Blogging is a great way to share your knowledge with the world. But in order to become a successful blogger, you now only need to keep up to date on ever-changing world of blogging but also choose the right tools and products to master blogging and treat your blog as a business.
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With the right products and tools, you can up your blogging game by showing your audience you take your blog seriously as a business.
My workstation (aka desk) is set-up right in the toy room so that my boys can play while I work – all in the same room! The gate is more of a deterrent since both my kids (ages 2 and 5) can climb over the gate…but it’s something, right?
Although not everybody has the luxury of a desk or even a space dedicated to blogging, there are ways that you can make wherever you do work YOURS.
Focus on what makes you the most productive – do you like light? Do you sit on the couch to work? Find just a couple of things that make YOU happy and in a good head space. Get a nice pillow or a special lamp or chair set-up next to a window.
While I won’t be focusing on furniture (only products directly related to blogging), there are lots of options out there to help you create a space that works for YOU.
Be comfortable. Be productive.
Below I have listed all of the tools and products I currently use and own in my own blogging business. Many of the products center around creating video/audio since that is the trend in the online world – our audiences are visual people!
If you don’t already use video on your blog, take a look at the tools I use and see if they can help you break through the fear of being in front of the camera and show your audience who YOU are!
I have a couple of microphones for different purposes. As a work-at-home-mom (WAHM), I find myself needing one that I can take with me to record anywhere I go (noteably in my car – which is surprisingly good for sound!).
Make sure to check out my article on using Krisp with your microphone to cut out background noise!
I use the Blue Yeti at home. It’s a rather large microphone but is amazing at getting the highest sound quality out of any microphone I have ever used.
For many bloggers, this is considered the “gold standard” in microphones. It comes with a higher price tag, but for me is totally worth the money! (see below for an alternate option I also use)
Plus, it comes in all sorts of colors (mine is teal!) so you can get one that matches your style.
The Blue Yeti comes with a stand (though I use an arm stand) and everything you need right out of the box.
The only drawback to this microphone is that it can be very sensitive to sound – I use not only a boom but also a filter (comes with the arm stand I purchased) since I have kids and tend to sigh a lot (so it can catch on to my breathing quite well).
If you decide this microphone is right for you, just play with different options to see what works for YOU. Some bloggers need to speak very close to the microphone (you will see this in videos of your favorite bloggers) while others have a booming voice that is too loud for the sensitive microphone.
The Audio-Technica microphone was the first one I purchased after seeing it recommended by a few bloggers. It is not as expensive as the Blue Yeti (above), but I wouldn’t say it’s cheap.
The biggest thing you need to remember is that the equipment you buy is an investment in your blogging business. If you continually buy lower price tag equipment you will likely waste money needing to upgrade or replace the product later.
I use this microphone on the go (usually in my car). It comes with a tripod stand. It’s super simple to just plug it into your USB and go!
I do like this microphone because it gives great sound quality but isn’t as sensitive as the Blue Yeti (in a good way).
Comica Smartphone Microphone
When on the go, I sometimes do video on my smartphone. This tiny microphone gives you a much better sound quality than the built-in microphone and is super easy to install and use. It also comes with 2 different booms to cut out background noise.
This microphone stand clips directly onto my desk so I can move the microphone around. My chair is pretty low and I didn’t want to have to lean forward too much to get the sound quality I wanted with the Blue Yeti.
This stand came with a filter and boom to help control the background noise and potential breathing the sensitive microphone likes to pick up.
So unless you just need a microphone for a Podcast, you will want to get a good quality video device. In many cases, I do use the video on my smartphone (notably for Facebook Lives), but for all other purposes, I use:
Logitech C922x Pro Stream Webcam
This little camera (webcam) records 1080p HD video. There’s no need to invest in a bulky camera (unless that’s your jam). This fits easily in my laptop bag and records amazingly clear video.
I made the decision to go with this camera after seeing many bloggers recommend it as their go-to camera.
I will say that I tried using the Logitech video capture software on my laptop and it would not sync the audio and video (a common issue from what I’ve read). So if you plan to use an external microphone, I’d go with a different software.
I got the Boltune Bluetooth 5.0 wireless headphones after seeing many recommendations from other bloggers. I don’t use them when I’m doing videos since they are large, but they are amazing for when I am editing. They are by far the softest, most comfortable headphones I’ve ever owned!
Lighting: Ring Light
The Neewer 18″ Dimmable Fluorescent Right Light provides you with a bunch of filters to creating the lighting you want, a stand that extends amazingly high, and an arm that can bend to change the angle of the light.
The initial set-up takes a little bit of learning but once you get the hang of it, set-up is quick and easy.
It also comes with a great case (though the case does not hold the main stand).
Lighting: Smartphone Ring Light
The benefits of this particular right light is that it is completely affordable and makes it quick and easy to record video right on your smartphone. It also comes with a bluetooth clicker to take photos or start/end your videos.
Now I will say that this is an amazing little product, but if you wear glasses it’s really a no-go. The glare you get from having a ring light directly in your face makes you look like you have a yellow ring of light (which you do) and there’s no way to get around that. At least with the large ring light (see above) you can position the light above your head and add some filters (see below) to bring some of that light to the sides.
In many ways, these Neewer lighting reflectors are just a nice to have. But, as a blogger who wears glasses, I have to come up with ways to light my videos without having a glare from the lights in my lenses.
So I place my ring light over and to the left of me and these filters down and to the right of me to reflect the light back up to light the other side of my face.
These are great even if you don’t have glasses and comes with different reflectors to change the lighting to whatever mood you are looking for.
While these aren’t a “product”, I thought I’d at least list the software I use to record videos (excluding live webinars, etc):
I have a few others that I use for different purposes, but the above are the basic programs I use for almost every video I create.
Computer or Laptop
These kind of go without saying…and I think the purchase of a computer is something that you need to figure out for yourself. But, just make sure you look for one that has good RAM (speed), storage, and comfortable display.
Personally, I have an HP laptop though I used to have a Mac.
I do get a lot of people as me where I got my laptop case, but you have to remember that the case depends on your laptop. BUT, here is the laptop case I use.
What’s Right For YOU?
In a lot of ways, what works for some bloggers may not be the best solution for others, whether from a price point or from usability.
Do your research and see what the best solution is for YOU. You are going to have to just guess and check, but it’s pretty safe to say that if you see the same product recommended by many bloggers chances are you can purchase the item and know that it will be a great product (which is what I’ve done).
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