If you think you would like to give this blogging thing a chance, then you may want to check out my How to Start a Blog post. I show you how to start a blog from scratch and get up in running in less than 10 minutes.
Here are a few tools I use as a blogger:
Every great blog starts on a self-hosted platform, so why not start yours with Hostgator? Not only can you get 24/7 tech support, you can easily start your own blog affordably.
There are three different plans to choose from, but most people who are new to blogging will do well with the Hatchling or Baby ones. Packages are as low as $2.95 when you select a yearly plan. I haven’t had any issues with them (knock on wood) and am confident you would like them too.
WordPress Theme: Genesis by Studio Press
Second only to having a self-hosted site, using a premium theme is important for any professional blogger. I love Genesis themes from Studio Press and use them for every blog or website I have.
Genesis is pretty much the industry standard and you’ll find many designs to fit your taste. In order to use any of the child themes by Studio Press, you must purchase the Genesis Framework first. To find your next WordPress theme, go to Studio Press here.
MyThemeShop is another great company to find premium WordPress themes and plugins.
Believe them when they say that the money is in the list and start your email marketing now. I recently signed up to use ConvertKit for this blog and have been impressed so far. ConvertKit is highly recommended for professional bloggers because of their tagging feature (which I love, by the way).
Can’t afford the $29 a month fee just yet? GetResponse is another great option for your email marketing needs. I still use GetResponse because unfortunately, ConvertKit doesn’t really allow you to have multiple email lists (which can be a bummer if you have several businesses or distinct lists). ====>GetResponse now offers automation and tagging.
Image Editor: Canva
Screen Sharing: Screencast-o-matic
If you’re looking for an affordable screen sharing service, you can check out Screencast-o-matic. There’s a free version, but if you need more recording time and space, upgrade to their pro version (which is A LOT cheaper than comparable services out there).
Pinterest Scheduler: Tailwind
Most of my traffic comes from Pinterest, so I totally believe it changed the game of this blogging thing. I use Tailwind to schedule my pins to my group boards and Tribes (a Tailwind exclusive). Tailwind is an approved scheduler of Pinterest, so I recommend using it. I used to use Boardbooster, but became afraid of the spam stories, so I’m 100% with Tailwind.
If you’re ready to try Tailwind, use my link and earn a free trial month.
Cloud Storage & File Sharing: Dropbox
If you’re looking for extra storage for your files, sign up for a free account with Dropbox. It will store your files, therefore freeing up your hard disk, and makes sharing with others easy. Plus, did I mention it was free (you can purchase additional storage if needed)?
I have been blogging for years and I didn’t start making money until I invested in learning from bloggers who are where I want to be. I wasted so much time and missed out on thousands of dollars trying to do it all myself. If you’re trying to make money blogging you may want to look into these resources.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course – This is an online course for anyone who is interested in making money online through affiliate marketing. I recommend this course because not only is it led by Michelle Shroeder-Gardner, a blogger who easily makes $50,000 a month, but it is one of the few courses that isn’t filled with a bunch of fluff.
Wealthy Affiliate – If you are looking to take affiliate marketing beyond your blog, you may be interested in signing up for a membership to Wealthy Affiliate. Unlike a course, Wealthy Affiliate is a membership program where you will receive training, support from members, free blog, among other benefits. There is a free as well as premium plan. Sign up for your free trial with Wealthy Affiliate here.
Blogging on the Side: Where Passion and Profit Meet – One of the few books I’ve ever read from cover to cover highlighting all of the tips to use for my very own blog. A great resource for beginner and intermediate bloggers.
I’ve listed a few other books I recommend in my post Blogging Books for Newbie Bloggers .
Resources to Make Life a Little Easier
Make Over Your Mornings. I’m not a morning person and was pretty unproductive. Make Over Your Mornings is one of those courses you don’t think you need until you actually go through it. Once you do, you will be glad you did. Created by Crystal Paine, this 14-day course will have you revamp your mornings, so you’ll be more productive and have more energy throughout the day. A great resource no matter if you are single, married, have kids, or work outside of the home – you’ll benefit from the Make Over Your Mornings course.