Having the right tools and resources to help you in your online journey is the easiest way to achieve success in your online business. We’ve compiled a list of blogging tools and resources to help you create and grow a kick-ass blog.
This way you can quickly find great products and services you can use to help in operating your business online. Most of the websites and tools listed here are free. However some of them might need a little investment. No need to worry about getting scammed because we only recommend tools we have used ourselves. Or those we checked and confirmed will offer you value. We can guarantee that this resource page will save you time, effort and money. Better still, it will help you generate more money.
So, without further adieu, let’s look into some digital tools and resources you need to make your business operation online smoother and more effective.
Domain Registration Resources
Online domain name registration tool that has been around for years. We operate several websites and we bought all our domains from here. Just like the name suggests, it is affordable but they have a great customer support. A normal domain costs around $10.69 per year but you can get some for as little as $0.88 per year.
Note: Always get a .com or .net domain. Anything else will make you unable to be found on Google search engines.
Web Hosting + Website Platform Resources
We host many websites on Hostgator. No downtime, great customer support! Every time we have a query they respond in good time.
we know we just mentioned Hostgator above, but Siteground is a site worth noting. We have been hearing amazing things about it. It has cheaper hosting plans and they are just as good. Thinking of getting a new website hosting with SiteGround will be a great idea. We will update you on how it goes.
Now that you’ve bought your domain name and are set to go, get it hosted on sites like Hostgator or Siteground. It is time to find a content management system (also known as CMS) that will allow you to post your blog posts and visual content like images or videos.
WordPress is a free and open-source content management system that will enable you to create a website in as little as 15 minutes. We have some detailed posts to show you how to do this. But for now, what you need to know is that WordPress is at the top when it comes to creating a blog or a website for your business.
Great thing for beginners and what makes WordPress so attractive is that it has various useful free features. For instance, it comes with free themes. So, you don’t have to pay for a premium theme when you are starting out. It also has lots of plug ins for everything: plagiarism check, SEO tools, language helper, for visual content and so much more.
Squarespace was created back in 2003. It allows business owners to create attractive websites. In addition to offering CMS services they also have hosting and domain registration services as well. So a little bit of everything we’ve already discussed above.
WordPress Themes + Plugins
A website will not be complete without a great theme to complement it. The websites below are essential resources for finding a beautiful and responsive theme for your website. There are also plug-ins you may find useful.
This is the number one theme marketplace with over 34,000 website templates. If you are looking for a custom theme that’s professionally designed, this is the place to get it. Check them out to grab a theme that fits your business niche.
Elegant Themes is just like Themeforest. They also have a variety of amazing themes to choose from. You can get 87 themes for just $67. This is a steal if you are aware of the prices on the market.
This site was created in 2012 and has been selling themes, graphics, fonts, stock photos, and other digital products since then. It is a home place for over 20, 000 independent creators ready to serve you. They also have a “Free Goods of the Week” section where you can get photos and fonts free of charge. You can downloaded bunch of high-quality stock photos to use in your blogposts for free!
A Prettier Web
Just like the name suggests, this site has pretty WordPress themes specifically customized for businesswomen. It has three categories that you can choose from: themes for women entrepreneurs, lifestyle bloggers, and course creators. When you sign up you will get an ebook containing the list of 100+ Free WordPress Plugins.
Bluchic has both free and premium WordPress themes specifically for women bloggers and entrepreneurs just like A Prettier Web does. The themes on Bluchic look stunning and are very responsive. More than 20,000 women entrepreneurs have bought precisely from this site. Another alternative can be Mythemeshop. You can get freemium themes here as well. Perfect one for beginners!
Akismet is one of the must-have blogging resources doesn’t matter whether you are a new blogger or an experienced one. This plugin protects you from spam. As your website grows and you start receiving a substantial amount of traffic some people will start sending you spam comments. Especially those with crappy websites.
They will leave unrelated content and links on your blog all in the name of engaging with another website. (Especially if you are a popular name in your niche). This plugin will save you so much time. We have detected more than 6,000 spam comments that were captured by Akismet in just a few months. No way a human moderator could ever handle that much spam!
Yoast for SEO
This plugin will analyze and optimize your blog images, titles, meta descriptions, and the content itself. This is such a huge time-saver for website owners. You get to see if your keywords are adequately placed in the posts, if the image alter text matches the keyword etc. Hardly any website owner on WordPress operates without using Yoast for SEO.
This plugin is like 5 in 1. It has lots of features that are useful for a smooth website operation. We use their related posts feature to show our visitors what else is on our website. You can use the share buttons so viewers can share your content on social media. In addition, the publicize feature can alert readers whenever you publish new content. You get to do all these completely free of charge!
WP Super Cache
People don’t like it when they visit a website and it’s taking forever to load (we don’t like it either). It gives an impression of unprofessionalism as it creates a really poor user experience. When you install WP Super Cache, it will delete cached files and make your website load faster. Which ultimately leads to more traffic. W3 Total Cache is a great alternative you can use as well.
This plugin goes to your site and reduces the size of all your images without messing up their quality. Large images may look beautiful on the outside but slow your website on the backend. Load your site faster by installing WP Smush. We’ve heard great things about TinyPing as well.
Google Analytics for WordPress
This plugin was created by MonsterInsights and it enables you to track the visitors on your site and their engagement within WordPress. All you have to do is just insert the Google Analytics tracking code on your blog.
Revive Old Posts
Just like the name suggests, this plugin helps you in driving traffic to your old posts by sharing them on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. All you have to do is just set the time and number of posts you want published. The rest will be done automatically. It functions the same way as Tailwind or BoardBooster for Pinterest. Just schedule your posts and check the engagements afterwards.
SEO/Keyword Research Tools Resources
Who doesn’t love this tool. It’s because Ahrefs allows website owners to spy on their competition, see their top keywords, their position, and know how many backlinks they have. If you want to get ahead of your competition, this is the right tool to use. Observing and analyzing what others are doing that’s working for them is the easiest way to grow your business. You just need to adjust and customize a bit.
Another popular one. SEMrush is similar to Ahrefs. The difference is this tool is mainly focused on detailed keyword research. But you can also track keywords and see rankings of your competitors. It will also allow you to do a complete audit of your website.
Google Keyword Planner
This is a free keyword tool provided by Google considered to be one of the most important resources. Use it to help you find the right keywords for your website. It’s a common knowledge that long-tail keywords perform better on search engines. All you have to do is insert a keyword(s) in the search bar of this tool and a bunch of related keywords will show up. These will indicate how competitive they are through displaying monthly and annual search volumes.
This is also a free keyword tool that will generate thousands of keyword ideas for you. One thing we like about this particular platform is that some of the keywords are not available on the Google Keyword Planner. This is a must-have if your aim is generating unique content.
CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
Page titles are very important. Write better headlines using this tool. We’ve used it to write all our post titles and it’s given us great results. All you have to do is insert the title and click the “Analyze Now” button. It will take a few seconds and your results will be shown in real-time. It shows word balance, headline type, length analysis and keywords. The tool also displays the first three and last three words as those can be seen on Google when you post the content.
This is a free SEO tool that will review your site and locate areas that need to be improved.
Email Marketing/List-Building Resources
Below are blogging resources that allow you to market your business through your website using email marketing.
We’ve been using Aweber for many years and with no complains. The experience has been seamless. The feature we liked most is their autoresponder system that allows you to send automated emails. A must have feature for all email marketers. Saves lost of time and makes affiliate marketing much easier.
This is similar to ConvertKit. The difference is that MailerLite is a bit easier to use and their services are also cheaper. A good start for beginners who don’t have much to spend! Started using it last month for one of our new site and we can confirm it’s pretty good.
SumoMe has at least a dozen free tools that you can use to grow your website. We love their floating social buttons that you can place on the side, below, or at the top of your posts. There’s also a list builder that you can place at the top of your website or the left side. It is to collect emails every time someone wants to download a pdf, a free report, or whatever you may be giving away in exchange for the email addresses.
Social Media Marketing Resources
No list of blogging resources would be complete with social media marketing tools, so let’s check some of them out.
This is a social media marketing tool that allows you to schedule posts in advance and send them out at specified periods on multiple social media platforms. The social media analytics feature will enable you to see how many likes, shares, and engagements each post gets.
This is a premium social sharing plugin that functions like SumoMe but it has more robust features. Your social buttons will appear in posts on either above, below, or at both ends. It also shows the total number of shares the popular posts gets, shown in the sidebar. Not only that, when you change your site from HTTP to HTTPS or totally change your domain name address the plugin will recover your social likes and shares. How cool is that?
This is a Pinterest pin scheduling tool that will automatically send your pinnable images to specified boards at specified times. It has a looping feature that automatically repins old pins, analyzes your pins, and deletes those with less engagement. Another great feature is the one for campaigns. A free account will give you 100 free pins. You can choose to get the paid plan that offers you 500 pins for just $5.
Tailwind functions the same way as BoardBooster. It is also a pin scheduling tool that will post on your boards on Pinterest. You can also use it for Instagram. They recently created a feature that allows you to populate your content from all of the league you have within Tailwind.
Graphic Design Tools + Logo Design
Here are a few resources to help you in the designing aspect of blog.
This is the best graphic design tool and the most widely used one. If you don’t know much about Photoshop use Canva. Canva allows you to create beautiful blog post title images, Pinterest pinnable images or Facebook post visuals. Everything created using Canva stands out and enhance your brand image. They have a paid option but the free option works just fine. Apple pages are also another great tool that you can use.
This is also a photo editing tool that you can use to create amazing images for your blog. It delivers the same results as Canva. They have a free and paid option as well.
They say “Design is the secret to great business”. We totally agree. If you want a custom-made and professionally designed logo that will stand out in the crowd, use 99designs. You will get value for your money. Another alternative to look at is Fiverr.com. Here, you can find a freelance designer to make a logo for you doesn’t matter your budget.
Stock Photo Sites
- A Prettier Web
Free Fonts – Awesome FontStacks
If you are looking for a great site with amazing fonts that you can use to create your content Awesome FontStacks is the site you need to visit. This site will allow you to mix and match your fonts seamlessly.
- Google Fonts
- 1001 Free Fonts
- Font Squirrel
- Color Palette Sites
- Canva Palette Generator
- Color Palette FX
Paid Blogging Ebooks + Course Recommendations
Finally, these are blogging websites that we consider to be resourceful due to their wealth of knowledge.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
Michelle Schroeder earned six figures in her first year of blogging. She teaches other bloggers how to do the same. Ever since the creation, her name and her course have been the talk of the town. There are countless reviews about this course on the internet. If you haven’t enrolled yet, you are really missing out.
We enrolled for this course and we have to say the information is priceless. One thing we love about it is the Facebook Mastermind group where you get to share your posts, ask a question, and interact with other bloggers who want to achieve the same results as you. You are going to have so many new ideas that you can implement to grow your blog. And your income, obviously.
Blog By Number
Suzi over at startamomblog.com was able to grow her blog from $0 to $11,000 per month in just one year. She made this money from selling services, affiliate commissions, and other products. She has condensed all that information into actionable steps that you can take to start growing your own blog just like she did.
Building a Framework: The Ultimate Blogging Handbook
This is a comprehensive video course that will teach you, not only how to launch a blog but how to make it successful. Abby Lawson over at Justagirlandherblog.com will teach you the most effective strategies she has used to grow her blog into a real business. You will get tried and tested methods that will help you grow your own business.