When I first started my blog, I had no idea what all went into it! I learned quickly that I would need to find the tools and resources that worked for me. I enjoy researching so I thought it was fun to go on the hunt for the top blogging tools and resources. My main goal was to find the free options that worked best. Many of the tools and resources below are free.
Some of the resources below are paid resources, but I am very selective about what I will pay for. *Some of the links below are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you choose to make a purchase.*
Check out my top blogging tools and resources below!
Start Your Blog
Bluehost Starting at $3.95/month. Read my step-by-step (with printable) for starting a blog.
Connect with Your Readers: Build a Mailing List
Powered by MailChimp I use Mailchimp for my mailing list. They offer free accounts for up to 2,000 subscribers.
SumoMe I use the Smart Bar and List Builder apps. I use the free versions of both apps. I like the level of customization they provide, so I can decide when I want my pop-up to show up. You will never see it show up the second you arrive on my site! I also use the Heat Maps on occasion. Heat Maps are a great tool to see where your readers are clicking on your site.
BoardBooster for scheduling pins in Pinterest. Use this link to get a free Trial including 100 pins. I now pay $5 for 500 pins per month.
Buffer for scheduling tweets. I have only used the free version for Twitter, but Buffer can also be used as a scheduling tool for Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest.
SumoMe I use the Share app (also free).
Gumroad (product distribution) – I use Gumroad to sell my Health & Wellness Planner and Travel Planner. I plan on using it for future products. Gumroad is an easy program to work with and it offers an affiliate program for your products.
Canva – I use this design tool for all my blog images. It’s simple to use and free. Before purchasing InDesign, I used Canva to create printables.
Adobe InDesign – I currently create my printables using InDesign.
There are so many free stock photo sites out there. Here are a few that I use most often: Unsplash, picjumbo, and Kaboom pics.
I recently joined Haute Chocolate’s Styled Stock Library. I am excited to use the photos and graphic elements as I improve the look of my blog!
Building a Framework: The Ultimate Blogging Handbook by Abby of Just a Girl and Her Blog
How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul by Ruth of Living Well Spending Less
Blog Traffic ebook: 17 Strategies I Used to go from 17K to 350K+ Page Views in 9 Months by Lena Gott
How to Double Your Blog Traffic in 90 Days (or less!) by Sarah of XOsarah.com
Create. Profit. Party! by Sarah of XOsarah.com
Strategies Worth Sharing: How I Grew My Facebook Page from 2,000 to 100,000 in 5 Months by Brittany of Equipping Godly Women (Note: This is the only resource on this page that I am not currently using. I am not focusing on growing my Facebook page at this time. If I decide to focus on growing it, this book will be my first resource.)
Socialix (brands can get one month free here)
Affiliate Companies and Opportunities
ShareaSale – this affiliate network works with a huge number of companies. A few examples: Cents of Style, Green Kid Crafts, Dayspring Cards, VidAngel
Amazon – link to about any type of product with their affiliate program.
Grove Collaborative – some of the best customer service out there!
Thrive Market – get 15% off your first order as a customer
Vitacost – get $10 as a customer
Plugins (all free)
jQuery Pin It Button For Images – This free plugin makes it easy for readers to pin your images. It highlights images on hover and adds a “Pin It” button over them for easy pinning.
Related Posts by Zemanta – This plugin adds recommended posts at the bottom of each of your posts. It will show posts that your reader may also be interested in, hopefully keeping them on your site longer.
Title and Nofollow For Links – The plugin adds a title and a rel=”nofollow” checkbox to the insert link popup box. It’s a simple way to add ‘no-follow’ for affiliate and sponsored links. I like just having to check a box instead of messing with code.
Magic Action Box – Create a simple custom newsletter opt-in box. (To see this in action, view one of my posts. It’s the newsletter sign in under the related posts and above the share buttons.)
Yoast SEO – Easy to use SEO plugin.
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What are your top blogging tools and resources?
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