Things I Use to Blog

 

Blog Tools: Things I use To Blog

I get questions every now and then about what my favorite tools are for blogging so I created this resource page to share them with you guys.  Below you’ll find some of my favorite apps, cameras, web designers, learning tools, and more!  This page contains affiliate links which means I may get a small commission if you make a purchase  however, everything listed I recommend because they have personally been beneficial to me as a blogger.

Blog Platform

I am wordpress.org all the way!  I’ve also used Blogger and WordPress.com but the functionality I get from WordPress.org has been so much better than any other platform I’ve used. If you are a new blogger you can definitely start out with WordPress.com and you can transfer over to WordPress.org but if you’ve been in the blogging game a while and you’re ready for more options I would definitely go with WordPress.org. There are so many plug-ins that allow you to do almost anything with your blog. To start on WordPress.org you will first need to find a host.

Web Hosting

I use Host Gator to host my blog and so far I have had a great experience with them. If you are a new blogger and need a host for your WordPress.org blog or if you are considering switching over from blogger to WordPress.org I highly recommend Host Gator and right now they have a special going on for St. Patty’s day. You can use the code PADDY2016 for 60% off a new hosting package or if you missed the special use my code DarlingDarlings25 for 25% off your hosting package.

Web Design

I’ve worked with both of these web designers over the last year and both are very easy to work with and they make sure you get exactly what you want out of your website.

Email Newsletter

There are many options when it comes to an email newsletter but just starting out I definitely recommend using Mailchimp. It’s free, easy to customize, and has plenty of helpful features.

Learning Tools

Skillshare is my jam! Skillshare is a learning community for creators. Youtube is awesome for learning but Skillshare is on a whole different level. It was created for creative people and it has definitely enhanced my creativity! Through Skillshare I’ve learned how to operate Photoshop, get my website running, and so much more. They currently have an awesome deal for a membership, only .99 cents for your first 3 months. You can learn more about it here.

Both of these websites are full of free helpful information about blogging, branding, and growing your audience.

 Cameras and Photo Editing

I use my iPhone 6 for alot of my pictures on my Instagram and on my blog. It’s amazing how good of photos our iPhones can take but I will say that editing plays a big factor so next listed is my FAVORITE app for editing my iPhone pictures.

Snapseed is by far my favorite app to use when editing my pictures on my iPhone. The best part about Snapseed is the selective feature that allows you to edit only a portion of the photo that needs re-touching. Check out the photo in this post that I edited using Snapseed.

When my husband takes pictures of me or when we go on trips, we usually always take the Nikon D3100. I love this camera because it’s not super expensive yet it takes beautiful photos.

I’m a Photoshop beginner and the more I learn the more I like Photoshop. I definitely recommend watching a few tutorials first if you’re like me and new to the Photoshop world.

Nashville Photographer

When I shoot with a professional photographer Catherine is my go to. She is so kind and so amazing at what she does. She shoots my photos with her Canon 5d Mark II. You can see some of the shots she’s done for me here and here.

Filesharing

Other Tools I Use

When I want to add text to my photos Word Swag is my favorite because it is so easy to use and has plenty of fonts to play around with.

The 365 Happy Planner is my favorite! It’s inexpensive and has plenty of writing space for each day.

I am a firm believer that every blogger should have a desk. Now don’t get me wrong I love blogging from my bed but I also LOVE being able to have a work space that is just for me and my blog. This desk is not only cute but it’s priced well and it inspires me to sit down and crank out some work!

When I don’t want to carry my computer around I keep my iPad handy in my purse and I actually get so much done using it!  In fact last year the iPad was primarily what I used to blog.

Helpful Posts About Blogging

Thanks for checking out the tools I use to blog! Let me know if there is anything you have a question about.

A Guide to Succeeding as a Blogger

aguidetosucceedingasablogger

 

Happy Thursday, friends! I’m super excited that the weekend is almost here and I’m even more excited to share with you this Guide to Succeeding as a Blogger. I created this FREE guide to help with questions or concerns  about where to start regarding Blog Design, Marketing, Disclosure, etc.. This guide is not lengthy but it covers 10 things every blogger should be aware of for succeeding as a blogger. To get access you’ll have to sign up to my Blog Tips Mailing List.

 

By signing up you’ll receive my Guide To Succeeding As A Blogger and weekly blog tips that I believe will be beneficial in your blogging journey!

Get Access HERE.

10 Things Every Girl Should Have at Her Desk

10 Things Every Girl Should Have at Her Desk

Because there are just some things that every girl needs at her desk!

**This post contains affiliate links

  • Planner

If you have a desk you most certainly need a planner handy to keep up with your schedule especially while sending emails that consist of planning meetings, coffee dates, etc.. It’s also a good idea if you’re a blogger to have an editorial calendar either on your computer or at your desk. Click here for an awesome affordable planner.

  • Flowers / Plant

I am a firm believer in flowers and greenery, I just think they are so life giving. You can give your desk a more feminine vibe by adding a vase of pink or white flowers or make it more bohemian by adding a few succulents. This girl went with both!

  • Hair Ties

This one is a time saver. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve wasted searching for a hair tie! Buy a bundle of hair ties and put them in your extra coffee mug or your desk drawer.

  •  Coffee Mugs

Just one isn’t enough! You’ll want one to hold some of your office supplies (pens, pencils, etc.) and the other ready to be filled with your favorite coffee or tea. Do yourself a favor and head on over to Anthropologie and treat yourself with one of their infamous monogrammed mugs!

  •  Chargers & Ear Buds

Another time saver! Don’t waste time searching for your charger or ear buds keep extras at your desk. You never know when your phone may die or when you need those ear buds to jam out to your favorite song of the moment.

  •  Reusable Glass Water Bottle

Of course you need to keep water at your desk to stay hydrated but you should also invest in a reusable glass water bottle. Not only are glass bottles Eco-friendly they are also perfect for adding a few drops of essential oils. Lemon and lime essential oils are my favorite ones to add to my water. This glass bottle here is my fave!

  •  Scented Candle / Essential Oils

There’s nothing better than cranking out some work while taking in the scent of the yummiest candle or essential oils. You can choose something refreshing like eucalyptus or something calming like lavender when you’re feeling a little stressed.

  • Blanket / Rug

Having a fluffy rug under your feet or a cozy blanket behind your back while working will make your work space feel more comfortable and more like a haven. You want to create a space that makes you feel good when you sit at it because this literally is your work sanctuary and creating the right vibes will help you work more efficiently. This blanket here is the comfiest!

  • A Framed Print

To help add a little personality and inspiration to your work space a cute framed print is a must! A friend of mine cross stitched the phrase “thug life” in pink and it’s on my desk in a cute vintage frame. It’s fun and it always makes people giggle a little when they see it. Find a piece that you love to add a bit of character to your desk!

  • Snacks

You never know when you may need a quick pick me up so having a few snacks at your desk is essential for keeping your energy levels up and your creative juices flowing. Almonds and Lara Bars are a favorite of mine!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed this list of 10 Things every girl should have at her desk.

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5 Ways to get Serious about Blogging

5 ways to get serious about blogging

Whether you’ve been blogging for years or just starting out, there comes a time when you need a little motivation and a little push to get more serious about your blog. I’ve created this small list of tips in hopes that they will help hold you accountable in your blogging journey and inspire you to keep creating.  If you find this post helpful please share with your friends or just simply hit the Facebook like button above. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Create a Work Space Other than Your Bed

Don’t get me wrong I love my bed and for the longest time I did all of my writing and blogging from my bed.  While I love being super cozy when I write, I also know that I need a space that is organized and just meant for me and my blog. I ordered a writing desk a month or so ago (check it out here ) for like $50 and it has transformed my productivity. I am a procrastinator at heart but once I sit down at my desk I am there to get stuff DONE.

  • Start an Editorial Calendar

An editorial calendar is basically just a calendar for your blog. This is an awesome way to plan your posts ahead of time and to have a visual of what your plans are for the current month and months to come. I think an editorial calendar is a wonderful idea for every blogger, it’s an excellent way to help turn those dreams you have for your blog into goals and then, into reality!

  • Set “Blog” Hours

Setting blog hours is a must especially if you’re like me and you do your blogging from home. While blogging is certainly a hobby I also consider it a second job because of the time I put in to it. I have set hours at the Salon I do hair at so why wouldn’t I have hours set aside for blogging?  I’ve devoted a window of time on Tuesday’s and Thursdays for creating content for Darling Darlings. Now don’t get me wrong I definitely have times where something comes up and I’m not able to do it and in that case I’ll usually pull a late night but I try my best to stick to a schedule and it really has made a difference in the value of the content I create.

  • Connect with Other Bloggers

Having a community of other bloggers is beneficial in so many ways and it will most definitely help get you more serious about blogging. When I meet with other like minded bloggers or friends we bounce ideas off of one another, dream together, and we always leave feeling more inspired. Connect with someone local through Instagram or Facebook and try to start meeting up weekly or monthly and watch the creativity begin to flow!

  • Guest Post on other Blogs

Collaborating with other bloggers is a great way to help you get more serious about blogging because not only are you making new friends but you’re also reaching a totally different audience which will help you grow your readership. So you’re getting accountability to put out great content and also great connections in the blogosphere.

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Things to do in Nashville

Things to do in Nashville

For Eats

Vegan

Sushi

Coffee 

Scenic 

 

Worship/Church

 

Other fun places to hangout

Murals for some great Photo Ops 

  • DCXV at Center 615 — location is the east side of Center 615’s building.
  • I believe in Nashville — several locations: Marathon Music Works, Riverside Village on the side of Mitchell Deli, and 12 South next to Edley’s.
  • Import Flowers — Right on Murphy Road off of West End as you hit Sylvan Park on the side of the old Import Flowers building.

Why I Started a Lifestyle Blog

meaboutpage

Hi and welcome to Darling Darlings!

First off, thank you so much for checking out my new home on the internet. I am so excited to get to share this space with you and I can’t wait to get to know you better!

Blogging and writing have had a special place in my heart for years. It wasn’t until last year that I really got serious and consistent with blogging. February 2015 my friend Kelsey and I started The Radiant Life Blog and lets just say things really took off! Neither of us anticipated for TRL to blow up as quickly as it did. After spending a lot of time in prayer, November of 2015 I decided to step away from The Radiant Life Blog. Kelsey is awesome and is still rocking it out over at TRL and I wish her nothing but the best!

Slowing down was a big reason for leaving TRL and I am so thankful for the months I had to take a break and give my dreams to Jesus and now it’s brought me to this space! I created Darling Darlings to have a place to write and create at my own pace sharing encouragement, travel and adventure, my life happenings as a wife, along with some awesome tips, tools, and guides.

Thanks again for stopping by and I look forward to getting to know you better!