Best Blogging Tools and Recommended Resources
Our recommended tools and resources for printables and blogging.
We generally recommend products that we trust and find useful but please do your own research before buying as the conditions, products or services may change with time.
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I have been used and/or heard good things about these products and services and only recommend them because I have genuinely found them helpful and trustworthy.
Money Saving Tools and Resources
Ebates. Ebates is an affiliate for big brands like Walmart, Target, Amazon, eBay, Bluehost etc. You get the cash back if you click through the links of stores listed. When you shop at one of these stores through Ebates, these brands pay Ebates a percentage of the purchase and Ebates in turn pays you the customer a percentage of that amount.
Swagbucks. Swagbucks is rewards program that gives you free gift cards and cash for the everyday things you already do online. Earn points when you shop at your favorite retailers, watch videos, answer surveys, search the web and find great deals. Redeem points for gift cards to your favorite retailers like Amazon and Walmart or get cash back from Paypal.
Online Unzip Tool
Unzip Files : An online tool to unzip the ZIP / compressed files. You will find it handy if you do not have such tool installed on your computer.
For Planners and Printables
- Heavy Weight Cardstock Paper
- All-in-One Wireless Inkjet Printer
- 28 lbs Premium White Paper
- 32 lbs Premium White Thick Paper (for planner inserts)
- BlueHost: Comes highly recommended for newbie bloggers, Bluehost is a hosting provider that can be started at very affordable prices of $3.95 per month. Check out this step by step tutorial if you want to get started with Bluehost.
- WordPress: Versatile and available with lots of options, WordPress is the best platform to start a blog. Most of the plugins are compatible with WordPress, and can be installed with just one click.
- Grammarly: Blogging is all about writing. When you are a blogger, you should make sure that there are no spelling or grammar mistakes in your blog posts. Grammarly is one such tool that can be used to avoid such embarrassing mistakes. It helps with incorrect spelling, grammatical errors and formatting structure. There are both free and premium versions.
- Google Analytics: Track your blog stats and analytics using this free Analytics tool from Google. You can see the details like where your visitors are coming from, their age group, their gender and so much more. This free tool comes highly recommended from popular bloggers.
- Headline Analyzer: Drive traffic to your blog by writing powerful and engaging headlines using Co-schedule’s Headline Analyzer.
Image Editing Software
- Picmonkey. Easy alternative to Photoshop, Picmonkey is widely used by lot of bloggers. It is extremely easy to use and great features that it offers make is one of my favorite image editing software.
- Canva. Similar to Picmonkey, Canva is also a great graphics software that comes with predesigned free and paid templates to choose from.
- Photoshop: Photoshop is a great image editing tool for bloggers and graphic designers. At $9.99 per month, it is great for image editing, enhancing and optimizing the images. Free trial available for 7 days.
- Tailwind. Schedule your social media updates with Tailwind. It helps automate your otherwise tedious social media tasks. You can automate Pinterest Pins, Twitter Tweets and Facebook status. Free trail available for first 100 pins. It’s $9.99 per month.
- Buffer. Scheduling posts, analyzing blog performance and managing your social media account made easy with Buffer.
- Convertkit. Send email using Convertkit. It is very simple to use and excels at auto responders which is perfect if you run weekly courses. Starts at $29 per month.
- Mailchimp. Send newsletter using Mailchimp. You can easily manage subscribers, send emails, and track results. It is free for up to 2,000 email subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. It starts at $10 per month for unlimited emails up to 500 subscribers, and it increases $5 per month for every 500 subscribers added.
- Optinmonster. Build your email list in a non intrusive way with Optinmonster. It allows you to convert your abandoning visitors into email subscribers by letting you create professionally designed optin forms without you having to write a single line of strenuous code.
- Yoast SEO. Most important part of your blog is to be search engine friendly. When your blog shows up in search engines, people can find and reach your blog easily. In order to rank well in search engine, you need to optimize your blog. Yoast SEO plugin is the most popular WordPress plugin that is used to optimize any blog with meta data information.
- CommentLuv. Engage your readers into leaving a comment on your blog by using commentluv plugin.
- Easy Social Share Buttons. Social Media is as important as creating content for your blog. Sharing your content on social media is something that’s recommended as soon as your new content is up on the blog. Plugins like Easy Social Share Buttons are perfect to share the content on your blog posts. This plugin is very easy to install, setup and use.
- Google Captcha. Eliminate spam using Google Captcha. You won’t believe the amount of spam you can receive on any of your blog posts. Google Captcha helps keep the bots away by having your readers enter the captcha before they leave a comment on your posts.
- Yet Another Related Posts Plugins. User engagement is one of the most important factors in evaluating the success of a blog. When readers visit your blog, they should be able to see what other content is available on your blog, and keep reading. Yet Another Related Posts Plugins is the most popular plugins used for this purpose.
- Vaultpress. Many bloggers run into the problem of blog crashing down and having no back up of their content or database. There are many back up services that make sure that a copy of backup is always available in case something like this to happen. Vaultpress plugin is one of the popular one among bloggers to take back up of a blog and database.
Drive Traffic to Your Blog
Once you have setup your band new blog, created a few blog posts, you want to focus on how to drive traffic to your blog. And, it is not an easy and quick task that it may sounds. This step requires all of your effort, time and lot of patience. You have to be consistent in your efforts and working hard in order to drive targeted traffic.
Social Media is huge in bringing traffic. Besides using regular Facebook groups, Pinterest Boards and Twitter.
Making Money from Your Blog
As much as it is fun to maintain a blog, it is also possible to generate (full time) income from one. You can display banner ads or text ads on your blog. Normally, banners are displayed on the sidebar and text ads are inserted in the blog post.
- Sponsored Posts. Many brands want to create awareness about their products or services, so they connect with blogs to advertise about their services. Normally they contact bloggers either directly or via other mediums. Sometimes they offer their products or services for free to the bloggers, let them use and write an honest review about them. They sometimes pay for such services as well.
- Affiliate Programs. When bloggers make money promoting other company’s products or services and get paid some commission. If you have a content rich site, you will find it easier to find specific affiliate programs. Shareasale is one such platform where you can find lots of merchants and potential sponsors for your content rich blog.