Tools to Help Jump-start your Blog

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Hello guys !

Since my 1st blogiversary is pretty close, I’ve been thinking a lot about the things I’ve learnt and how my blog has evolved over this past year. And I KNOW that I still have a long way to go BUT I’ve collected some knowledge along the way so even though I’m in no way shape or form a Professional at this or a wizard-almighty-bookblogger (I’m a potato-bookblogger, thank you very much!) I thought I’d share with you some things that I tried and have worked for me and to help me sustain my blog and keep myself organized. This is for the people who are still debating whether they should take the jump -DO IT- because of how daunting it seems (emphasize on the seems) but also for all the people who can find it useful.

So without further babbling, let’s jump right into this:

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Well, you obviously need to set up your blog. May it be WordPress (which works out best for me) or another plateform. You need to start there. Getting a blog, finding a name that’s original and not too hard to remember, finding the theme, etc… But the reason I’m really mentioning this is to tell you to make your blog at your image, because people will associate your blog visual with you, so make it whatever makes YOU happy while keeping it clean and easy to navigate by making a category side bar, a research bar, a review index etc…

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They’re widely popular posts around the blogosphere. Debatably, the most popular. And even though I don’t do memes anymore I’ll forever be grateful to them because they helped me immerse myself into the community by procuring ready-to-go topics to talk about with other bloggers participating in the same meme. Tags, I still do once a week and I think they’re a great deal of fun and give you as much to talk about with others. So if you’re lost and getting dizzy just thinking of where to start posts wise, check out the memes going around and choose the one or two to that seem best to you. Here are a few meme directories:

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Canva is a free, very user-friendly and intuitive online plateform where you can easily make your graphics. All of mine are made on there, I know they’re not some intricate piece of art but I love them and they do the trick for what I want in my blog. It is perfect if you suck at graphic design -like me- and you don’t have time to learn -also like me- then go on there because you’re bound to find something to match your taste and your vision. It has built in fonts, images, shapes, lines, but you can also put in some money to get a wider choice but I’m definitely happy with the free version.

If you’re interesting in Graphic Design you could try playing with Photoshop or Gimp (the free couterpart) and learn to use them. I would if I had the time because I have a lot of fun working on my graphics.

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This is a tip I got from Reg @ She Latitude and I’ll forever be grateful for it because it has changed my blogging life. I use it to have a monthly lay out of my posts, to keep tabs on what I scheduled, drafted, what I need to write, what day I still need to find a post idea for, etc… I am also very proud of the work I’ve done on it because it’s all color coded by types of posts and I label my posts by Drafted-Scheduled and if it’s a review I add to that Read-Reading and once it’s posted I highlight it. I am so much more organized that I have this way of keeping my blog organized, my stress levels went down drastically AND I’m enjoying myself a lot more.

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My notebooks are seriously LIFE. I have 2 of them now and I’m thinking of getting a third. Here’s what they are for:

  1. Review notes. I’m seriously so proud of this one, I love writing in it and keeping it neat and pretty. I write the book titles in their actual fonts with colors matching the book. I also have little symbols for plot, characters, world-building, romance… To make it easier on myself when writing the actual review.
  2. Everything blogging. Essentially my blogging ideas. Though, starting 2017 I’ll switch to a binder because I think it’d be better to keep track of other aspects of blogging, like lists, tags and the like.
  3. This is the one I’m yet to implement because I’m waiting for the notebook to actuallt get here *drumrolls please* It’s A SIX OF CROWS NOTEBOOK and I’m so excited for it to actually be here because I’ll use to track my reading, my ever so growing TBR, the books I have, the ones I need to get, review copies, series started or the ones I yet have to start, etc…

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This is the KEY social network to advertize your blog and it’s quite… Addictive, to be honest. I LOVE IT SO MUCH! It is the best way to get your blog out there, sharing your new posts as well as old ones (Don’t spam though. DON’T SPAM!) and get to chat with your blogging friends outside of comments. It will also be easier to pour your feelings about books -and sometimes life- there, on the spot, fresh out of your brain, instead of waiting to write a proper review and by then all of that might have died down and you also might have forgotten. I’m telling you, IT’S DA BEEEEEST !!

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Facebook, Bookstagram, Bookblr… They’re all great to advertize your blog though I’m not on any of them. My Facebook account is personal, I don’t have a bookstagram because I don’t have enough physical books for it and as for Bookblr I’m still debating whether to get it or not because I heard it can get pretty addictive and spoilery on there so I DON’T KNOW. They’re still all good though!


That’s it until next time.

What are the Tools that YOU use? Do you have any other tips for beginners?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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48 thoughts on “Tools to Help Jump-start your Blog

  1. This is a great post Fadwa, and one I will be bookmarking for future reference as well. Some of these I already use, WordPress is definitely one for example! 😀
    I’ll definitely be checking out Canva, it sounds like an amazing program and one I can definitely make use of as well. I already have tons of blogging notebooks and Google docs with all my notes, none of them are neat or well ordered but my mind manages to make sense of it somehow! I also need to start a Twitter account but Goodreads comes first! 🙂

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  2. These are such great tips. I’m always looking for them myself no matter how long I’ve been doing it lol I personally use GIMP to make graphics & such, but I definitely want to look into Canva now. I’m curious cause sometimes GIMP can just be so frustrating & take a little longer than I’d like cause I’m still learning it lol

    Have you ever thought about doing a tips post or anything about how you organise & write notes in your review notebooks? I’ve just started trying to take notes while I’m reading myself and, even though I’ve gotten lots of tips elsewhere, it still feels so daunting & overwhelming. I was never a very good note taker, not even when I was in school!! ha :3

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad you think so 😊

      Oh that is such a good idea and now that you have put it in my mind, I’ll definitely be doing it sometime in the future, soon hopefully 😊 though I don’t really have any real system for them haha! It definitely takes somebgetting used to though, I kind of struggled at first too, but my reviews are so much better because of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the tips! Those notebook art is amazing. If I could draw like that, I’d probably be writing my way through billions of notebooks! 😛 Fantastic post to help people organize themselves. 🙂

    – Lashaan

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been thinking about starting a Sheet for awhile and yours is goals omg 😍
    I’ve got a notebook just for blog stuff but I find that I don’t use it as much as the notes app on my phone. I wish I did use the notebook more though because I always see photos of really gorgeous ones. Maybe 2017 will be the year of notebooks for me.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I haven’t done it in a while but I used to hand write notes while I was reading but it got too hard when I started reading on the train so I stopped.
        Ideas tend to come in short bursts so my phone is the perfect tool for writing them down.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I actually write my notes on my phone since I already read on it most of the time so it’s really easy, and then I copy them in my notebook.
        I only write down the post’s main idea and then when I want to actually write I just let my brain wander and most of the time it takes a totally different direction from what I expected 😂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. These are great tips! I love how organised you are with your Google Sheets and notebooks (the way you write titles look really pretty by the way!) I’m not organised AT ALL but I’m trying to be so I’ll be sure to check Sheets out. 🙂
    There are Meme Directories?? I never knew!

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  6. Great post Fadwa! 😀 Memes are my blogging savior too. When I first started blogging, I did top ten tuesday regularly and that’s where I found most of my favorite bloggers. I think meme is really a great way to discover other blogs and to get your blog out there. But also like you, I stopped doing meme because I found my footing ❤ also yes to canva! All my header images are made on canva, they're just so simple and awesome. I do use photoshop for my subheadline and photo editing too hehe and omgggg your writing is so good! I once tried bullet journal but I was so bad at typography hahaha but I also use blogging notebook and it is so so useful 😀 can't wait to see your SoC notebook 😛

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  7. Thank you 😊❤ and yes, some people take memes for granted but even though I don’t do them anymore I’m still super appreciative of them.
    I don’t know how to use photoshop to save my life 😂😂 like really, NOTHING.
    Oh gosh! Bullet journaling is so frustrating to me, I just don’t have the patience for it and I am not THAT organized. Also, thank you 🙈
    I can’t wait to see it either haha! I’ll send you a picture as soon as I get it which is hopefully in less than a week.

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  8. I’m glad you’re finding Google Sheets useful! Yours looks so colourful. ❤

    And so amazed that you write the book titles in their actual fonts – I bet your notebook looks really pretty in real life.

    Also Twitter! I'm crap at being online bc I'm not a huge social media person (apart from my job), but I enjoy getting to know bloggers in a more personal and casual capacity. Great post, Fadwa, I'm sure many people will find this useful. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. These are fantastic tips, Fadwa 😊! I, for one, struggle with the organizational aspect of blogging and definitely need to start using Google Sheets. I’m just not sure how I would even set it up though because I’m more of a spontaneous blogger. I rarely plan my posts ahead but I probably need to start haha. 🙈

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  10. This post is EVERYTHING. I’m so jealous of how organised you are 😂 I have tried a schedule, but I can never seem to stick to it. I love your notebooks too, omg. I also tried doing notes, but that didn’t really work either 😂 so I’d also really love to see some tips about that!! It’s one thing I really want to start doing because I have a memory like a sieve and I forget everything by the time I actually sit down to write the review.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahahahaha! You’re more of a mood blogger and that’s not a bad thing either. I just stress too much when I don’t know what I’ll be writing about 🙊 Thank youu ❤ I think I’ll try making a post about note taking because I had to train myself to start doing it haha but Idk if I have enough tips 😂

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  11. I personally don’t use spreadsheets or notebooks for anything blogging related, but that doesn’t say anything. I am a massively disorganized person. I love the post Fadwa! This should be real help to blogging newbies as well as some who struggle to get theirs going.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I LOVE THIS. I’m still so horrible at organisation and blogging and all that stuff BUT THIS MAKES ME WANT TO BE THAT SO BAD. I mean look at those journals! I want to be that awesome! Also can we take a massive massive moment because I don’t do this as much as I should, to appreciate how beautiful your theme is or this blog design (I’m not sure what its called XD) its so visually satisfying and beautiful and I love it infinitely! Yes to all these tips, so useful and wonderful and I love it! Brilliant post AS ALWAYS! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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  14. Can you help me pick a size (dimensions) for my ratings graphic? I try to make stuff on Canva but the font is too small to read. On my blog, it’s on the sidebar and you can barely see the words…any advice for me?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes of course ! 😀 Well, on mine I used a 16 font on a 300×300 px square, I think you can go down to 14 (12 maybe?) and it would still be visible. I checked yours out and I think it’s because you have too much writing on it. You could sum it up maybe?

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