statistics and seeing how you might improve things.
- How to Make Your Facebook Fan Page Pretty (it’s apparently “a guide for girls with gumption, but I think she probably doesn’t discriminate. She was just digging the alliteration.)
- How to Screenshot an Entire Webpage seems like it might eventually come in useful. I mean, you never know.
- This html cheat sheet
- I have always loved using the Flickr Creative Commons. There are great photos there, and if you use the ones with the Attribution license, you have the right to modify them (read: Pinterest-ify) as long as you cite the source.
- My new best friend, though, is Photo Pin, which allows you to more easily search photos in the Flickr Creative Commons and provides a coded attribute link when you download. That means all you have to do is Copy and Paste the attribution code into the “Caption” box for an image, and you’re all set. Super easy!
- There are tons of other sites for free images. I found this list of 53+ Free Image Sources super helpful. The ones I use most often are morguefile (which doesn’t require attribution), Death to the Stock Photo (which sends you a packet of photos every month that you can use, attribution free) and CreationSwap (which has more “religious” type photos but does require attribution.)
- To modify photos, I like to use PicMonkey or Fotor. These free sites allow you to filter your photos and add text. (Here’s a linkup of 17 cool tutorials on fancy ways to use PicMonkey). Also, this one that tells you How to Design a Free Media Kit for Your Blog with PicMonkey looked cool too.
- I haven’t done much with Canva, but it’s another drag-and-drop, free online design software that allows that has project templates for everything from posters and presentation to Instagram posts. I’m looking forward to playing around with it a little more!
- I tend to use Fotor a little more often than PicMonkey, mostly because it allows me to use fonts resident on my computer (instead of just a basic set.) It also has an option for creating Covers for your social media pages, which allows you to create a uniform look across the board for free! (When I changed up my blog last year, I had my blog designer do this for me, but if you’re looking for a free options, this looks really easy and nice.)
- This site has all sorts of free textures. This can be useful when you’re trying to create a pin-able quote.
- I love this because it combines my addiction to DIY’s that I can’t possibly actually do myself with…blogging! This DIY Photo Light Box has the potential to erase my terrible kitchen counters and make my pictures look a little more professional perhaps.
- Did you know that there are “best” and “worst” times to post on different social networks. I didn’t. But here’s a handy chart…
- I don’t know if I’d use these exact categories, but I like the idea of creating a kind of “posting schedule” for Twitter and Facebook. For those of us who never know what to do besides sharing our blog posts.
- This was a good basic article about using Twitter Lists. I wish I could find more information on helping to sort your followers to make them easier to interact with. That’s my problem. I suppose I’ll have to come up with a system on my own.
- This post has some ideas of how and why to use Pinterest Group Boards, which I’ve never thought about but might try out soon
- This post tells you how to Add a Pinterest Mouseover Button to Your Blog Images — which is great, particularly for readers who are reading your stuff on their phones. Much easier.
- There’s a site called PinAlerts that allows you to sign up and receive an email whenever someone pins something from your website? I recently signed up for it, hoping it will help me to figure out if the images I’m using are effective. Time will tell.
- Amy Lynn Andrews provides a wealth of information on using your Facebook fan page here.
- For those of us who are scared of Google+ this Ultimate List of Google+ Tips might help.
- Rachelle Gardner has a super interesting idea about Creating Your Own Marketing Team. It functions like a writing group, only instead of focusing on craft, it focuses on the project from a marketing standpoint. I love this idea and hope to try it out soon.
- After three years of blogging, I’m totally intrigued by this 30-Day Creative Business Cleanse. The first thing she brings up is organizing your images. Woah.
I wanted to get up to 50, but I’m too tired. Blogging for an entire week about…blogging…has pretty much done me in.
So I’ll leave it to you to add to the list. What are your favorite resources? Who do you read when you need to get inspired? When you’re looking for technical tips? When you want to learn something new about social media?