My Blogging Essentials

blogging essentials, blogging tips,
Happy Friday, friends! It has been a pretty good week over here! The new semester started yesterday, so I am just getting back into the swing of school again and also searching for something to do with all my extra time since I am only taking one class. I'm thinking another nanny position for the mornings or maybe an internship of some sort! I am really looking forward to having more free time than in past semesters though so that I can be a more consistent blogger :)

I always enjoy getting a peek behind the scenes of other bloggers and what tools they use, so I thought I would share a bit about mine! I am no blogging expert of course, but it is always nice to share what I have learned along the way :)

+ Macbook Pro
Obviously, a computer is essential! Believe it or not, there are bloggers out there who can get away without one by using a tablet or something, but I am definitely not one of those bloggers! I use it for everything and couldn't imagine trying to put a post together without it. For photography things alone it is my rock. I do have an HP laptop (that is in dire need of a new battery), but I prefer working on my Mac, especially since it is smaller and easier to bring along for a busy girl like myself.

+ Mouse
When I am using my laptop for long periods of time or am editing photos, I use a mouse. It is much faster and more comfortable for me, plus gives me more control in photo editing or designing on the computer. Mine has a small USB nub that plugs into the computer and wirelessly connects to the mouse. I never leave it behind when I am planning to get some blogging done!

+ Editorial Calendar
Once I started utilizing an editorial calendar, the blogging game changed for me. It helped me to be so much more organized, allowed me to easily plan days, weeks, or even months ahead, and motivated me to stick to the schedule I had planned. For a while I made my own calendar sheets, but then I found a simple monthly planner in January 2014 from Sugar Paper's line for Target. I was sure to snag another one up for this year because I love it! It is nice to have all of the months together in a small booklet.

+ DSLR Camera
I love the convenience of an iPhone as much as the next girl, but a blog needs real, high quality photos! At least once in a while ;) I have owned a DSLR for five years now and it has practically become an extension of me. If you are a blogger, I highly recommend investing in a starter DLSR and learning to shoot in manual. You will be amazed at how it will instantly punch up the quality of your blog. (This is a great starter DSLR and a newer generation of the one I started on)

+ Memory Card Reader
I really dislike connecting the cord between my laptop and camera to transfer photos, so a card reader is a must for me! I like that I don't have to have my camera present to transfer the photos and can simply just grab the memory card to take along when I know I will be needing the photos off of it.

+ Sketchbook
This is where I write down all of my ideas for potential blog posts. There are notes and fragments of ideas strewn about its pages, which I love. Whenever I am in need of an idea, I go to the beginning of the book and flip through the pages, looking for inspiration or ideas I may have forgotten about. It keeps me sane!

+ Highlighters & Pencil
These may be silly and obvious, but are essential to me! In my editorial calendar, I plan all of my posts out in pencil because sometimes life happens and things don't go according to plan. When I publish a blog post, I highlight the square on the calendar that the post is on in green. On days that I don't blog, I cross the square out in orange. It is a great visual way for me to see how my blogging month is going and to see where I can improve or celebrate.

+ Photoshop
I do not understand how any bloggers can possibly survive without Photoshop. It is my lifeline! I use it for nearly every single post, whether it is to add text to an image or resize images so that they fill the entire posting area of my blog. I know there are ways around Photoshop, but for me it is definitely an essential!

+ Lightroom
Photoshop is great for so many things, but when it comes to photo editing, Lightroom is hands down the best. I have been using Lightroom for a year and a half now and I can't even tell you how it has dramatically changed my editing process! It is so much faster, more streamlined, and simply more high quality than it ever was with Photoshop alone!

+ Flickr
My friend Britt mentioned to me that uploading her photos to Flickr instead of directly to Blogger has made such a difference in the quality, as Blogger tends to distort things. Since great photos are very important to me, I gave it a shot and haven't looked back! It may require a bit more work, but the difference is definitely worth it to me! I highly recommend comparing the processes.

Before I started using Flickr to upload my photos instead of Blogger, I used Photobucket for a while. It was alright, but I found that Flickr was much better quality. Though I don't use it for blog images anymore, I still use Photobucket for all of the other elements on my blog, like the header, sidebar, etc. I have found that it is better for that than Flickr is and is an easy way to get the job done.

There you have it! I hope it was fun to get a behind the scenes peek at my blogging routine and that it was maybe even helpful to some of you!

What are your blogging essentials? Do you agree with some of these? Do you have an essential to share that isn't on this list?

Have a fun, relaxing weekend! It is sunny and 66 degrees here in CA today and all weekend, so I will definitely be soaking that up :)

Jess said...

Love all of the essentials, Jess! I'll have to check into Flickr/Photobucket for those reasons, although I've never had an issue with Wordpress, so far. I love the fact my fiance is a media guy, because I have access to Creative Cloud, Canon 60Ds and all that jazz. We're definitely looking into investing into getting a DSLR of our own once we get married.

I need to get myself a sketchbook! I think it'd be good for me to get more into doing my own graphics/calligraphy. Good idea!

These are great! Thanks for sharing!

Jess said...

Those all sound very essential, and from all the great stuff you post it seems like they sure get the job done! Now that I have a DSLR I feel like my posts will look so much nicer with original photos I've taken and (with the help of Photoshop) edited. I've also begun using a blog calendar and it helps SO much! I feel like I have a handle on what is going to be posted when, and it helps me manage my "real" life also, if that makes sense.

Jess said...

It is definitely great to have such a skilled fiance! Yes, you guys should definitely invest in a DSLR of your own :)

I hope you do get a sketchbook! Great for managing your ideas and practicing things!

Jess said...

Aww well thanks! Yes, a DSLR will definitely make a big difference! I'm glad a blog calendar is helping you. Mine really keeps me organized!