Blogging is fun, but it can also be doggone hard work. It takes tools, time, love, and a whole lot of effort to build and grow a blog. Here are some of the resources and tools that are used to create, share, and grow here at Dalmatian DIY. We’ve also included extra information and handy links for readers who are interested in taking their own adventure into websites, social media, photography, and more.
Creating and Sharing Dalmatian DIY
The Early Years
When Dalmatian DIY began, it was created and hosted on Google’s free Blogger platform (dalmatiandiy.blogspot.com). Thanks to a whole lot of fabulous readers, Dalmatian DIY eventually outgrew that home. We transitioned to a custom domain, but stayed with the underpinning hosting platform of Google’s Blogger. In hindsight, we should have taken the big plunge all at once. Dalmatian DIY continued to grow and we wanted more flexibility over formatting. Major structural updates were needed, especially to make things better for our mobile readers. We don’t regret starting with Blogger. It’s a great tool, especially if you learn a bit of coding, and free is hard to beat as a start-up. It’s painful transitioning though. If you dream of growing big, it might be better to start with bigger boots and grow into them, if your budget allows.
With some trepidation, we took the big step of changing the entire construct of our Dalmatian DIY website, from branding to platform. We’re currently operating using WordPress via SiteGround (referral link). Their packages made the transition much simpler and smoother.
Blog Resources and Tools
- SiteGround – Website Hosting, Security, Optimisation (referral link)
- WordPress – Website Platform and Construct
- Blossom Themes – Website Theme Design
- Elementor – Post Construction Tools
- Yoast SEO – Site Optimisation
- Google – Adsense, Analytics, Gmail
- Dropbox – Free Download File Storage (referral link)
- Imagery is also a big part of what we share. See below for information on photography resources and tools.
Social Media and More
Getting Started on Social Media
If you’re a pet-lover looking for like-minded friends or a photo buff looking for a place to share, social media might be the right fit. It can be a great place to hang out and make connections, with or without a blog. We’ve met so many furfriends near and far on social media. For most people, social media requires a lot less time, commitment, and investment than running a dedicated website or blog. Different platforms fit different niches, styles, and individual preferences. Experiment with what works best for you personally. Don’t try to do it all, although you might want to nab your preferred names and handles in case you grow. Social media can be a huge time suck. Try to balance your activity.
Join Dalmatian DIY on Social Media
Following on social media is a great way to stay on top of our latest posts, updates, special events, and get a behind the scenes look at life with the blog dogs of Dalmatian DIY. You can find us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks for being part of our crazy blog dog world and for all the love you share with Oli and Humphrey.
We love using Pinterest for sharing and discovering new things, but it’s important to be beware whilst exploring. Pin or click with care. We often see our own images on fake or misleading pins. This happens when people who take images from legitimate pins or posts, and then use them to create pins misdirecting people to unrelated websites. It’s far too easy to accidentally save or click a bad pin, which is very frustrating.
Furfamily Photography Fun
Invest in Furfamily Photos
DIY is great, but professional photos are also very special to have. Treat yourself to some professional photos of your pets and of you with your pets from time to time. They’ll be treasured. We haven’t done this nearly often enough over the years and wish we had more photos of the full furfamily. Find a photographer whose work you like and make sure the formats they offer will work for your needs. For example, high-quality photographer’s prints are beautiful for displaying or gifting, but we also like being able to share photos online and with family overseas, which can be difficult if packages are print only. Found someone you like? If it’s not stated on their website, check whether they would be comfortable working with you and your pets. As much as we adore our furballs, working with dogs isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
Don’t Let Equipment Stop You
You don’t need fancy equipment to take nice photos, although admittedly it sometimes helps. If you want to explore photography but can’t afford an upgrade, that’s perfectly okay. Even mobile phone photos can be awesome. Play around and keep developing your eye and your photography techniques. Even with fancy equipment, the trusty old iPhone still gets a work out for opportunity shots. It’s chock full of dog photos. Lugging heavy camera gear is reserved for special outings, and without the convenience of mobile phone photos, we would have missed out on so many great photos with our boys, including this favourite photo of our dogs on the beach. The same is true for editing. Programs like Photoshop are excellent, but expensive. We use Adobe Photoshop for all DSLR edits, but confess to still loving the quick ease of Picasa (old copy, no longer available) for making colleges for the blog. Test drive some of the free software and apps for features you like.
Explore the Blog for Photography Projects and Inspiration
You can find all of the photography related posts in our blog archives under the Photography archive tag. This is mostly photo-related DIYs as we don’t post a lot of dedicated photography content here at Dalmatian DIY. We also have a board on Pinterest dedicated to pet-related photography with all sorts of inspiration, tips, and and resources. And don’t be shy to drop a picture of your pet into our social media comments and replies sometimes, too. We love seeing photos of our followers and furfriends all around the world.