In our quest for a life less ordinary, and in our journey to making this blog successful, we’ve found a few tools that we can’t live without. Everything on this list is something we personally use and love. We’re frugal, but if a tool has bang-for-buck value and will make life easier and smoother or more beautiful, we’re all for it. Here’s the stuff we love:
ClickMinded SEO Course
I looked high and low for good SEO courses when I first started this blog. The truth is there's a lot of confusing info out there and a lot of people just trying to sell you shit. This ClickMinded course is a step-by-step guide on massively increasing your traffic. The guy who made it did the SEO for Air BnB before it was known and gets results. It's simple and straightforward - SEO truly isn't rocket science, but you must know the ins and outs.
Carly's course is so awesome if you're just starting out. When I first started trying to get people read our blog, I knew Pinterest was key but I had NO idea how to use it effectively. I read all kinds of tutorials online, but everyone seemed to be pushing me to buy a pin scheduler program, and I didn't have the budget for that at the time. Carly's has a different approach and her down to earth videos and no-scheduler-needed method was such a breath of fresh air. I managed to get over 8,000 page views on my blog in one month thanks to what her course taught me. It's an amazing course, which Carly recently fully updated.
If you want to get your blog up and running cheaply, consider using Blue Host as your host. Blue Host has been around forever and offer affordable, powerful, and most importantly FAST hosting, a free domain name when you sign up, and in my experience the customer service has been excellent. Best price and best service? No brainer. We used this for our first year blogging.
This one is for photo nerds only. It's an awesome Photoshop plugin you use for removing grain from photos. A must-have if you are submitting images to microstock websites to sell. A nice-to-have if you like smooth grain free images on your blog 🙂 I use it to smooth out the noise in some otherwise pretty gritty images and on every image I submit to Shutterstock or other places I sell my photos online.
Another one for the photo geeks. This is a photoshop (or lightroom) plugin I reeeaaally enjoy. Basically it's a one-click tool for retouching and editing your images of people. These days I can't live without it, it removes all that tedious retouching I used to have to do.
I am a Canon girl at heart. My 5d Mkiii is a work horse. For more serious shoots where I want to bring multiple lenses, this is the go-to camera for me. It has seen rain, snow, sand, sun, dog drool and more and it keeps producing for me. I am scared to even look at how many actuations it has, but let's just say this baby has miles and still performs. Incredible camera.
Someone once asked me what the best purchase in my life was. It was this lens. Nuff said? Basically it took my photography to the next level, it keeps me inspired, it allows introverted me to get great close ups without being in people's faces, and it has worked flawlessly without servicing for over 15 years now. Don't think. If you're serious about photography, this is an investment you will not regret - get one. And used ones hold their value tremendously well.
I love my 50 1.4 lens. It's small, it's light, it's fast to focus, and gives beautiful blurred backgrounds and is perfect for portraits. Did I mention it's LIGHT? Thanks to this it's super easy to carry around. For day trips, I often bring only my Canon 5Dmkiii and this lens.