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!

Top Blogging Tools and Resources. Many are free blogging resources!

Start Your Blog

Bluehost Starting at $3.95/month. Read my step-by-step (with printable) for starting a blog.

Free eBook/Workbooks

5 Types of Content that will Boost Your Blog Traffic
Goal Setting Workbook for Bloggers

Blog Structure Blueprint
7 Surefire Ways to Boost Your Blog Income Overnight

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.

Social Media

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).

Tools

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.  

Pictures

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!

haute chocolate styled stock photos

Books

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.)

Free eBook/Workbooks

5 Types of Content that will Boost Your Blog Traffic
Goal Setting Workbook for Bloggers

Blog Structure Blueprint
7 Surefire Ways to Boost Your Blog Income Overnight
Free Blog Traffic Bonus Guide

Sponsored Posts

Izea
Tap Influence
Clever Girls
Activate
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. 

eCourses

Elite Blog Academy – get on the waiting list!

Advertising

Media.net – receive a BONUS of 10% on your earnings for 3 months
Google Adsense

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Blogging Tips and Resources

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What are your top blogging tools and resources?

Top Blogging Tools and Resources. Many of my favorites are free blogging resources!

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52 comments on “Top Blogging Tools and Resources”

  1. This is an absolutely wonderful post, Emily. Very useful and informative. I’ve wondered about some of the affiliates you mentioned here. We use a lot of the same resources such as Sumo me and MC.
    Question: I have Bluehost and am re-upping in July. Do you recommend it long term? Because I haven’t been totally in love with it, yet I don’t want to change my domain email (now that I finally figured out how to use it.

    • Thanks Ruthie! Yes, I noticed that you used SumoMe. I love the options they provide even with the free versions.

      I do plan on sticking with Bluehost until they give me reason to switch! I have been very happy with them and have not had issues with my site going down. I do know that many bloggers switch when they start to get very high traffic. I don’t remember the stat that I have seen, but I know some bloggers recommend switching when you get to a certain point. (I don’t remember if it’s a site speed issue?) It’s a very night monthly page view stat, so I don’t plan on switching for a while.

  2. Such great tips! I am working on building my email list and traffic right now. I would love to move toward monetizing, but it is overwhelming to know where to start.

  3. What a great list of tools and resources!
    You’ve listed a few I’ve never heard of.
    I found your post today on Wise Woman.
    Hope you have a blessed day~
    Melanie

  4. These are great resources. I have quite an extensive list of resources already, but you’ve mentioned some I’ve never heard of before. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Ignorance is bliss! I don’t know what half of these mean when I see bloggers talk about them. So thank you for educating this newbie (I still call myself this) on some of the lingo out there.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing these helpful tips! I’ve been blogging for quite some time, but it started out as a hobby. Now I’m looking to develop it into something more, and your words of wisdom will certainly help me. Visiting you from Coffee for your Heart linkup. God bless you!

  7. Great collection of blogging tools and resources!

    Thanks for sharing. :)

    I’d also add for free stock photos, Pexels.com is also a great site. As they gather all the free public domain photo databases into one simple search.

    I also use Pixabay.com

  8. I always love seeing what other bloggers do and gleaning from all their wisdom; as I am not tech savy and still feel like a newbie blogger;) Thanks for all the great resources!

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