The Best Blogging Tools and Resources for Beginner to Advanced Bloggers

Bloggers always ask me what my top recommendations are for blogging tools and resources. It’s basically the number one question I get (understandably).

So, I put together this massive list of the best blogging tools and resources that every blogger should consider using. Many of these tools will make your job easier and help you to reach your goals faster. 

By the end of this list, you’ll be asking yourself, ‘where has this been all my life?!’

BLOGGING TOOLS AND RESOURCES

You’ll find a mixture of free and paid tools on this list, but I did my best to find the most affordable and useful tools that are available on these blogging streets! 

You don’t need to use or buy ALLLLLL of these things. Just pick and choose the ones that apply to your current goals. And they’re all organized into categories to make things easier for you.

Let’s get to it!

{{ Our blog posts contain affiliate links. Full disclosure here. }}

WEBSITE HOSTING

If you’re new around here, you might not be familiar with some of these terms, but try not to stress over it. It’ll all start coming together as you work through these recommendations and get your blog set up.

Simply put, every website needs a place to “live” online. Your website hosting is like the plot of land where your site is going to live.

Important note: there is NO single perfect hosting company. They all have pros and cons.

Some bloggers have their preferences and some bloggers will swear up and down that you should go with ‘this or that’ hosting company. 

But the bottom line is, none of them are perfect, and some are better than others.

Our top two picks are below.

NAMEHERO

It’s super affordable for beginners and they have great customer service. I have several sites on this hosting platform and I have had zero issues with them. 

SITEGROUND

If you don’t like Namehero for some reason, then go with Siteground. They are just as good, but a bit more pricey (especially after your introductory rate is over). I also have a few sites with Siteground and have never had a problem there either.

These are the only two hosting sites that I recommend for bloggers with less than 100,000 monthly pageviews.

BLOG PLATFORM

Once your new site has a plot of land to live on, you need some blogging software to actually set up your site. This is where WordPress comes into play.

WordPress.org. You’ll want to use WordPress.org for your blog and you’ll download it through your website host after you purchase hosting. 

Follow this step-by-step tutorial for getting your blog setup the right way!

THEMES


Your theme is essentially the template that displays the look and layout of your site. You can use the default theme that comes pre-installed when you download WordPress or you can install your own.

Tip: choose a lightweight theme that doesn’t slow down your website!

Astra It is an extremely versatile theme that is lightweight and full of options. The free version is also very customizable, so you can use it until you want to upgrade.

Kadence – This is another versatile lightweight theme that a lot of bloggers love. There are plenty of great website themes available out there, but these are the top two themes that we recommend.

ESSENTIAL PLUGINS

These are little tools you attach to your site that help it to function better and accomplish more.

These plugins are used via your self-hosted WordPress.org platform. And you don’t need to use A LOT of plugins, just use the trusted ones that make your life easier.

Note: some plugins will weigh your site down and make it run slower, so use discretion and research every plugin that you’re considering.

The below plugins are safe and essential for most bloggers.

Yoast SEO. An essential SEO plugin.
Akismet Anti-spam. Spam blocker for your blog’s comment section
Grow Social. Social sharing plugin that helps you grow your blog.
Insert Headers and Footers. Add snippets of code to your site.
Google XML Sitemaps. Create sitemaps and improve SEO.
ShortPixel. Image compression tool.
Wordfence. Security and malware protection. 

There are over 50,000 plugins to choose from. You might need more plugins than what is listed above, but these are a good place to start!

TOOLS FOR ANALYTICS AND TRACKING

Once you have your blog set up and rolling, you’ll want to track activity to make sure you’re growing and reaching your goals!

Google Analytics – every blogger needs to attach Google Analytics to their site. This allows you to track your traffic, conversions, and website goals.

Mouseflow Heat Maps – for tracking what people click on and engage with on your site. They have a free trial to test it out! Always fun to see how users are experiencing your site!

LinkTracker – track your affiliate links and keep all stats in one place.

LEGAL PAGES

Grab this affordable Legal Bundle drafted by a lawyer and fellow blogger. An important tool for every blogger’s toolbox. 

Protect yourself and your blogging business by including these essential legal pages on your site.

TOOLS FOR DESIGN AND GRAPHICS

Some awesome tools and resources to help you design beautiful graphics for your blog, social media, digital products you sell, or anything else you create online.

Canva – design any graphics, e-books, printables, presentations, and more. Free and paid option. You can also save extra cash by grabbing the annual plan and splitting it with other bloggers or members of your team (up to five team members can share one plan and split the cost)!

Stencil – another design option that’s popular among bloggers. It’s free for up to 10 images a month.

STOCK PHOTOS

If you’re not a professional photographer yourself, you’ll probably need access to high quality stock photos at some point. Here are the top options:

Canva – another reason to love Canva! You can use their thousands of professional stock photos on your paid plan.

DepositPhotos – thousands of stock photos and advanced search options for every blogging niche. 

Pixi Stock – thousands of style stock photos, Canva templates, and more, designed for women entrepreneurs. 

TOOLS FOR WRITING AND EDITING

Grammarly – a helpful editing tool to correct errors and improve readability.

Google Drive – do all of your drafting and blog post writing in Google Drive where it saves automatically (never lose another blog post).

ProWritingAid – a free Chrome extension to help you improve your writing for your blog, business, or school..

Coschedule Headline Analyzer – if you struggle to come up with catchy and optimized headlines, try this free tool.

Transcribe by Wreally – a tool that will transcribe audio to text.

SEO TOOLS

SemRush – one of the most robust search engine optimization tools available. Research competitors, fill competitor gaps, find keywords you can rank for, improve backlinks, and more.

Keyword Chef – an easy affordable keyword research tool created by a fellow blogger.

Keysearch – another affordable keyword research tool that is a great supplement to Keyword Chef.

SITE MANAGEMENT

Having a tech expert manage your WordPress site for you is a no-brainer in this business. It is the first thing I would invest in once you start earning a little cash.

iMarkInterative – I recommend this trusted team of WordPress experts that offer monthly WordPress support plans. I personally use the Aim plan, but any plan is better than none. Lowest price starts at $37/mo.

GtMetrix.com – this is a free tool that allows you to check your site speed and offers tips for making improvements. 

SemRush Backlink Checker – This free tool allows you to track backlinks and make improvements to your off-page SEO.

TOOLS FOR VIDEO AND RECORDING

Video is all the rage in the content creation world. 

Whether you’re doing LIVE Facebook videos, Reels, or recording social media posts and trainings, you’ll need a few of these visual marketing tools.

Screencast-o-Matic – This is an amazing and versatile video tool. Record your screen, yourself (or both). Edit video, add CTA’s and buttons to video, and more.

If you plan on doing any video presentations or need a tool that allows you to record your screen, give this one a try!

BeLive – a great tool for streaming video on Facebook. I use this to stream all of my LIVE trainings within my private Facebook communities. 

Loom – this one is a great free tool if you need to record short videos under 5 minutes. You download the Chrome extension and can start recording within seconds. For paid plans, I recommend Screencast-o-matic, but Loom is great for quick video recording. 

Zubtitle – This is a subtitle generator that is super easy to use and perfect for adding subtitles to your social media videos.

AUTOMATION

Automate whatever you can, whenever you can!

Publer – This is a social media scheduling app that has a ton of capability for nearly every social media platform. You can schedule content to all platforms for months at a time.

Check out this video tutorial that shows you how to schedule a year of social media content using Publer.

Tailwind – If you’re a Pinterest user, Tailwind is a good automation tool that will save you time. It’s not a magic wand that will guarantee Pinterest success, it’s just a time-saving tool that allows you to schedule several pins at optimal times.

Mailerlite – Use Mailerlite for your email automation sequences (more about this under email marketing).

BLOGGING EDUCATION

We can’t grow a blog or make money from it without doing a little homework. Business education will be an essential investment for success. 

What you choose to invest in will depend on your own business goals, but here are some suggestions to get you started!

Becoming a Blogger – this is a comprehensive A to Z blogging course that shows you how to start, grow, market, and monetize your blog. 

Affiliate Marketing, Simplified! – Learn how to maximize your affiliate income with this detailed marketing course. 

Stupid Simple SEO – The course I wish I had invested in from day one! This is an extremely detailed, action-packed, video-based course that teaches you how to boost blog traffic using SEO. Start with the FREE Masterclass before making your purchase.

BLOGGING SUPPORT

Find a supportive community of like-minded bloggers working toward the same goals.

Scale Your Blog Success – a private coaching group that I run with a fellow blogger and blogging coach. This group is for motivated, active, beginner to intermediate bloggers. The coaches and members are present in the group throughout the month to support each other and learn how to scale their blogs!

Pinterest Mastermind with Carly Campbell – a private coaching group with a focus on all things Pinterest and building up your blog traffic via Pinterest marketing. 

TOOLS FOR BLOG MONETIZATION

Whew!

We’ve covered a ton of blogging tools and resources so far, and we have a few more to go.

So let’s talk about making money. What are some helpful tools you can use to start earning that moolah? Here’s a great list to get you started!

Ultimate Bundles – this is an affiliate program that allows you to earn money from promoting popular, low-priced digital products. Free to join and earn 40% of every sale you drive.

Share-a-Sale – this is a free affiliate network with over 4,500 affiliate programs you can join and promote (and earn from). One of my favorite networks, every blogger should join!

AWIN – another great affiliate network with thousands of programs to promote worldwide. There is a $5 screening fee to join, but you are reimbursed after approval.

FlexOffers – another great (and FREE) affiliate network with over 12,000 programs to choose from and promote. Join the network, apply to your favorite affiliate programs, and start promoting them in exchange for commissions!

Sendowl – if you want to create and sell any digital products, like e-books and printables, start with a Sendowl account. You can upload your creations, sell them, and even invite affiliates to sell your stuff for you. Super affordable and easy-to-use tool.

Teachable – if you want to sell courses or coaching packages, Teachable is a good platform for that. This is the platform I use to create and sell my courses. 

Acuity – If you want a schedule tool to book and charge for calls, coaching, meetings, etc, try out Acuity. This is the tool I use to schedule my coaching calls.

TOOLS FOR PRODUCTIVITY

As a content creator, you’ve got A LOT to do! But thankfully, you also have a lot of helpful tools that will make your life easier.

Trello – an organized workflow tool to help you manage your schedule or your team!

Unroll.me – a tool that allows you to unsubscribe from multiple mailing lists and clean up your inbox. This tool is great but an even BETTER IDEA is to avoid subscribing to too many lists in the first place. Be VERY mindful of who you give your email address to.

Google Calendar – a free calendar that allows you to schedule events, get reminders, and keep life on track digitally.

Focus Booster – this app allows you to track time and improve focus. 

EMAIL MARKETING

Mailerlite – Mailerlite is an email marketing service provider that is free for your first 1000 subscribers. You can automate a series of emails, segment lists, create sign up forms, and more.

Outgrow – Boost your leads, sales, and subscribers with interactive quizzes, surveys, polls, giveaways, and more. 

BLOGGING TECH AND GADGETS

Here are a few techie blogging tools you might be needing along your journey.

Tripod – for videos, selfies, or photography. I use my iPhone and tripod to record most of my short videos and social media pictures. It’s quick and easy!

Blue Yeti Podcast Mic – for videos, trainings, podcasts, and more. I honestly don’t use my mic very often, but if you’re planning on running a podcast or video series, a good mic will be a must.

iPad – The iPad basically sells itself. Portable, versatile, advanced technology for all your digital needs. You don’t necessarily need the latest and greatest iPad, shop around for your needs and budget.

Airpods – Any headphones within your budget will work just fine. I was an Airpod ‘hater’ at first. But after I tried my husband’s airpods out one day, I was hooked. I can move around freely during conference calls, video recordings. And I never knock my phone onto the floor anymore after forgetting it was attached to headphones.

EXTRAS

Here are a few additional blogging tools and resources that I use, LOVE, or created for you myself. Hopefully you’ll find something useful in the list!

Pinteresting Strategies – An action-packed Pinterest marketing course from one of the best Pinterest pros out there. 

Pins Made Happy – This is my favorite Pinterest pin design course. It helped me boost my Pinterest engagement and traffic, which is NOT the easiest thing to do.


Challenge Replay: How to Create a Year of Money-Making Content – This is one of my 4-week challenge replays that is packed with helpful tips and tricks for pushing out tons of great content as quickly and easily as possible. 

Affiliate Program Master List – this is a gigantic masterlist of affiliate programs and their commission rates in every blogging niche. Over 1,000 programs on the list, organized by highest paying programs.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES ON THE BLOG

I hope this list of blogging tools and resources was helpful! 

All of my email subscribers get free access to this list in a downloadable PDF so that you can store it on your computer or even print it out. 

You can join the club and get access to the PDF right here (after subscribing, you’ll receive an email with a link and password to access the goods)!

For additional blogging resources, check out these popular articles from my site:

How to Start a Money-Making Blog the Right Way
How to Boost Your Blog Traffic and Attract Your Dream Clients
Monetize Your Blog Quickly and Easily with this Comprehensive Guide
3 Essential Investments for New Bloggers

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