Blogging Tools and Resources that Every Blogger Needs
I remember the first day that I asked Google “how can I make money blogging?”.
It was a long day of reading and researching, but it was also one of the best days of my life! Because I learned that building a successful blog is totally possible, and you don’t need a ton of money or experience to do it. I sifted through at least a hundred articles and watched a bunch of tutorials, trying to pull together the pieces of this massive puzzle.
It was a lot of work.
If you’re new to the blogging scene, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the information being thrown your way (it’s a lot).
And if you’ve been around here for a while, it’s still a good idea to check yourself and your biz: make sure you’re both growing, making money, and staying sane.
So, I put together this massive list of blogging tools and resources that every blogger needs. From the day you start your blog, there are a few important things that you need to have in place; things like website hosting, a website theme, and some helpful plugins.
As you become a bit more seasoned, you’ll want to keep adding tools to your blogging kit, to help you grow, improve, automate, and enjoy your business and life!
I’ve got you covered!
* This post contains some affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This allows me to run this blog ad-free, and to publish helpful content for you every single week. I appreciate your support, and I know you’ll love these tools as much as I do!
BLOG SETUP AND DESIGN
Let’s start with the blogging basics. I highly recommend setting up your blog on a self-hosted website. A self-hosted website is the absolute best way to customize, monetize, and grow your blogging business.
The website host I use and recommend is Siteground. They have the fastest servers and the lowest record of downtime, so you can be confident that your site will always be working. They also provide free SSL certificates and excellent customer service. You’ll get 65% off the regular price if you use my referral link above!
After you purchase your hosting, you’ll need to download WordPress .org. This is the amazing and free software you will use to build and design your website. Download the free software, get familiar with the dashboard, and then choose a theme for your blog. This will be the visual aspect that people see when they come to your website. You can use a free theme or you can purchase one. Here are some sites that have beautiful themes for you to purchase and use for your own website:
Hello You Designs
Plugins will help your site to run quickly, safely, and efficiently. These plugins are only for self-hosted WordPress .org websites, which is one of the many reasons I recommend taking this route for your blog. I don’t use a lot of plugins, just the essentials. These are the main ones that I use, although I’ll admit I’ve tested a few others over the past few years.
Yoast SEO – a must-have for optimizing blog content
Akismet – an essential spam comment blocker
Shareaholic – for your social media sharing buttons
Insert Headers and Footers – for inserting small pieces of code onto your site
Sumo – for a free and easy subscription box on your homepage
SG Optimizer – a Siteground plugin that will improve site speed and configure HTTPS
Google Analytics – for checking your website stats
MailerLite – for easily adding sign up forms to your blog and collecting email addresses
Wordfence – for security and malware protection
Additional plugins that are recommended by many in the biz:
WooCommerce – for selling anything through your website
Instagram Feed – easily add your Instagram feed to your website
Easy Facebook Liker – an easy way to get more likes on your Facebook page
Click to Tweet – an automated way for readers to Tweet your content
WP Optimize – cleans up the backend clutter of your WordPress dashboard
CREATING BLOG GRAPHICS
Yeah…that was a lot to cover just for blog setup and design, so don’t feel bad if you need to grab yourself a drink and take a breather before we move on to creating blog graphics. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve got a cold one in my hand right now…
I meant a cold soda, c’mon now guys!
Here are a few great blogging tools for those of you that will be creating your own graphics for your blog and social media posts.
They’re all great options, it just depends on your budget and preferences! I personally use PicMonkey and Canva, and that is only because I fear the learning curve of Photoshop…I’m probably overreacting, I know.
WRITING GREAT CONTENT
You already know how to write great content, we just need to make sure that you’re checking it for pesky little errors that got overlooked. And also that it’s being saved every 3.5 seconds so that you don’t lose any of your hard work. These are the tools I recommend:
You know I’m all about working smarter and keeping it simple. There’s no shame in automating the parts of your business that don’t need your constant attention!
TAILWIND – the best scheduler for Pinterest and Instagram
BUFFER – to fill all your social media cues with general content for the week
HOOTSUITE – another popular social media scheduler
RECURPOST – recurring social media scheduler
LIKEITALL – to automatically like all images or links on a social share thread
BUILDING YOUR EMAIL LIST
Building an email list is a super important part of being a blogger. You need a way to contact your most loyal and engaged readers. You need a medium for regular contact with people that want to hear from you. And you also need a service that makes it easy to collect email addresses, contact subscribers, and automate an email series to connect with your readers regularly.
Yeah, MailerLite will do all of that for you, and more… FOR FREE
MAILERLITE – the greatest FREE email marketing system in existence
SUMO – free and easy email capture forms for your website
A lot of these topics have been addressed on my website and in my blogging course. Here are some free articles to help you with your blogging goals.
My free blogging group is an amazing community of supportive bloggers, and there are many others out there as well! Here are a few of my favorite blogging groups for you to join! They are extremely supportive and will help you stay on track with your blogging goals.
You can also go directly to Facebook Groups and click on the Discover button to search for groups in your own target market.
It’s no secret that working from home takes hard work and discipline. I’ve been doing it for NINE YEARS, so believe me, I get it. And then you run the risk of getting ripped off by scammy Craigslist ads and cheap clients. It’s a risky road to say the least!
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I hope these resources are insanely helpful for you and your blog. These are the same tools that I use everyday in my business, and they have proven to be very beneficial for me and my success as a blogger.
If you need help with blogging strategy, I’ve got you covered there too. Check out these blogging courses that will help you grow your blog and make money money.
BECOMING A BLOGGER – Turn your blog into a money-making business in 6 months.
BOSS GIRL BLOGGERS – Pinterest strategies that will boost your blog traffic.
As always, I’m here to support you in any way that I can! If you have any questions, just head over to my Facebook group and ask away.