If you’re reading this, you’re probably a blogger. And if you’re a blogger, you already know that bloggin’ ain’t easy. Which is exactly why you need the best tools and resources out there to help you work smarter and not harder to grow your blog.
And let’s be honest, not every tool out there is worth your time or going to help you grow your blog. So, to help you distinguish the game-changing resources from the ones that are just eh, I’ve compiled a list of my all-time favorite links, tools, and other resources that I’ve used before/am currently using that’ll actually help you grow your blog!
Haven’t started a blog yet? Click here to get started.
START A BLOG
This is my in-depth guide on starting a blog on Siteground. If you’re not the most tech-savvy girl but still want to start the blog of your dreams, this is a post for you. I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to get started, and even give you a blog post checklist to make sure you’re producing quality content once your blog is set up!
There are plenty of web hosting sites out there, but hands-down I recommend Siteground. It’s what I’m currently using, and not only is it really inexpensive, their tech support is top-notch. I’ve never had a problem that they couldn’t handle, and they can help the newbie and experienced alike.
For a detailed tutorial on how to set up a blog on Siteground, go here.
While Siteground is my first choice in web hosting, I’ve tried Bluehost in the past and it’s also a good web hosting service. This was what I used to run my first blog, and I liked it pretty well, although I felt like it was a little hard to navigate as a beginner.
WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS), and it’s what most bloggers use to create their blog. (Blogger and Squarespace are pretty popular also, but I’ve only got experience with WordPress. If you’re interested in these options, Helene over at Helene in Between has a post that goes over the differences!)
SCHEDULING POSTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
I think we can all agree that Pinterest is one of the best sources of traffic for bloggers, which is why it’s important to always be pinning. But if you’ve got, ya know, a life, this is basically impossible.
That’s where Tailwind comes into play. This scheduling tool is a huge time saver, and it’s helped me grow my blog without having to pin every day. It takes me about 15-20 minutes to pin all of my content for the next several weeks.
While this is a paid tool, you can try Tailwind free here.
Hootsuite is what I’m currently using to schedule my twitter posts. I’m not super active on Twitter, so their free version does what I need, although they do have paid versions if you’re looking for something with more capabilities!
We all know Etsy has basically everything handmade that you can imagine, but there’s a lot of blogging tools that you can purchase there also! This is where I bought my first two themes, and there’s plenty of gorgeous options out there. My current theme is from Etsy, and it was less than $30! I definitely recommend looking here for cheap (but still cute) themes!
These themes are gorgeous, and totally worth the investment! I’d recommend checking these out if you’re looking for a feminine, professional theme for your blog.
Canva is my go-to tool for creating anything for my blog. It’s a free tool and has a lot of capabilities! It’s nice that they have the image size templates already set up, plus it’s so easy to use! This is what I also use to create my opt-in freebies.
This is what I use to filter any of my photos. When you’re trying to create branded images, it helps to alter them all so they look the same. So when someone’s scrolling through Pinterest and they see a photo from your blog, they instantly recognize it!
Girl, if you haven’t been on Creative Market yet, you’re missing out! Every Monday, there are 6 FREE downloads that you can grab, whether it’s fonts, drawings, mockups, etc. Plus, there are plenty of affordable creations on there that it’s worth a look!
Most of my stock photos come from opt-in freebies I got for signing up for to a blogger’s email list, but Unsplash is a great website for stock photos. The photos on this website are very stylized and modern, and I usually find really pretty stock photos.
Mailchimp is fairly easy to use, although it is a little limiting in what all you can do. If you’re just starting out, the free version is a great starter tool, but I would suggest switching to Convertkit when you can.
The great thing about Convertkit is that it was created by bloggers, for bloggers. Which is why it’s a blogger’s dream. It’s much more advanced in what it can do compared to Mailchimp, so I made sure I started out with it for this blog.
While it is a paid service, they do have a free trial, which you can try here!
SEO is confusing, especially as a new blogger. Luckily, with the Yoast SEO plugin, it’s much easier to make sure your post is SEO-optimized.
As bloggers we all want to keep readers on our blogs as long as possible, which is why I’ve got a list of recent posts at the bottom of my posts. This has really helped lower my bounce rate as well, and I’d recommend going with a plugin that also includes thumbnails, as it gives your readers a visual and encourages them to click to your next amazing post.
MAKE MONEY BLOGGING
Adsense is a good option if you’re a new blogger looking to include ads on your blog, and it’s free to sign up. This is what I currently use to run ads on my site, and I like that I can customize the placement however I want.
This is another ad service, but there’s a minimum requirement of 25,000 sessions within the last 30 days to apply to Mediavine, so keep that in mind when you’re applying. The payout tends to be higher, but the company places at least 5 ads on a page, which can come off as kind of spammy and annoying for readers.
While this e-book may not be for the intermediate-advanced blogger, this is perfect for a newbie blogger just getting into affiliate marketing. I wish I’d seen it before I started getting into affiliate marketing, as it explains some simple tricks I wish I’d realized sooner!
This is where most of my money from blogging comes from. Amazon has so many products so whenever you’re trying to link to something on your blog, it’s so easy. I like having basically all of my product links in one place, plus it’s a reliable site so my readers know they can trust it!
Ana from The She Approach is killing it on her blog, and literally everything she writes is worth reading. That’s why I LOVE this affiliate marketing bundle, and feel it could really change the game for you and your blog. If you’re new to affiliate marketing, or you feel like what you’re doing just isn’t working, this is definitely worth the investment.
Having your GA account setup is crucial to tracking your blog’s growth. When you start working with brands, one of the first things they’ll ask you is what your page views look like. While you can see your page views on WordPress, they’ll likely want to know the stats from GA instead, since it tends to be a little more accurate and provides more info on your audience.
If you haven’t already, I highly suggest changing your account on Pinterest to Pinterest for Business. It gives you the ability to set up Rich pins, which are more likely to be repinned, but it also allows your to track your Pinterest analytics.
All of these tools have really changed the way I blog, and they’re still helping me continually grow my blog into something great. I know they could do the same for you, so if you’ve got any questions about them, feel free to ask below or contact me!
I’ll be sure to update this list as I find more amazing resources, so make sure you bookmark this so you can find it again (or share it on Pinterest wink wink!)
Do you use any of these tools? Which ones do you like?
This post may contain affiliate links. This does not increase the price for you at all, and in some cases it may even save you money! For more info, click here.
FREE BLOG POST CHECKLIST
This blog post checklist will help you keep up with publishing bomb, high-quality content, every time!