I have been getting an increasing number of e-mails from you dear ladies regarding how to start a blog, and my advice on the resources I use. First of all I am quite flattered that you came to me for my recommendations. I learn everyday myself as well, it’s a never ending
process. Your trust really makes my day. So thank you!


I’ll try my best to put together some resources that I’ve been using for blogging. I’ll keep adding to this list. Most of these resources contain referral/affliate links. These are actual companies that I use at the moment, and they have been very useful to  I am hoping they’ll be useful to you as well. <3

This list is a work in progress, and new information will be added periodically. In the comments let me know if you have any questions, and I’ll update as best as I can with the info.

1) How to start a Blog

DOMAIN NAME AND HOSTING: I wanted to have full control over my content and chose to go with self hosting with wordpress.org. I am very happy with my decision, and love the fact that I own my data, can use various plugins, and to top it off wordpress.org is very easy to use.

WordPress.org is an open, free software but you need hosting, and a domain to run it.  This is where Bluehost comes into play. I host my blog there, and so far have been pretty happy with their service, and how they handled some questions I had over at their live chat.

I love that:

  • Bluehost is affordable
  • They give you unlimited website space and bandwidth
  • They include your domain for FREE
  • Gives you many free email accounts
  • Each hosting comes with a promotional/marketing offers – For instance the most basic package gives you $50

When it’s time to renew for me I am staying with Bluehost. You get your domain name from them, and there are very clear instructions on how to install wordpress.org along with various other helpful info. If I could do it myself being a non techy person, you can do it too!

2) Blogging Tools


Canon EOS Rebel T5i Digital SLR with 18-55mm STM Lens

This is the camera I have, and love. It is relatively affordable in terms of DSLR’s and takes beautiful, clear pictures even when the light source is not perfect. It is the best investment I’ve made and recommend this beauty wholeheartedly.

Another great option at a better price point.

Canon EOS Rebel T5 EF-S 18-55mm IS II Digital SLR Kit

Picture Editing: 

Photoshop is amazing but you don’t really need to know all the complicated details of photoshop to have beautiful pictures.

I use PicMonkey for all my photo editing, and pinable image designs, and LOVE the ease of use. ( I am more like IN LOVE with this service haha) You can also design your invites, business cards, banners pretty much anything you can think of using PicMonkey. 

They have a free version but as you can guess all the best fonts, touch-up options are in the Royale version which is lesson than two cappuccinos at $4.99 a month with full access to all the goodies of the service. Unless I become a photoshop pro overnight ( good luck I say to myself ) I am a member for life.

Blogging Books: 

Here are the books in my blogging library:

Blog, Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community

This book has a warm, friendly tone. I read it when I was first starting, and felt it gave me all the basics plus encouraged me to follow my passion.  This book is like getting advice from your best friend.

ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income

Written by the blogging gurus over at ProBlogger this is an amazing resource to have in your blogging library. It talks more about professional side of blogging that is very interesting, and exciting for me.

How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul

This book is also full of information, and I like that the information is well organized. I like the examples in the book, and the parts about finding your own blogging voice.

My Blog Planner:


(Image from KateSpade.com)

I use a planner to jot down all blog related things. I am someone that needs a written version of plans even if it is on my iPad, and mac book. I am kinda old fashioned like that 🙂 Of course as a fan of all things pretty I found, and use Kate Spade Large, Gold Dots planner.  It is not only pretty but also has enough room for notes, folders to keep blog related things such as business cards, and receipts. Ok I admit, it is just too cute to look at. 🙂

Keep on checking this page, as I’ll be updating it with more information. Hope this will be helpful to start with!

Make sure to comment with your questions or e-mail me with them. XOXO,


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  • Cheryl

    Thank you for sharing your blogging resources and recommendations. Your love for blogging, and the time and effort you put in, truly shines through in all of your posts. I will definitely refer back to your ideas if I ever start blogging, and I look forward to future updates!

    • Cheryl thx so much for the sweetest of words <3 I truly love blogging - writing, connecting with lovely people - all of it, and I can't be happier to hear it does come through even a bit. I'll surely update as much as I can 🙂 Have the best weekend, XO, Elif

  • I added Blog, inc to my Amazon Wishlist while reading your post. Lol. I’m looking forward to reading it!

    • It’s a really good book and what I really like is that it is written in a friendly, encouraging voice. Thanks for saying hi 🙂 XO, Elif

  • Nice post :))
    Ha, Bluehost – just recently I completed a website hosted on that provider
    And I’ve got the first book about blogging, but have only half finished it.


    • 🙂 I really like Bluehost, and that book. It reminds me the days before I started Thx Lu, XOXO, Elif

  • Thanks for these tips. I’m really interested in checking out those books. I’m also planning on buying a domain for my blog this month so I’m happy to hear about Bluehost. I’m already looking into that option!

    • Andrea, I definitely recommend buying your domain, and all those books are great both for info and encouragement. You are very welcome lovely, XOXO, Elif

      • Well, I bought my domain and am also now through Bluehost! I’m wondering though, how do you make posts go to a specific page rather than all just defaulting to only your home page? I would love to have my posts go to their own page for fitness, reviews etc.

        • Andrea first of all congrats!!! That’s such an exciting step having your own domain. <3 As to posts going to certain categories you need to do it through wordpress. I use wordpress.org and love it.

  • Thanks for sharing your tips! I’m adding these books to my reading list!


    • They are really good books Jill, resources you can go back to again and again. You are very welcome 🙂 XOXO, Elif

  • I always enjoy posts like this, Elif. It’s fun to see how we all got where we are today. The books sound really interesting! I need to check those out!
    Gina – On the Daily Express

    • I do too Gina. Always love posts about blogging 🙂 Totally recommend the books; they organized the info really well and are great for going back to as needed. XOXO, Elif

  • Thank you for sharing your resources with us. It’s always fun to see what others are using!

  • This is a great list! I use a lot of similar resources as you do! I can’t sing the praises of PicMonkey enough–that has really allowed me to do so much more with my blog and personal photos! Ruth’s book was also very helpful for me as well!

  • Thanks for the great resources! I am adding these books to my must-read list! (And hello from SITSgirls).

  • I also have serious love for PicMonkey…it’s so user-friendly and everything turns out gorgeous. And thanks for sharing those book titles; I added them to my must-read list. Thanks for sharing on the SITSGirls sharefest.

  • Thanks for sharing your fav blogging books. I am always looking for a good one that comes recommended.

  • These are great! Thanks for compiling all of these in a post. I need to pick up that planner, because you’re right, it’s way too cute to look at. And the books! I’ll be reading forever and ever on how to be a better blogger. Thank you!

  • Great advice! I love that little polka dot planner.

    Have you ever tried using StumbleUpon to boost your post views? I just wrote a whole post about it and was surprised at how many people didn’t realize you could use it for gaining blog visibility. There’s definitely a right and a wrong way though.

    Have a great week!!


  • Visiting from SITS sharefest! I reading as much blogging advice that I can get. I always seem to learn at least one new thing from someone. Thanks!