Resources

by Pam @ East by Midwest

All my favorite resources in one place for easy reference. Some of the links are affiliate links. If you use an affiliate link, I’ll receive a commission at no cost to you. The commission supports this website and keeps it free for everyone (yay for free things!).

I think these products and services are awesome. And I think you’ll agree. If you have questions about any of them, feel free to send me an email – I’d love to hear from you!


Blogging


Interested in starting a blog, but not sure where to start? I’ve got you covered.

This post will take you from “I’m thinking about starting a blog” to “I’m a blogger”!

Read: Start a Blog in 5 Easy Steps

SiteGround is my one true love (or multiple true loves, if you count all the people who work there). They’re the folks who keep my website up and running. That includes answering my panicked messages at 2AM when I manage to crash my website. When other people are complaining about their web host provider, I’m busy writing love poetry about mine. Try them. You’ll love them. Read more about web hosting services here.

I was nervous to try Adobe Creative Cloud. Sure, I’m a master at the PDF. But I’d hear people say that the other programs were for the “pros”. Since I didn’t feel like a “pro”, I stayed away. When I finally felt ready, I took the plunge. And realized it was all much easier to use than everyone said. I use Lightroom CC for photo editing and Photoshop for Pinterest pins. Jump in. The water’s fine.

Tailwind is a tool to schedule your Pinterest and Instagram posts in advance. Then you’re not stuck behind a computer on a beautiful sunny day, trying to get your posts scheduled. I use Tailwind to schedule my Pinterest posts. With Tailwind, you can schedule posts to a bunch of different Pinterest boards all at the same time. Huge time saver!

Later is a tool to schedule social media posts, covering Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. I use Later to schedule my Instagram posts. They have this awesome Linkin.bio option that turns your bio link into a mirror image of your Instagram feed, but with clickable links. Genius!

The theme for my website (how the blog looks) is Soledad from ThemeForest. ThemeForest has tons of theme options. All of them have great tutorials to help set-up your website. I’m enrolled in their monthly support plan because I’m always tinkering with the appearance of my website. They patiently answer all my random questions about changing the website format (and believe me, my questions are very random!).

I got the plug-in for my social media share buttons from Social Warfare. They have attractive, professional-looking buttons with lots of customizable options. Plus, their customer service is fantastic! I was struggling with the code to personalize the appearance of my share buttons. Their customer service team looked at my website code and gave me the exact code to fix the problem.


Travel


When I’m scheduling tours for a trip, I like to check TripAdvisor first to see the popular tours at my destination. I’ll read through the customer reviews and check out the discounts offered to find the best tours for that location.

When I’m about to go on the trip, I check the cost of hotels and Airbnb homes in the area. Airbnb isn’t always the cheapest option, but it does give you more of a local feel during your travels when you stay in a residential area.


Photo & Video


I was nervous to try Adobe Creative Cloud. Sure, I’m a master at the PDF. But I’d hear people say that the other programs were for the “pros”. Since I didn’t feel like a “pro”, I stayed away. When I finally felt ready, I took the plunge. And realized it was all much easier to use than everyone said. I use Lightroom CC for photo editing and Photoshop for Pinterest pins. Jump in. The water’s fine.

I use GoPro’s Quik desktop app to edit all of my GoPro videos. The app is super easy to use. I can turn hours worth of video into cool short clips in less than 30 minutes. Plus, the app automatically times your videos to music. So. Cool. Check out my GoPro videos here.


Money & Personal Finance


Mint is my go-to money tool. I use it to track my purchases and account balances. It helps me stick to my monthly budget and check that I’m on track for my retirement goals.

EveryDollar is the easiest to use budgeting tool out there. Every month, I figure out my income and allocate it to my budgeting categories (including my favorite budget category, travel). After I create my budget on EveryDollar, I plug it into Mint to track my purchases against my budget.