I started blogging in 2009 when I did my first backpacking trip. I headed out to to the USA with my best friend for two months. We crossed eight states and wwoofed for a roof over our heads wherever we ended up. We blogged along the way and then got distracted by our degrees.
I took up blogging again in 2013 when I began planning, then doing, my two+ year voyage around the Atlantic and Caribbean. I’ve been blogging ever since.
Needless to say, I’ve picked up a few things along the way. I thought I’d share the best resources that I’ve used and still use here. Because why trial and error for years when you can save time by hearing other people’s experiences?
There are a few affiliate links in this post, although not many. This means that if you use my offer codes (that get you a discount) or my links, I get a commission. Everything I talk about, I use – and like.
I use WordPress self-hosted. It’s free and it’s the best.
I bought my domain name from NameCheap. I’ve previously used CrazyDomains and GoDaddy but settled on NameCheap. They’re awesome and give you very cheap or free WHOIS Guard protection (keeps your address and details private).
I use TSOhost and good god, I will rave about them every day if I need to. They’re a UK company and they have the world’s greatest response time. If I ever get lost or confused or can’t remember how to log into my hosting account, they get back to my so fast. Like, five minutes kind of fast.
They even have an online livechat feature from 7am-midnight.
Which is bliss when you still need a Glossary for Words on The Internet (like wtf is hosting anyway?). They’re so nice and friendly and always explain things to me.
They also have mega cheap hosting prices and I’ve never had an issue. I’ve been using them for three years. Maybe more.
If you want to sign up to TSOhost for your hosting, you can get a 10% discount by using the offer code, ‘Kitiara‘ when you pay.
10% Discount Code: Kitiara
I use Wellness Pro by Studiopress on for kitiarapascoe.com. This is a Genesis theme. I love Studiopress and have used lots of themes by them. My theme on theliterarylifeboat.com (i.e. my travel content and copywriting website) is also one of the StudioPress Themes for WordPress. I use the Agency Pro Theme for that site.
Free wordpress themes can look fine and dandy by they are susceptible to hacking, bugs and all sorts of bad things. You pay for what you get. I only use paid-for themes because the last thing I want on my website is hacked adverts for viagra.
I started using Scrivener in October 2016 on a free trial. I’d just bought a new laptop and didn’t want to buy MS Office. But there’s not much a writer can do without a word processor. While I was using Pages and Google Docs for work, I really needed something more intuitive for my book.
In my head, I imagined something that allowed me to spread out all the 200+ pages of my book on the floor and see them at once. But on a computer…
I’d heard of Scrivener and started a free trial. It totally changed the way I wrote. Big time.
I now use it for long works (books) as well as copywriting client work and blog posts. It works very well for all of this because you open different projects and inside each project is everything to do with that one thing. So I have a project for each client, which contains everything I’ve written for that client, including research and correspondence.
Look….it’s just the best thing ever. If you’re a writer and you have a million words in your head and you just need to scrape them out and see them – this is it. It’s like those crime mapping white boards on CSI.
I’ll keep adding to this list as time goes on (and as I remember more things that I use).
For instance, there are some excellent websites and books out there which provide really helpful blogging tips. Plus beginner guides and how-tos, especially for WordPress.
The thing I’ve learnt while building my own websites is this: If you have a question, someone has already asked and answered it.
This is especially true in regards to anything to do with wordpress. If you get stuck, ask Google. Or look at the WordPress Beginner website – because they explain everything.