How did you come up with Sher She Goes?
Do you have tips for starting a blog?
Starting a blog is the hardest part. You might feel like you’re not “ready” enough or that your photography isn’t “good” enough but don’t think about it and just start. When I look back at some of my earliest posts I definitely cringe but you’ll never improve if you don’t even start.
Once you’ve made the decision, I recommend buying your own domain and self-hosting your blog, ie. shershegoes.com vs. shershegoes.blogspot.com or shershegoes.wordpress.com. A self hosted blog conveys professionalism and allows you to customize your site to its fullest and even add advertising, should you eventually wish to. It’s much more difficult to start on a shared platform and then switch a couple months in then to start initially on the right platform. I’m definitely technology challenged so I’m so glad I took the time to set my site up properly from the beginning.
I used Bluehost as my hosting partner for the first three years of my site. Not only are they extremely affordable (about $5 a month) they walk you through step by step how to set up your blog with their 1-click WordPress Blog installation. You can sign up for bluehost here to get a special, lower rate of $3.49/month, which is an exclusive deal only available through my link for my readers.
Premium Themes and Plugins
Once you have your site set up, you might be disappointed with its bare bones appearance. Here are a number of resources I used to improve the look of my blog:
Elegant Themes – a membership site with really beautiful themes like Divi and Extra plus home to the Monarch social sharing plugin and Bloom email opt-in plugin
Envato Themes by Themeforest – another site with thousands of affordable, high quality premium themes. the most highly popular wordpress themes are X theme, Avada theme and Enfold theme which are highly customizable and perfect for almost every type of site.
99 Designs – my go to source for professionally designed logos at an affordable price. To start, you lay out some guidelines of the type of logo you’re looking for and specify any colors, styles or images you might want to be featured. For example, if you’re a gluten free food blogger and you want some kind of wheat symbol in your logo, you can specify that.
Then a crew of freelance designers will each design a logo for you and you can pick the one you love! There’s also the ability to poll your readers to see which logo design is their favorite and the best part is a money back guarantee, if you’re not satisfied with any of the designs that have been created. You can try out 99 Designs here.
Slider Revolution – for a beautiful, scrolling image header
Visual Composer – to build easily beautiful pages without any knowledge of coding
Uber Menu – to really customize your menu bar with drop downs, images and video
Magento – to make gorgeous email templates
Tailwind – to optimize my pins to Pinterest and cycle my boards for fresh content. Canva is built into Tailwind so you can upload, design and schedule your pins all on the platform. I also love the Tribe function to get my pins shared by others for additional reach! I have the annual plan which is under $10/month.
Boardbooster – to loop my pins so new followers can see old pins/posts. I also use their scheduler to continually cycle out my pins. I currently use their $5/month plan and it’s been fantastic.
Boardbooster or Tailwind? I find that having both has been ideal since they each work slightly differently. Tailwind is essential whenever I have a new post and new pin since it can quickly schedule that out over the Pinterest universe and add momentum. Meanwhile, Boardbooster is great for refreshing my old pins and making sure that those get seen. Together, the two services are under $15/month and mean that I never really need to go into Pinterest manually – it’s quite a time saver!
Media Kit – I use Etsy for beautiful media kit templates that look professional and are quite affordable. High quality media kits are anywhere from $10 – 30 and really well designed, especially if you’re not savvy with Photoshop or InDesign.
Where have you traveled?
What camera and equipment do you use?
What camera gear do you recommend?
I get a lot of questions about what DSLR to invest in. For beginners, I would recommend just using your iPhone or camera phone – phone camera quality is really incredible nowadays and it’s so much lighter and more convenient to just tote around your phone. If you’re looking to amp up your blog and take more professional looking photos, I would first rent some gear to make sure you’re ready for the weight and investment. Adorama is my go-to for gear and lens rentals while B&H is a photo superstore where I buy my gear and accessories – both are located in New York City.
For a serious enthusiast beginner looking to invest in a DSLR, my pick would be the Canon 6D, which is quite similar to the Mark III but is about $1,000 cheaper, lighter and comes with wifi capability. Just buy the ‘Body Only’ option.
Then I’d pair it with a 50mm 1.8 lens (together that will run you ~$925). Everyone says the body is less important than the lesn but honestly I think the camera body plays a big role in teaching you the mechanics behind great photography – you need to have enough focal points to take tack sharp photos, a good ISO range that can push the higher end and wifi capabilities and a sharp sensor help. I’d choose a strong body and an inexpensive lens to start, because you’ll always be buying new lenses for different types of situations (close ups of nature, family portraits, landscapes, etc) but it’s quite expensive to buy multiple camera bodies.
All Around Travel: the 24-70mm is a zoom lens I bring on my trips which is equally great for farther away architecture and close up food or portrait shots (although beware, this + the Mark III is a heavy combination)
Safari and Zoom: the 70-200mm gives amazing bokeh and zoom flexibility on lifestyle, portrait and travel photography. I brought this with me on my first safari trip to South Africa and it was perfect 80% of the shots. For animals a little farther away, I added on these extension tubes to get a little more zoom. Longer distance zooms are a little too pricey for me at the moment but I’d love to go back to Africa eventually when I have a bigger budget!
Landscape shots: this is my favorite affordable wide angle lens good for mountains, lakes and hiking trips.
I'm visiting NYC! What should I see / do / eat while I'm here?
Sure, when I first graduated I lived in a tiny dark apartment and spent all my weekends outside exploring different coffee shops and neighborhoods. I’ve put together a NYC Coffee Guide with a list of some of my favorites.
If it’s your first time visiting, here are all the best NYC museums to see – the obvious favorites like the Met but also some smaller ones that might not be on your radar.
And of course, the Food Guide. I have some individual posts on various restaurants and brunch spots in my NYC category but here is a smaller post on just acai bowl spots. I’m obsessed with a good breakfast bowl!
If there’s a guide you’d like to see, feel free to tweet me!