Before we dive into my blogging tech essentials, notice anything different? Darling April has undergone a little makeover and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the result. The mastermind behind this redesign, Kaitlin, was an absolute dream to work with. She is incredibly talented, sweet, attentive, and she took what I had in my head and turned my blog design into something that reflects me and my personal style so well. This blog is such an amazing creative outlet for me and now I love logging in and viewing my site even more. Can’t thank you enough, Kaitlin!
When I began blogging, I felt extremely overwhelmed by my list of things I needed. Apps, designers, a domain name, camera, editing software… the list went on. Now that I’ve been at this blogging game for a while, I have really learned what I need and what is and isn’t worth investing in. I’m sharing my blogging tech essentials with y’all today so that you can decide what you may need to add to your personal arsenal.
My phone is the most obvious piece of “blogger gear” on my list but it’s also my very most used and most essential item. I really feel like people underestimate their sport phones when it comes to blogging. Yes, it’s wonderful to have all kinds of special gadgets, but your phone can do almost everything blog related. Before you start buying extra tools, make sure you’re taking full advantage of your phone. Here are my top iPhone tools:
Camera: Again, obvious. Hear me out… you can start a successful blog and Instagram with just your iPhone camera. I almost always take iPhone photos in square so that they are compatible for Instagram. There is also a handy self timer tool so you can prop up your phone and take your own photos if need be. Tip: be sure to wipe your lens off before you take your photos. Our phones go everywhere with us and the lenses dirty. I use the microfiber bag from my sunglasses because it’s soft and won’t scratch the lens during cleaning. I wrote an entire post about how to edit your iPhone photos here.
Notepad: I absolutely adore the notes application on my phone and use it for so many blogging purposes. While I do have an agenda, I use my notes for to do lists often. I have a separate folder for all of my blog related notes. I have a note saved with all of the hashtags I use on instagram, one for blog post ideas, one for tasks I need to get done, one for things to buy. I also like using my notes to prep my Instagram captions. If I plan to post first thing in the morning, it’s handy to have the caption typed up and ready to be copy and pasted.
UNUM app: To plan my Instagram feed, I use this app. When you’re trying to have an Instagram “theme” and cohesive feed, it’s nice to be able to see how a photo will look in your feed. The app syncs with your Instagram feed and allows you to add photos, hide current photos, and move photos around.
My iPad is essentially a big version of my phone. I love to view my blog on the bigger screen and I have typed blog posts on the WordPress app on there. It’s definitely not as essential to me as the other items but it’s very convenient. You can definitely utilize it as a computer and do more with it than I do. I love how lightweight and portable it is. You can find my exact model here.
Ahh, my computer. My laptop is my baby. I recently switched from my old (super clunky, broken, heavy) Toshiba to this Macbook. Every single day since I’ve purchased this computer, i’ve stopped and thought about how incredible it is. It’s lightweight, super fast, and gorgeous. I know the aesthetic shouldn’t matter, but as you can tell by the photo, it matters to me! This is something I use every day and I love that it’s pretty. I use my laptop for everything… it’s synced with my phone so I can text on it, share photos via Air Drop with my phone, and more. For blogging purposes, my computer is my go to. I upload and edit my photos, write blog posts, work on my site, and answer emails on my computer daily. I love that the built in photos app has editing features built in. For the first six months of the blog, I edited blog photos with built in computer software only and it did the trick. I could go on and on about my laptop but I’ll keep it simple… it was the very best purchase and investment for my blog.
Camera & Lens
I have a Canon Rebel T3 DSLR camera that I use for blog photos. I’ve had this camera since middle school and they no longer make the exact model. It’s towards the less expensive end of the Canon DSLR line but I love it. I paid about $500 for it at the time. Up until recently, I used the stock lens that came with the camera as well. I love how lightweight it is and I often stick it in my purse instead of using an unnecessary camera bag. The entire Canon Rebel series makes great beginner cameras. My biggest piece of advice is to not purchase a nice camera unless you plan on learning to shoot in manual mode. I’m no pro at explaining what that involves but you are essentially setting all of the camera setting yourself to achieve the image you want. You can read more about it here. My boyfriend, Riley, is my photographer. He had never touched a DSLR camera until I started the blog but he quickly learned manual and now takes amazing photos for me!
I recently picked up a new lens that has been a game changer for my photos. It’s the Canon 55mm 1.8 lens. If you are a blogger, chances are you want the blurred background effect that leaves you in focus to show off your outfit, product, etc. This lens creates that blurred background effect and it’s only $125, which to me is extremely affordable considering what a difference it makes. I regret not buying this sooner.
I use Adobe Lightroom to edit my photos. I’m still brand new at it and am learning. It can be very overwhelming at first, but there are so many incredible YouTube tutorials to teach you to use the basic features. It’s not free but it’s definitely an investment in the quality of your images.
My blog is run through the WordPress platform. I have never worked on anything but WordPress so I have nothing to compare it to, but I love it. Both the website and the application are easy to use. I’m no tech genius and it was fairly easy for me to figure out the ins and outs of WordPress to get my blog up and running.
My domain name (darlingapril.com) is hosted through Blue Host. I pay a yearly fee to own that URL. TO be honest, I haven’t had to work with Bluehost much since I set up the blog but I have no complaints.
My blog theme is from Pretty Cute Designs with a genesis parent company. Spending money on a theme was a great choice for me because I was able to essentially buy the framework and then easily customize the colors and layout.
I would absolutely love to know what tech essentials you rely on as a blogger. I think it’s so interested to hear what works for everyone as these types of things are so unique to each individual. I truly hoped something you read in today’s post will help you out with your blogging tech arsenal.