In this article: Find a list of resources and equipment that would be the best gifts for bloggers and social media influencers. They would be great for someone just starting to pursue blogging, or for those wanting to take their blog business up a notch.
Last week, I had a lovely little “visit” with my Instagram followers. I found out some of them are bloggers and would like to have more information on the specifics of blogging.
As a passionate blogger, I could talk about it for hours. However, despite the fact that I’ve been blogging for years, I still turn to the “experts” for much of the technical stuff.
So, in an effort to be helpful to others in an arena that I’ve spent a lot of time learning and studying, here are some of the best recommendations I have for bloggers, or blogger wanna-bes. They would be extra special gifts if you or someone you love is interested in pursuing blogging, or wanting to level up your blog a notch or 2.
Best Gifts for Bloggers and Social Media Influencers
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How to Start a Blog Courses
When I started blogging 8 years ago, I did everything by google and searching high and low for tutorials for every.single.little.step. It took FOREVER! And, sadly, I didn’t start out with the best framework base that it could have been. Now I’m trying to get it whipped into shape.
The good news is, now there are great courses available that will walk a new blogger through every step needed to start a blog. I’ve had many friends who have started their blogs with the help of Abby’s courses. The reviews have been nothing but good.
Abby has a few options available. The first is a free course called Launch a Blog that Thrives.
The other one is a more indepth course called Building a Framework ~ A Complete Blogging Handbook.
It has great, helpful topics and tutorials and is an incredible value for the amazing quality of this course.
My hands down favorite source for blog designs is the Restored 316 site. It has absolutely beautiful designs, and their customer service is amazing. They also have an active Facebook group if customers have questions, and other Restored 316 users can help them.
Photos are an essential element for blogs. If a blogger wants to take their own photos (instead of stock photos), they will need some good equipment to do so.
The following are the actual equipment pieces that I use on a regular/ daily/ basis.
I bought this camera about 8 years ago. In fact, I think I purchased this right before I started blogging! I love it very, very much.
At the recommendation of a photographer friend, I purchased the 18 – 105 mm lens with the Nikon D3100 camera body. I used it for absolutely every picture I took for the blog up until August of this year ~ when my husband and boys gifted me with the nifty 50 lens. (A very fitting gift for my 50th birthday!)
I love this handy dandy Nifty 50 lens. In fact, I’ve been dreaming of it for a long time!
The “nifty fifty” lens offers the ability to focus in on an item and have a lovely blurry affect in the background. I’ve been having so much fun with it! Here’s what it can do…
I’ll admit that my camera backpack isn’t nearly as cute as this one! However, I do strongly believe that if you make an investment in good camera equipment, you must store and carry it safely! Find something that you can carry your camera (and lenses) around in a safe way.
Protection Filter (for the 18-105 mm lens)
This handy dandy filter is inexpensive, but is an important protection for the everyday use of your 18-105 mm lens. It helps protect from scratches and dust on the actual lens. And, as I typed out this list, I realize I need to purchase one for my new nifty fifty!!
If you are going to take indoor photos, you MUST have a tripod. Mine is old and faithful (and I can’t find a link to the actual one), but here is one that looks like it would be good to start with.
Although I’ve taken various photography courses over the years, one of the most helpful was one I took at the Haven Conference taught by Rachel Pax of Maison de Pax blog.
Since then, Rachel wrote a course on photography that looks amazing! I haven’t taken it yet, but I know many of the ladies who give it rave reviews (and their pictures area amazing, too!)
Here is the link to it, if you’re interested. (Not an affiliate link.)
For Live Broadcasting and Filming
Here’s where I’m a bit odd. (Hold onto your horses…) I don’t have a cell phone. I know. It’s weird.
I’m not against them, I promise. In fact, everyone else in my family has one, and I use them on a regular basis.:)
What I do have, though, is an iPad mini that I love with all my heart. I do everything on it ~ including all the filming for my Facebook lives, Instastories, and Youtube videos.
The version I have is the Ipad mini 2 with wi-fi and 32 GB.
However, many many people use thier phones for filming, which is wonderful for them!
I use my camera tripod (one is linked above) for all my filming, and just attach this mount for my iPad mini:
Lighting is also important when doing filming. I currently have a homemade apparatus that works in a pinch, but this Diva Ring Light system is what I’m dreaming of in the future:
Serious Blogging Courses
There are a plethora of blogging courses available. In fact, it can be hard to figure out where to go to get the best information you need. I can only speak to the courses that I’ve taken and been a part of, and let me tell you…Jenny Melrose is my girl!
Jenny is a “retired” teacher, who was able to quit her job and start blogging fulltime as her income instead. She is a very faithful teacher and puts together courses that are easy to follow and well executed.
Along with being a blogger herself (The Melrose Family), she has multiple teaching platforms for bloggers:
- The Jenny Melrose Facebook page ~ This is completely free, and comes with weekly Facebook trainings on Tuesday morning. Jenny also links helpful articles that are so helpful for bloggers.
- Mastering Your Influence Facebook Page ~ As a paid monthly membership group, Jenny dives deeper into topics with a dedicated group of bloggers. I was a part of this for 6 months and learned SO much!
- Pitch Perfect Pro ~ Learn the specifics of how to approach brands for sponsored posts, put together a media kit, and complete a campaign for a brand that you can be proud to be paid for. I have also taken part in this 6 month course, and I’m so glad I did! One of the most helpful parts of it was the monthly Facetime call I had with Jenny. The one on one conversations with her was a huge encouragement to me in my blogging journey. I found Jenny to be so wise in guiding me through the specific questions I had. And, she encouraged me to keep doing live broadcasts! I’m so glad I did!;)
And one last thing…
Since I had so many people over on my Instagram channel that seemed interested in the topic of blogging, I decided to open up a Facebook page for that. Click on the button below, and request to join the group if you’re interested.