Blogging is turning into a full time job for many while for others it is still a hobby. I’m somewhere stuck in between and had to do alot of the figuring out in the blogosphere on my own. In the two years of this blog’s existence I wish I would have stumbled onto some information earlier in the game that would have made it easier and more profitable with fewer mistakes. That leads me to the point of this very thoughtfully crafted list of 35 blogger resources to boost your brand. Some are free, some offer monetization and some can just help shape and polish your presence in the blogging game. Either way they are all effective in helping you if used properly.
35 Blogging Resources To Boost Your Brand
Networks: Different networks that can assist you not only in building your network by offering opportunities that fit your niche, but also can provide you with some sponsorship opportunities that will bring in the money! And money is always a good thing when you are investing your time and energy into something so wholeheartedly.
1. Sverve: Allows you to connect your social media platforms, share your posts to their network of 20,000 plus bloggers, while providing access to sponsorship opportunities that fit into your niche. I haven’t had much luck with Sverve because they require a badge placed onto your site to be eligible to participate in any campaign and I have yet to do so. However I do check on the sponsorship opportunities and they do seem interesting.
2. Famebit: Is like my new best friend! Famebit works BEST for women who want to build their Youtube channel as it offers specific opportunities for you to pitch/apply to different companies of different sizes. You read what the company is looking for and you pitch what you bring to the table. It gives you all these various companies that you may or may not have heard of but you get direct access to pitch! Which is great because sometimes it can be difficult to find who to contact when you’ve decided you’d like to work with a particular brand. It is like a kid in a candy store! Best of all Famebit also gives you a chance to connect with other Youtubers of all genres to collab as well!
3. BlogHer: A network that you need to apply to that provides you opportunities to write different sponsored posts for certain brands that fit your niche. They also provide ads to place on your site similar to adsense.
4. SITS Girls: This is one of my fave networks that provides you a networking opportunity to connect with over 75000 female bloggers. They also provide sponsorship opportunities as well as great marketing and advertising strategies/ tips. SITS also allows your content to be featured on their site which is a great opportunity to get your stuff out there!
5. Linqia: Provides a marketing opportunity for your content. They also feature your content on their site and provide you with the brands and sponsorship opportunities. I haven’t used Linqia very much but have heard great things from those who use it religiously.
6. Izea: This network site has two options (paid and free) that offers you different levels of sponsored post opportunities. The paid option is very very cheap (less than 10 dollars) and gives you more bang for your buck. What makes this networking company a bit different is they give you alot of opportunities for your social media platforms as well so you get paid to post to Twitter, Instagram…etc without actually having to create your own content for your blog. This works best for brands or bloggers whose social media engagement is very active.
7. Niche Parent Network: I’ve had some great experiences working with this network and I am not a mommy blogger obviously. They cater more to mommy blogging sponsorship opportunities but they do have other opportunities that can fit other niche’s as well. Their marketing is impeccable so I stick around with this network and keep my eye open to potential sponsored post opps that would fit well on Trials N Tresses.
8. Tap Infuence: I’m fairly new to the Tap Influence network but what I like about them so far is that they allow you to present a “media kit” view of your brand to other brands and marketers. I usually have a hard time writing up small write ups about our brand with limited characters so being able to show a larger view seems to present bigger opps. I’ll keep you updated on whether I was correct or not.
Affiliates: Affiliate programs take a little elbow grease but with the right amount of work put into them you can certainly reap the benefits of that work monetarily.
9. Amazon Associates: Who doesn’t know about Amazon associates right? Well if you don’t it’s worth taking a look into especially if you do product hauls or discuss different products on your blog consistently. You can link the products you are mentioning/discussing and receive a commission if the item is purchased. Amazon associates is one of the easiest associate programs to get involved in and can help you get your feet wet in the associate world.
10. Swag Bucks: This affiliate program works best if you are a coupon/deal/survey/make money online kind of blog. You refer your audience to sign up so they can their own deals, and you earn 10% of whatever they’ve earned.
11. Reward Style: I haven’t personally used Reward Style but you sign up/apply and get affiliate links for particular brands and certain commission rates that fit your niche. It is similar to Google Adsense in the way that they allow you to place ads on your site that are directly linked to your affiliate code to help the promotion seem more organic. There are 4000 retailers and 200,000 brands that they associate with so you get to pick from a large amount to fit your site.
12. Commission Junction: This has been renamed to CJ Affiliate but they still function in the same manner. This is an online advertising and marketing company that I’ve worked with very briefly but haven’t made any money from. Again its best not to spread yourself too thin which I did so that doesn’t mean CJ Affiliate isn’t effective.
13. Share A Sale: Share A Sale has been my number one affiliate program besides Amazon Associate. They also partner with several brands and retailers. Similar to Reward Style they also provide visuals for your site as well as links for specific products from the brand you are working with. They have a large array of brands so you are sure to find something you think would make you money on your site.
Sponsored Posts: Sponsored post opportunities can flood your site if not careful. So it is best to balance your blog with more unsponsored content and sprinkle in the sponsored posts every now and then. Yes I know they bring in the money… but you don’t want to overwhelm your audience with too many pitches to buy buy buy with out giving them a valid reason to trust you as a blogger!
14. Social Spark: They are created by Izea but operate a bit differently. They focus mostly on social media promo (sponsored Tweets…etc) but they do have sponsored blog opportunities as well (not as many as other networks would offer).
15. Pay per post: Another sponsored post opportunity created by Izea that provides you with the opportunity to garner up some cash by posting on your social media or website.
16. Blogvertise: This site is a mix of a sponsored post opportunity provider as well as an advertisement network. They provide some (very few) sponsored post opportunities but have a wide array of ads that you can select (the code will be created/given to you to fit your site) and place it seamlessly.
17. Business 2 Blogger: With the 9600 bloggers using Business 2 Blogger they seem to be doing something right! This sponsored opportunity site requires a bit more work but is worth it. You have to stay on top of the job boards as they are updated to find/apply for what you may be interested in participating in. The compensation is also a bit lower than usual on this site.
18. Pretty Link: People are visual even when it has nothing to do with images. Pretty Link helps you to edit your links if you don’t want to use a link shortener such as Tiny Url or Bitly (they can come off as spammy sometimes). Not only that you can shorten affiliate links, and track/manage these links to see how many times they were clicked on. There is a free/paid version so depending on what you need you can upgrade or use the free lite edition.
19. SEO: SEO is Search Engine Optimazion for those who aren’t familiar with the acronym. SEO is crucial to driving traffic to your site. My SEO plugin has saved my life time after time as it helps you to focus on things that you wouldn’t even think mattered to the Google Gods! Take the time to learn how to always get the “green” light on your posts , which means they are SEO friendly. This app also helps you to create your site map which is crucial for proper SEO results.
20. Google Analytics : Google analytics can help fundamentally with your SEO so both of these plugins go hand in hand! Not only do I have Google analytics installed on my site, I also have the plugin, and app to help me keep track of what is working/isn’t working on my site at a moment’s notice.
21. Shareaholic: Shareaholic is an awesome little app that makes it simple, easy and visually appealing to share your content which should always be the ultimate goal. They provide the basic sharing buttons (twitter, facbeook, tumblr…etc) But they also have digg, stumble upon and other sites that we may forget exist but our audience actually use.
22. Akismet: Our site got hacked over a year ago and I still blame the fact that I didn’t have this plugin installed. Akismet is great for blocking spam comments on your site that leave your site susceptible to being attacked as well as lowers your standing with Google. Spam is never fun! Akismet has successfully blocked 99.9 spammy posts before they ever hit the comment section of my site. They also give you the opportunity to go and see what was blocked and what made it through.
23. Mailchimp: If you haven’t learned how vital your mailing list is to your brand you need to learn that now! Mailchimp is free up to 2000 subscribers. While you are building your list use mail chimp as they can easily be embedded into your WordPress site (I’m sure other sites as well). Having the mail chimp plugin has been great for posting direct links and access to signing up to our mailing list on each post.
24. Google Webmasters: I found out about google web masters late and I want to make sure you don’t do the same! By submitting your site map to Google you will increase your visibility. I use Google Webmasters in conjunction with my SEO plugin to make sure my site is functioning at tip top shape and pleasing to the Google Gods!
Photos: If you’ve been drooling over how on fleek your favorite beauty guru or hair guru’s images are on social media and Youtube don’t be fooled! It’s nothing but a great group of apps to edit photos (probably mixed with some good lighting and a good lens) But you don’t have to have the latest technology to get a great selfie. Good natural lighting and an iPhone camera can give you just as a great a selfie as well as website graphics!
25. Canva: Canva is my holy grail of creating images for our site. I am capable of using Photoshop and that used to be my go to. When I started falling behind and couldn’t use Photoshop anymore I tried to create work on my phone that never seemed to convert over to the site clearly. When I found Canva I was so thrilled. (I’ve heard good things about PicMonkey as well but Canva is definitely my GO TO!). Canva gives you precreated layouts for ideas, a blank space to create your own, awesome graphics, backgrounds and fonts. You can purchase them (usually for 1.00) or use your own. Either way the graphics are always beautiful as the end project.
26. Snapseed: This app is free and I’m in love with it! You can take a pic from not useable to amazing in just a matter of minutes. And this app has come a long long long way. I had snap seed a while a go when I was trying to take amazing Yoga pictures. I wasn’t impressed but didn’t delete the app. After a few updates Snapseed has become a key player in my editing of photos. You can change the brightness, saturation, ambiance…etc while also playing around with filters that they have. If you don’t have snap seed trust me you want to get it!
27. Camera+: This app costs .99 cent in the App store but was the nearest and dearest to my heart. It offers different editing and filter options from Snapseed so I like to play around with both depending on the photo. If you want more dramatic edits or color coordinated filters Camera+ is your guy!
28. Photo Timer+: iPhones do have timers but this app makes it easy to take several snapshots of yourself or of you and your surroundings with different intervals, timing options (from 3seconds to 10 minutes…) and how many photos are taken. It reminds me of a higher scale Photo Booth on the Mac. It is definitely a fun app and comes in handy when you don’t have someone to snatch the picture for you.
29. Adsense: The basic blogging monetization step/opportunity. This is the easiest way to monetize your blog with ads and I highly recommend it as your starting point. Adsense is owned by Google and they do have a threshold of a certain amount (100.00) that you need to earn in order to get a payment sent to you. The more traffic you have the more money you will make but its best to start somewhere to see/gauge how much you should be charging for sponsored posts as well.
30. Media.Net: Also similar to Adsense you apply to be accepted into Media.Net and they provide links/ads that are more closely related to your site’s content and more likely to garner interest from your reader. In doing so you have more opportunity/possibility to make more money than just with Adsense. I use both and I’ve actually made more money with Adsense but Media.Net is picking up as they become more familiar with the content of my site. You also need to reach a 100 dollar threshold to receive payment from them as well.
31. Glam: Glam Media aka Mode is another application process that you must go through to be apart of their network. Glam Media pays on a 6 month delay so you wont see much coin from them in the beginning. They offer ads for your site as well as sponsored post opportunities. Depending on your niche you may make more money from the ads or more money from the sponsored posts.
32. Kontera: Provides advertisements from big brands to go onto your site just like the previously mentioned. They focus on pay per click ads with inline text ads or inline advertising.
33. Infolinks: Info Links provides revenue opportunities that works similar to Adsense in that they provide links and ads based on what your audience is looking at on their computer instead of what your site/content is about.
Social Media Growth/ Blogging Growth
34. From Blank Space To Blogging Brilliance: This book was written by many successful bloggers that gathered to share their expertise on all angles of blogging. This ebook helps all levels of blogging whether you want to take your blog a little more seriously or take it to a full fledged business. I appreciate the honesty and realistic advice provided in these pages and I highly recommend it as a way to help build your blog and your social media platforms. You can purchase this ebook here.
35. Grow Your Instagram & Twitter Workshop: I’ve been following and listening to the advice of Gabrielle of StrawberriCurls for almost two years and she’s sharing her wisdom in a workshop on July 31st at 7pm Central time/ 8pm EST. If you can’t make it there will be a live recording also available. This workshop costs 35.00 bucks but is completely worth it as she explains how she gained 95,000 followers on her social media platforms !! Which hello… can help make you more money and a bigger bargaining chip for pitching and sponsored posts! It will also help to drive traffic to your blog! So I’m all the way here for this workshop and I certainly recommend it for those who are looking for a bit of a social media boost as well!!!
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*disclaimer: links may contain affiliate links that do not change/alter or hinder my opinion.