I’m often asked by other bloggers or soon-to-be bloggers what tools and resources I use on my blog. I’ve put together this list of blogging tools and resources that I use on a regular basis to build and run my blog.
If you are interested in learning more about blogging or how I do things please feel free to ask. I will build and update this list as I continue to grow my blog. Many of the links on this page are referral links because I highly recommend all of these services. Many of the referral links will provide you with an additional credit or bonus if you sign up for the service using my referral link.
One of the first things you’ll need to do when starting a blog is to find a hosting company. I am currently using SiteGround and have been very satisfied with their service and cost.
There are a few options for the blogging platform you use to build your site. I highly recommend you use WordPress.org (not to be confused with WordPress.com). WordPress is very easy to use while also giving you lots of flexibility with your website.
Next, you will need to pick a theme or design for your blog. I started out with a free theme for many years, but eventually purchased a theme. I am currently using a theme I purchased from the designers at Dinosaur Stew.
Images and graphics are big deal when it comes to blogging. Here are the resources I use the most:
Pixabay – I get most of my stock images from this site. They have a great selection and they are free!
Canva – This is the graphic design tool I use to create nearly all the visuals on my blog and social media. It is very easy to use and many of the features are free.
I currently use MailerLite as my email service provider. They have a free option to get you started and then reasonable pricing as your list grows. The interface is fairly simple and user-friendly while also providing lots of functionality and flexibility for your emails, campaigns, opt-ins, and segmenting. (Using my referral link will give you a $20 credit.)
Social Media Management
Recurpost – this is a social media tool that allows you to build up a content library and then it auto-shares those posts to your social media feeds on the schedule you set. Best of all, there is a free plan.
Tailwind – a social media tool for Pinterest and Instagram scheduling. Manually pinning to Pinterest would take hours each week that I don’t have. By using Tailwind I’m able to pre-schedule my pins (in bulk at times) and Tailwind automatically creates the pins at the scheduled times all throughout the day. Since Pinterest is one of my biggest traffic sources this service is incredibly valuable to me. I’ve also tried out their new Instagram scheduling option which can be really helpful to work ahead and batch posts on Instagram. (Get a free month to try it out by using my referral link.)
Productivity and Tracking
Trello – this is basically a project management and planning tool. I use Trello to create and manage my editorial calendar, to plan and design products, and to map out challenges. I love Trello. You can read my guest post over at Your Blogging Mentor about how I use Trello to create my editorial calendar.
Google Analytics – if you have a blog or any website, it is very important to use Google Analytics to track your blog traffic and stats. There is so much valuable information you can learn and analyze to help you grow and improve
Google Search Console (aka Google Webmaster Tools) – similar to Google Analytics, make sure to set up Google Search Console to give you a glimpse at what searches are bringing people to your site.
Zoom – occasionally I connect with other bloggers for Mastermind meetings and the like. My favorite option for video conferencing is Zoom.
Grammarly – this is a browser extension and app that keeps an eye on your grammar, spelling, and word usage to help avoid typos and errors. It doesn’t catch everything, but it does help a lot.
Google Drive – I save all kinds of things in my Google Drive, from post ideas and drafts, blog stats and income information, and more. I also use Google Drive to create my reader surveys and share many of the freebies I create.
Headline Analyzer – I should use this more often then I do, but when I’m stuck on a headline or blog post title I will run it through this awesome Headline Analyzer to help me create better headlines.
EBA – A few years ago I invested in a membership to Elite Blog Academy. This is a comprehensive blogging course that walks you step by step through the process of creating a successful and monetized blog. This course has been extremely valuable to me and I highly recommend it if you are serious about creating a profitable blog. It takes a ton of work but EBA is a great source to guide you through it all.
Your Blogging Mentor Courses – Your Blogging Mentor is a site created by Crystal Paine, owner of the extremely successful blog MoneySavingMom.com. She has several courses available that are very reasonably priced that can walk you through a specific blogging topic that you want to focus on. From Blog Startup to building your email list to Facebook Live, she is regularly adding new courses. She also offers a variety of free webinars and other trainings to help you create a successful blog.
YNAB – I use YNAB for planning and budgeting for both our personal and my blog expenses (I have separate budgets for the family and my blog business). You can read my YNAB review post to get more of an idea regarding how this software works. But in short, it is amazing and makes budgeting fun!
QuickBooks Self-Employed – this allows me to track all business income and expenses and makes everything smooth and easy for bookkeeping and tax time.
Selz – this is the E-commerce platform I currently use to sell my products. Currently, I only have one product for sale (my Bible verse cards), but as I develop more products I can create a full online store through Selz to sell these items.