learn the business of blogging – always free
When it comes to your blog, if there’s a way to do something easier, faster, and for cheaper, then you should take advantage. Here’s a master list of all the resources I use to run my blogs and automate as much as I possibly can. This blogging resources list will be updated as I find new tools to share and reviews to post!
Bluehost – Bluehost is an affordable and efficient hosting provider for new bloggers. They have an awesome support team that goes above and beyond to help you out. I’ve called them numerous times about issues that aren’t even really their fault, and they’ve always been happy to help or at least point me in the right direction!
Namecheap – The cheapest domain provider around.
WordPress – WordPress.org is the #1 publishing platform for bloggers who are serious about business. The best part? It’s free, and super easy to use. WordPress is the backbone of 1/3 of the internet!
DigitalOcean – Since my blogs receive hundreds of thousands of page views per month, I’ve switched to a more robust web host called Digital Ocean. It’s a web server that works with web developers and app builders. DigitalOcean pricing is more affordable compared to hosts that target bloggers as clients. I use another tool called RunCloud to manage the server through a user-friendly interface. Read my DigitalOcean review for more info if you’re a high-traffic blogger.
Cloudflare – I use Cloudflare to speed up my website’s loading time, hide my server’s IP address from potential hackers, and redirect any emails I receive to my blogs’ custom email addresses to a Gmail account assigned to each blog.
Keyword Surfer Chrome extension – I use this Surfer SEO extension to analyze search volume data for keywords I want to target. It helps me narrow down the exact keyword variety with the most number of searches. I then use that as the slug of my blog post.
Detailed SEO Chrome extension – Detailed is great for quickly looking at the Headers of an article. It’s also good for viewing the site’s sitemap quickly.
SimilarWeb.com Chrome extension – SimilarWeb is what I use to see the average traffic of a website. It helps me determine if the site is good to use for finding new keywords since successful sites will have more traffic.
Skimlinks – An easy-to-use affiliate network that gives you access to thousands of programs instantly. It can also convert your existing links to affiliate ones with a simple script install.
Collective Voice – Another great fashion and home decor affiliate program.
AdSense – The easiest way to make passive income with a brand new blog. AdSense is run by Google so it’s very reputable and easy to install.
Paypal – Many companies will require a Paypal account to pay you, so make sure your account is set up and verified as soon as you can!
I use Mailchimp for some of my newer blog email newsletters. It’s easy, customizable, and best of all free for beginners.
On my high-volume mailing lists, I use Sendy which can handle more than 1,000 subscribers very affordably.
Read more about how I set up custom domain email addresses here.
Photo Editing & Graphic Design
Canva – Canva is an amazing graphic design tool that I use to create Pinterest graphics using 4 or more images. They have grids that make it easy to drag and drop the photos into a neat arrangement!
Figma – Figma is an advanced design tool that I use when I want more control over how my graphics will appear. I use this tool for everything from logo design to Pinterest graphics and other social media posts.
Adobe Creative Cloud – I use the Lightroom app on my phone for editing my travel photos before posting them on my blog!
Tailwind – This tool is a lifesaver and can easily triple your Pinterest traffic when implemented correctly! Schedule unlimited pins on your own schedule and find new ones to add to your queue with this awesome Pinterest tool.
Zapier – Zapier is what I use to automatically record my new blog posts into a Google Docs spreadsheet. Zapier pulls the blog post title, the URL, and the date it was published and adds it to a spreadsheet.
IFTTT – IFTTT is great for automating your WordPress to Social Media workflow. I use it to send my new blog posts directly to social networks. They’ve since limited the free version so I use it less than before.
Buffer – Buffer is where my Facebook and Twitter posts are stored before posting. I rarely use it but it’s nice to have.
Later & Planoly – I use both of these apps to plan and schedule my social media posts for different blogs. I can queue up my images, arrange them in a way that makes my feed look clean, and prepare the captions and hashtags ahead of time. When it’s time to post, these apps notify me! 30 posts per month are free.
Bloglovin – An awesome visual RSS reader for female bloggers to promote their blogs. It’s kind of like a Google News service for creative bloggers!
Feedly – A more traditional RSS reader for a broad range of blogs.