Having the right tools and blogging resources to help you in your online journey is the easiest way to achieve success in your online business.
I’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 all in one place. Most of them are free but others might need a little investment.
I only recommend products I’ve personally used or those I feel will offer you value.
I can guarantee you that this resource page will save you time and money. Better still, it will make you more money.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab what you need and start growing that awesome blog! Coz you are awesome!
This is a domain name registrar that has been around for years. I have three websites and I bought all my domains here. Just like their name, it is cheap but they have great customer support. A normal domain costs $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 not get found on Google search engines.
WEB HOSTING + WEBSITE PLATFORMS
I host all my websites on Hostgator. No downtime, great customer support! Every time I have a query they respond in good time.
Side Note: Want to start your own blog? I created a free step-by-step tutorial that shows you exactly how to set up a self-hosted WordPress blog in 15 minutes or less!) You can start yours for just $3.95 per month (you only get this lower price through my special link for a short period of time) with HostGator. In addition, you will get $100 credit for Google Adwords and a $100 Bing Ads so you can start getting the right website traffic to your new site. Avoid free services like Blogger or WordPress.com. You can’t make money with a free service and your website can be shut down without warning.
I know I just mentioned Hostgator above, but Siteground is a site worth noting. I have been hearing amazing things about it. It has cheaper hosting plans and they are just as good. Thinking of getting a new website for myself, hosting with SiteGround will be a great idea. I will update you on how it goes.
Now that you’ve bought your domain name from Namecheap, got it hosted on Hostgator or Siteground, it’s time to find a content management system(also known as CMS) that will allow you to post your blog posts, 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. I will write a detailed post to show you how to do this. But, for now, click here and check it out. It comes with free themes. So, you don’t have to pay for a premium theme just yet.
Squarespace was created back in 2003 and it can allow you to create beautiful websites. In addition to offering CMS services they also have hosting and domain registration services, as well.
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WORDPRESS THEMES + PLUGINS
A website will not be complete without a great theme to complement it. Go to the sites below and grab a beautiful and responsive theme for your website.
This is the #1 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. Click here to grab a beautiful and response theme.
Elegant Themes is just like Themeforest. They also have amazing themes to choose from. You can get 87 themes for just $67. This is a steal if you asked me.
This site was started in 2012 and has been selling themes, graphics, fonts, stock photos and other digital products ever since. It has over 20, 000 independent creators ready to serve you. They also have a “Free Goods of the Week” section where you can get photos, fonts for free. I just downloaded 10 high-quality stock photos totally free!
Just like the name suggests, this site has pretty WordPress themes specifically for business women. She has three categories that you can choose from: themes for female entrepreneurs, lifestyle bloggers, and course creators. When you sign up you will get an ebook containing 100+ Free WordPress Plugins.
Bluchic has both free and premium WordPress themes specifically for women bloggers and entrepreneurs just like A Prettier Web does. They look stunning and very responsive. More than 20,000 female entrepreneurs have bought from this site. Another alternative can be Mythemeshop. You can get freemium themes here, as well. Perfect for beginners!
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Akismet is a must-have whether you are a new blogger or experienced. 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, most especially those with crappy websites.
They will slap unrelated content and links on your blog all in the name of leaving comments. This plugin has saved me so much time. I have more than 6,000 spam comments that were captured. Not possible for a human like me to handle that much spam!
This plugin will analyze and optimize your blog images, titles, meta descriptions and the content itself. This is such a huge time-saver for me. I get to see if my keywords are adequately placed in the posts if the image alters text matches the keyword etc.
This plugin is like 5 in 1. It has lots of features that are useful to my website. I use their related posts feature to show my visitors what else is on my website. I use the share buttons so viewers can share my content on social media, and the publicize feature alerts my readers whenever I publish new content. You get to do all these totally free!
People don’t like it when they visit a website and it’s taking forever to load (I don’t like it either). It creates a really poor user experience. When you install WP Super Cache, it will delete cached files and your website will load faster which leads to more traffic. W3 Total Cache is a great alternative that 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. I’ve heard great things about TinyPing, as well.
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. Read more about it here.
Just like the name suggests, this plugin helps you to drive 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 to go out and the rest will be done automatically. It functions the same way as Tailwind or BoardBooster for Pinterest. Just set and forget method.
SEO/ KEYWORD RESEARCH TOOLS
I love this tool because it allows me to spy on my 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 tool to use. Implementing what others are doing that’s working for them is the easiest way to grow.
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.
This is a free keyword tool provided by Google to help you find the right keywords for your website. We know that long-tail keywords perform better in 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 indicating how competitive they are through monthly and yearly search volumes.
This is also a free keyword tool that will generate thousands of keyword ideas for you. One thing I like about this tools is that some of these keywords are not available in the Google Keyword Planner. This is a must-have if you asked me.
Write better headlines using this tool. I’ve used it to write all my post titles and it’s given me great results. All you have to do is insert the title and click “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, keywords used, the first three and last three words as it will be seen in Google when you post the article.
This list will not be complete without mentioning Grammarly. This tool checks and eliminates grammatical errors from your content thus improving your writing. I have installed the Firefox extension. It captures errors even in my Facebook posts! Amazing!
This is a free SEO tool that will review your site and locate areas that need to be improved.
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EMAIL MARKETING/ LIST-BUILDING
I’ve been using Aweber for many years and I can’t complain. The experience has been seamless. The feature I liked most is their autoresponder system that allows you to send automated emails.
ConvertKit is the new kid on the block. Everyone is talking about it. I’ve created a new website and will be getting the 1-month trial. They have great automation, you can create multiple opt-ins on your site, landing pages and it also allows you to tag subscribers.
This is similar to ConvertKit. The difference is that MailerLite is easy to use and their services are cheaper. A good start for beginners who don’t have much to spend! Started using it last month for my other site and I can confirm that it’s amazing.
SumoMe has at least a dozen free tools that you can use to grow your website. I love their floating social buttons that you can place on the side, below or at the top of your posts. The list builder that you can place at the top of your website or the left side 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
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 engagement 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 both. It also shows a total number of shares in the popular posts 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 campaigns. A free account will give you 100 free pins. You can choose to get the paid plan that offers you 500 pins for $5.
Tailwind functions the same way as BoardBooster. It is also a pin scheduling that will post on your boards on Pinterest. You can also use it for Instagram. They created a tribe feature recently that allows you to populate your content in all on the tribes you have within Tailwind.
GRAPHIC DESIGN TOOLS + LOGO DESIGN
This is my best graphic design tool so far. I don’t know much about Photoshop. Canva allows me to create beautiful blog post title images, Pinterest pinnable images, Facebook post images that stand out and enhance my brand. They have a paid option but the free option works just fine. Apple pages is 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. They have a free and paid option, as well.
They say “Design is the secret to great business”. I totally agree. If you want a custom-made and professional 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.
Stock Photo Sites
Female themed stock photos
- A Prettier Web
Free Font Sites
If you are looking for a great site with amazing fonts that you can use to create your content Awesome FontStacks is the site to check it. This site will allow you to mix and match your fonts seamlessly.
Other sites to check out
- Google Fonts
- 1001 Free Fonts
- Font Squirrel
Color Pallete Sites
- Canva Palette Generator
- Color Palette FX
PAID BLOGGING EBOOKS + COURSE RECOMMENDATIONS
Michelle Schroeder earned six figures in her first year of blogging and she teaches other bloggers how to do the same. Ever since her name and her course has been on everyone’s lips. There are countless reviews about this course on the internet. If you haven’t enrolled yet, you are really missing out.
I enrolled for this course and I have to say that the information is priceless. One thing I love about the site 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. Now, I have so many new ideas that I can implement to grow my blog and my income, as well.
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 and grow your own blog just like she did.
This is a comprehensive video course that will teach you, not only how to launch a blog but how to make it successful, as well. 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 blog, as well.
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I hope you liked the blogging resources. Now go and create that kick-ass blog! Coz you deserve it!