Blogging can be hard! Getting everything set up, especially if you want to monetize, can be confusing & overwhelming. The tools & resources I’ve listed here will hopefully make things easier for you & help you on your way to blogging success!
— WordPress.org: I have tried a ton of platforms (Blogger, Squarespace, Wix) & have found WordPress to the best user experience. You can easily design & customize your site and WordPress makes it a breeze to monetize. You can add ad platforms, plugins & more to start making money on day 1.
— BlueHost: The #1 hosting service to bloggers & the #1 hosting service backed by WordPress! What makes Bluehost stand out? They offer 24/7 live chat support (so much easier than waiting on hold), 1-click WordPress installation, and super affordable rates. Bluehost is what I use (I wrote a step-by-step guide how to set up your WordPress/ Bluehost account here) and if you sign up through my link here, you get a FREE domain name too.
— Yoast SEO: This FREE plug-in makes SEO easy. Complete a blog post & check it through the plug-in. You’ll learn how to optimize your copy, your headline & the layout of your blog post.
— Prettylinks: If you are going to be doing affiliate marketing, this is a MUST. Affiliates will sometimes create a link that is 100 characters long and just ugly to look at. Pretty links use your domain in order to shorten links & track the click rate.
—Pretty Feminine Themes: I love Bluchic for super pretty, feminine themes. They have a beautiful selection and all of their themes are completely mobile, tablet & desktop responsive. You can find themes here.
—Theme Forest: Pick from thousands of themes for prices as little as $2! Your theme will be unique to your blog and almost like a calling card. Pick one that is responsive, mobile friendly & gives a good user experience!
— Tailwind: If you want the maximum amount of traffic to your blog, you have to be on Pinterest. And you have to constantly active on Pinterest which can be super time-consuming. This makes having Tailwind a must. Tailwind reads your Pinterest analytics, tells you at what times your pins will get the most views & clicks, schedules your pins in advance & so much more! You can try out a FREE 30-day trial (no risk!) by using my link here.
— Google Analytics: This is a MUST if you want to start using ad platforms & working with brands. GA will track your page views, where your traffic is coming from & way more.
— Evernote: When I first started blogging, I was all over the place. I was not as organized as I needed to be and that was a problem. Enter Evernote, a FREE organizational tool to keep you organized & productive!
— AWIN: they have over 60K brands so you know you will find something that works for you. One thing that may turn you off but shouldn’t is that you need to pay $5 to signup – but don’t worry, you get the $5 back as soon as you are approved. It really is risk-free.
— SHAREASALE: If you are just starting out & are having trouble finding opportunities through the platforms, ShareASale might be for you. It’s more of an affiliate network – you can pick the product you’d like to promote & write a blog post about it. You earn money every time someone makes a purchase off your link. They have thousands of products so you really could create a post a day! Sign up here.
—SENDOWL: If you are selling or going to sell a digital product (ebook, ecourse etc) this is the platform you’ll want to use. Inexpensive with an automated send, you won’t have to wait until you reach a certain threshold for payment, Sendowl directly sends your payments to Paypal without any fuss. You can sign-up here.
— LINQIA: Have you ever read a sponsored post and were left confused as to why your fave blogger is promoting something off-brand? At Linqia, authenticity is key. Staying true to you & working with brands that compliment your blog’s niche is what they are about! The platform will send you sponsorships that match your criteria, you won’t have to scroll through anything – they do the work for you! Sign-up here!
— AirBNB: This is a must for travel bloggers! Or if you really love to travel. When a friend travels on Airbnb, you get $20 in travel credit. When they welcome their first guest, you get $75 in travel credit.
— FIVERR: I love this platform. You work on your schedule, on the brands you want, and when you want to. This platform will also increase your visibility to all brands, not just the ones you are working with and you get paid well & on time. Sign-up here!
— VIGLINK: Viglink creates in post affiliate links on what your post is about. Why this works so well is that instead of signing up for a million different affiliate programs, you signup with Viglink and they do all the work for you. This is a great platform and also pairs really well with other ad platforms like Media.Net or Adsense.
— Media.net: This platform offers up textual ads that will fit perfectly into every blog post. Their ads pull from your post content in order to serve up very clickable & relatable links.
— Headline Analyzer: Plug in your subject line or post title & this website analyzes how it will perform.
— Grammerly: If grammar, spelling or clear writing is an issue for you, then this tool is a must. Totally free to use (with a premium upgrade option), Grammarly keeps your post from having those cringe-worthy spelling and grammar errors. Download for free here.
— Canva: If you are anything like me, the biggest challenge in blogging is creating images. Canva makes creating images easy & best of all it’s free!
— PicMonkey: If you are looking for an actual real, online replacement for Photoshop, look no further, PicMonkey has it all. You can edit photos, make photo collages & graphic design all on the site. If you sign-up through my link here, you get a FREE 7-day trial (plus, it’s only $3.99 a month! Take that overpriced Adobe!)
— Make More Money: The Best Ad Platforms for New Bloggers
— Start Making Money in Minutes With This One WordPress Plugin!
— Learn tricks to making real money from Pinterest & Blogging
— How To Start A Money Making Blog In Under 15 Minutes
—Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing: If you’ve read through my blog, you know I’m a huge fan of Michelle’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course. Michelle is a blogger who rakes in over $50K a month from using affiliate links & her course is in-depth, easy to understand & has gotten me 10x the affiliate income I was getting before I got to her course.
— Brit + Co’s Creative Designer Bundle: Creating eye catching graphics for blog posts & Pinterest can be a serious challenge. I was never formally trained in Adobe photoshop or Illustrator, but if you want to make graphics or printables, these programs are a must. This course by Brit + Co. teaches all level students how to use Photoshop, InDesign & Illustrator.
— CreativeLive: This website is perfect for anyone who wants to update their creative game. They have classes ranging from photography, web design, app creation, Adobe how-tos & so much more. I try to take a class every couple of months to either learn or enhance a skill. You can find all their classes here.
Check back from time to time as I am always updating my recourse & adding to my freebies. Let me know if you have any questions by contacting me here or leaving a comment below!