Sometimes people ask me which tools and resources I use for my blog and social media. I’m always happy to help out other bloggers. Blogging is a community, not a competition. Here’s a list of things I use and recommend.
Bluehost – I started out on Bluehost. Not only did I get hosting for $3/month, I also got a free domain name (worth $9.99) and free email accounts. I highly recommend Bluehost if you’re new to blogging. They also have a great affiliate program if you’re interested in affiliate marketing. The original price for hosting is $5.95/month but if you click through my link, there’s usually a discount.
SiteGround – When I was nearing the end of my Bluehost year, I decided to switch to SiteGround to get a bigger package that allows for more traffic. The switch was really easy because their customer service was awesome. No bumps. Just seamless transfer. Their prices rival Bluehost. You can start your blog with SiteGround. But if you’re still with Bluehost and you’re getting more and more traffic, switch to SiteGround.
Genesis Framework – I use the Genesis Framework as a parent theme for my blog. I highly recommend it because a lot of designers make child themes specifically for Genesis. You only need to buy Genesis once and you can use any child theme with it. It’s popular among bloggers and I see why now. The structure is great, mobile friendly, and easy to work with.
Hello Trending – My current child theme is Hello Trending by Hello You Designs. It’s so pretty and there are so many widgets available! I don’t even use half of them. Great customer support too. I had an issue with a plugin not working with the theme and Jennifer logged into my WordPress and fixed it for me!
Email Service Provider
ConvertKit – I use ConvertKit to send out my newsletter and email courses. I used to use Mailchimp but ConvertKit has much better features. I can tag and segment subscribers so they don’t all get the same things. Just what they’re interested in. Sequences are the best. I can write an email course like the 7 Day Start a Blog Challenge that will allow new subscribers to start at the beginning when they sign up. It’s probably one of my favorite blogging tools.
Photos & Design
Creative Market – You can get fonts, templates, designs, images, and pretty much everything you need design-wise. They offer 6 free things every week so it’s worth signing up for their email alerts to make sure you don’t miss anything. The prices for everything else are pretty reasonable.
PicMonkey – When you need to design pin images, title images, collages, and other social media posts, PicMonkey is your jam.
Canva – This is the easiest way to make beautiful social media images for free. You can buy some of their stock photos for $1 each, but you don’t have to. They have templates set up for each platform with the exact sizes you need.
Amazon Prime Photos – If you already have Amazon Prime, you already have access to Prime Photos. (If you don’t already have Amazon Prime, you should totally get it. (I use it for pretty much everything in my life.) I use Prime photos to store and sync all of my photos from my phone. You have unlimited storage for photos which works out well for me because I take A LOT of photos of Toot.
Unsplash – Free stock photos!
Fiverr – I use Fiverr for pretty much any cheap work. Everything starts at $5!
Social Media Tools
Tailwind – If you don’t want to spend all day pinning your posts on Pinterest but you want everyone to see your pins, you need Tailwind to schedule your pins. You also get some great analytics. My traffic doubled when I started using Tailwind to schedule my pins to group boards. Highly recommended. As a bonus, you can get the first 100 pins and the first month free.
Tailwind Tribes – This is a new feature that Tailwind started to promote sharing between bloggers. You can join my tribe here. You add your pins to the tribe and share the pins of other bloggers in the tribe.
Tweetdeck – This is how I organize my twitter.
Elite Blog Academy – It’s only open for enrollment once a year but it is THE BEST blogging course. If you do just one course on blogging, it should be this one. It’s very thorough and should take you about 9 months to a year to complete because of how much information is in this course. Ruth teaches you step by step how to build a profitable blog. And there’s a great mastermind group that comes with it full of bloggers making a full time income.
Book Boss – I recently enrolled in my first course! Book Boss is a comprehensive course on how to write and launch a profitable ebook in 90 days or less.
ShareASale – Lots of great merchants on ShareASale. They’re my top earning network.
Skimlinks – It’s a plugin that will automatically turn any links into an affiliate link if the merchant is in their system. They have a lot of merchants and you don’t have to apply for each individual brand. You have access to all of them. And they payout at $10.
Viglink – Same concept as Skimlinks but has some different merchants that Skimlinks doesn’t have. And some of them pay more. I have Skimlinks installed but use the Viglink Anywhere links on social media or for other merchants and higher paying merchants.
Sponsored Post Networks
IZEA – I mainly use IZEA for sponsored tweets and Instagram posts. They do offer sponsored blog posts but not as many. They also offer content amp which lets you tweet a link and get paid per click.
Linqia – Great sponsored post campaigns. You just fill out your information and they offer campaigns to you. They set a click goal and when you meet it, you get paid a certain amount. Otherwise you get paid per click.
Influence Central – They have great sponsored post and sponsored social media campaigns. They set a price and you apply for each campaign.
Activate – This is a sponsored campaign network by Bloglovin. You apply to each campaign here too. Some have a set price and some allow you to quote.
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